"The problem here is a totalitarian uniformity, a cult-like mentality such that even allies are enemies if they fail to follow the Exact Party Line. " - Phyllis Chesler

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Follow Up Facts and Statements

Not surprisingly I received a few comments (which have been rejected of course) from anti-circumcision propagandists regarding the facts. As if facts are refutable. PUHLEASE.

Let me start out saying that I hold in high regard the credentials of:

What I provided was a list of data...research results and attributions. It doesn't take a doctor to confirm for me or you what is clear. And I can tell you with 100% certainty that many doctors do not practice evidenced based medicine and instead follow hospitial policy which puts you at risk every day.

It isn't necessary for a Harvard bullshit artist to come and spout his manipulative opinions either or any other such nonsense. And furthermore there are serious HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS happening right now in the world toward women, mostly in MUSLIM countries right at this moment. Girls being "honor killed" and women being flogged or hung because they spoke to a man outside of their family or because they were raped by thugs. So please spare me the human rights cockamame argument about less than an inch of skin that is done to increase the health and well-being of little boys as well as grown men.

Now to go a little further let's take these weak arguments and show the truth as told by Just Mommies forums:
1) The AAP doesn't recommend circumcision: This is actually a convenient interpretation (or rather misinterpretation) of the AAP's actual policy which states: "Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision. In the case of circumcision, in which there are potential benefits and risks, yet the procedure is not essential to the child's current well-being, parents should determine what is in the best interest of the child. To make an informed choice, parents of all male infants should be given accurate and unbiased information and be provided the opportunity to discuss this decision. It is legitimate for parents to take into account cultural, religious, and ethnic traditions, in addition to the medical factors, when making this decision."http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/c...trics;103/3/686So the AAP doesn't recommend routine infant circumcision, which means that all baby boys would be circumcised. However, that's a far cry from not recommending it all. What the AAP actually recommends is that parents make an informed decision based on the pros and cons of the procedure. Simple.

2) No organization in the world recommends circumcision: Technically true (although again, no organization recommended routine circumcision, all positions are basically the same). However, that changed just today. Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UNAIDS) have recommended circumcision as a preventative measure against AIDS. Here are some links:http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releas...0/en/index.htmlhttp://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=...line-news_rss20http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070328/ap_on_...ds_circumcisionThe American Urological Association (AUA) also came out of a more positive position on circumcision stating that "circumcision should be presented as an option for health benefits".http://www.auanet.org/about/policy/services.cfm#circumcision

3) Circumcision is a human rights violation:Not true. I agree there are some people that think that circumcision should be a human rights violation and they have every right to feel that way. Still, that doesn't make it a reality. We have accepted organizations that deal with these issues and decide- based on many factors- which activities are acceptable and which violate basic human rights. These organizations have agreed that circumcision IS NOT a human rights violations because of it's a very safe procedure and it carries some medical benefits. This myth usually goes hand in hand with a comparison of male circumcision and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). However, the two practices are completely different in every single aspect: physical, psychological, emotional, social and religious. They're not comparable in the slightest, but since they're both done is the same general area, and because FGM is a degrading practice and an accepted human rights violation, anti-circumcision activists usually use it to try to put circumcision in a more negative light. Sadly, it does the opposite. By comparing something as traumatic, damaging, dangerous and degrading as FGM with a simple, safe and beneficial procedure demeans the impact of FGM. It's a poor way of treating the women that have been victims of FGM and a way to demean their pain.Finally, Amnesty International has directly declined to accept male circumcision as a human rights violation 3 times.Here are some links:An article from the New England Journal of Medicine http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/3...pe2=tf_ipsecsha (WARNING! Link contains explicit pictures!) Here are the responses to this article, including a commentary by the author: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/332/3/188 "I use the term ``female circumcision'' to acknowledge its cultural importance, the positive perception of this procedure on the part of those who practice it. These characteristics constitute the main similarity of female circumcision to male circumcision. The difference is that, unlike male circumcision, the most commonly described types of female circumcision are anatomically and functionally mutilating.""From the perspective of public health, female circumcision is much more damaging than male circumcision. The mildest form, clitoridectomy, is anatomically equivalent to amputation of the penis." "[i]In my extensive clinical experience as a physician in Sudan, and after a careful review of the literature of the past 15 years, I have not found a single case of female circumcision in which only the skin surrounding the clitoris is removed, without damage to the clitoris itself." http://www.euro.who.int/document/e60522.pdf "According to Dr. T Turman of WHO headquarters, there is a technical difference between male and female genital mutilation. The removal of the clitoral prepuce (female circumcision) is equivalent to male circumcision and constitutes less than 1% of all female genital mutilations. In young girls this procedure is extremely difficult to perform. In over 95% of cases, the clitoris, the labia minora and (in some cases) the labia majora are excised and the vulva sewn up. The biological equivalent in the male would be partial to almost two-thirds removal of the male sexual organ, including in some cases removal of tissue from the scrotum followed by stitching the remaining tissue." The WHO in their recent statement (2008) changed the classification of FGM type I and subdivided it in types a and b. Type Ia being the removal of the clitoral hood alone (the only one comparable to male circumcision) and this is what they had to say about it:"The reason for this change is the common tendency to describe Type I as removal of the prepuce, whereas this has not been documented as a traditional form of female genital mutilation. However, in some countries, medicalized female genital mutilation can include removal of the prepuce only (Type Ia) (Thabet & Thabet, 2003), but this form appears to be relatively rare (Satt et al, 2006). Almost all known forms of female genital mutilation that remove tissue from the clitoris also cut all or part of the clitoral glans itself."They also explain the terminology of "female genital mutilation" as opposed to "female circumcision" saying that: "This term, [female circumcision] however, draws a parallel with male circumcision and, as a result, creates confusion between these two distinct practices" "In contrast to female genital mutilation, male circumcision has significant health benefits that outweigh the very low risk of complications when performed by adequately-equipped and well-trained providers in hygienic settings"http://www.who.int/reproductive-health/pub...tement_2008.pdf

4)Babies don't cry during circumcision because they "pass out" from the pain. This is probably just an attempt at creating an emotional response. The idea of a baby that's in so much pain he passes out is repulsive to anyone. But in regards to circumcision, it's a completely false image. It's another common anti-circ tactic when normal conditions fail to create outrage: Exaggerate. And the more exaggerated, the better. The best way to end this disgusting lie is to encourage parents to be with their sons during the procedure. This way they can see for themselves that the baby isn't "passed out". Any mother that has fed her child after his circumcision will tell you that her baby wasn't passed out. Furthermore, here are some studies on newborn pain that show that even simple measures like close contact, rocking, sucking and oral sucrose can significnatly reduce the pain in newborns. Add those to proper pain relief and you really have no "passed out" babies.http://pediatriconcall.org/fordoctor/pharmaupdates/sucrose_ana.asphttp://journals.cambridge.org/download.php?file=%2FDMC%2FDMC43_01%2FS0012162201000056a.pdf&code=385dd103aefe335e0e528452fc6608c7Finally, pain-induced shock isn't as simple as they like us to believe. It's a serious life-threatening condition. A newborn baby wouldn't simply pass out from shock and be awake and alert 10 minutes later without any measures. And considering that's how most mothers receive their sons after their circumcisions, it's very unlikely that the baby went into any kind of shock during the procedure.

For more myth busting facts please visit Just Mommies Forum.


Mum-me said...

Just on that last point - my mum says when my brother was born the doctor asked, two days later, if she wanted him circumcised. She said "Um, I guess so." Doctor did it. Baby cried for a minute (didn't pass out). End of story.

Ronda's Rants said...

I did have my boys circumcised...but I thought long and hard about it. In the end I decided all the boys in the family should "match" and Hubby was circumcised ( I am sure he loves me telling the world the state of his penis ) but they do not "match" all the boys have varying degrees of skin removed! ( now I have told the world the state of all my children penises!)
I think this is a personal issue for parents, their doctors and/or clergy to decide...but for the record...I am a liberal who feels as you do about circumcision but I do understand the feelings of those who would not circumcise.
What I don't understand is those who criticize people who love their children and are doing what they feel is right...either choice!

A New Yorker said...

@mum-me -thank you for sharing. And if more would share it would out "shout" the mob.

@Rhonda- yes you did what you felt was best and right and that is the point. KUDOS! and hugs.

A New Yorker said...

@all the propagandists writing to me, HAHA! I laugh in your idol hands. If you had even looked at the earlier post http://canubapartofmylife.blogspot.com/2009/04/facts-as-promised.html
You would have seen the TRUTH about the lying pleasure argument you make.

And BTW it was MY words about pulling back the foreskin, not anyone elses. So in that VEIN fuck off. MORONS.

CastoCreations said...

I'm just shocked that people are so obsessed with trying to define this procedure as torturous or evil. True torture is female genital mutilation and male circumcision is nothing even remotely close or comparable. I think moral relativity has taken people's minds and made them mush.

NotStyro said...

Lauren, you must be having loads of fun moderating all the anti-circ nonsense & propaganda. They must be going absolutely nuts because their posts aren't going through. Good luck guys & gals!

I have a poll up regarding circ & human rights, please consider voting - http://poll.fm/w8hl

A New Yorker said...

@castro- shocked. You should have seen the comments I refused to let on. I even had one crazy who came back after the first post to scream at me for not letting it up, except that I hadn't even seen the comment yet to reject or not to reject. I'm telling you the opposition is MOSTLY filled with psychologically damaged people.

@notstyro- I think my answer to Castro sort of answers you as well. :)

tiffany1377 said...

Just wanted to let you know that I had someone comment on my blog to give me anti-circ information since you won't allow their comments on here. LOL.

BUT...I do like to be well informed, so I did check out the sources they suggested. I also did some independent research. My conclusion. Medically...there isn't really anything that sways me one way or the other. It looks as though circumcision is slightly beneficial, but not immensely so. So it sounds to me that parents should make informed decisions based on what is best for them and their families.

For laughs... here is one anti-circ "fact" I found. I'd REALLY like to see the evidence of this cause I'm just not buying it!

16. Every year boys lose their entire penises from circumcision accidents and infections. They are then "sexually reassigned" by castration and "transgender surgery," and expected to live their lives as "females."

For real? Every year? I'd like just one example of when this has happened.

A New Yorker said...

Tiffany, not sure why someone would go to you when you aren't talking about it. Going to my blog to tick down a list of my readers to then follow them around and badger them to read their stuff is mob tactics. Now you're a young open-minded person. So you think nothing of it. But you really need to look further into the OTHER person. Is that a proper thing to be doing in the first place??? Thank about that Tiff.

BUT...you can go to their blogs all you want - it would have been simple to google all the anti-circ stuff because it is a PC idea right now, but the problem is that their information is slanted and not factual. Nothing they provide is medically acceptable information or up to proper research standards, hence propoganda. Therefore anything you read there cannot be properly used to make your informed choice.

As to the "fact" you wrote that you found, well? CASE IN POINT. It's just a pathetic lie.

Seriously Tiffany, if you have to lie to get people to do what you want....

Now as to reasons to circumcize your sons...I think it's medically clear, the risk of cancer is higher if you do not, the risk of urinary problems is higher if you do not, the risk of contrating HIV is higher if you do not. A circumcisize penis has a lower risk of contracting and spreading HPV and other std's to their partners. etc. etc..

The mommies forum I listed the past few days has really great information, and she completely debunks the myths you read on those propaganda blogs and sites and she lists links to the AAP which would be a proper place to get balanced information on the procedure as she explains and why. I highly suggest you start there.

A New Yorker said...

@Tiffany and the rest, let me just add that the benefits outway the detriments...the real one's anyway, not the propaganda and that is what needs to be the key. Even with that said, if you choose NOT to circumcise your son that is still none of my business.

NotStyro said...

Tiffany, regarding that 'fact' from the anti-circers, I have only found one (1!) case of gender reassignment due to a poorly performed circumcision. The case involved David Reimer and is documented on Wikipedia -

The fault in this circumcision is with the Doctor using electrocautery, instead of clamps, plastibell or plain old scalpel. This was also the issue with some cases in Georgia. It should be noted that electrocautery is not to be used for infant circumcisions, and this has been the case for quite a long time.

The fact that individuals with anti-circumcision agendas are contacting you outside the scope of the blog comments should demonstrate just how desperate, insecure and defensive they are to find and brainwash more people for their cause. They greatly exaggerate risks, use failed logic, refuse to believe peer-reviewed scientific studies and try to intimidate & bully seemingly vulnerable parents. Don't believe their lies & mis-information.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lauren

I feel I have to say something here and I'm afraid you're not going to like it. Since I no longer have a blog, any of your commenters who are not getting through need not bother visiting me because there is nowhere to visit.

That being said I first of all completely agree that circumcision seems to me to be the best choice to make for hygienic and health reasons and had I had sons I am sure I would have gone down that road. I know my husband would definitely have been pro circumcision.

My issue Lauren is with the way you present your arguments. Yes they are extremely well researched and factual and I commend you on that but I think you let your passion for your beliefs make you quite aggressive and instead of getting people to believe what you are trying to convey, you actually do the opposite.

You dismiss out of hand other people's opinions yet you resoundly hate it when they do the same to you. Honey I am not just talking about this issue. I have been reading your blog for a very long time now and I have seen you do it time and time again.

It is wonderful to be passionate about something but not to the detriment of hearing other people out with an open mind who don't agree with you. You resort to name calling and offensive language when people disagree with you and they have as much right to their opinion as you do yours.

If you are screening out people who are opposed to circumcision because they are being abusive, fair enough, but I hope you aren't only publishing those comments that are pro circumcision because that would be very disappointing and not very democratic.

Well done on the research and again I happen to agree with your stance, just not so much the way you go about presenting it.

PS I'm quite happy for you not to publish this if you would rather not. It would have probably been better if I'd written it in an email. I just wanted to tell you this as a friend.

A New Yorker said...

@Romney- you're entitled to your opinion. I run my blog as I see fit and need to do for myself. If factual information was provided from the opposing side I would have put it up. That's not what was attempted. I'm happy to put you in touch with NotStyro for more on that matter.

Yes, sometimes I am no holds barred slam dunk down affirmative in my NO WAY JOSE approach. I've accepted that as part of my personality. I know you are sometimes like that as well as we have discussed. As you grew older you said you softed a tad and perhaps I will or won't. Who knows. I only know that I don't have to be perfect and when I decide to write about a passionate subject often you are seeing the end result of something. So the appearance is perhaps something it really isn't. I'm sure we'll remain friends regardless. :)