Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Choppy Chop

Male circumcision: it's a controversial subject.  Some people say God commands it, some people say it's the only way to keep a penis really clean (which is patently untrue), some people say it's merely an unnecessary cosmetic procedure, and some others think it's the straight up mutilation of babies.

Something like that, yeah...

Male circumcision is super common in the US - about 65% of baby boys are given the snip.  The American Academy of Pediatrics has no real stance on the practice - they say there's no real reason to do it, but also no real reason not to do it.  Thanks, pediatricians...totally helpful there.

A pediatrician explains to her residents that babies are small and cry a lot*

If you're unaware, a male circumcision is a surgical procedure in which the foreskin of the penis is cut away.  The practice is a religious commandment for Jewish boys, and though not explicitly mentioned in the Qur'an, circumcision is a sunnah, or something that the Prophet Muhammad said is a good idea, for Muslim boys.  For most other people, it's just a cultural tradition.

There have been studies that show circumcision of heterosexual men in Sub-Saharan Africa can reduce their risk of acquiring HIV by 30-60% over 2 years - to me, that's a legit reason for snippin'.  There has not been the same protective factor found in women, however, and studies in men having sex with men have found evidence to be "weak and inconsistent," but that's still pretty exciting news.

Kwamba ni bora habari!

Despite this good news in Africa, similar studies done in the States found no real protective factor from circumcision for American men. So...what do I think about it?  I think that babies are perfect just as they are when they arrive. I'm not trying to tell other people what to do with their sons' penises, but were I to make a Manchild, his little parts would be left intact.

No disassembly required

San Francisco has put a bill on their ballot come this November that would outlaw male circumcision in boys younger than 18, punishable by up to a $1000 fine.  Unsurprisingly, several religious groups are a little up in arms about this - state infringement on religious freedom and whatnot - but the authors of the bill insist that “We don’t come at this from a religious angle. We feel this is a very harmful thing.  Parents are guardians. They are not owners of children. It’s a felony to tattoo a child.”

Little Billy, though, has a motto, and that motto is "F*ck the law."

What are your thoughts, you sexy beasts?  Chop?  Not to chop?  Why?  Is SanFran reaching too far?  I wanna know whatcha think!

As for female circumcision....that's a different post.  We'll get to it, but not tonight.

*I don't actually have any problem with pediatricians, and think they're mostly awesome - it was a JOKE.

No comments:

Post a Comment