So apparently San Francisco is putting a law that would ban male circumcision on the ballot for November (and aparently Santa Monica is trying to do the same).
I’m sympathetic though I’m not sure that this really needs a ban. It’s pretty extreme to cut pieces of your child off, without firm medical reasons, before they have a say in the matter. It’s an interesting discussion which extends far beyond just the details of circumcision itself (which were previously discussed here … but I didn’t want to bump that in EE). It brings out some interesting conflicts between religion and what rights a person should have about their body before they are old enough to make those decisions themselves.
If there were no religious angle whatsoever, I think it seems clear that we would not perform circumcision. It seems presumptuous to call this a religious freedom when you’re performing an act on a person who may well choose not to accept the religion of their parents.
It’s pretty extreme to cut pieces of your child off
pretty extremely awesome you mean
without firm medical reasons
Therein lies the rub. And by rub I mean foreskin. There are medical studies that support higher risk of AIDS, STDs, infection, etc with foreskins. Now, I would never argue that these are urgent and dangerous results like, say, refusing to have your children vaccinated which should be a friggin’ crime.
I think, too, that there are a bunch of things we do to modify ourselves and our bodies, and our babies’ bodies, from birth. The foreskin seems a rather trivial matter to me, and I don’t see much harm in letting it continue to be the choice of the parents.
I’m aware of the AIDS/HIV angle but honestly I discounted it as far from sufficient. There’s a chance you could save lives by pre-removing appendixes from children but I don’t see an argument for doing that. I might be wrong, but I think it’s clear that we would never have considered medical reasons for circumcision had their not been a previous religious reason.
It’s not like your toddler is going to start having sex before they have a chance to make a real decision cutting off a piece of their dick for a slight decrease in AIDS/HIV risk. If AIDS/HIV is the reason that you’re touting this: wait for your kid to have at least some ability to speak for themselves. The key info in what you posted seems to be this:
The AAP recommends that parents evaluate unbiased information on the subject and decide what is best for the child. While they recognize that there are studies indicating potential medical benefit, those benefits are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.
That is: the benefits alone don’t justify routinely performing the procedure.
Good on them, I hope it passes. I see no reason to perform circumcisions before the person is capable for making up his own mind. The studies on AIDS/HIV have been done (unless something has changed) in areas of few resources with a full-scale epidemic going on, so that doesn’t seem like that great an argument to me.
It’s not like your toddler is going to start having sex before they have a chance to make a real decision cutting off a piece of their dick for a slight decrease in AIDS/HIV risk.
I think it makes more sense to do it on day 2 rather than day 3,650 – nobody remembers the first two years of their life, so it is effectively painless if done early. I’d also argue it’s a really minor procedure; I watched it happen on our son and it didn’t bother me in the slightest. At worst he looked mildly discomforted for a few minutes. It was fast and utterly routine.
Is it strictly necessary? Probably not. But it’s hardly a life threatening surgery, compared to all the other risks and traumas, of y’know, being ejected out of a vagina.
The man in the sky says you should or your children will be bad and they will go to a bad place when they die and so will you!
There is no need to wait until they are old enough to make their own choices about faith - the man in the sky doesn’t like that either.
Also, it is easier to simply go with the herd and avoid needless confrontation with fellow sky-man followers and just get it done. I mean, when the choice is hurting your baby or having akward conversations, the choice is obvious!
EDIT: eh, post I replied to disappeared. Anyway yea Calistas, it’s quite astonishing the things people will do to their own children because they think their religion requires it. What parent on earth would, for example, mutilate their daughter’s genitals if they didn’t have a religious reason to do so? Thankfully male circumcision isn’t nearly as bad physically, but in principle it’s hard to see why it would be done.
Well, for one thing, the girlfriend/wife/whatever is extremely anti-religion, comes from a culture that does not circumcise infants (although it isn’t uncommon among older men there due to health issues with the foreskin), and yet she was the one who wanted our son circumcised; ergo, “If there were no religious angle whatsoever, I think it seems clear that we would not perform circumcision” seems to me to be not at all true. It might be less frequent among infants.