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Widespread False Beliefs About Circumcision And Why This Inhumane Practice Needs To Stop

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By Babar Shahid:

Circumcision did not become a common medical procedure until the late 19th century. At that time, British and American doctors began recommending it primarily as a deterrent to masturbation. Prior to the 20th century, masturbation was believed to be the cause of a wide range of physical and mental illnesses including epilepsy, paralysis, impotence, gonorrhea, tuberculosis, feeble-mindedness, and insanity.

circumcision

Karen Erickson Paige writes in her 1978 article: “In the United States, the current medical rationale for circumcision developed after the operation was in wide practice. The original reason for the surgical removal of the foreskin, or prepuce, was to control ‘masturbatory insanity’ — the range of mental disorders that people believed were caused by the ‘polluting’ practice of ‘self-abuse.’

While masturbation is a completely normal and healthy activity, it is clear that circumcision was promoted in the 19th century through lies and deception. Obviously, masturbation does not cause any of the aforementioned diseases, and while today circumcision is being promoted for medical reasons, there is simply not enough evidence that circumcision has health benefits. In fact, just as in any surgical procedure, there are risks involved in circumcision.

The Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG – Netherlands) policy statement is wonderfully clear: “There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene… circumcision entails the risk of medical and psychological complications… Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors conflicts with the child’s right to autonomy and physical integrity.” (KNMG 2010).

The British Medical Association says: “Parental preference alone is not sufficient justification for performing a surgical procedure on a child.” (BMA 2006).

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians says: “After reviewing the currently available evidence, the RACP believes that the frequency of diseases modifiable by circumcision, the level of protection offered by circumcision and the complication rates of circumcision do not warrant routine infant circumcision in Australia and New Zealand.” (RACP 2010).

The real reason for circumcision is the money involved in it. All over the world, doctors are paid a lot of money to circumcise infants, and rabbis and maulvis are also paid a fair amount, not to mention local barbers who use their shaving blades for more than just shaving.

Circumcision should be carried out under proper anesthesia or after making a patient unconscious, but the way it is carried out on preteens not just in rural areas but in may urban areas as well, especially in South Asia, by parents who don’t mind having their little child pinned down by grown men as he screams and yells in horror while watching a local barber with a razor in his hand to inflict brutality, is a form of barbarism which needs to stop.

Then there are mass circumcision ceremonies where many preteen boys undergo excruciating pain all at once, without any anesthetic whatsoever. I am surprised such places of cruelty are not illegal. Furthermore, it is absolutely appalling that people record such videos and upload them on YouTube. Such videos should be banned, and so should be circumcision until and unless it is carried out using proper anesthesia by trained professionals under hygienic conditions.

In this day and age where female genital mutilation is considered inhuman and there are protests worldwide against it, male genital mutilation takes a back seat. It is rarely talked about, and brushed aside as being a matter or little importance, if any. It is a widespread belief among South Asians that carrying out circumcision on a preteen without anesthetic is a trivial matter.

Religiosity has little to do with circumcision. Being a Muslim and speaking from an Islamic point of view, if you want to be religious, pray five times daily, fast in Ramadan, be courteous to people, have a heart that is free from jealousy and hatred, be kind and loving, respectful and helpful, and don’t harm anyone – not even an animal.

The shape of the penis is not the deciding factor of a person’s religiosity or humanity.

Also Read: The Reality About Circumcision, And How It Isn’t As Bad As We’d Like To Believe

You must be to comment.
  1. Jack Docherty

    The circumcision of infants and minors is child abuse and should be made illegal. If adult men want to do this then that is their choice.

  2. Veda Nadendla

    This is really disturbing, I really hadn’t paid so much attention to circumcision before reading your article. It’s well researched and It’s made me want to go read more about the history of circumcision, especially in India.

  3. Puneet

    check this out, the real hidden reason why this activity was being popularised in the west especially !

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCSWbTv3hng

  4. Gary Harryman

    For those who skipped the class or slept through it, here is a 60 second review: Human Genital Anatomy #101: Neurologically, the four most specialized pressure-sensitive cells in the human body are Meissner’s corpuscles for localized light touch and fast touch, Merkel’s disc cells for light pressure and tactile form and texture, Ruffini’s corpuscles for slow sustained pressure, deep skin tension, stretch, flutter and slip, and Pacinian corpuscles for deep touch and detection of rapid external vibrations. They are found only in the tongue, lips, palms, fingertips, nipples, and the clitoris, and in the crests of the Ridged Band at the tip of the male foreskin. These four specialized cell types process tens of thousands of information impulses per second and can sense texture, stretch, vibration, and movement at the micrometre level. These are the cells that allow blind people to “see” Braille with their fingertips. Cut them off and, male or female, it’s like trying to read Braille with your elbow as a veritable symphony of sensation is downgraded dramatically and the victim is sub-normalized for life. Google The Ridged Band and The Lost List.

  5. xyx

    Fail research

  6. Ron Low

    Foreskin feels REALLY good. The glorious Qur’an says nothing of genital cutting for either gender. It DOES say over and over that His creation is perfect and needs no alteration.

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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