the one enduring evil that actually could conceivably be blamed on the jews

In the shadow of the nation's most recognizable phallic symbol, they gather and march. There are about 50 of them, all ages, both sexes, nearly all white, smiling, quiet, enjoying the sun as they make a slow loop in front of the White House with their signs of protest...

It's Genital Integrity Awareness Week, in case you didn't know, as well as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Female genital mutilation has received worldwide attention and condemnation -- and was banned by Congress 12 years ago this week -- and now intactivists say it's time for equal rights for boys.

For the record, I don't actually support federal legislation banning circumcision. But I would very much like to live in a world where "mutilating the genitals of non-consenting infant boys is a bad, bad thing to do" is an uncontroversial statement.

(Story from the WaPo, via Ron Bailey)


Gino said...

viva le smegma!

Brian said...

That's a T-shirt, for sure!

KeepDurhamDifferent! said...

so you're not convinced of the evidence that it lowers the risk of contracting HPV?

Brian said...

No, I just think that the decision based on weighing the benefits and downsides of circumcision (or the lack thereof) ought to be left to the person attached to the penis in question, when he is old enough to make that judgment for himself.

KeepDurhamDifferent! said...

OK then I'll try another tack and take off my libertarian hat for a moment.

Many more men have trouble with early orgasm than women, correct? I mean, it hasn't happened to me since I was in high school, but then I'm circumcised so what do I know. The point is that much fewer women have regular orgasms during sex versus men.

I think that circumcision toughens the glans to make this situation less likely, and on the aggregate leads to more dual orgasms (preferably at the same time, which in my experience has certainly made for the best sex I have known). Think of it as a way to level the playing field.

Men buy desensitizing cremes and practice tantric sex to get what they could otherwise get for free, at an age when it is unlikely to do them much harm.

In my case this is all academic since I married a Jew, but I think had I married a non-Jew I would probably still circumsise my son.

Gino said...

i honestly dont know what way to go.
my dad is uncut. (as was customery in rural italian farm country)

he had both his sons cut. (as was customery in 1960's USA)

my son is uncut.(as was a growing custom in 1980's USA)

my best buddy was uncut. (customery in mexico,where he was born)

he insisted his son was cut before they brought him home.
he had concerns of hygiene as a USMC grunt(crossing rivers,sleeping in mud etc), and wanted to prevent these concerns for his son.

to the whole thing, i say 'whatever'.

Brian said...

Just to be clear, I'm not one of these guys that obsesses over this and really wants his foreskin back. And this is purely academic for me since I don't intend to have children, and for me, the ship has sailed.

I just find incredibly strange the fact that cutting part of the penis off is the default practice in this country without a great deal of critical evaluation as to why. The hygenic concerns are pretty dated in the age of antibacterial soap, regular pediatrician visits, etc.

As to the effects on STD rates and sensitivity and what level thereof is optimal...I think the fact that there are definite tradeoffs in every direction is a pretty compelling reason to let the person attached to the penis in question sort this out for himself, no?

Unless you think parents ought to be engineering their sons' future sex lives, which is just plain creepy...

Brian said...

I also like this topic because there is ample opportunity for dick jokes.

KeepDurhamDifferent! said...

I don't see how you can be against engineering your son's sexual abilities, when presumably you wouldn't be opposed to engineering their height, eye colour, BMI, etc. Especially if you consider circumcision an advantage.

Brian said...

David, you're making an implicit assumption that your son would benefit from being less sensitive. There's no reason to assume that would be the case. Lots of men have no problem with premature arrival, and some even have the opposite problem.