Now I have your attention…
A couple of days ago, 60 Minutes here in Australia ran a report on the case for and against circumcision of male babies.
As expected, there was a lot of debate on both sides. Barrister Paul Mason declared that it was child abuse. In fact, he called it child sexual abuse. http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/extraminutes/8620217/fore-and-against-the-case-against-circumcision
As a barrister, however, he would be aware than a baby is deemed to be not legally able to make its own decisions in regard to health and that responsibility falls to its parents. So, it isn’t sexual abuse as the parents are legally able to decide if their son is to be have this particular medical procedure. End of argument.
The report also contained an interview with a male adult who had been circumcised as a baby and, now he was an adult, felt he had always been missing something that had been taken from him. In some mysterious way he felt its loss.
What? He has no memory of what it was like to have a foreskin. How can he say he feels its loss if he only had the thing for a few days or weeks after he was born and now he’s all grown up? Maybe he just needs a girlfriend.
On the other hand, Professor Brian Morris argues that every boy should be circumcised. http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/webchats/289966/chat-brian-morris-on-his-opinion-of-circumcision There are sound medical reasons for it. It’s just plain cleaner. I believe that at one time soldiers were encouraged to have circumcisions because lying around in foxholes in the mud for weeks on end was not a good way to keep Mr Rogers clean. Even if you aren’t fighting a war, it saves a lot of mucking about in the shower. And it’s better for sex, too. The man expereinces much more sensitivity in the tip. He’s happy; she’s happy. Everyone wins.
I’m circumcised. I’m happy to be that way. I have no traumatic memory of the surgery, which anti-circumcision people seem to feel is carried like one of Scientology’s engrams throughout the man’s life. No, that one passed me by, sorry. Can’t say I feel any problem at all with missing a couple of square centimetres of skin I wasn’t using anyway. I’ve had my appendix out too, and my tonsils and adenoids. Can’t say I feel violated there, either.
Parents have not just the right, but the duty to make the best decisions for their children. Paul Mason had nothing to say about the medical side of circumcision, since he isn’t a doctor. It’s the doctors who are best able to advise on this matter. Inventing excuses of sexual abuse isn’t going to help anyone reach a rational decision.
Ultimately, it’s up to the parents. And of course, we are only talking about male circumcision hre. Female circumcision is a crime and an abomination. It’s a completely different thing that has major repurcussions for the girl. But for boys, I’d reach for the knife. Just don’t slip!