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Debate Info

59
41
Yes, obviously no, there's reason
Debate Score:100
Arguments:38
Total Votes:155
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 Yes, obviously (18)
 
 no, there's reason (20)

Debate Creator

geoff(738) pic



Is the circumcision of babies needless mutilation?

Slicing off healthy tissue.

Yes, obviously

Side Score: 59
VS.

no, there's reason

Side Score: 41

There is just no medical reason for it. Just keep it clean, teach you kid some hygene and leave it natural.

On the argument that circumcision can lower the rate of HIV infections:

That doesn't really help. Don't have unprotected sex- circumcision will not protect any individual, it just changes the statistic a bit.

Side: Yes, obviously
4 points

We just shouldn't be cutting parts off children's genitals, and the sooner this custom dies out altogether the better. Fortunately, that already seems to be happening.

Drops in male circumcision:

USA: from 90% to 56%

Canada: from 47% to 14%

UK: from 35% to about 3%

Australia: 90% to 12.6%

New Zealand: 95% to below 3% (mostly Samoans and Tongans)

South America and Europe: never above 5%

Side: Yes, obviously
1 point

Good to know. I wish I still had my foreskin... too bad I was never given a choice.

Side: Yes, obviously
3 points

Totally agree. Circumcision reduces sensitivity for a negligible hygiene boost. Plenty of uncircumcised guys have no problem keeping their willies clean. If the kid grows up, and he wants one, Godspeed. Not the parent's decision to make.

Not to mention, there have been cases where circumcisions have gone wrong with disastrous results. It's freakishly rare I would imagine, but why even risk something like that?

Side: Yes, obviously
1 point

Circumcision is a somewhat euphemistic term for causing a human long-lasting pain and discomfort by cutting away flesh from the genitals. To do this to a baby is monstrous and could only derive from religious dogma.

Side: Yes, obviously
3 points

Obviously for that age the apparent vote is 'yes', because even though babies don't tend to remember things at that age, I would happen to believe it can still scar a baby in some way mentally.

However, having had a circumcision for a medically necessary reason at the age of 20, I believe it would potentially solve some problems, therefore I vote that there is a reason to do it as a baby, because believe me it is not a nice experience to have to live with at the age I had it, or even a younger age (such as early teens/pre teens).

I don't support religions enforcing this, I would rather there was consent (as a baby, you are not consenting for this, it is down to the judgement of the parents, so this could be a control factor for religion to be 'practiced'). However as mentioned, it is a lot worse to have to have this done at an older age when you have more feeling in that area.

Side: no, there's reason
robm05(11) Disputed
1 point

"I would happen to believe it can still scar a baby in some way mentally."

I'm going to have to disagree with you, I'm in medical school and have seen doctors perform a few circumcisions on children as old as three and the entire procedure is quick and painless, the child has full functionality of the part immediately after the surgery and is even up and walking (with the older children) within an hour after the procedure. They show no signs of distress after the procedure as many people have tried to state in the past, and this is on an older children.

Also keep in mind it is the parents decision on any health decisions at that age, if your parent can decide to pull your life support why aren't they allowed to make the decision on what your penis will look like; it's not like even if it is for religious purposes that they won't be pushing that religion on you anyways.

I won't even go into the peer pressure and stuff at an older age involved with all this, that's readily available via Google.

Side: Yes, obviously

I agree with you that it's the parent's decision. But don't justify it with remotely possible medical reasons. It is pure peer pressure.

I read on wikipedia that a lot of circumcisions are still done without anesthesia. Those are the cases, where trauma is suspected, even for newborns.

Side: Yes, obviously
visitmairo(2) Disputed
1 point

It's not parents decision to mutilate their child. You doctors want to make that extra buck so you push all this kind of nonsense.

Side: no, there's reason
1 point

Male circumcision does not harm the baby in any physical, mental, or emotional degree. However, circumcised men are more resistant to STDs and therefore less likely to pass it on to the women they cheat on.

Side: no, there's reason
Mahollinder(893) Disputed
3 points

The notion of circumcised males being more resistant to STDs is an often misconceived notion. In developed countries, uncircumcised males are at no apparent higher risk of being infected with an STD. If you look at the WHO reports and academic journals that have reported studies done, it is only in developing nations and third world countries where uncircumcised males have problems with STDs, and their dilemma is more easily accounted for by bad sexual practices, bad sexual education and a less than impressive record of condom use.

And circumcision does carry apparent longterm psychological trauma. There are studies to support this conclusion that I would be willing to throw your way.

Side: no, there's reason
1 point

You do not know that it doesn't harm the baby. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision#Pain_and_pain_relief_during_circumcision

Have you seen a video? That hurts me inside. (see vid below)

Just because the kid won't remember doesn't mean it is ok to do such an operation.

And really:

"circumcised men are more resistant to STDs and therefore less likely to pass it on to the women they cheat on."

So your premise is that every boy will grow up to be a cheater, so he should be circumcised, because it _MIGHT_ prevent passing on an STD?

Teach kids how to use condoms in school - that will help, stop circumcision now!

Look around 7min (from Penn and Teller: Bullshit!)
Side: no, there's reason
0 points

Good point. Perhaps we should cut babies toes off lest they go swimming with a fungal infection.

Side: Yes, obviously
1 point

I was reading a discussion about this on another site, it was very lengthy and I wanted to participate but it was futile.

Some people think it is mutilation, some people think it is sanitary, some think it is preventive, some other think that it makes no difference.

Well, coming from a large family of men, I have 5 brothers, I've had some first hand experiences with the subject.

My older brother was born at a time and place where circumcision was not practiced or encouraged. So hes uncircumcised. The rest of us were circumcised. Non of us has had any trouble with that, regarding complications from the procedure. We all have children of our own, and not surprisingly, those of us who have been circumcised have asked our male children to also be circumcised. There have been no problems with our circumcised offspring. Mi older brother has two boys who are "natural", and they haven't had any problems. However, my sister married an uncircumcised man, and OBVIOUSLY her son was uncircumcised as well. He developed a nasty infection in his penis that made it swell like a balloon. The doctor recommended circumcision after he healed.

A good friend of my brothers' and a family friend, had to be circumcised at age 21 for the same reason. The thing about hygiene that most people forget is that it is not infallible. Even though a man can strive to keep his genitals clean, hygiene by itself cannot protect him, if the immune system is depressed for whatever reason, a viral infection, a cold, the body's defenses are down, and other infection can occur.

Having recently become a father myself, I researched a bit about it. To tell you the truth, I have always been in favor of circumcision. To me it is completely the opposite of a barbaric practice. It is a ritual that somehow introduces a child to a society where we have, as humans, created the means to be proactive against the adversities of nature. It is, as most Jewish rituals, an implementation of what we have learned is good for us, just like don't eat pork since it is disease prone, don't do that or the other, basically everything that is kosher. All this seemingly religious rituals have a deep undertone of adaption to our environment through knowledge and instilled in our species memory, that is culture, as to better the odds of our survival. Basically is our ability to evolve without waiting for the process of evolution to make it first a vestigial and then disappearing it from the race.

So it has meaning, and that in itself is quite important, but nevertheless I had to know it wasn't something that would amount to a detriment in my baby's well being.

The medical community seems torn in half. Some are pro and some just plainly hate it. There are seemingly valid statements on both sides of the issue. Some make it an issue of choice, and that can be countered with each parents obligation to do what's best for a new born when he or she is at its most vulnerable and with no consciousness. Others revile it because they regard it as a mutilation, this I believe depends on the observer. If you cut your appendix would it be mutilation? Well, if it weren't such a complicated procedure I would definitely do it, who wants to be driving one day and have it explode suddenly? The appendix may be useless, and the foreskin may have some benefits. Are the benefits of a foreskin worth the risk of an infection? Is the possibility of an infection worth the risk of circumcision?

Well, airbags have been deemed a safety feature and a hazard just as seat belts in their time, and yet, they are so popular. Is riding a car worth the risk it entails? There is FAR MORE OF A CHANCE that you will die in a car crash than to experience a complication from circumcision, and yet no one gives it a second thought before hopping in their cars every morning. The simplest of benefits is worth the possibility of death in that case, and a remotely vague chance of a complication is a mutilation and a choice issue. Have you asked your babies if they wanted to be strapped on a vehicle moving at 65 miles an hour before you put them on their child seats?

In my child's case, his foreskin was very narrow and therefore tight. The doctor informed us that he was a candidate for circumcision and he wished to know if we agreed on him performing the procedure. He did what we think is a good job. He removed just enough skin so that my boy's penis will not retain residual urine. I have been taking care of my boy and now he is hassle free. I'm not sure if he's going to develop a psychological condition for something that was done to him when he was a few hours old, but I'm sure that he will have time in the future to recriminate me, along with tons of other stuff I will surely make him do, like going to football practice on days he's feeling lazy, or make him study math or teaching him how to ride a bike. I can hear him now: "Dad, didn't you know all of those things are dangerous and have left me psychologically and emotionally scared for life?"

I believe that it is about what you believe is good for whatever reason you have. If you feel that it is wrong you don't have to do it, but give others the possibility to keep doing what has been done for more than three thousand years in a community that has outlived most civilizations in history. Surely there must be something right.

Side: no, there's reason
geoff(738) Disputed
2 points

Here are some reasons to stay your blade:

1. There is nothing wrong with the foreskin at birth - it is healthy tissue.

2. Removing the foreskin is painful during and for days/weeks afterwards.

3. Prick a baby's genitals with a knife and watch it flinch.

4. Ask a healthy, uncircumcised man if he would like part of his genitals removed.

5. Witness the power of religion to motivate people to do weird, insane and dangerous things.

6. By the same token, we should remove a baby's appendix.

Side: no, there's reason
Tamisan(890) Disputed
0 points

The appendix has been discovered to serve a function, too. Moreover, its presence only causes a problem if it becomes infected. That is why doctors only remove the appendix if it becomes a problem.

Side: no, there's reason
Paul-ish(77) Disputed
1 point

You claim its the opposite of barbaric because we are using tools to adapt ourselves to our surroundings. I think you are forgetting that humans are incredible not because we adapt ourselves to survive in our surroundings, but because we adapt our surroundings to survive.

So it is, in fact, barbaric.

Facing Circumcision: Eight Physicians Tell Their Stories
Side: Yes, obviously
visitmairo(2) Disputed
0 points

While only Muslim, Jews and Americans circumcise they are the ones that cause most trouble in the world.

Side: Yes, obviously

No it is not mutilation, if it's there belief that it abides by their religion so be it. A baby is not going to remember that a piece of skin got cut off a day later, all he cares about is sleep and going to the bathroom

Side: no, there's reason
0 points

Doctors have found that circumcision is hygienic, which is a fairly compelling argument in favour of it. Being squeamish about sharp blades near that part of your anatomy is understandable, but the tissue in question is vestigial, and calling its removal mutilation is a gross exaggeration. Given that the Jewish find a religious significance in doing so, I'd say there's reason.

Side: no, there's reason
ml66uk(4) Disputed
2 points

Not all Jewish people believe in circumcision. Brit Shalom is an alternative naming ceremony to celebrate the birth of baby boys to Jewish families.

These sites are all run by Jews opposed to circumcision:

http://www.jewishcircumcision.org/

http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org/

http://www.circumcision.org/

There is no way that tissue is vestigial btw. It's the most sensitive part of the penis (it's not just there to protect the glans).

Side: Yes, obviously
0 points

Those are interesting sites, thanks. I find it odd that Americans regardless of religion seem to have their children circumcised as a matter of course. Without a religious motivator, I find the practice even more weird.

Side: Yes, obviously
2 points

I don't think that hygienic reasons are enough to warrant this potentially traumatic operation at such a young age.

Following the same argument, people should all shave their hair off, because it more hygienic. Just take care off yourself and you need to do neither.

Side: Yes, obviously
sparsely(496) Disputed
0 points

And how do you find on the removal of the female clitoris by some cultures? It's vestigial tissue as well.

Side: no, there's reason
Tamisan(890) Disputed
0 points

That is an incorrect assertion. The clitoris does serve a current function and removal of it has been shown to promote miscarriages and even death during childbirth.

Side: Yes, obviously
0 points

Girls find sliced peepees more attractive.

Yup.

Side: no, there's reason
2 points

Only the girls that have not given both experiences equal opportunities.

Side: Yes, obviously
Tamisan(890) Disputed
0 points

Speaking as a woman with several experiences with men of both types, I find men who are cut to be cleaner, healthier, and more sanitary. Nibbling on a bacteria-laden, skin-covered penis is comparable to chowing down on a vagina with a yeast infection.

Side: no, there's reason
0 points

HYGIENE, AESTHETICS, PLEASURE.

Side: no, there's reason