I realize that there are men and women for whom something has been irretrievably lost with circumcision. I know that pain must be magnified knowing that it was something that didn't have to happen, that it wasn't an accident but a choice.
However, one point not addressed here is that most Jewish and Muslim men do not feel that way, and they also want the ritual of circumcision for their sons. My Jewish husband would be totally insulted to know that it is implied that he is somehow "less" because of his circumcision. He certainly doesn't feel that it has had a negative impact on his love life, nor do I.
For that matter, my non-Jewish ex doesn't feel that being circ-ed had any kind of impact on him, his sex life, or any other area. He agreed to leave our son intact because it was important to me, not because he had any issue with it himself.
My husband would feel that not having had the bris would have been a loss for him, and he felt strongly that not having a bris would be a loss for his sons. In some ways, it's like not vaxing. You know there is a slight chance your child might suffer some damage from a disease, but you consider it more likely that your child will be harmed by the shot. There are risks with circumcision, but it seems more likely that your Jewish son would be damaged by not having it done. Neither decision is risk free, and it isn't possible to check with your son ahead of time which scenario is going to bother him more.
As to FGM, it seems more difficult to say that it has no negative impact. I know that mothers who have had the procedure also want their daughters to have the procidure, just as Jewish men want their sons to take part in the ritual of brit milah. It just really seems that the reality is that the procedure has a far greater affect on females than on males. I don't think that Jewish and Muslim men deny that being circ-ed has an impact, I think for most of them it really doesn't have an impact that is in any way discernable to them. I find it difficult to believe that a circ-ed female, even if orgasmic, would be able to say that there was no discernable difference for her.
All that aside, I do think that it should be a parent's right to religiously circ female children. I also think that Christian Science parents should have the right to refuse medical care for their children. I think it's sad, I think that people should try to educate people against it, I don't think we should all just sit back and twiddle our thumbs and do nothing to prevent it, but I think it should be a parental right.
The truth is that either parents have the right to raise their children as they see fit, or someone else, somewhere gets to decide the proper way to raise children. As a mama that has been far outside the mainstream for years, I feel fairly certain that if some committee decides the proper way to raise children then things dear to my heart won't be on the list. Homebirth, homeschooling, being able to refuse vaccinations, extended nursing, family bed, I don't see all those things making the approved list.
The unfortunate reality is that freedom of choice means freedom for everyone, even those you disagree with. The alternative is no choice. Sometimes free choice means death, or damage, for children. In some ways any choice can lead to that. Car accidents, diseases, vax reactions, exposure to chemicals, lead, mercury, a myriad of disasters lurk around every corner for all of us, especially our children. We can do the best we can, we can make the best choices we can based on the information we have at the time. What we can't do is have the ability to choose for our own family yet legislate for other families. It's whole package, the good and the bad.
Perhaps parents should not have the right to decide for children. In real life, parents chose for children every day, where they live, how they are educated, what they eat, what sort of life they have. Yes those things are reversible, and yet how many of us carry the scars or the joys of our childhood with us still? How reversible are some of those other choices?
And if parents don't get the right, then someone else will. If parents are not to make decisions for their own children, who they know and love with their whole heart and being, the others without that sacrifical love will make the decisions. Personally I would rather see a loving parent make a parenting decision I feel is wrong, than to have nameless, faceless people legislating what "good parenting" is for all.