Circing just the tip of the foreskin - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 69 Old 04-12-2004, 02:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I read that circing was originally just snipping the extra skin off the tip of the foreskin.
Does anyone have any other info on this, and also if people are choosing to circ for religious reasons...shouldn't they do it that way as opposed to taking the whole foreskin?
I am not trying to start a religious debate in this forum, just wondering. Dh and I did not, and would not circ. for any reason, and we do not think any parent should have the right to decide to remove a part of their childs body, but since all other arguments about circing have been proven not true...ie, cleanliness, disease, etc. then why do people chose "religion" as a reason for circing if it is not really how they circed way back then to begin with? Is it just ignorance (not knowing) or tradition?

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#2 of 69 Old 04-12-2004, 11:11 AM
 
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I'm not sure where you are going with this question, but I would like to comment just a bit on this whole "line of thinking" which I have seen presented before, it's not really things you have said, well maybe a few things you said, but on the historical evolution of the severity of the ritual circumcision.


#1 you said extra... just because skin extends past the glans does not make it extra... that specific part of the foreskin is unique- it's the ridged band which is outlined in Taylor's study... read it! Because you see... where this whole argument goes is that somehow because it LOOKS like it's "less damaging" it would be a wrong assumption... cutting someone else's sex organ is cutting someone else's sex organ... there are not varying degrees of violation... as soon as you start cutting- it's violation- regardless of the volume of damage you do or the severity of the change in the look. And the whole idea that this is "just the tip" certainly ignores all te evidence that this is "only the most highly innervated part of the whole penis"

http://www.cirp.org/library/anatomy/taylor/

#2 the idea that removing less is better- putting a scar in front of the flare of the glans is a really bad idea. Scars are notoriously not stretchy... so if you go and scar all the tips of all the foreskins you are going to create sexual problems for a lot of people... and skin bridge adhesions too. Less cutting is not a soultion to more radical cutting.

#3 historicaly it may have been less severe for several reasons- #1 reason would probably be the tools avaliable were not clamps which belled over the glans- the reason behind the "style" was probably not an aspect of faith, but merely a reflection of the tools available. For a detailed article explaining the difference in the results of various tools-

http://faculty.washington.edu/gcd/CI...SION/v1n1.html

I don't think any more can be said here, but if you want to want to further your own research, a key word to use in the search is "periah"

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#3 of 69 Old 04-12-2004, 11:43 AM
 
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Sarah:

You are absolutely right. The ridged band (Taylor's band) is like the vaginal sphincter. It is there for a purpose and it is sexually sensitive. Just the same as if you removed the muscles around the vaginal opening, removing the ridged band leaves the area sexually insensitive to that stretching sensation and will leave it loose and "sloppy." Once it is removed, it also loses it's function of stimulating the glans. You see, the glans is primarily a pressure sensitive organ and the ridged band stimulates the glans with that pressure. That pressure sensitivity is why circumcised men like a tight vagina and the foreskin is exactly why a tight vagina is less important to intact men. They are self stimulating via their preputial sphincter. That is not to say that some tightness is not important at all, just less important.

The male penis is a remarkably well designed organ to do it's intended purpose and there really aren't any superflourous parts. Just as we could do well with one less finger on each hand, a man can reproduce and enjoy it without all of the parts but we are better off with all of our fingers and all of our penis.




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#4 of 69 Old 04-12-2004, 11:47 AM
 
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#5 of 69 Old 04-12-2004, 12:09 PM
 
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My son was "skinned" by the OB. I have a friend who is Jewish and observant, she felt she had to do the Bris for her religious faith. (Her DH, also Jewish, was adamantaly opposed and boycotted the event. He was sulking in another room.) Her son's penis is only cut at the tip. I asked her about this and she said there were no official rules as to how much to cut off. Of course, her son's foreskin does go up and down... though ideally nothing would have been removed.

Sarah on your # 2 point.... but wouldn't having "extra foreskin" be helpful to the male, especially if he wanted restoration in adulthood??? I mean what does my son have to work with? Not much... AND I'm worried about painful erections in adulthood, since so much was taken off.

Though I guess point # 1 knocks that out the water.

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#6 of 69 Old 04-12-2004, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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nak
I am asking this question for my own couriosity. Again, I will say that I do not believe that circing is right for any reason, and was not trying to justify religious circ. As far as what I've researched, I found that circ was originally something that was commanded of the Isrealites. The tip of the foreskin was circumcised and not the whole foreskin...not that this is any better or a cause for justification...

I guess what I am asking is -how- can people try and justify this as a religious belief if they are not even doing it how it was originally commanded to be done? I wanted to know the details of it because it seems to really make people think who have given me this reasoning as their argument for circumcision. I want to be better educated about this, so that I can better shut down debates about it.

So I guess, a better way to ask is...
How did "full" circumcision of the foreskin come about? Is it the whole masterbation thing?
TIA

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#7 of 69 Old 04-12-2004, 03:46 PM
 
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I think some of the reasoning behind ritual circ becoming more and more extreme in terms of removal of more and more foreskin was that if you only have the tip removed you might just 'pass' for a believer in another faith, since foreskin length is so variable in adult males. When the whole thing is removed, it also removes any ability to do this.
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#8 of 69 Old 04-12-2004, 04:15 PM
 
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I think that your questions are encroaching on the no discussion of religious circumcision rule... but I don't think that the original comandment specified exactly how... that there be blood is really the only specified requirement. If there is any part of the "rule" that (some) people are not abiding by... it's the blood, and not the volume of foreskin removed. The modern crushing clamp devices that most hospital circumcisions are done with do not meet the requirements of a blood covenant.

As for why, how or if it changed over time, that's something even historians can argue about.

If you are interested in learning more about historical aspects of circumcision and culture in general, I highly reccomend the book by David Gollaher called "Circumcision: A history of the world's most controversial surgery"

There are also many websites from Jewish sources and mohels which do an excellent job of explaining in detail what the requirements are and how they are met.
for example- there is an extensive set of circumcision Q&A here:
http://www.askarabbi.com/

I think when trying to learn the full picture that you go to the source to get their POV.

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#9 of 69 Old 04-12-2004, 08:09 PM
 
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I'm going to discuss this and try not to get into religion, just recount the events that supposedly lead up to the differenct style of circumcision.

The story I have seen is that about 800 A.D., the greeks were doing their Olympic game thing. In ancient Greece as well as some other countries of that time, nudity was not an unacceptable practice and the atheletes in the Olympic Games competed in the nude. However, as I understand is true today in nudist resorts, erections in the men were not accepted as proper and the sight of the glans protruding from the foreskin was deemed quite offensive. The ladies didn't want to see the men with an erection. However, the Jews were invited to participate and in the heat of the action, their remnant foreskins would slide back exposing the glans, offending the ladies. They found a solution to the problem much as restoring men have found a solution in today's environment. They permanently stretched their foreskin remnant to the point that they would stay covered all of the time. The story goes that the priests saw the atheletes trying to pass as uncircumcised and instituted the periah style of circumcision that removes almost all of the foreskin and mostly eliminates the possibility of stretching and passing for intact. Whether that story is true or not, I don't know.

Something else That caught my interest was the almost non-stop coverage of religious issues over this Easter weekend on the Discovery Channel and the History Channel. Among other things, they were addressing why some things in the Bible were impossible and why some things were probably not true. The thing that particularly made my ears perk up was a discussion of Mosaic law and particularly, circumcision. There was a short discussion and the long and short of it was that there is clear evidence of circumcision existing even among Jewish cultures well before the time of Abraham. It was also discussed that Genesis was written almost 800 years after the actual events. Their conclusion was that the covenant was put in to cover what the Jews had been doing to set themselves apart for more than 1,000 years and the covenant was inserted to cover past performances of the ritual and give it significance. I didn't say that. I'm only reporting what I heard and I have absolutely no intention of debating the Bible or the veracity of the Bible. Don't even go there. :LOL





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#10 of 69 Old 04-12-2004, 09:58 PM
 
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Where is the 'thin ice' emoticon?
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#11 of 69 Old 04-14-2004, 04:47 AM
 
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"the long and short of it"

Good one, Frank!

:LOL
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#12 of 69 Old 04-14-2004, 09:52 AM
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From the sticky about religious discussion:

"So we reviewed the issue again and revised the board description to allow room for religious discussion but asked for no debate of religious belief."


The way I understand that statement, discussion of religion (which has occurred here) is fine. I don't see that anyone has gotten into a debate yet.

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#13 of 69 Old 04-14-2004, 11:47 AM
 
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OT geek note:

Just want to point out that there was no Jewish People until the tribe of Judah.

I believe Judah was a son of Jacob, who was renamed Israel.

Judah settled the southern kingdom, Israel the northern one.

Judah (Judaea in Greek)- Judahites- Jews

YHWH's people (altho they did not know him as YHWH?) for pre-Abrahamic times, what would they be called? Hebrews? I don't know if even ancient Hebrew was spoken then. For lack of a better term I would call them Noahide people.

(Abraham is written to originally be living in Ur of the Chaldeans of course, not in Canaan, which become "Israel" centuries later.)

But maybe I am completely wrong on some of that. I just don't think pre-Abrahamic timeframe peoples from that region would have been calling themselves Jews.

Thank you for your forbearance.

Back to your circ discussion.
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#14 of 69 Old 04-14-2004, 11:58 AM
 
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A&A:

Sometimes you have to follow the law to the letter. Sometimes you follow the "spirit of the law". If you can determine the spirit of the law and everyone understands what that spirit is, you are safe. The Spirit of the religious sticky is to keep it calm and not pass judgment on whether one religion is right or wrong.

That can be a difficult thing to do because people's passions about their religion can easily become inflamed and things can easily get out of control. When I feel that certain things about religion need to be addressed, I always try to address it in the spirit of the religious discussion sticky. Certainly, there have been those that wanted to hash it out but by carefully wording my post, it has never escalated to that point.

I have seen many posts here that did address the religious aspects of circumcision and thankfully, almost everyone has followed the spirit of the religious discussion sticky and everything has remained mostly calm and respectful.

Considering the passions people have about religion and about circumcision, that record says we are all trying to do this in a respectful way. By carefully considering what we write and how our words will be perceived, I think we can safely delve into the borders of religion occasionally.




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#15 of 69 Old 04-14-2004, 12:55 PM
 
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This thread is going to be moved to Religious Studies. It is much more appropriate there.
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#16 of 69 Old 04-14-2004, 01:28 PM
 
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#17 of 69 Old 04-14-2004, 08:49 PM
 
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See, isn't that fun- you still get to discuss in depth instead of the thread disappearing forever!
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#18 of 69 Old 04-14-2004, 09:48 PM
 
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I believe it was in an article in Mothering that I also read the Olympics story of why circumcisions became more extensive.

FWIW

"What will you do once you know?"
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#19 of 69 Old 04-14-2004, 10:12 PM
 
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The LORD just gave Moses his mission. Moses said OK, but only if Aaron could do the talking. So he is about to go back to Egypt to rescue his people.

Quote:
Exodus 4: 18

Then Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, "Let me go back to my own people in Egypt to see if any of them are still alive."
Jethro said, "Go, and I wish you well."
19 Now the LORD had said to Moses in Midian, "Go back to Egypt, for all the men who wanted to kill you are dead." 20 So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand.
21 The LORD said to Moses, "When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then say to Pharaoh, 'This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son, 23 and I told you, "Let my son go, so he may worship me." But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.' "
24 At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met {Moses} [2] and was about to kill him. 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son's foreskin and touched {Moses'} feet with it. [3] "Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me," she said. 26 So the LORD let him alone. (At that time she said "bridegroom of blood," referring to circumcision.)
Moses was just given his impt mission by God, but then God almost kills him, and Zipporah saves him by circing her son and touching the foreskin to Moses' feet? I find this strange.





(BTW, see how God says Israel is his firstborn son... )
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#20 of 69 Old 04-14-2004, 10:28 PM
 
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Quote:
how- can people try and justify this as a religious belief if they are not even doing it how it was originally commanded to be done?
I'm a messianic. A Jew by birthright and bloodline who has accepted Yshua as Messiah. My son was circumcized by a mohel in a brit milah and I don't
Quote:
"try and justify this as a religious belief".
It is not a religious belief. It is Jewish LAW.

As a Jew I was commanded by G-d to circumcize my son and this is what I did.

Quote:
Genesis 17:9-14, "And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall cirumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant." (KJV)
That is why Jews circumcize. As for how the circumcision is done - generally the procedure and the ceremony are led by a mohel. Ours was a mohel who also was a trained urologist. If there is anything written in Torah/Tanach about how much foreskin is to be removed, I'm guessing a pious well learned in Torah, Mohel, would be aware of that.

So tho I understand your zest to stop all people from circumcising their sons, i think to say that jews are 'trying to justify this as a religious belief when its not being done the way it was commanded"...is extremely disrespectful. The brit milah is not a routine hospital circumcision. It is done differently using different instruments, different atmosphere, different anasthesia and G-ds presence.

For those interested (i of course wont' return to this thread most likely) you can read more about brit milah and the no clamp methods here.
http://www.circumcision.net/clamp.htm

The bottom line is that some Jews will choose not to circumcize and if they're comfortable with that - right on. Thats between them and G-d and I don't presume to get between a person and their relationship with their Maker.

Just as many Jews don't keep kosher, or keep the sabbath or pray at all. Just as many Jews are completely secular and are happy to be non-religious people. Just as many Jews want to NOT be different.
But for the Jews who do choose to follow the commandment and abide by the Law - it is a matter of jewish LAW. not tradition. For those of us who do read all the information about circumcision and pray and debate and cry and choose to do what G-d has commanded it is a very big deal.

I hope this clears up this whole "trying to justify the brit milah as a religious belief" statement.

I understand that many are opposed by ALL circumcision for any reason. I personally dont' see any justification for circumcision if one is not a Jew.

thanks for letting me type
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#21 of 69 Old 04-15-2004, 12:00 AM
 
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I'm Jewish, and when we decided not to circ Ari, I did a lot of research.

What I found was that circumcision as it was originally described in the bible, was removing any skin that went past the tip of the penis. That is the circumcision that Abraham performed upon himself at the age of 99 - for those who believe bible stories.

Later, it was too easy for Jews to hide their circumcisions by stretching their foreskins to appear longer than they were. I understood they were doing this to avoid death in war with Greeks, but I could be wrong about that. In a list of things you can do if you want to get into heaven, stretching your foreskin to appear uncircumcised is listed. Apparently it was a serious offense.

So, they changed the rites of circumcision to what Jews now perform at the bris. The entire foreskin is removed. Not sure if we believe God changed the rules, or if man did. But, that's why Jews circumcise this way, it was the (later edition of the) commandment.

Funny how I grew up attending bris ceremonies and never thought it was odd. It was what I knew. Then I became a Jewish mom, and I couldn't do it. And the more I learned about it, the less I could even stand to hear about it or attend a bris. My son is a Jew because he was born to a Jewish mom. If he wants to be circumcised, whether for relgious or any other reason, he can decide that later.

And I agree that there are people who use religion to justify have their sons circumcised. Just because you belong to a religion doesn't mean you don't have a choice. It's your son who doesn't have a choice, his choices are taken away at 8 days old. Judaism isn't a cult - you don't have to perform a public bloodletting to 'belong.' Thankfully!

Take care,

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#22 of 69 Old 04-15-2004, 01:39 AM
 
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Perhaps slightly T but the circumcision.net site is so offbase....the whole bit about it being "almost painless" and how the nerves of babies at 8 days old aren't fully developed is simply mind-boggling. http://www.circumcision.net/Painless.htm That's exactly the same reasoning that led doctors to perform open-heart surgery on unanesthetized babies for years. Completely and totally disproven scientifically. And having been cut by some pretty sharp blades myself in the past, I'm here to tell you it hurts like . If babies are falling asleep immediately after the circ it's because they're in a pain/trauma induced sleep, not a natural sleep.

:

Speaking of rivers in Egypt....

Sorry, but if you're going to do this, at least face up to the realities of it.



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#23 of 69 Old 04-15-2004, 04:36 AM
 
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I disagree with all circing, but "get" why religious Jews, like Colorful Mama, choose to do it. However, what I think the OP was referring to was people who aren't truly religious claim that is why they circ, kwim? I know LOTS of people that fit this description. Essentialy, what it boils down to, it that they do it because everyone does (so they think); yet use their heritage as a justification.


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#24 of 69 Old 04-15-2004, 11:31 AM
 
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I think the OP isn't about non-religious or non-observant people who circ their sons; it's asking why, if the original ritual as performed by Abraham and his descendants was done one way, then years later the religious leaders decreed it be done a different way to prevent "passing," observant religious people now have it done the "new-fangled" way as opposed to the "originally God-commanded" way.

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#25 of 69 Old 04-15-2004, 12:57 PM
 
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Ah, got it Thanks!


Kristi

"Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen." Ralph Marston

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#26 of 69 Old 04-15-2004, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Exactly what I meant Quirky, thanks!!!

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#27 of 69 Old 04-15-2004, 01:15 PM
 
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My sister had both her boys circumcised - they're fairly religious. What bothered me more than the fact that they were doing it, was all the bullshit the mohel was giving as fact. We heard that there were no nerve endings, and how 8 days is the best time, etc.,. We heard how the babies are only crying because they are hungry and cold, and not because of any pain. He spoke about it not causing any long-lasting harm, etc.,.

In my mind, he's justifying and excusing what he does. Why not talk about the supposed beauty of following this ancient commandment, about the Jewish bond you're creating, etc.,? It always bothered me that this mohel says the same thing at every single bris, that it's crap, and that he doesn't make it a joyous occasion.

Not that I think there's anything joyous about a bris, but if that's what the parents are deciding, let's not lie about it and say it doesn't hurt. It's like he thinks the people gathered 'round are morons.

Sorry, not sure where that tirade came from!
Take care,

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#28 of 69 Old 04-15-2004, 02:13 PM
 
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Just like lawyers, teachers, doctors, street sweepers ... there are good mohels and not-so-good ones. zaftigmama, perhaps your sister should get a different mohel if she has brises for more boys. Sounds like the one she keeps using doesn't "get" it, either.




Thanks, DaryLLL, for your correcting particular historical "anomalies" in a previous post attempting to explain historical questions.

At the simplest, Frank, you're at least a thousand years off, though ... by 800 CE the Jews weren't being invited to participate in anything Olympian in any way ... unless oppression was an Olympic event back then. And the Greeks weren't who they used to be by then, either.













In re the OP and the size of the cut ... have read very different things about it in both directions. But am not sure why anyone against circumcision in any form would be for a different sized cut? Isn't any cut at all offensive to you?
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#29 of 69 Old 04-15-2004, 04:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by merpk
In re the OP and the size of the cut ... have read very different things about it in both directions. But am not sure why anyone against circumcision in any form would be for a different sized cut? Isn't any cut at all offensive to you?
I'm against any type of female genital mutilation, but I'd much rather see a Type I done than a Type III done. Similarly, I'm against any type of MGM but if there's a milder form that complies with religious obligations than I'd rather see that done than the more severe form.

Types of FGM

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#30 of 69 Old 04-15-2004, 04:20 PM
 
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The answer to the original question is YES you're right, but I can't seem to find the link I have about that at the moment. If you go to http://www.infocirc.org/methods.htm you can see the difference between the Mogen method and the other two as to how much it removes. Arrgh, that link I had had the whole history of how it got from a little to a lot but basically it said something about some Jews only nominally circumcising to as to resemble Gentiles on purpose and then some Rabbis mandating more radical circumcision (all the way up the shaft) so as to leave no doubt. In my religion, however, excess mutilation is forbidden and if I ever have a boy I'll do the "snip off the tip" thing and NOT the Gomco or Plastibell methods.

JM.02

Umm Zaynab
(note-- I have to change my sig line, Aishah is now 5 months)
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