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#1 of 13 Old 01-13-2011, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just curious, but why is it that everywhere else, circ has been relegated to a religious thing for years now, yet in America, doctors and "the stystem" still fight hard to preserve it? What is with that seemingly obvious case of backward thinking?


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#2 of 13 Old 01-13-2011, 11:27 AM
 
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I have wondered that myself! I guess it got into American culture a little insidiously, between Kellogg promoting it for morality and doctors in the early 1900s promoting it for cleanliness. Once everyone was doing it, each new generation assumed it must be a good thing. After all, we are Americans, and we think we are always doing things right, so there is no way it could be similar to FGM, right? And if doctors are willing to do it, it must be OK, right? I think we can't see the forest for the trees. We are so used to circumcision that it is hard to step back and take a rational, objective view of it. If you can do that, there is really no going back to thinking it's a good idea.


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#3 of 13 Old 01-13-2011, 12:29 PM
 
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I think Americans just got used to it and think it's something you're supposed to do. They don't always research the decision, but they know that their dad, brothers, cousins, nephews, boyfriends, etc. had it done and they're "fine" so they figure there's nothing wrong with doing it to their own boys. They probably also think that doctors wouldn't be doing it if it was so bad.

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#4 of 13 Old 01-13-2011, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree that it is hard to step away, but if the whole of Europe, a good deal of Australia and Canada (and many many other places I don't want to leave out... in the case of non religious... pretty much everyone else) left it behind after experiencing the same cultural drive towards this, what changed their minds? Is it solely the result of single payer health care? Where did history diverge? It never ceases to amaze me how completely the case for (non religious) circumcision is rejected everywhere else. It seems to clear to me, yet why is the case so hard to prove to so many here in the states (including my own pedi)?

 

Even my wonderful, wholistic midwife, who I loved and who did an amazing job, and  who assured me there are no medical reasons, had her son circ'd 10 years ago for the locker room argument irked.gif  of all things. She tried to tell me that it really isn't all that bad, yada yada (while in no way pressuring me to do it, but I was shocked, though I suppose she must have rationalized it big time in her mind)

 

(I'm sure, right about now, those of you who have been at this for a few years are saying "hello captain obvious" but I am really having such a hard time trying to wrap my mind around this!)

 

Is it because sexual issues tend to be more repressed in the U.S? Is it because it is frowned upon to even bring it up in discussion, while at the same time tsk tsked as not something worth thinking about? Why isn't this ever brought up in a real way in the media? How on earth is it not obvious to people, at least to trained professionals like doctors, that there are some very valid arguments on the "against" side that need to be brought up before advocating surgery? I don't know, perhaps I am just spinning my wheels in circles. I don't know why this bugs me so much. I was just thinking about this today after talking with one of my friends, who is British, and never had to even worry about this. I know this is long and a bit rhetorical, but I am still processing so many thoughts and feelings on it from the birth of my own son, I guess I'm still working it all out.


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#5 of 13 Old 01-13-2011, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drs0410 View Post

I think Americans just got used to it and think it's something you're supposed to do. They don't always research the decision, but they know that their dad, brothers, cousins, nephews, boyfriends, etc. had it done and they're "fine" so they figure there's nothing wrong with doing it to their own boys. They probably also think that doctors wouldn't be doing it if it was so bad.

I'm sure you are right on with this. In Australia, they went from everyone did it to almost none. What caused the shift and how do we do that here?
 


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#6 of 13 Old 01-13-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tammylsmith View Post


I agree that it is hard to step away, but if the whole of Europe, a good deal of Australia and Canada (and many many other places I don't want to leave out... in the case of non religious... pretty much everyone else) left it behind after experiencing the same cultural drive towards this, what changed their minds? Is it solely the result of single payer health care? Where did history diverge? It never ceases to amaze me how completely the case for (non religious) circumcision is rejected everywhere else. It seems to clear to me, yet why is the case so hard to prove to so many here in the states (including my own pedi)?



 



Even my wonderful, wholistic midwife, who I loved and who did an amazing job, and  who assured me there are no medical reasons, had her son circ'd 10 years ago for the locker room argument irked.gif of all things. She tried to tell me that it really isn't all that bad, yada yada (while in no way pressuring me to do it, but I was shocked, though I suppose she must have rationalized it big time in her mind)



 



(I'm sure, right about now, those of you who have been at this for a few years are saying "hello captain obvious" but I am really having such a hard time trying to wrap my mind around this!)



 



Is it because sexual issues tend to be more repressed in the U.S? Is it because it is frowned upon to even bring it up in discussion, while at the same time tsk tsked as not something worth thinking about? Why isn't this ever brought up in a real way in the media? How on earth is it not obvious to people, at least to trained professionals like doctors, that there are some very valid arguments on the "against" side that need to be brought up before advocating surgery? I don't know, perhaps I am just spinning my wheels in circles. I don't know why this bugs me so much. I was just thinking about this today after talking with one of my friends, who is British, and never had to even worry about this. I know this is long and a bit rhetorical, but I am still processing so many thoughts and feelings on it from the birth of my own son, I guess I'm still working it all out.




 



This is part of it. My mom was so upset with me about my anti circ bumper stickers and *gasp* bringing the subject up with my cousin who was pg with a boy. As she says "You just dont talk about stuff like that, it isnt polite" But if we dont talk about it how do we get the word out there about it? My cousin hadnt thought much about it even though the babies daddy was intact. She had no internet access and only had Dr's to talk to and we all know what the odds are of a Dr. giving her information on why circ is only cosmetic. Or her mom who believes that circ should happen for a reason after all it has been happening since XX so it must be needed right?

Then you have all the "it had to be done at X age" stories because of the ignorance of the medical community. If they would just catch up to the latest intact care info. this no longer would be a problem but we still struggle with that. It is changing thankfully but soooo slow.

 
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#7 of 13 Old 01-13-2011, 01:45 PM
 
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I think it is a large number of factors coming together, and not just any one thing.  Many of these have already been listed, but I will compile a list.  It will be loosely in order of importance, since the real order is hard to figure out.

 

  1. The Dr just assumes it will be done.
  2. It is covered by insurance.
  3. Polite Americans do not talk about penises.  (I'm not even sure that is the correct plural b/c we do not talk about penises.)
  4. Nice mommies do not want to handle/touch//think about their little boy penises, and have been told that circ'ing will prevent this. (Of course in reality, one needs to be more involved with their DS's circ penis than an intact one.)
  5. American is a melting pot, one may keep his/her cute religious and cultural celebrations, but mostly we assimilate.
  6. By the 1980 it was practically universal, so pretty much all new Dads and male Drs born in the US are circ'd.
  7. Americans just do everything better, so places like Sweden that don't circ are just being backwards.

 

Of course, many of these factors are changing.  Which is why the circ rate has been dropping so dramatically over the past decade.


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#8 of 13 Old 01-13-2011, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, this gives me hope. I hope it continues to go down, and that insurance companies and medicaid stop covering RIC. I know MDC and many in this community, NOCIRC and others are fighting hard to educate others, and have done so since RIC was nearly universal.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
Of course, many of these factors are changing.  Which is why the circ rate has been dropping so dramatically over the past decade.



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#9 of 13 Old 01-14-2011, 05:28 AM
 
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1.  Doctors make money from it.

 

2.  It was popularized in Victorian times and the foreskin (and clitoris) was made to be "dirty."  Aside from England and the US, no other countries went through this paroxysm of anti-sex ridiculousness.  It lingers today.  Most people are not able to talk about sex.  Feminism ameliorated this somewhat for women.  Men have not had a similar process yet.

 

3.  Back to #1 - England started the NHS in the 1940s and defunded it b/c they were plain broke after the war.  They also didn't have the anti-socialism mindset and fears that so gripped America in the mid-1900s.  They didn't have Ronald freaking Reagan recording records about how socialized medicine was evil.

 

4.  The doctors' lobby is much stronger here b/c we have allowed it to be as a result of how medicine is paid for. 

 

5.  As anthropologists know, any ritual performed on the sex organ has particular staying power b/c of the psychological importance of the sex organ.  Even if it is not acknowledged constantly, every mind knows that to cut and wound the sex organs of oneself or one's child is a really big deal.  In order to survive such a trauma, very strong rationalizations come into play, which are then hard to remove, as to do so would cause major grief.  Consider then that most people aren't very psychologically mature and prefer to go along with the herd.  Result = they stick their fingers into their ears and keep defending and performing the nonconsensual, non-therapeutic amputation of babies' genitals.

 

6.  The information was not out there for most of the last century.  Only the internet allowed it to spread more quickly than one mouth to another.  While the information was lost, the "importance" and "rightness" of circumcision had longer to become entrenched.


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#10 of 13 Old 01-14-2011, 09:03 AM
 
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Regarding #1, add to that, AND HOSPITALS. Doctors and hospitals all profit from this "procedure."

 

Add as a separate item, in most settings, the risks are downplayed and the benefits are over-sold. This includes popular press/media, who seem to be strongly pro-circumcision (don't get my husband started on this one ... he'd say, "follow the money, and you'll see why.") and health care professionals (doctors, nurses, midwives, etc.) who have a direct (financial) incentive to promote it.

 

The media might be the worst ... forever promoting misleading statistics in headlines -- eg. "circ reduces risk of HIV by 50%!" -- yeah, right. It reduces the risk of transmission from HIV+ women in AFRICA to HIV- men, at least some of whom trade fish for sex (not to be snarky about that aspect ... but it's the truth, and does change the way one might extrapolate the "findings"). Oh, and the risk goes from 3% to 1.5%. Oh, and the researchers gave the circ'd group condoms! Hmmm. Risk INCREASED for women to be infected by circ'd partners versus intact partners, but you don't see that headline anywhere, now do you?

 

This drives me BATTY.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galatea View Post

1.  Doctors make money from it.

 

2.  It was popularized in Victorian times and the foreskin (and clitoris) was made to be "dirty."  Aside from England and the US, no other countries went through this paroxysm of anti-sex ridiculousness.  It lingers today.  Most people are not able to talk about sex.  Feminism ameliorated this somewhat for women.  Men have not had a similar process yet.

 

3.  Back to #1 - England started the NHS in the 1940s and defunded it b/c they were plain broke after the war.  They also didn't have the anti-socialism mindset and fears that so gripped America in the mid-1900s.  They didn't have Ronald freaking Reagan recording records about how socialized medicine was evil.

 

4.  The doctors' lobby is much stronger here b/c we have allowed it to be as a result of how medicine is paid for. 

 

5.  As anthropologists know, any ritual performed on the sex organ has particular staying power b/c of the psychological importance of the sex organ.  Even if it is not acknowledged constantly, every mind knows that to cut and wound the sex organs of oneself or one's child is a really big deal.  In order to survive such a trauma, very strong rationalizations come into play, which are then hard to remove, as to do so would cause major grief.  Consider then that most people aren't very psychologically mature and prefer to go along with the herd.  Result = they stick their fingers into their ears and keep defending and performing the nonconsensual, non-therapeutic amputation of babies' genitals.

 

6.  The information was not out there for most of the last century.  Only the internet allowed it to spread more quickly than one mouth to another.  While the information was lost, the "importance" and "rightness" of circumcision had longer to become entrenched.



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#11 of 13 Old 01-14-2011, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This drives me BATTY.

 

 

 

 

Yep, me too, and I'm new to this! I think my personal issues with annoyance at my biased pediatrician's office are also bothering me, so I am going to interview another, foreskin friendly one, so I can relax a little. I think it's easier to work on changing peoples' minds about the necessity of the procedure, rather than the ethics of it. Galatea has a good point that rituals involving genitals are deeply and internally rationalized, and thus nearly impossible to challenge to one who is already tied into that belief system. I just don't want my son's doc to be one of the rationalizers if I have a choice!


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#12 of 13 Old 01-20-2011, 11:23 AM
 
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There was an article in our newspaper and it talked about invidual prejudices; It even Mentioned an view of someone had on MLK that was somehow a negative view instead of a good view.

So he wrote some thoughts out and I added my notes in the margin because I thought it was quite comparably to the thought of the foreskin prejudice

 

1.We tend to believe what we want to believe . This man admittedly had no significant experience with African-Americans but that didn't stop him from having an opinion, a reaction and this primary impression was negative.

My notes:  How many times have we heard of circ'ers saying they never seen a guy with a foreskin or even been with one but they still have a negative view, opion and reaction to foreskin ?

2. We have predjudices that we don't even know about . We learn them from our parents, our friends and our culture .

Media can contribute to negative predjudices.

My notes;  How many posters who are on the fence ask for help on a DH whose pro-circ as in a Circ'ed Dh that has no experience with a foreskin but will give a negative responses towards foreskin.

Dh's are part of family but there is more to family than just DH like how a mother has never been around or even seen a foreskin because to her opinion it's negative , gross look on her son penis.

Also, when you put family all together if they are a family who have a circ'ed tradition their reaction of Not Circ'ing is like You Better like how my mom  was like that and told me I needed to research more on the subject .

That response comes from family belief that foreskin is unhealthy or dirty resulting in a Negative View  on Foreskin.

As Mention Above Media brings out Negative Predjudices as in how on You Tube this one  shows like a big Ant Eater splitting apart then shooting out confetti (which I say is gross ) but a false image which is a negative image of foreskin,  along with media promoting health benefits to circumcision the Continous HIV talk which scares parents into circing after no one wants to get their son's to get the dreaded HIV disease.

Then like how on a talk show like Oprah who has pro-circ Dr. Oz that brings a Negative View to millions of People watching Oprah about foreskin and how a gal after all the talk of trying to get postivity on foreskin just one gal has to mention a negative talk about foreskin to get a 'response of agreement ' with wrinkled noses  as in it shows to get a Negative Reaction .

3. Predjudices tends to indentify One (often minor ) characteristc of a person or group and make that the defining feature of that person.

My notes :how people use bad talk about guys with foreskin which I really liked how this intact guy stood up on a board about it how those parents should watch what they saying because by calling men foreskin gross you are offending dads, sons and husbands out there who have foreskins .

So a guy is  sadly most of the time defined by His Penis Status .

4. Fear is a component of predjudices.People have a tendency to fear what they do not understand or have not experienced.

My notes : Fear of foreskin is common  as in they fear it's going to be too hard to clean instead it's the opposite , people fear foreskin is going to create more problems like infections and diseases .

So now  back  to part of the article .

Why is this ?  Does Someone's being different from us somehow threaten or invalidate us ?

 

Also, Yes When someone is different from us can threaten or invalidate us especially the ones that continue to promote circ'ing for benefits that are opposite so it invalidates the doctors . We are as parents of intact sons are becoming ones that the pro-circ , lack of foreskin knowledge fear because they are threaten by our changing ways and trying to say We know more than them on this subject .

 

This thing could go along with the family thing situation too as in if a mom or/and a father of a circ'ed Grown up Man who became a Dad . 

 

As in some Circ'ed Dad's can feel threaten by their son's penis status most of them can get out of that way of feeling but there are still a rare amount who can't get over the fear because of dislike and that is proably comes from jealously .

 

Also, I am for sure my mom felt invalidated when I didn't circumcise my son because to her that was saying she did something wrong with her son and what she thought about circumcision was wrong because my son proved the shown facts .

 

So, a family member who doesn't know much about foreskin the threaten is more from the Unknown part of it.

 

 

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#13 of 13 Old 01-20-2011, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, excellent thoughts and nice comparisons to prejudices. You made some really good points there.


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