Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

Re: Circumcision Male vs Female and Religion

Just regarding the previous post about circumcising being banned. Some people mentioned hygeine aside, there is the religious aspect. What about religions that promote female circumcision? We view this as barbaric, yet some forms of Islam promote it, as well as some Etheopian jews, and various African tribes still practice.

Just playing devil's advocate, why is one religion's ceremonies viewed as more horrific then others when both are circumcisions, just different sexes? If you say it is because one is less invasive and painful than the other I understand. However some doctors are doing sterile FGM (female genital mutilation - let's call it what it is), there is even a new procedure that is basically the same as male cir, it's where they take off the clitoral hood and that appeases the family but doesn't have the lifelong repercussions of the traditional FGM.

I am against both circumcisions and DH is not circumcised (he's from Norway and doesn't know of any Norweigan's that do it). When I mentioned it to my MIL (when we didn't know if we were having a girl or boy) she thought it sounded crazy.

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Re: Re: Circumcision Male vs Female and Religion

  • I feel like I have no place telling others what they can and can't do for religious purposes.
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  • The reasons for religious circumcision for women and men are totally different. They are not even comparable. Female circumcision is so that women don't feel satisfation. There is nothing medical that can even back up being mutilated as a women. They also do it when they are teenagers and not when they are young. It's supposed to be a right of passage, but really it's a way for men to look down on them.
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  • Wow. Just wow.  That's some hell of a devil's advocate you're playing.

     

    I do not know anything about Ethiopians but in Judaism, there is NO female circumcision and it shouldn't, IMO, be compared to the religious ritual called a Bris (male circumcision).

     

    Circumcision is performed only on males. Although some cultures have a practice of removing all or part of the woman's clitoris, often erroneously referred to as "female circumcision," that ritual has never been a part of Judaism.

    http://www.jewfaq.org/birth.htm

    I could not adequately argue FOR Brit Milah and how important it is to my faith. But I can link an article from aish.com which goes into the many reasons FOR circumcision (a Bris) and goes into the biblical history.

    http://www.aish.com/jl/l/48959461.html

     

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  • image MexiCali:
    The reasons for religious circumcision for women and men are totally different. They are not even comparable. Female circumcision is so that women don't feel satisfation. There is nothing medical that can even back up being mutilated as a women. They also do it when they are teenagers and not when they are young. It's supposed to be a right of passage, but really it's a way for men to look down on them.

    This

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  • Because one IS barbaric and the other isn't as barbaric. I would not circ a son if the decision were up to me but it's very very different from scraping off the entire labia in a hut and sewing the whole works up so that it totally closes(except a tiny pee hole), only to be broken on her wedding night so her husband can parade the streets with the bloody bedsheets to prove he married a virgin. No, that's not all female circs but it's many. I'm not Islamic scholar but I don't believe that female circ is a requirement of the religion, a covenant like male circ in Judaism. It's cultural, not a sacrament. Happy to be corrected though.

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  • I will admit I don't know the religious significance for male cir, and I do understand what you all are saying about the the reasoning behind the female version. I just think if you put religion as an argument for it, you kind of have to consider it from all angles. FGM is so embedded with alot of cultural and religious significance for some people in other parts of the world, however wacked and wrong that is.

    I think there is nothing wrong with choosing to have your boy circumcised, just not a choice I would ever make. What about the studies that show uncir experience more sexual pleasure, is that a factor at all?

    Oh and the Jewish people of Etheopia who practice FGM ar definitely not in mainstreem judism.

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  • image fredalina:
    Because one IS barbaric and the other isn't as barbaric. I would not circ a son if the decision were up to me but it's very very different from scraping off the entire labia in a hut and sewing the whole works up so that it totally closes(except a tiny pee hole), only to be broken on her wedding night so her husband can parade the streets with the bloody bedsheets to prove he married a virgin. No, that's not all female circs but it's many. I'm not Islamic scholar but I don't believe that female circ is a requirement of the religion, a covenant like male circ in Judaism. It's cultural, not a sacrament. Happy to be corrected though.

    I agree with what you are saying. Just be aware there is a movement of doctors trying to perform female circs where just the clitoral hood is removed and it is done in a hospital (wibiotics and anethesia). One one hand, yes it is better then a crazy person with a 10 year old razor blade in a hut holding down a terrorized girl. On the other hand, and scariest to me, is this new movement to legitimize female circumcision.

    My DH's aunt is a women's health advocate with the Norweigan Association for the Rights of Women. She says the largest argument against banning FGM is that it would be "ethnocentric". It's almost laughable that the pendulum has swung so far the other way that groups like that have to be careful not offend cultures that practice it still. Crazy!

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  • image mrsolsen2000:

    I will admit I don't know the religious significance for male cir, and I do understand what you all are saying about the the reasoning behind the female version. I just think if you put religion as an argument for it, you kind of have to consider it from all angles. FGM is so embedded with alot of cultural and religious significance for some people in other parts of the world, however wacked and wrong that is.

    I think there is nothing wrong with choosing to have your boy circumcised, just not a choice I would ever make. What about the studies that show uncir experience more sexual pleasure, is that a factor at all?

    Oh and the Jewish people of Etheopia who practice FGM ar definitely not in mainstreem judism.

    My husband has no problem experiencing sexual pleasure. However; if you were to cut my clit off brutally, not in a hospital by a doctor, I would not be able to. There are a great deal of women who feel pleasure only through clitoral stimulation. That is completely gone for them. It's not less - it's none.

     Have you every watched a documentary on female mutilation? It's just as bad as backyard abortions.

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  • image mrsolsen2000:

    image fredalina:
    Because one IS barbaric and the other isn't as barbaric. I would not circ a son if the decision were up to me but it's very very different from scraping off the entire labia in a hut and sewing the whole works up so that it totally closes(except a tiny pee hole), only to be broken on her wedding night so her husband can parade the streets with the bloody bedsheets to prove he married a virgin. No, that's not all female circs but it's many. I'm not Islamic scholar but I don't believe that female circ is a requirement of the religion, a covenant like male circ in Judaism. It's cultural, not a sacrament. Happy to be corrected though.

    I agree with what you are saying. Just be aware there is a movement of doctors trying to perform female circs where just the clitoral hood is removed and it is done in a hospital (wibiotics and anethesia). One one hand, yes it is better then a crazy person with a 10 year old razor blade in a hut holding down a terrorized girl. On the other hand, and scariest to me, is this new movement to legitimize female circumcision.

    My DH's aunt is a women's health advocate with the Norweigan Association for the Rights of Women. She says the largest argument against banning FGM is that it would be "ethnocentric". It's almost laughable that the pendulum has swung so far the other way that groups like that have to be careful not offend cultures that practice it still. Crazy!

    I think if that's something they want to do in their countries where FEM is the norm and already" legitimate" in their citizens' eyes, then go for it. But no, it should be illegal here, whereas male circ should be allowed with controls. JMO

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  • image mooshagirl:
    image fredalina:
    image mrsolsen2000:

    image fredalina:
    Because one IS barbaric and the other isn't as barbaric. I would not circ a son if the decision were up to me but it's very very different from scraping off the entire labia in a hut and sewing the whole works up so that it totally closes(except a tiny pee hole), only to be broken on her wedding night so her husband can parade the streets with the bloody bedsheets to prove he married a virgin. No, that's not all female circs but it's many. I'm not Islamic scholar but I don't believe that female circ is a requirement of the religion, a covenant like male circ in Judaism. It's cultural, not a sacrament. Happy to be corrected though.

    I agree with what you are saying. Just be aware there is a movement of doctors trying to perform female circs where just the clitoral hood is removed and it is done in a hospital (wibiotics and anethesia). One one hand, yes it is better then a crazy person with a 10 year old razor blade in a hut holding down a terrorized girl. On the other hand, and scariest to me, is this new movement to legitimize female circumcision.

    My DH's aunt is a women's health advocate with the Norweigan Association for the Rights of Women. She says the largest argument against banning FGM is that it would be "ethnocentric". It's almost laughable that the pendulum has swung so far the other way that groups like that have to be careful not offend cultures that practice it still. Crazy!

    I think if that's something they want to do in their countries where FEM is the norm and already" legitimate" in their citizens' eyes, then go for it. But no, it should be illegal here, whereas male circ should be allowed with controls. JMO

    I just can't agree with this logic that just because a religious practice is "ligitimate" in their citizens' eyes than it's okay to continue it?  So, even though it's a form of mutilation on a person that cannot consent to the procedure, it's okay because it's the norm?

    It's still barbaric, but we have no control over the laws in, say, Somalia. If they're going to do it anyway because it's the norm and we can't stop it, then I'd personally rather it be done in a hospital under anesthesia with sterile instruments and less invasiveness. I don't mean to sound like a supporter of it in the least, but IMO the argument that sometimes FGM is done in hospital is irrelevant to whether it should be done here or whether male circ should be banned here.

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  • image mooshagirl:

    I just can't agree with this logic that just because a religious practice is "ligitimate" in their citizens' eyes than it's okay to continue it?  So, even though it's a form of mutilation on a person that cannot consent to the procedure, it's okay because it's the norm?

    YOU think it's a form of mutilation. I do not.  I believe it is part of the covenant between the Jewish people and G-d.

    You are certainly entitled to NOT circumcise a baby boy and personally be against it. But those who do feel that circumcision (male only) is an integral part of their religion should not be made to stop this because someone else disagrees. The religious reasons do legitimize the practice and there shouldn't be laws banning it (re: other topic).

    IMO a lot of these posts are very anti-Semitic in nature.

    All of that being said, I am extremely against cultures who demean or mutilate women those practices should not be compared to a Bris.

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  • Islam does not call for it, so one reason that fgm is foul is that it violates Islamic teaching against altering Allah's perfect creation. It also has a misogynist motivation to control the sexuality of women. Eta: developmentally, male fetuses start as female... so it is really like cutting off the head of a penis, which develops from what starts as a clitoris. and a clitoris is functional.
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  • I'm not sure, but isn't female circumcision done so that a woman can't get any pleasure from sex?  It basically takes away their sex drive.  That's what I learned in college.  Male circumcision doesn't do that to men.  
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  • image MexiCali:
    The reasons for religious circumcision for women and men are totally different. They are not even comparable. Female circumcision is so that women don't feel satisfation. There is nothing medical that can even back up being mutilated as a women. They also do it when they are teenagers and not when they are young. It's supposed to be a right of passage, but really it's a way for men to look down on them.

    There is no medical reason to circumcise a boy either. Studies have proven there is no medical reason for circumcising as a baby (when boys are older, if there is a reason then that's different). My brother is not circumcised and said he would never do it. Most of his friends are not either. DH is, but would never do it. Canadian Pediatric Society advises against it, and it is considered plastic/elective/cosmetic surgery and not covered by OHIP/provincial healthcare or insurance companies. Both are barbaric.


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  • image NewFamily09:
    I'm not sure, but isn't female circumcision done so that a woman can't get any pleasure from sex?  It basically takes away their sex drive.  That's what I learned in college.  Male circumcision doesn't do that to men.  

     This is based on the studies you have researched. I have also done my research and they do have valid medical reasons.

    I am at work, but here is the quickest link that shows the benefits from infants to elderly men. It is a quick link and I haven't done my research on this exact article, but it is very similar to the research done when I had LO.

     http://www.medicirc.org/

     The difference between female mutilation and male curcumcision is still an apples to oranges comparison to me. For men it's almost cosmetic like an ear pearcing. For women it's taking off the whole ear.

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  • image MeghanF13:

    image MexiCali:
    The reasons for religious circumcision for women and men are totally different. They are not even comparable. Female circumcision is so that women don't feel satisfation. There is nothing medical that can even back up being mutilated as a women. They also do it when they are teenagers and not when they are young. It's supposed to be a right of passage, but really it's a way for men to look down on them.

    There is no medical reason to circumcise a boy either. Studies have proven there is no medical reason for circumcising as a baby (when boys are older, if there is a reason then that's different). My brother is not circumcised and said he would never do it. Most of his friends are not either. DH is, but would never do it. Canadian Pediatric Society advises against it, and it is considered plastic/elective/cosmetic surgery and not covered by OHIP/provincial healthcare or insurance companies. Both are barbaric.

    CPS doesn't advise against it, rather they don't recommend routine circumcision.    There is a difference in those statements.   They can't find enough evidence to recommend all males to be circumcised at birth, but leave it up to individual parents to decide for themselves.    

    FGM and male circumcision are not comparable.   But, I get what you are saying  (OP) about condoning one cultural/religious rite, but not another.    These are not superficial questions/thoughts, and I suspect I'll be doing quite a lot of reading on this stuff later :)     

  • image MeghanF13:

    image MexiCali:
    The reasons for religious circumcision for women and men are totally different. They are not even comparable. Female circumcision is so that women don't feel satisfation. There is nothing medical that can even back up being mutilated as a women. They also do it when they are teenagers and not when they are young. It's supposed to be a right of passage, but really it's a way for men to look down on them.

    There is no medical reason to circumcise a boy either. Studies have proven there is no medical reason for circumcising as a baby (when boys are older, if there is a reason then that's different). My brother is not circumcised and said he would never do it. Most of his friends are not either. DH is, but would never do it. Canadian Pediatric Society advises against it, and it is considered plastic/elective/cosmetic surgery and not covered by OHIP/provincial healthcare or insurance companies. Both are barbaric.

    If you did all this research, you would know that there are medical reasons indeed, such as hypospadias correction. Biased research fail. Also, there are marginal health reasons which are not considered significant enough for routine procedures (eg the STD correlation), but it is not as if those reasons don't exist. ywia.
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  • image Heather R:
    image MeghanF13:

    image MexiCali:
    The reasons for religious circumcision for women and men are totally different. They are not even comparable. Female circumcision is so that women don't feel satisfation. There is nothing medical that can even back up being mutilated as a women. They also do it when they are teenagers and not when they are young. It's supposed to be a right of passage, but really it's a way for men to look down on them.

    There is no medical reason to circumcise a boy either. Studies have proven there is no medical reason for circumcising as a baby (when boys are older, if there is a reason then that's different). My brother is not circumcised and said he would never do it. Most of his friends are not either. DH is, but would never do it. Canadian Pediatric Society advises against it, and it is considered plastic/elective/cosmetic surgery and not covered by OHIP/provincial healthcare or insurance companies. Both are barbaric.

    If you did all this research, you would know that there are medical reasons indeed, such as hypospadias correction. Biased research fail. Also, there are marginal health reasons which are not considered significant enough for routine procedures (eg the STD correlation), but it is not as if those reasons don't exist. ywia.

    Um, rude much? And no, my research is not biased. Just because it finds a different outcome than yours, doesn't mean it is biased. The CPS doesn't recommend it (which is preety much the same as recommending against it, just not stated as bluntly). And, the research I have done in the past, indicates that those studies that show circumcision = lower correlation with STDs didn't take other factors into consideration (condom use, socio-economic status, access to clean water etc - many studies were done in poor villages in Africa). So, many of those studies were set up to be biased. ywia.


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  • image mooshagirl:
    image robynlesley:
    image mooshagirl:

    I just can't agree with this logic that just because a religious practice is "ligitimate" in their citizens' eyes than it's okay to continue it?  So, even though it's a form of mutilation on a person that cannot consent to the procedure, it's okay because it's the norm?

    YOU think it's a form of mutilation. I do not.  I believe it is part of the covenant between the Jewish people and G-d.

    You are certainly entitled to NOT circumcise a baby boy and personally be against it. But those who do feel that circumcision (male only) is an integral part of their religion should not be made to stop this because someone else disagrees. The religious reasons do legitimize the practice and there shouldn't be laws banning it (re: other topic).

    IMO a lot of these posts are very anti-Semitic in nature.

    All of that being said, I am extremely against cultures who demean or mutilate women those practices should not be compared to a Bris.

    I am not the only one who thinks it is mutilation.  What about adult males who were circ'd as babies and do not want to be?  What if they don't practic the same religion as their parents?  They were not given a choice.  Their parents are forcing their religion on them and performing medical procedures without their consent.

    ETA:  I heard on the radio just the other day, a guy was going to sue his parents for circumcising him.  He definitely thought it was mutilation.

     

    I'm sorry but I hate this comparison.  A bris is a big deal in my religion. Just as a baptism is in Christianity. Are you not "forcing your religion" on your child when you baptize them? I agree with Robyn. Your argument is Anti-Semetic and insulting. It seems like a "my religion is better than yours" argument because you don't practice the "barbaric" things that we do. I think you should keep your opinion to yourself.

  • image MexiCali:
    The reasons for religious circumcision for women and men are totally different. They are not even comparable. Female circumcision is so that women don't feel satisfation. There is nothing medical that can even back up being mutilated as a women. They also do it when they are teenagers and not when they are young. It's supposed to be a right of passage, but really it's a way for men to look down on them.

     

    I didn't read the responses, but often it is done when they are 4-5. So not teens.

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  • Can I pull the "all my friends are Jewish" argument before I say what I'm going to say?

     

    only half kidding ;)

     

    But seriously. You can hardly compare a baptism which isn't permanently scaring to a medical procedure (even if done by a religious figure) which is.

     

    That being said, I don't judge those who do so because so their faith.

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  • image PiRSquared330:

    Can I pull the "all my friends are Jewish" argument before I say what I'm going to say?

     

    only half kidding ;)

     

    But seriously. You can hardly compare a baptism which isn't permanently scaring to a medical procedure (even if done by a religious figure) which is.

     

    That being said, I don't judge those who do so because so their faith.

     

    Lol. 

    I'm not comparing it in terms of procedures. I'm comparing it in terms of forcing a religion on a child and the importance of the ceremony in that religion.

  • I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels like my religious views are being demeaned/attacked in some way.  A Brit Milah (Bris) should not be compared to female mutilation.

     

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  • image robynlesley:

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels like my religious views are being demeaned/attacked in some way.  A Brit Milah (Bris) should not be compared to female mutilation.


     

    I'm not Jewish and I'm offended. I don't have much to add to the argument, just in agreement with the pp's that say these two things should not be compared.

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  • image MeghanF13:

    Um, rude much? And no, my research is not biased. Just because it finds a different outcome than yours, doesn't mean it is biased. The CPS doesn't recommend it (which is preety much the same as recommending against it, just not stated as bluntly). And, the research I have done in the past, indicates that those studies that show circumcision = lower correlation with STDs didn't take other factors into consideration (condom use, socio-economic status, access to clean water etc - many studies were done in poor villages in Africa). So, many of those studies were set up to be biased. ywia.

    Let's put it this way: I was as rude as you were anti-Semitic. And the problem with the studies is not bias but control. It is fact that std's, particularly lesions, survive in the foreskin mucosa.

    Look, I am neutral on the subject of routine male circ. But it is an entirely false analogy to compare it to female circ for reasons I have stated that you ignored, and it is therefore extremely rude to call Jews barbarians, which you absolutely implied. My other main assertion in this argument is that you said definitively "no" health reason in an infant, and I gave one very clear and indisputable health reason in infants, and as for the adult circ African studies, it is acknowledged as a potential (not gospel) health benefit, so to say there are NO health reasons is inaccurate and the reason I called your research biased and incomplete.

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  • image Heather R:
    image MeghanF13:

    Um, rude much? And no, my research is not biased. Just because it finds a different outcome than yours, doesn't mean it is biased. The CPS doesn't recommend it (which is preety much the same as recommending against it, just not stated as bluntly). And, the research I have done in the past, indicates that those studies that show circumcision = lower correlation with STDs didn't take other factors into consideration (condom use, socio-economic status, access to clean water etc - many studies were done in poor villages in Africa). So, many of those studies were set up to be biased. ywia.

    Let's put it this way: I was as rude as you were anti-Semitic. And the problem with the studies is not bias but control. It is fact that std's, particularly lesions, survive in the foreskin mucosa.

    Look, I am neutral on the subject of routine male circ. But it is an entirely false analogy to compare it to female circ for reasons I have stated that you ignored, and it is therefore extremely rude to call Jews barbarians, which you absolutely implied. My other main assertion in this argument is that you said definitively "no" health reason in an infant, and I gave one very clear and indisputable health reason in infants, and as for the adult circ African studies, it is acknowledged as a potential (not gospel) health benefit, so to say there are NO health reasons is inaccurate and the reason I called your research biased and incomplete.

    To add to this:   CPS clearly states that the benefits and risks of circumcision are evenly matched, therefore no recommendation to do routine  infant circumcisions is made.     Key point here:   there are benefits to circumcision (possible health reasons), they just do not outweigh the risks.     

    btw: I'm neither pro/anti circ.    

  • image Heather R:
    image MeghanF13:

    Um, rude much? And no, my research is not biased. Just because it finds a different outcome than yours, doesn't mean it is biased. The CPS doesn't recommend it (which is preety much the same as recommending against it, just not stated as bluntly). And, the research I have done in the past, indicates that those studies that show circumcision = lower correlation with STDs didn't take other factors into consideration (condom use, socio-economic status, access to clean water etc - many studies were done in poor villages in Africa). So, many of those studies were set up to be biased. ywia.

    Let's put it this way: I was as rude as you were anti-Semitic. And the problem with the studies is not bias but control. It is fact that std's, particularly lesions, survive in the foreskin mucosa.

    Look, I am neutral on the subject of routine male circ. But it is an entirely false analogy to compare it to female circ for reasons I have stated that you ignored, and it is therefore extremely rude to call Jews barbarians, which you absolutely implied. My other main assertion in this argument is that you said definitively "no" health reason in an infant, and I gave one very clear and indisputable health reason in infants, and as for the adult circ African studies, it is acknowledged as a potential (not gospel) health benefit, so to say there are NO health reasons is inaccurate and the reason I called your research biased and incomplete.

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  • image MeghanF13:

    = Both are barbaric.

    um, no. My son had a bris for conversion, and that practice was not even remotely barbaric. it was a beautiful ceremony where he was accepted in the Jewish community. It is a ceremony deeply rooted in tradition, and was full of meaning for my husband and his family. My 'barbaric' FIL held him, as the mohel quickly and carefully circumcised him, before passing him to my 'barbaric' husband, and then to each member of the family in turn, symbolizing his place in our family, in our community. Our 'barbaric' rabbi said a lovely prayer and our 'barbaric' cantor sang a song that still makes me tear up.  

    I cannot even fathom a warped brain thinking that this was synonomous with a female circ, done for the express reason to limit sexual pleasure.  

    I am not Jewish, but you are clearly anti-semitic.  

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  • I am extremely anti circ for either genders except for religious regions. I do have a problem though with the WAY the female is circumcised in some of the African cultures....It's very barbaric and done to much older to the girls. They remember it and it isn't done always by choice (neither is most male circs) but in this case the females are old enough to speak for themselves. Also the effects of their circ literally leaves them unable to enjoy sex and leaves them with  a lot of emotional and mental trauma....It's generally not the same with men but there are always the few exceptions

    And I agree with Pirsquared comparing a circ to a baptism is redic but FYI Mormons baptize at the age of 8 and they are completely explained what baptism means and what it entails and the children are asked if they are willing to go through with it. Nothing is done forcefully or without their consent/approval and knowledge. I would love it if every religion practices this...I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing but I understand that it never will be like that.

  • I have to say, I don't think the OP's question was anti-semitic at all. Health reasons aside, there are groups of people all over the world that perform circumcisions for religious reasons.

    The question the OP posed, was...why then is it acceptable for males and not females in terms of religious faith?

    Do not get me wrong. I know and get that female circumcision is barbaric and horrifying and I feel blessed not to have been born in a culture that supports that. I also get the VAST differences between the two circumcisions.

    HOWEVER --- if you use religion as an explanation as to why it should be legal for male circumcision, then why is that EXACT explanation not good enough for female circumcision?

    I think it's a fair question and world-wide, it should be addressed (although it is largely a moot point here in the U.S.A -- although there are some immigrant groups who still practice this in the USA, believe it or not).

    Let me be clear about something: I am a Christian with a Jewish background. Acccording to Jewish law, I am considered a Jew (my mother's grandmother on my mother's side was jewish). I was brought up with some jewish traditions, and as a reader and believer of the Bible, I am aware of God's law in regards to male circumcision. I believe parents have the right to circumcize their male child as a choice (regardless of reason). If I have a son, I will choose to circumcize my child, as it is my husband's choice (and my decision to leave it up to him).

    BUT -- given all that, I think a rational and intelligent discussion on the line between religious beliefs (any of them) and what is generally considered "wrong" is a useful and reasonable discussion.

    missed m/c 5/23/08
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