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(reply to Anonymous)

1) Non-religious male circumcision was indeed popularized to reduce male sexual pleasure. It's worth remembering that no-one except for Jewish people and Muslims would even be having this discussion if it weren't for the fact that 19th century doctors thought that :
a) masturbation caused various physical and mental problems (including epilepsy, convulsions, paralysis, tuberculosis etc), and
b) circumcision stopped masturbation.

Both of those sound ridiculous today I know, but that's how they thought back then, and that's how non-religious circumcision got started. If you don't believe me (and I was initially skeptical), then google this: "A Short History of Circumcision in North America In the Physicians' Own Words" or just look for any medical text from about 1850-1950 that mentions male circumcision or masturbation. Heck, they even passed laws against "self-pollution" as it was called. Over a hundred years later, circumcised men keep looking for new ways to defend the practice.

2) While the evidence is mixed and highly disputed, there are several peer-reviewed studies showing downsides to male circumcision.

3) Promoting male circumcision to prevent HIV seems a dangerous distraction in the fight against AIDS. We now have people calling circumcision a "vaccine" or "invisible condom", and viewing circumcision as an alternative to condoms. The South African National Communication Survey on HIV/AIDS, 2009 found that 15% of adults across age groups "believe that circumcised men do not need to use condoms".

The one randomized controlled trial into male-to-female transmission showed a 54% higher rate in the group where the men had been circumcised btw.

ABC (Abstinence, Being faithful, and especially Condoms) is the way forward. Promoting genital surgery seems likely to cost African lives, not save them.

January 30, 2015 - 5:53am


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