For the average American circumcision may not seem like a very big deal. Many American men are circumcised and many not for religious reasons. The phenomenon is somewhat unique to America however. Outside the United States few men are circumcised and the vast majority do so for religious rather than health reasons.
Demographics of circumcision outside the US
Outside of the United States most circumcised males are such for religious beliefs either of their own or of their parents who opted to have them circumcised. The practice of religious circumcision begins in the Old Testament and Torah under King David as a mark of those who follow the Judeo-Christian God. There is a chance that, in addition to religious reasons, there were health considerations as well. This was the case with many religious traditions. That said most of these reasons do not exist today.
?Who pushed circumcision in the late Victorian era and why??
Many assume that circumcision is a religious issue for Christian males yet throughout the New Testament, which is the part of the Bible unique to Christians, the practice is discouraged. In the Victorian era religious and social reasons made masturbation to be frowned upon. One of the ‘cures’ for this was circumcision for ‘medical’ reasons. There was about as much social conjecture behind this ‘cure’ as science. While this was wide spread in Victorian Europe, circumcision for non-medical reasons in unpopular in Europe today. However in America medical professionals are only now questioning circumcision.
The effects on the bond between mother and child?
One of the problems with infant circumcision is the effect on the bond between mother and child. While many have long suggested that infants do not feel as much pain during circumcision as adults the facts are beginning to stack up that this is not the case. In fact it is increasingly obvious that not only do infant males experience severe pain during circumcision, there are also long reaching psychological effects which affect the relationship between mother and baby. Studies have even been conducted which show a reduction in the amount of breastfeeding by circumcised boys.
Alleged health benefits?
Proponents of circumcision have recently resorted to claims of health benefits from the procedure. To understand the short sightedness of this one must first understand that the foreskin, which is removed during circumcision, is in fact biologically an advantage not a disadvantage. There have been cases, which have proved a benefit of circumcision however. On close examination these cases do not actually prove an advantage of circumcision so much as a health benefit for those with good hygiene and access to fresh clean water for bathing. Diseases among those without access to adequate bathing on a regular basis it is true that the foreskin can retain germs and diseases, however with adequate hygiene this effect is more than reversed; those who are circumcised are more vulnerable to disease not less.
Potential Health problems later in life?
Not every circumcision goes as planned and many experience health problems latter in life. Some of these include erectile dysfunction, decreased sexual sensitivity (which is why the Victorians believed it a cure for masturbation), as well as pain, scarring and disfiguring. Further psychological problems can stem from having been circumcised.
Foreskin reconstruction resources
For those who suffered disfiguration during circumcision or whom feel robbed by adults who made a decision in favor of circumcisions there are treatments to restore the forskin.
For couples dating, especially those using online dating or personals circumcision should be discussed. This is an important issue that would affect those with strong opinions on either side and is an important question before children are brought into the equation. Also whether one is circumcised may make a different for romantic partners.
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