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Warm. Cozy. Stretchy. Protective. Functional.
Did you know women have a foreskin, too? It’s our clitoral hood. And just like a woman’s clitoral hood protects her clitoris, a man’s foreskin protects the surface of the glans (head) penis. Here’s a great mouse-over animation that shows how both structures develop in a human embryo: LINK. Without that protection, the mucousal surface of the clitoris and the head of the penis is exposed to air and rubbing against clothing. This constant, unnatural exposure causes the delicate, sensitive skin to dry and thicken, similar to the way the bottoms of your feet callous if you go barefoot all summer. Unlike the callouses on your feet however, the keratinization of the head of the penis is lifelong.
What other nifty stuff does the foreskin do?
Well, the foreskin itself is full of nerves and blood vessels. An adult’s foreskin is a double-layered, mobile, tubular sheath 15 square inches in size. So much for a little snip, eh? It protects the glans (head) of the penis just as a woman’s clitoral hood (also medically known as the “prepuce”) develops from the same embryonic tissue and protects her glans clitoris, keeping it slightly moist, soft, supple, and ultra-sensitive. Without this built-in, physiological protection a process called keratinization begins. Over time, the mucousal skin dries out and builds up additional layers, in much the same way as the bottoms of our feet would become calloused from going barefoot all summer, except, unfortunately, the keratinization resulting from infant circumcision continues throughout a man’s entire lifetime. Find out more about the wonders of the foreskin:
- The Prepuce (Part1)
- The Prepuce (Part 2)
How the gliding mechanism works: Anatomy of the Penis and the Mechanics of Intercourse Just how much skin does routine infant circumcision remove from a future adult male?
UPDATE! ABC.au.net: December 9, 2007: Doctors back call for circumcision ban
Did you know? December 8, 2007
Did you know the most common method of circumcision-the gomco method-utilizes a sterile SAFETY PIN to pierce through the foreskin so it can be threaded into the clamp?
See for yourself: PHOTOS
New articles this week:
12/8/07: BMJ: Is infant male circumcision an abuse of the rights of the child? YES 12/8/07: ABC.net.au: Call to end circumcision of baby boys
Can you imagine what it must have been like-what it must have looked like-to be the very first person, the very first parent on the face of the planet to-without any scientific reason whatsoever-use a primitive tool to cut off part of your baby’s genitals without anesceptic, anesthetic, or antibiotics available? What would possess a sane, loving parent to do such a thing? A voice? A vision? How does something like that become popular…trendy?
Someone on a message board suggested that parents who are informed but still choose to do such a thing are “abusive”. A religious mother responded and argued: “…except when you have people who believe they are spiritually enlightening and enhancing their child by doing it……”
My response is as follows:
Nope, I’m sorry. They don’t get a free pass. Religious parents don’t deserve exception here. Every parent who circumcises has their reasons, whether they’re cultural, aesthetic, or spiritual in nature the result is the same: A child is irreparably harmed. They mean well, but good intentions don’t make the action any less damaging.
Some parents “believe” hitting their child with a belt or locking them in a closet or drugging them with Benedryl to get them to take a nap is perfectly acceptable. Some parents believe it’s okay to leave your young children in a hotel room while on vacation in a foreign country and go a few blocks away for dinner. Some parents believe it’s okay to bind a little girl’s feet so they’ll be attractive to a mate. Some parents believe it’s beneficial to forgo any medical treatment for a seriously ill child-including lifesaving antibiotics and blood transfusions-and instead pray their child, quite literally, to death. Some parents believe in forcing children to handle poisonous snakes as proof of faith. The list goes on and on…
Belief, faith, religion, whatever doesn’t justify child abuse. Every child, regardless of gender or race or country of origin or religious preference of his or her parents has a right-a basic, inalienable human right, in the absence of unavoidable disease/medical indication-to grow up with a healthy, whole, intact body.
I honestly don’t care whether an adult wants to cut off their own right leg, both nipples, or nick their nose for God or as a symbol of faith or because a voice or vision told them to. That’s fine. Their body, their belief, their choice.
Children deserve to have their rights and physical well-being protected until they are old enough to make the same decision for themselves.
“some are told that they are committing child abuse by NOT circing their sons”
And I’m sure some grandparents and communities would say that not circumcising a little girl or not beating sense into your child with a stick is abusive. Common sense still applies: Belief, faith, voices, and visions will never justify child abuse. Good intentions do not make the physical act any less damaging. Circumcision is amputative surgery, ti removes blood vessels and nerves, it strips erogenous tissue, it changes the way the penis functions. The reasons don’t change that.
CIRCUMCISING INFANTS DENIES THEM A LIFETIME OF TRUE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.
“are you going to take on the entire Jewish community, which has withstood millenia of hardship and suffering, most recently surviving an attempt of genocide in the holocaust? do you really think they ar naive? people who survive such batterings are not naive. If they can withstand a holocaust (at the hands of non-circd men, btw) then I think they can survive the onslaught of the anti-circ mob.”
Not granting Judaism a waiver is not anti-Semitism, in fact, it’s the oposite: Jewish children are just as deserving of human rights as any other child. They are the same. They are equal. They are just as human, just as valuable and precious and worthy of protection.
Birth As We Know It: Circumcision (clip) November 23, 2007
This is a video of an actual circumcision w/ narration by director Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova from the groundbreaking film, Birth As We Know It. It’s a little less than 5 minutes long. The method of circumcision used in this video is the Plastibell procedure. Many people believe that the Plastibell method is painless, that there is no cutting, and that the foreskin just gets a little string tied around it and “falls off” in a few days.
Blinkies are like animated bumperstickers that you can use to express yourself on many messageboards. Some of the following blinkies express pride or are intended to provoke thought. Others are harsher in their message. Please consider your audience and the tone you hope to set; it’s true you can often catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar. Also please do not link directly, save them to your own image hosting account, like photobucket. Thanks! While a handful of them I created myself, most have been collected from around the net. If you have one to add, post a “comment” on this entry with a link to the image.
Care2 Make a Difference! November 21, 2007
The premise of Care2 is simple: One person can make a difference.Whether you’re passionate about green living, health, human rights or protecting the environment, Care2 puts the tools for change in your hands.Over 7 million wonderful people discover, share and take action on Care2 and Care2’s The Petition Site. It’s the largest online community of people passionate about making a difference.