The Circumcision Argument.
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19-08-2011, 07:18 PM
RE: The Circumcision Argument.
I think the golden rule applies fine here. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Would you want someone else to have the choice to have elective surgery done to your sexual organs?

It isn't something that has to be done as a baby. Let 'em choose when they're older.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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19-08-2011, 11:15 PM
RE: The Circumcision Argument.
I should clear something up here. I am solely speaking of circumcision of Men, in both Europe and the Americas. If we were to argue for the whole planet, we would have to ban it. Not only because there are hundreds of thousands of places without the correct training, but they also do not hold the medical advancements that Europe and the Americas have.

But ya, like some people have pointed out, there really needs to be more research put into this. I guess it's just not a hot topic in the science world.
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20-08-2011, 03:44 AM
RE: The Circumcision Argument.
I have a friend who willingly went on circumcision in his 20-is. He is also a huge atheist, so it has nothing to do with religion, only the hygiene and prevention of infections, if any. Also, he says it gives him much better "sex feeling", so he now enjoys sex more than before. If that is not reason enough to do it, I don't know what else would you need. Also, a lot of women I spoke with like "it" without the extra skin. Now the issue here is should parents do it do their kids while they have not been asked? I have no idea and I really don't care, I don't see it as anything bad, only a couple of good things can come up from it, so why not, maybe it is better to do it while you are a child, then you don't know "what the hell are they doing?". When you grow up, you might want it, but you are to afraid to do it. Of course, it should never be done be some shaman or priest, but a doctor, or at least a nurse. And I just hate to think about the circumcision of women, that is pretty disturbing and a way different than the man circumcision.

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20-08-2011, 03:47 AM
RE: The Circumcision Argument.
(19-08-2011 05:38 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Traits that offer an advantage, those we call adaptive, are selected for (they flourish). Traits that offer a disadvantage, those we call maladaptive, are selected against (they eliminate themselves). But traits that offer neither an advantage nor a disadvantage, those traits we now call exaptive, can persist in the gene pool.

The appendix is a perfect example. The genes that code for it are exaptive. The appendix may have at one point been adaptive (offered an advantage via the function it carried out), but now we no longer require that function. But it's not a problem. That is to say, that function does not now provide a disadvantage. The presence of the appendix has a neutral effect. So it just hangs around.

Where did you get the idea that the appendix is exaptive? It most certainly is not. The fact that it is maladaptive is proven by the fact that it is in recession. If that doesn't do it for you, I am sure most people here now people who have had to have their appendixes removed, because it was killing them. The whole idea of an organ or a body part being exaptive is a myth. a body part is either cost effective, or it is not. In any case, this thread was started on the assumption that not having a foreskin is an advantage. At the very least you have to agree that this does not make sense in evolutionary terms.

BGrambo, I'm going to ask you again because I'm not letting you get away with this. Why are you speaking solely about circumcision of men? What is the difference between men and women in this regard? Like i said, if cleanliness is your goal, it's a lot harder to clen something you can't see.

I want to rip off your superstitions and make passionate sense to you
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20-08-2011, 04:15 AM
RE: The Circumcision Argument.
@ Norseman

As I stated in my previous post there are a couple of cool things for man after circumcision, but there are no such thing if a women does it. It is not done for hygiene or better sex, it is done solely for religious reasons, in some parts of Africa for the reason that the woman can not enjoy sex anymore, because they think of it as something a woman should never do/experience. So womans circumcision is a mutilation of some sort, but for man it can be a good thing. Maybe not all man need it, but some who do need/want it, it can be pretty awesome. I am sure there is not a single woman who would want/need that procedure.

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20-08-2011, 07:29 AM
RE: The Circumcision Argument.
Congratulations Filox. Your "understanding genital mutilation" progress bar is currently at 50%.

We have actually had this discussion before.
This discussion is worth taking a look at. A lot of constructive things were shared there.
I'll allow myself to quote Cetaceaphile:
Quote:I actually feel like I've been raped.

That pretty much says it all for me.

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20-08-2011, 08:35 AM
RE: The Circumcision Argument.
Woo Norseman!!!

But yeah stop talking about gender specific unnecessary procedures for children. Some like the feel of the shaft some don't. Plenty of women in cultures where circumcision is normal like that they are circumcised too. I may have mentioned Africa because it is low tech, but low tech doesn't change the procedure much. The arguments for male circumcision can back up female circumcision in the same way, though neither is heavily studied. Why don't we circumcise females? because it is an unnecessary procedure which many male dominated societies that took on circumcision didn't bother with for the less important girls. Female circumcision in a hospital would have the same sterile "safe" environment the preferred male version has if it were practiced as often.

In reading about studies done, pretty much every study has a counter study. It seems that most benefits being suggested are an organization siding with a study that went their way. The AIDS study didn't even complete one run before being called unethical, so even though there was a 44% higher rate in uncircumcised men this is not even one full study and will not be tried again. Generally the selected number of complications in later life prevented for risks is lower than the number of infant complications caused by early circumcision. The current understanding of the risks of the two, circumcised at 11.1%/100 have complications, uncircumcised is at 18.8%/100 and the difference is the circumcised children mainly have childhood problems whereas the uncircumcised have adult issues. I would rather protect my child from potential childhood risks.

The cancer argument is even removed from the table by one of the more common complications with circumcision. The penile scar (which does not describe mine so I guess mine is from that other surgery) is rather prone to cancer along with causing intense pain during swelling.

As far as I'm concerned with no clear benefits it's better not to risk the small percentage chance (0.1%-35% depending on study) of complications that can affect your child's reproductive life and health.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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20-08-2011, 09:56 AM
RE: The Circumcision Argument.
Hey, Norseman.

The only time an organ is maladaptive is if it kills you BEFORE the age of sexual maturity. If you cannot reproduce, it cannot replicate. If it kills you after you have kids, then its effect, from an evolutionary standpoint, is irrelevant.

Darwin himself was crystal clear about the presence of the exaptive in the Origin of Species:

Quote:...can we doubt... that individuals having any advantage, however slight, over others, would have the best chance of surviving and of procreating their kind? On the other hand, we may feel sure that any variation in the least degree injurious would be rigorously destroyed. This preservation of favourable individual differences and variations, and the destruction of those which are injurious, I have called Natural Selection, of the Survival of the Fittest. Variations neither useful nor injurious would not be affected by natural selection, and would be left either a fluctuating element, as perhaps we see in certain polymorphic species, or would ultimately become fixed, owing to the nature of the organism and the nature of the conditions.
-Charles Darwin, "The Origin of Species," page 98

It doesn't get much clearer than that.

Fast forward to 1972, and Eldredge and Gould introduced the notion of punctuated equilibrium which states that evolutionary change is slow and that species spend most of their time in stasis; however, this general equilibrium is punctuated through the ages by periods or rapid change (like an asteroid striking the planet). When this happens, the conditions change drastically and there is essentially a scramble for species to re-establish themselves into the mix. Traits that had to that point been, "neither useful nor injurious," can suddenly become a species’ greatest advantage, or worst enemy.

So if you want to call exaptive traits a myth, more power to you, but the weight of evidence is squarely against you.

Quote:In any case, this thread was started on the assumption that not having a foreskin is an advantage. At the very least you have to agree that this does not make sense in evolutionary terms.

The advantage given by having your foreskin removed, should it actually be advantageous, is not an evolutionary advantage. It in no way effects procreation. Both circumcised and uncircumcised peni are capable of the reproductive act. If we walked around naked, perhaps a memetic preference for one over the other might influence which one was more adaptive, ie, maybe women believed hoods were better than helmets, but because we walk around clothed, by and large (unless some ladies wanna chime in with some unknown lady code about wang preference) the difference is academic in terms of reproductive fitness. That is to say, it's a lottery for women in terms of which type they mate with.

When we talk about advantage in this case, we just mean ‘it's useful’. That is to say, the advantage is utilitarian, not evolutionary. If penis infections were killing people at 7, then it would certainly be an evolutionary advantage, but that isn't the case. The advantage, as I understand it, is that it helps with hygiene and avoiding infections (unless people want to add advantages to that list). Outside of that, it's purely a cultural issue.

In terms of evolutionary sense, if the foreskin was integral to the reproductive act, then cutting it off would be insanity. But it's not. The testicles are. The penis is. The uterus is. The ovaries are. The foreskin, not so much. I'm not saying that this is proof positive that the foreskin is exaptive, like I said, I don't know, but it's either exaptive or adaptive because if it was maladaptive, we wouldn't be having this argument. My educated guess is that having a cover for your penis is an evolutionary advantage. Male mammals have to carry their testicles outside of the body because thermogenesis can generate enough heat to damage or destroy sperm and most mammals (I'm pretty sure) carry their peni outside of their bodies too (or at least have those spring-loaded stiletto blade wangs). Humans certainly do carry both outside of their bodies. So in the time before Fruit of the Loom, having a hood to protect the single most sensitive, important and exposed part of your body makes perfect sense. I can totally see how those human males that didn't have one reproduced less. For sure. Stamp it. Advantage. Adaptive. But nothing exists in a vacuum. Everything in evolution is contextual. Everything depends on the current environment. Today, genes compete with and/or co-evolve with memes. A near universal cultural trait today is clothing. In a close second would be underwear. Today, in this environment, because of the underwear meme, the penis is well protected from errant twigs and the weather. Today, the advantage of the foreskin is less clear. To be perfectly honest, I don't know enough about the foreskin to tell you what role outside of simple protection it plays (oh right, it's also very nerve dense). If someone can tell me, I'd like to know. In today's environment, with the underwear meme in place, I think that the foreskin may very well be exaptive, a vestige of a past era. Like the appendix. Unlike the appendix, the foreskin doesn't explode (how bad would that suck!). But like the appendix, although I imagine less frequently, emergency surgery is sometimes required to remove it. So from an evolutionary standpoint, I see no reason to believe that reproduction is threatened by the removal of the foreskin. From a utilitarian point of view, it seems that the trade off is simply reduced sexual pleasure for hygiene and less risk of infection. From a cultural point of view, the meme for circumcision is nested in a larger cultural memeplex and as long as the question is one, essentially, of preference, I see no reason to try and disarticulate that meme through legislating bans on male circumcision. Similarly, I see no reason to consider the parental decision to circumcise their child a human rights violation; therefore, I again see no reason to legislate against it. If more evidence is produced that shows that it's simply too dangerous, or if it is reclassified as a human rights violation, then sure, get rid of it. But centuries of evidence points towards the fact that males are perfectly functional with or without their foreskin.

Just to chime in on female circumcision, because, to be absolutely clear, I'm ONLY talking about male circumcision, I think that female circumcision should be banned. Globally. Unlike male circumcision, female circumcision leads to some very serious medical complications and very bad pain in most cases. There's variation in the degree of invasiveness (types I, II and III) and it seems the more invasive, the more damage is done. From an evolutionary standpoint, female circumcision, especially type III, has a direct effect on reproduction, as it is a narrowing of the vaginal orifice. I haven't even looked that far into it because a cursory investigation shows that it's just an ill-advised procedure.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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20-08-2011, 10:28 AM
RE: The Circumcision Argument.
Are we arguing over whether it should be banned completely? I was just discussing the action and looking at it more as a routine procedure case (the way it is in the US). I will always feel that parents rights supersede those of their young children outside of instances of clear harm. If a child is in need of something it is correct that they would need to convince their parents. I think this guardianship type role becomes inactive around 16 outside of special cases.

However, as was the case when I was born doctors should not have superseding powers over children unless in cases of extreme danger. When I was young the doctors did not fully brief my parents on the procedure they did to me. Just as often in the US doctors still perform circumcision simply because it's normal, and the parent did not voice an objection. Yes doctors should ask, but often enough they'll still get away with "forgetting" to ask. With circumcision being normative the general consensus is that most parents want it. Those who do not are actually required to make this clear before an invasive surgery is performed. There is no argument to suggest that circumcision is not invasive.

Body modifications will always be performed and there will always be individuals upset they received or did not receive the body modification. What's good for some is not good for all.

And in the camp of parents refusing to do vaccination shots, this should be returned to the same as it was when I was young. a required part of public schooling. The non-vaccinated child is less at risk than the vaccinated children around it, so if parents really want to put their child in this risk then they should not be allowed to let other children be at risk. Parents have rights when it comes to their child, not when it comes to other children.

Also I believe that since the head enlarges most women prefer the circumcised penis. I myself could care less.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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20-08-2011, 11:12 AM
RE: The Circumcision Argument.
Hey, Lilith.

I don't think it should be a routine procedure because it's not required. As far as I can tell, it’s an elective, although I believe that in certain places at certain times it was a legal requirement to do them routinely. Evil momma also brought up the possibility that doing it for the sake of doing it might be part of a cash grab, which is pretty disgusting. I think that doctors should fully brief parents about the pros and cons of it and allow the parents to make the decision in all cases. If the sex is determined in utero, the decision should be made months before birth to avoid last-minute pressure. This doctors making the decision themselves stuff is for the birds. According to Wikipedia, if a doctor performs a circumcision without proper informed parental consent, it’s considered battery (this is the source that the Wiki article cites).

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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