To snip or not to snip? Once again there is a hot debate about the ethical issue behind circumcision. These circumcision facts will make you say “ouch”.
A little less than one-third of the world’s male population is circumcised. While some are done in the name of tradition and religious beliefs, others do it because it is the “clean” thing to do. However, almost all the procedures done is without the consent of the circumcised individual.
Parents and guardians decide on behalf of the infants and children, as the procedure is considered less painful during childhood. Many men and human rights activists around the world are speaking up against circumcision. They are calling it the unethical mutilation of the male genitalia.
Circumcision has been around for thousands of years and has an intriguing past. Whether you are pro-circumcision or against it, these lesser-known facts will leave you wowed.
Circumcision is the Healthier Choice?
There is a lot of debate about the pros and cons of circumcision. A few experts say that removal of the foreskin reduces the chance of various diseases, including sexually transmitted diseases like herpes and HIV.
One study found that it can reduce the chances of getting H.I.V up to 60 percent in straight males. The area within the foreskin is moist, which can make it the breeding ground for various diseases. If nothing else, no foreskin makes it easier to clean your penis.
It has always been a social issue, tied to tradition and what is considered normal in society. These days many people argue that a man can live a long and healthy life without circumcision.
Scary Tribal Rites
In some parts of the world, men don’t have the luxury to say “Our bodies, our choice”. In the mountainous Mutoto, Uganda, there is a festival that celebrates the “rite of passage” of thousands of teenage boys each year.
These boys are embarking into adulthood and they are circumcised, without any anesthetic! And, they have to do it without showing any signs of being in pain.
This scary tribal tradition often forces young men to have a circumcision. The festival in Uganda even attracts tourists who come to experience the festivities!
These tribal rites occur all across Sub-Saharan Africa. Many of these youth die because of post-procedure complications or due to the harsh conditions they endure for weeks after the circumcision.
There is a Female Version
Yes, as shocking as it might sound, there is a female version of circumcision. This is often called female genital mutilation as this has no possible health benefits and often used in various countries as a mode of torture and suppression.
There are millions of girls who suffer through this horrifying violation of human rights. The age of girls who undergo this ranges from infancy to adolescence. The women who go through certain levels of this terrible operation suffer many health detrimental effects.
This practice is prevalent in various parts of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Female circumcision is a part of the social norms of some cultures and is connected to how they believe women should behave sexually.
Circumcision was Once Used To Prevent “Self-Pleasure”
During the 1900s, when people in the US were choosing to circumcise their sons more and more, Europeans were taking another route. Children were often threatened with circumcision if they continued to be “undisciplined”, particularly if they gave into masturbation.
To prevent masturbation in children, caregivers, teachers, and even parents would threaten children, particularly young boys, with circumcision!
They often scared children with extreme measures by telling them about “mean” doctors waiting to painfully cut off their genitals.
This horrifying practice was widespread in Germany during the mid-twentieth century. There were even books that recommended the practice. If children were found continuing the “bad practice” after punishment, they were not just threatened but “cured” from the habit by circumcision.
Some People Try To Undo Circumcision
As mentioned before, some men around the world are speaking up about anti-circumcision. They believe that they had no say in how their body was mutilated, as it was done to them without their consent.
Some of these men are trying to reclaim their right to have a foreskin, while others simply want it back because they think their genitals look better that way. They are trying out various methods of regrowing their foreskin.
Both surgical and nonsurgical methods of foreskin restoration exist. The surgical method involves skin grafting, which means the skin is transplanted from another part of the body to create foreskin. The non-surgical method uses small weights to stretch out the skin to cover up the organ.
Circumcision Has Been Around For a Long, Long Time
Circumcision has been around for a long time. Before the Americans circumcised their sons as a status symbol or the Germans threatened theirs using it as punishment, people have been circumcised.
The first records showed up in Egypt as hieroglyphs, showing the surgical method, and the mummies were also found circumcised. However, the true origins of the practice are questionable.
The rise of circumcision could have occurred independently in various parts of the world since traces of this practice have been found all over the place.
Some scholars debate that it could have originated in Egypt as a way of degrading war slaves without maiming or killing. Many of these slaves were Jews who might have made it a part of their tradition.
Circumcision has played varying roles in cultures, traditions, and religions all over the world. Even though it is a violation of the rights that many children suffer without consent, many people believe that circumcision in men is the healthier choice.
Even as many of these children are growing up to speak out, people in some parts of the world are not as lucky. It has been used as a method of torture possibly since its origins. Love it or hate it, circumcision has been around for thousands of years and is likely to stick around for many more.