Presentation given to the Intaktiv – Genital Autonomy conference. Frankfurt 9th May 2015.
Sadly about once a year MDC is contacted by a man who has gone to his doctor with a tight foreskin and has been told there is only one option; circumcision. The individual gives his consent, the operation takes place, after the healing process is completed the man resumes his sex life and discovers he has lost an important body part.
The lack of sex education for men has lead to a situation where it is difficult for a man to give informed consent if he has not been fully informed about his own anatomy and the possible alternatives to circumcision and conservative management of a tight foreskin often referred to as phimosis.
In a link to an article analysing the judgement given by Sir James Munby on a recent case involving female genital mutilation we posted a graphic and upsetting image of the aftermath of a circumcision ceremony. The photo showed the male victims lying clutching their ceremonial gifts, semi naked with their wounds visible. Facebook told MDC that the photo did not comply with their policy on nudity. There is a need for people to understand the obscene reality of male genital mutilation and MDC recommends that everyone should read the article in Researching Reform where the photo came from.
MDC’s response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention proposed guidelines on circumcision has been filed. We post it here :-
“In the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recent guidelines on male circumcision there is no account taken of the value of having an intact penis. The fact that the foreskin is specialised erogenous tissue is ignored.
Since the start of the organisation Men Do Complain about five years ago we have been contacted several times by men who have on medical advice had a circumcision as a treatment for a minor medical problem. These are a small group of men with important evidence to bring to this subject as they have experienced intercourse in both the intact and circumcised condition. They all report dissatisfaction with the procedure and feel that they were not properly informed about the negative consequences of circumcision.
The CDC should not be making an exceptional claim namely, that the excision of healthy specialised tissue from a child who cannot give informed consent is merely a risk against benefit calculation. The CDC should be providing exceptionally robust evidence that there is no degree of harm involved in the circumcision of a child who cannot give or withhold consent.”
You still have one more day to post a comment. Please do take the time to write and tell the CDC what you think about their guidelines.
The mainstream media sadly keeps disseminating the steady output of pro circumcision writing that comes from a very few authors who swamp publications with promotional material. One such example is below from The New York Times
Circumcision Benefits Outweigh Risks, Study Reports.
By NICHOLAS BAKALAR
A review of studies has found that the health benefits of infant male circumcision vastly outweigh the risks involved in the procedure.
But the study, published online in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, also found that while the prevalence of circumcision among American men ages 14 to 59 increased to 81 percent from 79 percent over the past decade, the rate of newborn circumcision has declined by 6 percentage points, to 77 percent, since the 1960s.
The authors conclude that the benefits — among them reduced risks of urinary tract infection, prostate cancer, sexually transmitted diseases and, in female partners, cervical cancer — outweigh the risks of local infection or bleeding. Several studies, including two randomized clinical trials, found no long-term adverse effects of circumcision on sexual performance or pleasure.
One cost-benefit analysis that considered infant urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases found that if circumcision rates were decreased to the 10 percent typical in European countries, the additional direct medical costs over 10 years of births would be more than $4.4 billion.
“Male circumcision is in principle equivalent to childhood vaccination,” said the lead author, Brian J. Morris, emeritus professor of medical sciences at the University of Sydney. “Just as there are opponents of vaccination, there are opponents of circumcision. But their arguments are emotional and unscientific, and should be disregarded.”
An excellent letter in response has been written by Steven Svoboda (left), Attorneys for the Rights of the Child.
We were disappointed to see the New York Times publish an article (“Circumcision Benefits Outweigh Risks, Study Reports,” by Nicholas Bakalar; April 8, 2014) so strongly at odds with the Times’ generally high standards. A team of mostly European physicians recently concluded that the only arguable medical benefit of male circumcision is a slight reduction in urinary tract infections, but these can more cheaply and less painfully be treated with antibiotics.
Claims regarding prostate cancer and cervical cancer were disproven decades ago. Studies have suggested that female circumcision may help prevent HIV but everyone correctly avoids proposing this on grounds of medical ethics and physical integrity. The same principles bar male circumcision, as has been recently concluded by the Council of Europe and the Royal Dutch Medical Association.
No objective person could seriously question what the vast majority of studies have documented, that removal of half the surface skin of the penis seriously impacts sexuality. The vaccination analogy is incoherent as unlike circumcision, vaccination doesn’t remove functional tissue.
The New York Times should know better.