The Circumcision Argument

March 28, 2014
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Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of celebrities come out against circumcision. Most recently, Alan Cumming has raged against the snip. He compares it to “genital mutilation.” Being circumcised myself, I would hardly compare it to that. It’s glaringly inaccurate to make that comparison. Genital mutilation is what women experience in certain parts of Africa to restrict their sexual pleasure. Being Jewish, my circumcision and most if not all male circumcisions are based on either religious beliefs or hygiene, sometimes both.

As a Jew, boys have a ritual circumcision, called a bris. It’s done when the child is eight days old. Why do we do this? Why have we done it for over 4,000 years? According to the Jewish faith, “the bris is a physical symbol of the relationship between G‑d and the Jewish people.” says that God made us imperfect and it’s our job to make ourselves perfect. It’s also done when a child is unaware because Jews believe that link the between us and G-d is intrinsic. This means that whether or not you are a believer in your mind or heart, your soul still believes in God. goes on to explain, “we can join the covenant with God even without being consciously aware of Him, because subconsc aiously we already know Him.”

The Circumcision Argument
Anti-circumcision protesters march in Washington DC on March 30, 2013. Image by Rena Schild /

Now, let’s talk health. I can speak from my “investigations” of the uncut that they have more work cut out for them (pardon the pun). It’s just easier to clean a circumcised penis. At the end of the day my junk will smell better than an uncut one. I’ve been in contact with some funky cock and balls. This isn’t to say that all uncut men are dirty. Far from it. Over at WebMD they have a list of some health benefits associated with circumcision.

A decreased risk of urinary tract infections.

A reduced risk of sexually transmitted diseases in men.

Protection against penile cancer and a reduced risk of cervical cancer in female sex partners.

Prevention of balanitis (inflammation of the glans) and balanoposthitis (inflammation of the glans and foreskin).

Prevention of phimosis (the inability to retract the foreskin) and paraphimosis (the inability to return the foreskin to its original location).

This isn’t meant to be an argument for circumcision. I just want to lay out a context for next week where I’ll explore whether or not circumcision has a place in modern society. Ciao till then.

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