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Female Circumcision and Body Modification

possiblymaybe 2011/02/22 17:50:57
Related Topics: Religion, Abortion, AIDS
I recently read an article about California trying to pass legislation to ban male circumcision until adulthood (age 18). I've read quite a few arguments on the debate. It opens a can of worms as Muslims, Christians and Jews tend to practice male circumcision as part of their religion. Some Muslims and African religions also practice female circumcision.

This begs a larger question of the rights of body modification. Does a parent have the right to alter the physical body of their children? Some other things under the umbrella of body modification are:

* Body Piercing, such as piercing the ears
* Circumcision and castration
* Tattoos, branding and scarification
* Dental extractions: for instance, to correct an under-bite
* Corrective surgery, for non-terminal disfigurements, disabilities, burns
* Dermal implants: like an RFID chip
* Gender correction for hermaphrodites, etc.
* Lap band: for morbidly obese children

Broadening this issue is the cultural and religious traditions of these exercises. Is body modification religious expression?

In this regard, does the Constitution offer protection to the family organization, to the adult or to the child?

What is Constitutional when the rights of the parent conflict with the rights of the child?

This broadens the question further! In Roe vs. Wade, it was determined that abortion should be legal up until the viability of the child - personhood.

The pro-life and anti-abortion advocates argue that the Constitution/Bill of Rights should protect the child over the parent because the child is a person, in the womb and certainly afterward. The pro-choice and pro-abortion crowd says that the Constitution/Bill of Rights protects the rights of the mother, as the child is not born yet. However, most in this crowd would agree that the Constitution/Bill of Rights protects the child after birth. So most (but not all) believe that the Constitution/Bill of Rights protects only individuals, and in regard to abortion, termination, etc.; that the Constitution protects the child over the mother if the mother and child have a conflict of interests. Indeed it raises the question about at what point does a 3rd party have the right, or even duty, to intervene in the family. What is abuse? Is drawing blood abusive? Is it only abuse if the child could die? What is harm? All of these questions arise.

Raising another question, how can we tell what the interests of a child is? At a certain age a child can express their interests but as a baby cannot. Adding complexity to the issue is the question of if a child is mature enough to design their own interests from the age of being able to speak.

Another angle on this debate is the jurisdiction of the family. Although the Constitution/Bill of Rights might not explicit deal with "collective" rights; some have argued that since corporations are considered persons that families are just domestic corporations that maintain certain "collective" rights. [The flipside of that argument is those that DISAGREE that corporations are persons and that corporations should not be treated as having rights - and thus would also apply to families and other organizations/systems.]

Nobody likes when anyone intervenes into their concept of their own jurisdiction; yet most find some reason to justify intervening in the jurisdiction of someone else, or an organization, corporation, state, etc... there is a big debate on how flexible a jurisdiction should be of various kinds of physical and non-physical systems. Most of all it seems there are no standards and just a bunch of double standards.

Some argue that a ban on child body modification could absorb traditions closely held by the Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities. In fact, some argue that without the ability to circumcise, it could drastically reduce the number of Muslim children, and even Christian or Jewish children born in America to poorer families who cannot afford to leave their state or country to have the blessing done.

Most Christian sects observe that circumcision is of the heart (Romans 2:25) and can be done later in adulthood, as do some small sects of Jews; while the majority of Jews and almost all Muslim sects adhere to strict tradition of the number of days for the blessing. Considering that travel very close to the due date or after birth is usually considered dangerous regardless of religion, banning circumcision might cause some Jewish and Muslim families to have to have their children outside of the country. Depending on the details of the parents citizenship, this could render many of those children non-citizens (Strunk v Paterson).. which then entangles the issue into immigration, rights, etc.

Some are saying the idea is a direct attack on Christians, Jews and Muslims, religion and while others disagree; the fact that the inevitable result could be a drastic reduction in the number of conservative/orthodox and fundamentalist Jews and Muslims in America seems like an indirect but highly probably effect; rendering anti-body modification laws affirmatively anti-Semitic.

On the other hand, there is small sects of Christians and even some Jews that are saying indeed circumcision is of the heart, and that an adult can be circumcised later and still be considered to take the covenant. While no Muslim sources have yet to affirm the same, it seems that such a law could even further affect Muslims than Jews.

The CDC has exhaustively endorsed circumcision as a medical benefit helping to reduce the spread of AIDS. Some have expressed anti-circumcision laws as having the indirect affect of not preventing Semites from getting AIDS.

What is your insight on Child Body Modification?

Disclaimer: I offer this dialog NOT offering any affinity with the different sides of the debate expressed above. My personal opinion is that MY observation of my religion affirms the interpretation that the heart is first in matters of tradition -- so it wouldn't be something defiling if my child had to wait until 18 to be circumcised. I'm also of a non-interventionist standpoint. I'm not of the school of thought that says it's right to meddle in the affairs of others; my "zone" is my "zone" and vice verse. Yet I also often struggle with the question of if it is right to intervene when someone is in danger -- what is danger?, and to what degree is intervention more important than the principal of non-intervention. Still, I think my opinion is still in a place where it can ameliorate. So, with that -- I offer this debate.
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Top Opinion

  • ♚Littlɘ Ǫuɘɘn~Phaet's Own 2011/02/22 20:12:45
    ♚Littlɘ Ǫuɘɘn~Phaet's Own
    +6
    I decided not to have my son circumcised and by age 3 he had to have it done anyway. Despite following doctors instructions on the care of my uncircumcised child, he developed adhesions that were problematic. Despite this, I'm still of the opinion that it should be the parents decision and NOT the governments.
    Female circumcision serves no medical need. It's inhumane.

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  • robinfrans.winkel 2013/12/29 19:27:25
    robinfrans.winkel
    Adult children should have the right to kill or modify their parents. Legal euthanasia is the best way to prevent parents from abusing their rights over their children.
  • Richard 2013/08/03 09:02:14
    Richard
    +1
    Routine male circumcision in America is a socialized and medicalized procedure - not religious. Christianity neither demands circumcision nor, in fact, condones it. The vast, vast majority of Christians in the world are, and historically always were, uncircumcised.

    That said, I am very much in favour of it - it is hygienic, aesthetically better, and it improves a man's sex life.
  • Andy Studio 2013/05/20 13:34:00
    Andy Studio
    In America lot of teens born baby, But Arabic not that teens plegant, becouse I'll circumcision and I'cant have sex before Accept
  • Andy Studio 2013/05/12 10:48:19
    Andy Studio
    I have been fully infibulated. I can tell you that it is the most wonderful thing to be this way.



    I like it when people rub my scar.



    don't f@cking brain if parents want will do! Becouse in children better heals... It's feminist want stop circumcision go to hel@
  • Andy Studio 2013/05/12 10:46:59
  • Op4 2011/03/01 04:00:12
    Op4
    Some of the comments here show a complete double standard regarding female versus male circumcision. It is totally hypocritical to state that the procedure is acceptable for other than medical reasons, e.g. religion, parents choice, etc., if done to a male, but those same reasons become invalid when applied to a female.

    Medical necessity, without regard to gender, should be the most important factor, and ultimately parents should be the ones to make the decision.
  • Lynn 2011/02/24 23:35:18
    Lynn
    +2
    Although I dont support circumcision, I'm equally uncomfortable with this becoming yet another are where the government makes decisions for you.

    I wish more people would educate themselves about this issue and not mutilate their sons simply to make them "look like their father". Your body was designed by evolution to work perfectly without the need to have little bits snipped off manually after delivery.
  • Boo 2011/02/23 22:11:20
    Boo
    * Body Piercing, such as piercing the ears - I've known a lot of women who have had their female baby's ears pierced before they take them home from the hospital. I don't see the big deal, although I considered this myself and decided to let my girls decide. They both chose to have pierced ears before they were out of elementary school.

    * Circumcision and castration - Circumcision is routine now days and is done for health reasons. I always felt sorry for the few men I heard of who had not had this done as infants and had to have it done as adults. Ouch! Infants recover and never remember it. Castration?! NO.
    * Tattoos, branding and scarification - I say absolutely not.
    * Dental extractions: for instance, to correct an under-bite - This falls within a parent's responsibility to care for a child.
    * Corrective surgery, for non-terminal disfigurements, disabilities, burns - I think disfigurements and disabilities erode self-esteem in children, and should be addressed as soon as possible.
    * Dermal implants: like an RFID chip - NO!
    * Gender correction for hermaphrodites, etc. - Not aware of this happening even though I worked for years in hospitals & such a procedure certainly would have been discussed amongst staff. I think this is one that should be left to the indivi...


    * Body Piercing, such as piercing the ears - I've known a lot of women who have had their female baby's ears pierced before they take them home from the hospital. I don't see the big deal, although I considered this myself and decided to let my girls decide. They both chose to have pierced ears before they were out of elementary school.

    * Circumcision and castration - Circumcision is routine now days and is done for health reasons. I always felt sorry for the few men I heard of who had not had this done as infants and had to have it done as adults. Ouch! Infants recover and never remember it. Castration?! NO.
    * Tattoos, branding and scarification - I say absolutely not.
    * Dental extractions: for instance, to correct an under-bite - This falls within a parent's responsibility to care for a child.
    * Corrective surgery, for non-terminal disfigurements, disabilities, burns - I think disfigurements and disabilities erode self-esteem in children, and should be addressed as soon as possible.
    * Dermal implants: like an RFID chip - NO!
    * Gender correction for hermaphrodites, etc. - Not aware of this happening even though I worked for years in hospitals & such a procedure certainly would have been discussed amongst staff. I think this is one that should be left to the individual adult to decide, not a parent.
    * Lap band: for morbidly obese children - I can't imagine that a child could not be put on a successful diet and exercise regimen for obesity. This is major surgery with many risks, even though it is widely acclaimed these days. I think it should be a last resort for adults!

    What ever modifications are needed or elected, it's none of the government's business unless the child is truely abused. Castration and female circumcisions fall into those categories in my mind.
    (more)
  • bacon bits 2011/02/23 17:25:07
    bacon bits
    Doesn't California have BIGGER problems to solve!!!! That state is BEYOND crazy california bigger problems solve crazy california idiots
  • Archangel 2011/02/23 11:11:59
    Archangel
    +1
    It's a parental right and government has no place in it, but you probably already knew that would be my position... didn't you? Well, if you didn't it's no skin off my di...nevermind.
  • F-14NavyVet 2011/02/23 06:40:50
    F-14NavyVet
    +1
    Leave those women alone or you'll have me to deal with...

    leave women deal Angry Panther
  • mrdog F-14Nav... 2011/02/23 06:42:31
    mrdog
    Hall and Oates no less...nice post...bark
  • Katherine 2011/02/23 03:52:41
    Katherine
    +1
    I truly feel sorry for any kids born in the 21st century....................
  • BAMACRUSADER 2011/02/23 03:34:29
    BAMACRUSADER
    +3
    I think Male circumcision is harmless. It was thought to help the spread of STDs and also a hygiene issue back in Biblical times. I can't even figure out how a female would be circumcised. I confess that I am not a gynecologist, but I have become very familiar with the female anatomy (if you know what I mean). Why would anyone want to modify something so awesome. Talk about reinventing the wheel.

    And if anyone is against body modification of an infant child, than that person better be against abortion. Tearing the baby limb from limb and sticking a spike through its brain and sucking its remains out with a shop vac is a body modification, in the same way that an adult getting tore limb from limb while still alive by some psychopath then tossed in a dumpster is a body modification.
  • harley oldman 2011/02/23 03:00:44
    harley oldman
    Geez.....this is a Heavy subject................

    On Male circumcision since I was`nt I felt it was/is my duty to keep the foreskin "Worndown"
    as not to have problems.
    On female circumcision why mess with something that`s perfect.

    Parents leave them Kids alone!
  • ladyjane 2011/02/23 00:59:38
    ladyjane
    +1
    This is all about getting into parents rights... Parents should be the ones to decide what medical procedures should be done for their children...Female circumcision is nothing more or less than castration... Muslims practice that. I watched a video about what they do and it is just sick! California should keep their noses out of the business of the American family! If other cultures practice certain things that aren't practiced in America then they should leave this country and go back to their own countries and stay! Multiculturalism isn't working in Europe and it is going to be a even bigger flop here! We need to put a stop to it before it gets strangle hold on us...
  • Anastasia_Frostbite 2011/02/22 23:11:22
    Anastasia_Frostbite
    +3
    This is what liberals want, they want the ability to control every aspect of your life whether or not it's any of their business in the first place.
  • J 2011/02/22 22:18:36
    J
    +4
    Male circumcision is not about denying a male the rights to enjoy his sexuality, it isn't about control or abuse - it's about doing what is most often necessary and is a matter of cleanliness - literally.
  • Icarus 2011/02/22 21:50:58
    Icarus
    +1
    We definitely should not be mutilating our children's genitals - that's just sick.
  • Lady Whitewolf 2011/02/22 20:16:53
    Lady Whitewolf
    +1
    I SECOND QUEEN ANGELINE....
  • ♚Littlɘ... Lady Wh... 2011/02/22 20:20:38
    ♚Littlɘ Ǫuɘɘn~Phaet's Own
    +1
    great minds think alike :)
  • Lady Wh... ♚Littlɘ... 2011/02/23 10:33:07
    Lady Whitewolf
    +1
    so true! **giggle**
  • ♚Littlɘ Ǫuɘɘn~Phaet's Own 2011/02/22 20:12:45
    ♚Littlɘ Ǫuɘɘn~Phaet's Own
    +6
    I decided not to have my son circumcised and by age 3 he had to have it done anyway. Despite following doctors instructions on the care of my uncircumcised child, he developed adhesions that were problematic. Despite this, I'm still of the opinion that it should be the parents decision and NOT the governments.
    Female circumcision serves no medical need. It's inhumane.
  • Lady Wh... ♚Littlɘ... 2011/02/22 20:17:24
    Lady Whitewolf
    +2
    "Female circumcision serves no medical need. It's inhumane."

    SO AGREE
  • Gwen ♚Littlɘ... 2011/02/23 18:21:38
    Gwen
    +1
    excellent post.
    male circumcision can be a religious expression or a choice made for hygienic choice reasons or for anatomical corrective issues.
    Government should not decide this!!!
    this is between parents and their health care provider.

    female circumcision does not serve a medical purpose, it is about removing sensory input for a woman and is a means to demean woman in my opinion...
    having said this.
    Government should not decide this either!!!
  • ♚Littlɘ... Gwen 2011/02/23 19:11:32
    ♚Littlɘ Ǫuɘɘn~Phaet's Own
    +1
    Thank you, Gwen. I am appreciative of your appreciation!
  • captkirk999 2011/02/22 19:58:39
    captkirk999
    ban it
  • LesWaggoner BN 1 2011/02/22 19:16:52
    LesWaggoner BN 1
    Much of what you are talking about is cultural or religious and you aren't going to change a culture or religious beliefs.

    Other items that you mention are intended to give a child an equal start in life.
  • possibl... LesWagg... 2011/02/22 19:52:46
    possiblymaybe
    I am not looking to change a culture or religious beliefs. I guess you can say that the people who propose these kinds of legislation are. I'm just opening the discussion. I did some research online to get the different angles, comparisons and opinions being made.
  • USAF Vet 2011/02/22 19:03:51 (edited)
    USAF Vet
    "Whats all the fuss about"

    fuss california lighten piercing freak

    Come on California, lighten up!
  • Dogzebra~PWCM~JLA 2011/02/22 18:41:11
    Dogzebra~PWCM~JLA
    +2
    I've known where two elderly gents couldn't get the skin pulled back to clean themselves because the skin got so tight it was painful to do so. Both developed infections that led to eventual amputation.

    Female circumcision seems like a painful, brutal body modification which serves no purpose.
  • possibl... Dogzebr... 2011/02/22 18:45:23
    possiblymaybe
    Really? Was this in an old age home? So not being circumcised led to them having to have their penis amputated?
  • Dogzebr... possibl... 2011/02/22 19:19:17
    Dogzebra~PWCM~JLA
    The skin flap shrank and couldn't be pulled back to clean the penis properly. It was very painful to the men, who both developed infections that eventually became gangrenous. Yes, this was discovered after admitance to a nursing facility.
  • lylamerican 2011/02/22 18:38:31
    lylamerican
    The have the right to kill it before birth then they have the right to determine what they can do with it till its 18.
  • possibl... lylamer... 2011/02/22 18:46:14
    possiblymaybe
    I'm not sure if I entirely agree but at least you are consistent! I can say that!
  • lylamer... possibl... 2011/02/22 18:54:06
    lylamerican
    lol..yeah my kids had it tough tho they both got tat's where I could not see it. Have to say tho..never gave me a bit a trouble.
  • mikeyavelli 2011/02/22 18:26:55 (edited)
    mikeyavelli
    +1
    mine grew back. i had to do it again, and if i weren't 7 years old, i would not have been circumsized again, or at any time. it hurts, it dulls, it may look modern, but it is not natural.
    female circumcision is the sickest assault on femininity. such a tradition can only exist in misogynistic societies. ask any kid if they want genital mutiliation in order to conform with tradition. the answer would be a screaming no. and for those who don't know what female circumcision is, it removes the clitoris, forever denying any sexual pleasure. leave us alone, we are right the way we are created.
  • carri byers 2011/02/22 18:24:10
    carri byers
    +1
    I reject any government intrusion into matters that do not affect the normal functioning of the body of a child. Circumcision has been around for millenia without adverse affects. The mutilation of a girls sexual organs directly affect their functioning. That should be the defining line of governmental intrusion. I know Hispanics who pierce the ears of tiny babies. I don't have a problem with that as it doesn't affect the function of that child's ears...even if I personally think it a stupid and unnecessary vanity. My feelings on the matter does not give me the right to tell a parent what they can or cannot do with their child that is not causing lasting harm.
  • CharltonJones 2011/02/22 18:08:14 (edited)
    CharltonJones
    +2
    When my generation was born male circumcision was a common procedure at birth for most male infants. I think trying to ban it completely would only end up in a massive lawsuit the State of CA would end up losing on grounds of freedom religious practice. While it is not considered a religious rite in the Christian church, the argument could be made the Bible allows for it in the Old Testament.
    I am not familiar enough with female circumcision and it's consequences to venture to comment on it.
  • baboula 2011/02/22 17:54:26
    baboula
    +3
    Yoo-hoo California you have more important things to worry about such as a BUDGET!!!

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