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PUBLIC OPINION > Child Circumcision Should Not Be Allowed

News 2012/06/29 21:00:00
A controversial court ruling in Germany classified child circumcision as "grievous bodily harm," upsetting religious communities over what some say is a religious right. The bulk of the issue falls on the way circumcision affects children who are too young to make their own decision. However, it has been a religious practice for thousands of years and many feel it should be protected as such.



This was an extremely heated debate, but after more than 1,300 votes, the public sided against circumcision. Those most concerned about freedom of religion were supportive of continuing to allow the practice, but the Top Opinion argued, "Religious freedom is about the baby's religion. I don't see how he can have one at that age." It's a delicate issue containing a perfect storm of controversy.

The Religious Response

As you might expect, the demographic breakdown shows religion was the backbone of the issue. Jewish and Muslim voters were almost unanimously supportive. Christian voters weren't as convinced, but still supported it with about two-thirds. By the time we got to the atheist vote, support was down to a mere 19%.

Underage Opposition

Nearly every demographic was split on this one, but next to religion and politics, age was one of the strongest divisions. There was a clear break at about age 35 -- below that age, support dropped nearly a third. Evidently, the younger generations are either not as convinced of the benefits, or not as concerned with tradition.

Men Don't Mind the Snip

Oddly enough, those directly affected by circumcision (males) were more likely to support it. It's also interesting to note that female voters were more likely to oppose circumcision, as there was some discussion over what women prefer... if you know what we mean.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about circumcision. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • Just Jenn for Now 2012/06/29 21:12:39
    Just Jenn for Now
    +25
    To me, I care not about tradition, it is abuse. The child has no say because an infant CANNOT say for himself.

    It should be illegal until an age where a child can decide for himself - preferably adulthood really - as long as it is HIS decision, not the parents just because THEY want him snipped.

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Opinions

  • Philosoraptor 2013/04/28 22:16:40
    Philosoraptor
    I make no distinction between male and female circumcision. It's just a benign-sounding euphemism for what it really is. GENITAL MUTILATION!
  • Michael Taylor 2012/08/27 11:20:35
    Michael Taylor
    Circumcision is child molestation, and I want to see it codified in law, and see any further offenders duly served as violent sex offenders that they are.
  • Navin J... Michael... 2012/09/11 04:05:17
    Navin Johnson (The Jerk)
    child molestation? are you kidding me? that's absolutly NOT true
  • RJS 2012/07/13 01:12:40
    RJS
    This is about religious right. The right not to have somebody cut off part of *your* body because *their* religion says so.
  • RJS 2012/07/13 01:04:33
    RJS
    +2
    The whole women-against-circumcision thing might have involve more than just personal preference. Even though I've heard that something like 3/4 of women prefer an entire penis over just most of one, it might come down to the maternal instinct to protect children from having part of their genitals cut off. Frankly, I'm disturbed this many people are okay with it.
  • DizziNY 2012/07/08 20:30:58
    DizziNY
    +1
    Are there benefits from circumcision?

    There are several:

    1 Many older men, who have bladder or prostate gland problems, also develop difficulties with their foreskins due to their surgeon's handling, cleaning, and using instruments. Some of these patients will need circumcising. Afterwards it is often astonishing to find some who have never ever seen their glans (knob) exposed before!

    2 Some older men develop cancer of the penis - about 1 in 1000 - fairly rare, but tragic if you or your son are in that small statistic. Infant circumcision gives almost 100% protection, and young adult circumcision also gives a large degree of protection.

    3 Cancer of the cervix in women is due to the Human Papilloma Virus. It thrives under and on the foreskin from where it can be transmitted during intercourse. An article in the British Medical Journal in April 2002 suggested that at least 20% of cancer of the cervix would be avoided if all men were circumcised. Surely that alone makes it worth doing?

    4 Protection against HIV and AIDS. Another British Medical Journal article in May 2000 suggested that circumcised men are 8 times less likely to contract the HIV virus. (It is very important here to say that the risk is still far too high and that condoms and safe sex must be used - this appli...









    Are there benefits from circumcision?

    There are several:

    1 Many older men, who have bladder or prostate gland problems, also develop difficulties with their foreskins due to their surgeon's handling, cleaning, and using instruments. Some of these patients will need circumcising. Afterwards it is often astonishing to find some who have never ever seen their glans (knob) exposed before!

    2 Some older men develop cancer of the penis - about 1 in 1000 - fairly rare, but tragic if you or your son are in that small statistic. Infant circumcision gives almost 100% protection, and young adult circumcision also gives a large degree of protection.

    3 Cancer of the cervix in women is due to the Human Papilloma Virus. It thrives under and on the foreskin from where it can be transmitted during intercourse. An article in the British Medical Journal in April 2002 suggested that at least 20% of cancer of the cervix would be avoided if all men were circumcised. Surely that alone makes it worth doing?

    4 Protection against HIV and AIDS. Another British Medical Journal article in May 2000 suggested that circumcised men are 8 times less likely to contract the HIV virus. (It is very important here to say that the risk is still far too high and that condoms and safe sex must be used - this applies also to preventing cancer of the cervix in women who have several partners.)

    A BBC television programme in November 2000 showed two Ugandan tribes across the valley from one another. One practised circumcision and had very little AIDS, whereas, it was common in the other tribe, who then also started circumcising. This programme showed how the infection thrived in the lining of the foreskin, making it much easier to pass on.

    5 As with HIV, so some protection exists against other sexually transmitted infections. Accordingly, if a condom splits or comes off, there is some protection for the couple. However, the only safe sex is to stick to one partner or abstain.

    6 Lots of men, and their partners, prefer the appearance of their penis after circumcision, It is odour-free, it feels cleaner, and they enjoy better sex. Awareness of a good body image is a very important factor in building self confidence.

    7 Balanitis is an unpleasant, often recurring, inflammation of the glans. It is quite common and can be prevented by circumcision.

    8 Urinary tract infections sometimes occur in babies and can be quite serious. Circumcision in infancy makes it 10 times less likely.
    (more)
  • DizziNY 2012/07/08 20:21:32 (edited)
    DizziNY
    +1
    Mind your own business. It's more than a tradition. If that's the case, we need to stop the Chinese from forcing girls feet into small shoes to keep their feet small, stop putting rings around girls necks, stop female circumcision by Africans (The action or traditional practice of cutting off the clitoris and sometimes the labia of girls or young women.) which makes it impossible to have an orgasm, unlike male circumcision which doesn't, stop the rape of wives by muslim husbands, stop stoning of women by muslims, and a whole host of other things. And u think Jewish circumcision is abuse? If you think Jewish circumcision is abuse then you have no clue what abuse is. I think many people just hate Jews, that's why you single them out. Stop with the Antisemitism.







    Here is what femalecircumcision looks like:

    [...]

    And the WOMAN'S reaction to having it done:



    If you think any of these fully grown women had any say in any of these things, you are sadly mistaken.
    Mind your own business. It's more than a tradition. If that's the case, we need to stop the Chinese from forcing girls feet into small shoes to keep their feet small, stop putting rings around girls necks, stop female circumcision by Africans (The action or traditional practice of cutting off the clitoris and sometimes the labia of girls or young women.) which makes it impossible to have an orgasm, unlike male circumcision which doesn't, stop the rape of wives by muslim husbands, stop stoning of women by muslims, and a whole host of other things. And u think Jewish circumcision is abuse? If you think Jewish circumcision is abuse then you have no clue what abuse is. I think many people just hate Jews, that's why you single them out. Stop with the Antisemitism.

    african women with rings

    woman stoned to death

    female circumcision

    Here is what femalecircumcision looks like:

    [...]

    And the WOMAN'S reaction to having it done:

    female circumcision childs reaction

    If you think any of these fully grown women had any say in any of these things, you are sadly mistaken.
    (more)
  • Inquisitve Kat 2012/07/05 01:49:31
    Inquisitve Kat
    +2
    The fact that there are thousands of men who wish this was never done to them makes me feel this should be a decision left for adulthood.
  • Lee The Hybrid Snowflake 2012/07/04 12:50:51
    Lee The Hybrid Snowflake
    +2
    It should be a choice made by the parent whether its for religious reasons or sanitary reasons. I think it's cleaner and I didn't want my children to look different from their dad so I had them circumcisized.
  • DizziNY Lee The... 2012/07/08 20:29:27
    DizziNY
    +1
    It is more sanitary to circumcise a baby. It is not, however, for sanitary reasons that fully grown women is "circumcised".
  • Yami Sennen 2012/07/03 15:17:38
    Yami Sennen
    +3
    Don't know what to think about it really
  • Angryface01 2012/07/02 19:05:40
    Angryface01
    +5
    Consider this: whether you agree or not, it's a medical procedure that involves the removing of human flesh from the body. Now, as a medical professional, the idea of performing a medically unnecessary procedure on anyone without informed consent makes me ill. The idea of performing a medically unnecessary procedure on an under-aged patient makes me angry (barring corrective surgery for injuries and malformations). Then you toss "religion" on top of it all -- a specious and unverifiable collection of antique documents written primarily in very old language... NOT ok. This is why the World Health Organization labels this act as genital mutilation.

    Now, consider this: 80% of the nerve fibers in the penis are located in the foreskin. There is no medical evidence that circumcision has had any effect whatsoever on infection rates. The first circumcision done in the United States was done by a psychiatrist upon a patient with a penchant for enjoying himself -- the circumcision was meant to stop him, and it was effective since the boy was fully awake, and no analgesics or numbing agents were utilized. Makes one wonder who thought it'd be a great idea to do it to all children.
  • Eric Angryfa... 2012/07/03 15:26:03
    Eric
    Don't make up stuff.
    WHO endorses circumcision
    http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/ma...
    The Mayo Clinic endorses circumcision
    http://www.mayoclinic.com/hea...

    P.S. It is ironic that this debate comes out the same time as the Tom Cruise-Holmes divorce. Apparently Scientology teaches that children should be treated as adults and nothing should be done without their consent. And Holmes objects to this and wants some parental control. So, religions are on both sides of the issue.
  • Angryfa... Eric 2012/07/06 05:27:04
    Angryface01
    Actually, I don't follow Scientology. I don't follow Mr. Cruise nor do I follow the events of his personal life. I don't follow the lives of any celebrities. However, having done my own research on the matter...

    "ICGI Position Paper on Neonatal Circumcision and Genital Integrity," www.icgi.org is a powerfully written document complete with references. The APA does not support circumcision but doesn't make a strong argument against it. Rather, they simply state that it is not medically necessary and a decision parents should make. Not medically necessary.

    American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. "Guidelines for Perinatal Care," Fifth Edition. 2002:111.

    I didn't make stuff up. But then, what does it matter? This argument is a long-standing one and clearly the sides are divided in a rather strange manner. It would seem more people are passionately justifying their own circumcisions, or those they've elected done to their children rather than actually researching to determine if there's really a point to it at all. Since the data clearly shows no medical benefit, it would seem like this is another "climate change" issue. Divided sides with a lot of insulting and defaming.

    I didn't present a religious point of view, nor an opin...



    Actually, I don't follow Scientology. I don't follow Mr. Cruise nor do I follow the events of his personal life. I don't follow the lives of any celebrities. However, having done my own research on the matter...

    "ICGI Position Paper on Neonatal Circumcision and Genital Integrity," www.icgi.org is a powerfully written document complete with references. The APA does not support circumcision but doesn't make a strong argument against it. Rather, they simply state that it is not medically necessary and a decision parents should make. Not medically necessary.

    American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. "Guidelines for Perinatal Care," Fifth Edition. 2002:111.

    I didn't make stuff up. But then, what does it matter? This argument is a long-standing one and clearly the sides are divided in a rather strange manner. It would seem more people are passionately justifying their own circumcisions, or those they've elected done to their children rather than actually researching to determine if there's really a point to it at all. Since the data clearly shows no medical benefit, it would seem like this is another "climate change" issue. Divided sides with a lot of insulting and defaming.

    I didn't present a religious point of view, nor an opinion on the matter from a spiritual point of view. What I suggest is that at the forefront of this issue is informed consent and the ethics involved in cosmetic surgery. I also suggest that misinformation is really really dangerous. Paul M. Fleiss, MD has written a few books for the average person who does not have access to medical publications -- some of them can be quite thick to get through, if not downright unintelligible. "The Case Against Circumcision," and "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Circumcision: Untold Facts on America's Most Widely Performed -- and Most Unnecessary -- Surgery." Both of those books are loaded with medical facts and references.

    In addition, if one were bothered to research fully, there are scores of abstracts regarding the work being done to protect children worldwide -- much of it being done by WHO-related scientists. The overall effort is improved health and welfare of the world and it starts with our youngest inhabitants. We're not merely saying that circumcision is unnecessary, we're also saying that if it's going to be done, it must be done by a medically-trained professional in a sterile setting and under conditions which promote the health and healing of the child. Clearly, we're not necessarily discussing circumcision ONLY in the United States, but most passionately those performed by individuals who have no medical knowledge whatsoever, and those who do not understand pathology or simple biology. It's a clearly documented unnecessary procedure.

    You SHOULD doubt me. You should question what I write. I'm not a subject-matter-expert. But, before you out me as a fabricator of interesting dialog or slap my face with websites, it might help to read some of the sites I've listed. I've looked at yours, even read it. Did you? Do you understand the purpose of that document? The goal there was to continue working on a theory that circumcision may reduce the transmission of HIV in Africa. The method is circumcision under anesthesia. It's one of MANY ongoing projects regarding combating HIV in Africa. A completely different program in Thailand had twice the effective results. What was the program? "100% Condom use, 100% of the time." Similar trials of the circumcision study failed in Israel, and in several Muslim countries. Why is it working in Africa? Unclear. I read the science behind the document you listed. It seems plausible. But they weren't suggesting that any child's aging relative hack off the foreskin's of children with a dirty knife they also use to butcher livestock... They're recommending a surgical procedure for at-risk individuals in a very specific environment for some very specific reasons. Why should the entire world be circumcised for prophylactic measures when the study failed in many other locations? That study is specific to Africa, along with the results and the recommendations which have arisen.
    (more)
  • Deborah Donnison 2012/07/02 19:03:08
    Deborah Donnison
    +1
    Don't care for uncircumsized...ever been with a guy who didn't pull the skin back to clean...disgusting.
  • Sheila Deborah... 2012/07/03 16:04:27
    Sheila
    +1
    My husband was uncircumsized, I loved him but, I hated it.
    I kept yeast infections. I asked him on several times to get it done as an adult, he said it would be to painful.
  • Searcy Sheila 2012/10/05 13:59:19
    Searcy
    That is exactly right! It is much too hard to have it done as an adult....too painful. Ask a doctor. My ex-husband wanted to have it done and the doctor didn't recommend it because of the pain involved. There are many reasons to have it done...religious and health....and a baby of 8 days doesn't remember it. In addition, the 8th day is the perfect time because Vitamin K and prothrombin are present in perfect proportions for the coagulation of the blood. http://www.apologeticspress.o...
  • ProudCommie 2012/07/02 17:28:05 (edited)
    ProudCommie
    +1
    I sided with the Muslims being able to wear their full body robes but I can't side with this. They should wait till the kid is old enough to decide for himself if he wants to be mutilated... I mean circumcised.
  • Fgergergrergr 2012/07/02 17:06:22 (edited)
    Fgergergrergr


    Circumcision rate declined to below 50% in 2010
  • Eric 2012/07/02 17:05:42
    Eric
    I thought that the main reason for circumcision was medical and those uncircumsized were more likely to have certain cancers and hygiene issues. I guess that in a free society it makes sense to not allow circumcisions until the person reaches some age of consent but in a society in which the government controls medical services (with govt panels telling insurers what they must cover and can not cover) the government has an obligation to force citizens to do what is best in terms of overall health. A country that regulates Happy Meals and Big Gulps must also regulate circumcision and not leave matters of health up to the individual. Science should rule the issue.
  • ComeOnNow 2012/07/02 16:35:09
    ComeOnNow
    +1
    How about the anti religious bigots mind their own damn business.
  • Eric ComeOnNow 2012/07/02 17:12:46
  • David 2012/07/02 15:29:01
    David
    +1
    Good God people will make an issue out of anything which isn't an issue. Untold millions have been circumcised and have been just fine. IT IS NOT ABUSE you idiots.
  • Joey David 2012/07/05 11:40:05
    Joey
    +1
    And there are many how are not find with it .
  • RJS David 2012/07/13 01:07:39
    RJS
    And the children that have died as a result of having part of their body removed against their will? The issue here is consent.
  • hasher 2012/07/02 11:43:34
    hasher
    +2
    why is this even an issue?? circumcision is strictly a personal decision by the parents and its no ones business but the parents!!!! so keep your nose out of my business. i had all 4 of my boys done and they dont seem to be suffering any consequences fromit.
  • Joey hasher 2012/07/05 11:40:44
    Joey
    +2
    Shouldn't be a personal choice from the person getting body parts cut ?
  • RJS hasher 2012/07/13 01:08:15
    RJS
    Yeah, the issue is consent. His body, his choice.
  • FanOreilly 2012/07/02 08:12:22
    FanOreilly
    +4
    Another poll dominated by idiots.
  • hasher FanOreilly 2012/07/02 11:37:28
    hasher
    +3
    i agree. i said in the poll that its the parents decision an no one elses decision or business for that matter. all my boys turned out fine and they all got done.
  • smitty hasher 2012/07/02 14:54:37
    smitty
    +2
    I was and am fine. I clearly do not remember it. If I had boys as children they would have been circumcised as well. There are no negatives to it.
  • RJS smitty 2012/07/13 01:09:12
    RJS
    No negatives except the children who've been killed or mutilated as a result of forced circumcision, that is.
  • smitty RJS 2012/07/17 19:10:56
    smitty
    Or those that have been killed or mutilated from ??? (insert anything you wish).


    Point is moot.
  • bleep 2012/07/02 07:44:16 (edited)
  • Dana 2012/07/02 06:52:19
    Dana
    +3
    Hubby insisted our baby boy be circumcised, (so they would both be the same...) which I thought was a totally pathetic reason.

    During the procedure, I damn near passed out... I wanted it stopped but thought it was too late. It was barbaric, totally barbaric doing this horrific very painful procedure to my tiny baby boy. Not even any anesthetic! I have always regretted that I did not just plain find myself and demand they stop!
  • hasher Dana 2012/07/02 11:39:10
    hasher
    +3
    where did you get it done?? mine were all done at the hospital. by a doctor. my boys are all done and didnt suffer any consequences. a baby wont even remember it.
  • Dreamer... hasher 2012/07/02 14:44:27
    Dreamer Leo
    +2
    1 in 25,000 babies circumcised in a hospital in the U.S. dies from complications after the procedure. They reason is somewhat concealed: "death from bleeding, death from sepsus, death from infection, death from cardiac arrest" but the underlying cause was an unnecessary cosmetic procedure: circumcision.
  • Eric Dreamer... 2012/07/02 17:15:04
    Eric
    +2
    From Mayo Clinic, in part:
    "cervical cancer is less common in the female sexual partners of circumcised men."

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/hea...
  • Joey Eric 2012/07/05 11:41:58
    Joey
    +1
    I love this .. man should get cut up for woman ?
  • Eric Joey 2012/07/05 16:52:57
    Eric
    2 answers:
    Hell yes because if a little procedures that no one remembers can save lives it seems like a no brainer. Unless the man would rather abstain from sex or always use condoms.
    And if you read the link there are 6 other reasons simply for health benefits to the man.
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