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
    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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  • Joey Wyveryx 2012/06/30 10:37:24
    No it is not shifting the topic . It is forcing people to think about what they are supporting . Due to the norms placed on people by their society, they will justify things with out thinking about it. Our Society says it is ok to cut on boys but not girls .

    But look at the places that cut on girls, many of them say they are doing it because of their faith as well.

    People talk about .. its cleaner . In the west most people have access to soap. So that point is moot. Some people say that a kid could have issues with it down the line ..so. Kids have issues with there tonsils and some times they have to be taken out. Do we cut kids up just to be sure. People have issues with their breast do we force people to get a mastectomy? So why is this deemed ok ?
  • Bulanov... Joey 2012/06/30 14:43:52
    Bulanova (Team Hargitay)
  • Wyveryx Joey 2012/06/30 18:56:18
    Actually I have thought about my position before posting.

    Just because one might believe it ok to have this choice available on boys, does not mean they believe it right for it to be done on girls. Since I have not read about female circumcision I will not make a comment on it, and it's not part of the poll question.
    You say it's a moot point, but you also say that most people have soap, not all, so how could it be moot? It would then be based on your ability to have a place where you could stay hygienically clean.
    It is deemed OK, because it is has been seen to provide some positives as per the Mayo Clinic.

  • Joey Wyveryx 2012/07/01 00:57:08
    I know that some people think it is ok to do to boys and not girls. And that is my point. And that site highlights lower rates of STDs while that is something that is still in debate, what is not debate is that if you use a condom that is the best way to protect your self while having sex.
  • Wyveryx Joey 2012/07/01 06:21:11
    I agree that condoms are an excellent way to protect against STD's though the best way is abstinence until you decide to settle down.

    You're point would be that if it's ok for parents to choose this path for boys, it should also be ok for girls? Or that if it's not ok for girls it should not be ok for boys?

    Like I mention earlier I am not versed in female circumcision, however, the medical community feels that the decision is best left to the parents for male circumcision, I would hesitantly say that it would be the same for females. So why force parents to relinquish another choice in how they raise their offspring?
  • smitty Joey 2012/07/02 14:43:10 (edited)
    List the pros and cons of male and female circumcision.

    As a circumcised male, I don't remember it. Personally I don't care that my parents had it done to me. If I had boys they would be circumcised as well.

    Your point about having access to soap is moot. Just because people have access to soap doesn't mean they use it.
  • Joey smitty 2012/07/02 14:54:00
    If people will not clean themselves or their child . Circumcision down the the list of things that we should be worried about .
  • smitty Joey 2012/07/02 15:01:34
    Just stating the facts. Regardless. Just having the soap around is irrelevant without actually cleaning.
  • collide... smitty 2012/07/12 21:37:22
    So what it your point? That uncircumcised males like myself are dirty, or we don't know how to use soap?
  • smitty collide... 2012/07/17 19:48:32
    Are you that clueless. I am saying access to soap is a pathetic excuse for why one is circumcised or not. It is irrelevant.

    Chicks poke hole through their ears and put "pretties" in them. Some males do it.

    Then I went on that having soap doesn't mean one will actually use it. Big deal.. Do what you will and i will do what I will.
  • Teineeun Wyveryx 2012/06/29 23:19:38
    I especially like his usage of the word 'occult'. I wonder if he owns a dictionary, maybe he'll look that word up sometime. The rest of his post from that point on felt like two noodles short of ramen.

    There origins are obviously incorrect, as is his post in general. No one knows the true origin of the first circumcision. Jews simply assume it was them, and for all we know, they could be correct.

    There are health benefits.

    http://www.circinfo.com/benef... and http://www.circinfo.net/benef...

    That was from 15 seconds on google. I am sure if I hunted for it, I could find the ones I've read from accredited hospitals, but it's not really worth the time.
  • COMALite J Teineeun 2012/06/30 00:13:40
    COMALite J
    How about links to non-biased websites, rather than one specifically advocating circumcision?
  • Delanea... Teineeun 2012/06/30 00:21:25
    Delanea Dunford
    Wow, of course you'd pick the website of known Gilgal Society member Brian Morris (yes, that is right, he enjoys circumcision pornography). Perhaps you should research your sources! No medical organization IN TE WORLD recommends routine infant circumcision. There are zero benefits to a newborn. Actually, the foreskin prevents infection. Feel free to google that while you're at it.
  • windigo77 Wyveryx 2012/06/30 00:13:09
    The purpose of faith is to brainwash stupid people by convincing them that imaginary things are true.
  • Wyveryx windigo77 2012/06/30 07:06:05
    One could argue that money in banks is faith. Does that make your money any more or less real?
    By calling people stupid by choosing to believe in something that is greater than themselves is only a taunt and encourages people to say the same about those who choose not to believe, or have faith.
    By the way, Faith, is not a "religion only" term and therefore determining its purpose to ones self is still valid
  • VaginaD... FatherL... 2012/06/30 04:10:29 (edited)

    Someone please help me up....
  • AshleyP... Wyveryx 2012/06/29 23:56:22
    What else? Anything dealing with unnecessary surgery that mutilates healthy body parts on unconsenting people.
  • Wyveryx AshleyP... 2012/06/30 07:09:48
    Are you the one to determine the direction another person's child takes? By saying non-consenting you basically give children the right to choose their own path in life. If that's so, then why should they stay with family if at the first time they feel that they can leave?
  • Bulanov... Wyveryx 2012/06/30 14:47:09 (edited)
    Bulanova (Team Hargitay)
    That's all-or-nothing thinking. She never said they should have the right to decide on every single thing for themselves. But no surgery is a small thing, especially one that alters a body function/sensation. Some common sense should prevail. That's a pretty big deal a person is going to have to live with the rest of his life. When he grows old enough to decide, he can always get it cut. But if he grows up circumcised and wishes he hadn't been, it can never be given back.
  • Wyveryx Bulanov... 2012/06/30 19:03:09 (edited)
    Actually it sets precedent. Precedent is just as powerful as the all or nothing. If a child can decide make a decision like this, what else can they choose?

    Even the AAP has published that is should be the parents who make that choice in the best interest of the child.

  • Bulanov... Wyveryx 2012/06/30 20:49:43
    Bulanova (Team Hargitay)
    Yes, precendent is powerful, but there have been laws in place for a long time that say "you can't do this to your kid" and it hasn't resulted in completely autonomous children yet.
  • Wyveryx Bulanov... 2012/06/30 21:54:11
    That doesn't negate the fact that there will never be a first time. Perhaps it is a slippery slope argument, but they are valid.
  • Bulanov... Wyveryx 2012/07/01 00:15:41 (edited)
    Bulanova (Team Hargitay)
    I do understand where you are coming from, but I think this one is kind of a common sense one. I asked someone else if he would approve of a mother having a nosejob done on her infant, or if she wasn't in any way religious but just liked the way circumcision "looked." I also asked if he would support the religious freedom of a religion that promoted the marriage of five-year-olds to adults. He has yet to answer, but most people would say "No, of course not!" That just leaves the question of "why is circumcision any different?"

    If you support it because you support religious freedom, then you wouldn't be against religious freedom of parents to marry off their five-year-olds. If you support it because you think it's a parent's business what they do with their children, then you wouldn't have a problem with a parent putting their infant through cosmetic surgery like a nose job. I'm not saying you do or don't have a problem with the examples, just pointing out that some of the reasoning is faulty.
  • Wyveryx Bulanov... 2012/07/01 06:26:27
    I do think that religious practices should have freedoms. Are you talking about arranged marriages or outright having a five year old marry an older boy/man, as I've never heard any religions doing that recently?
    Remember that our country does have different religious views, and as much as we like to say that we are tolerant of religion, we squelch what is acceptable in religion a lot.

    There is a difference between a cosmetic surgery that has no inherent benefits vs something that the medical community either still thinks it does or is on the fence. Also the majority of circumcisions take place within 6 weeks of birth, not at five years.
  • Bulanov... Wyveryx 2012/07/01 13:14:35 (edited)
    Bulanova (Team Hargitay)
    It doesn't matter if I'm talking about arranged marriages or the marriage of children to adults if you support religious freedom regardless of what the religion entails (for the record, I was talking about the forced marriage of children to adults). In general, we allow religious freedom until that freedom starts to impinge on the rights of others. We don't allow ritual human sacrifices (or even animal sacrifices) despite them being part of someone's religion. We don't allow certain religions to practice clitoridectomy on their infant girls. Circumcision just has some catching up to do in that regard. It is impinging on the baby's right to decide for himself if he wants to live with a permanent, body-altering surgery. And if that baby grows up to be a different religion, maybe even one that requires a man to have a foreskin (I don't know of any, but for argument's sake) then his freedom of religion was ignored when he was born. I don't see the harm in letting him wait until he's old enough to decide if he wants to sacrifice his foreskin to his chosen god.
  • TKramar Bulanov... 2012/07/01 14:17:50
    we don't allow polygamy.
  • Bulanov... TKramar 2012/07/01 16:39:42 (edited)
    Bulanova (Team Hargitay)
    That one is strange to me, I admit. If it's consensual, I don't see the harm in letting someone have multiple wives or husbands. But I did say "in general." This country has some strange marriage laws. But regarding circumcision, the baby can't consent to or refuse his surgery.
  • TKramar Bulanov... 2012/07/01 16:56:50
    The Mormons had trouble with it from the start. That's why, well, two things happened. They claimed a huge chunk of land and called it Deseret. But the feds granted that land to other states, before finally agreeing to grant Utah statehood, but they had to agree to follow U.S. laws, and not their own.
  • TKramar Bulanov... 2012/07/01 16:58:33
    Children don't and should NOT have the same freedoms as an adult. Children can't drive, drink, smoke, marry, enter into contracts, enlist in the military, etc.
  • Bulanov... TKramar 2012/07/01 17:47:07
    Bulanova (Team Hargitay)
    I agree. I'm not sure where you interpreted that I thought children should have the same freedom as adults.
  • TKramar Bulanov... 2012/07/01 21:55:59
    "Circumcision just has some catching up to do in that regard. It is impinging on the baby's right to decide for himself if he wants to live with a permanent, body-altering surgery. "

    That's why it's the adult's choice. The same would apply to hermaphroditic children. A decision would be made early, they would not wait until puberty, that would just be cruel.
  • Bulanov... TKramar 2012/07/02 01:37:04
    Bulanova (Team Hargitay)
    You know that hermaphoriditic children - a congenital deformation in which surgery would allow the child to possibly have a normal life - is not even in the same ballpark as circumcision, altering how a male is naturally born. It's not even close. And because I said that a child should be allowed to decide for himself if he wants to be circumcised does not mean that I advocate for children to have all the same rights as adults. That's just silly and deliberate obfuscation.
  • TKramar Bulanov... 2012/07/02 01:41:44 (edited)
    I know that the *trauma* of a surgery is less at a younger age than at an older one. You know that before there WAS surgery, those people had to just live with it, it wasn't life threatening.

    And in BOTH cases, the adult guardians are able to make the decision FOR the child, since it cannot do so itself. If you gave me the option to be circumcised? I would NOT take it. Too much pain involved, both at the time and during the healing process. By the same token, I wouldn't get a vasectomy. But if I had one before I reached 6 months? No problem. I wouldn't even remember it.
  • Bulanov... TKramar 2012/07/02 01:52:14
    Bulanova (Team Hargitay)
    I understand that. The core of your response is all about YOUR decision and preference. There is no regard for the child's. Why is that? There are a lot of people who grow up circumcised angry that they're that way. They don't WANT to be circumcised. They want to know what life is like being the way they were born. What is SO wrong about letting someone decide for themselves if they want to lose their foreskin?
  • TKramar Bulanov... 2012/07/02 02:01:02 (edited)
    If it had been done for me when I was a child, I wouldn't have a problem. I wouldn't even remember it. And I wouldn't miss something I don't remember having. But if it's going to be done at all, I would rather it had been done as a child when the trauma of it would be much less. So until they invent TIME TRAVEL? Not an option.

    In many of these cases, it's a RELIGIOUS thing, all Jews are circumcised. How many of them would be willing to undergo the procedure at 13?
  • Bulanov... TKramar 2012/07/02 02:51:37
    Bulanova (Team Hargitay)
    I know, but that's YOU. That's not everyone. There are circumcised men who are angry that they were circumcised when they were born. There are men that are angry that they WEREN'T circumcised when they were born. Again, what is so wrong about letting a man decide for himself?

    Regarding 13-year-old Jews opting to undergo circumcision, that is for the 13-year-old Jew to reconcile with himself if his faith is strong enough to sacrifice his foreskin to his god. In fact, that is precisely what a religious sacrifice is. It is something you choose to give up in the name of your god. If it's something you didn't knowingly choose to do for your god, it wasn't a religious sacrifice. It should not a parent's place to sacrifice part of their child's body to their god. That's plain barbaric.
  • TKramar Bulanov... 2012/07/02 03:57:32 (edited)
    Because the men that weren't have to go through the PAIN of having it done...so you know what? they won't. Let the parents make choices for underage children that can't make decisions for themselves. That's their JOB.

    Again, until they bring about time travel, so that those who "decide" to have it done can have it done as a BABY, which is the only sensible time to do something like this, leave it to the parent.
  • Bulanov... TKramar 2012/07/02 15:29:41
    Bulanova (Team Hargitay)
    A person cannot make a religious sacrifice for someone else. It has to come from that person. And if that baby later grows up to become a different religion? Then what? Why wasn't his freedom of religion honored? What if he wants to be part of a religion that says a man MUST have a foreskin? Every reason I have heard defending infant circumcision has been illogical one way or another. I think it's BS and you're not convincing me otherwise, sorry.
  • TKramar Bulanov... 2012/07/02 15:54:13
    I don't see it that way. Amish men don't shave their beards, it's just a thing they do. I don't see any religious significance to it.
  • Wyveryx Bulanov... 2012/07/02 02:48:08
    For arguments sake, let's assume that circumcision is solely based on religion and nothing else.
    In our country, the United States of America, we were founded on religious freedom and it has been slowly but surely curbed from many practices. While some may view them as barbaric, others still view them as strong part of their religion. So basically we are saying you can believe in whatever deity you want, but we are going to limit you in how you practice it because we view it differently.

    Now we get back to the legal side of things.
    A child isn't able to make decisions for themselves, legally, until they are either emancipated or turn 18. Till either happens it is up to the parents to do their best in raising their child the best they can.
    The way many are arguing is that a child should have the right to overturn the law in that regard. So essentially, the child will know better than the parent.

    Medically it can be argued still that there are benefits to male circumcision, and that is why the medical community leaves it open for the parents to decide.

    Either way, religion or medicine, by allowing a child the right to supersede the parent's authority really only hampers their authority and right to raise their child in the way they see best.

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