Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Why the insistence on neonatal circumcision?

The following work is based on that of Dr Robert Darby: My additions in bold italics

Why, the insistence on neonatal circumcision? Quite simply because it is obvious that the vast majority of adult men prefer to hang on to their foreskins and will not be persuaded to submit to circumcision. The foreskin is valued as a functional sensory pleasure giving sex organ. To force them to do so would be impractical, to bribe them (as in Africa) would be too expensive; and to coerce them (e.g. at gunpoint) would be illegal. But if it is immoral, unethical or illegal to forcibly circumcise an adult male, why is it any less immoral, unethical or illegal to forcibly circumcise an adult-to-be (that is, a child)? Obviously a baby cannot protest or punch you in the face or have you charged. Sexual intercourse without consent is rape, and society regards the crime as all the more wicked if the victim is a child; yet it could be argued that circumcision – an irreversible physical disfigurement, as Paix and Chin point out – is a more serious assault than rape. Even if that argument is not accepted, it is clear that if adult men do not wish to get themselves circumcised as a precaution against HIV, it is morally unacceptable to force the operation on children.  Children don't have consentual sex nor the maturity to decide these things.

Fundamentally, Infant Circumcision Propagandists lack faith in their own prescription, because they know they have power over infants but not informed adult men. If the argument for circumcision as a precaution against heterosexually transmitted HIV was as cogent as they claim, men would be lining up to get it done. That they do not suggests both that the argument is weak and that men are not convinced. Recognising this reluctance, the propagandists fail to propose what is logically suggested by the evidence (circumcision to be available for men at high risk of heterosexually transmitted HIV ), and instead turn their sights on those too young to defend their own interests – children, who are at zero risk of sexually transmitted infections, and who will not be at risk for the foreseeable future, by which time treatment and prevention options, and the virus itself, may well have changed beyond recognition. It is easy to see that their prescription is driven more by a fanatical desire to promote circumcision than by a sober analysis of the best way to combat AIDS.  It's easy to see that if neonatal circumcision was banned circumcision would die out as a practice, and procircs don't want this and therefore insist on neonatal circumcision.

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