Information icon.svg

Campaigning for the RationalMedia Foundation 2020 board of trustees election is underway!


From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

This is an archive page, last updated 21 December 2016. Please do not make edits to this page.
Archives for this talk page:   , (new)(back)


I believe that this was historical and is currently more an issue of cleanliness rather than impressiveness. One bit in modern times is that circumcision reduces the risk of contracting or passing on AIDS significantly.[1][2] As I understand it (only having one set to work with), a circumcised penis is much easier to keep clean than an uncircumcised one. --Shagie 21:01, 28 November 2007 (EST)

The "impressiveness" bit is just a little snark (actually a South Park reference). Feel free to add on the cleanliness piece, and the HIV resistance piece, though I personally think the HIV bit is propaganda. I can't imagine by what method a circumcized penis would reduce risk of HIV exposure. What do you think, PalMD?

From the NYT article... "Research suggests that the cells on the underside of the foreskin are prime targets for the virus and that tears and abrasions in the foreskin can invite the infection." This seams reasonable. --Shagie 21:15, 28 November 2007 (EST)

I've ended up in some pretty heated debates at the Dawkins forum. I'm a bit hampered by my cultural baggage, but studies do show that HIV transmission is reduced by circumcision. Also the risks of certain penile cancers are reduces. Certain other problems, such as wp:phimosis and wp:paraphimosis are eliminated. The degree of benefit of these factors is still a bit up in the air. There are very plausible explanations for the HIV thing. Condoms, of course, are also good. There is no clear evidence one way or the other about harms of circumcision.


There really is not clear answer as to whether circ is good or evil or neither. IMnsHO.--PalMD-If it looks like a donut, eat it 22:52, 28 November 2007 (EST)

Cutting off the penis reduces the risk of STI transmission and penile cancer as well. --emc [TALK]
Actually, there is no evidence at all that it does. there are a few small studies, but they are limited in scope, and not run very well, since they do not really take social issues in consideration. (talk) 17:43, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Not that castration has anything to do with circumcision. -- Seth Peck (talk) 17:45, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
But it's the best next thing.--Putin2.jpg Brasov 22:05, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

Removed material (heh)[edit]

Going to add to this page, and then I imagine the Theory of Practice user (intactivist?) will change it back? Nothing that I added went against community guidelines or intentions, nor is any of it false. I believe, that unless the intent is to provide a pro-intactivist viewpoint, that a counterpoint is very necessary. Obviously, none of the information on HIV/AIDs is on the page, and it's further apparent that the last person to have edited or accessed the page did so from a 'circumcision is mutilation' rationale, and I'm not sure that really fits in with RationalWiki.

So, I'm going to go back and re-add the changes that I first contributed, as I have now added my rationale to the talk page. — Unsigned, by: MranMsRational / talk / contribs (moved this, dated it so it didn't get lost in a 2008 debate. godot)

See, the thing is, there is virtually no evidence that circumcision is a good thing, or that it helps aids or cancer prevention. There are limited studies in particular areas of Africa, but given that most of Europe does not circumcise, and they do not have a noticably higher rate of cancer or STDs, or AIDS, you have a huge problem trying to say it's an effective cure/treatment/prevention. Green mowse.pngGodotWhat is your fucking defense of automatic guns, again? 15:10, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
I believe, that unless the intent is to provide a pro-intactivist viewpoint, that a counterpoint is very necessary." We're not NPOV, so counterpoints are not necessary at all. What the hell is "intactivism"? The intent is to talk about how lopping a perfectly healthy bit of skin off of an unwilling infant is probably not a great idea. Theory of Practice "the standards of the site are ultimately an expression of the community makeup, and not a set of rules or policies." 15:12, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Also, this edit absolutely reeks of personal issues, what with all the parentheticals. If you would like to add the information you're trying to add, it might help to cite some sources. Cow...Hammertime! 15:16, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
"unless the intent is to provide a pro-intactivist viewpoint, that a counterpoint is very necessary." - Nonsense. The intactivist stance is the neutral stance (preserving the child's right to decide for him/herself when old enough to do so). Subjecting a child to an unnecessary and irreversible amputative surgery is the bias. This is a truly one-sided issue. Nothing rational can be or has ever been said in defense of circumcising children. -- (talk) 04:07, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

a total laughable joke[edit]

This discussion was moved here from Saloon Bar. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 01:36, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

The first line of the RationalWiki entry reads 'required of all male Jews due to their religion and generally performed by Muslims' is a total laughable joke. Pathetic. Never heard of female circumcision either I suppose. But I suppose if I try to change this page I will be censored also. Any contributions? Please respond to the talk page. Thanks. Or am I whining again? Censor me? Dirk Steele (talk) 01:19, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

You're whining again, troll. Theory of Practice "Now we stand outcast and starving 'mid the wonders we have made." 01:21, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
The article on circumcision has a section and a link specifically to the article on Female genital mutilation for a reason, child.--Just relax, and stay funny (talk) 01:23, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
Dirk Steele apparently not only fails reading comprehension, but is also fully MRA. --Seth Peck (talk) 21:52, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

This article's desperately in need of an update[edit]

I know that circumcision is a hot button issue since it combines sex, violence, and religion all at the same time, but the current article we have on this site is a joke. I'm stunned of just how easily certain members of the skeptic community can abide by outright nonsense if it fits in their pre-concieved notions.

For one, the removal of the foreskin in males is nothing like the removal of the clitoris in females, as anyone with a basic understanding of sex organ homology can understand. The male homologous equivalent of the clitoris is the penis, and the female homologous equivalent of the foreskin is the clitoral hood. To suggest FGM and circumcision have any equivalent is downright offensive to victims of FGM, and the kind of ridiculous butthurt I'd expect from an MRA activist.

For another, all the studies that have suggested lack of sensitivity have been in smaller number than the ones that suggest no change or an increase in sensitivity, and are all based on anecdotal remarks rather than actual anatomical analysis. I'm not saying that some of the people who've been circumcised feel like they don't enjoy sex as much as they should. Their feelings are real, but their attribution to the cause of their sexual dysfunction deserves no more credence than Jenny McCarthy's isolation of her son's ASD. Considering how little tolerance there is here for the idiots who suggest against the majority of global warming studies, you'd figure the same could be said for the ones analyzing one of the most common medical practices on the planet.

Finally, I'm gonna call in a little personal experience. I used to be an intactivist, but I personally, have been circumcised as an adult. I didn't have it performed in an African mud hut, I had it performed by an accredited urologist after consultation at a sexual health clinic for the purposes of treating a yeast infection. I'd already tried creams and anti-fungals for years, and asked about other procedures, but he said they generally lead to relapse of the same problems I was having.

You wanna know what happened? I enjoy sex just as much as I ever had, and my problem went away almost instantly. I just wish I had it performed when I was an infant because the recovery's quite inconvenient when you're an adult and have to move all the time.

All I ask is that a little attention be paid to how fucking stupid this article is compared to other hot button issues. And I hope that my personal experience and the numerous actual studies and anatomical research that's already been put into this issue earns more of your credence than a series of .info webpages and reactionary comments from Gloria Steinem.*Asterisk* (talk) 03:22, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

You're not making it clear what aspects of the article are "fucking stupid" and seem to be mostly arguing against stuff that's not even in the article at all. It doesn't suggest anything about male circumcision being equivalent to FGM as you seem to think it does, and adding in a load of stuff trying to define equivalent procedures (as you tried to do) really doesn't shed any light one way or the other on the ethics of circumcision. FGM is mentioned here only because of the alternative term "female circumcision" which, inaccurate and outdated as it is, was the prevailing term for FGM until a few years ago & still appears in some contexts. As for your comments on intactivists, they just read like one-sided mudslinging. You liken intactivists to anti-vaxxers and global warming denying while not actually making any argument about how their opposition to circumcision is similar to any of those things. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:49, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
I apologize in advanced for going long with the next post, but you put so much wrong shit in this paragraph I've been left with no other choice.
You're not making it clear what aspects of the article are "fucking stupid" and seem to be mostly arguing against stuff that's not even in the article at all.
Well here's a few things for you:
1) The article treats the pro-circumcision as sources of greater value than the anti-circumcision sources, even though none of the anti-circumcision sources deal with studies that track the effects with actual analysis. Take the source from, the study never actually states what causes their findings of lack of sexual pleasure. It was just a statistical analysis, but the study pretends like circumcision is the answer even thought they never point to what the problems are causing, just conjecturing possibilities of what it's causing.
2) Meanwhile, has a study which is more recent, from 2013 instead of 2011; conducted over a wider sample base, of 40,000 men, with 20,000 uncircumcised and 20,000 circumcised vs SciencenNordic's 5,000 just circumcised with no uncircumcised; and conducted by a more credible source seeing as how the NIH is a multibillion dollar US federal institute while ScienceNordic is citing a study conducted by a single Danish institute. The NIH study collected data from several thousand publications, analyzed them for credibility, and from the 36 that they analyzed to be the most credible, with original data. 2 studies were high quality randomized studies, or 1++. Of the 34 other case-control or cohort studies, 11 were high quality: 2++; 10 were well-conducted: 2+; and were 13 low quality: 2-. Only the low quality studies reported a decrease in sexual function, while every other study above this level reported no overall adverse effect on penile sensitivity, sexual arousal, sexual sensation, erectile function, premature ejaculation, ejaculatory latency, orgasm difficulties, sexual satisfaction, pleasure, or pain during penetration.
3) Yet if you go into the circumcision article, the inferior study conducted by ScienceNordic is written up as follows:
As circumcision is a form of genital mutilation, some groups have protested against the practice and believe it should be ended.[3] These groups often cite a perceived decrease in sexual pleasure and the lack of consent on the part of the often infant child as evidence of child abuse. A recent study also suggests that men who have been circumcised have more difficulty reaching orgasm, their partners have more vaginal pain, and a worse sex life overall.[4]
The NIH Study? Written up in comparative brevity:
Others[5] defend the practice, as they claim the alleged detriments of the procedure are entirely based on dubious anecdotal evidence and woo.[6]
4) This is patently ridiculous. With few other issues would we tolerate such outright misrepresentation and lack of evidence on this site. There is no reason for circumcision to be different.
Now onto your other points.
It doesn't suggest anything about male circumcision being equivalent to FGM as you seem to think it does,
Have you even read the article?
It is virtually non-existent in most other Western nations, except among Jews and Muslims.[12] It totally isn't genital mutilation because, well, just because it isn't, okay!?
Most studies conclude that FGM is significantly more dangerous than circumcision; this, however, should not be used as an excuse for performing the latter.
Interestingly, circumcision is not banned in most countries where FGM is. It's a touchy point with men's rights activists, and is the closest thing they have to a valid example of inequality that favors females argued by the movement (but, unfortunately, not always for the right reasons).
This clearly suggests male foreskin removal is the equivalent to FGM. The article you're defending repeatedly contradicts your own defense in its eight paragraphs. Did you even spend one minute going over the article looking to see if it matched up with your defense, or did you honestly just jot it down in blind faith it'd match up and I'd be wrong?
As for your comments on intactivists, they just read like one-sided mudslinging. You liken intactivists to anti-vaxxers and global warming denying while not actually making any argument about how their opposition to circumcision is similar to any of those things.
Since you seem to have abruptly forgotten the principles of skepticism for this one pet issue of yours, I'll bring you back to reality: there's no reason to not be one sided on this issue. Just because there are two sides to an issue doesn't mean the two sides both have valid points. If I tell you the sun is hot and you tell me the sun is cold and I'm just being one sided, there aren't suddenly two sides worth defending. Nor are there with the folks at Infowars, nor are there with the folks at Loose Change, nor are there with the anti-vaxxers, and nor are there here.
So please, can we change this fucking stupid article to one that's actually of merit to reason? Or are you happy having articles on this site that completely fail to meet the standards of logic as long as they conform to the viewpoint you already have in mind?
Trick question. I'm rewriting this article tomorrow. Our opinions aren't equally valid, and I don't give the slightest shit how your opinion's wrong. All that matters in the layers of wrong is that it's fundamentally wrong, and that it's replaced with right. I'm posting this here to document in detail why the article needs to change and is an affront to the site. I'd happily do the same for any other article on the site that treats unfounded, poorly worked ideas with anything other than outright hostility.
You're more than happy to see the error of your ideas and join me in helping to correct this little blot of stupid on the site: But if you just decided to gloss over my points and rebuttal with more useless tripe that isn't even supported in the circumcision page itself, I don't give a fuck what you think. Post some actual content next time, or don't bother. *Asterisk* (talk) 06:59, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
No, this isn't a pet issue of mine. Yes, obviously I have read the article, and no, it doesn't say anything about circumcision being "equivalent" to FGM. In fact, as you quoted above, it says FGM is "significantly more dangerous", but this has no bearing on whether circumcision itself is ethical or not. Nothing you've posted explains why circumcising babies & children who cannot consent to this procedure is justified, nor why opposing such circumcisions should be viewed as a crank position. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:21, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
It said in the last sentence of the last paragraph that MRA activists had a point with comparing circumcision to FGM, and even with the "disclaimer" of it being "more dangerous," the way the article frames it still gives credence to the issues being on the same moral plane. Even the fourth sentence of the first paragraph classifies circumcision as a form of mutilation. That's like classifying an appendectomy as a form of vivisection, technically true, but entirely misleading.
Your baby point is completely ridiculous. Children not being able to give consent is irrelevant if what they're about to undergo will either do them no harm or actively improve their lives. Since all sufficient reliable data shows that the procedure reduces risk of numerous infections, reduces risk of deadly VDs, and that the best and easiest time to have the procedure performed with the lowest risk of complications is infancy, parents have every right to have the surgery performed. You might as well argue the kid not being able to consent to vaccines. Sure, both hurt, and sure, both the infant might not consent to with personal choice; but when the alternative is infection and disease compared to momentary discomfort, there's no time to wait.
Now there are some people who just can't have the procedure done at all; much like how people with celiac disease can't have gluten and how people with certain physical sensitivities can't have vaccines. I'm not saying those people should have the procedure done. But if you're of the proper health to have the procedure, it's for your benefit to get it done at the best possible time with the lowest possible complications, which like vaccines, is infancy.
So are you gonna actually source some of your opinions to even a fabrication at any point in this conversation, or are you gonna continue this internet creationist-esque style critique until I surrender at your own thickheaded muster? Maybe with a little effort thrown in, your posts could upgrade from "Daily Currant" all the way to the level of "Loose Change." — Unsigned, by: *Asterisk* / talk / contribs 10:14, 2 July 2014‎
Your rewrite doesn't seem popular. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:03, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't care if it's popular, I care if it's right. Gluten free diets are also popular, and they're stupid as shit for everyone who doesn't have celiac.
Post on why my changes aren't right. You could start by actually reading my article and checking my sources, because the bullshit we have here now is indefensible *Asterisk* (talk) 08:43, 8 July 2014 (UTC)


Whilst I think that Asterix is far too biased to one side of a complex argument I do feel that we're not sufficiently neutral on what is a difficult and complex debate. As such I propose replacing the first section with something like User_talk:Cloud_Yeller/sandbox. Any comments? Cloud Yeller (talk) 11:00, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Yeah, that stuff in your user-space is pre' kewl; I think it would be a good solution to copy/paste it here, and let the community add info, change spelling and grammar, fix up sources, whatever is deemed necessary. Good idea. GØØBY PLS Adorn the new king…Dolan.png 11:47, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Seconded, I agree with some of the points by Asterix but don't like the way that their argument is presented at all. As you said, it is far more complex than that. I like some of what you've written though, I doubt it will be as contested if posted in that manner --Drowninginlimbo (talk) 12:53, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

There is nothing neutral about the text that you added. It goes for an easy answer ("it’s pretty much up to you" [the parent], unless you live in sub-Saharan Africa apparently) while completely evading the issue of informed consent, even though that's what the BMA quote is largely about. You also removed quite a lot of info, such as the prevalence and distribution of circumcision worldwide. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:01, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Cloud Yeller's been incredibly sensible in his edits. He's actually seeking to improve the article rather than keeping it in the original, terrible shape it's in.
Now as for your point about "informed consent." I actually had an extended section on the issues of informed consent in my version of the article which was heavily sourced. Of course, since you're not actually reading anything I write, you wouldn't know this. I'll put it back in, and maybe you can try to read it this time. *Asterisk* (talk) 18:20, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
I also removed some of the unsourced claims, changed the section on the Mens rights advocates to show what idiots they are, and removed the point about circumcision countering the Bible. Tens of millions of Christians are members of branches that require circumcision for religious reasons. Most other Christians, including St. Paul, were neutral on the subject, mainly just believing it wasn't necessary to show if you were devout or not. Saying it contradicts Christianity is meaningless outrage bait. *Asterisk* (talk) 18:34, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
I think that we should maybe use more references that aren't 'circinfo', that is to say, a larger variety, as it appears quite a lot in that section. The website seems very well researched and sourced but also very pro-circumcision in its writing style and lacking in criticism. A greater wealth of references would aid that --Drowninginlimbo (talk) 19:01, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Also you removed quite a lot of the references with your edit Cloud Yeller, some of which seemed valid. I think it would probably be good to meet somewhere in the middle on this particular issue --Drowninginlimbo (talk) 19:04, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Here's the problem, there aren't comparably well researched anti-circumcision arguments. It's one thing to have two sides of a debate from a philosophical perspective, but when only one side is the one with research on it, there's no reason to equally support both. *Asterisk* (talk) 19:21, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Okay, I honestly don't know very much about circumcision, it isn't very popular here in England. I just felt that the article relied too much on one particular website and that lots of sources were removed from various websites. I get what you mean, I would discuss the sources themselves if I were you, what it is that is unreliable against them etc. --Drowninginlimbo (talk) 19:32, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
One of the things that makes such a reliable source of information is that everything they claim has an index of real sources, handily alphabetized for your convenience. It also means that if you go back and look at my revision of the article, every link to I provide can be erased and replaced with a series of links to a greater variety of sources.
Take the second source I linked to from my version. When removed and replaced with the sources contained within said link, you get the following, presented in alphabetical order:
Given just how thorough the sources provided in the more summarized source of just are, I figured it'd be more expedient to just link from there. However, if you want, I can go back to my last edit of this article, check every one of the circinfo source I listed, and replace the link I put to them with the links to the sources listed in them. I'd be more than happy to do it. *Asterisk* (talk) 04:10, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm going to drop out of this debate, I only really had issues with the adding and removal of so many sources but I don't know enough about the topic at hand to properly contribute. I think this particular issue is going to be difficult to argue for a rewrite for but as long as you rely strongly on sources then who knows --Drowninginlimbo (talk) 12:42, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

The proposal[edit]

May or not may be a good one -- I really have no skin in the game -- but it appears that at least a few people think the trigger was pulled prematurely, so I've restored it to an older version for now. Father Vivian O'Blivion talkModerator 19:28, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Reverted to the old version, then cleaned up the bias. The version Father Vivian reverted to was crap and woo; unscientific confirmation bias. *Asterisks* summary at the beginning was much more informative and accurate in regards to the medical information within. However, the section on "informed consent" directly contradicted the earlier section--it stated with certainty that circumcision was benefiticial, where previously the article stated that "the jury's out." I cleaned up the section significantly to better represent current medical consensus as I understand it (I am not a doctor) Reyemile (talk) 02:54, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Bullshit. The version you posted is claiming things like questioning the need for routine infant circumcision "has no basis in science or logic". This isn't cleaning up bias. You also removed a lot of information. If the article contains "crap and woo", please identify it. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:31, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Scroll up; the crap and woo was quite thoroughly identified and analyzed by Asterisk in earlier talk comments, which is why I reverted to his edits. I'm not going to repeat it since it's all right there, but the TL;DR version is that NO major medical organization has concluded circumcision is highly dangerous or highly unethical, and the version you just reverted to uses extremely low-quality citations to argue this board should reject the consensus of the entire medical establishment. Finally, you fundamentally mischaracterize Asterisks and my version of the article. We are not saying there is "no basis in science and logic" to question the medical benefits of circumcision. We are claiming there is "no basis in science and logic" to claim that allowing circumcision and banning FGM is proof of bigotry against men. To avoid edit warring I will wait 24 hours before reverting; unless I'm presented with a good reason not to in that time, I will revert your edits. I will make the section about Men's Rights more explicit when I do so.Reyemile (talk) 19:10, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
The article doesn't say any of the things you claim it does: that circumcision is highly dangerous or highly unethical, nor that it's proof of bigotry against men. Asterisk's text is full of non-sequiturs, red herrings & false analogies, half of them cribbed almost verbatim from WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:23, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't explicitly state that it's dangerous--I stand corrected. However, the article OPENS by saying "why do many people insist on having the right to mutilate a defenseless boy's penis." The plain reading of the text confirms the authors believe the practice is unethical, plain and simple. As for, you are correct that it is an advocacy site--however, as Asterisk explained, nearly all of the citations from that website are direct citations from other, highly reliable sites. Again, I'm not going to quote it, but scroll up and you'll see the list of scholarly research that is referred to. Finally, if you're going to ask me to explicitly point out the "crap and woo," I'm going to do the same for you--what "non-sequiturs, red herrings & false analogies" do you see?
Examples include appeal to authority (urologists do it so it must be right), appeal to function (no known purpose for the foreskin exists so it's fine to remove without consent), and appeal to stupid analogy (children don't consent to school so it's OK to perform a permanent body modification on them too). None of these has anything to do with scholarly research. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:50, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
None of those are in the article anymore. On the talk page, I explicitly identified the same section as problematic; in the article, I rewrote that section to remove the parts you're offended by. I'm reverting to my version of the article. Please read it before making further reversions or contributions.Reyemile (talk) 02:03, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Reverted again. Previous request stands. It's unreasonable to revert and article for problems that the editor had already identified and fixed.Reyemile (talk) 13:44, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

In the interest of not edit warring, I'm waiting 24 hours before I will revert again. However, I repeat myself--Weaseloid is editing in bad faith. The errors he used to justify his reversion were already identified by me on the talk page and fixed by me in the article; he hasn't given a justification for the current article staying as it is. Asterisk's version is flawed--it's sparser than the current version, less funny, and has a smaller variety of cites. However, it's correct, where as the current article relies on a few flawed small-scale studies to argue that the entirety of the medical establishment is incorrect factually and ethically about the consequences of circumcision. If you think the version I'm switching to is weak, then please feel free to fix it; please do not restore the biased misrepresentation that is currently posted. If you believe the current version which claims circumcision "totally isn't genital mutilation because, well, just because it isn't, okay!?" is accurate, then please address the points Asterisk raised above--specifically, the fact that the sexual side-effects and health risks are primarily identified in smaller and lower-quality studies. Reyemile (talk) 17:09, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Multiple people keep reverting; no one is using the talk page. I am happy to work out our differences like reasonable people, but if reverting edits is the only tool made available to me, it's the tool I will use. Reyemile (talk) 02:57, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
As I said on your talkpage, acting by fiat is a bad idea. But I will not continue beating that horse. I think a bit of what you added does, in fact, have merit and should be changed in the article. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 03:19, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't want to add by fiat--I want to understand why people disagree with in my edits (which aren't really mine, see the thorough documentation by Asterisk above). Unfortunately, no one seems willing to defend the position. Reyemile (talk) 05:35, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Oh, I understand. Part of the reason I joined in is because I found the level at which you were being engaged embarrassing. The reason I suggested chunking up your additions is because if you go point-by-point in your additions, it's easier for people like me (people on the outside of the edit war) to figure out what's going on, and because it's also easier to debate based on individual points rather than based on large quantities and generalizations. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 06:19, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Zero-sum approach, pitting rights of one sex against the other[edit]

I'm noticing a few statements that removing the clitoral hood is not FGM. Tens of millions of girls undergo this and less severe forms of cutting in Indonesia. Because the glans clitoris is not removed, the Indonesian government claims this practice is beneficial. The burden of proof is on the idea that any degree of cutting on either sex is NOT harmful. The procedure is irreversible, has varied outcomes by health status, race, socioeconomics, method and location, and every culture that cuts girls cuts boys under the same conditions. The favorable outcomes of some western white men are being used as a reason to ignore what is happening to children from all backgrounds. The term 'mutilation' applies to inanimate objects, but not to something 70% of the male population uses to masturbate? As a bodily integrity advocate I refuse to exclude girls and the intersexed from my analysis, including those who have lost less tissue than boys do. I also refuse to exclude women who are being sterilized in prisons, or men who are castrated in hate crimes and war crimes. Genital cutting is the very picture of eugenics and social Darwinism - the belief that natural selection needs our help. - GB — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 08:34, 1 September 2014

Come again? Reyemile (talk) 00:47, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
So you edit war, stamp your foot & demand people engage you on the talk page, and when they do, this is your level of response. How incisive. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:26, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
He may be referring to both of you and GB's insistence on using ethical arguments over scientific arguments and simply rejecting any scientific arguments which don't conform to your ethical views relating to bodily integrity. This as well as your casual dismissal of the views of fairly well respected professional organizations such as the AAP. Also how Genital cutting of any kind is "Eugenics" or "Social Darwinism" is beyond me. There are arguments one can make against the practice but those two certainly aren't among them. Alsto003 (talk) 13:03, 2 September 2014 (UTC) Alex
Alex has a good point, but he guessed wrong--my response, "come again," was a response to that fact that I honestly have no idea what GB's thesis is, or how it relates to Asterisk's edits of the article Reyemile (talk) 15:34, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
To be fair, the IP's argument sort of starts off well but he seems to get lost about half way through and then wanders off into weirdness. So the "come again?" comment, though perhaps unfortunately worded, does seem appropriate.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 19:14, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
One last thing "western white men"? As if circumcision was unique to "western white men" (sarcasm). Not only has most of the research on HIV and circumcision been done in Africa, but I imagine that the Muslims of this world would be amused by your ridiculous and outright stupid assumption that advocacy for this practice is restricted to and I quote "western white men." Alsto003 (talk) 14:17, 4 September 2014 (UTC) Alex
I don't think you've read B0N's comment very carefully or understood it very well if you think he/she is suggestion that circumcision is unique to western white men. Quite the opposite. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:42, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
I am aware that GB was not saying that circumcision is unique to white men. However I feel that GB's comment implies that advocacy for circumcision is unique to western white men; otherwise there would be no reason for GB to mention race or class in the first place. I had also considered that GB might be referring to the fact that in the west this procedure is done in a medical setting whereas in developing countries it is not. Which is not only a bit simplistic (as general rule a Brit Milah is done in a home by some religious dude who may or may not be an actual doctor), but also irrelevant as that argument has more to do with inequality and medical safety than the merits or detriments (ethical or scientific) of this procedure. By virtue of claiming that "western white men" are the only persons who (according to him) experience "favorable outcomes" from this procedure I feel that GB is implying that advocacy for circumcision is somehow linked to a western worldview (which is BS). Essentially apart from the issue of medical safety (or more specifically in this case, the difference between the medical facilities in the developed world versus the medical facilities in the undeveloped world) which I feel is irrelevant in this particular context, I cannot think of a good reason how race and class has anything to do with this debate and as such I am making assumptions of what motives GB had for saying that race and class is related to this debate. Alsto003 (talk) 12:54, 5 September 2014 (UTC) Alex
Frankly, for the article to even *have* a section on human rights would be a vast improvement. It would also be vast improvement for the article to detail what is removed - the foreskin which can comprise up to half of the penile surface area and provides all lubrication, and usually the frenulum which can cause orgasm all by itself. The female equivalent of this would be the removal of the clitoral hood and labia (still less tissue than the adult foreskin contains) and the capacity to lubricate. Medical organizations in Europe are starting to turn against circumcising children, and there have been multiple legal challenges to it in Europe in the past five years. As for the reference to white men, the vast majority of advocacy in favor of circumcision comes from Western trade organizations such as the AAP (whose entire circumcision taskforce is composed of doctors who perform circumcisions). The Western view of circumcision is also based on hospital circumcisions, which ignores the fact that many cultures circumcise boys in unsanitary conditions with untrained practitioners. Obviously other cultures practice circumcision, but they don't use medicine as a pretense. There is also no critical examination of the arguments in favor of circumcision, such as the 60% HIV-reduction claim which was fabricated by Brian Morris based on three badly flawed studies. The circumcised men in those studies had a recovery time and received condoms and sex ed. The control group did not. The studies also did not account for transmissions through intravenous drug use or other means. Even with those factors, the circumcised men had a 2% infection rate while the control group had an infection rate of 0.8%. That was restated by Morris (who also believes that FGM increases pleasure and that the French Revolution was caused by Louis XVI's foreskin) as being a 60% reduction. Technically it was, but it was a 60% reduction from 2% with multiple factors not controlled for. I didn't focus on Jewish circumcision because it's such a small number of people. A fully-sourced timeline of the fraudulent medical arguments in favor of circumcision: -GB

Proposed edit regarding adverse effect on sexual pleasure[edit]

I hope you don't mind, I collapsed the text you added because it was easier than fixing the formatting. I'll look over what you said and tell you what I think. Hopefully other users will do the same and a consensus will be reached. --"Shut up, Brx." 03:02, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Okay, so first of all let me say you bring up some interesting points on circumcision's effect on sexual pleasure, and that some of that should definitely be included in the article. However, it's important to remember that RationalWiki is not a general encyclopedia, and so there's only so much information we need to include in order to make the point that circumcision may adversely affect male sexuality.
Second of all, you bring up another interesting point on how male circumcision might be performed unsafely in different parts of the world. That, too, should be included in the article. I should point out, though, that the process for circumcision currently in use as an HIV/AIDS countermeasure is to use an elastic band to cut off blood flow to the foreskin, causing the foreskin to painlessly die and come off with the band within a week.[3] I am telling you this just in case you were not aware, as I imagine it might be of some interest to you.
Thirdly, RationalWiki, if not a feminist website, does have a strong tendency to support feminism. This does not mean we hate men, or are opposed to men (and if I need to clarify, while there exist some rare feminists who hate men, the movement at large is not "misandristic," and indeed supports the rights of all individuals). I feel you should know that if you wish to edit here.
As for FGM and male circumcision... Let me start by saying that I, personally, am against the circumcision of minors, except for clear medical reasons (such as in cases of phimosis). I believe the practice is barbaric and a violation of the rights of those circumcised (since they are minors, they have little say in the process themselves). It is my firm belief that circumcision of minors should be illegal, and that individuals circumcised as minors, should they wish it, ought to be granted the procedures to restore their foreskin by the government (ideally with universal healthcare, but that's not a debate for this page), as well as any psychological treatment necessary.
With all that said, I do not believe that female genital mutilation and male circumcision are equivalent. I certainly believe that they are comparable (and in many cases equivalent in effect, according to what you've said about poorly performed circumcisions), but the intentions behind the two are usually quite different (barring the forcible circumcisions that is sometimes conducted in conflicts such as in Sudan). Female genital mutilation is the attempt to control women under the assumption that woman are both property and unable to control themselves. The procedure is performed for various reasons, ranging from men sexually preferring mutilated genitals, to the shunning of female sexuality, and even to men attempting to curb women's sexual desires in order to allow them to take multiple wives. Female genital mutilation is the patriarchy stamping its boot on women.
Circumcision can arguably be said to be the same thing, but that ignores that the "ideal" female genital mutilation, as a cultural practice, is 1) to mold women to the desires of men and 2)does far more damage than the "ideal" circumcision. That is to say, the removal of the clitoris and sometimes also the labia minora (or worse, infibulation, which is thankfully less common than the clitoridectomies), are done for worse reasons and have worse effects than the removal of the foreskin (to be clear, I am speaking in "ideal" terms. Here, the FGM and circumcision are conducted in a sterile setting without incident). Yes, the removal of the foreskin can negatively impact sexuality, but not in the same way as the removal of the clitoris.
Finally, let me tell you that feminists have nothing to gain by downplaying male circumcision. Privilege is not the Oppression Olympics. It's trying to gain perspective into the struggles of others. It's trying to understand troubles other than our own, and our relationships with those troubles.

Later, probably tomorrow, I will look at the references you provided and add what fits into the article. You did bring up relevant points that I think should be included, so I will try to include them. Your initial edits, as they stood, removed much content and did not match RationalWiki's formatting style. They also contained more information than is probably necessary to get the point across. That's all I have to say for now, thank you for your contributions.--"Shut up, Brx." 03:52, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not taking any position on this or what's included on the page, but, if I were examining these two articles (Bronselaer et al and Sorrells et al), I'd say that they aren't, on their own, definitive. The Sorrells study seems well designed, but, for my comfort, they've got too few subjects to be sure the finding is due to reality or just to overfitting the data. It's not egregiously wrong, but just kind of small. The Bronselaer study relies entirely on self-report (not wrong) and doesn't assess for confounding beyond the crudest demographic differences. It's vulnerable to the impact of unmeasured correlated covariates. Now, if you had the Bronselaer sample on the Sorrells protocol, well then you might have something more definitive. There's nothing horribly wrong with either study, though. They're just not the best possible version of a study/analysis (I've semi-proudly published lower quality articles). Interesting, not life-changing.— Unsigned, by: MarmotHead / talk / contribs 15:36, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

"Needless to say, this is a false equivalence, as circumcision generally does not cause the serious damage commonly seen with FGM. More congruous procedures would be a penile subincision[wp] or a dorsal slit"

Are you seriously comparing the removal of the inner labia to splitting a penis in half? You do realise that the vagina and the other parts remain intact? How the fuck does what you said make any sense? Waaahh, waaaaaaaah I'm a woman! Having a period is like crushing your testicles with a nutcracker! My problems are amplified because I have 3 holes between my legs and two meaty bags on my chest! RESPECT ME! And if we go with your logic, people in Islamic countries who steal and have their hands removed have absolutely NO right to complain. After all, people often get beheaded in countries like that for no reason, so why should the amputation of the hand be a problem? Man up, you penis-having privileged asshole! Fucking feminist cunt. Moan and complain all you want, you were still born as a woman and you are physically and mentally inferior to me. Have a good day in your fantasy land, whore. (talk) 14:03, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Phew. This guy. Freud would have a field day with you, friend. Trick (talk) 14:33, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
I love the many arguments you have included in your wonderful reply. I bet Freud would conclude that you love sucking dick just from seeing your ugly, mongoloid face, my dear friend. (talk) 15:32, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
"And sometimes a cigar is just a phallic representation of the fact that you didn't receive enough hugs as a child." Or something like that. Trick (talk) 15:35, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
You're obsessed with Freud and you waste your time posting on a wiki nobody gives a shit about. You even have an account on said wiki! ANYONE would have a field day with you, friend! (talk) 15:39, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Troll--ZooGuard (talk) 19:07, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Don't worry, I wasn't planning to. Anyone who brings up Freud in a discussion doesn't deserve to be taken seriously.
Insinuating there was a discussion Trick (talk) 21:06, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
As if anyone with a fully functioning brain would try to have a serious discussion with someone who thinks circumcision isn't an issue just because FGM exists. That makes absolutely no sense. If you think that makes sense, then why not ignore rape and not consider it a crime? Murder is far worse. There are also victims of battery who suffer brain damage or are left handicapped. There you have it, I just listed the arguments that prove rape isn't actually a crime. QED. If you have a different opinion you're a troll. Troll (talk) 21:30, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
And there's the issue: I never said that. Just that the post I responded to has some serious and obvious issues with females. Nice self projection though. Trick (talk) 18:24, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

In 50 years, nobody will think this article is rational[edit]

The world is becoming more and more anti-circ. people are waking up to the severe sexual affects and loss of nerve endings. this article shows just how horrible conservative and sexist feminists are.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

The article makes no arguments from popularity. It gives the major academic evidence in summary forms. That's pretty much always been rationalwiki's MO. You're kinda imagining that our denigration of people like you comes from some kind of support for circumcision, when it's mostly about the fact that you douche-bags love to make false equivalences to FGM. Ikanreed (talk) 18:24, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Your reply to him was inflammatory and anything but rational. IMO You were straw manning his argument by bringing up FGM, though I do think his bringing up feminism was unnecessary. Honestly though, I view your and others remarks as genuinely offensive drivel. This is a serious and sensitive subject for many, including myself. Laugh about it all you want, but you are on the wrong side of history and anyone with any common sense would realize that. Keep talking like a smart-mouthed jackass. Now accuse me of being his sockpuppet while you're at it.-- (talk) 11:12, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

omg, shut the fuck up about "false equivalencies to FGM." It is not a false equivalency. The two are equivalent. African MGM is just as bad as FGM, and more boys than girls die from it every year. They often use machetes or broken beer bottles, and it's disgusting. boys die of blood loss, suffer severe infections, and all the same things associated with FGM happen to boys as well. And a woman without a clitoris can still have much more intense g-spot orgasm than even an uncircumcised man can have. im circumcised and virtually completely numb. an orgasm for me is less intense than a sneeze. It's hateful feminist whiny self-victimizing matrydom to say male genital mutilation is somehow less important than female genital mutilation.

But that's ALL it's about for guys isn't it? I DIDNT EVEN MENTION FGM IN MY ORIGINAL COMMENT. Why can't we talk about circumcision without you assholes derailing the conversation with FGM? It literally doesn't matter if FGM is worse, I'm talking about MALE genital mutilation right now, which is a serious and horrible form of genital mutilation that deserves serious attention. Even anti-FGM women in Africa are talking about male genital mutilation. It's absolutely ridiculous to say you can't call circumcision mutilation just something else apparently unrelated is worse.

There is no point in trivializing male genital mutilation by sayng "o but FGM is worse." It's like saying cutting off a finger isn't bad, becaue cutting off the whole hand is worse.

you feminists are absolutely horrible and conservative, and one day you will look back at this with shame.

and actually, you ignore most of the academic studies on the sexual effects of circumcision, and you COMPLETELY ignore male genital mutilation in Africa. a record number of boys have died this year in south Africa's eastern cape province, but I guess that doesn't matter to yo

Why are you letting anon extend the Overton window, exactly? "circumcision generally does not cause the serious damage commonly seen with FGM." When it does, it's not circumcision, it's Male Genital Mutilation, or Using Inappropriate Medical Procedures/Tools, depending on if he's whining about people intentionally cutting off more than the foreskin, or using unsterilized/poorly designed tools to do it. Hipocrite (talk) 14:49, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
Lol @ MRA crying about false equivalences. Cry more homie. Nah but seriously, why is it the job of feminists to do the work the MRA wants to do? Why are feminists conservative when most feminists have no opinion on circumcision? Like most MRA's, you probably don't give much of a shit about what you're complaining about, you're just doing it to take down feminism. It's much like how your ilk weaponizes male rape victims.-BlackProg (talk) 15:00, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
Wow, homie, way to straw man the fuck out of the guy. Throwing in feminist that MRA this blah blah blah. It's a human rights issue. You sound completely irrational.-- (talk) 11:23, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Wow...seriously, fuck you. First of all, male rape is not a weapon. I've been sexually assaulted and I care about it very much, you fucking piece of shit.

It's so fucking insulting to think I only care about circumcision to "take down feminists", like I'm not allowed to be angry that my reproductive organ was mutilated. im against circumcision because I fucking hate being circumsied.

and circumcision causes significant nerve damage. the frenulum and ridged band are removed, along with thousands of bulbocavernosus nerve endings and meissners corpuscles. it's ridiculous to believe that slicing off a highly innervated erogenous tissue from the sex organ won't cause a loss of sexual pleasure. any logical or rational person can see what that doesn't make any sense.

seriously, educate yourself Even “normal” circumcisions cause severe nerve damage and loss of sexual function. A recent study from the british Medical journal concluded that circumcision removes the most sensitive parts of the penis, and that uncircumcised penis are 400% more sensitive than circumcised penises. This means circumcision removes 75% of sexual pleasure, so if you’re a circumcised guy, multiply your pleasure by 4, and that’s what you’d be feeling if you were uncut.

Here’s that study:

This is because the inner foreskin contains thousands of specialized sexual nerve endings and erogenous tissue such as the bulbocavernosus nerve endings and meissners corpuscles. A study last year confirmed that the foreskin is ultra-sensitive and loaded with nerve endings:

Two specific parts of the foreskin are the frenulum and ridged band, each acting as erogenous zones. The wiki articles on the two are very good (I know, I wrote them.) I’ll copy and paste the important parts.


The prepuce, including the ridged band, is a specific erogenous zone.[3]

Taylor (1996) postulates that “the ridged band with its unique structure, tactile corpuscles and other nerves, is primarily sensory tissue”.[2] He hypothesizes (2007) that Meissner’s corpuscles in the ridged band are adapted to detect stretch:

Work in progress indicates that retraction and stretching of this accordion-like structure triggers reflex contraction of bulbocavernosus and bulbospongiosus.[4]

Taylor theorizes that the main function of the ridged band is to trigger sexual reflexes. In a letter to the editor of BJU International, 2007, Taylor writes:

Initial study (J.R.T. unpublished) indicates that the real importance of the ridged band to sexual intercourse lies in an ability to trigger a reflex contraction of muscles responsible for ejaculation.[5]

In the Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2007, Taylor states:

Both glans and prepuce contribute to the single mucocutaneous junctional zone of the penis and it is possible that these apparently dissimilar structures in fact share similar functions related more to sexual reflexes than to touch perception.[4]

The effect of circumcision on sexual function is the subject of intense debate. Taylor’s view is that “almost certainly, removal of the prepuce and its ridged band distorts penile reflexogenic functions but exactly how and to what extent still remains to be seen”.[4] More recent research has demonstrated that the clinically important bulbocavernosus reflex is absent in 73% of circumcised men ostensibly due to the removal of fine-touch nerve endings in the ridged band.[6]


The frenulum and the associated tissue delta on the underside of the penis below the corona has been described in sexuality textbooks as “very reactive” and “particularly responsive to touch that is light and soft.” The “underside of the shaft of the penis, meaning the body below the corona” is a “source of distinct pleasure.”[5] Crooks and Baur observe that two extremely sensitive specific locations that many men find particularly responsive to stimulation are the corona, and the frenulum.[6] Repeated stimulation of this structure will cause orgasm and ejaculation in some men.

In men with spinal cord injury preventing sensations from reaching the brain, the frenulum just below the glans can be stimulated to produce orgasm and peri-ejaculatory response.[7][8]

It’s also theorized that the extreme pain and trauma in the first day of life can cause permanent brain damage.

And not having an opinion on circumcision IS conservative. How do you not understand why it's wrong to permanently decrease someone's sexual pleasure? isn't it just obvious to NOT do an irreversible procedure to a baby?

Gish Gallop. Hipocrite (talk) 15:34, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree that it shouldn't be performed on young babies, though I have no problem with it when consenting adolescents or adults undergo the procedure (though if they do it because of social pressure that'd make it problematic). Whether it affects sexual pleasure seems only relevant to me if the to-be-circumcised individual considers it relevant. (talk) 14:01, 12 November 2014 (UTC)


How is it that the Ultra-Orthodox rabbis suck blood out of the incision, when Jews are not supposed to drink blood at all? (Leviticus 17:14, "For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.") Landmartian (talk) 19:19, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

That's a commandment about animals & how to prepare their meat before eating. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:46, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

Humor section[edit]

Just wondering, why is there an entire section for "Humor" in an article for a human rights issue? It seems out of place in the rest of the article. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 09:49, 6 January 2015‎

True, dat. (Anyhoo it's spelled "humour" in the civilised parts of the world) Scream!! (talk) 11:51, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
Cut. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:22, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. FuzzyCatPotato of the Loyal Garbage bins (talk/stalk) 15:04, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Autism Discussion[edit]

There was a recent discussion in the Saloon about a starter study that linked trauma caused by circumcision (among other traumas) and autism. Worth mentioning here? Trick (talk) 16:18, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I think so. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:38, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
I'll try my hand at my first wiki edit of any sort, then....later this evening. That is, if nobody beats me to it. Or if I forget. Trick (talk) 18:10, 2 February 2015 (UTC)


I have to say, the part about sexual pleasure is so completely wrong. Honestly this ridiculous insistence other feminists have on clinging to that kind of anti-science just irritates the hell out of me because my little brother was almost circumcised and I had to beg my parents not to. It's so obvious to any rational person who does research that circumcision reduces sexual pleasure. I've had my share of partners, both cut and uncut, and there is an obvious and definitive difference between the two-uncircumcised penises are MUCH more sensitive. The amount of pressure that wouldn't be enough for a cut guy would be painful for a uncut guy, and this is very consistent.

seriously, it's just intellectually dishonest of you at this point. It's so easy to find if you just spend a little bit of time. The metaanalysis was majorly flawed, you can't take subjective reports of plerasure from men circumcised at birth, because they dont know what being uncut would feel like! There are plenty of studies that show circumcision reduces pleasure: The foreskin itself is an erogenous zone and contains thousands of nerve endings. A lot of guys restore their foreskin and notice a huge difference, including my boyfriend.

I don't know what you're trying to prove, but it's really just childish, and actually harmful.

I agree with you to some extant. However as far as I can tell the medical literature appears to be inconclusive on the issue of reduced sexual pleasure from circumcisions. These five studies however do not concur with your conclusion, but due concur with that of the study you cited:
These sources are all of varying value, not all of them address the topic directly either. All that being said I have seen studies which find that there may be reduced sexual pleasure from circumcision and hence it is probably a good idea to change the article to say that the evidence is inconclusive. Alsto003 (talk) 01:41, 11 February 2015 (UTC) Alex
I would rather that the article present both evidence for and against circumcision reducing sexual pleasure, when and if it exists, with rebuttals where necessary. FuzzyCatPotato of the Loyal Garbage bins (talk/stalk) 01:44, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

So this is where rationality goes to die[edit]

Unfortunately unsurprisingly, this article is every bit as irrational and biased as anything accurately criticised in other RW articles. Oh well. -- (talk) 01:49, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

So, do you have any specific complaints or did you just glance over the article and conclude that you didn't like it? (talk) 02:01, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Where to even begin? This would be an improvement. The article doesn't even mention the neutral descriptive word "amputation". It doesn't mention the Sorrells study. It makes a mockery of the concept of human rights and the ethical aspects involved in amputating healthy, unique and highly specialized tissue off of children's bodies. I take it you're yet another circumcised man in denial over circumcision harm? -- (talk) 16:27, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
"But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Drink! CorruptUser (talk) 18:12, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
I'll have you know I'm neither circumcised nor notably supportive of the practice of circumcision. It's not my fault your original post was just pure assertion. (talk) 19:20, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
  • [EC] It uses "removed", which is fundamentally the same as "amputation".
  • Please provide a link to the Sorrells study and what conclusions you have about it.
  • What should the articles say about human rights and this issue?
  • Stop the ad hominem on poor 141, pls. FrizzyCatPotato (talk/stalk) 18:14, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Indeed, this article seems unusually irrational in comparison with other articles I have read here. Biased, even.

Circumcision (together other forms of ritual mutilation like tooth-filing, scarification etc) is an irrational cultural thing. Its purported health benefits are attempts at justification of a practice that gained "medical" popularity in the 19th century as a barbaric method to prevent masturbation. Mutilating infants to prevent very rare diseases seems to me to be questionable at least. I can't think of anything else in medicine, where a surgical procedure - with risk of infection, nerve damage and scarification - is used preventively. The sentence "By removing the foreskin, circumcision does remove any risk of cancer in the foreskin" is simply ridiculous. I am sure that removing the testicles removes any risk of testicle cancer - that doesn't make it a particularly good idea. This article discusses the cultural bias of the positive studies, and mentions as an example that penis cancer incidence rates are similar in Europe and the US, suggesting that circumcision has a no actual significance. --Urizen (talk) 14:24, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

It is not mutilation and trying to declare medical benefits non-existent, just cause some kooks in the 19th century spouted some bs about, is nonsense, too.--Arisboch (talk) 14:29, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
And it's not like this article is pro-circumcision. It just cuts off a tiny piece of magical thinking to discard. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 14:37, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

Strawman: Failure to Address Parental/Custodial and Medical Ethics[edit]

First off, I should say I'm a huge fan of the work done here at Rationalwiki under ordinary circumstances. (This is my first talk page comment.) And I can understand that, as anti-circ arguments have sadly become a pet issue of MRA's, who are notorious for their grandiose self-pity, delusional ideation, and glaring defects in reason, I can understand why any reasonable person would feel very concerned that the article on this topic avoid any potential appearance of agreement with them. But this article's writers are allowing their zeal to avoid the appearance of alliance with extremists, to lead them into a structural strawman argument.

When you fail to address an opponent's strongest argument, you are engaging in a strawman. Ie., if you're arguing that the Moon is made of cheese, you ought to tackle the opposition's strongest argument - the fact that we have been there and walked on it and brought back Moon rocks - rather than building arguments based on, say, the Moon's appearance through a telescope. If you ignore the existence of Moon rocks, and pretend telescope observations are the only evidence the "not-cheese" faction have on their side, you are behaving in an intellectually cowardly way.

Similarly, I would say this article's focus on the topics of religious commandment, health benefits and sexual pleasure, meanwhile giving NO time to the issue of the medical and parental / custodial ethics involved (specifically issues of consent), constitutes a similar, structural strawman fallacy. I submit that the ethics issue is the anti-circ position's strongest argument. By leaving out this position, the article gives the false impression that the anti-circ camp has no stronger arguments than those presented here. The ethics issue deserves to be presented - and critiqued thoroughly and with every bit as much scrutiny as the other claims have been given. This is the principle of Steelmanning, and is a standard of behavior Rationalwiki editors should aspire to.

Thank you -ProfN — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Care to expand on what those medical and parental/custodial ethics are? Gooniepunk (talk) 04:45, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
As BoN said, issues of consent. Circumcision is most commonly conducted on infants who can't consent to it, on the (questionable) principle that their parents can make this decision for them. See the archive for more discussion on this issue. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:30, 14 November 2015 (UTC)