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Circumcision

What you don't know

Posted by PollsRus on 2006-01-23 12:53:35

There is a lot of ignorance in the comments here and some very unhealthy information. Let's get it right.

"Routine circumcision of babies in the United States did not begin until the Cold War era. Circumcision is almost unheard of in Europe, Southern America, and non-Muslim Asia. In fact, only 10 to 15 percent of men throughout the world are circumcised."

Circumcision started in America during the mas'turbation hysteria of the Victorian Era, when a few American doctors circumcised boys to punish them for mas'turbating. Victorian doctors knew very well that circumcision denudes, desensitizes, and disables the p_enis. Nevertheless, they were soon claiming that circumcision cured epilepsy, convulsions, paralysis, elephantiasis, tuberculosis, eczema, bed-wetting, hip-joint disease, fecal incontinence, rectal prolapse, wet dreams, hernia, headaches, nervousness, hysteria, poor eyesight, idiocy, mental retardation, and insanity.

In fact, no procedure in the history of medicine has been claimed to cure and prevent more diseases than circumcision. As late as the 1970s, leading American medical textbooks still advocated routine circumcision as a way to prevent mas'turbation. The antisexual motivations behind an operation that entails cutting off part of the p_enis are obvious.

Information about the foreskin itself is almost always missing from discussions about circumcision. The mass circumcision campaigns of the past few decades have resulted in pandemic ignorance about this remarkable structure and its versatile role in human sexuality. Ignorance and false information about the foreskin are the rule in American medical literature, education, and practice. Most American medical textbooks depict the human p_enis, without explanation, as circumcised, as if it were so by nature.

The foreskin is a uniquely specialized, sensitive, functional organ of touch. No other part of the body serves the same purpose. As a modified extension of the penile shaft skin, the foreskin covers and usually extends beyond the glans before folding under itself and finding its circumferential point of attachment just behind the corona (the rim of the glans). The foreskin is, therefore, a double-layered organ. Its true length is twice the length of its external fold and comprises as much as 80 percent or more of the penile skin covering.

The foreskin contains a rich concentration of blood vessels and nerve endings. It is lined with the peripenic muscle sheet, a smooth muscle layer with longitudinal fibers. These muscle fibers are whirled, forming a kind of sphincter that ensures optimum protection of the urinary tract from contaminants of all kinds.

Like the undersurface of the eyelids or the inside of the cheek, the undersurface of the foreskin consists of mucous membrane. It is divided into two distinct zones: the soft mucosa and the ridged mucosa. The soft mucosa lies against the glans p_enis and contains ectopic sebaceous glands that secrete emollients, lubricants, and protective antibodies. Similar glands are found in the eyelids and mouth.

Adjacent to the soft mucosa and just behind the lips of the foreskin is the ridged mucosa. This exquisitely sensitive structure consists of tightly pleated concentric bands, like the elastic bands at the top of a sock. These expandable pleats allow the foreskin lips to open and roll back, exposing the glans. The ridged mucosa gives the foreskin its characteristic taper.

On the underside of the glans, the foreskin's point of attachment is advanced toward the meatus (urethral opening) and forms a bandlike ligament called the frenulum. It is identical to the frenulum that secures the tongue to the floor of the mouth. The foreskin's frenulum holds it in place over the glans, and, in conjunction with the smooth muscle fibers, helps return the retracted foreskin to its usual forward position over the glans.

At birth, the foreskin is usually attached to the glans, very much as a fingernail is attached to a finger. By puberty, the p_enis will usually have completed its development, and the foreskin will have separated from the glans. The foreskin therefore can be likened to a rosebud which remains closed and muzzled. Like a rosebud, it will only blossom when the time is right. No one opens a rosebud to make it blossom.

Parents should be wary of anyone who tries to retract their child's foreskin, and especially wary of anyone who wants to cut it off. Human foreskins are in great demand for any number of commercial enterprises, and the marketing of purloined baby foreskins is a multimillion-dollar-a-year industry. Pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies use human foreskins as research material. Corporations such as Advanced Tissue Sciences, Organogenesis, and BioSurface Technology use human foreskins as the raw materials for a type of breathable bandage.

The foreskin has numerous protective, sensory, and sexual functions.

Protection: Just as the eyelids protect the eyes, the foreskin protects the glans and keeps its surface soft, moist, and sensitive. It also maintains optimal warmth, pH balance, and cleanliness. The glans itself contains no sebaceous glands-glands that produce the sebum, or oil, that moisturizes our skin.11 The foreskin produces the sebum that maintains proper health of the surface of the glans. Immunological Defense: The mucous membranes that line all body orifices are the body's first line of immunological defense. Glands in the foreskin produce antibacterial and antiviral proteins such as lysozyme. Lysozyme is also found in tears and mother's milk. Specialized epithelial Langerhans cells, an immune system component, abound in the foreskin's outer surface.13 Plasma cells in the foreskin's mucosal lining secrete immunoglobulins, antibodies that defend against infection. Erogenous Sensitivity: The foreskin is as sensitive as the fingertips or the lips of the mouth. It contains a richer variety and greater concentration of specialized nerve receptors than any other part of the p_enis. These specialized nerve endings can discern motion, subtle changes in temperature, and fine gradations of texture. Coverage During Erection: As it becomes erect, the penile shaft becomes thicker and longer. The double-layered foreskin provides the skin necessary to accommodate the expanded organ and to allow the penile skin to glide freely, smoothly, and pleasurably over the shaft and glans. Self-Stimulating Sexual Functions: The foreskin's double-layered sheath enables the penile shaft skin to glide back and forth over the penile shaft. The foreskin can normally be slipped all the way, or almost all the way, back to the base of the p_enis, and also slipped forward beyond the glans. This wide range of motion is the mechanism by which the p_enis and the orgasmic triggers in the foreskin, frenulum, and glans are stimulated. Sexual Functions in Intercourse: One of the foreskin's functions is to facilitate smooth, gentle movement between the mucosal surfaces of the two partners during intercourse. The foreskin enables the p_enis to slip in and out of the vagina nonabrasively inside its own slick sheath of self-lubricating, movable skin. The female is thus stimulated by moving pressure rather than by friction only, as when the male's foreskin is missing. The foreskin fosters intimacy between the two partners by enveloping the glans and maintaining it as an internal organ. The sexual experience is enhanced when the foreskin slips back to allow the male's internal organ, the glans, to meet the female's internal organ, the cervix-a moment of supreme intimacy and beauty.

The foreskin may have functions not yet recognized or understood. Scientists in Europe recently detected estrogen receptors in its basal epidermal cells.

Researchers at the University of Manchester found that the human foreskin has apocrine glands. These specialized glands produce pheromones, nature's chemical messengers. Further studies are needed to fully understand these features of the foreskin and the role they play.

The "medical" debate about the "potential health benefits" of circumcision rarely addresses its real effects.

  • Circumcision denudes: Depending on the amount of skin cut off, circumcision robs a male of as much as 80 percent or more of his penile skin. Depending on the foreskin's length, cutting it off makes the p_enis as much as 25 percent or more shorter. Careful anatomical investigations have shown that circumcision cuts off more than 3 feet of veins, arteries, and capillaries, 240 feet of nerves, and more than 20,000 nerve endings. The foreskin's muscles, glands, mucous membrane, and epithelial tissue are destroyed, as well.

  • Circumcision desensitizes: Circumcision desensitizes the p_enis radically. Foreskin amputation means severing the rich nerve network and all the nerve receptors in the foreskin itself. Circumcision almost always damages or destroys the frenulum. The loss of the protective foreskin desensitizes the glans. Because the membrane covering the permanently externalized glans is now subjected to constant abrasion and irritation, it keratinizes, becoming dry and tough. The nerve endings in the glans, which in the intact p_enis are just beneath the surface of the mucous membrane, are now buried by successive layers of keratinization. The denuded glans takes on a dull, grayish, sclerotic appearance.

  • Circumcision disables: The amputation of so much penile skin permanently immobilizes whatever skin remains, preventing it from gliding freely over the shaft and glans. This loss of mobility destroys the mechanism by which the glans is normally stimulated. When the circumcised p_enis becomes erect, the immobilized remaining skin is stretched, sometimes so tightly that not enough skin is left to cover the erect shaft. Hair-bearing skin from the groin and scrotum is often pulled onto the shaft, where hair is not normally found. The surgically externalized mucous membrane of the glans has no sebaceous glands. Without the protection and emollients of the foreskin, it dries out, making it susceptible to cracking and bleeding.

  • Circumcision disfigures: Circumcision alters the appearance of the p_enis drastically. It permanently externalizes the glans, normally an internal organ. Circumcision leaves a large circumferential surgical scar on the penile shaft. Because circumcision usually necessitates tearing the foreskin from the glans, pieces of the glans may be torn off, too, leaving it pitted and scarred. Shreds of foreskin may adhere to the raw glans, forming tags and bridges of dangling, displaced skin.

Depending on the amount of skin cut off and how the scar forms, the circumcised p_enis may be permanently twisted, or curve or bow during erection. The contraction of the scar tissue may pull the shaft into the abdomen, in effect shortening the p_enis or burying it completely.

  • Circumcision disrupts circulation: Circumcision interrupts the normal circulation of blood throughout the penile skin system and glans. The blood flowing into major penile arteries is obstructed by the line of scar tissue at the point of incision, creating backflow instead of feeding the branches and capillary networks beyond the scar. Deprived of blood, the meatus may contract and scarify, obstructing the flow of urine. This condition, known as meatal stenosis, often requires corrective surgery. Meatal stenosis is found almost exclusively among boys who have been circumcised.

Circumcision also severs the lymph vessels, interrupting the circulation of lymph and sometimes causing lymphedema, a painful, disfiguring condition in which the remaining skin of the p_enis swells with trapped lymph fluid.

  • Circumcision harms the developing brain: Recent studies published in leading medical journals have reported that circumcision has long-lasting detrimental effects on the developing brain, adversely altering the brain's perception centers. Circumcised boys have a lower pain threshold than girls or intact boys. Developmental neuropsychologist Dr. James Prescott suggests that circumcision can cause deeper and more disturbing levels of neurological damage, as well.

  • Circumcision is unhygienic and unhealthy: One of the most common myths about circumcision is that it makes the p_enis cleaner and easier to take care of. This is not true. Eyes without eyelids would not be cleaner; neither would a p_enis without its foreskin. The artificially externalized glans and meatus of the circumcised p_enis are constantly exposed to abrasion and dirt, making the circumcised p_enis, in fact, more unclean. The loss of the protective foreskin leaves the urinary tract vulnerable to invasion by bacterial and viral pathogens.

The circumcision wound is larger than most people imagine. It is not just the circular point of union between the outer and inner layers of the remaining skin. Before a baby is circumcised, his foreskin must be torn from his glans, literally skinning it alive. This creates a large open area of raw, bleeding flesh, covered at best with a layer of undeveloped proto-mucosa. Germs can easily enter the damaged tissue and bloodstream through the raw glans and, even more easily, through the incision itself.

Even after the wound has healed, the externalized glans and meatus are still forced into constant unnatural contact with urine, feces, chemically treated diapers, and other contaminants.

Female partners of circumcised men do not report a lower rate of cervical cancer, nor does circumcision prevent penile cancer. A recent study shows that the penile cancer rate is higher in the US than in Denmark, where circumcision, except among Middle-Eastern immigrant workers, is almost unheard of. Indeed, researchers should investigate the possibility that circumcision has actually increased the rate of these diseases.

Circumcision does not prevent acquisition or transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In fact, the U.S. has both the highest percentage of sexually active circumcised males in the Western world and the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. Rigorously controlled prospective studies show that circumcised American men are at a greater risk for bacterial and viral STDs, especially gonorrhea, nongonoccal urethritis, human papilloma virus, herpes simplex virus type and chlamydia.

  • Circumcision is always risky: Circumcision always carries the risk of serious, even tragic, consequences. Its surgical complication rate is one in 500.

There is a lot more to this information then we have placed here. Don't spread rumers as fact and hurt another baby boy!

-J-

Posted by jennaxx on 2006-02-23 09:11:09

Right on!!! I'm so glad there are people like you out there spreading the truth so more parents don't believe the lies the medical "profession" shoves down our throats! As a mother of two boys, I had to tell the hospital staff everytime they came in that I didn't want my boys circumcised (are you sure? he'll be teased. it's so much cleaner, etc. they said). Finally, I told them, "If my son comes back circumcised, I'm going to own this hospital." and they never asked again. Of course it's painful! Anyone who doesn't think so should try cutting the skin off their finger and see how that feels. And the actual surgery isn't the only risk. You have an open wound exposed to urine and feces 24/7. I can't think of an environment better suited for infection. As for all you guys who think that if you were circumcised you'd get more $%!@, let me let you in on a secret: we girls don't like to do it and will use any excuse to get out of it (I've often used impacted wisdom teeth!). You probably only get $%!@ from two types of girls: really $%!@ty $%!@y ones, and one who really adores you that she's willing to do something distasteful to make you happy. And with the last one, it doesn't matter if you're cut or not.