Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies
The Legal Battle Over Male Circumcision
The practice of male circumcision is something that has existed in Jewish culture for thousands of years. Described in elaborate detail and coming with specific training and conditions, it is considered a sign of the covenant between the Jews and God, first done by Abraham to himself and his sons. However in the city of San Francisco, activists are moving to add a measure to the November 2011 ballot that will suddenly cast male circumcision in the light of non-consensual mutilation.
Most often, male circumcision is not viewed as a body art practice, although some adult men have chosen to undergo the procedure for their own personal or aesthetic reasons. The practice didn't become part of the Western culture mainstream until the Victorian era, when medical professionals of the day decided that it would be a good deterrent towards masturbation. So, in what was essentially a fad decision that has no medical validity, modern doctors began to circumcise all newborn baby boys.
Over the last few decades, there has been a growing movement of activists and parents who have been opting out of the practice, feeling there's no necessary or medical reason for foreskin removal. For members of the Jewish faith, the practice is viewed as being important and is an integral religious practice. The people in San Francisco who are pushing for a broad-spread law want to make it illegal to perform circumcision on anyone under the age of eighteen. So far, it is unclear if their law is meant to cover only male circumcision or if it will include the procedures that have been termed female circumcision. Whereas the male version refers only to a partial skin removal, the female version traditionally removes the central nerve bundle and much of the surrounding tissue, which would be more like a partial amputation on a male as far as nerves and sexual function are concerned.
This debate brings up issues of freedom of religion and anti-Semiticism. It also doesn't seem to address some of the valid medical concerns that have arisen during the later 20th century, where it was discovered that circumsicion is sometimes medically necessary for individuals who suffer from skin infections and that it can help reduce the potential for HIV and HPV transmission. It's been reported that women who have uncircumcised partners are more prone to cervical cancer. From a body art angle, it again starts to tilt the law in the direction away from an individual or a family to make decisions about what is appropriate for themselves or their bodies.
This is one debate where education is going to be important as lots of emotional but unsupported evidence is going to be thrown about. Learn more about the medical analysis of circumcision and keep your eyes on the news.
Content copyright © 2013 by Rae Schwarz. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Rae Schwarz. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Rae Schwarz for details.
Website copyright © 2013 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.