His Side with Glenn Sacks is a nationally syndicated talk radio show devoted to men's and father's rights. Glenn Sacks discusses gender issues from the male perspective.
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Circumcision: time to cut it out?
Article here. Excerpt:
'Despite this laudable reason for getting snipped, medical science remains rather more sceptical about the matter. Harking back to biblical times, circumcision is habitually passed off as “cleaner” than its laissez-faire alternative, but statistics about the spread of disease in roundheads versus cavaliers are inconclusive. The British Medical Association states that “the evidence concerning health benefits from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification.” Although the World Health Organization has found “compelling evidence” that the practice can reduce the risk of transmitting HIV, this claim has been disputed by various studies and was recently savaged on the Oxford University Practical Ethics blog, which concluded that it was based on “bad science”. In Africa, the procedure is also becoming a worrying substitute for contraception.
There is another explanation for the popularity of the ritual lurking in the annals of religious folklore. There are those who argue (incontrovertibly) that circumcision leads to decreased sensitivity in the end of the penis and (more controversially) that this causes a reduction in male sexual pleasure. Whether or not this uncomfortable thought is actually true, it is interesting to note that the practice has, over the millennia, been upheld by various religious sages as beneficial precisely because of this belief. According to the great 12th-century Jewish philosopher Maimonedes: “With regard to circumcision, one of the reasons for it is, in my opinion, the wish to bring about a decrease in sexual intercourse and a weakening of the organ in question.” In effect, no foreskin meant less focus on the penis and more focus on God. Could it be that all forms of genital cutting – and not merely female ones – have their origins in the desire to control and temper human sexuality? Either way, 800 years later, the Victorians were in agreement, convinced, in a world before Portnoy’s Complaint, that circumcision prevented boys from masturbating. It was partly this quaint supposition that spread the practice across Britain and America. Indeed, it was only when a cash-strapped nascent NHS decided to remove the service in 1949 that the British started leaving their children’s penises alone.
A shocking 2010 report in The Journal of Public Health found that, in a sample of 29 Muslim children circumcised at an Islamic school in Oxford, 45 per cent ended up developing medical problems as a direct result of the surgery. Then there was the recent case of 28-day-old Angelo Ofori-Mintah, who bled to death in February of this year after a circumcision in Queen’s Park, London – a tragedy echoed by that of Goodluck Caubergs, an infant who died in similar circumstances in 2010 following the cut. While the fatal haemorrhaging of Ofori-Mintah was ruled a “tragic accident”, the midwife responsible for Caubergs, Grace Adeleye, was charged in April of this year with manslaughter. She is currently awaiting trial.
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