Tag Archives | Circumcision

Gender Inequality Mutilates the Bodies and Spirits of Boys

Our society has been silent, apathetic and cruel for too long about how our boys are treated, ignored and harmed. As a mental health professional who has worked with youth and families for close to two decades, I am on the front lines watching the spirits, minds and hearts of youth weep, tremble and rage with pain from schools, families and a society disconnected from their needs. However, while girls are embraced with incessant cultural messages of empowerment, “girl power” and support, boys must face a constant barrage of shaming, pathologizing, mockery and punishment for their maleness. Their needs, pain and suffering are simply denied existence. Not only is this pathologizing and shunning of boys happening in the media, it is happening in the fields of education, mental health, human services, the law and in the global social justice efforts that shape the world’s perceptions of gender.

Z flow

Photo: Jamwhy (CC)

Denying Sexual Abuse of Boys

Recently I did the powerful Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) trauma treatment with a boy who had suffered severe sexual abuse.… Read the rest

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South African Doctors Perform First Successful Penis Transplant

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The team at Stellenbosch University. 

A medical team in South Africa has successfully performed a penis transplant. And, yes, it is fully function.

The patient, a 21-year-old whose name is being withheld for ethical reasons, underwent the procedure on December 11, 2014. Three months later, his new member is now completely functional.

“Our goal was that he would be fully functional at two years and we are very surprised by his rapid recovery,” says Prof André van der Merwe, head of Stellenbosch University’s Division of Urology.

This is a very important breakthrough for the medical community around the world, but especially so in South Africa. In SA, many young men lose their penises from botched circumcisions. The 21-year-old patient’s penis had to be amputated three years ago when he developed severe complications. It is estimated that there as many as 250 amputations a year in South Africa. Understandably, this can cause psychological damage to the amputees.… Read the rest

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Ritual Circumcision Linked to Increased Risk of Autism in Young Boys

hepingting (CC BY-SA 2.0)

hepingting (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Via ScienceDaily:

Research published today by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine suggests that circumcised boys are more likely than intact boys to develop autism spectrum disorder (ASD) before the age of 10. Risk is particularly high for infantile autism before the age of five. The research was carried out in Denmark among a cohort of all children born between 1994 and 2003. During the study over 340,000 boys were followed up to the age of nine between 1994 and 2013 and almost 5,000 cases of ASD were diagnosed. The study showed that regardless of cultural background circumcised boys may run a greater risk of developing ASD. The researchers also made an unexpected observation of an increased risk of hyperactivity disorder among circumcised boys in non-Muslim families.

Professor Morten Frisch of the Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, who led the research, said: “Our investigation was prompted by the combination of recent animal findings linking a single painful injury to lifelong deficits in stress response and a study showing a strong, positive correlation between a country’s neonatal male circumcision rate and its prevalence of ASD in boys.”

Today it is considered unacceptable practice to circumcise boys without proper pain relief but none of the most common interventions used to reduce circumcision pain completely eliminates it and some boys will endure strongly painful circumcisions.

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‘Circumcision Is Barbaric And Stupid’

Photo: dbking (CC)

Photo: dbking (CC)

Well that’s Russell Crowe’s opinion, anyway. IOL Scitech reports from the battlefront over circumcision in the United States:

In the United States, a vocal movement of “intactivists,” or people who oppose male circumcision, is engaged in a fierce debate with doctors over the practice of clipping baby boys’ foreskins.

Actor Russell Crowe may be the most famous of them. Earlier this year he declared on Twitter: “Circumcision is barbaric and stupid,” before swiftly tweeting sorry to anyone who thought he was “mocking the rituals and traditions of others.”

Over the weekend, California’s governor blocked a bid by opponents of circumcision to have voters decide if local governments could make it a crime for doctors to perform the procedure unless medically necessary.

But the movement has vowed to keep fighting against a medical practice that is done to about 57 percent of American boys – down from more than 80 percent in the 1980s according to US health authorities – yet remains rare in most of Europe, Asia and Latin America.

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We Need To Stop Circumcision

Christiane Northrup, M.D., a board-certified ob/gyn, for Huffington Post:

In the weeks ahead, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are likely to publish a recommendation that all infant boys undergo circumcision. This is a huge mistake. Circumcision is an unnecessary procedure that is painful and can lead to complications, including death. No organization in the world currently recommends this. Why should we routinely remove normal, functioning tissue from the genitals of little boys within days of their birth?

The vast majority of the world’s men, including most Europeans and Scandinavians, are uncircumcised. And before 1900, circumcision was virtually nonexistent in the United States as well–except for Jewish and Muslim people, who’ve been performing circumcisions for thousands of years for religious reasons. Believe it or not, circumcision was introduced in English-speaking countries in the late 1800s to control or prevent masturbation, similar to the way that female circumcision–the removal of the clitoris and labia–was promoted and continues to be advocated in some Muslim and African countries to control women’s sexuality.

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For and Against Foreskin

In what might just might be the most comprehensive glossy magazine coverage devoted to foreskins ever, New York Magazine includes a slew of articles including:

  • One Man, Both Ways: The real difference, according to someone who’s been cut and uncut.

And, believe it or not, a whole lot more about foreskins. In New York Magazine

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