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October 24, 2004

Comments

vik

Apparently, circumcision got so common in America because of several physicians' attempt in the early 20th century to cut down on that really dangerous societal menace, masturbation. (Yes, i didnt believe that at first either) It does indisputably eliminate a portion of the anatomy where most nerve endings in the penis are located but there also seems to be some physiological compensation later in life which is why i suppose the whole anti masturbation crusade never worked out. In any case, female 'circumcision' (or at least the most common type rather than the really drastic and disgusting infidubulations that they do in some parts of Africa) is biologically analogous to it, except that unlike male circumcision, its usually done in horrendous conditions by hacks in Africa which makes infection likely, to say nothing of the lesser to totally absent physiological compensation when it comes to sexual feeling that one would see in a teenage girl undergoing the procedure compared to an infant boy...

Adrianne Truett

Hey Vik! Nice to know you still stop by from time to time!

Andrew

The reason why Westerners are starting to refer to female genital mutilation as "circumcision" is probably because that's what those who practice FGM call it. Of course, you could always just refer to it by its proper name (clitoridectomy or infibulation) but nobody seems to want to do that. Just like nobody seems to want to refer to male genital mutilation by its proper name (posthectomy). "Circumcision" is simply a nebulous euphemism and, as such, it can be used to mean any number of things so it's hardly surprising to see it being applied to FGM in this part of the world or anywhere else. In my opinion, the continued use of the term "circumcision" is intended to serve one purpose and one purpose only and that's to sow confusion and thus blind people to the gruesome reality of genital mutilation, both male and female. And in that regard, it's been remarkably effective.

vik

yep med school is finally letting up on me enough so that i can go and spend time on productive things/circumcision... :)

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