Sunday, June 15, 2008

circumcision



After I read Les Visible's fine piece over at smokingmirrors I remembered a documentary I saw called The Valley of Life or Death and which I recommend to all. The documentary started with two researchers in Africa, one an AIDS researcher, the other an anthropologist. Both of them had a series of maps which they compared. The anthropologist had a variety of maps charting all manner of things including language, religion, food and social practices. The AIDS researcher had a map of AIDS prevalence. Astoundingly the AIDS map matched the map charting the practice of circumcision almost precisely. It did not resemble any other maps. This was due to the fact that the practice of circumcision did not cleanly correspond with any other description. It was carried out (or not) by all religions, tribes, and social groups, ie. there were Muslims who did and didn't circumcise, Animists who did and didn't, Swahili speakers who did and didn't etc. It varied village to village. As did AIDS prevalence. It was that specific.

The coincidence of AIDS prevalence and lack of circumcision drove the documentary makers to ask the obvious question - was there something about the foreskin that facilitated the catching of AIDS? So they looked into it. Sure enough, the foreskin differs from every other bit of skin on the body in that it lacks a layer of keratin. Keratin, it seems, is marvellous stuff that renders the body impervious to viruses. Skin lacking keratin not only does not possess this protection against viruses but acts in the opposite way by way of 'Langerhans' cells that perversely function to drag viruses into the body. Who knew?


And yet it all makes perfect sense. In an age before mass communications and government health warnings, health practices were necessarily encoded into religious doctrine. The logic behind a taboo on eating the flesh of swine is the same logic behind removing the foreskin. It wasn't for no reason that ancient religions mandated circumcision.

The documentary ended with the researchers returning to Africa where they set up a cheap and effective program to encourage those not circumcised to do so. Three cheers all round. So. Has anyone reading here heard of this documentary? Have you heard of the health benefits of circumcision? It seems all we hear about is expensive drugs. For the majority of people their only connection with AIDS consists of giving money to those people with red buckets standing at prominent city corners. I'd be prepared to bet that this money goes not to cheap and effective circumcision programs but rather to more expensive big Pharma research for more expensive big Pharma drugs. What are the odds?

Further to this, how much money does the Big Pharma AIDS money-go-round make? Let's float this as a hypothetical - If there were billions of dollars in AIDS for Big Pharma, and if circumcision offered a cheap non-patentable alternative with no market for Big Pharma big money drugs, would Big Pharma throw up its hands and thank God a cure had been found at last with nary a tear shed at the billions they were going to miss out on? Or might they be cynical enough to sling a day's income (ie. a few million) at whomever they could find to tell us that circumcision is a really bad idea? I wonder...


But never mind Big Pharma proper, how was this documentary greeted by those agents of Big Pharma products, the doctors? Ha ha ha. Boy did they hate it! Have a bit of a google search and see how circumcision is viewed by the medical fraternity. Circumcision it seems is up there with being bled, mercury cures, and exorcism. The campaigns against it are broad-based and hysterical. Any doctor sticking up for it will be vociferously attacked. If it was completely banned that would suit the medical world just dandy.

Am I the only one to find this curious? Isn't the medical fraternity, like law, banking, and the media heavily Jewish? And are they not all, to a man, circumcised? Why don't they take this hysterical campaign against circumcision as an affront to their beliefs? Why don't they stick up for it? Why do they pile in on the hysterical anti-circumcision campaign? That their sons will be circumcised is a cold hard certainty. Does anyone see any sense in this? That isn't connected to money?


And then there's the field of sex research. These people are perhaps even more strident in their condemnation of circumcision. All manner of research and polls have been carried out proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that sex is better with a foreskin and that circumcision is some variation of barbaric sexual repression. Those lacking a foreskin are not only the subjects of butchery but are doomed to a life of second-rate sexual pleasure. If were to idly ask if 'sexual researchers' were perhaps also predominantly Jewish would we be surprised if the answer was 'duh...'. Now, repeat the previous para, substituting 'sexual researchers' for 'doctors', stir vigourously and bake for one hour in a moderate oven.

And what scrummy delight results from these ingredients? Whilst I did not discuss AIDS as a non-natural, man-made thing, there's tons of convincing evidence out there saying precisely that. Click the links in Les' piece or just get googling. Then there's the simple fact that amongst men, AIDS predominantly attacks the uncircumcised. In amongst the various AIDS campaigns there is no mention of circumcision as a cheap and effective preventative measure. What discussion there is of circumcision consists of an hysterical attack campaign. Finally the people who attack circumcision are predominantly its most famous practitioners. I'm not even going to sum it up. You figure it out.


*Post Scriptum four years later. I've been going through all my old text-only blog entries and retro-fitting them with photos. With this piece the first order of the day was to find an image from the abovementioned BBC Horizon documentary The Valley of Life and Death. Astoundingly in all of Google there is only a single 127 x 91 pixel picture, which I've posted above at its true rez. I've clocked up hundreds of hours searching for images on Google and I've never seen the like - certainly not for a documentary made by the BBC. But never mind, occasionally I seek images that don't exist (like a photo of Robert Mugabe that shows him as something other than mad or evil, say) and it's no problem - I simply go to google video and do a screen grab. But lo and behold, this documentary does not exist on the net in any way, shape, or form. This is extraordinary to the point of impossibility. This documentary is harder to lay your hands on than the disappeared Yorkshire Television documentary about the Franklin Scandal, Conspiracy of Silence. Wow.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Goy aren't supposed to be circumcised unless we're bought and paid for. Ha! Har!
The covenant of circumcision
Tony

kikz05 said...

hmmm.. hadn't heard the circumcision correlation b4.

vaccination correlation yea.. but circumcision.. no.

dexter.. ewwww.
my skin crawled when i first heard the premise.

almost as appetizing as swingtown, a 70's show following a couple's descent into open marriage.. then i hear billi (rose frm dr. who) is getting a show on cable about being a hi class call girl. bleh:P

vast wasteland it is.

i've not watched it, but i guess you've heard of the show stateside..
?smarter than a 6th grader?

eyeroll.

i watch very little on tv, we usually stay on pbs. but the pisser...they have obnoxious fund drives almost monthly... a true curse:P
i'd love to be able to pay them to shut th'hell up.


on the cut vs not cut... i'm goy.. my daddy was cut.. i don't think i've ever seen but one.. and that was frm a distance.. that wasn't cut. (shudder)ewww.
as i understand it.. it's done for cleanliness issues. (shrugz?)

nobody said...

Hola,

Well that's my point. You've never heard it mentioned in any discussion of AIDS. What the hell is AIDS about if this isn't part of the discussion?

And yeah there's the cleanliness aspect of it. But really I was only discussing circumcision in the bigger picture of disease. Specifically a man-made disease that seems to predominantly attack the uncircumcised.

Mark Lyndon said...

It's nowhere as simple as you present it.

The studies which allegedly show a reduction in HIV among circumcised men are highly questionable. Not one of them was finished, despite the protective affect appearing to decline well below the oft-reported 65%, and several of the subjects disappeared. The fact that Auvert's study described circumcision as "comparable to a vaccine of high efficacy" seems to show clear bias. They appear to have been seeking a certain result. One has to wonder how many of the people promoting circumcision in Africa are themselves circumcised. Daniel Halperin is the grandson of a mohel, and seems to think that "maybe in some small way (he's) destined to help pass along (circumcision)" so his objectivity is questionable.

Other epidemiological studies have shown no correlation between HIV and circumcision, but rather with the numbers of sex workers, or the prevalence of "dry sex".

The two continents with the highest rates of AIDS are the same two continents with the highest rates of male circumcision (Africa and north America). Rwanda has almost double the rate of HIV in circed men than intact men, yet they've just started a nationwide circumcision campaign. Other countries where circumcised men are *more* likely to be HIV+ are Cameroon, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, and Tanzania. That's six countries where men are more likely to be HIV+ if they've been circumcised. Something is very wrong here. These people aren't interested in fighting HIV, but in promoting circumcision (or sometimes anything-but-condoms), and their actions will cost lives.

Circumcised male virgins are more likely to be HIV+ than intact male virgins, as the operation sometimes infects men. The latest news is that circumcised HIV+ men appear more likely to transmit the virus to women than intact HIV+ men (even after the healing period is over). Eight additional women appear to have been infected during that study, solely because their husbands were circumcised.

Female circumcision seems to protect against HIV too btw, but we wouldn't investigate cutting off women's labia, and then start promoting that.

For a good summary of the case against promoting circumcision in Africa, see this link: http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/info/HIVStatement.html

Anonymous said...

If circumcision prevented AIDS, the United States wouldn't have the highest rate of HIV in the world, much higher than Europe, where circumcision is rarely practiced.

Read this:

Male Circumcision Ineffective in HIV Battle According to New Future HIV Therapy Report

Download the PDF: http://www.futuremedicine.com/toc/fht/2/3

Promoting male circumcision in Africa is risky and dangerous and could lead to more HIV infections, warns a new paper published today in the May issue of Future HIV Therapy. Promoting circumcision will drain millions, possibly billions, of dollars away from more effective prevention strategies, and cause tens of thousands of infections and other surgical complications.

Learn more about circumcision at:
http://www.babyboy.info/birth_care.html

specialaffinity said...

Here's a different take on this subject:

Aidsmap: Single virus often responsible for HIV infection, suggesting high barrier to infection

Posted: 14 Jun 2008 01:37 PM CDT

Aidsmap has reported on a study out of Alabama that purports to show that three quarters of HIV infections results from a single virus penetrating the new host. In other words, "a single virus was the ancestor of all the viruses isolated from that individual, suggesting to the researchers that immune defences against HIV are highly efficient and usually able to prevent infections by swarms of viruses."

The significance of this for prevention is unclear. However, I think one can speculate that the way to get infected is to engage in activities that make the body's defenses less effective, such as using drugs that degrade the immune system or injecting the virus directly into the blood stream. It has been widely accepted for some time now that drugs such as "poppers" and methamphetamine weaken mucous membranes as well as overall immunological defenses. Until now, the effect of lowering inhibitions has logically gotten all the attention.

If an otherwise healthy individual possesses rather robust innate defenses to initial HIV infection, just how much risk are individuals taking to finally get infected? Unfortunately, I'm not sure that's the right question to ask. At least in the developed world, it isn't in fact the average healthy individual who is getting this virus. It's the marginalized population of the poor, drug-addicted, and disadvantaged who are coming down with the disease.

Risk taking of all forms increases the more marginalized one is. HIV has exploited this reality of society. Where do you find fewer marginalized people? In the developed, rich countries of the world, excluding the US, such as those of Europe and even Japan. And how do these countries compare? They have lower rates of HIV and AIDS. Two reasons stand out: a broader social safety net and universal health care.

And yes, you guessed it. They don't circumcise in the majority. So, it would appear that circumcision is for the poor and marginalized. And that population is huge in Africa.

As for big-picture strategy, once again, contrary to Halperin and Potts, Bailey and others, targeted prevention efforts would seem to be the best way to go.

Reference

Keele BF et al. Identification and characterization of transmitted and early founder virus envelopes in primary HIV-1infection. PNAS 105 (21): 7552-7557, 2008.

Anonymous said...

Hi nobody et all :)

Sorry n, but I gotta disagree with you totally on this one. I have heard of this info, and have seen some or all of a doc on it. Far as I'm concerned, it's a complete load of bollocks, shite, propaganda.

As for cleanliness, cut or non-cut's got nada to do with it.

btw, I did not have my son cut. And he's thanked me for it.

later mite...

annemarie

lost my password for the moment, so have to log in as anon til i relocate it. doh!

Hugh7 said...

That "documentary" (made in 2000) was pure propaganda. The correlation isn't nearly as clear-cut ;( as it claimed.

In several African countries, the proportion of circumcised men with HIV is higher than the proportion not circumcised. Circumcision never takes place outside a social context that includes many customs associated with HIV transmission.

Even if the studies were accurate, they show that it would take 30-50 circumcisions to delay (not prevent) one transmission of HIV (and the figure would be much higher where the virus is rarer). That's very poor economics where so little money is available for basic health.

And circumcision does nothing to prevent transmission to women, who are more at risk.
The biggest worry is that, in a continent where many men think sex with a virgin will cure AIDS, the factoid "circumcision prevents AIDS" will lead circumcised men to throw caution to the winds, and the outcome will be much worse than before. "Get circumcised to protect the community from AIDS, but it won't protect you much, so don't give up the condoms" is a preposterously mixed message to try to deliver.

nobody said...

I logged in this morning, read the first three after kikz and Tony and wrote the following -

Sometimes the most marvellous things happen - like the above three contributions. This is a perfect lesson in how things work.

We're meant to assume that they're people wandering by, who, since we're on the subject, just happen to have an opinion on it. But that's not quite the case. Without being perfectly certain I'm prepared to state that they came here by way of their regular daily (or even more frequent perhaps) search for anything on the net connected to circumcision. Either that or they got an email from someone who'd done it for them. They are on 'circumcision duty'. Just like all those trolls on 'anti-semitism duty' that we all know and love. I doubt that it's anywhere near as organised as megaphone - but it's definitely the same logic. If circumcision is mentioned anywhere, it's their job to pile in and bag it out.

I can't say anything specific about anon or specialaffinity but Mark Lyndon is very interesting. He might just be one of the busiest guys on the net. A Google of 'mark lyndon circumcision' will reveal 23,000 results. Wow. Click on the links and find comments almost word for word what he wrote here. I wonder if there's a single word in his comment that isn't cut and paste. Maybe the first line.

The link he provided is THE group campaigning against circumcision. He is them. These are precisely the people I was talking about in my piece. Go to their page, click on the contact link and then google the people listed there. Be amazed at how busy and tireless they are. Also, search the page for the word 'keratin'. Astoundingly it is never mentioned.

Frankly I don't think any of the above three will be back. I doubt their busy schedule allows them time for return visits. But it's possible. To this end I have some questions, specifically for Mr. Lyndon. How do you make a living? Is your anti-circumcision campaign a full-time gig? If not, how many hours a day do you clock up cutting and pasting comments on the net? If so, who pays your wage? Who funds doctorsopposingcircumcision? Who pays the rent and the executive salaries? Are there any connections between your group and the pharmaceutical industry? And what connections do you have with the pharmaceutical industry? What was your gig before this one?

Questions aside, apart from the curious nature of the writing which gave me the impression that these responses were to some other discussion, I didn't care for too many of the arguments. Take female female circumcision. Who's talking about that? It's your straw man, mate. Nothing to do with me. I'm agin it and making out that I somehow support it is bullshit. I should also say it's a very frequent straw man - Mr. Lyndon rarely fails to mention it wherever he happens to be and invariably he's the only one talking about it.

Also the fact that the US has many circumcised men and many AIDS sufferers is a crap argument. I'd merely ask, is the percentage of AIDS victims who are circumcised greater or lesser than that of the population as a whole. That might tell us something useful.

And there is a fellow promoting circumcision who is a mohel? Um, okay. Just one? Is this to counter my question about the medical fraternity being heavily against circumcision whilst simultaneously being heavily Jewish? Or just more vague cut and paste? It's hard to tell.

And the circumcision operation sometimes infects men who've never had sex? What a lousy argument. Any operation might do that. Perhaps we should outlaw surgery. Not here of course. Just in Africa.

And circumcised men appear more likely to transmit AIDS than uncircumcised men? Bullshit. By what possible means might this occur? AIDS is transmitted by semen to blood. Do uncircumcised men ejaculate more semen? Does the removal of the foreskin make semen more virulent? (Sure, there's blood to blood. This would necessarily mean that circumcised men are more likely to get a cut on their dick. That argument won't get much traction with me, ha ha.)

And finally there's the stunning assertion that promoting circumcision will divert billions of dollars away from other worthier things. What, like giving that money to multinational drug corporations to come up with drugs that won't cure anyone but merely keep them alive for as long as they can fork out for the insanely expensive drugs? Now that you put it that way (or was that me?) you'd almost have to wonder if it wouldn't be in big pharma's interest to put the kibosh on discussions about other cheaper and more effective strategies of preventing AIDS. After all, if there's billions of dollars for AIDS how would it suit them to have less AIDS victims? Between a cheap and effective non-pharmaceutical strategy of prevention, and a long-term, expensive, pay-up-or-die non-cure, which do you think would get the big pharma tick of approval?

Would it be terribly wicked of me to imagine that, with billions at stake, big pharma might spend a million or two to fund an anti-circumcision lobby? If we're prepared to entertain that thought, would it then make any sense for that lobby to restrict it's discussion to AIDS and maybe give the game away? Surely it would be far easier to disguise the wickedness of the exercise if it were dressed it up in some kind of otherwise idiotic 'let's keep men intact' argument, with a side-serving of 'let's not forget AIDS'.

For mine, there's something really screwy about the anti-circumcision crowd. I reckon I could go through nearly every single argument they've got, and with the slightest changes, come up with a manifesto for an anti-piercing, or an anti-tattoo, or even an anti-nose job lobby. Frankly I don't trust them and they did themselves no services today in the way that they got here, their barely germane cut and paste comments, and their scatter-gun crap arguments. Yoroshiku.

---

Hey AM where you been. Glad you're there and well.

I still find it remarkable that the foreskin alone lacks the disease preventing barrier of keratin. Me, I put this together with the millenia long practice of removing this particular bit of skin and you have to wonder. Well, I do anyway.

Otherwise hugh7, propaganda to what end? Has a coalition of otherwise disparate, greedy African circumcision doctors gotten together and co-opted the BBC to trick us all? For mine, propaganda usually comes on a broad front to advance the interests of big money. With this Horizon doco as the single voice against a massive campaign heading in precisely opposite direction it's very strange 'propaganda'. If you were to describe it as 'misled' I'd be more amenable.

Also the argument that circumcision only protects half the population doesn't impress much. It, along with your 'proposterous mixed message' angle reeks of all-or-nothing. It's a bit like arguing about whether people should wear rubber gloves in an ICU or wash their hands instead, when clearly they can do both. That's not preposterous is it?

Otherwise in several African countries the incidence of AIDS is higher amongst circumcised men? Okay. Not most of them? Or all of them? Would you hate me if I said that this was not unlike saying John Smith won a greater number of votes in several voting precincts? It doesn't tell me much. Your argument here gives me no indication if, in these particular countries, circumcised men also happened to be of a particular religion much given to mad rooting, say, or some such variety of coincidental statistics-muddying thing. The reason I was impressed with the Horizon doco is because they addressed precisely this point. In my mind, they're still winning the argument.

Mark Lyndon said...

Yes, I post a lot on circumcision, but then there are pro-circers who post more. I probably spend an hour or two a day presenting the anti-circumcision case. I'm not actually part of DoctorsOpposingCircumcision and I have no idea who funds them btw, but I very much doubt they get any funding from pharmaceutical companies. They're concerned with human rights, not making money for drug companies. I do link to their website, as I find it very useful. There are several other groups campaigning against circumcision as you presumably know. For what it's worth, I have a full-time job in IT, and get no funding for my anti-circ activities from pharmaceutical companies or anyone else.

The fact that there are six African countries where circumcised men are more likely to be HIV+ is hugely significant. If circumcision is the supposed "vaccine" against HIV, then this simply shouldn't happen. It just looks to me like the pro-circers (and some groups opposed to condoms) are far too eager to be promoting circumcision, and that their activities are only likely to make the AIDS problem in Africa worse.

If you google "Mark Lyndon" Circumcision (with double quotes around the "Mark Lyndon"), you only get 786 hits btw. Compare that with the 3,550 hits for "Daniel Halperin" circumcision. The fact that he thinks he's
"maybe in some small way destined to help pass along (circumcision)" is significant, since he appears to think he was born to promote genital surgery. He certainly seems to have spent most of his life trying to find reasons to justify it.

It's hard to talk about male circumcision without mentioning female circumcision. Almost all countries that practise male circumcision also practise female circumcision, and the exact same arguments are used to defend it. If you're trying to end female circumcision, then simultaneously promoting male circumcision won't help.

For mine, there's something really screwy about the anti-circumcision crowd.

Are the Royal Australasian College of Physicians "screwy" too? Here's what they have to say:
RACP policy statement on circumcision
"After extensive review of the literature the Royal Australasian College of Physicians reaffirms that there is no medical indication for routine neonatal circumcision." (those last nine words are in bold on their website, and most of the men responsible for this statement will be circumcised themselves, as the male circumcision in Australia in 1950 was about 90%). "Routine" circumcision is now banned in Australian public hospitals in all states except one.

Doesn't all mucosal tissue lack keratin btw?

CutterMup said...

www.sexasnatureintendedit.com/

A case for leaving the little Goy be. His Wife might thank you for it someday.

Did Jews circumcise their slaves ?

Anonymous said...

Hey nobody,

Yeah I'm here and doing well, also busy too btw, but just not interested in commenting anywhere much lately. No biggie, to me. Just phases/moods I go through. Saturation, overload and all that stuff. But this topic prompted me to comment, you bastard! haha

Reflecting some more on this, I don't feel that cut or non-cut has anything to do with AIDS. Could it be just more confusion, division, or somesuch? I honestly don't know, but...neither do I swallow that biblical or traditional stuff about circumcision, nor about the taboo on eating pork. Why pork, along with other cloven-hoofed animals (as I recall)? And for some no scavengers or bottom-feeders like shrimp, lobster, catfish, etc? Why? Why so selective. And in the case of pork, raw chicken is just as dangerous. E coli and all that lovely stuff! So I just don't get it.

And as far as circumcision goes, males are born with a foreskin. And likely for a good reason. We may not understand why, but nature surely does. In any case, I trust and defer to nature more than any biblical tales or man-made traditions.

What a tangled mess this whole situation is huh. Layers and layers of shite. No wonder so many people prefer to tune out and just amuse themselves to death. sigh

ok, later mite

annemarie
gotta go look for that fokkin password.

nobody said...

Hullo annemarie,

It's so nice to hear from you. I did figure you were merely choosing to do something else. And I can well understand the feeling, ha ha. No problems, pop in whenever you feel like it and we'll all be happy to hear from you.

Otherwise, the pork and bottom-feeding seafood prohibition makes sense. Before the age of industrial farming and refrigeration, both of these, even if eaten as fresh as could be, could very likely give one parasites, or disease, or just flat-out kill you. Pigs eat shit, and lobsters, prawns and oysters are the aquatic equivalent of carrion.

E coli from chicken is the other way round. It's the result of being trucked around, being stored, perhaps not so well, or otherwise just left to sit in a shop display. If you killed a chook and ate him up then and there I'm pretty sure it's as safe as houses.

And do you need your password? Before I had this blog I just clicked 'name' and put in nobody. It's much of a muchness.

And thank you Mr Lyndon for dropping in and penning something specific. I am well aware of the size of the lobby of those against circumcision. It was kind of my point.

And you don't know who funds Doctors Opposing Circumcisions? Pity. I'm still curious. It's always interesting who funds whom. I'll never forget my jaw hitting the floor when I learnt that the Bolsheviks were funded by the US Federal Reserve. But that's another story...

As for those six countries, I'll repeat my point as to the clarity of contributing factors. Was circumcision the only thing those men had in common? The BBC doco addressed this. If anyone is earning the 'hugely significant' tag it seems to be them.

I still find it odd that the medical fraternity should take such a strong stand against circumcision in isolation. Where's the anti-cosmetic surgery crowd? The arguments for the former work perfectly for the latter. Really I wonder at 'intactivists' who seem interested in the intactness of the willy and nothing else.

With this in mind, I'm not quite sure of the value of waving this Halperin fellow at me. I've never heard of him. But gee whiz, I've seen show after show, doctors aplenty, all promoting the aforementioned useless cosmetic surgery. And of course, I've encountered a great deal of the proselytising from the anti-circumcision crowd. Halperin might be busy but he ain't a patch on you guys.

And as for mucosal tissue, one doesn't fuck the nose, does one? Well certainly not me anyway. And yes there's the throat, but believe it or not, I have an uncle who is some kind of big deal in microbiology, and he declared to me once that it's a furphy that you can catch a cold, or any other viral thing, by way of your throat. He specifically mentioned AIDS. Apparently, saliva is far too effective a virus killer. As we all know, AIDS is a notoriously weak virus outside of the bloodstream.

But perhaps he's wrong. So why don't I concede the point? It's no skin off my nose, ha ha. Instead I'll just point out the dubiousness of an argument that hints at the equivalency of mucosal tissue. There is a staggering difference between that which is internal and that which is external. Certainly there's nothing to be done about the throat and the nose. There is no ten minute procedure for them. But there is for the foreskin, the absence of which make no perceptible difference to any bodily function and yet effectively removes the single most likely avenue for a virus to enter the bloodstream.

Otherwise as part of that generation born to men who spent years in South East Asian jungles and swore that their sons wouldn't go through what they went through (in the words of my father) I must admit to never having been in a South East Asian jungle. No wait, that's not it. Oh yes, I had a bit snipped off my willy. I knew it was one of those two things.

And to be perfectly honest, I don't understand what the fuss is about. I've had tons of sex all of which came off, so to speak, precisely as it was meant to. If the anti-circumcision crowd wants to tell me that that sex would have been better with a foreskin they're talking to the wrong guy. I will never believe it. In the meantime I lack the bit of skin most likely to come into contact with a virus and the most likely to transmit it to my blood stream.

And there's people out there who think that this is an infringement of my human rights? What nonsense. On a list of infringements of human rights this ain't making the cut, ha ha. But if you think that this is worth a couple of hours a day, day after day, knock yourself out. Me, I shake my head. And I continue to wonder if there isn't something else at play.

Anyway, we all had a spray. Wasn't it lovely? As regulars will know I am not, unlike others ha ha, a one-subject guy and will move on to the next thing. Yoroshiku.

Anonymous said...

What you say nobody is about what I understand of this subject and of the people who push 'special interests'.
Tony

nobody said...

Bingo Tony,

That was my point. I am not any kind of mad circumcision advocate. Frankly I don't care if people do or don't.

I just wonder at massive well-moneyed campaigns designed to convince us of things. Particularly when the media shuts out dissenting voices that otherwise seem to make sense. And of course there are perfectly well-meaning people piling in on each campaign. But then, it wouldn't be much of a campaign if they didn't.

This particular campaign pivots on a disease that certainly looks like it was man-made. We have the CFR and all sorts of people keen to thin the population, particularly coloured people. We have billions of dollars to be made and none of it is going to go anywhere except into corporate pockets.

If there were a cheap preventative measure that could save lives, it's almost a dead cert vested interests would crush it. And mispresent it, sure.

The anti-circumcision campaign doesn't make any sense to me unless I view it under the above logic.

nobody said...

PS. My father reminded me of something. It's a thing called phimosis which involves a shrinking of the foreskin so that it cannot be retracted past the head of the penis. He had it and being a stoic he waited until it was really quite painful and made urinating difficult. Phimosis to this degree occurs in nearly 2% of men and to a lesser degree in 8%. Anyway he had a circumcision at the age of seventy. And it didn't bother him one bit. He was just happy to be able to piss again.

So! With a triple whammy of: cleanliness; the foreskin being a keratin-free disease entry point; and the possibility of adult phimosis, it's no surprise at all that circumcision was made part of the ancient health codes, which is to say religious law.

Now we don't need it since we can wash every day, wear condoms, and treat phimosis if and when it occurs. We have that luxury. We white people that is. Three cheers for us. Long may we dictate to others what's right for them.

Tony said...

When circumcision crops up I always think of the pinking shears joke; I can't help it (I’m very politically incorrect).
If a chap was effeminate the story was he had been circumcised with a pair of pinking shears.
No truth in it at all of course but I think it's funny.
(I thought twice about putting the next bit in but whenever circumcision pops up my thoughts continue – pinking shears, this bloke.)
I had a mate when I was young, as such. Extraneous hand movement when he was talking, particularly feminine descriptive terms, etc. His description of a French rifle he had once purchased was ‘an attractive little weapon’. It was a bloody blunderbuss; it fired a ~.6 inch bullet.
Of a weekend, his dad, his brother and he would go 'pig shooting' and kill everything that moved. In reality a very macho fellow. Horrific.
Tony

Mark Lyndon said...

There is no "massive well-moneyed campaign", at least not from the intactivists. Intactivists don't get much funding. It wouldn't surprise me if DoctorsOpposingCircumcision don't get any funding from anyone. Let's face it, there's not much money in saying that a medical procedure shouldn't be carried out. I suspect that the pro-circers on the other hand do get a lot of funding, partly because some doctors make a lot of money from cutting off foreskins, and also because they're afraid of being sued by people who've been circumcised. I know that intactivists regularly complain about the pro-circers having seemingly unlimited resources, while we pay all our own expenses.

I can't explain why those six countries have higher rates of HIV in circumcised men, but to me, it's more than enough evidence that circumcision is not the "vaccine of high efficacy" it's been compared to, and that circumcision isn't the way forward. Condoms and safe sex work better than circumcision ever could, and I honestly think it's a huge mistake not to continue to focus on those. I believe that even if funding circumcision doesn't mean reduced funding for ABC, that circumcised men will be less likely to use condoms or practise safe sex. I've seen quotes already from African men who appeared to think that circumcision gives them immunity, and from one woman who said it made it harder to insist on a condom. There's also the problem that if a circumcised man is HIV+, he appears more likely to infect his partners than an intact HIV+ man.

I don't have a problem with adults choosing to have cosmetic surgery, but I think it should be their choice, and neonatal circumcision takes that choice away from them.

I'm surprised you haven't heard of Daniel Halperin. He's one of the most vocal proponents of circumcision there is.

When I mentioned mucosal tissue, I never actually said it was all equivalent. You said "I still find it remarkable that the foreskin alone lacks the disease preventing barrier of keratin." That's simply not true, and female genitals have mucosal tissue too, which presumably means women also have a "keratin-free disease entry point". In fact women's genitals have the clitoral hood, which is directly homologous to the male foreskin. That's why they're both called the prepuce. Some cultures cut that off as well, but we call that female circumcision or female genital mutilation.

I'm currently trying to talk a Malaysian blogger out of circumcising her daughter btw. She'll probably think I'm a bit weird too. It doesn't matter how polite I am, defenders of both male and female circumcision generally end up suggesting I'm a weirdo, or stupid, or both, and that it's nothing to do with me what they do to their children.

You're welcome to join me on her blog if you think that female circumcision is wrong, but you'll be struck by the way that people defending female circumcision use the exact same arguments that are used to defend male circumcision, and frequently compare the two.

It's simply not true to say that "the absence of [the foreskin] make no perceptible difference to any bodily function". It's like saying that removing a women's labia makes "no perceptible difference". The inner foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis. Sure, you can have great sex without a foreskin, but roughly half the nerve endings are gone, and the interaction between and sulcus (rim) and foreskin is no longer there.

Phimosis is rare btw. Less than 1 in 150 UK men are ever circumcised for medical reasons, and the rate is going down as alternatives are found to treat phimosis and balanitis.

I haven't said all i want to say yet, and what I have written is somewhat disjointed, but I have to get back to the day job. I'll post again tomorrow.

annemarie said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5cjrNDid3k&feature=related

Here's a really short video clip showing a male baby being circumcised.

Don't tell me that that procedure is painless or that it's not traumatic either.

That's the first time I've seen a male circumcision and it makes me doubly glad that I didn't have my son cut.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, your above theory is counter-evolutionary logic.
There is also on a 1 in 1000 chance of a man getting HIV from heterosexual sex.
Finally, there is an enormous movement of reputable medical researchers, two of whom are noble prize winners in microbiology, who refute the existence of HIV, a virus claimed to be which causes AIDS. There is currently no scientific evidence that there is a virus that causes AIDS.

So on all of the above, independently, your theory is absurd.

Phoneyid said...

Anon. "There is currently no scientific evidence that there is a virus that causes AIDS. "
Yes, that claim has been made, consencus to the contrary is not 100%

'Nobody'
Thre's vid i saw some time ago where a correlation is drawn between Aids and administering of the oral polio vaccine.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ml7q6iMwqLY