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I think Jake's replies to anon are most revealing of who he is. Jake displays a very dismissive attitude towards the normal intact penis, but after reading about who he is, it shouldn't be to surprising.
I critique his "rebuttal" to anon here:
"I don't think any is needed, no, though obviously research of almost any kind tends to enhance our knowledge, so I wouldn't oppose it."
Isn't it important to know about what you're cutting off? Only someone interested in the disposal of a body part is disinterested in learning more about it.
"It is hard to get a man to understand something, when his livelihood depends on his not understanding it." ~Upton Sinclair
"The reason why I don't think research is needed is that if there were such functions, then I'd expect their loss through circumcision to result in significant adverse consequences.
Or, as somebody who had a fantasy of being circumcised as far back as the age of 5, he WOULDN'T expect their loss to result in significant adverse consequences. On the contrary, he would expect it to be all good and wonderful, and you would be inclined to deny any loss.
"I don't see evidence of such consequences," (not surprisingly) "so I'm inclined to doubt the notion that there are significant functions. This suggests that if unknown or poorly-researched functions do exist, they're sufficiently minor that learning about them is of a fairly low priority."
In other words, if there was any loss, he simply doesn't want to know.
"First is the absence of complete knowledge. It is always possible that the foreskin has some undiscovered function that means that circumcised males are disadvantaged, but lack of knowledge works both ways. It's equally possible that there is a presently unknown means by which the foreskin is a risk to its owner. I don't think the consequences of any medical or surgical procedure are fully understood, so to my mind the question is whether our knowledge is good enough to have reasonable confidence."
Argumentum ad ignorantiam.
"I think the placebo effect is probably a factor in some cases, particularly those who've absorbed a lot of what they've been told by anti-circumcision websites."
The same placebo effect that would be a factor in those who have absorbed a lot of what they've been told on websites like circlist.
"But it probably doesn't explain every case. Like most things in nature, there are a lot of variations, and the pleasure-giving capability of the foreskin probably obeys a normal distribution. So it may well be the case that while for most men it's nothing special, the 'tail' of such a distribution would contain a relatively small number of males with unusually sensitive foreskins."
But he wouldn't be interested, as he implies above. Jake is known for quoting older flawed studies that never measure the function nor sensitivity of the foreskin, but using a flimsy letter he and his mentor Brian Morris to "debunk" the latest study, the Sorrells study, which is the most extensive study conducted on the sensitivity of the penis, circumcised and intact. The study found that the foreskin is more sensitive than the most sensitive part of the circumcised penis. He nor his circumcision-crazed mentor liked the results, so they apply the Bonferroni correction (a controversial correction in and of itself) to produce results that were more favorable to them. Absolutely nobody recognizes their "rebuttal", and it was refuted later on by Hugh Young, but he and his mentor cite their letter as "ultimate proof" that the studies are invalid. Once again, Jake will only cite the sources he sees fit, and dismiss those that don't support his cause. The foreskin may be one of the most sensitive parts of the penis, but this is not something he wants to hear. After learning about who he is, it's easy to understand why. (Sour grapes, buyers remorse, etc., etc...)
"I must admit that I'm a bit perplexed by the question;"
"...it seems to be an odd fixation on one relatively small aspect of the circumcision issue: the contribution of the foreskin itself."
The contribution of the foreskin itself is at the crux of the circumcision issue. It is easier to dispose of a body part if one believes it has absolutely no use or function, and medically unethical to dispose of a body part that has known function. That the foreskin is useless and a cause of problems is something that Jake Waskett, or any advocate of circumcision, must establish if they are to make any case for its removal.
"A broader (and, to my mind, more important) question is whether and how overall sexual pleasure is affected. Then there are equally important questions such as risks and benefits."
It is all in Jake's mind. The most important question is whether or not a surgical procedure or amputation is medically warranted. Whether the "benefits" of a procedure can be achieved by other means (ie, whether a doctor can offer a better solution), and whether or not a diseased body part damaged beyond repair, or can be salvaged.
The standard of care for most, if not all surgery, requires that the medical benefits of the surgery far outweigh the medical risks and harms or for the surgery to correct a congenital abnormality. Unnecessarily invasive procedures cannot be used where alternative, less invasive techniques are equally efficient and available. It is unethical and inappropriate to perform surgery for therapeutic reasons where medical research has shown there to be other techniques to be at least as effective and less invasive.
"I think individual consent is desirable, but it's not achievable with infants. The question, then, is whether the "pro" of individual consent is worth the "cons" associated with delayed circumcision (greater risks, fewer benefits, cost, time off work, abstinence, fears, anxieties, and embarrassment, etc)."
The question is, actually, whether there is any medical indication for surgery. Without one, there is no "pro" or "con" comparison. Jake's assumption, or at least what he tries to "prove" with "evidence" is that a man will indeed grow up to need circumcision, or will grow up to elect the surgery for themselves. In reality, very few men ever need circumcision, and the supposed "benefits" are already easier and more effectively achieved by other means, which Jake will conveniently fail to talk about, because the ultimate goal is circumcision.
"I don't find the case for individual consent to be sufficiently compelling, I'm afraid.
I'm mighty glad Jake isn't on any respectable medical board...
To aid Marc, regarding policy statements, the trend of opinion on routine male circumcision is so overwhelmingly negative in industrialized nations that it would be quite surprising were male circumcision to be recommended in the United States. No respected U.S. based medical board recommends circumcision for U.S. infants, not even in the name of HIV prevention. They must all point to the risks, and they must all state that there is no convincing evidence that the benefits outweigh these risks. To do otherwise would be to take an unfounded position against the best medical authorities of the West, within and outside of the United States.
Jake can argue all he wants, but he defies all of Western medicine.
Remember that Jake will never EVER see cutting off part of someone's penis as "harm" because of his conflict of interest. (If circumcision harms, then he is harmed, and this can't happen.)
Jake says: "Conversely, if you don't have him circumcised, he might regret that, too. And adult circumcision is much riskier, requires a long period of abstinence, and results in inferior cosmetic results. There's no way to guarantee that he won't resent the decision, unfortunately."
Jake talks about leaving a child intact as if this were an "active" procedure where a parent asks a doctor to sew a foreskin on a healthy, non-consenting child. An adult circumcision is of course, much riskier, requires a long period of abstinence, and results are inferior to cosmetic results, but this assumes that most children grow up to want to be circumcised. Most intact males in the world don't get circumcised. In fact, the greater majority of males are forcibly circumcised as infants or children for their parents' religious appeasement.
A circumcised man can restore, but it requires an even longer period, and the cosmetic results my not be what he wanted. But why should a circumcised man have to go through this, when a penis with a foreskin is what he was born with to begin with? Especially if the procedure wasn't even medically necessary?
Jake's reasoning is, of course, flawed and twisted, and his conclusion will always be in favor of circumcision, no matter how hard you try to convince him. But after reading about who he is, what he does, it shouldn't be too surprising.
The bottom line is this:
The foreskin is not a birth defect. Neither is it a congenital deformity or genital anomaly akin to a 6th finger or a cleft. Neither is it a medical condition like a ruptured appendix or diseased gall bladder. Neither is it a dead part of the body, like the umbilical cord, hair, or fingernails. The foreskin is normal, natural, healthy tissue with which all boys are born.
Unless there is a medical or clinical indication, the circumcision of healthy, non-consenting individuals is a deliberate wound; it is the destruction of normal, healthy tissue, the permanent disfigurement of normal, healthy organs, and by very definition, infant genital mutilation, and a violation of the most basic of human rights.
Doctors have absolutely no business performing surgery on healthy, non-consenting individuals, much less stoking a parent's sense of entitlement.
We are less human if we forget to nurture our nature connection.
Let’s remember our species history of allomothering
Communities used to know a lot about mothering.
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