A friend of mine was watching a live broadcast by a Filipino artist whom he likes. During the broadcast, the artist mentioned that he was circumcised at age seven and had not liked it at all. Other Filipinos on the live chat shared the same sentiment. At seven, your memory has been working for a long time already and this would be an unforgettable experience, not in a good way. The part that disturbed my friend was when the artist and the other Filipinos in the chat mentioned that their circumcision was not motivated by religious or medical reasons, but by a custom prevalent in the Philippines, such as the little holes that are punched on the ears of little girls in the Brazil, so that they can wear earrings.
My friend, who is circumcised, was so disgusted by that story that he got sick. He started researching the subject and decided to become an intactivist . “Intactivism” is the idea that circumcision, as a cultural phenomenon, should be abolished. The only fair reason for circumcising a boy would be for severe penile deformity. So my friend decided to use his YouTube channel to defend this cause.
In an attempt to help him to feel better, I decided to show some arguments against circumcision here as well. Not that it makes any sense to my main audience, which is Brazilian, since circumcision here does not occur by “tradition”. But, if it’s to make the guy happier, why not?
The foreskin is very sensitive to pleasure . Because of this, sex is more pleasurable for people who have it. Without the foreskin, the man needs to make more intense movements to reach orgasm. One of my friend’s friends circumcised his son so that the boy “would last longer in bed”. True, the circumcised person actually lasts longer in bed because he is less sensitive to pleasure. For this reason too, the subject needs to move more quickly and with more intensity during sex, which makes him more “wild”. Women like that. But think about it: would you make a permanent change in your child’s body so that he can give more pleasure to the woman, at the expense of his own pleasure? Don’t you find that a bit humiliating? In addition, such a decision, that of circumcising the child, is made by the parents, who will not live the boy’s sexual life for him. This sounds like an unnecessary intrusion into the child’s future sex life when he is still a baby.
It is true that the foreskin makes a man more vulnerable to some sexually transmitted diseases. So, in biblical times, it was an advantage to circumcise a boy, since medicine was very limited and there was no condoms. Today, it is possible to prevent sexually transmitted diseases through good hygiene, good body care and the use of condoms. Therefore, the physical advantage of circumcision can be obtained through safe sex and good hygiene.
Furthermore, in biblical times, there were no diapers. Diapers are used by parents to contain the child’s excrement while the child does not learn the conventions of using the bathroom. A newly circumcised child who is put in a diaper exposes the marks of the surgery to the bacteria that infest his stools. This causes inflammation, burning and delayed recovery from surgery. To be fair, however, there are methods to avoid this.
Finally, circumcision is removal surgery. Even though it is quite safe, it is not free from the possibility of mistakes, either due to the doctor’s lack of skill, an unexpected reaction in the patient’s body, or even for reasons beyond their control. It is possible to die as a result of poorly performed circumcision. The chance is very low, but if it happened to your child, would statistics matter?
Reflection on the morality of circumcision.
To circumcise a boy is to have him go through a procedure that is not completely reversible (a restored foreskin is not exactly the same as a natural foreskin). This is usually done without the boy’s consent. What if, in the future, he concludes that his life would have been better if circumcision had not occurred? Parents act immorally when circumcising their child, insofar as they do it unnecessarily, because they impose a change on their child’s body that cannot be undone when the child reaches the age of reason. If there is no medical need, leave it as is. He will decide, as an adult, whether or not to undergo the procedure. To ignore this precept is abuse (or should be considered abuse). Yet, people point to certain groups, saying that they are the monsters, when child physical abuse occurs more frequently and is more harmful.
To circumcise without need is to circumcise for luxury, for “looks”. It is absurd to have a child undergo an invasive procedure for reasons of appearance, a procedure that he would probably not choose if offered to him. It is like piercing the girl’s ear when she is still a baby, so that she is introduced to wearing earrings. I’m not even a feminist and I’ve always been against it. Frivolous changes in the body must be chosen, not forced.
What about religion?
I make an exception to religion because, really, faith is a feeling. Like every feeling, there is no argument that affects faith, if the believer has a strong faith. But, from a strictly Christian point of view, circumcision is not necessary. It is true, Jesus said that the Law is forever, but the Law was given to the Jews (so much so that Jesus, being a Jew, was circumcised), not to the “Gentiles”, as those who were not Jews were called at the time. Because of this, the Jerusalem church, formed shortly after Jesus’ ascension to the Father, issued a decree exonerating the Gentiles from observing the Law of Moses, although it also recommended abstaining from blood consumption, from the consumption of animals killed by suffocation, from fornication and from idolatry (Acts 15: 1-20).
I really like that my friend has become an intactivist, and a passionate one. I don’t know if I can consider myself an intactivist since I never did activism because of that. This text is the only one I have produced on this subject. But it is a good cause to fight for. I hope to see more about this in the future, in Brazil and abroad. What I have just written concerns circumcision without medical or religious reasons, tho. Of course, if you have phimosis or recurrent inflammation, you will have to remove the foreskin. But these are rare conditions. In such cases, it is worth it to be circumcised.