Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Our Newest Addition

Look at how CUTE she is....





Friday, May 2, 2008

More on circumcision....

Ok, so oddly enough this was just posted to my myspace bulletins and I thought it was kind of appropriate.

Your Newborn Baby
Date: May 2, 2008 10:09 AM

After reviewing 40 years worth of medical studies, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Task Force on Circumcision concluded that the "potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision... are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision." While this 1999 policy may be revised soon, it is still the current official recommendation for parents and doctors.

Here are some highlights from the report:

Role of Hygiene

"there is little evidence to affirm the association between circumcision status and optimum penile hygiene.


STDs including HIV

"behavioral factors appear to be far more important than circumcision status.


Penile Cancer

"in a developed country such as the United States, penile cancer is a rare disease and the risk of penile cancer developing in an uncircumcised man, although increased compared with a circumcised man, is low.


Urinary Tract Infections

"breastfeeding was shown to have a threefold protective effect on the incidence of UTI in a sample of uncircumcised infants. However, breastfeeding status has not been evaluated systematically in studies assessing UTI and circumcision status." meaning that the earlier UTIs studies results were confounded.

Even if their numbers were accurate, in order to prevent one UTI during the first year of life by circumcising a baby boy, approximately 195 babies who will not get a UTI would need to be circumcised. Also infant girls commonly develop UTIs(in some studies at even higher rates than infant boys) and the standard treatment for them is antibiotics which works just as well for infant boys with UTIs. The AAP concludes this section noting that "the absolute risk of developing a UTI in an uncircumcised male infant is low (at most, ~1%)".


Of course here, they hedge and say while even though cutting off part of your baby's genitalia "is not essential to the child's current well-being" they are perfectly fine with parents and doctors using cultural tradition as justification. This report is also the first time the AAP has acknowledged(after decades of doctors mindlessly repeating the belief that babies don't feel significant pain) that circumcision without anesthesia is traumatic and if circumcision is to be done, anesthesia should be used.

I would like to know if the AAP thinks cultural tradition is an acceptable reason to cut off the clitoral hoods(biologically analogous to foreskin) of infant girls especially if it is done with anesthesia as is the case here: http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=xWvi475cYZY
(the video is not particularly graphic as it was made by a mother who had her own clitoral hood cut off when she was a baby and she wants to continue the tradition)

If you want, you can read the full AAP policy here: http://www. cirp. org/library/statements/aap1999/

If you want to share this with the videos and links intact, hit reply to poster and cut and paste the code into a new blog or bulletin.

Thank You:-)

I'll keep mine, thanks!


OK....so as with a few of my other blogs, this topic was brought up my lovely place of employment...ha. We always have such wonderful conversations there. HA! Anyway, I was asked to aid in a debate topic....American involvement in Sudan....ok...fine...I can help out with that, but then I asked what the other topics were (out of curiosity) and she said comparing the war in Iraq with Vietnam...(damn I could have gotten all over that one), something else...shoot I forget now...but it was another topic that I would have JUMPED at the opportunity to debate about, and then female genital mutilation (AKA female circumcision.) DAMN I want to debate about THAT...not Sudan...so here folks you have it: My take on  genital mutilation.

We ended up talking about circumcision in general and argued discussed whether or not male circumcision was equivalent to female mutilation. The argument  debate was over the fact that female mutilation was cruel and unusual punishment, where as a male circumcision was about hygiene and health benefits. I personally feel that anytime you cut something off of a person's genitals, it is mutilation.

Circumcision is just a term that we use for males so that we can justify the fact that we are MUTILATING their bodies WITHOUT their consent. I agree with the fact that female circumcision is cruel, especially when you consider the fact that most of the time this is being performed by a person without a medical degree, in a hut/home somewhere, without anesthesia and using crude instruments such as glass or sharp rocks. But, boy does this sound familiar! During a Bris, a male child is handed of to a Mohel (who by the way does NOT have a medical degree, they are taught by senior Mohels), in the comfort of your own home WITHOUT anesthesia. Granted this isn't the case in every male circumcision, but in the case of a religious circumcision it is. In Africa and the Middle East, religion was claimed to be the reason for female circumcisions, despite the fact that it wasn't stated in the their religious books. The National Health Organization banned ritual female  circumcision in the early 70s siting that it was cruel and unjustified. However, ritualistic male circumcision was still widely being practiced and to this day it is still a common procedure.

One the points brought up in our conversation were the fact that the uncircumcised penis is dirty because of the build up of smegma that can occur. But what one doesn't realize is that women have smegma as well. Normal daily hygiene practices can drastically reduce this in both uncircumcised men and women. So, if this were a valid argument in favor of male circumcision then women should technically have their labia majoris removed to avoid the build up of smegma that could occur if one was non-hygienic. Another point that was basically along the same lines of hygiene was that it was more work to clean an uncircumcised penis, which is COMPLETELY untrue. Normal daily cleansing is all that is needed when caring for the uncircumcised penis. And on this topic I have SEEN men shower. In every man I have seen spends nearly 90% of their time washing their penis. SERIOUSLY! Have you ever seen the mass email that went around about How a Man/Woman Showers. It says something along the lines of wash face, wash penis, wash arm, wash penis, wash chest, wash penis....funny but OH SO  TRUE! So, my point is that men take a lot of time cleaning their penis so I am sure washing an uncircumcised penis would not require any more attention than a man typically gives his penis anyway.

With all that being said, I did allow my son to be circumcised, against my better judgement. I don't have a penis (obviously) so I allowed his father to pressure me into getting the procedure done. I was given the 'I want my son to look like me' guilt trip. I regret it. I think it's the ONLY thing in life that I DO regret. Thankfully he still has a lot of foreskin there so it would be able to be stretched in the  future if he decided he wanted to grow it back. YES you can REALLY do that. lol

Mutilation is an act or physical injury that degrades the appearance or function of the (human) body, usually without causing death. Technically speaking piercings (even though I don't think that they degrade the body) are mutilation. So apparently I am not COMPLETELY against female genital mutilation.