The Kindest or Unkindest Cut?

Gay Guy,

Here's a link to a recent essay on circumcision. Poor guy, no-win situation.
The decision of whether to circumcise our son became, therefore, a referendum on my own foreskin. All my anti-circumcision arguments—the barbarity of the procedure, the theory that it lessens sexual sensitivity—withered in the face of one multiply confirmed assertion: Foreskin is weird. Women think so. Men think so. The majority of circumcised America—itself is a majority—thinks so. I was hopelessly outnumbered.

Did he cave too easily? Don't know. But he's not wrong. Americans just accept the status quo without thinking. And honestly, the more we think, the harder the decision becomes.
It has much less to do with religious or health concerns, than it does with blindly following tradition, not questioning current social norms, and most importantly, avoiding locker room ridicule and backseat rejection. Shallow? Maybe. But you can't say it's inconsequential.

How do I put this delicately, GG? I ask you about this because, well, when it comes to these details, you understand, er, um, both sides, that is to say, oy, in economic terms, the supply AND demand, as it were. Yeesh.

And here's another reason the dialogue fails: This straight guy is uncomfortable and already done with this topic.


--Straight Guy


Annabelle said...

That's stupid. It's only in America people think that about the foreskin. And how will it ever change unless people take a stand? The circumcision rate is already 50-50, so in 20 years the foreskin view won't be the same it is now.

Mark Lyndon said...

America does seem to be slower than other countries at stopping circumcision.

Drops in male circumcision:
USA: from 90% to 57%
Canada: from 47% to 14%
UK: from 35% to about 5% (less than 1% among non-Muslims)
Australia: 90% to 12.6% ("routine" circumcision has recently been *banned* in public hospitals in all states except one, so the rate will now be a lot lower)
New Zealand: 95% to below 3% (mostly Samoans and Tongans)
South America and Europe: never above 5%

It's worth remembering that we wouldn't even be having this discussion if it weren't for the fact that 19th century doctors thought that :
a) masturbation caused various physical and mental problems (including epilepsy, convulsions, paralysis, tuberculosis etc), and
b) circumcision stopped masturbation.

Both of those sound ridiculous today I know, but if you don't believe me, then check out this link:

Straight in Upstate said...

GG, I think SG was asking your opinion on circumcision, for or against, as both an "owner" and "consumer." Care to share?

SG, if you think you're uncomfortable, my dad brought it up with me before my son was born. He said he kinda wished they hadn't had me & my brother snipped and that he wasn't circumcised (born in 1927). Since I stopped looking at my dad naked around the age of 9, that was news to me - I would have been okay not knowing/ remembering that.

Gay Guy said...

Wow, previously unreleased details about three generations of the Straight in Upstate dynasty. I can't imagine my dad with that much disclosure.

Gay Guy / Straight Guy Archive