Circumcision: Reshaping the Narrative


CULTURE CLASH READERS, DOES IT CLASH YOUR CULTURE TO TALK ABOUT CIRCUMCISION? Although this issue is focused on women, I challenge you to consider circumcision, male or female, to be relevant.


This continent has had a philosophical adoption of male circumcision which resulted in the normative narrative of infant males enduring a surgical procedure to remove the foreskin from their penis. This surgery typically occurs at the request (or consent) of a female, the mother.


Some of the things fathers-to-be might say when informed mothers-to-be question the practice of male circumcision go like this: “I want my son to look like me” or “I don’t want my son to be made fun of in the locker room”.


Why is this often enough to justify an elected surgery on a newborn? How can we shift our society away from thinking negatively about intact penises?


For some women who have natural childbirths, free from medical intervention (e.g., scalpels), choosing the surgical procedure of circumcision on a baby boy can feel like a giant step backwards, especially since women must first buck the medical odds stacked against natural childbirths. Literature points to the prevalence of penile desensitization after circumcision, because an extremely sensitive area, the foreskin, has been removed from the penis. In other words, sex feels better for males who are intact (not circumcised).


Before expanding your family, consider looking into how widely circumcision is, or is NOT, chosen as an elective surgery in your area. Be a part of the philosophical adoption of a different narrative in which circumcision is not normative.


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