On the "Cutting" Edge

by asquerns on November 1, 2016 - 4:22pm

As Americans, we often regard ourselves as leading the charge against the unethical treatment of individuals with regard to gender. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that we are stuck in the dark ages when it comes to the mindless and senseless practice of male circumcision. To demonstrate the ugly reality of this unnecessary operation, imagine this: the parents of a newborn take their child to the doctor. They tell the doctor they want their son's nose fixed. The doctor is confused by this request, so she asks the parents to explain the problem with his nose. The parents detail all the issues – it looks nothing like his father's nose, it is a funny shape, his future wife is going to complain that it gets in the way when she tries to kiss him, and so on. The doctor finally explains to the parents that this is an unnecessary cosmetic procedure that insurance will not cover. Additionally, she continues, she can not ethically refer their newborn son for a rhinoplasty.

This may sound like a ridiculous illustration, but the practice of male circumcision is most often performed for similar reasons as the parents in this story cited. Recent reviews of medical research suggest that the possible benefits of circumcision are, in fact, not enough to outweigh the risks. “After reviewing existing medical research, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced in 1999 that circumcision has no medical benefit and shouldn't be recommended for all baby boys,” writes Susan Davis on WebMD.com. Circumcision is more than just a cosmetic issue, though. It is also a complex human rights issue that deals with a man's right to choose what is done to his body, potential lifelong physical and mental harm, and barbaric surgical practices performed on newborns. 




Your title is very eye catching. The example you used to compare circumcision, the child's nose was very clever and drove your your main idea home. Did you find any more supporting arguments that circumcision is not a necessary procedure? I would suggest adding at least one more argument supporting your thesis. While reading this I found myself going back to find what the main idea of the paper was. The example of the child's nose was a great way to compare but I got lost in it. The format of your paper flows smoothly and all in all I enjoyed it.
Nicole M

I think you have an interesting concept that could be developed into a more in-depth paper. Personally, I found there to be a lack of concrete fact, as your hypothetical situation appeared to take up the majority of your writing. With additions from peer-reviewed journal articles or other scientific writings, I believe you could construct a more convincing argument by incorporating more information. I would not personally recommend using sources such as WebMD to push your point across as it is not peer-reviewed and does not have any standing in the academic community. I did, however, enjoy your piece, and you brought to light a perspective on an issue I had never before thought about. This appears to be a topic that you are passionate about and it comes through in your writing. With subjects you are interested in, you can develop strong pieces of writing that will hopefully mean something to other readers or listeners. With further developments in flow and sentence structure, this post could become meaningful to a large sector of individuals.

Neat post Asquerns!

I thought that the analogy that you made was interesting, as I wasn't convinced that circumcision was usually performed for cosmetic reasons. I find it silly that parents are so concerned about the physical appearance of their newborn's genitalia, given that, until they reach sexual maturity, they will rarely be displaying it to anyone but themselves, or perhaps a doctor. I'm glad you brought this issue to my attention as it is something I feel more people should be aware of, like many social norms that are perpetuated nowadays that are arguably unnecessary or harmful to individuals or whole groups.

Nice post, asquerns

I just wanted to say that I thought the title you chose was catchy, and in a way, humorous. I enjoyed reading your writing and thought the comparison you made between circumcision and the fixing of a baby's nose. I thought this comparison was quite strong and also eye opening. This entire post opened up my mind a bit as it is a topic not many (including me) do not know too much about. I personally was completely unaware of the fact that circumcisions are done for cosmetic purposes.

One thought I could leave you with to improve future writing is ensuring source(s) are more trustworthy and knowledgable. WebMD is not the most credible source which is able to make your piece a bit less convincing and strong. Using other sources which are more concrete, credible sources would take your post to the next level I believe.

Once again, I wanted to say that your post was done well and that I enjoyed reading it.

Hi asquerns, cool post!
I thought you made some really interesting points in your post, I especially enjoyed the example you gave of unnecessary procedures. This was something that never really occurred to me, I don’t know a lot about male circumcision, however I understand that is not mandatory or for a medical purpose. I have heard that it reduces the risk of STI’s but that’s something I can’t back up with numbers and I also don’t believe. I think it just matters if you’re practicing proper hygiene.
This post doesn’t relate to my class, but it is certainly intriguing. This would be an interesting topic to analyze using sociological theories. Investigating how and why circumcision became a sort of social norm and uncircumcised penis’s get stigmatized. You also mentioned how circumcision is a human rights issue, as men should choose to have the procedure or not. However, parents believe they own their children and can make whatever medical decisions they like.
Overall, great post, I think that this trend will start to disappear in coming generations. My reasoning for this would be the shift to more natural ways of living; living off the grid, veganism, buying local not wearing bra’s- all of these things are indicators of a shifting society and it will be interesting to see what values are on top in 10 years from now.

Thanks for the post!


Hi Asquerns,

I've genuinely never thought about circumcision like this before! I'll admit that I have thought about it as being unnecessary, but we as a population tend to disregard this thought by giving circumcision credibility by saying that it's for reasons relating to religion (which I guess can still be credible) and sanitation. Like you said, it is so ingrained in our society that some parents even make the decision to circumcise based on cosmetic reasons. However, I also feel that instead of using WebMD as a reference, you could have used something more credible to make your article more credible. When I think of WebMD, I think of pseudoscience and lists of symptoms that cause people to diagnose themselves with cancer. But like I said before, it's a good post. It catches your eye and your interest.