Difference between revisions of "History of circumcision"

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  |title=From ritual to science: the medical transformation of circumcision in America
 
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Latest revision as of 07:06, 23 May 2020

Many Americans are surprised to hear that circumcision (the surgical removal of the foreskin) is uncommon in the western world. Foreigners are often shocked when they first hear that the practice of circumcision even exists in the United States. Circumcision was first introduced in the United States by an anti-sexual Victorian initiative which began during the 1830’s. Numerous publications from the 1830’s to times even as late as the 1970’s had advocated for circumcision as a means to prevent masturbation, and to permanently desensitize, denude, and immobilize the penis. [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

From Historical American Female Circumcision medical papers

Circumcision advocates quickly moved on to manufacture a number of outrageous health claims. These claims were tailored to the fears and anxieties of the day. Circumcision has been claimed to cure epilepsy, convulsions, paralysis, elephantiasis, tuberculosis, eczema, bed-wetting, hip-joint disease, fecal incontinence, rectal prolapse, wet dreams, hernia, headaches, nervousness, hysteria, poor eyesight, idiocy, mental retardation, insanity, strabismus, hydrocephalus, clubfoot, cancer, STD’s, UTI’s, etc.[12] Doctors were eager to claim that they could prevent and cure many of these aliments, conditions and diseases because there were no treatments available then. Even though all of these claims have been throughly discredited, circumcision has remained a solution in search of a problem ever since. Many Americans are surprised to find out that female genital cutting (FGC) shares a strikingly similar history in the United States. [4] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] FGC was even covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield until 1977. Nowadays, many forms of FGC are now considered forms of female genital mutilation (FGM), which are banned in all western countries.

History of circumcision in the western world

19th century

  • 1873 Joseph Bell announces his discovery that circumcision cures bed wetting.[23]
  • 1875 Lewis A. Sayre declares that foreskin causes curvature of the spine, paralysis of the bladder, and clubfoot.[24]
  • 1879 H.H. Kane 'discovers' that circumcision cures nocturnal emissions and abdominal neuralgia.[25]
  • 1893 Mark J. Lehman demands immediate implementation of mass circumcision of all American boys.[30]
  • 1894 P.C. Remondino says circumcising blacks will help prevent them from raping whites.[6]
  • 1894 H.L. Rosenberry publishes paper 'proving' that circumcision cures urinary and rectal incontinence.[31]

20st century

  • 1900 Johnathan Hutchinson advises circumcision as way to decrease the pleasure of sex, and hence to discourage sexual immorality.[32]
  • 1901 Ernest G. Mark notes that the "pleasurable sensations that are elicited from the extremely sensitive" inner lining of the foreskin may encourage a child to masturbate, which is why he recommends circumcision since it "lessens the sensitiveness of the organ". [33]
  • 1902 Roswell Park publishes paper 'proving' that foreskin causes epilepsy and that circumcision cures it.[34]
  • 1914 Abraham L. Wolbarst claims that circumcision prevents tuberculosis and demands the compulsory circumcision of all children in America.[35]
  • 1915 Benjamin E. Dawson says that since the clitoral hood is the source of many neuroses, female circumcision is necessary.[15]
The Gomco and Mogen clamps.
  • 1935 R. W. Cockshut demands that all boys be circumcised in order to desensitize the penis and promote chastity.[7]
  • 1941 Allan F. Guttmacher promotes mass circumcision as a means of blunting male sexual sensitivity. He also spreads the false claim that a baby's foreskin must be forcibly retracted and scrubbed daily.[8]
  • 1949 Eugene H. Hand declares that circumcision prevents venereal disease and cancer of the tongue.[40]
  • 1949 Douglas Gairdner points out that the previous years cases of infant circumcision deaths were not necessary given the lack of medical justification for circumcision.
    (Note: This paper helped encourage the National Health Service to drop coverage for infant circumcision which led to the practical elimination of non- religious circumcision in the United Kingdom.)[41]
  • 1951 Abraham Ravich invents claims that circumcision prevents cervical cancer in women.[42]
  • 1953 R.L. Miller and D.C. Snyder unleash their plans to circumcise all male babies immediately after birth while still in the delivery room to prevent masturbation and provide "immunity to nearly all physical and mental illness."[9]
  • 1958 C.F. McDonald says "the same reasons that apply for the circumcision of males are generally valid when considered for the female."[17]
  • 1959 W.G. Rathmann finds that among the many benefits of female circumcision is that it will make the clitoris easier for the husband to find.[18]
  • 1966 Masters and Johnson erroneous claim that there is no difference in sensitivity between penises with and without foreskin.
    (Note: Their work helps propagate the medical dogma that circumcision has no effect on sexuality go practically unquestioned for nearly the next four decades.)[45]
  • 1971 Abraham Ravich claims that circumcision prevents cancer of the bladder and the rectum.[46]
  • 1971 The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Fetus and Newborn issues a warning to the Nation that, "There are no valid medical indications for circumcision in the neonatal period."[47]
  • 1975 The American Academy of Pediatrics Task force on Circumcision declares, "There are no medical indications for routine circumcisions and the procedure cannot be considered an essential component of health care."[49]
  • 1976 Benjamin Spock, after recommending circumcision for thirty years, revises his best-selling parenting book: "I strongly recommend leaving the foreskin alone. Parents should insist on convincing reasons for circumcision — and there are no convincing reasons that I know of."[50]
  • 1988 Aaron J. Fink invents the falsehood that circumcision prevents neonatal group B streptococcal disease.[53]
  • 1991 Edgar J. Schoen tries and fails to convince European countries to institute mass circumcision.[55]
  • 1991 Aaron J. Fink declares mass circumcision is necessary to prevent sand from getting into the soldiers' foreskins.[56]
  • 1996 J.R. Taylor finds that the average amount of amputated foreskin was nearly half of the total penile skin.[57]
  • 1997 Edgar J. Schoen tries and fails once again to convince European countries to institute mass circumcision.[58]
  • 1997 Janice Lander discovers that circumcision without anesthesia is traumatic for babies.
    (Note: Before this, almost all infant circumcisions were done without anesthetic due to the prevalent belief among circumcisers that babies are not capable of feeling significant pain and if they could it doesn't matter since they won't be able to remember it.)[59]
  • 1998 Howard J. Stang, inventor of an upright circumcision restraint fails to mention this conflict of interest in his article promoting infant circumcision.[60]
  • 1999 John R. Taylor, after studying the foreskin's specialized innervation, concludes that it is the "primary erogenous tissue necessary for normal sexual function."[61]
  • 1999 The American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Circumcision, after reviewing 40 years worth of medical studies, concluded that the "potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision... are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision." 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. 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%)".
Ethics: Here they 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.
(Note: The report does not mention whether they also think cultural tradition is an acceptable reason to anesthetize infant girls and then cut off their clitoral hoods(which are biologically analogous to foreskin)).[62]

21st century

  • 2002 W.K. Nahm extends the storage life of specialized cell cultures derived from "freshly harvested neonatal foreskin tissue."
    (Note: Since the 1980s, some amputated infant foreskins have been sold without the knowledge of the parents to biomedical companies for research and even use in commercial cosmetic products such as anti-wrinkle creams.)[63]
  • 2005 R.Y. Stallings finds that HIV rates are significantly lower in circumcised women.
    (Note: There was no WHO call for mass female circumcision to help prevent AIDS)[65]
  • 2007 Robert C. Bailey ends his study early with the conclusion touting circumcision as a 'vaccine' that prevents HIV infection.
    (Note: This and other similar studies were widely reported throughout the American media.)[66]
  • 2007 L. de Witte finds that Langerhans cells found in the foreskin are a natural barrier to HIV infection.
    (Note: This and other similar studies were widely ignored throughout the American media.)[67]
  • 2007 Morris L. Sorrells et al. tests the relative sensitivity of the penis and finds that the foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis and the glans is the least.[68]
  • See also

External links

References

  1. a b REFbook Lallemand, Claude-Francois ((1):1836; (2):1839; (3):1842): Des Pertes Seminales Involontaires. Vol. 1-3. pp. (1):463-467; (2):70-162; (3):266-267, 280-289. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  2. a b REFbook Dixon, Edward H. (1845): A Treatise on Diseases of the Sexual Organs. pp. 158-165. New York: Stringer & Co. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  3. a b REFjournal Moses, M.J. (November 1871): The value of circumcision as a hygienic and therapeutic measure, in: New York Medical Journal. 14 (4): 368-374.
  4. a b REFbook Kellogg, John Harvey (1888): Treatment for Self-Abuse and Its Effects, in: Plain Facts for Old and Young.. Project Gutenberg (ed.). Edition: 1881 edition. Burlington, Iowa: F. Segner & Co. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
  5. a b REFjournal Hutchinson, Johnathan (January 1891): On circumcision as preventive of masturbation, in: Archives of Surgery. 2 (7): 267-269.
  6. a b REFjournal Remondino, P.C. (January 1894): Negro rapes and their social problems, in: National Popular Review. 4 (1): 3-6.
  7. a b REFjournal Cockshut, R.W. (19 October 1935): Circumcision, in: British Medical Journal. 2 (3902): 764.
  8. a b REFjournal Guttmacher, Allan F. (September 1941): Should the baby be circumcised?, in: Parents Magazine. 16 (9): 26,76-78.
  9. a b REFjournal Miller, R.L. / D.C. Snyder (January 1953): Immediate circumcision of the newborn male, in: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 6 (1): 1-11.
  10. a b REFbook Fishbein, Morris (1969): Sex hygiene, in: Modern Home Medical Adviser. Garden City (ed.). pp. 90+119. New York: Doubleday & Co.
  11. REFbook Campbell, M.F. (1970): The Male Genital Tract and the Female Urethra, in: Urology. M.F. Campbell and J.H. Harrison (ed.). Edition: 3. Vol. 2. p. 1836. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders.
  12. F. A. Hodges, "Short History of the Institutionalization of Involuntary Sexual Mutilation in the United States," in G. C. Denniston and M. F. Milos, eds., Sexual Mutilations: A Human Tragedy (New York: Plenum Press, 1997), 35.
  13. REFjournal Morris, Robert Tuttle (1892): Is evolution trying to do away with the clitoris?, in: American Association of OB/GYNs. 5: 288-302.
  14. a b REFjournal McFarland, T. Scott (July 1898): Circumcision of girls, in: Journal of Orificial Surgery. 7: 31-33.
  15. a b REFjournal Dawson, Benjamin E. (June 1915): Circumcision in the Female: Its Necessity and How to Perform It, in: American Journal of Clinical Medicine. 22 (66): 520-523.
  16. a b REFjournal Eskridge, Belle C. (May 1918): Why not circumcise the girl as well as the boy?, in: Texas State Journal of Medicine. 14: 17-19.
  17. a b REFjournal McDonald, C.F. (September 1958): Circumcision of the female, in: General Practitioner. 18 (3): 98-99.
  18. a b REFjournal (September 1959): Female Circumcision: Indications and a New Technique, in: General Practitioner. 20 (9): 115-120.
  19. REFjournal Hutchinson, Johnathon (1855): On the Influence of Circumcision in Preventing Syphilis, in: Medical Times and Gazette. 32 (844): 542-543.
  20. REFjournal Heckford, Nathaniel (1865): Circumcision as a remedial measure in certain cases of epilepsy and chorea, in: Clinical Lectures and Reports by the Medical and Surgical Staff of the London Hospital. 2: 58-64.
  21. REFjournal Sayre, Lewis A. (15 July 1870): Circumcision versus epilepsy, etc; Transcription of the New York Pathological Society meeting of June 8, 1870, in: Medical Record. 5 (10): 231-234.
  22. REFjournal Sayre, Lewis A. (1870): Partial paralysis from reflex irritation, caused by congenital phimosis and adherent prepuce, in: Transactions of the American Medical Association. 21: 205-211.
  23. REFjournal Bell, Joseph (May 1873): Nocturnal incontinence of urine cured by circumcision, in: Edinburgh Medical Journal. 1 (9): 1034.
  24. REFjournal Sayre, Lewis A. (1875): Spinal anaemia with partial paralysis and want of coordination, from irritation of the genital organs, in: Transactions of the American Medical Association. 26: 255-274.
  25. REFjournal Kane, H.H. (October 1879): Seminal emissions, abdominal neuralgia: circumcision: cure, in: Southern Clinic. 2 (1): 8-11.
  26. REFjournal Landesburg, Maximillian (April 1881): On affections of the eye caused by masturbation, in: Medical Bulletin. 3 (4): 79-81.
  27. REFjournal Eggleston, William G. (8 May 1886): Two cases of reflex paraplegia(one with aphasia) from tape-worm and phimosis, in: Journal of the American Medical Association. 6 (19): 511-515.
  28. REFbook Kellogg, John Harvey (1888): Plain Facts for Old and Young. pp. 107. Burlington, Iowa: F. Segner & Co. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  29. REFjournal Gentry, William D. (July 1890): Nervous derangements produced by sexual irregularities in boys, in: Medical Current. 6 (7): 268-274.
  30. REFjournal Lehman, Mark J. (22 July 1893): A plea for circumcision, in: Medical Review. 28 (4): 65-65.
  31. REFjournal Rosenberry, H.L. (11 August 1894): Incontinence of the urine and faeces, cured by circumcision, in: Medical Record. 4 (6): 173.
  32. REFjournal Hutchinson, Johnathan (September 1900): The advantages of circumcision, in: The Polyclinic. 3 (9): 129-131.
  33. REFjournal Mark, Ernest G. (15 February 1901): Circumcision, in: American Practitioner and News. 31 (4): 122-126.
  34. REFjournal Park, Roswell (22 November 1902): The surgical treatment of epilepsy, in: American Medicine. 4 (21): 807-809.
  35. REFjournal Wolbarst, Abraham L. (10 January 1914): Universal circumcision as a sanitary measure, in: Journal of the American Medical Association. 62 (2): 92-97.
  36. REFjournal Wolbarst, Abraham L. (July 1926): Is circumcision a prophylactic against penis cancer?, in: Cancer. 3 (4): 301-310.
  37. REFjournal Bare, Norton Henry (November 1930): Surgical treatment of epilepsy with report of case, in: The China Medical Journal. 4 (11): 1109-1113.
  38. REFjournal Goldstein, Aaron / Hiram S. Yellen (July 1935): Bloodless circumcision of the newborn, in: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 30 (1): 146-147.
  39. REFjournal Ravich, Abraham (September 1942): The relationship of circumcision to cancer of the prostate, in: Journal of Urology. 48 (3): 298-299.
  40. REFjournal Hand, Eugene H. (September 1949): Circumcision and venereal disease, in: Archives of Dermatology and Syphilology. 60 (3): 341-346.
  41. REFjournal Gairdner, Douglas (1949): The fate of the foreskin, in: British Medical Journal. 2: 1433-1437.
  42. REFjournal Ravich, Abraham (June 1951): Prophylaxis of cancer of the prostate, penis, and cervix by circumcision, in: New York State Journal of Medicine. 51 (12): 1519-1520.
  43. REFjournal Wynder, Ernest L. (October 1954): A study of environmental factors of carcinoma of the cervix, in: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 68 (4): 10166-52 (??).
  44. REFdocument USPTO patent number RE24,377, USPTO. (15 October 1957). Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  45. REFbook Masters and Johnson (1966): Human Sexual Response. Boston, Ma: Little Brown & Co.
  46. REFjournal Ravich, Abraham (June 1971): Viral carcinogenesis in venereally susceptible organs, in: Cancer. 27 (6): 1493-1496.
  47. REFbook Evanston, Ill (1971): Committee on Fetus and Newborn Issues. Circumcision, in: Hospital Care of Newborn Infants. Edition: 5th Edition. p. 110. American Academy of Pediatrics.
  48. REFjournal Dagher, R. / Melvin Selzer / Jack Lapides (July 1973): Carcinoma of the penis and the anti-circumcision crusade, in: Journal of Urology. 110 (1): 79-80.
  49. REFjournal American Academy of Pediatrics (1975): Report on the ad hoc task force on circumcision, in: Pediatrics. 56: 610-611.
  50. REFbook Spock, Benjamin: Baby and Child Care. pp. 1946-1976. New York: E P Dutten.
  51. REFjournal Wiswell, Thomas E. (May 1985): Decreased incidence of urinary tract infections in circumcised male infants, in: Pediatrics. 75 (5): 901-903.
  52. REFjournal Fink, Aaron J. (30 October 1986): A possible explanation for heterosexual male infection with AIDS, in: New England Journal of Medicine. 31 (18): 1167.
  53. REFjournal Fink, Aaron J. (August 1988): Is hygiene enough? Circumcision as a possible strategy to prevent group B streptococcal disease, in: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 159 (2): 534-535.
  54. REFjournal Schoen, Edgar J. (August 1989): Report of the Task Force on Circumcision, in: Pediatrics. 84 (2): 388-391.
  55. REFjournal Schoen, Edgar J. (August 1991): Is it time for Europe to reconsider newborn circumcision?, in: Acta Paediatrica Scandanavian. 8 (5): 573-577.
  56. REFjournal Fink, Aaron J. (November 1991): Circumcision and sand, in: Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. 84 (11): 696.
  57. REFjournal Taylor, J.R. / A.P. Lockwood / A.J. Taylor (February 1996): The prepuce: Specialized mucosa of the penis and its loss to circumcision, in: British Journal of Urology. 77: 291-295.
  58. REFjournal Schoen, Edgar J. (September 1997): Benefits of newborn circumcision: Is Europe ignoring the medical evidence?, in: Archives of Diseases of Childhood. 7 (33): 258-260.
  59. REFjournal Lander, Janice (December 1997): Comparison of ring block, dorsal penile nerve block, and topical anesthesia for neonatal circumcision, in: Journal of the American Medical Association. 274 (24): 2157-2162.
  60. REFjournal Stang, Howard J. (June 1998): Patent #5,160,185, Infant support and restraint system 1992, Circumcision Practice Patterns in the United States, in: Pediatrics. 101 (6): E5.
  61. REFjournal Taylor, J.R. (January 1999): The prepuce, in: BJU Int. 83 (1): 34-44.
  62. REFjournal American Academy of Pediatrics (1999): Task Force on Circumcision. Circumcision Policy Statement, in: Pediatrics. 103 (3): 686-693.
  63. REFjournal Nahm, W.K. (February 2002): Sustained ability for fibroblast outgrowth from stored neonatal foreskin, in: Journal of Dermatology Science. 28 (2): 152-158.
  64. REFjournal Schoen, Edgar J. (June 2003): It's wise to circumcise: time to change policy, in: Pediatrics. 111 (6 Pt 1): 1490-1491.
  65. REFconference Stallings, R.Y.: Female circumcision and HIV infection in Tanzania: for better or for worse?, Rio de Janeiro (25 July 2005). Third International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment.
  66. REFjournal Bailey, Robert C. (2007): Male circumcision for HIV prevention for young men in Kisumu, Kenya, in: Lancet. 369 (9562): 643-656.
  67. REFjournal de Witte, L. (2007): Langerin is a natural barrier to HIV-1 transmission by Langerhans cells, in: Nature Medicine (13): 367-371. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  68. REFjournal Sorrells, Morris L. (2007): Fine touch pressure thresholds in the adult penis, in: British Journal of Urology International. 99: 864-869. Retrieved 24 September 2019.