Facebook page promotes female genital mutilation

Reader Pyers called my attention to a pretty odious Facebook page called “Islamic Female Circumcision“, which exists to justify the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), which they euphemistically call “circumcision” But there’s plenty of pushback on the page, too; I guess they’re not removing counter-posts or critical comments. Here are two of the pro-FGM recent posts. Note that the first one explicitly makes a link between Islam and FGM:

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87 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted May 29, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Just awful.

    • Nicolas Perrault
      Posted May 29, 2016 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      An understatement to be sure.

    • Joshua Thom
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      This is satire. But nobody on this blog of skeptics seems to get it. These are all excuses for male genital mutilation.

      • somer
        Posted May 30, 2016 at 7:02 am | Permalink

        I think you may be right

  2. Posted May 29, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Prevents UTIs and transmission of HPV?

    Citation needed.

    • mordacious1
      Posted May 29, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      It also prevents the buildup of smelly smegma…so there’s that.
      😉

      • Posted May 29, 2016 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        I’m up late nights worrying that I might have smelly smegma.

        • Posted May 29, 2016 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

          Not to worry! The smelly varieties, usually French in origin, are considered delicacies by connoisseurs.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted May 30, 2016 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

            I have a mental image of specially-trained crotch-sniffing pigs seeking particularly flavoursome – no … “pungent” – smegma.
            [PICARD] Make it so!

      • Joshua Thom
        Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:52 am | Permalink

        This is satire. Build up of smegma is a common excuse to justify cutting off the prepuce of a male penis.

        • Posted May 30, 2016 at 8:00 am | Permalink

          I’m not so sure you’re correct that this is satire. Smegma can build up around the clitoris, too.

          If it is satire, it’s still trying to justify FGM by showing that people attack the practice of FGM while defending male circumcision with the arguments listed; that if people want to be consistent they should be fine with FGM, too.

          Perhaps people are being inconsistent, but I’d suggest the inconsistency be remedied by going the other direction: attack both FGM and MGM.

          • Joshua Thom
            Posted June 1, 2016 at 2:25 am | Permalink

            I am against all forms of genital cutting. The way I see it is that everyone who goes after this for the reasons stated will then also when shown have to go after male genital mutilation when called on it. Or be show to be a hypocrite.

    • Posted May 29, 2016 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know about FGM & UTIs/HPV, but clearly the sonic vibrations from various recitations have a salutary effect on the immune system, due to disrupting the electromagnetic forces on the outside of all the atoms in our bodies. The extensively referenced AND peer-reviewed** source of my info can be found here: http://kaheel7.com/eng/index.php/secrets-of-quran-a-sunnah/69-the-power-of-quran-healing

      **(reviewed by the author’s peer group)

      • Posted May 29, 2016 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        Impressive. Consider me a former skeptic. I mean, there were diagrams and everything!

      • Xangagnome
        Posted May 29, 2016 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        That has to be excruciatingly painful. Not just procedure but the exposed clitoris – much more sensitive than in a penis.

      • somer
        Posted May 30, 2016 at 5:55 am | Permalink

        or theres
        Science and Islam: Matter and the Mate of Matter
        http://scienceaislam.blogspot.com.au/2011/07/matter-and-mate-of-matter.html
        Its taken from what used to be called science4islam.com and argues electrons have mates, part of the correspondence of physics to the Quran
        Theres also articles with titles like Ablution prevents skin diseases, Shaking hands with a woman etc.

        The lecture transcript of the address Islam and science, by Ziauddin Sardar, at the British Royal Society, a few years ago posits that the basic teachings of Islam are intrinsically scientific because they urge the pursuit of truth and the testing of truth claims. He refers to Qur’an 33:8 as saying truth claims should be tested. What this actually says is that Allah will test that the believers adhere to correct belief – and if not they are doomed. http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/ Islam and Science: Lecture Transcript, Ziauddin Sardar

    • Joshua Thom
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      This is satire. UTIs are a common excuse to justify male genital mutation.

  3. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted May 29, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    I think I know my human anatomy and sexual health facts fairly well, but after reading this I had to look up “smegma”. The following is both informative and amusing.

    http://myheart.net/articles/smegma/

    • Posted May 29, 2016 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      The only thing worse than the smell of unwashed genitals and rectums congregated in a large body of people is the same with a heavy overlay of perfume (or so I’ve been told by travelers to certain areas.)

      • Filippo
        Posted May 29, 2016 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        I remember the wafting of that delicate seat fabric bouquet into my nostrils on a trans-Pacific Pan Am flight in the early 80’s.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Jon, you clearly have never seen an episode of ‘Red Dwarf’.
      Smeggin ‘eck! Does that make you unique?

  4. Evan
    Posted May 29, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    This happened in Chicago. I am curious what Prof. Coyne thinks:

    http://palestineinamerica.com/2016/05/attempted-censorship-oak-lawn/

    • Posted May 29, 2016 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      That shirt should be treated just like any political tee shirt. If they’re allowed, this one should be allowed. If all political (and/or religious) tee shirts are banned, this one should be banned. Given the youth of the kids, I’m not sure that everything should be allowed in school for children who are probably expressing their parents’ sentiments but not their own.

  5. Shadowslip
    Posted May 29, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Mutilating a baby before it can decide with religion, if any, is the worst kind of indoctrination. Child abuse!

  6. Elsa
    Posted May 29, 2016 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    I wonder if this is a tasteless, but satirical method of showing the insidiousness of routine/regular circumcision of baby boys?

    • dargndorp
      Posted May 29, 2016 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      I was thinking the same thing. Much the same arguments are brought forth to argue for male circumcision.

    • Joshua Thom
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      Yes it absolutely is. I am shocked at how so few people on a blog of science and skepticism seem to get it.

      • Michael Waterhouse
        Posted May 30, 2016 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        It is interesting, isn’t it.

        • Joshua Thom
          Posted June 1, 2016 at 5:06 am | Permalink

          I find it disturbing that so few people realize it.

  7. Evan
    Posted May 29, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    I should also mention that FGM existed in regions before Islam entered these countries. Much of the Ottoman Empire, the Safavid Empire, and the Mughal Empire knew nothing to little of this practice, though there is now a religious justification for this (based on very little religious “scholarship”, I should mention).

    It’s similar to the honor killings that occur within certain regions of Pakistan, or the practice amongst Shia Yemenis of forcing marriage for extremely young girls. There may be a religious justification for this by some (and this should be criticized), but no religious clerics (e.g. clerics in Al-Azhar, imams in Qom, etc.) would condone this.

    This is a Facebook group of undereducated idiots. I’m not entirely sure what drives Prof. Coyne’s obsession of posting every single URL he comes across with Muslims acting like idiots. Some come here for science!

    • Posted May 29, 2016 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      I don’t publish every single URL about Muslims acting like idiots (or Christians or Jews for that matter); if I did, I wouldn’t have time to write anything else. I publish religion transgressions and attitudes that I see as widespread, important, and harmful.

      As for you coming here for the science so I should write about what YOU want, read the Roolz, which you have violated in two ways. In fact, I would ask you to stop reading this website, as I don’t need or want you as a reader.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted May 29, 2016 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Yes, FGM existed before Islam, but Islam has made the practice part of their religion. In Asia, neither FGM nor male circumcision occurred before Islam – they were introduced with Islam. There are parts of Indonesia where women are circumcised but men aren’t as they refused to allow it for themselves when Islam was first introduced and it didn’t therefore become customary. Male circumcision is know in much of Asia as the “Muslim cut.”

      In Sunni Islam there are four main intellectual traditions that Muslims look to for guidance. Two of these consider FGM compulsory and two highly recommend it. There have also been several fatwas issued over the years recommending it, including by several of the most respected thought leaders in Islam such as the Al-Azhar University in Cairo.

    • Joshua Thom
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      “This is a Facebook group of undereducated idiots.” No it is not. This is a piece of satire and listing all the excuses given to justify the mutilation of a male baby’s penis. They just reversed the sexes. Please read up on male genital mutilation. You will find that a RIC (routine infant circumcision) is more physically harmful than FGM type I, FGM type II, & FGM type IV.

      • somer
        Posted May 30, 2016 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        I think the site is most likely what you say it is but I certainly can’t agree male circumcision is worse than any form of female FGM – and the same as the very rare cases where only the skin pupae is removed from the female genitalia. Female circ is far worse in most cases. What I do agree is male circumcision is far more common than for females world wide
        Male circumcision: why its done
        http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/3/e756 (report concludes its got no purpose)
        Male Circumcision WHO/UNAIDS report
        http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/43749/1/9789241596169_eng.pdf
        I do find it odd that there isn’t more focus on eliminating all circumcision – many people even in the west still think its actually desirable for males when its absolutely not and again its overwhelmingly a religious thing. The issue with Female genital mutilation is it is just so drastic and causes so much major medical complications.

        • mordacious1
          Posted May 30, 2016 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

          I read the report on male circumcision by the AAP when it first came out and a few times since. Your comment that the report concludes its got no purpose is not correct. The report concludes: “The Task Force concluded that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks and justify access to this procedure for families who choose it”.

          • somer
            Posted May 31, 2016 at 12:56 am | Permalink

            what i meant to say is the report concludes the benefits claimed for male circumcision are false – but you are more accurate saying risks far outweigh the benefits. I stand by my comment that, however, FGM as it is nearly always performed, has more risks and of worse outcomes.

            • Joshua Thom
              Posted June 1, 2016 at 4:46 am | Permalink

              “I stand by my comment that, however, FGM as it is nearly always performed, has more risks and of worse outcomes.” Why is it that all the time things need to be said to be worse for girls? A type III FGM (infibulation) is worse than an RIC. But RIC is worse than types one, two, and four FGM based on what is cut off and what is lost. In America every year more than 100 baby boys are killed by circumcision. This is in hospitals, at the hands of doctors. Thousands more have partial or complete amputations of their penis. This is in America! In America it is also illegal to cut a girls genitals, but legal for boys in all 50 states. The government even pays for it in 32 states (Medicaid). In the third world it is common for penis to rot off after circumcision. I am saying that there are multiple different types of genital mutilation that take away different amounts of a persons body. A type IV FGM does not cut anything off. It is a needle poke or a cut that does not remove any flesh. Here is a list of things that a man looses. Foreskin, Frenar Band, Gliding Action, Meissner’s Corpuscles, Frenulum, Dartos Fascia, parts of Immunological Systems, Lymphatic Vessels, Estrogen Receptors, Apocrine Glands, Sebaceous Glands, Langerhans Cells, Natural Glans Coloration, Length and Circumference, Blood Vessels, and Dorsal Nerves. This is if it is preformed perfectly. You can read an explanation of what each of these is here.

              http://norm.org/lost.html

        • mordacious1
          Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

          The second report you linked to by the WHO, states that, “…there is now conclusive evidence that male circumcision significantly
          reduces risk of HIV infection in men”.

          Given the two reports you linked to, I do not see where you can say, “I do find it odd that there isn’t more focus on eliminating all circumcision – many people even in the west still think its actually desirable for males when its absolutely not and again its overwhelmingly a religious thing”.

          • somer
            Posted May 31, 2016 at 4:52 am | Permalink

            Please accept my correction – I do stand corrected in my haste to show that female FMG is always harmful and has no benefits (as stated over and over again by WHO and other international health bodies, and relevant aid organisations), whilst Not appearing indifferent to male circumcision. I understand there is sometimes some resentment at campaigns against FGM because according to the WHO report about 30% of men and boys in the world have been circumcised. Two thirds of circumcised males are Muslim.

            Male circumcision on balance has medical benefits but only in conditions where it is conducted properly.

            From reading both American pediatric association and WHO male circumcision reports, the message seems to be that its medically beneficial when undertaken in a clinical setting by experienced, well- trained providers, in hygienic settings, with good after care. It is also normally safest performed on new born infants. Both reports agree on this; however in the West medical settings are a given, whereas correct medical conditions are normally absent outside advanced countries.

            The American report recommends it as on balance medically beneficial, particularly if performed in the new born period
            Whilst male circumcision reduces the chance of contracting some reproductive tract infections and penile cancer the WHO report considers these a minor factor on account of rareness, mildness or treatability. More significant however, is the now well established finding that male circumcision can help prevent infection by Aids as spread by heterosexual sex, which is relevant in Africa.

            The WHO report finds that when performed neonatally in Islamic countries it is usually safe, and it is traditional amongst most Muslims to do it on the 7th day after birth. In those Muslim countries where it is usually performed on boys outside medical settings, such as Turkey, it can cause temporary ill effects such as swelling and pain, but in extreme cases death from septicaemia or haematoma. Some traditional methods in parts of Africa for example involving reuse of unsterilized razors, can in extreme cases result in gangrene, acute renal failure, tetanus, loss of the penis, or death.

            The WHO report states “there is now conclusive evidence that male circumcision significantly reduces risk of HIV infection in men.” However it also says regarding the non developed world “routine neonatal circumcision is not currently recommended on medical grounds” and “The safety of male circumcision depends crucially on the setting, equipment and expertise of the provider. Neonatal circumcision is a simpler procedure [in clinical settings] than adult circumcision, and has very low rates of adverse events.” P. 21. The WHO report concludes “When the procedure is carried out under correct conditions, the risk of adverse events among adult men (mainly bleeding, infection and swell- ing) are about 2%, and these are readily treatable. However, in this review we have highlighted the dangers associated with male circumcision when undertaken in unhygienic, ill-equipped settings by inexperienced providers. There is an urgent need to establish national policies to maximize the safety of male circumcision provision.”

            Thus Joshua Thom’s statement that male circumcision can have no benefits and is much more medically damaging than female circumcision is just wrong. I have read or re read the FGM reports recently and do however stand by my assertion that for any medical harms (as opposed to greater benefits) of male circumcision, all the reports Ive read state there are No medical benefits from Female FGM (or even removal or scrapping pupace) and regarding FGM risks of serious harms. The WHO firmly opposes medicalization of FGM because it considers the procedure uniformly harmful and medicalization to be a force for normalising the procedure. The WHO report on male circumcision itself says: “While both male circumcision and female genital mutilation (FGM) are steeped in culture and tradition, the health consequences of each are drastically different”. [And none of the forms of male circumcision involve cutting into the actual penis itself other than the prepuce, or foreskin]. The WHO report says “There are no known health benefits associated with FGM and no research evidence to suggest that such procedures could reduce the risk of HIV transmis- sion. For these reasons, bodies such as WHO, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Council of Nurses, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists consider FGM to be universally unacceptable, as it is an infringement on the physical and psychosexual integrity of women and girls and is a form of violence against them”

            • somer
              Posted May 31, 2016 at 8:31 am | Permalink

              The WHO Report earlier mentioned (2007) recommends that the male circumcision procedure is better performed on newborns (if they are full term and healthy) whether performed medically or by not. Though medical settings are always preferable to non clinical procedures,the neonatal procedure is safer than other non-clinical procedures.
              Adolescent or adult circumcision can be associated with bleeding, haematoma or sepsis, but these are treatable and there is little evidence of long-term sequelae when undertaken in a clinical setting with experienced providers. (e.g. pp 1,19)

              Also according to WHO Report there is substantial evidence that male circumcision protects against several diseases, including urinary tract infections, syphilis, chancroid and inva- sive penile cancer, as well as HIV. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved.

            • mordacious1
              Posted May 31, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink

              It appears that we are in full agreement.

        • Joshua Thom
          Posted June 1, 2016 at 4:16 am | Permalink

          “I certainly can’t agree male circumcision is worse than any form of female FGM” The male prepuce contains 20,000 nerve endings. That is 85% of all the nerve endings on the penis. The female glans has 8,000 nerve endings. Are you claiming that a Type IV FGM were nothing is cut off is worse than a RIC (routine infant circumcision)? It is not. Here is a short video comparing and contrasting all the forms of genital cutting.

          Difference Between: Male & Female Circumcision

          Thanks for posting links. I probably should have posted links myself to back up what I say. I am already aware of what they say. Excuses to justify cutting the genitals of a boy.

          “I do find it odd that there isn’t more focus on eliminating all circumcision.” I don’t. The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. Western society is indifferent towards male suffering. When MRAs try to get males the same protection under the law that females have feminists rise up and make sure all the focus in on women. Mens problems are then ignored.

          • Joshua Thom
            Posted June 1, 2016 at 4:19 am | Permalink

            Here is a working link for that video.

          • Diane G.
            Posted June 2, 2016 at 3:23 am | Permalink

            As soon as they start removing the penile glans, I’ll agree with you. Unfortunately, there’s not a real male equivalent of consequently having the labia sewn together so that even urination is an uncomfortable, infection-prone activity. (Think about how often you urinate each day.)

            Nor is there the equivalent of it being necessary to be cut open upon first intercourse. (Or torn open, as the case may be.) Meanwhile, while I’d have opted against it given the chance, the circumcised males I’ve known–biblically– have expressed no resentment whatsoever.

            I’m with you with respect to one aspect, however–sex with uncircumcised males can be much less uncomfortable, thus more enjoyable.

            Circumcised males, fear not–you are the majority in the US and there are many ways to compensate for the sensational difference.

            • Diane G.
              Posted June 2, 2016 at 3:25 am | Permalink

              Uh… I think “sensitory” should replace “sensational,” above…

            • Joshua Thom
              Posted June 2, 2016 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

              Diane, not all types of genital mutilation are the same. Some are worse than others. A TYPE IV FGM does not remove any flesh and there is no sewing shut. what you listed “labia sewn together” is a TYPE III FGM (infibulation). I agree that a TYPE III FGM is worse than a RIC (routine infant circumcision). But a RIC is worse than TYPES ONE, TWO, AND FOUR FGM. Here is a short 5 minute video comparing and contrasting all forms of genital cutting.

              And too learn about the more than a dozen functions of the foreskin that are lost please read this.

              http://norm.org/lost.html

              That shows how it harms men. Here is a link showing how male genital cutting harms female sex partners. Sex as Nature Intended It.

              http://www.sexasnatureintendedit.com/

              • Diane G.
                Posted June 5, 2016 at 12:33 am | Permalink

                “Diane, not all types of genital mutilation are the same.”

                Joshua, we all know that. It’s the worse kinds we worry most about. Now, I wish you’d stop spamming this thread, please.

              • Filippo
                Posted June 5, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

                Right. Just bloody leave girls ALONE.

                Apparently that’s too much to ask.

  8. Posted May 29, 2016 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Not sure what to make of it. Ive always been told it is wrong and is indeed mutilation and oppression. Is curcumcision mutilation. ?
    Need more information.

    All i know is im ok after being multialed and my wife is ok after not. We both are healthy and have good orgamsms.

  9. Posted May 29, 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Without having been able to inspect numerous clitori (clitoruses ?) I would hazard a guess that they come in many shapes and sizes from
    almost invisible to shaped like small peni (penises) and with varying attributes. Surgical “treatment” of such an appendage would have to be based on location (inny vs. outy), shape and size. I seriously doubt that build up of smegma is a major problem for most women (and assume that it isn’t for men if they bathe often and carefully.) Even with male circumcision, I doubt that there is a successful “one size fits all” surgery. I suspect that reasons given were created after the fact.

    As pointed out, this procedure is in no way akin to female genital mutilation other than being performed in the same general proximity. I hazard a guess that no male would enjoy having his penis sewn to his body all the time except to be unsewn for use (once in awhile or, however often) for procreation, and then resewn after use.

    • bonetired
      Posted May 29, 2016 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      The WHO defines female circumcision as mutilation. According to them, circumcision, as mentioned in the FB page, is actually very rare with the vast majority of cases being clitoridectomy. (I suspect that the FB page uses the idea that only the prepuce is removed as a smokescreen to hide the full removal of the clitoris). Additionally, such practices are done frequently by untrained and unqualified people causing severe bleeding and, in some cases, death. It is a barbaric practice and that page needs to be removed.

      http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/

    • Joshua Thom
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      “As pointed out, this procedure is in no way akin to female genital mutilation” Please read up on male genital mutilation. You will find that a RIC (routine infant circumcision) is more physically harmful than FGM type I, FGM type II, & FGM type IV.

      This is a piece of satire and listing all the excuses given to justify the mutilation of a male baby’s penis. They just reversed the sexes.

      • somer
        Posted May 30, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        Re the first para. Thats completely untrue. I attached references re Male GM earlier. If you have any others please advise. Of course both Male and Female forms will be painful – especially if not performed with anaesthetic as would be the case in most parts of the world – but the FGM form usually has ongoing issues too.

        FGM causes a host of serious problems and removal of the pupace (skin) is described by WHO as “Very rare” as compared with actual cutting bits off or out of the genitals
        e.g. WHO/Health risks of female genital mutilation (FGM)
        http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/fgm/health_consequences_fgm/en/
        Care’s experiences working with communities toward abandonment of FGM
        http://www.popcouncil.org/uploads/pdfs/poster/frontiers/reports/CARE_FGC.pdf esp p. 10
        http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/mar/08/a-woman-died-in-my-arms-her-to-refuse-fgm?CMP=twt_gu
        Various reports note that FGM coincides with low socioeconomic status and power of women and the infibulation type of FGM may well be a significant contributor to the appalling condition of obstetric fistula
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3637918/

        The procedure on women normally results in some loss of sexual responsiveness (unlike male circumcision where cleanliness is the main factor cited), though survey data to show males are not affected sexually are not unequivocal between sources. Male complications are fairly rare and are usually to do with infection. There are numerous other serious complications for women that don’t apply to male circumcision or in terms of short term are higher risk such as (short term) severe pain, excessive bleeding, infection including HIV, genital swelling, urination problems, impaired wound healing and even death from tetanus or haemmorage. FGM leads to far greater rate of Long term complications that are rare or absent for male circumcision which include lack of sexual response and/or pain during sex, chronic genital pain because nerve endings are cut, chronic genital infections, chronic reproductive tract infections causing chronic back and pelvic pain, urinary tract infections that can lead to kidney failure or blood poisoning and death, painful urination, HIV, fistula, other obstetric complications, higher risk of perinatal death, and psychological problems.

        • Joshua Thom
          Posted June 1, 2016 at 5:00 am | Permalink

          The Stallings et al. (2010) reported that, in Tanzanian women, the risk of HIV among women who had undergone Female Circumcision was roughly half that of women who had not; the association remained significant after adjusting for region, household wealth, age, lifetime partners, and union status. There are studys that show female genital mutilation has benefits but it doesn’t matter. It is still wrong.

          “The procedure on women normally results in some loss of sexual responsiveness (unlike male circumcision ” All men who are circumcised loose sexual responsiveness, feeling and sensitivity. Here is a study on pub med.

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23374102/

          CONCLUSIONS from the study.
          This study confirms the importance of the foreskin for penile sensitivity, overall sexual satisfaction, and penile functioning. Furthermore, this study shows that a higher percentage of circumcised men experience discomfort or pain and unusual sensations as compared with the uncircumcised population. Before circumcision without medical indication, adult men, and parents considering circumcision of their sons, should be informed of the importance of the foreskin in male sexuality.

  10. bpuharic
    Posted May 29, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    FB kicked me off ff for a week for saying Chicago has weak gun control. I’m amazed they permit any criticism of islam

    • Filippo
      Posted June 5, 2016 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      In light of the shootings in Chicago over Memorial Day weekend, I wonder if FB would take offense at any speculation that there is weak impulse control among certain Chicagoans.

  11. Adam M.
    Posted May 29, 2016 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    All their justifications sound like BS to me. (I’ve never noticed “smelly smegma”, I doubt it protects the urinary tract, and I really doubt it stops viruses.)

    But this procedure is both analogous and homologous to circumcision in males, so I think the term “circumcision” is accurate.

  12. desconhecido
    Posted May 29, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    It is my suspicion that the post titled “Why Circumcision Is Good for Women” is not pro FGM. It’s satire designed to ridicule and mock those who advocate FGM.

    FGM is odious and evil — the “Why Circumcision Is Good for Women” post is a hoot.

    • Joshua Thom
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      I see it as satire mocking male genital mutilation. They listed all the excuses given to cut a baby’s penis. They only reversed to sexes.

  13. Shwell Thanksh
    Posted May 29, 2016 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    It’s not my own style personally, but if you’re old enough to make decisions about your own body and want to get a nostril piercing or an eyebrow piercing or whatever, or even one usually hidden by your pants or your shirt, go for it!
    But for Xenu’s sake, it should go without saying that unless you’re a doctor with a legitimate medical purpose, keep the sharp knives away from the dangly bits of the kids. That should be a criminal offense.

  14. jaxkayaker
    Posted May 29, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    As a general rule, no form of circumcision is medically necessary (especially in countries with good sanitation and infrastructure) and definitely should not be performed on those who have no real choice in the matter, either newborns or adolescents under heavy social pressure to conform.

  15. Jenny Haniver
    Posted May 29, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Following a couple of links from that facebook page led me to this site “Safe Female Circumcision,” http://umatia.org/2011/safecircumcision.html, to download a book (the title speaks for itself) by one Dr. Sit Elbanat Khalid Mohammed Ali, which states that the good doctor (probably a woman) is an obstetrician and gynecologist at Khartoum University. Then I was led to another site advocating the practice http://www.anvermanatunga.net/english/female-circumcision-the-hidden-truth-by-asiff-hussein/

    It is horrifying to me to read justifications for such a practice and to read the casuistic splitting of hairs over terminology: “mutilation vs “cutting,” and the parsing of medical terminology equating the clitoral hood with the prepuce, then by extension asserting that male circumcision is equivalent to cltoridectomy, and applying arguments for male circumcision (whatever their merits) to clitoridectomy. And then just the other day I was treated to the appeal from cultural and moral relativism. I must say that in the end, my powers of rational argument completely failed me and I was reduced to sputtering, “I don’t give a fuck what anybody’s cultural traditions are; that is a barbaric practice and I’ll never accept cultural tradition as “just” their way of doing things, and an exculpatory reason for this barbaric practice (and certain other cultural practices as well, whatever the culture). I suppose this makes me just another close-minded xenophobe, but I am eagerly reading other comments on this and related posts, hoping for more insight so that I can mount a better defense the next time I have to defend myself against arguments that advance either medical or cultural justification for barbaric practices (of course, I’m the one calling them barbaric, others would obviously disagree)– and there will be a next time.

    • Adam M.
      Posted May 29, 2016 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      Well, I have to say that the links you point to don’t actually argue in favor of clitoridectomy, but rather against it. For instance, the second link says “clitoridectomy [is] against the Shariah. But … [removing] the skin covering the clitoris… [is] obligatory”. What they argue for – removal of the clitoral hood – really is analogous to male circumcision.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted May 30, 2016 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        Well, I guess I am blinded by my female desire to keep those lady parts intact and I readily admit that my response is visceral, but I don’t buy the argument-by-appendage-analogy here. I think that male circumcision is a separate matter; and just because male circumcision is prevalent in many places, it’s not sufficient reason to justify excising the clitoral hood because it’s analogous to the prepuce. But this is why I said that I look to other comments for more info and different perspectives. This is just a response of the moment. I’m going back and re-evaluate things in light of your post. So though I seem testy, thank you for your critical input.

        • Leigh Jackson
          Posted May 30, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

          I agree that excision of the clitoral hood is not justifiable by analogy with male circumcision. Genital mutilation is never justifiable except for adults who choose it for themselves – not others.

          Just because infant male genital mutilation is prevalent does not mean it is justifiable.

      • somer
        Posted May 30, 2016 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        According to WHO, UNICEF and USAID reports In practise – including in Islamic countries of the schools where the clerics preach this – its still overwhelmingly done removing part of the clitoris, not skin. The relevant hadith are in fact a bit vague and though the practise is only recommended many, mainly the less educated interpret it more broadly because they equate removing bits (even whole) of clitoris with the injunction of sexual modesty and restraint for women before marriage (which the clerics of the relevant schools do mention a lot even with reference to these hadith)
        Moreover medicalisation of the procedure by the State in some places has made it worse, not better.

        • Joshua Thom
          Posted June 1, 2016 at 5:04 am | Permalink

          “Moreover medicalisation of the procedure by the State in some places has made it worse, not better.”

          Agreed. Using doctors legitimizes in a way that it should not have. This goes for everyone. males and females.

  16. Jayne
    Posted May 29, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Horrible!!! Barbaric!!!! Insane!!!!
    Stop mutilating girls!
    This is about controlling women!!!!

    • Joshua Thom
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      This is satire. But nobody on this blog of skeptics seems to get it. These are all excuses for male genital mutilation.

      Also will society get as upset about mutilating boys as we do for girls. PLEASE!

      • Posted June 2, 2016 at 5:51 am | Permalink

        Joshua, you have put about fifteen comments on this thread, and that is enough. Read the Roolz.

  17. Terry Platt
    Posted May 29, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    If Islam insists that men and women are created by god and are presumably ‘perfect’ in design, why do Muslims insist on modifying god’s work? Isn’t this heresy?!

    • Zado
      Posted May 29, 2016 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps it would be, if Islam was logically coherent. But then, monotheists have rarely–if ever–been concerned with logical coherence.

  18. Posted May 29, 2016 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    The burden is — as always — on the people who advocate for something. In this case they need to convince thirds to accept the practice and even more need to persuade the girls and women to agree to the procedure.

    They have not met this basic demand, instead hope to get around by bringing weak faux arguments and emotional manipulation (calling critics racists, islamophobic etc), and hope that cultural relativism will do the rest.

    Culture or parents can only infringe on bodily autonomy in some carefully delineated cases, like vaccinations — which is most rock solid. It’s not mere “maybe” beneficial, but is fully documented from start to finish, how it works, why it works, why it is beneficial to both the invidual and society and so forth, and it needs to meet those stern criteria.

    It also why obscurantists (e.g. vaccine deniers) are such damaging even beyond the area of their activity. They make it seem as if vaccination was a controversial lifestyle choice, and thereby help further relativism (i.e. there is little knowable, it’s optional, how you feel etc). And this attitude is then the fertile ground for all these circumcision and mutilation arguments, that in reality are completely baseless, it never overcomes the threshold to impose such procedures on others. And for it to be voluntary, it must be private (i.e. a person must be able to refer to privacy, and personal choice, if asked, and not even this met).

  19. p. puk
    Posted May 29, 2016 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Taking personal hygiene advice from centuries old religious, cultural and traditional customs is quaint at best and completely batshit fucking crazy at worst.

    Muslims are required to be “clean” for prayers and should wash themselves beforehand. As the scarcity of water in the desert can pose a problem, washing oneself with sand will suffice. That’s quaint.

    Genital mutilation falls into the latter category.

  20. Hempenstein
    Posted May 29, 2016 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    So Allah’s original design needs improvement, does it?

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted May 29, 2016 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Indeed!

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Only the designs for humans. He was spot on with the designs for bot flies, mosquitoes and … ichneumon wasps (quoth Darwin : Devil’s Chaplain). Got the designs for them pretty spot on. Obviously Ichnumonidae are more important and worthy of attention than Hominidae.

  21. Posted May 29, 2016 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    I wish I could say this with all Hitch’s resonance and authority – How dare they claim this travesty is for any good reason. This affront against all women, against that most beautiful and perfect organ, against in fact all humanity. How dare they say this?

  22. Posted May 29, 2016 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    The answer to most of the ‘problems’ cited by these sorts of sites is good personal hygiene, and safe sexual practices. Why aren’t they promoting those, I wonder?

    • Joshua Thom
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      This is satire. But nobody on this blog of skeptics seems to get it. These are all excuses for male genital mutilation.

  23. Gayle
    Posted May 29, 2016 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    There is no conceivable way that this practice could prevent UTIs!

    • Joshua Thom
      Posted May 30, 2016 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      I am shocked at how many people fail to see this. It is not pro FGM it is anti male genital mutilation. All they did was take an argument for male genital mutilation and reverse the sexes. UTIs are a common excuse used to justify the barbaric practice of cutting a baby boys penis.

  24. boggy
    Posted May 30, 2016 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    I have a brochure produced by the organisation ‘Womankind Worldwide’which is campaigning against FGM. Apparently in Ethiopia uncut girls are likely to drop plates because they are ‘too lively’!


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