Friday, November 18, 2016

Tribal Psychology of Circumcision

Psychology of Tribe borrowed from=  http://www.writingsonthewall.net/morality-of-groups-1

The psychology of tribes applied to circumcision with my additions in bold italics:

1.When acting in ways which relate primarily to their membership of a group, a person’s behaviour changes to reflect the beliefs and aspirations of the group rather than those of the individual. Therefore if the group cuts the genitals of its members to denote group membership, male or female, the aspirations of the group will take precedence over the aspirations of an individual, who may not want to have his/her genitals cut.  This is what leads to infant male circumcision, and FGM of female children. You find parents and in-particular mothers from circumcision cultures handing over their male newborns to be cut, and their girl children to be cut, even when it goes against their  maternal instincts to protect their baby or child from harm..

2. Tribal Psychology, is an important trait from hunter gatherer times when strong tribal identity was essential to survival, but it’s necessary for any group to find ways to emphasize the characteristic of group membership because it’s that identification with the group which helps promote cooperation and selflessness in the behaviour of its members.  In genital cutting cultures, circumcision is then seen as a ritual which not only denotes tribal membership, but at some level is seen as essential to the survival of a group.  Making it very difficult to go against the groups tribal identity rituals.

Negative Elements of Tribal Psychology with my additions in bold italics include:

  1. Grandiose tribal self image: one’s own tribe has certain positive characteristics. Eg Look at Pro-Circumcision Propaganda: Circumcision makes the tribe more hygienic and clean; Circumcision looks better; Circumcision is better for sex; Circumcision is healthier.  Contrast this with the actual evidence that no medical organisation in the world recommends routine circumcision for the above reasons, and people from non-circumcision EU & Japan are healthier, live longer have lower hiv/sti's, and view the intact penis as healthy and normal.
  2. The tribal shadow: other tribes are evil and inhuman.  Pro-Circumcision propaganda abounds with the demonization of the foreskin and the uncircumcised.  Contrast this with most of the world 70 to 75% rejects circumcision, and the healthiest nations with the healthiest people are uncircumcised.
  3. Group polarization Tribal identity gains dominance over that of an individual’s self identity in situations of tribal conflict and competition. Pro-Circumcision uses the propaganda slogan of its the Parents Rights to decide on circumcision, denying the rights of the child to choose for himself.   Contrast this with the strongest arguments against circumcision which are based on human rights and on ethical grounds, that it needs to be the individuals right to choose when they are an adult and make an informed consent decision for themselves.  Pro-circumcision cultures emphasise the group, anti-curcumcision groups emphasise individual rights.
  4. Group think: humans have evolved a tendency to conform to the predominant beliefs and opinions of groups to which they belong. Holding opinions contrary to the consensus engenders stress in the individual, and carries with it the risk of social exclusion. Look at Pro-Circumcision propaganda how it promotes circumcision as the normal healthy thing to do, and labels intactivists, as foreskin fetishists, evil people, and extremists.

The essay drew following conclusions and I add my interpretation in bold italics:

  • Tribal group environments have been important in the evolution of the underpinnings of human      psychology, and for that reason people are powerfully influenced by factors which reinforce group identity. Therefore we have a difficult task ahead of us to convince those that believe circumcision is important to group identity.  WE need to select and use our strategies carefully, and slowly emphasise that genital status has nothing to do with group identity in a modern world.  That observance of individual human rights in the modern world, helps us belong to the world of civilised & moral human beings. Obviously one strategy to get there is to use education and informed discussion to educate. The arguments that reinforce the essentiality of circumcision for survival have to be debunked, because they are such a powerful reinforcer, and why the ProCirc’s use fear as a motivator to circ.  Also note how some Jews themselves have abandoned the circumcision for the brit shalom a non-cutting ceremony to admit membership to the jewish community.  So you dont have to cut to be a jew.
  • Identification with a group polarizes divisions between the group and a category of others who form the group’s enemies. WE need to be careful if we are to persuade that we are not the enemies.  We can educate & say that belonging to the group of humanity or any social group is completely independent of genital status Cut or UnCut.
  • Individuals are inclined to conform their thinking to that of the group, even against their personal self interest. This is where individual human rights have to be emphasised, that group think cannot allow the violation of these rights. Note individual psychological defence, “I;m so glad I was circumcised as a baby” never matter they were denied their functional anatomy and they never had a say.
  • Leaders understand how to take advantage of this psychology with jingoistic posturing and celebration of romanticised historical icons. This creates a narrative for the group which engenders heightened levels of polarization and group think. This is where we have to Challenge medical organizations and their leaders, law-makers and politicians, to emphasise individual human rights over that of group cultural rights.

Where this process of Tribal Psychology may have been an advantage to the survival of a tribe or the individuals which made up that tribe, it is clearly not in the interests of the individuals in the modern world. For that reason it is essential that individuals become aware of this psychology and insist that politicians/medicos/law makers refrain from. Circumcision of babies and children male or female is not important for the survival of any group, and is a violation of the individual human rights of that individual.  The modern world needs to give pre-eminence to individual human rights particularly of children, and that they be protected from genital cutting practices.  If adults want to choose to have their own genitals cut, that is an individual choice they can make for themselves.



Tribal Psychology has the potential to directly conflict with individual human rights.  AMEN

Friday, December 18, 2015

Thankyou for 100,000 page views of my anti-circumcision blog and Goodbye

Thankyou for 100,000 page views of my anti-circumcision blog.

My working life is about to change, the needs/demands of my profession mean that Iwill expand my Private Consultancy, and my workload will probably double in 2016, so my work in the anti-circumcision campaigns of social media will be severely restricted.  Its now time for others to make their contributions.  I hope that I have made a difference.

Some background information:

My main recent motivation has been to counter the predominant pro-circumcision views in America, while my initial motivation was to counter our own Australian procirc fanatic Brian Morris.

I had been content that routine infant circumcision (RIC) had been overwhelmingly abandoned by both the medical profession and parents of Australia in the 1970's and 80;s, though still stubbornly high with statistics in 2015 showing about 11 to 12% of boys still being circumcised.  In the early to mid 2000's I began to notice the beginning of an incessant media campaign by Brian Morris et al, to reinstate routine infant circumcision in Australia.  I did some research and found that Brian Morris had been a long-term pro-circumcision campaigner who had fought against the abandonment of RIC, he had been condemned for his views, and he had even made dire predictions about the genito-urinary health of Australian males because of the abandonment of circ, which in the end have all proved to be false.  I thought I must add my medico-scientific voice to counter Morris et al.  I initially wrote to the RACP, and was assured by their response about the circumcision of infants, and they informed me that Brian Morris was not a member of the RACP and anything he said in media did not represent the views of the RACP.

I then discovered social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, and found that Americans had a much bigger problem than Australians.  I found myself puzzled by America's high infant circumcision rates, and wanted to understand why, and also help support the American anti-circumcision movement. Further research helped me to understand that circumcision had infiltrated the American psyche and was part of their cultural identity and that they would fight very hard to retain the practice.  I was amazed but not really surprised that even the American Academy of Pediatrics was willing to subject themselves to international shame and ridicule to defend the right of their practitioners to continue the practice (What a shame they didn;t put the same effort into defending the rights of their real patients "infant boys").

I can proudly say that most page reads have come from America (52,306), so I have had some influence in the USA even if only small.

I have spent a lot of my very limited spare time in this endeavour, though my writings have predominantly been rushed, and were not for academic publishing or peer review.  When I re-read them, most of my blog posts do read rushed, and are not fit for scientific publishing.  However, that was never my intent, my intent was for these blogs to be read by ordinary people, and to be motivating pieces which would encourage further reading. 

There are many great academic/scientific writers in this field who are worth reading, and a good follow on from my works, such as:

Dr Robert Darby of Circinfo.org http://www.circinfo.org/index.php 
Dr Brian Earp Brian Earp, Proposed CDC guidelines on male circumcision: A critique (at Academia.edu) 
Morten Frisch. Time for U.S. parents to reconsider the acceptability of infant male circumcision.   Prof David Forbes. Circumcision and the best interests of the child. Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health 51 (March 2015): 263-265. 
Source: Brian Earp and Robert Darby. Does science support infant circumcision? A skeptical reply to Brian Morris. UK Skeptic, 10 June 2014.

Best of luck to my friends in this endeavour!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Ugly Genitals

How fascinating that in the post modern world we live in, we now have the concept of "ugly genitals" emerging as a social construct. Read = (Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann with their book The Social Construction of Reality which is based on a combination of Alfred Schutz' Sociology of Knowledge and Durkheim's concept of institution, developed a theory that aims at answering the question of how subjective meaning becomes a social fact. "The social construction of reality".)

Now we have cultures presenting subjective meaning as fact when it comes to the attractiveness of genitals. Look at whats happened to the social construction of what constitutes attractiveness in the female genitals.  In Western cultures, now for a vagina to be considered attractive it must be hairless, waxed, shaven, the Brazilian.  Who decided this?  But worse how did we buy into this.  Unintended consequences = Labia size?  Someone socially constructed that large labia are unattractive and small labia attractive.  The consequence of this is that now women are having labiaplasty (labia reduction) done in order to make their vaginas attractive according to this new social construction as if it is a fact??. Who said??  In FGM cultures an uncircumcised vagina is considered ugly, and a mutilated vagina attractive?

Male genitals.  In genital cutting cultures the circumcised penis is considered attractive and the foreskin is considered ugly extra skin.  In intact cultures the natural genitals are considered attractive and the circumcised penis is considered ugly, scarred and dried out.

Genitals are just genitals, their purpose is to provide pleasure which ultimately ensures we reproduce our species, to ensure our survival.  The most important aspects of the genitals is the physical feeling and pleasure they provide, and the ability to procreate.  Along with the hormonal drive that creates the urge for sex, genitals help create new life, ensuring the human race survives.  How they look is really of minor importance, and only a modern phenomenon.  Is a persons, integrity, personality, commitment, love, intelligence, and facial features (also socially constructed ) not much more important than genital appearance.  If we were to rate in order of importance the most valued aspects of a human being, where does genital attractiveness rate (remembering it is a social construct) among the human attributes?  Not that highly surely?

How has this come about?  Is it an increasing narcissism among modern humans?  Is it the digital photography age, and manipulation of photos to change the way the human body looks (Study found editors digitally reduce labia size).  Is it the culture wars around circumcision and all forms of genital cutting done on children that leads to social constructs to justify ancient tribal customs?  Is it an obsession with the superficial?  Is it an idealisation of the human form?

What do we do about it?  Well it always starts with education, awareness and knowledge, that depending on the culture we live in, that culture is socially constructing concepts about genital attractiveness, and we need to be careful about buying into it.  To challenge these social constructions.  To argue that nature created humans with a large variability in our human features, and encouraging acceptance of how we are made/look as the most valued ideal.

What are your thoughts on this subject I'd like to read what other people think?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Busting Circumcision Culture Myths about Sexual Desirability and Performance

Circumcision cultures develop myths and taboos, and indoctrinate their people to believe these things as facts.  Sexual performance and the ability to be desirable to sex partners are 2 of the circumcision myths that are used in these cultures to persuade mothers and fathers to let their new born babies be circumcised.  Taboos such as sex is better for the man and his partner if circumcised, Your baby boy wont be a desirable sex partner if he;s not circumcised.

When you look at the facts, you find that men from Intact Cultures are rated the best and most desirable lovers, and American men among the least desirable and worst lovers (too rough to describe Americans men undesirability).

Article here: http://www.blisstree.com/2009/09/30/mental-health-well-being/spainish-men-are-the-worlds-best-lovers/

Spanish Men Are the World’s Best Lovers 


Have you ever wondered if French men really are better lovers?  Or maybe it’s the Latin man who floats your boat?  Well, a recent survey conducted by OnePoll.com quizzed a group of “well-traveled” ladies to rate men according to location, giving reasons for their preferences or dislikes for each region.
How did Americans rate? Not so great. They are #5 on the Worst list.
Canadian men did a bit better, they showed up as #10 on the Best list.
Where do the best lovers reside?  Spain.
The Daily Mail Online gives the results for the Worst list, including the reason the locals there are lacking…

World’s Worst Lovers
1. Germany – too smelly
2. England – too lazy
3. Sweden – too quick
4. Holland – too dominating
5. America – too rough
6. Greece  – too lovey-dovey
7. Wales – too selfish
8. Scotland – too loud
9. Turkey – too sweaty
10.Russia – too hairy
I don’t know how scientific this poll is. Do you think American men are too rough? It probably depends on the man.
Here’s the good list….
World’s Best Lovers
1. Spain
2. Brazil
3. Italy
4. France
5. Ireland
6. South Africa
7. Australia
8. New Zealand
9. Denmark
10.Canada
This survey leaves me with many questions. How many women were polled?  How many “hook-ups” were used to determine a result?  And why do the English newspapers have so many more interesting stories than the Americans?



Read more: http://www.blisstree.com/2009/09/30/mental-health-well-being/spainish-men-are-the-worlds-best-lovers/#ixzz3rzCz8dpw

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Binga Men Refuse Circumcision and have lowest HIV rate but listen to Officials (A Critique)

This is a report from http://www.southerneye.co.zw/2015/05/21/binga-men-resist-circumcision/ but listen to the way Officials interpret the obvious that condoms, behaviour and education is more effective than circumcision:  My comments in bold italics

BINGA men are resisting voluntary male circumcision with no one having been circumcised between January and March, according to statistics provided by the National Aids Council (NAC).
BY BATANAI MUTASA
This was revealed on Monday during a Matabeleland North NAC provincial stakeholders’ meeting in Bulawayo.
According to NAC statistics, while no one was circumcised in Binga between January and March, Bubi, Hwange, Tsholotsho, Umguza, Lupane and Nkayi recorded a combined total of 2 359 operations.
Lupane and Nkayi districts had the highest number of volunteers with 1 131 and 535 cases respectively.
NAC Matabeleland North monitoring and evaluation officer Mthokozisi Moyo attributed the resistance in Binga to entrenched cultural beliefs which were against circumcision.
“There is need to strategise ways to teach and persuade people in the district to embrace this exercise lest we compromise other efforts to prevent the spread of HIV,” Moyo said.  Listen to the insistence that these men choose circumcision even though the statistics show with condoms, behaviour and education these men have lower hiv infections.
Male circumcision is reputed to reduce female-to-male sexual transmission of HIV by 60%.
Despite shunning male circumcision, Binga recorded a high uptake of male condoms and a huge response to other programmes to curb the HIV pandemic. The area recorded the lowest seropositivity rates in the province.  Now why isn't this highlight, as more effective than circumcision and probably the answer?  What they are not saying is that This shows that circumcised men are getting higher infection rates than men who use condoms!!!!!!
Seropositivity is the state of having blood serum that tests positive for a given pathogen, especially HIV.
Binga recorded the lowest seropositivity rate in pregnant women of 3,3% while Bubi, Lupane, Nkayi, Umguza, Hwange and Tsholotsho recorded rates of 7,8%, 8,4%, 9%, 11% and 13 %, respectively.
The provincial rate dropped from 12% in the fourth quarter 2014 to 8% in the first quarter 2015.
However, Moyo indicated figures could be skewed owing to incomplete reports received from health facilities.  So women in these tribes have lower HIV because their men are choosing condoms, why isn't this highlighted?
Binga had low sexually transmitted infections (STI) in Matabeleland North at 9% after Lupane which accounted for 8% of STI cases in Matabeleland North.   More evidence condoms better than circumcision in reducing STI's.
Hwange recorded the highest STI cases accounting for 37% of all cases in the province.
“In male condom distribution, Binga district accounted for 37% of male condoms distributed followed by Hwange (18%) while Umguza had the least (2%),” Moyo said.
“Hwange had the highest number of sexual abuse cases (36%), followed by Tsholotsho (29%) and the least reported cases were recorded in Lupane (1%), Umguza (0%) and Binga (3%).”  Here we have direct evidence that higher condom distribution is directly correlated to lower HIV, STI's and SExual Abuse.
Although Binga recorded positive figures in the province, stakeholders underlined the need to consolidate the gains.  Again ignoring the fact circumcision wasn't required to achieve positive outcomes, but they continue to want to promote circumcision because that is their mindset, they've bought into the propaganda.
Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, NAC Matabeleland North co-ordinator Dingaan Dube warned that if voluntary male circumcision was not taken up, the risk of new HIV infections would rise in the long run. Totally ignoring and contradicting the facts, that men who refuse circumcision and use condoms end up with better sexual health, lower HIV and STI's.
“We are concerned. Response figures are high from testing and counselling centres and Binga has a lot of people coming forward,” Dube said.   They're concerned?  Concerned that men who use condoms have lower HIV than men who choose circumcision!  Shows the mindset, blind to the facts.
“But the many people in the fishing camps are from different areas and this could worsen the HIV situation in the district.” Totally illogical and opposite to the facts, and obsessed with circumcision.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Near death incident from neonatal circumcision using plastibell

Very interesting how this adverse circumcision event in America is buried in a Korean Journal, tells you a lot about American Medicine and its attitude toward circumcision

2015 Apr;58(4):154-7. doi: 10.3345/kjp.2015.58.4.154. Epub 2015 Apr 22.

Urosepsis and postrenal acute renal failure in a neonate following circumcision with Plastibell device.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, Children's Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Newark, NJ, USA.

Abstract

Plastibell is one of the three most common devices used for neonatal circumcision in the United States, with a complication rate as low as 1.8%. The Plastibell circumcision device is commonly used under local anesthesia for religious circumcision in male neonates, because of cosmetic reasons and ease of use. Occasionally, instead of falling off, the device may get buried under the skin along the shaft of the penis, thereby obstructing the normal flow of urine. Furthermore, the foreskin of neonates is highly vascularized, and hence, hemorrhage and infection are possible when the skin is cut. Necrosis of penile skin, followed by urethral obstruction and renal failure, is a serious surgical mishap requiring immediate corrective surgery and medical attention. We report a case of fulminant urosepsis, acute renal failure, and pyelonephritis in a 4-day-old male neonate secondary to impaction of a Plastibell circumcision device. Immediate medical management was initiated with fluid resuscitation and mechanical ventilation; thereby correcting life threatening complications. Pediatricians and Emergency Department physicians should be cognizant of the complications from Plastibell circumcision device in order to institute appropriate and timely management in neonates.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

My Jewish Wife refused circumcision for her 3 sons

My wife is of Jewish ancestry, she is a descendent of Polish Jews of whom most were murdered by the Nazi's in the World War 2 Holocaust.  It is a very sad and painful fact about her family history & Jewish origins.

Her Mother a jew of 2 jewish parents told her that when she was expecting her first child that circumcision was not required and that it was too painful for the baby.  Her Aunty tried to persuade her to continue the jewish tradition of circumcision.

My wife, did not like the idea of someone taking a knife to her new baby, and the 1970's in Australia was a time the whole nation was turning against circumcision.  She decided that she would not circumcise any of her babies.

My wife now has 3 sons none of whom were circumcised.  All are now men, and grateful for their foreskins, and glad they weren't circumcised.  None have had their own son;s circumcised.

My Jewish wife has 3 intact sons, and 6 intact grandsons.