I’ve had my ears pierced since I can remember. I don’t remember actually getting them pierced, but if I wanted to take them out, I could — and they’d grow back fine. Some parents disagree with piercing a child’s ears because, in their eyes, it’s “mutilation.” However, parents that argue against piercing a child’s ears often seem to have another child who was circumcised.
Circumcision is rooted in religious beliefs for both males and females. Female circumcision, better known as female genital mutilation(FGM), is typically done in third-world countries. Many small countries in Africa encourage FGM because they believe women are supposed to be pure. FGM essentially paralyzes a woman’s genitals, making pleasurable sensation during sex completely non-existent. This practice also causes many complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Women who have been circumcised often develop scar tissue around their vagina, making natural childbirth extremely painful and, in some cases, impossible. Many women and girls have died or lost a child because of the extreme danger of childbirth after being put through FGM.
Women who are put through FGM are usually at the age of puberty, and can remember the pain. There’s extreme irony in this practice, as some women who have failed to successfully give birth because of FGM have been left in the wilderness alone to be killed by animals. It’s believed that women who cannot successfully reproduce are cursed and will bring bad luck to the village, and are therefore banished. It’s strange to me that this practice would even be considered because it would make it impossible for most women to give birth.
There are absolutely no health benefits to FGM. It’s a cultural and religious practice used to control women and to keep them from desiring “explicit” sexual activities.
So what about the health benefits of male circumcision? There’s some speculation that circumcising baby boys will later prevent health risks such as urinary tract infections, STI’s and even HIV. Although there’s some truth to these speculations, for the most part there are more risks than benefits in male circumcision.
Male circumcision performed on babies can cause scarring, hemorrhaging, infection from the incision.It’s also painful to the baby. Babies can experience difficulty peeing and may develop urinary tract infections immediately after circumcision. The foreskin of the penis is a protective barrier. It can prevent injury, protect the head from germs and other bacteria, and increases sexual pleasure for both male and female partners.
Circumcision also has extreme religious roots. Anyone who’s read the Bible remembers God commanding Abraham to circumcise himself at the age of 99, as well as all of his descendants. God said, ” You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.” In other words, God wanted Abraham to circumcise himself as a symbol of loyalty. Just as women in the Bible were expected to commit their virginity to God before they are married, men were expected to experience less sexual pleasure because, I suppose, God could please them in other ways.
I’m no expert on penises, seeing as I don’t have one. However, it does seem like having scarring around the head of the penis would render some nerves down there completely useless. It also seems funny that God would create men with foreskins and then command them to cut them off. Circumcision can’t be fixed on males or females. Those parents who argue that piercing ears is somehow related to mutilation, but opt to have their child circumcised, are complete hypocrites. I’m glad my mother had my ears pierced when I was little so I don’t remember the pain. Circumcision is a different story, though. Very few men have to be circumcised later in life, and men who grow up curious as to what it’d be like to have had a foreskin can’t undo it. If I grew up angry at my mother for piercing my ears, I could just take them out and let them grow back.