Sunday, June 6, 2010

Further to the 'ritual nick' - Effective Intactivism

I've been reading more about the circumcision debate and happened upon a couple of very good blog posts on a site called Peaceful Parenting in my net travels.

The following quote was from a post was about the purpose of the prepuce . The article is well worth reading as it contains a thorough and thought provoking run down on the astonishing functions of that little bit of 'useless' and 'unnecessary' skin on a penis. The prepuce is rightly defined as an organ by two human sexuality experts. A full description of the myriad purposes of the prepuce are on the Peaceful Parenting blog post, but the following information really stood out for me
"A circumcised male, or his partner, for that matter, can never know the intimacy of the normal penis and the ability of the foreskin to open and glide up and down the shaft. An entire dimension of sexuality has been lost to both the male and his sexual partner"... Intact males can be more tender, gentle, relaxed, and loving during sex because the slightest and subtlest gesture or motion evokes deeply satisfying sensations. Circumcised males have to work harder just to feel sensations. This is an unhealthy situation for both the male and his partner".
I know that female circumcision is popular amongst some groups because cutting out her clitoris diminishes a woman's enjoyment of the sexual act, not to mention any sexual feelings and therefore functions to keep women 'faithful' - and under control! I don't think that as a culture, we truly understand the way that male circumcision interferes with male sexuality to the degree that it does. Circumcised men often laugh when that suggestion is made, because sex is just fine for them. The reality is of course, that they don't know what they haven't got. If circumcised males have to work harder, thrust harder and for longer just to feel sensations and get that level of stimulation required to orgasm because the sensory nerves on the head of their penis have been traumatised AND they lack the sensory nerves of the prepuce, that level of activity would be normal for them. The leap to thinking about what that level of activity actually means for their partners is then an easy one to make. Our cultural practice of male circumcision is actually blunting the sexual pleasure of couples, not just the head of the penis's feelings.

Coupled with that reality, the fact that circumcision leads to trauma and even death for some boys is explored in another post by Peaceful Parenting's Danelle Frisbe.

Intactivism is gaining ground as social media takes up the case for keeping both girls and boys intact. The latest post on Peaceful Parenting is excellent, explaining why we need to focus on solutions and in this case it is keeping children safe by keeping them intact. Aubrey Taylor a social activist, explains that negative emotions are understandable when we really think about what circumcision means and how human rights are being violated by the practice. However, people don't respond to negativity and anger - such reaction tends to invoke resistence and opposition.  Aubrey talks about Effective Intactivism which involves getting our language and feelings 'right' and coming with clear vision of how we want the situation to be.

Effective Intactivism involves education, compassion, love, persistence and patience.

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