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October 3, 2013 8:25 am

EU Parliamentary Assembly Rules Against Circumcision

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Flags outside European Union parliament. Photo: WikiCommons.

Ynet – Are Europe’s Jews about to launch a new struggle for the observance of the circumcision ritual across the continent? The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which represents most of the continent’s states, has passed a resolution calling male ritual circumcision a “violation of the physical integrity of children according to human rights standards.”

At the end of a debate in Strasbourg, the Parliamentary Assembly ruled overwhelmingly that male circumcision and female genital mutilation are forbidden, unless the child is over the age of 15 and has given his or her consent to the practice.

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  • Ariel

    This concern over so-called ‘child abuse’ has reached absurd levels.

    In Latin-America it is common practice to pierce one’s baby’s ears for earrings. I wonder if the European Parliament would dub it ‘cruel’ as well.

  • Brian R. Silver

    Male circumcision eliminates a small covering of the head of the penis, leaving the penis fully functional. The part removed is not needed. Millions of years ago, it served to protect the head of the penis, when primitive man evolved out of equatorial Africa where clothing was not used, leaving the highly sensitive head of the penis exposed to wind, sun, and high brush. Today, men’s clothing protects better than the foreskin. This is like our toenails, which are also an evolutionary remnant from our earlier ancestors that needed toe claws to climb trees.

    Removing the clitoris is not like removing the male foreskin. Female circumcision removes the entire clitoris, which is still needed today, just as it was needed millions of years ago. Removal deprives the female of a significant part of the pleasure of sexual intercourse. The clitoris is still needed to help propagate our species. It is like removing the entire head of the penis.

    Medical research has proved that the foreskin is unhealthy. This is because the foreskin allows bacteria and viruses to grow under the foreskin, unless it is frequently washed by pulling it back and cleaning underneath it.

    Several valid and large studies have proved that circumcised men are significantly less likely to have penile cancer and their mates are significantly less likely to have vaginal or uterine cancer. Adult male circumcision in Africa has caused a huge reduction in the transmission of the HIV virus that leads to AIDS. The results of independent studies were so dramatic that the researchers were required by medical ethics to advise the control groups of the results before the full proposed length of the research had elapsed, so the control groups would be permitted to elect circumcision.

    • teddy

      Dear Brian,

      Medical research with questionable intentions has ‘proven’ that circumcision cuts down on std transmission. You state that the skin removed ‘is not needed’ that is a very subjective topic. The only person who can soundly make such a judgement is the person who’s foreskin is being surgically removed. A baby, or young boy, does not understand this. Brian, if you are an adult male who was, I assume, circumcised at a very young age. How can you determine what is lost when you have no capacity to judge that which was lost from you?

      You claim clothing ‘protects’ the head of the penis, but you fail to realize that the sensitive skin doesn’t just need protection from aggressive harm, it also protects the head of the penis from constant rubbing (of clothing, or even (in the ‘wild’ airflow) which desensitizes it. You acknowledge this fact, but somehow still think that something so in tune with the needs of the human body are useless??? Modern clothing is much worse than blowing wind when it comes to desensitizing skin.

      My point is what is lost through this process can only humanely be determined by the individual subjected to it. Not his parents, not his religious leader, not a doctor doing what he’s used to always doing.

      Trying to defend (religious) circumcision on the grounds that it reduces the chance of infection of certain STD’s is in my opinion despicable. There are many better ways at lowering your risk of contracting an STD (practicing safe sex, limiting the number of sexual partners, etc)