From the initial premise, this article on circumcision from The Boston Globe is flawed. The title is “Disputing the need for circumcision”, which implies that the onus to justify a position is on those who understand that males are (almost always) born with healthy genitals; surgery is not indicated.
The discussion should be over. But it’s not. Our culture is irrational enough to believe that a circumcised penis is normal and a normal penis is weird. We’re stuck with a psychologist, Ronald Goldman, defending sanity rather than a circumcision proponent trying to defend insanity. Typical.
The interviewer descends further into the ridiculous throughout his interview with Dr. Goldman. Specifically, this tired nonsense, begun with an intelligent rebuttal from Dr. Goldman based on ethics:
Would you want someone else to make the decision . . . or would you want to reserve that choice for yourself.
Q. I’d prefer them to make that decision when I was an infant than for me to make it at the age of majority, when it would be many times more painful.
Spoken with the ignorance of hindsight exhibited by most circumcised men, to which I’ll just ask questions, in no particular order:
- How much evidence do we have from infants that circumcision pain is acceptable to them?
- How do we know it would be many times more painful as an adult?
- What’s the difference between the pain management (not always) given to infants and the pain management available to adults?
- What’s the difference between the circumciser’s ability to judge how much skin to remove from an infant versus an adult?
- Does the adult’s ability to offer his input into that estimation matter?
- Is it relevant that intact adults almost never choose or need circumcision?
- Do similarities in the rates of disease (allegedly, in many cases) related to the penis/foreskin and the lack of similarities in rates of circumcision between America and Europe indicate anything significant?
At the end, the interviewer asks Dr. Goldman a curious question:
Q. Are you circumcised? How did you get so passionate about it?
I’d ask the interviewer how he got so indifferent about imposing medically unnecessary surgery on a boy’s healthy, normal genitals.
I wish to include the possibility that the interviewer is not indifferent. The belief that parents may impose medically unnecessary surgery on their boy’s healthy, normal genitals is a passionate stance in defense of routine infant circumcision, whether it’s acknowledged as such. So, to the interviewer: how did he get so passionate about circumcision?