I like my penises intact, thank you, Cologne, Germany judge.
As of Tuesday, July 10, a court in Cologne, Germany ruled that circumcision of baby boys to be illegal unless there was a medical need. According to the NYTimes: “The court found that the child’s ‘fundamental right to bodily integrity’ was more important than the parents’ rights.” This has sent some in the Muslim and Jewish community in an uproar. I say, finally.
Apparently, the tender foreskin contains 20,000–70,000 (!) erogenous nerve endings. Circumcision removes about three-fourths of the nerve endings in the penis. This can result in potential premature ejaculation. In addition, without the protection of the foreskin the penis is not as sensitive: Many circumcised males complain about sexual dysfunction and impotence because they lack the feelings and feedback meant to be provided by nerve endings that were amputated with circumcision. Circumcised men are 4.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with erectile dysfunction than non-circumcised men.
Of course, there is much female genital mutilation going on in the world as well. Which I might get into later—though not my favorite topic.
This reminds me of my recent article on Criminalizing Forced Marriage in the UK featured in Women’s Media Center. So many girls are being forced by their parents into marriages they did not agree to (this is not the same as arranged marriage where it is set up but they at least agreed to it). And majority of them are South Asian and even 2nd, 3rd generation in England. It’s a similar issue of an oppressive tradition that is touted as either cultural or religious but is actually completely oppressive to the young people.