Tag Archives: australia

New organisation aims to end circumcision in Australia and New Zealand

It seems that yet another organisation has emerged with the intent of putting circumcising doctors out of business.

This group calls themselves ‘The Australasian Institute of Genital Autonomy‘, and are a little different from the typical anti-circumcision or ‘intactivisit’ groups. Rather than being anti-circumcision, they claim to be pro-choice, and think that when they are old enough, boys should be able to decide if they want to have any part of their bodies removed.

They also suggest that all babies and children should be treated equally when it comes to cutting (or not cutting) their genitals, so that if it is wrong to cut the genitals of our female children, then it is also wrong to cut the genitals of our male and intersex children.

 

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How many boys are being circumcised in Australia today?

While the mainstream media, and other special interest groups in Australia, may report that an increasing number of parents are returning to the ritual of infant circumcision, the facts show that actually there has been a dramatic drop since 2009, from more than 13% to 10.82%.

Circumcision rates in Australia.

Male Births for 2013 not available at time of posting. Projection based on 2 year moving average trend.
Sources: Medicare, Australian Bureau of Statistics

This recent drop joined the dramatic decline from the 1970s, when it was estimated that 90% of baby boys were circumcised. Below we put forward some possible reasons for the drop:

  • An increased awareness of the 16+ protective and sexual functions of the foreskin.
  • An understanding that caring for an intact baby requires less effort than for one who is circumcised. No special post-surgery care is required; cleaning involves only wiping the outside – never retract (the boy does this himself when ready).
  • An understanding that even if there were a slightly increased risk of UTIs from an intact penis, leaving your boy intact, in the past this was most likely caused by forced retraction of the foreskin, and, in any case, infections can be treated the same way we treat our girls – with antibiotics.
  • An increase in breastfeeding, and with that, an understanding that circumcision surgery disrupts breastfeeding and bonding.
  • Many Australian men are voicing their resentment at being circumcised as babies.
  • A greater awareness of the immediate risks of the circumcision surgery itself.
  • An appreciation of the concept of autonomy. That is, all humans should have the right to self-determination over their own bodies.
  • A recent groundswell of opinion from around the world from medical authorities, political parties, and other institutions, declaring that infant circumcision is unnecessary, harmful, removes healthy, functional tissue and breaches a child’s human rights.
  • With circumcision rates now at 10.82%, ‘fitting in’ can no longer be used to justify the decision to circumcise.
  • The proliferation of social media, which has provided wide exposure to stories of botched circumcisions, regretful parents, and resentful men.
  • A realisation that the purported benefits are marginal at best, are better achieved by basic hygiene, safe sex practices, and less invasive medical treatment. These “benefits” have been promoted by those with a monetary or other interest in circumcision, and are insignificant when balanced against the above points.

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But isn’t it just a ‘useless flap of skin’?

This is a phrase that I heard quite a bit growing up in Australia. It seems it was used to make us feel better about not having all of our genitals. There are a few things that disturb me about this phrase. Firstly, the word ‘flap’ implies that it is this loose extra bit of skin that just flops around and gets in the way. The truth is that it is not a ‘flap’, but a tight structure that sits snugly all the way around the circumference of the glans. It has many functions, including a sophisticated ‘gliding’ or ‘rolling’ mechanical action during sexual activity – something that is difficult to explain to a generation of Australian men and their partners who have never experienced sex as nature intended it.

Futher information on the function of the foreskin can be found at the following link:

http://skinfore.blogspot.com.au/

 

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