Genital Mutilation American Style
How a father discovered, too late, that circumcision is not a good thing.
by Rio Cruz
Circumcision is not simply the cutting off of useless skin. Author Gary L. Harryman innumerates what circumcision destroys:
***Its connective synechia, which fuses the foreskin to the glans while the penis develops.
***Approximately half of the smooth muscle sheath called the dartos fascia.
***Most of the erotogenic nerve endings on the penis, including the densely innervated ridged bands, reducing the sensitivity of the penis to that of ordinary skin.
***Specialized epithelial Langerhans cells, a component of the immune system.
***Thousands of coiled fine-touch receptors, including the Meissner's corpuscles.
***Estrogen receptors--the purpose and value of which are not yet fully understood.
***Ectopic sebaceous glands, which lubricate and moisturize.
***The protective covering of the glans, normally an internal structure. The foreskin shields from abrasion, drying, and callusing, and protects from dirt and other contaminants.
***The entire immunological defense system of the soft mucosa, which may produce antibacterial and antiviral proteins such as lysozyme, also found in mother's milk, and plasma cells, which secrete immunoglobulin antibodies.
***Lymphatic vessels, the loss of which interrupts the lymph flow within a part of the body's immune system.
***The frenulum, the sensitive "V" shaped tethering structure on the underside of the glans is also usually amputated, severed, or destroyed.
***The apocrine glands, which produce pheromones, nature's powerful, silent, invisible signals to potential sexual partners.
***As much as 50% or more of the total penile skin, radically immobilizing and desensitizing whatever skin remains.
***The "gliding" mechanism. If unfolded and spread out flat, the average adult foreskin would measure 15-20 square inches, the size of a postcard. This abundance of specialized, self-lubricating skin gives the natural penis its unique-hallmark ability to smoothly "glide" back and forth within itself, permitting non-abrasive intercourse, without drying out the vagina.
***The pink to red to dark purple natural coloration of the glans.
***10% to 20% of its circumference because its double-layered wrapping of loose foreskin is now missing making the circumcised penis thinner.
*** As much as one inch of the erect penis' length due to scarring and shrinkage from loss of the mobile, richly vascularized foreskin.
***Several feet of blood vessels, including the frenular artery and branches of the dorsal artery, the loss of which interrupts normal blood flow to the shaft and glans of the penis, damaging its natural function and possibly stunting its growth.
*** An estimated 240 feet of microscopic nerves, including branches of the dorsal nerve.
*** Perhaps most importantly, between at least 10,000 to 20,000 specialized erotogenic nerve endings of various types, which can discern slight motion, subtle changes in temperature, and fine gradations in texture.
And occasionally a boy will lose his life from this needless operation. It has been estimated that as many as 209 babies die every year from circumcision and related complications.
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