Circumcision is so ingrained in American culture that is people don’t question its practice, or even defend it. And you can blame the healthcare industry for this effect on Americans, which for decades has induced rejection for intact genitalia, while dismissing the essential function of the foreskin – claiming that males are healthier without it; leading to the perception of the intact penis as a flawed organ, prone to diseases, “unhygienic”, and even unappealing; resulting in a vicious cycle of socio-cultural repercussions.
Physical “Mark” Of Social Identity
Since circumcision was institutionalized, its practice in America has become a physical “mark” of social identity among its people; perhaps the real reason behind the survival of this outdated practice on this modern day. Research shows that the demand for its practice has been particularly prominent among white population (and of a certain status); while the practice has only been embraced by half of the black population, and even less so among other minorities. The social “status” of mothers also influenced the demand for the practice. The rate of circumcision in boys whose mothers were college-educated was 2.5 higher according to studies. It should also be noted that circumcision in public hospitals is less frequent than in private ones, given that salaried doctors don’t seek profit in its practice.
One of the most infamous motives behind circumcision in America is the family “tradition”; which has forced all males in a family to get circumcised at birth to share the same circumcision “status” – “like father like son” as some candidly refer to it. To think than a father and son’s or brothers “matching” genitalia aesthetics is a “benefit” from circumcision is beyond ridiculous. But that is no joke, you can ask any grown circumcised man and most will assure you that their families didn’t want them to question why they were “different” to their dad or brothers, so they made sure to get them “snipped” at birth – ironically enough many never get to see their dads or brothers in the nude while growing up. But not only newborns are subject to this fate, but also boys that for one reason or another didn’t get circumcised at birth; such ones in split custody and ones who get adopted later in life.
There is also an unsettling motive of social conformity in America – so boys “look like rest” and avoid “locker room shaming”. Parents think they are sparing their boys from rejection by comforming to a practice expected in a brainwashed society, when all they are doing is enabling lack of self esteem, not to mention validating bullying by adhering to social conformity.
A more troublesome social repercussion from circumcision is the discrimination towards intact males. America is the only country where males have to make the distinction of being “intact”, given that they are still a minority – often referred as “uncut” or “uncircumcised”; the latter a term that suggests circumcised is the standard and the opposite is considered of a lesser quality, when in fact intact men are the standard in the world given that they account for 70% of all males. Many intact boys grow up self-conscious and shameful, which drives many (although at a very small rate) to get circumcised as teenagers or adults to “fit in” in a society that has been instructed to perceive the circumcised penis as the norm. And while adult circumcision has its own underlying issues, there is a fundamental difference over infant circumcision – adults are aware of their actions and can make a conscious decision for themselves, unlike young boys who are subject to the mercy of their parents “choice”.
Conspiracy Of “Silence”
While many circumcised men are regretful of a practice forced upon them at birth – admitting the harmful effect on their genitalia and sexual life, most of them go on with their lives without ever confronting parents about the “choice” they were never granted. Many claim that it is useless to inflict remorse for something that can’t be undone, and others even defend their parents stating that they chose circumcision without malicious intentions, trusting all the facts that were given to them at the time. The issue lies in the wrongdoing of circumcision never been acknowledged, and no one ever being held responsible for it. I personally think circumcised men who speak up are prime advocates against the practice because they know the harm from circumcision first hand.
Cultural Preferences Transcended
The practice has also transcended cultural preferences. Immigrants from countries where circumcision is nearly unheard of (especially from the third world), often feel pressured to adapt to American customs. They naively consent the procedure (while ignorant of its meaning), assuming recommendations in a developed country can’t possibly be unfounded. And it is utterly disappointing how intact fathers can be so indifferent to circumcision when they didn’t have to live with the consequences of a procedure forced upon them.