To convince otherwise well-meaning parents to take their precious, perfectly formed baby boy and amputate one of the most intimate, sensitive parts of his body would take a compelling argument. While cultural and religous influences can be strong, certain pro-circumcision individuals and groups have devised a formula to help parents go against their instincts and have their baby circumcised. We reveal the secrets to their formula to help Australian and New Zealand parents identify when they are about to be conned:
1) Keep releasing new and recycling ‘studies’ pointing to the mostly-discredited medical benefits of circumcision (perpetuating the fake ‘debate amongst experts’).
2) Frame the debate as an issue of ‘parental rights’ (as if parents choosing elective surgery for their children is somehow a right or valid parental choice). Avoid the topic of human/children’s rights – and if it comes up – compare circumcision to everyday food, education and vaccination choices parents make for their children. Always use the term ‘parental rights’ rather than ‘personal choice’ as the latter will highlight that the decision should really be made by the owner of the penis.
3) Never, ever discuss the value and functions of the male foreskin.
5) Avoid discussion of the fact that medical benefits of circumcision exist only in (biased and self-interested) studies and never in real-world settings.
6) Expresss the potential benefits vaguely ‘reduces the risk’ and/or misleadingly ‘60% reduction’ to exaggerate their importance, leaving out key facts like ‘from women to men’.
7) Don’t mention the complications of the surgery itself (loss of penis, skin bridges, scarring), and if brought up try to minimise the downsides: call haemorrhage ‘bleeding’ and MRSA ‘infection’.
8) Belittle the opposition: call serious concerns ‘notions’. Accuse those who speak out against infant circumcision as having a foreskin fetish (An odd claim which begs the question: Who has the fetish? Those who want you to give your child away to strangers who will strap him down and cut his genitals, or those who want you to hold him in your arms and accept him as perfect as he is?)
9) Drive the biggest possible wedge between male and female genital cutting. Compare the most surgical sterile variety of male genital cutting with the most horrendous, primitive variety of female genital cutting, without revealing that both have varying degrees of severity.
10) Use and the ‘buy it now’ sales strategy by falsely claiming that it is easier/less painful when done as an infant, and use fear tactics to worry parents into thinking that other purported benefits (eg. reduced risk of penile cancer, prostate cancer) only apply when done as an infant. The pro-cutters know that once the child becomes a teenager they have missed their chance, as there is no way the boy will let anyone chop off part of their most important body parts.
11) Only quote ‘experts’ from the pro-cutting community, who all have some self interest in promoting circumcision. Never quote the medical authorities as no medical authority in Australia and New Zealand (or the world for that matter) recommends infant circumcision.
The next time the Australian or New Zealand media picks up on the latest ‘study’ that shows that circumcision is now a cure for (insert the latest affliction/disease here), see if you can spot one or more of the above techniques. If you are an expectant parent you will know how they are trying to manipulate you, and if you have joined the cause to protect our children you will know to call them out on these techniques.