August, 01 2008

Brace yourselves.

The BBC reports on a circumcision gone awry. Terribly, terribly awry:

A sixteen-year-old Kenyan boy is being treated in hospital after losing part of his penis in a circumcision ritual…

Medical officers at the Bungoma District hospital told the BBC that the tip of the boy’s penis was chopped off by mistake when the knife wielded by the circumciser slipped.

He has been undergoing surgery on Friday to prevent further bleeding.

Maybe if a moyle had been there—instead of the far less impressively named “circumciser”—this wouldn’t have happened. At the very least, we hope the boy got a fair serving of wine. He certainly could’ve used a drink.

For the great masses whose circumcisions had far happier endings, the medical benefits of the procedure include the decreased risk of sexually transmitted diseases. As PRI reports, the Ugandan government is touting the virtues of circumcision as part of its campaign to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. The campaign’s catchy “Circumcision Song” is hitting the airwaves and will have have you singing along before you know it. Go on, check it out:

Circumcision Song

Photo by lisaschafferphoto.

Benjamin Schuman-Stoler

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3 thoughts on “Ouch!

  1. edmond says:

    ouch! is right.
    well, experts say there are indeed benefits to circumcision, but what about the other side?
    there’s currently a debate on opposingviews.com about neonatal circumcision. click here if you’re interested. it’s between dr. edgar schoen and nocirc. the site deems them vetted experts.

  2. Hmm. Thanks for the link, edmond.

    Regarding Dr. Schoen’s argument: I’m not sure that circumcision is “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.” All religious justifications aside, it seems to me more like a vaccination–sure you might be compromising “genital integrity” (!!) but isn’t it worth it if it will keep you healthy? It’s not like tetanus shots violate my “immune system integrity.”

    On the other hand, when a circumcision goes as horribly wrong as our friend in Kenya experienced (I cringe, I cringe), further investigation is warranted and understandable.

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