Talk:Circumcision/Archive 56

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Reasons for non-therapuetic neonatal circumcision (primarily in the USA)

Studies of this type:

which explain the reasons behind the decision would be a welcome addition to the article in my opinion. Ideally if there was a section devoted specifically to routine infant circumcision as it is most commonly called, then it would obviously go there. Without a section such as that (the title is of secondary importance) then I'm not sure where it would go. Tremello22 (talk) 17:50, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Latest edit

In the edit summary for this I fail to mention that I removed the part about "bodily integrity" (as UNICEF discusses in the context of circumcision of females) and sexual discrimination (as some opponents indeed state, if I remember the sources correctly), because:

  • (a) the circumcision article currently has an inappropriately narrow scope, with reliable sources making reference to female circumcision alternately labeled "not at all related to circumcision" (to paraphrase, when attempting to integrate material discussing the circumcision of females here) and "circumcision-related" (when referring to the certain editors' patterns of editing, attempting to suggest Tendentious editing or single purpose accounts on their part).
  • (b) the Milos source cited doesn't immediately appear to place male circumcision in the context of sexual discrimination, and I'd rather not attribute something to a source even if another source can most likely be found confirming it.

Like anyone, I have automatic and immediate associations I feel make sense in the context of the article. I sometimes fail to discern whether having this generally-imposed rule some enforce on the article organization is the "current consensus" or whatever. The article is organized in such a way that my point of view on what the word "circumcision" means, which is clearly not unique judging by sources defining the word, and the reliable sources using the word, is completely excluded; again, a fact revealed not by the content of the article, but in its current organization and scope, when correlated with the views of reliable sources. The quality of discussion on its discussion page also perhaps suggests an WP:NPOV problem -- if a good number of reasonable editors on both sides of an issue can't agree that the content is neutral, is seems to suggest our treatment of it may be inappropriate. That said, I'll step back and say it could be much worse. As a whole it at least presents the pro-circumcision side fairly and succinctly, which was far from being the case before prolific and well written editors such as Jakew came along. Blackworm (talk) 22:30, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

"History" and "Cultures and religions" sections

The history and cultures and religions sections have been tagged for some time with {{sync}}. In my view these tags are unnecessary, and I therefore propose to remove them. Does anyone object? Jakew (talk) 15:51, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Why do you deem them unnecessary? Presumably there was a reason they were put there. I think the idea is to include more of the social history of circumcision and not concentrate so much on medical studies into the effect of circumcision. I think your conflict of interest is stopping you from seeing this imbalance. Tremello22 (talk) 20:41, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
"Unnecessary" was perhaps a poor choice of word. The tags read "The following text needs to be harmonized with text in History of male circumcision", but it is not clear what disharmony is perceived to exist. In this respect, they are unnecessary, because they have no function: they don't identify the problem that they are intended to highlight. And if we don't know what problem they highlight, then how are we supposed to know if/when it has been solved?
Given the text of the tag, your suggested explanation seems unlikely. Even if the editor who added them shared your view about the ideal lengths of the respective sections, the tags would fail to express that viewpoint. Jakew (talk) 21:34, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Tremello, I'm sorry that I don't quite understand what you said: are you guessing why someone wants the tag there, or do you yourself agree with the message of the tag? Unless someone who thinks the article needs to be changed explains here on the talk page what changes are needed, I think the tag can be deleted. Coppertwig (talk) 11:45, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the message of the tag. I think we should restore some of my additions above that were discussed here: Talk:Circumcision#Structure_of_article This is what is meant by synchronize/harmonize. Important information has been left out of this article which would give the reader a better idea of the social history of non-religious circumcision. Also see what I wrote here: Talk:Religious_male_circumcision#Requested_move Tremello22 (talk) 13:05, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Tremello, the purpose of a {{sync}} tag is to highlight specific work that is needed to harmonize content between a summary and a detailed article. That is, for it to be needed there must be some disharmony between the two. That is not the same thing as merely wanting to make some changed that failed to achieve consensus. I also think that you're projecting your intentions for the article onto whoever added the tag; certainly you haven't provided any evidence to support your assertion that this is what was meant by the tag. Jakew (talk) 13:19, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
It is fairly obvious what is meant by the tag Jake. It means that chunks of information have been left out of the main article causing an incomplete picture and gaps in the narrative of the article. As for my additions above, a voting system is generally discouraged at Wikipedia because things are often rejected for the wrong reasons. I have now had a new idea. We should get rid of history of male circumcision . Just like religious male circumcision, Non-religious circumcision in the English-speaking world should be span out into a new article from the main page. This article should then have a short summary of African/Tribal circumcision and that should be given its own detailed article too. I think that is the best solution. That way people can easily find what they want. Tremello22 (talk) 13:56, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Personally I think the idea is ill-considered, but you are of course free to nominate history of male circumcision for deletion (see WP:AfD for details). In any event, it is a separate matter from the {{sync}} tags. Jakew (talk) 14:56, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

"dishonest portrayal"

I suggest removing the phrase "dishonest portrayal" that was recently added to the article (or possibly changing the sentence around it somehow). The cited source says "Parents who watched their newborns being circumcised were horrified and considered themselves deceived by the dishonest portrayal of a surgery they had been led to believe was minor, necessary, and minimally painful " It doesn't say that there was any dishonest portrayal. It doesn't say that opponents of circumcision claimed there was any dishonest portrayal. It doesn't say that anyone claimed or argued that there was dishonest portrayal. It only says that parents considered that there was dishonest portrayal. So I don't think the source supports the current wording, which says "Opponents of circumcision argue, for example, that it ... is performed in part due to ... and sometimes providers' dishonest portrayals, ..." Coppertwig (talk) 11:53, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

You write, "It doesn't say that anyone claimed or argued that there was dishonest portrayal. It only says that parents considered that there was dishonest portrayal." That is a contradiction, unless you don't consider parents to be "anyone." These parents are clearly also "opponents of circumcision" (now), thus making the sentence factual, sourced and referenced. Regardless, I don't care to get into one more argument with those questioning all my edits, so I've edited the article to remove the sourced, factual claim that parents who are opponents of circumcision believe that they chose the procedure because of dishonest portrayals. Blackworm (talk) 01:08, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree that the parents are people. It's not clear to me that the parents mentioned are necessarily opponents of circumcision; if they are that's OR, and calling them "opponents of circumcision" in the article could give a misleading impression that they are activists. We can't tell from the article what the situation is. Maybe someone asked them whether there was dishonest portrayal, and they answered yes. That would indicate their internal feelings and beliefs; but it would not necessarily indicate that those parents would actively argue or claim that there was dishonest portrayal; and even if they would, it's not clear that that would necessarily make them opponents of circumcision: they could still (conceivably) consider it something that may be done but with more information given to parents and more anesthetic. Anyway, thank you for changing those words. Coppertwig (talk) 15:32, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
That's conjecture, Coppertwig. The source states, "Parents who watched their newborns being circumcised were horrified and considered themselves deceived by the dishonest portrayal..." You state, " would not necessarily indicate that those parents would actively argue or claim that there was dishonest portrayal..." Yeah, okay, Coppertwig. I don't see how that follows. Blackworm (talk) 22:26, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Modern procedures

We currently describe the Gomco , platibell and Mogen. These are all used for infants are they not? What about the methods used for adults? In the 3 randomised control trials in Africa they didn't use any of these methods. According to the Cochrane review: ANRS (the Auvert South African trial) used the forceps guided method. Bailey 2007 (kenya) used "Surgical Krieger forceps-guided method". Gray 2007 (Uganda) used “sleeve procedure”.

There is also no mention of laser circumcision which seems to be popular in the east in places such as Indonesia(often with disastrous results: ) Tremello22 (talk) 13:44, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

I haven't looked for sources, but from memory the Gomco is occasionally used in adult circumcisions. Similarly, the TaraKlamp (as well as similar disposable clamps) is sometimes used, particularly in developing countries. Use of clamps seems to be fairly rare in adults, however; forceps-guided or freehand techniques seem to be more common (at least that's my impression).
What changes are you actually proposing? Jakew (talk) 15:02, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

COI tag

Recently someone has placed a COI tag on the article talk page. I agree the edit summary was tactless but do agree with the tags placement. There have been discussions about Jake on mine and his talk page about a possible COI. Currently this matter is being taken up at Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard#Circumcision and Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Request review of administrative action. Garycompugeek (talk) 18:40, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Note that a completely uninvolved user agrees that there is no COI here and the POV <> COI. I've unprotected the pager as discussed on WP:ANI but reserve the right to re-protect should continued BLP violations or disruptive editing exist. Thank you all for your patience. -- Avi (talk) 05:34, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I will not edit war over the COI tag Avi (never did in the first place) but was only lending my support to it's initial placement. I will not press the COI issue as long as neutrality is adhered to. Most of the admins at ANI do feel that placing a COI tag is not a BLP violation, indeed you could argue that anytime if it was true and we wouldn't need the tag. If you need further clarity in the matter we could gain it on the BLP talk page. Garycompugeek (talk) 13:03, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Jake has had to endure many days of discussion on this. The uninvolved editors who commented specifically about COI at the ANI and COIN threads were unanimous that there was no COI. Just to forestall any further discussion, I'd like to point out that WP:COI says "Using COI allegations to harass an editor or to gain the upper hand in a content dispute is prohibited, and can result in a block or ban." Now that these noticeboard discussions have been closed: (in my opinion, for what it's worth as that of an involved editor) further mentioning of or alluding to alleged COI on Jake's part without what would be considered by typical uninvolved Wikipedians as good reasons could be considered disruptive. (Thread was re-opened.)(17:54, 24 July 2009 (UTC)) Coppertwig (talk) 23:54, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Totally disagree with your assessment of what constitutes "disruptive" comments. Editors are entitled to express their opinions on interpretations of policy or guideline. The role of uninvolved editors isn't to notice that a discussion has been "closed" because one uninvolved editor has expressed a view on it and put a Resolved tag on it, and then accuse any editors for which the issue is not resolved of disruption, as you imply. It is to participate in the discussion and help a consensus develop. The legalistic attempts to stifle discussion, always with threats, are far from Wikipedian, one might go so far as to say they are non-Wikipedian. I'll note that the uninvolved editor in question appears to agree that if the issue is being debated with no clear consensus, it cannot be considered closed. The editor removed the Resolved tag. Discussion is welcome at Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard#Circumcision. Blackworm (talk) 02:22, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

You may disagree all you wish, Blackworm. A completely uninvolved editor agreed with what we believe is the straight and simple understanding of the policies, and patiently tried to explain it to you. Also, I'm gratified to see that uninvolved people understand the use of terms such as "projection" in the context of a discussion, and don't immediately and incorrectly claim "personal attacks" where none exist. This is not the first or second time you try and misstate what I say as some kind of personal attack. Perhaps it is a defense mechanism to obviate the need for you to respond; attacking the messenger as opposed to the message is a known debating technique - it is the fallacy of argumentum ad hominem. Thankfully, the uninvolved editor in this case saw beyond your claim. And yes, Blackworm, at times it appears to me that you are choosing not to understand; you are choosing to focus on semantical wording instead of content and context. I am not the only one. Atama said to you as well: "You're quoting part of the lead of WP:COI and taking it out of context." So, once again, claiming "personal attack" falls flat. Part of engaging in discussion, Blackworm, is having your statements and your motives critiqued. It is certainly more a "personal attack" to try and paint Jake as someone who lacks integrity and cannot edit wikipedia due to some financial or similar gain, than it is to point out the weaknesses in your arguments, or your denial of what seems to be clear to most others. Again, as I've said many times, if you think I am in violation of wikipedia policies, you are well within your rights to file an RfC. However, one of the beauties of wikipedia is that most anything anyone has ever said is available, and our respective records are open for anyone and everyone to investigate. -- Avi (talk) 03:55, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

No, Atama did not say I was "choosing" not to understand, which is a accusation of bad faith and a personal attack. You're free to RfC that -- let's see if others agree that I'm "choosing not to understand." If pointing out one's external interests (in Jakew's case, increasing the visibility of material mostly presenting circumcision favourably and vice-versa) and their conflict with the values of Wikipedia is a personal attack, then COI investigations are personal attacks. Atama apparently disagrees with my reading of COI as applying to outside interests appearing to take precedence over Wikipedia's interests, and the resulting danger for propagandistic editing, not necessarily only financial gain or promotion of services. If it is indeed "clear to most others" that will come out of the discussion, but it is quite far from being the case. Again, maybe some dont' mind that Jakew founds organizations to counter what he considers deceptive anti-circumcision groups, by publishing a collection of authoritative material which disproportionately presents male circumcision favourably, and then comes to Wikipedia and dominates all circumcision-related articles with the enthusiastic approval of yourself and User:Jayjg for years, turning them into an article disproportionately reflecting one point of view. Then again, some do mind. It appears to go against Wikipedia's values, and the longstanding WP:NPOV failures of those articles is the result. Blackworm (talk) 11:45, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Until the COI is closed would it not be prudent to place the tag back on the article to attract people to the debate and weigh in? Garycompugeek (talk) 18:50, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Absolutely not. We understand there are POV issues, thus the POV tag. However, outside of yourself and Blackworm, both of whom are decidedly not neutral in this regard, everyone else who has commented believes that there is no COI. It should be noted that improper tagging of articles has been viewedin the past as disruptive and pointed editing. -- Avi (talk) 19:00, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

I am as neutral as you Avi. I do not fear outside opinions. Why do you? (everyone else = one uninvolved editor commented) Garycompugeek (talk) 19:15, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

"One uninvolved editor"? I fear you've miscounted. I count two uninvolved editors (SlimVirgin and Atama). (As an aside, could someone please refactor the chaotic indentation in this section? It's very hard to follow.) Jakew (talk) 19:36, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
I stand corrected. Perhaps SlimVirgin will be kind enough to join us on the COI page and discuss her view. I shall invite her. Garycompugeek (talk) 20:29, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Promotion links

I don't understand the reasoning behind this edit. is a website operated by "WHO, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition (AVAC), and Family Health International (FHI)"[1]. It seems far more credible, and indeed more encyclopaedic, than, which is probably one of our least suitable external links. Jakew (talk) 19:27, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

I was trying to respond to the imbalance of references, as explained on User_talk:Jesse1066#Reference addition to Circumcision. If I over-reverted, my apologies, and please correct the issue. By all means, if there is a better source that can replace a weaker one there, that should be discussed here and then implemented. I do not have a specific allegiance to one over the other. -- Avi (talk) 19:34, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Jesse1066 has re-added, so the question is, do we revert the addition, or do we remove again (essentially reverting a little further)? I'm unhappy with disturbing the numerical balance of links, so would prefer not to leave the addition for too long. Jakew (talk) 19:48, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
I deleted I think Avi just made a mistake, that's all. I had been thinking of doing that edit myself anyway, but you got there first. The link added by Jesse1066 looks good. Coppertwig (talk) 20:00, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I make all too many; thanks for cleaning it up, Coppertwig. -- Avi (talk) 20:05, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
No problem: it's a wiki!!! Coppertwig (talk) 20:11, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Great! I'll tidy up the entry to put it in a similar style to the other links. Jakew (talk) 20:15, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! Coppertwig (talk) 21:24, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Re this edit adding Jake Waskett as founder of I had been considering doing that myself, but wasn't sure the information was verifiable in RS. However, re the edit summary: I consider that it's classified under "promotion" just for convenience, since we don't have an appropriate section for it. I don't consider it verifiable that it's "promotion": Jake doesn't consider it to be such and I'm not aware of any sources stating that it is, let alone enough such sources to override the assertion of the founder; and it doesn't appear to me to be "promotion" but provision of information. Coppertwig (talk) 23:42, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

What do you suggest? Feel free to replace "Founded by" with "By" if you wish. Under what heading would you put it? Also, why is it linked at all, if it's just one person's website? Is it authoritative? Blackworm (talk) 23:52, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
"Provision of information."
Another example of what Coppertwig refers to as "provision of information." Note the " comment." Blackworm (talk) 00:16, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
I ask Coppertwig, is this merely the "provision of information" on the topic of "anti-circumcision?" Blackworm (talk) 00:19, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
(ec) I'm neither suggesting nor opposing any particular change at this time; I was just recording my disagreement with a statement in your edit summary in case it might affect future decisions. I don't see how the verifiability situation would be significantly improved by deleting the word "founded". A web search revealed Jake's name on a domain registration thingy, but that may not count as RS and only verifies that he owns it, not that he writes or maintains it. I didn't find his name on itself. I had been considering deleting instead of circlist, but decided to keep it because it's of considerable encyclopedic value in my opinion: it contains material written not just by one person but copies of scientific articles by many authors, (largely peer-reviewed, I think, so that's authoritative), whereas circlist seems to be more of a discussion forum, which Wikipedia doesn't tend to link to, though it also contains information. However, deleting "founded" would make it match the other ELs better, so I think I'll do it. (On second thought, I changed it to "maintainer".)
In reply to your questeion: perhaps "provision of information" is not the only way to describe it, but I don't consider it promotion of circumcision. I see information and analysis of information, not advice whether to circumcise or not. Coppertwig (talk) 00:32, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
What do we do about the way CIRP is presented (as has been for some time)? Blackworm (talk) 00:41, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Looking at CIRP's main page, it, like, seems to present itself as neutral: providing information, not advocating a particular position. Perhaps it would make sense to have another section, "circumcision information" or something, containing the two of them. Coppertwig (talk) 00:47, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
But that begs the question, why has the only thing editors have agreed on so far been the need for a balance of links on either side, and the current categorization of those links? I support that current consensus, as well as the use of common sense in applying the same standards to these links, specifically with regard to stating whom they are "By." But apparently this hasn't been a priority until now. Blackworm (talk) 00:54, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I don't understand. Are you suggesting a change, and if so, what? Coppertwig (talk) 01:00, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
How is "maintainer" verifiable? Through the ICANN database? That would be "domain name registrar," not "maintainer." That might be a good change to start with, what do you think? Also, don't you believe it appropriate to reconsider the "By" lines of all the other sources, given the arguments you present in opposition to associating to Jake Waskett? Blackworm (talk) 01:25, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Incidentally, with under "promotion," Jakew (the same Jake Waskett) expressed a strong desire to maintain "the numerical balance of links." Do you believe this is at odds with your assertion that "Jake doesn't consider it to be [promotion]?" Blackworm (talk) 01:34, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Since I seem particularly well-placed to do so, let me answer that.  :-) I firmly believe in keeping the numbers of links balanced, and consider that a separate issue from whether CIRCS promotes circumcision or not. I disagree with the statement that it does promote circumcision, but I think it is reasonable to say that (as with, say, CIRP) one can infer a POV from the original material, editorial comments, etc. I would oppose the creation of a "provision of information" category, mostly because it's so vague (couldn't all of the EL be said to be providing information?).
I think Coppertwig makes a good point about "promotion". The current headings may have been appropriate for the previous set of EL, but I suggest that they may be too strongly worded for the sites currently listed. Perhaps we ought to tone them down somewhat: to find a reasonable balance between precision and brevity, how about classifying sites as "Supportive of circumcision" or "Critical of circumcision"? Jakew (talk) 14:03, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Blackworm: as far as I know, "founded", "maintained" and "by Jake Waskett" may all be unverifiable in RS strictly speaking, but I'm not asking to have it deleted. Feel free to revert or delete if you wish. If you or anyone wishes to check whether the authorship of the various sites is verifiable and delete the bylines if not verifiable, feel free to do so. I don't consider that a priority myself. Jake: I agree, I think the headings you suggest are good descriptions and I support such a change. Coppertwig (talk) 22:51, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

separating out National & Internation links

I have added a link to a UK org, but it was removed because there are only supposed to be five each. I have replaced this by separating national from international pages - UK, USA and Israel - this leaves four international for and against. The USA and UK links against need balancing with pro links, as does the Israel pro with an against link. In the UK, we have different perspectives from the USA, Africa, Israel, the Middle East, and it is important people have access to UK links as well as links that are less relevant. Mish (talk) 20:43, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Adding subheadings does not fix the underlying problem. By adding a link to the "opposition" section you have disturbed the numerical balance between "promotion" and "opposition" links, changing from 5:5 to 5:6. Jakew (talk) 20:48, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
I'd also add that some of these headings are rather dubious. For example, NOCIRC is classified as "United States", but according to their website, "NOCIRC is a network of regional centers located throughout the United States and around the world"[2]. Similarly, Rabbi Shraga Simmons' article is classified as "Israel", but the only apparent justification for that is that the author of the article lives in Israel. However, if we're to classify by the location of the author then an "international" section is meaningless. Jakew (talk) 21:00, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Not really - 'national' does not mean 'international', it is a US org (although it is not unique in US-based national orgs to seep beyond US borders). The pro org's only contact details are in Israel. Here we do not view circumcision in the same way as the USA, Israel, or Africa - there need to be EL's that will be useful to people other than Americans and Israelis. Mish (talk) 21:05, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Shraga Simmons was born in the US, so to claim he is Israeli is incorrect. The best classification for that article is "Orthodox Judaism". -- Avi (talk) 21:07, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

(unindenting) According to NOCIRC, they're international: "In its first decade, NOCIRC grew into an international network and now has more than 110 centers worldwide."[3] I'd guess that by this time it was too late to remove the 'national' from their name. Anyway, I would question how useful it is to group by the nationality of a site, even if we could agree on what they were. It seems rather meaningless to claim, as you do, that "Here we do not view circumcision in the same way as the USA, Israel, or Africa" — within each geographical location there are multiple viewpoints about circumcision, not a single one. I also think it's erroneous to suggest that American (Israeli, etc) websites are only useful to Americans (Israelis, etc). Jakew (talk) 21:48, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

They are less useful than relevant sites - so the ELs here are not informative for somebody looking for information from a UK perspective, however informative they might be to US citizens or Orthodox Jews.
Don't know about the USA, but UK citizens go to live in Israel, and become Israelis.
This is the contact address:
One Western Wall Plaza POB 14149
Old City, Jerusalem 91141
Which suggests to me it is an Israeli org, but, if you want to say this is a US org, because it was founded by somebody who was born in the USA, even though it is based in Israel, that is fine with me - or a religious organisation - that is fine too. It would probably be better if the ELs were segregated into religious and medical/advocacy groups anyway, as they are distinct perspectives and religious views tend to confuse medical issue. Mostly people connected with certain religions/cultures will be interested in cultural/religious views on circumcision, unlike the medical/advocacy perspectives which would have wider appeal. So, perhaps it would make sense to separate the article into two - religious and medical circumcision? Mish (talk) 22:02, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
Oh look - there already is one, and despite that, there is a substantial section about religious and cultural aspects of circumcision in this article as well, with a link to the main article. Which begs the question, why we would want an EL to an org focusing on religious circumcision on an article about circumcision at all. Ideally the section on religious/cultural circumcision should be a reduced summary of the main article, freeing this to focus on secular arguments for and against circumcision. In relation to Africa, this is more a cultural practice seeking medical justification than a secular issue - and where the UK and USA differs is that culturally the practice is more prevalent in the USA than the UK and other European countries. So, ELs and coverage within the article would need to be balanced to reflect this, otherwise you are giving undue weight in a secular article to cultural and religious aspects when these are already covered elsewhere, rather than the weight that should represent medical and secular perspectives. Mish (talk) 23:06, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
I prefer the original layout, not separating them into national links. We're trying to keep the whole article reasonably short. We don't have to include everything. Also I agree with Jakew that which country an opinion is expressed in is not all that relevant. We should avoid if possible implicitly making unverified claims such as that an organization is US or Israeli if that's just based on an educated guess by a Wikipedian. If there are a lot of external links for individual countries, maybe there's another page that they would fit nicely on. Possibly the Circumcision controversies page. Coppertwig (talk) 23:21, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
OK. At least this discussion has clarified where the problem lies. If you want to make the article shorter, relocate the text from the religion and culture section to the religion and culture circumcision article, and replace that with a brief paragraph. Sites related to specific religions should not be listed amongst the ELs (whether Israeli or American), they should be listed under the appropriate article. Mish (talk) 08:23, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
This article is in summary style. Almost every section acts as a shortened summary of a larger article. Hence the "cultures and religions" section summarises Circumcision in cultures and religions, and the "medical aspects" section summarises Medical analysis of circumcision. If we reduced each summary to a single paragraph, the article would probably be too short. Jakew (talk) 09:16, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
I am not sure this site is due enough significance for this article (under the anti): - it focuses on female recipients of a circumcised penis, and looks more like a site to promote a book, and gives no obvious citations to medical or scientific texts (and also appears quite on-sided). It seems a bit tangential to the main article, and while I am sure it should feature somewhere, not clear it deserves the weight of an EL here if you are limiting the ELs for each 'side' to five. Mish (talk) 08:49, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree, it's probably the lowest-quality of the ELs. Jakew (talk) 09:16, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
I'll replace that one with Norm-UK then, if nobody minds. Mish (talk) 10:11, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
In that case, do we really need such a detailed medical section which goes into a fair bit of detail on disease prevention and HIV, as that is also already covered elsewhere? Perhaps images relating to religious circumcision could also be pared back (for example, the circumcision of Jesus - which is of no real significance to the issue of circumcision, only to his being Jewish). Mish (talk) 10:06, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
If you look at the academic literature as a whole (say, using Google Scholar to search for "circumcision"), it should be obvious from the results that a large proportion of the literature focuses on the medical aspects. I don't think that our coverage is disproportionate, in view of that, but nevertheless I wouldn't be opposed to shortening the "medical aspects" and "cultures and religions" sections somewhat, provided that this was done with care and followed discussion of how best to do so. The medical aspects section used to be quite a bit shorter. Unfortunately — as with many controversial subjects on WP — the tendency is for material to grow over time. Jakew (talk) 10:44, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
I've removed the image from Afghanistan, as there is plenty of religious imagery already. I've also stuck in two images relating to complications, and moved the images showing what circumcision from the complication section into the lead. I've inserted some text about David Reimer, as he is the most well-known example of a botched circumcision. Mish (talk) 10:11, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
I've restored the link about effects of circumcised penises on women's experience of sex, and added a link to a UK org that is pro-circumcision - this balances out the two lists as 6-6 and gives balanced links to UK orgs on both sides of debate. Mish (talk) 11:00, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Recent law-related addition

The recent addition is misplaced, I believe. We have an article that deals specifically with legal ramifications, Circumcision and law. It belongs there, not in the section that discusses the policies of medical institutions. -- Avi (talk) 20:24, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Regarding the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute material, I completely agree. The material regarding public hospitals is less clear: it certainly isn't a policy of a national medical association, and hence is misplaced, but it isn't about legality either, in spite of the rather confusing word "ban" used by the source. What is actually the case is that the governments have refused to pay for the procedure in public hospitals. The material would need some editing before it would be suitable for inclusion elsewhere — in particular I would question a) whether the source is sufficient to support the claim that "all Australian states had officially taken a stand against cosmetic neonatal circumcision", and b) the speculative crystal-ballism of "This review may result in infant circumcisions in Tasmania being illegal to perform for any non-medical reason." Jakew (talk) 20:34, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
It belongs somewhere - and it does not appear to belong in the article on law, nor the positions of medical associations. It should be in here somewhere. Perhaps the section on medical associations needs to include positions of public health-care authorities - as this maybe one the biggest areas some countries differ from the USA. For example, in the UK, if the NHS does not approve a procedure, it only happens if people pay for it privately, and as most health care happens under the NHS, that has significant implications. In relation to Tasmania, it seems inappropriate to talk about what may happen because of this review, but the review should certainly be mentioned in the article somewhere. Mish (talk) 23:54, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
The Tasmanian legal additions have been moved to Circumcision and law. As for the public hospital information, maybe a sentence in the legal issues section? -- Avi (talk) 00:26, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
I am wondering whether this being such a significant issue, there would be merit in establishing an entirely new article that covered positions by country. This could cover medical practice, medical association policy, and health authority positions, and possibly legal instruments, on a country-by-country basis. That would reduce some of the material in this article, and helping it to retain its function as an overview article that leads into more specific articles on a range of topics within the article, and diminishing the weight of medical information that seems very detailed for such an article. Mish (talk) 00:39, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
I made this edit. The edit with the statement on all of Australia "banning" circumcision not being supported by its cited source. Blackworm (talk) 02:04, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
On the contrary, my edit summary is entirely correct as written. The legal section of this article is about 1/20th the size of the Medical Aspects section (including the incorrectly-separate Policies of Major Medical Associations section), when the circumcision and law article is about 1/3 to 1/4 the size of medical analysis of circumcision. The former should be renamed legal analysis of circumcision, of course, but that's yet another NPOV issue (or consider circumcision and medicine. Thank you for your approval of my edit. Blackworm (talk) 03:31, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
I was referring to "Odd that no one was moved to note this in our paltry Legal section…", which was off by around 80 minutes. -- Avi (talk) 03:43, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
I was referring to the tiny "Legal issues" subsection of the "Ethical, psychological and legal_considerations" section of this article. The section seems an arbitrary grouping of these three major categories, apparently intended to minimize discussion of any non-medical aspect. Blackworm (talk) 06:42, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Ah, I see, so were you. Well, I will concede that someone was moved to discuss summarizing it thusly. Blackworm (talk) 06:47, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

(unindenting) Re Blackworm's edit, why is this a "legal issue"? It seems more of a "funding issue" to me. I imagine that the state governments policies have legal force, and I suppose that it could at a stretch be said to be a legal issue on that basis, but it doesn't seem to have much impact on the legality of circumcision per se. Jakew (talk) 10:29, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Do we need a seperate "public policy" section, perhaps, that is separate from actual medical organization official statements? -- Avi (talk) 14:14, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Avi - re 'Circumcision practices'. That would make sense - medical positions, legal situations, and a separate public policy section. Mish (talk) 21:55, 7 August 2009 (UTC)


The title should be Male Circumcision, per WP:TITLE and WP:UCN which call for unambiguity, as this article only discusses male circumcision. The current arrangement also violates WP:NPOV, as Wikipedia takes a stand everywhere that "circumcision is really male circumcision, and any cutting of female genitals isn't circumcision" in contradiction to reliable sources and giving zero weight to these sources. Circumcision is defined as something done equally to both males and females. Either the title needs to change, or the circumcision of females should also be addressed here. The current organization serves those who encourage the circumcision of males but oppose the procedure on females, but Wikipedia should not be used for this advocacy.

Gender-neutral use in sources (tiny sampling):

Disambiguating usage (i.e., "Male Circumcision") in major national/international mainstream sources:

Other disambiguating usages are extremely common in news sources and official documents, as simple web searches on "male circumcision" reveal.

Example of content that cannot be placed anywhere in Wikipedia due to this non-neutral arrangement (exclusion of views through organization of material):

In the context of fieldwork among the Kenuz Nubians, El Guindi has argued for "the significance of the notion of the cultural equivalence of male and female circumcision," and further argues "that this cultural equivalence extends analytically as a structural equivalence: that is, the two gendered rituals play equivalent roles in the transition of male and female children to adulthood."[7]

Blackworm (talk) 20:58, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Please correct me if I'm wrong, Blackworm, but as far as I can tell your above arguments have been made in previous discussions, some of which I've listed below (extracted from the Talk:Circumcision/Archive guide).
Debating the issue for the sake of debating the issue is a waste of everyone's time, so can I instead ask whether there are any new issues that you'd like to discuss? Jakew (talk) 21:38, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Why are you debating it then? Why not just change it? Do you have any new objections, since all the old ones are weak? Blackworm (talk) 22:01, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Weak indeed. I whole heartedly support changing this article's name to 'Male circumcision" since that is all it covers. Feel free to actually come up with a valid reason not to change it besides male circumcision is more common that female circumcision. Garycompugeek (talk) 00:22, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Avi's removal of the tag was apparently done without noticing Gary's comment above (judging by the edit summary). Coppertwig (talk) 01:32, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Yup, I didn't see that. Thanks for fixing that, Gary. -- Avi (talk) 04:07, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
My objections are the same as those expressed in previous discussions, Blackworm. To quote {{round in circles}} (which, oddly, seems not to be included on this page), "Discussions on this talk page often lead to previous arguments being restated. Please read the recent comments, or look in the archives or FAQ section before contributing. New topics for discussion are always welcome." Jakew (talk) 09:42, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Um, that would apply to settled arguments, Jake. Blackworm (talk) 09:59, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I'll amend that. There isn't quite anything akin to a settled argument in Wikipedia -- even conclusions arrived at by consensus may be questioned, and even disputed after a time. I'll note that this issue has not arrived at a consensus -- the requested move you point to found no consensus. My understanding is that in cases like that, the standing form in the article must be given precedence, and the title of the article not changed back and forth in a playing out of the dispute. That is my understanding of the usefulness of the {{POV-title}} flag. It serves to pacify those who dispute the current organization, by at least offering them the dignity of having the existence of the dispute shown to the reader -- who by the way may be helpful in bringing the dispute to a resolution, by fresh ideas, or fresh support for one position over another. The latest round of discussing was harrowing and fostered no consensus. Editors were evidently tired of discussing this, as perhaps you are. The tag is a mark that editors don't agree on the content. It's unfortunate that they don't, but it's not unfortunate that the tag is there to inform readers of that fact. When it was recently removed, I patiently reformulated one position of those supporting the change. I invite you to do the same. That's discussion. If you don't respond, I'm not going to go off and change the article name, because I know you still disagree. We don't have a consensus. That's fine. Let's not hide that fact from the reader. Blackworm (talk) 10:35, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
With regard to this edit summary, in light of this latest requested move discussion, is it really a tenable position that the current title is not disputed? I would say no, therefore based on that, since it is disputed, it is clearly problematic, at least to the extent that disputes over article titles are a problem. Again, the tag isn't there to inform the reader that there is a consensus that the title should be something else; that describes an unstable, forcibly short-lived state where users would simply implement the consensus, change the article title to the consensus, and remove the tag. This discussion focuses on the article title, but the editwarring of the tag is merely an insult to those disputing the title -- denying the dignity I refer to above by denying that a dispute even exists. Blackworm (talk) 10:48, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Blackworm, the tag was originally added on the 19th of June, 2008, and at the time it served to draw attention to the requested move that was then active. But when that discussion closed with "no consensus to change the title" (to quote from an AN/I discussion about a similar situation), the tag had served its purpose. To quote again from that AN/I discussion: 'The tags aren't meant to stay in place once the debate is resolved, and "no consensus" is considered a resolution.'
Despite the closing of the requested move on 28th June 2008, the tag has been present for approximately another eleven months. There comes a point when one has to conclude that a tag has been present for long enough, and if it was going to produce any valuable new input then that would have already happened. Also, tags are not intended to give editors "dignity" (edits should always be made for the benefit of the article), but even so, how much more dignity do you want? Is eleven months not enough? As with all 'disputed' tags, the {{POV-title}} tag is not intended to be a permanent addition, nor is it a kind of 'banner' to demonstrate dissatisfaction.
By analogy, I've participated in numerous deletion debates. There are plenty of articles that, in my view, should have been deleted, but there was no consensus to do so. Assuming such a template even exists, it wouldn't be appropriate for me to tag those articles with something like "it is disputed whether this article should exist", because that proposal has been made, we couldn't get consensus, and that's it. Yes, in some cases I'm not happy about that, and feel that policy is being ignored, but that doesn't mean that there is an active dispute that needs to be brought to the reader's attention.
I'm afraid I don't intend to present the same arguments again for the sole purpose of being able to say that we're having a discussion, in turn for the sole purpose of justifying the existence of the tag. That seems — words fail me here — completely backwards. Jakew (talk) 12:14, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
That isn't the purpose, Jake. The purpose is to build the best encyclopedia possible. I was attempting to explain my understanding of the purpose of tagging; I'm sorry if my explanation was of no use to you. I don't share your apparent pessimism regarding new input, new ideas, or the possibility of reaching a consensus. I didn't say that tags were intended to provide dignity -- I merely observed that they do, as they reduce to zero the desire of calm, rational editors to editwar the content in the absence of a consensus. Your statement, "There are plenty of articles that, in my view, should have been deleted, but there was no consensus to do so" seems likely incomplete; in order for your analogy to apply, there would have to be no consensus to keep the article either, and the AfD result marked as "no consensus." Was this the case in "plenty of articles" as you state? Even if so, what would be the relevance? You decided to abandon the dispute despite no consensus for or against? Perhaps enviable, perhaps not. Weren't you convinced that a consensus would develop, given more input, at perhaps a later time? I would argue that in those cases a tag on the article would indeed be appropriate, especially if you and others disputed the existence of the article on WP:NPOV grounds, one of Wikipedia's core policies.
You also again raise the again recently heard fallacy, through your choice of analogy (noting, e.g., only your view, not whether there was other support), that support for this title change, or a change to the content, is an example of one editor's fringe position. It is not, as the discussion showed, and I'm tired of arguing the contrary in the face of that evidence.
I agree that tags are intended to be temporary, although by "temporary" I read that to mean "until a consensus is reached." If a move request discussion found no consensus to move nor not to move, then there is no resolution. One should not oppose consensus, but here there to no consensus to oppose. If you can point to where in Wikipedia policy it says that "'no consensus' is considered a resolution" I'd be quite obliged. It seems merely the expressed opinion of yourself and another editor. On the contrary, many editors appear to contribute to the essay WP:NPOV_dispute, which states, Sometimes people have edit wars over the NPOV dispute tag, or have an extended debate about whether there is a NPOV dispute or not. In general, if you find yourself having an ongoing dispute about whether a dispute exists, there's a good chance one does, and you should therefore leave the NPOV tag up until there is a consensus that it should be removed. However, repeatedly adding the tag is not to be used as a means of bypassing consensus or dispute resolution. If your sole contribution to an article is to repeatedly add or remove the tag, chances are high that you are abusing your "right" to use the tag. Therefore Jakew, I invite you to help find a consensus, or follow dispute resolution. Blackworm (talk) 20:22, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, Blackworm, I'm referring to discussions closed as "no consensus". That's how Wikipedia works: someone proposes a change, people discuss it, and either there is a consensus to make the change or there isn't. If a "new consensus" fails to develop then we fall back on the assumed "previous consensus", ie. the status quo (I have grumbled about this in the past). Sometimes you feel that the outcome was a mistake. In such situations, you have essentially three options. The first is to wait and try again if/when that would not be disruptive. The second is to propose an alternative change, one that might gain consensus. The last is, I'm afraid, to put up with it. Tagging articles as a semi-permanent mark of disapproval is not really a valid option. Jakew (talk) 09:47, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Which AfD's were you involved in that were so closed? Can you provide a few links, since you say there were "plenty?" No, there are at least three possible outcomes to an AfD, including "keep," "delete," and "no consensus", each with different implications. (See WP:AfD Same goes for requested moves. Also, this dispute isn't only about a requested move; that was only one possible solution. Another would be to properly treat circumcision as inclusive of everyone circumcised, not just males. You're referring to what the disputed content should say during and after the dispute when no consensus is found to change it or keep it. Indeed no one has recently changed the title of this article, or added female circumcision content, in accordance with that. You, however, are arguing that the neutrality tag be removed in the absence of a consensus to remove it. That is not in accordance with policy, but in opposition to policy. Also, you make clear that one option is to wait and try again. Eleven months have passed, with no apparent consensus (other than to have the tag on the article!). Many changes have been proposed, but they are opposed on apparently misinformed, activist grounds (as the RM discussion showed -- calls of "neologism" contradicted by sources, etc). Perhaps that activism is how articles are meant to be organized, but I don't get that impression from reading policy. There's no problem with a fresh round of discussion, since no consensus one way or the other came out of the last several rounds, especially if we can get past certain IMO non-Wikipedian opinions that those opposing the current non-neutral content and organization should "put up with it" and have the article appear as if the consensus is against them, despite there being no consensus against them. Blackworm (talk) 20:07, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Here is one example. I'm afraid that going through my contributions to find other AfD discussions closed as "no consensus" would be time consuming and somewhat pointless. However, you're welcome to do so, if you want. Jakew (talk) 20:41, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
No, that example serves my point well -- note the existence of a "defacing" tag (a word used by User:Jayjg to describe NPOV tags on circumcision, who also happened to support your position in that AfD) on that article -- a tag that has been there for almost two years, with no active discussion. QED. Blackworm (talk) 21:03, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

There is no limit to the amount of times a dispute may be revisited. I would have reopened up another change request and added an RFC to it but was hoping that someone else would this time round. This needs to be cleared up because it causes problems in both circumcision gender articles. Female genital cutting is completely biased and tries to distance itself from circumcision by not mentioning circumcision in the title and male circumcision does not want anyone to think about horrible female circumcision or hey you might think unfavorably on male circumcision. Its all a load of bullshit. Garycompugeek (talk) 20:29, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

The tag on the article Circumcision advocacy was about something that could be fixed (in my opinion). If it had no reasonable chance of being fixed, then I don't think the tag should have stayed. The point still remains that articles that have survived AfD don't generally have tags on the face of the article stating that some editors would like to delete the article. That wouldn't look nice and wouldn't be very useful. I think it's similar here: different editors have different points of view about the meanings of the terms "circumcision" and "male circumcision", and we're not here to change each others' points of view. It may be that there will never be complete agreement on the name. There could be a situation where different editors would insist on tags regardless of which of two (or more) names for an article were used. But tags are supposed to be temporary.
I have another idea: rather than a tag on the face of the article, I suggest a tag at the top of the talk page, describing the situation with the page naming dispute. Coppertwig (talk) 01:52, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Coppertwig, you write, "There could be a situation where different editors would insist on tags regardless of which of two (or more) names for an article were used. But tags are supposed to be temporary." You've summarized well the position of editors opposing the tag that "no consensus" implies that we must present the article to the reader as if there is a consensus. You've based your argument, as elsewhere with your change of heart at the time of the Requested Move discussion, on the possible actions of editors in the future. Again, I'm not swayed by that line of argument. Note also that NPOV policy states, When any dispute arises as to what the article should say, or what is true, we must not adopt an adversarial stance; we must do our best to step back and ask ourselves, "How can this dispute be fairly characterized?" This has to be asked repeatedly as each new controversial point is stated. It is not our job to edit Wikipedia so that it reflects our own idiosyncratic views and then defend those edits against all-comers; it is our job to work together, mainly adding or improving content, but also, when necessary, coming to a compromise about how a controversy should be described, so that it is fair to all sides. Consensus is not always possible, but it should be your goal. Is it your goal? Or are you and Jakew advocating the opposite: a silencing of opposing views based on whatever state the article happens to be in at the latest iteration of the dispute? It seems to me to be the latter. Blackworm (talk) 16:14, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

I just created Talk:Circumcision/FAQ, which I suggest can summarize arguments on all sides of longstanding disputes on this page such as this one. I further suggest that the arguments in the FAQ be written only by people on the opposite (or some other) side of the dispute. There are several possible benefits to doing it that way: By writing the opposing side's arguments, one can learn to understand those arguments better, and possibly feel more sympathetic towards them. Misunderstandings or lack of understanding can also come to light. And seeing the person on the opposite side write the arguments can lead to better feelings: since one can see that the person understands the arguments yet still continues to disagree, one might feel less need to repeat oneself and possibly more respect for the other person's position. One disadvantage of doing it that way is that people usually aren't very good at writing arguments they disagree with. It may take a number of iterations, with people explaining on this page what's missing, before a satisfactory version is developed. During that process, I think it's important to assume good faith: if someone writes a very poor explanation of an argument, it may really be the best they're able to do, because it isn't easy to write arguments one disagrees with. Rather than accusing the person of not trying, it's better to thank them for trying and gently explain to them what's missing. This suggestion is based on a suggestion by Abd here (about three-fifths of the way down).

In reply to Blackworm: consensus is my goal. I assume it's also your goal to find a consensus which includes my view that articles look better without tags. When it says to describe the controversy, I think it means to describe it in paragraph form (and perhaps with choice of article titles and hatnotes), not to describe it via tags. Coppertwig (talk) 00:50, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

I think Blackworm has made a good enough case for changing the title to male circumcision. Maybe Jakew or someone else can go over the arguments for retaining the clearly ambiguous current title? I seem to remember a google count on the different terms. This is not always adequate or appropriate as a I believe is said in the guidelines. Presumably this guideline is so that people can find what they are looking for. This wouldn't be a problem as it would be re-directed. Accuracy, being specific, and not creating ambiguity, is more important than this anyway.
"Circumcision" could be re-directed to "male circumcision". The article would start with: Male circumcision, more commonly known as just circumcision... Something could also be added about the distinction between male and female circumcision.
Let's be clear - both (male and female) are circumcisions - is anyone actually disagreeing with this statement? Sorry, I don't know why there is resistance.
Jakew may I also remind you that you vetoed the term "routine infant circumcision" on the basis that not everyone used the term - isn't that a bit hypocritical? If we are going by the most commonly used term to describe something then why don't we use 'routine infant circumcision'? Tremello22 (talk) 14:08, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
The arguments against renaming as "male circumcision" have been explained previously, Tremello. Please see the links I provided in my post dated 21:38, 25 May 2009 — I would recommend starting with the Poll or with Avi's summary.
Your argument for renaming the article as "routine infant circumcision" is bizarre. Checking Google indicates that the term "circumcision" is used about 53x as often as "routine infant circumcision" (4,100,000 vs 77,600), so I do not understand why you think the latter is "the most commonly used term to describe something". Moreover, the term "routine infant circumcision" is rarely used to describe religious circumcision of infants, and never used to describe circumcision of older males, so it would be an inappropriate title for this article, which includes both. Finally, you appear to misunderstand why I argued that we should avoid the term. My argument was not that "not everyone used the term", but was instead that the meaning of the term is unclear, and if used in the way you proposed it would seem to contradict one of the few definitions given in reliable sources. Jakew (talk) 14:33, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Jakew I am not proposing we title the article 'routine infant circumcision', I was referring to the previous debate above over the title of the non-religious circumcision in the English speaking world section. That section is primarily about RIC and it is the most common term used to describe that type of circumcision.
You say this term is unclear - this is the same thing Blackworm, Gary and I are saying - circumcision on its own is ambiguous because - there is also female circumcision. Yes circumcision may be used more often to refer to male circumcision but so what? The fact is they are both circumcisions - let us remove the ambiguity. Tremello22 (talk) 15:08, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Outside of "intactivist" circles, the word "circumcision" by itself unambiguously refers to circumcision of the penis. If anything, "male circumcision" is a back-formation based on the poorly-named FGC or FGM practice, up to and including clitoridectomy, which is not, in fact "circumcision". As has been pointed out previously, calling alteration of female genitalia "circumcision" is exactly mislabeling. That this mislabeling is prevalent in the literature is irrelevant, since that mislabeling is always as "female circumcision", not simply "circumcision", which in such literature only uses "male circumcision" to clarify the matter _in that literature_. WP:NC would support moving this article to Male circumcision only if this were genitowiki or whatever one would call a wikiresource dedicated to genitalia... Tomertalk 07:31, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely and totally wrong, as evidenced by the sources presented above, and in the previously discussions. It is very difficult to debate an issue when one side refuses to acknowledge what the sources show, and instead chooses to provide handwaving and personal opinion, and repeat claims shown by these sources to be unsubstantiated. No one can controvert the sourced evidence presented, and so one must wonder why, barring the influence of fringe male circumcision advocates and fanatical female circumcision opponents wishing to change the language, this article does not conform to or indeed even acknowledge the sense of the word as presented in all major dictionaries, in many scholarly articles and in international literature on the subject. Circumcision is done to both males and females. Want proof? Look up "circumcision" in a dictionary. How opponents of this obvious state of reality can continue to argue and debate and want to stuff this whole issue into a useless "FAQ" completely eludes me. Blackworm (talk) 12:01, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Expound. Male and Female circumcision goes back over a thousand years. The time and place plays a huge factor in prevalence. Garycompugeek (talk) 15:22, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Tomer, maybe you should state where you are getting the definition of 'circumcise' from. You don't seem to provide any sources (like Blackworm has) - just your own (seemingly biased) opinion.
That this mislabeling is prevalent in the literature is irrelevant, since that mislabeling is always as "female circumcision", not simply "circumcision", which in such literature only uses "male circumcision" to clarify the matter _in that literature_ Nobody doubts there has been a move by the Western press to describe what happens to females as FGM or FGC. Nobody is denying that 'circumcision' is more often used than 'male circumcision' to refer to 'male circumcision'. The reason, in some sources, they use the term 'female circumcision' (and mislabel as you seem to think) is because in the West, male circumcision is more common, and female circumcision is largely unheard of. So it makes sense that people who only really know of male circumcision would associate the word 'circumcision' with males. The articles you mention use the term 'female circumcision' to let the reader differentiate between male and female circumcision.
calling alteration of female genitalia "circumcision" is exactly mislabeling You only say this because you are comparing male circumcision to female circumcision and coming to the conclusion they are not equal in severity and so you feel a great need to give one a more extreme name than the other. But as Gary says 'Male and Female circumcision goes back over a thousand years.' Presumably the terms go back thousands of years too, no? Female circumcision is practiced in cultures totally different to our own. In the non-Western Muslim world they would be more likely to describe a circumcision on females as a female circumcision as opposed to a female genital mutilation or a female genital cutting. Because the term circumcision can encompass both female and male circumcisions - it should be changed to male circumcision. You bring up the naming conventions guideline - like Jakew often does, you pointed to a guideline without specifying how it actually applies in the given situation. From WP:NC, Wikipedia:NC#Be_precise_when_necessary seems to apply. The very fact that we need to put a disclaimer: This article is about male circumcision. For female circumcision, see Female genital cutting. shows you that many people still, like it or not ,would describe what happens to females as circumcision. So, why not be precise? Tremello22 (talk) 23:00, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I alternately suggest this title, if "Male Circumcision" (as used by the WHO, cited often here as an authority on the subject, eclipsing other views, such as that on prevalence) isn't "common" enough for some, as the argument seems to go: "Circumcision (male)." The hatnote can say Circumcision redirects here. Female circumcision is covered in Female Genital Cutting. It still looks bad, as the reader must wonder, why is male genital cutting not called Male Genital Cutting? I'd say ask the WHO. But yes, we must reflect the sources. Let's do that. Blackworm (talk) 06:04, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
I think that "Circumcision (male)" is somewhat better than your previous suggestion ("Male circumcision"), but most of the objections raised in previous discussions still apply. I'd also point out that "Circumcision (male)" is incompatible with your apparent goal, that is, to remove all ambiguity. One can sometimes (albeit very rarely) speak of circumcising the areola, so "Circumcision (penile)" would be more precise. But this, of course, assumes that the goal is to have no ambiguity, rather than the "reasonable minimum of ambiguity" specified by WP:TITLE#Use the most easily recognized name, etc. Jakew (talk) 08:18, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
From, reading Avi's summary it seems to me that you are saying that because the term 'circumcision' is used more often to refer to male circumcision than 'male circumcision' , we are justified in not being precise (to an appropriate degree). I completely disagree. As the guideline I pointed to above says "Be precise when necessary". I think this guideline is the one we should be using. It is not as if, if we call it 'male circumcision' , less people will find the article about the circumcision of males. Especially if 'circumcision' is re-directed to 'male circumcision' (on the reasoning that circumcision is more often used to refer to circumcision on males).
The reasoning behind the naming guidelines is to make it easier for people to find the article they were looking for. If they are looking for specifically male circumcision - then the article they end up reading should be named accurately, without any ambiguity. I read that poll above, and my honest interpretation is that some of the reasoning behind those who opposed the change is down to the fact that they don't want to equate female circumcision with male circumcision. In other words they let their emotions get in the way of thinking logically.
I think people have not 'got' what the goal of editing should be. We shouldn't be trying to make this the most popular circumcision page on the web - we should be making it the most informative and accurate. I think Jakew you are worrying about making this wikipedia article the number one hit on google. You have assumed ownership of the article, guarded it, and steered it to concentrate on the medical aspects (even though 2/3 of circs are Muslim and not done for medical benefits). I wonder why? Presumably the purpose of this is to play on the human instinct, better be safe than sorry - lets circumcise.
I think we need to re-assess what information this article is trying to put across. If we are to agree with the above - that the goal is to create an informative, non-biased article that reflects the worldwide view - and not to regard these goals as secondary to the goal of making it most popular/viewed, then we should change it to 'male circumcision'. If you agree with this 'google hits' are irrelevant. Tremello22 (talk) 20:26, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Note that there exists a WP:Disambiguation guideline. I quote from it: "Disambiguation is required whenever, for a given word or phrase on which a reader might use the "Go button", there is more than one Wikipedia article to which that word or phrase might be expected to lead." Is there for circumcision? For a given reader, I argue there may indeed be: the article on male circumcision, and the article on female circumcision, since the two topics are currently wholly separated as if unrelated. There is no article in Wikipedia on the topic of "circumcision" in the dictionary sense of "1. to cut off the foreskin of (a male) or the prepuce of (a female)."[8] Note, M-W's definition has recently changed. Some readers may expect one article, but one article where the topic of circumcision to be treated gender-inclusively, as general usage indicated by dictionaries seems to validate. But that goes beyond the scope of mere reasonable minimization of ambiguity -- called for by Wikipedia:Naming_conventions policy. It's that reasonable minimum of ambiguity I believe is amply demonstrated by the sources I've brought. I'm quite confident that many would agree so far, whether they agree or not with my questioning whether opposition to the change stems from a desire to enforce one POV overwhelmingly over another, or possible conflicts of interest or outside interests. I again call for a the title to be changed to "Male Circumcision" or "Circumcision (male)," with a redirect from circumcision to male circumcision (rather than the odd reverse, as is currently the case).

I also recommend the Wikipedia:Naming_conflict guideline, which the Wikipedia:Naming_conventions policy says "may help resolve disagreements over the right name to use." The former says, "A naming conflict can arise on Wikipedia when contributors have difficulty agreeing on what to call a topic or a geopolitical/ethnic entity. These sometimes arise out of a misunderstanding of the Neutral Point of View (NPOV) policy." "A name used by one entity may well clash with a name used by another entity. Disambiguation and expansion can resolve overlapping names. [...] These overlapping meanings can be resolved by proper disambiguation." Under the suggested procedure for resolving disputes, under "descriptive names" as is the case here, it says, "Where articles have descriptive names, the given name must be neutrally worded and must not carry POV implications. [...] A descriptive article title should describe the subject without passing judgment, implicitly or explicitly, on the subject." "We cannot declare what a name should be, only what it is." We are declaring that the name for male circumcision is circumcision. We are also declaring that the name for female circumcision is not circumcision, in fact it's a phrase that does not contain the word "circumcision." Is this a problem? Should it be addressed? The ones supporting a change back to male circumcision say yes, and the ones opposing the change say no. The ones supporting a change say that combination of these two facts, about two articles, one on the circumcision of males, another on the circumcision of females, may be an NPOV problem -- do the ones opposing the change say it would create an NPOV problem to change it? They don't; they simply dismiss the prevalent idea that an NPOV problem exists currently and state that therefore no reason exists to change it. It isn't a compelling counter-argument, in my opinion. The guideline concludes, "In the end, if all else fails, just leave the article at its original name." It's difficult to see what that is, oddly, as this first "diff" refers to "moving" the text into a new article, though there is no N next to the edit, and the diff shows a previous version with a date a year later than the edit. Is it a glitch caused by administrative oversight (i.e. a memory hole), or a technical failure? In any case, if the first article talking about circumcision in Wikipedia was created as "Circumcision," and not anything else, that indeed would be the first potentially valid argument I've heard for leaving the title "circumcision" if all other attempts to resolve the dispute have been attempted in good faith and failed. But has all else failed? Has disambiguation failed? If so, how has disambiguation been attempted in the effort to resolve the dispute?

Finally, note that Neutral Point of View policy says, "If a genuine naming controversy exists, and is relevant to the subject matter of the article, the controversy should be covered in the article text and substantiated with reliable sources." Perhaps a naming controversy does exist, and this should be covered in the article text (not a hatnote that implies an unrelated topic). I think doing that is called for, as soon as possible, and it might even satisfy NPOV, especially in light of the recent changes that appear to have consensus, such as beginning the article text "Male circumcision is..." Blackworm (talk) 04:27, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Blackworm asks, "how has disambiguation been attempted in the effort to resolve the dispute?"
To quote WP:DAB, with highlighting added to show the form of disambiguation used in this article:
Two methods of disambiguating are discussed here:
  • disambiguation links – at the top of an article (hatnotes), that refer the reader to other Wikipedia articles with similar titles or concepts.
  • disambiguation pages – non-article pages that refer readers to other Wikipedia articles.
(Please note that I do not intend to state or imply in any way that disambiguation has failed. My purpose in mentioning it here is simply to show that this form of disambiguation is, in fact, used in the article.) Jakew (talk) 08:30, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Was there a reason nobody responded to my last comment? It is quite funny that the topic has turned to disambiguation hatnotes. Why not remove the ambiguity and just call it male circumcision? I don't think anybody has come up with a valid reason to oppose this change. I thought the aim of wikipedia was to produce accurate articles, not for editors to make their article the most viewed as a kind of ego-stroking exercise. Tremello22 (talk) 20:57, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
In reply to Jakew, the hatnote hasn't changed since the dispute started, thus disambiguation has not been attempted in the effort to resolve the dispute. Thus you've made irrelevant, misleading comment #348. Let's go for 350 by the end of the day. Blackworm (talk) 23:23, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
An amusingly legalistic response, Blackworm, and even more amusing since it is wrong. The hatnote was added at 01:10, June 13, 2006; the talk page at the time included apparent debates re the title and/or scope such as this and this. Jakew (talk) 08:50, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
"An amusingly legalistic response, Blackworm" does not deserve a response. Fact is, you're wrong, Jake. Go back to your circumcision promotion website. Blackworm (talk) 22:12, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Jake, if MGC or "Male genital cutting" is extreme POV [9].... Why is FGM or "Female genital cutting" not extreme POV? Garycompugeek (talk) 20:53, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

"Extreme POV" was perhaps not the best choice of words on my part; "fringe terminology" might be a better term.
The edit that I reverted inserted the words "also know [sic] as male genital mutilation (MGM) or male genital mutilation/cutting (MGM/C)" into the lead.
The first of these, "male genital mutilation", is apparently used in 402 sources, although it can be seen from the snippets that three of the first ten hits are actually matches for "fe- male genital mutilation". Even when making the generous assumption that all 402 were actually relevant, that would be a tiny fraction of the 89,600 hits for "circumcision" that it would be undue weight to place one term (used by a tiny minority) alongside another (used by the overwhelming majority).
The second, "male genital mutilation/cutting", is more remarkable. It returns only one result, and that (again) is "fe- male genital mutilation/cutting". Why should Wikipedia document a term that no sources actually use? This goes beyond undue weight and into the territory of trying to use Wikipedia as a means to introduce new terminology. Jakew (talk) 08:41, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
We shouldn't and I'm not suggesting it. Reverse your thinking about this. I think this article should be called "Male circumcision" because that's what it is about... the point I'm trying to illustrate with your own logic is that "Female genital cutting" is extreme POV just like its brother "Male genital cutting" that you state, and I agree, is extreme POV. They both are extreme POV Jake. One can't be without the other. It makes no sense. Garycompugeek (talk) 14:53, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
No, Gary, it is about circumcision. The world circumcision has been used for centuries to refer to the removal of the foreskin from the penis; which is what this article is about. -- Avi (talk) 14:57, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

If you read the beginning of this thread Avi you will note all of the encyclopedia's definitions include both male and female ie:Main Entry: cir·cum·cise Pronunciation: \ˈsər-kəm-ˌsīz\ Function: transitive verb Inflected Form(s): cir·cum·cised; cir·cum·cis·ing Etymology: Middle English, from Latin circumcisus, past participle of circumcidere, from circum- + caedere to cut Date: 13th century 1 : to cut off the foreskin of (a male) or the prepuce of (a female) 2 : to cut off all or part of the external genitalia and especially the clitoris and labia minora of (a female)

These organizations must be confused. What is this female circumcision they keep referring to? There is no female circumcision however there is something totally unrelated called FGM or female genital cutting, totally different mind you, nothing to do with female circumcision. They must be trying to tie the two of them together as an evil genital integrity movement. Garycompugeek (talk) 15:46, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Gary, nowhere have I called the GI moevement evil Face-smile.svg. Adherents thereto have as much right, in my opinion, to make decisions about their, or their children's, foreskins as anyone else. Where I differ, is that just as they would not want me to intrude into their decision, I do not want them intruding into mine. As for texts, I believe there are multiple links in the archives to a large list of texts that do not include "female" in the definition, Gary. -- Avi (talk) 16:14, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

True, and I never said you had. I was simply trying to illustrate what I perceive as your and Jake's position in a humorous satirical metaphor. You can't change history Avi. Male and female circumcision have been around for thousands of years. Just because a few groups have coined the term "Female genital cutting" doesn't change female circumcision one whit. It doesn't change my point either. Both terms male and female genital cutting are not NPOV. You can't say one is and not the other. Garycompugeek (talk) 21:25, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Actually, in my opinion, one is and not the other. It's a matter of representing the POVs expressed in the sources. Coppertwig (talk) 23:33, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Except the sources cited at the top of this discussion, apparently. They apparently say the wrong thing; the POVs expressed in the dictionaries and encyclopediae appear incompatible with the current (male) circumcision promotion vision this article's primary editors insist on. Blackworm (talk) 03:20, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Really Coppertwig? None of our sources mention both male and female circumcision? How bout the very first one [10] "1. The act of cutting off the prepuce or foreskin of males, or the internal labia of females.", our we being true to that source? Please apply common sense to this discussion. If "Male genital cutting" is extreme POV than so is "Female genital cutting". It's easy to cherry pick sources to flavor your POV. If sources conflict then we document that, we don't ignore the ones we don't like. This is at the heart of the NPOV issues that plague circumcision and related articles. Garycompugeek (talk) 15:29, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Gary, if you want to rename female genital cutting then you need to make that proposal at Talk:Female genital cutting. Jakew (talk) 16:37, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Nice Jake. This is not the wrong place. Your edit on this article started this thread and I am talking about this article's title and Female genital cutting because it is all interrelated. I plan on starting RFC's for both article names and NPOV concerns. Garycompugeek (talk) 17:47, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
By convention, one starts requested moves for changing article names, not requests for comment. But I'm sure that's what you meant. Jakew (talk) 18:30, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Image of circumcised penis location

The image is just as applicable in the section on current methods as it is on top, and while the article should not be censored, there is no reason to have the very top of the article having open genitalia. I think at least one "page down" is appropriate; not even so much for children as for the myriads of people who access wikipedia from public terminals, work, libraries, etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Avraham (talkcontribs) 15:58, 6 August 2009

Good point. Coppertwig (talk) 21:58, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't see this as relevant. The clue is in the title - it is about dicks minus a foreskin, expect to see dicks minus a foreskin. Please put it back. It is not pornographic, it is an explanatory diagram about a circumcised penis. Mish (talk) 23:43, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not censored. This is circumcision, the cutting off of the foreskin; it's not circumcision, the beautiful event. The image showing what it is should be predominant. No basis for reversion. Let the reader decide. Blackworm (talk) 01:20, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Dispute over inclusion of new circumcised penis image

heading added by Blackworm (talk) 04:36, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Wow, I should read looked at the image more carefully before defending its inclusion -- it appears to describe the remaining skin near the glans as an "inner foreskin." Presumably such an "inner foreskin" would be there even after a total removal of the foreskin (see our definition of circumcision). Bzzzt. Contradiction. Good thing there are cirucmcision "experts" around looking for this kind of thing when images of unknown origin get thrown around. Blackworm (talk) 02:00, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
"Presumably such an 'inner foreskin' would be there even after a total removal of the foreskin..." It could be more formally referred to as the inner mucosa, but that is abstruse and it is already quite commonly understood by laymen and experts alike as the inner foreskin. Circumcision does not completely remove the inner foreskin in most cases. The complete removal of the foreskin is called radical circumcision; traditional Jewish circumcision is radical circumcision (perhaps you are biased by your own experience?). I am reverting your glib removal of the image. Please see the literature, foreskin, and at least consider the first sentence of this article: "Male circumcision is the removal of some or all of the foreskin (prepuce) from the penis."). --ActuallyRationalThinker (talk) 03:11, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Bring reliable sources for all of your claims. For an example of a reliable source, see this article, which states, "Male circumcision reduces the risk of infection by about 60%, probably because of the removal of the Langerhans cells which are abundant in the inner foreskin and are the primary route by which HIV enters the penis." The inner foreskin (i.e., the side of the foreskin that faces inward) is removed by circumcision, as this source makes clear. I reverted your revert. I note also that you apparently are the author and source of the image.(image) That link states that this image is a derivative work, by you, with the "original" being this image (image). I note the latter makes no reference to an "inner foreskin," which you added. It also is non-neutral, though less so, due to its depiction of an "intact" frenulum where the circumcision scar is much lower than the frenulum. Blackworm (talk) 03:21, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
"The inner foreskin (i.e., the side of the foreskin that faces inward) is removed by circumcision, as this source makes clear." Firstly, I can only assume that you emphasize faces inward as a means of pointing out that the picture clearly involves something facing outward; you seem to fail to understand that the result of a circumcision is quite like an intact penis for which the foreskin has been permanently retracted, thereby exposing the inner side (or what's left of it).
Secondly, I must mention that the source does not make your claim clear. For one, it says a little further down that "the protective effect is thought to be due to the physical removal of most of the inner foreskin epithelium." Indeed, circumcision often does remove a significant portion of the inner foreskin, but the amount really depends on the style of circumcision; for instance, it's apparently fairly popular in the U.S. to have a high and tight circumcision, whereby a noticeable amount of the inner foreskin remains (and the scar is more toward the middle of the shaft). On the contrary, traditional Jewish circumcision removes nearly all inner foreskin (sorry I couldn't quickly find a better link), whereby the shaft is (nearly) completely covered with the normal outer skin and the scar is "hidden" behind the glans. Given that the researchers in your linked paper are Australians, perhaps low circumcisions are popular in Australia, so that their verbiage is biased.
As an aside, I would like to note that the claim of Langerhan's cells' susceptibility has been shown to be dubious.
"It also is non-neutral, though less so, due to its depiction of an "intact" frenulum where the circumcision scar is much lower than the frenulum." The original picture mispelled circumcised as circumcized, pointed to the scar line when describing the corona, and indeed pointed unnecessarily far down the shaft when describing the frenulum. My derivative work corrects these egregious errors and adds information that is pertinent to describing not just the penis, but the circumcised penis in particular.
Anyway, at this point I can't in good conscience attribute to you any knowledge of the male anatomy as pertains to the foreskin or circumcision; you do a disservice to an encyclopedic work by spreading ignorant (yes) nonsense. --ActuallyRationalThinker (talk) 05:01, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Your personal attacks notwithstanding, you haven't provided any reliable sources to back up the claims you made in the previous post. "Circumcision removes the inner foreskin and the frenulum, [...]."[11] Compare also the diagrams here. Much less confusing, as the "inner foreskin" of your image is referred to as the "former inner foreskin layer" in the case of the circumcised penis. I note also that your image confusingly refers to "shaft skin" "anchored" to the frenulum, far above the circumcision scar, simply as "foreskin." It refers to the glans penis as "sensitive" but says nothing about the sensitivity of the circumcised penis' so-called "foreskin." It doesn't make clear that circumcision removes the foreskin. It uses nonexistent words such as "upperside." It is aesthetically displeasing. It's not encyclopedic. This image might confuse some circumcised men into believing that they still do indeed have a foreskin and a frenulum, but that would be a grave error. I continue to strongly oppose its inclusion. Blackworm (talk) 06:30, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
"Circumcision removes the inner foreskin and the frenulum, [...]."
You took this from the abtract at the given link, and it is truly bizarre, because in the actual paper:
  • The word frenulum is not mentioned even once.
  • The actual abstract reads thusly (when it comes to circumcision): "Male circumcision. Removal of the inner foreskin removes the main site of HIV entry into the penis, resulting in a sevenfold reduction in susceptibility to infection. The practice needs to be promoted."
In other words, the paper never defines "circumcision"; rather, the paper hypothesizes that the inner foreskin is susceptibile to HIV infection, and therefore subsequently suggests that a removal of the inner foreskin would be benefitial in the fight against HIV; the medical term for the complete removal of even the inner foreskin is radical circumcision, and a variant is performed during a Jewish circumcision as explained above.
"Compare also the diagrams here. Much less confusing, as the "inner foreskin" of your image is referred to as the "former inner foreskin layer" in the case of the circumcised penis."
It's called the "former inner foreskin layer" for 2 reasons:
  • A significantly erogenous portion known has the ridged band (see also here) has been removed.
  • It's no longer mainly an internal surface; circumcision has transformed it into an external tissue; it is the former inner foreskin.
In any case, look clearly at figure 4 and figure 5: Assuming these are the same penis, the circumcision style must indeed be somewhat low and especially loose, so that in the flaccid state the inner foreskin is not particularly noticeable; yet, in the erect state, the remant (formerly inner) foreskin becomes noticeably exposed as the shaft tissue becomes taught.
Note further at the following text on that page: "All circumcised men have an annular scar on the shaft of the penis. The location of the scar varies, from near the head to far down the shaft. For some men, so much skin has been removed that erection becomes difficult and even painful." By the nature of the foreskin and of circumcision, the location of the scar could only vary by varying the amounts of inner and outer foreskin that are amputated. Consider what NORM-UK has to say:
Inner Foreskin Remnant
After circumcision a cuff of inner foreskin is normally left between the scar and the glans. This is known as the 'Inner Foreskin Remnant'. The amount remaining is different for each individual, as it is dependant on the method of circumcision and the hand of the circumciser.
Consider what this strange circumcision-fetish website has to say (no sources, but it's certainly correct; ask a Urogolist):
The average infant circumcision in the USA is done with either the Plastibell or the Gomco Clamp. Adult circumcisions are done with the Gomco Clamp or Forceps Guided method or totally freehand.
When used strictly in accordance with the guidance instructions from the makers, both Plastibell and Gomco result in the removal of equal amounts of inner and outer skin. The foreskin is pulled evenly over the bell before tying or clamping. The tighter the skin is pulled the less inner foreskin will be left and hence the closer to the corona will be the resulting scar line.
Many doctors seem to consider it a matter of professional pride to hide the circumcision scar line in the coronal sulcus (groove) as close behind the glans as possible. For many this gives a very neat appearance but results in the 'bland' American circumcised dick. Practically all the potentially more sensitive inner skin is removed.
When circumcising an adult it is easier to place the cut line wherever it is wanted. Most doctors however will have their own personal preferences through repeated practice and will not bother to discuss the placing with the patient.
Adults requesting a circumcision ought to be able to choose just how it is to be done - providing that is medically possible. Although the instructions for the Gomco clamp say to pull the skin evenly over the bell, it is perfectly possible for the doctor to mark inner and outer skin first with where the cut is to go and then adjust these through the clamping plate before finally tightening up the screw and cutting away the foreskin.
The forceps guided method allows similar adjustment. Indeed my friend Kevin wanted 'high and tight' with minimum inner skin removed so the doctor spent considerable time adjusting the inner and outer layers in the forceps clamp before finally cutting.
Totally freehand circumcision is most likely to be by 'cuff resection' where two circumferential cuts are made, the skin between them dissected and then the edges brought together. Here it is possible to totally independently determine how much inner and outer skin is to be removed.
In summary, the more inner skin that is removed the less sensitive the resulting circumcised penis and the closer to the corona of the glans the scar line will necessarily be. This positioning may also give a tighter overall result when flaccid, but there is likely to be little in it when erect compared with the more impressive obviously cut and scarred shaft resulting from removing mainly outer and shaft skin.
How about we include this picture below to show how there can be a different amount of inner foreskin on a circumcised penis.
I note also that your image confusingly refers to "shaft skin" "anchored" to the frenulum, far above the circumcision scar, simply as "foreskin."
How did you possibly manage to misquote static content? The description for frenulum is given as:
elastic band of tissue that anchors the
shaft tissue (foreskin) to the glans penis
Specifically, tissue is used rather than skin, and (foreskin) is meant to relay the purpose of the frenulum anatomically in as little textual space as possible. However, perhaps you would approve of a new description:
remnant frenulum
elastic band of tissue that anchored the
once highly mobile shaft tissue to the
glans penis; remnants of the frenular
delta (ridged band) make this region quite
erogenous toward its base near the scar
It doesn't make clear that circumcision removes the foreskin.
As already explained ad nauseum, circumcision doesn't necessarily remove the inner foreskin completely; at least a noticeable amount of the smooth mucosa and a small amount of the frenular delta is often left in place.
It refers to the glans penis as "sensitive" but says nothing about the sensitivity of the circumcised penis' so-called "foreskin."
On the contrary; you can clearly see the word erogenous in the description of the inner foreskin: "a mucous membrane like the inside of the mouth, but erogenous like the nipple". However, perhaps you would approve of these descriptions instead:
the projecting, circumferential base of the
glans penis; it overhangs a deep
retroglandular sulcus, behind which is the
penis shaft; it is the most erogenous portion
of the glans penis, though less densely
innervated than the inner foreskin
glans penis
the expandable "head" capping the corpus
spongiosum, offering primarily protopathic
sensation via sparse end-organs; it is
anatomically similar to the more densely
innervated glans clitoris of the female
remnant inner foreskin
in this case: mainly the smooth mucosa like
the inside of the mouth, but erogenous like
the nipple; it is highly innervated with
fine-touch mechanoreceptors, particularly
Meissner's corpuscles
This image might confuse some circumcised men into believing that they still do indeed have a foreskin and a frenulum, but that would be a grave error.
I think that remnant takes care of that. Also, mentioning the varying location of the scar line helps people understand what has been removed. Anyway, see below.
It uses nonexistent words such as "upperside." It is aesthetically displeasing. It's not encyclopedic.
Touché! Although, in my defence, that was the verbiage of the original picture. How about this description:
penis shaft
carries 3 regions of erectile tissue: on
the dorsal side run 2 corpora cavernosa
in parallel; between them on the ventral
side runs the corpus spongiosum that
ultimately fills the glans penis; the shaft is
surrounded by skin and—in this case—
remnants of the foreskin's inner mucosae
Surely we have reached a consensus now. --ActuallyRationalThinker (talk) 10:51, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree with Blackworm (not on every point, but at least on the general subject of the image). A diagram is a good idea but, as it presently stands, the image is problematic. Also, ActuallyRationalThinker, I'd encourage you to make your posts shorter, and to cite reliable sources in support of your point. Jakew (talk) 11:54, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
How can you possibly agree with Blackworm when
  • I have systematically dismantled his ignorant arguments
  • I have offered to improve the descriptions
What exactly is "promblematic" about the image? Please be specific.
Lastly, my post isn't that long; it just includes text excerpts that make it appear long. More importantly, all of my sources are extremely reliable; I've included links to pictures and full papers, using better versions and saner interpretations of Blackworm's own sources, no less. As for the sources involving the various styles of circumcision, I can only say that their agreement with each other holds the key to their veracity (besides, those are trivial facts to anyone who has a minor understanding of the foreskin and circumcision); unfortunately, people seem to like to treat (or otherwise believe) that circumcision as some uniform, well-defined procedure.
Please provide convincing, qualified reasons for your objections; I', for one, seem to be the only one making an educated effort. --ActuallyRationalThinker (talk) 21:05, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Very well, these are the reasons why I believe the image is problematic:
  1. The image is technically poor (in particular, the lighting is inadequate; I guess this is what Blackworm means by "aesthetically displeasing"). This could, perhaps, be addressed by superimposing labels on a better photograph.
  2. Although not incorrect, describing it as the "inner foreskin" remnant is somewhat confusing. It would be better to use the term "preputial mucosa remnant".
  3. Some of the detail is POV and/or OR. Since sourcing and attribution are difficult in images, labels should stick to well-established, non-controversial statements.
  4. There is far too much detail in the labels, little of which is relevant to circumcision. Most of the text is illegible when the image is scaled to an ordinary size as it would appear on the page. It would be a more sensible use of space to enlarge the headings and remove the detailed descriptions. Jakew (talk) 08:25, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
I posted the original image here using an image already in Wikimedia Commons. The objection raised on this image (apart from placement) was that 'circumcizion' was misspelt in the image name. This was then taken away (by ActuallyRationalThinker?), renamed using the correct spelling, and apparently had original material inserted that has now given rise to a dispute. Would it make more sense to replace either the original with the correct spelling, or replace the new image with the original one, retaining only the corrected spelling, and simply replace this new image with the old one but with the correct spelling? I think so - unless a better explanatory diagram can be sourced, or a diagram showing a detailed medical procedure being carried out on a consenting adult. Images of dicks without any informative value seem of less value than this one. Mish (talk) 12:52, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
No. Please see above for how awful the original diagram is.--ActuallyRationalThinker (talk) 20:53, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
I take your point(s) - yes the original image was wrong - my apologies. Well spotted, and neat work. This version is far superior to the original, thanks. Mish (talk) 21:53, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Would someone please give links to the old and new image so I can see what you're talking about? Thanks. Coppertwig (talk) 13:57, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
Old and new. Jakew (talk) 15:55, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, Jake, and thanks very much to ActuallyRationalThinker for working on the image! I suggest, however, that it's best not to have so much text right on the image. It's less legible; it's not computer-readable, leading to a variety of problems (What about blind readers? How would the image look displayed on a handheld device, for example? What about browser search functions?) and it's better to put the text in an image caption because then we can edit it from time to time. I suggest (if ActuallyRationalThinker or someone else with image editing skills is willing to do the work) deleting all the words currently in small script from the image itself; they can be put in an image caption if desired: although I think that amount of text is probably too much anyway and some of it could be moved to be part of the article text perhaps. With that much text: later on the image might be deleted just because someone strongly objects to one phrase somewhere. I might have more specific comments on the text later when I have time although probably nothing that serious. Coppertwig (talk) 16:19, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
The image has gone again. So, do we discuss all images, and how they will display on mobile phones? No we don't. So, I agree that the text could be reduced. Mish (talk) 00:00, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Discussion re: predominance and appropriateness of images

heading added by Blackworm (talk) 04:36, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

I restored the forever broken image of an intact penis, which was apparently not a high priority. I note that the image is placed last in the article, with the most descriptive (and yet not descriptive enough) image of circumcision immediately preceding it (the circumcised penis). The contrast between those two images provides the only visual information giving the reader any idea what circumcision is at a glance. It does not go far enough, in my opinion, as the circumcision act itself is not depicted. I believe such an image should appear in the lead. Prior to these two descriptive images, we have a plethora of images depicting male circumcision as an ancient, celebrated, solemn and prevalent event -- without showing us what it is. Not neutral. Blackworm (talk) 02:22, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

The lead image actually is one of a circumcision in progress; what are you looking for, a bloody scalpel on a penis? -- Avi (talk) 03:10, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

There is always File:Covenant_of_Abraham.JPG if you would like a circumcision in progress (which was the lead at one point, and is the lead at Bris Milah), but I am sure many would that is too specifically religious for this article. -- Avi (talk) 03:13, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Are we supposed to take your word on it that the picture you're referring to is a circumcision in progress, or can we actually see the circumcision? It doesn't have to be a picture of the operation, although that would be preferable. It could be a diagram, as in abortion, or female genital cutting (where the unmodified anatomy is referred to as "normal"[12]), or perhaps [this Commons image] which at least shows the immediate aftermath, or indeed if we must hide away the actual procedure, at least the "with cutting and without" contrast of images I refer to above should be in the lead and not buried at the end of the article and having its links broken for weeks, under the watchful eyes of those here. Blackworm (talk) 03:21, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Blackworm, that is a Bris; and you know as well as everyone that a Bris is only performed on a male child. That is common knowledge. -- Avi (talk) 03:25, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

I never implied otherwise, and I don't see your point, sorry. Blackworm (talk) 03:28, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I misread your comments; my fault. -- Avi (talk) 03:44, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

As for the with and without pictures, I agree that they should be in the article; I think they provide a good contrast. However, I prefer to have genitalia pictures at least one "page-down" in the article, as explained below. -- Avi (talk) 03:27, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

That is not the case with penis, vagina, labiaplasty, and anything else having to do with genitals, and it should not be the case here. Wikipedia is not censored, not even a tiny bit. If you wish to argue that images of genitals should be placed away from the top of articles dealing with procedures on genitals, please do it here or here, as that seems a novel and counter-intuitive idea. Blackworm (talk) 03:40, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
For the first two articles you list, I agree that the explicit images should be in the lead; those are the eponymous images. Circumcision, on the other hand, is the process, not the penis, and it makes as much, if not more, sense to have the process in the lead. FWIW, I've asked a question here: Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not#Explicit lead images. -- Avi (talk) 03:52, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm arguing that the process is not depicted in the lead. What is currently depicted is one particular setting for the process. Circumcision is the process of cutting part or all of the foreskin off a penis. It isn't the process of getting your friends together and posing for a picture, or the process of getting nice sterile instruments together, or the process of celebration. Those might be elements related to circumcision, but they aren't what circumcision is at its base. Blackworm (talk) 04:00, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
The Bris image is pretty close, although it is not a picture of the actual cutting; true. Which, I should add, would not be appropriate for wiki, as it is the genitals of a minor, and since most circumcisions are done on minors, I submit the Bris picture should be preferable, as it is closer in the process than the Turkmenistan picture. -- Avi (talk) 04:03, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Both those images are obfuscating. I'd be inclined to agree that images of minors' genitals are cause for concern, but does that include those of a baby? Is changing a diaper that shocking? There's an image depicting a minor's genitals on this very page right now (above), with no apparent scandal. Perhaps an argument could be made, but regardless this Commons image has existed in Wikipedia Commons for a while. I don't think an argument could be made to delete it on the grounds you refer to, and I don't think that image is inappropriate for an article on circumcision in Wikipedia. In any case, a diagram would address your concerns and I would abide by one. In my opinion we should depict, as early in the article as possible, the "partial or total removal of the foreskin" referred to in the lead -- or failing that, the immediate aftermath of the process. Blackworm (talk) 04:18, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree that the depiction of an archaic image of a cultural/religious practice is not appropriate for the lead - especially where such weight is given in the article to medical issues. I agree an image of any infant surgery and/or genitalia is not warranted, and what would be preferable would be an image of a surgical circumcision of an adult. The next best thing would be an image of a circumcised penis which illustrates the elements that are explained in relation to the procedure which has reconstructed the penis as it is in the image. That is what is available - and that is what needs to be in the lead. Mish (talk) 14:24, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

breaking out Jesus image from genital in lead

Re religious pictures: The picture of Jesus being circumcised is the only one I would consider to be definitely a religious picture, and I think in general religion is due a fairly large amount of weight within the topic of circumcision, so I argue to keep that picture. I don't see how it's relevant whether Christians circumcise or not. Many do; and what difference does that make to whether to include the picture of Jesus? and anyway they're aware that Jesus was circumcised, and I think Christians have some ways of celebrating or commemorating the circumcision of Jesus, so it's of some importance within the Christian religion; but also since Jesus was a Jew, he's also a notable circumcised Jew regardless of what Christians do. Coppertwig (talk) 00:05, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, the other three are definitely in a religious context - in Judaism it is a ritual, symbolic of the covenant between JHVH and Abraham, and this is the same basis for the practice in Islam - and the other three images are of circumcision in Judiac (one) and Islamic (two) contexts. You still haven't said why it is important to have an illustration of Jesus in this context - why is Jesus so important to circumcision, and why does he need an image that is of such poor-quality, a rather barbaric rendition of the theme, which adds nothing about the topic? Other artists have dealt with this theme with more quality and detail, such as:

Albrecht Dürer 018.jpg.

At least Dürer illustrates the main elements of the 'process' more clearly - a group of bearded old men huddled around a young baby, performing a religious ritual that involves his genitals. Mish (talk) 09:03, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
I have no problem with substitution of a different image of the circumcision of Jesus. The reason I want to include such an image is that I believe (and I could be wrong) that there are large numbers of depictions of the circumcision of Jesus in the world, for example painted prominently on the walls of churches (and there revered), and that therefore due weight could suggest including one. If someone makes an argument that there is some other individual whose circumcision has been depicted more than Jesus', then I wouldn't mind substituting an image of that person's circumcision instead. I like having the sultan image too. I think it adds colour to the article to include at least one image of the circumcision of a notable individual such as Jesus. There is a Feast of the Circumcision of Christ, suggesting that this event is of some importance to Christians. Again, if there is some other individual whose circumcision is given more attention, we can put them in the limelight here instead. Actually, I think an image of Jesus is particularly interesting as some readers might not have realized that Jesus was circumcised and it's interesting because it involves larger issues, i.e. the relationship between Judaism and Christianity. Coppertwig (talk) 13:00, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
If an image of Jesus is included for any other reason than there being something significant about his being circumcised in relation to the practice of circumcision, that would be fine - if it is there because it highlights interesting connections between him and Judaism, that is off-topic and irrelevant. This is not an article about the relationship between Christianity, its founder and Judaism, it is about circumcision, a practice which happens to be carried out in a religious as well as medical context. What information does this image give about Jewish or Christian approaches or attitudes to circumcision? If it were to remain, I would prefer it was a well executed, less barbaric, piece of art - purely on aesthetic grounds, although I am still not convinced such an image is necessary or relevant. Mish (talk) 14:15, 7 August 2009 (UTC)