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Bodily Integrity and the Politics of Circumcision: Culture, Controversy, and Change
     

Bodily Integrity and the Politics of Circumcision: Culture, Controversy, and Change

by George C. Denniston (Editor), Pia Grassivaro Gallo (Editor), Frederick M. Hodges (Editor), Marilyn Fayre Milos (Editor), Franco Viviani (Editor)
 

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How is it that, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, it is still possible for males and females to be denied their inherent right to keep all the body parts with which they were born? Circumcision is a cultural phenomenon that affects 15.3 million children and young adults annually. In terms of gender, 13.3 millions boys and 2 million girls are subjected

Overview

How is it that, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, it is still possible for males and females to be denied their inherent right to keep all the body parts with which they were born? Circumcision is a cultural phenomenon that affects 15.3 million children and young adults annually. In terms of gender, 13.3 millions boys and 2 million girls are subjected to the involuntary removal of part or all of their external sex organs every year. Few people, however, ask why such practices persist or how modern societies can tolerate this inherent violation of human rights. The problem of female circumcision is being addressed on an international level, while male circumcision remains a subject many academics are reluctant to fully or impartially examine. This book explores the problem of male and female circumcision in modern society from religious, anthropological, psychological, medical, legal, and ethical perspectives. Bodily Integrity and the Politics of Circumcision: Culture, Controversy, and Change illuminates the vulnerability of human society to medical, economic, and historical pressures. It provides a much-needed, thoughtful, and detailed analysis of the devastating impact of circumcision on bodily integrity and human rights, and it provides hope for change.

Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Jay P. Goldsmith, MD (Tulane University School of Medicine)
Description: This compilation of papers presented at the Eighth International Symposium on Circumcision and Human Rights held in Padua, Italy, is intended to make the case against male and female circumcision.
Purpose: The editor's purpose, as stated in the preface, is to rid the world of circumcision in the next generation. The papers discuss the social, political, economic, religious, psychological, and legal aspects of this procedure. Very little medicine or science is included, except to say that such data is "under the control of the circumcisers."
Audience: It is difficult to determine exactly for whom this book is written. It is not scientific and could be easily read by interested lay people. It is doubtful that pediatricians, obstetricians, or urologists would read this book unless they wanted to learn about this movement. The authors are perhaps well known in this movement, but only two of the 38 contributors are physicians.
Features: The papers cover mostly the psychosocial and sexual aspects of both male and female circumcision. Many of the contributors are Italian, and much of the book deals with aspects of this procedure in Italy. American aspects of this issue include discussions on human rights (comparing circumcision to slavery), strategies for litigation, and a review of Medicaid funding by state for this procedure. The book dismisses the medical and scientific aspects of the procedure in one paragraph without reviewing the data. The index is inadequate to find specific references to such topics as genital cancer.
Assessment: In the spirit of full disclosure, I must state that I would be considered by these authors to be a member of "the circumcision industry." Nevertheless, this is a book with an agenda. The presentations are heavily weighted toward the theme of eradicating circumcision in the world. Some of the papers are interesting and the historical and religious roots of the procedure are well covered. However, comparing circumcision to slavery and using amendments to the U.S. Constitution to demonstrate circumcision as a violation of human rights is more emotion than science.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402049156
Publisher:
Springer Netherlands
Publication date:
09/06/2006
Edition description:
2006
Pages:
270
Product dimensions:
8.27(w) x 11.69(h) x 0.03(d)

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