Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Circumcision rates and the changing practices in raising boys

A few weeks ago I posted about how the maximum "generation gap" between parents and their parents (the child in question's grandparents) varies by gender and across the saeculum. The maximum gap when it comes to raising boys usually comes during a Fourth Turning (e.g. the current era); for girls it's at the opposite point of the saeculum, during a Second Turning (e.g. the late 1960s and 1970s).

I found another piece of evidence that demonstrates my theory on Fourth Turnings being the era when raising boys is most called into question: the circumcision rate. Before I go any further, I want to point out a couple of things. First, some of the links in the rest of this blog post may lead to a page or site with pictures of penises. However, those pictures are there for educational purposes only. Second, I'll mention my own viewpoint on the issue: I am strongly against RIC (routine infant circumcision) for medical reasons. On the issue of religious circumcision (done mostly by Jews and Muslims), I'll remain silent on that for now. If you'd like to learn more about what I think with regards to circumcision, this site pretty much sums it up: Luckily, my mother is strongly against it too; mainly because when she had her first-born (a girl) she heard another baby screaming real loudly and the doctor said that he was being circumcised. At that point, she decided that she would never inflict that on any sons she had; thus I am proudly intact myself. (I prefer to use the term "intact" rather than "uncircumcised" since the latter term describes the unaltered penis in terms of the altered one.)

As shown with the graphs at this page, the rate began to increase sharply in the 1930s (i.e. the last Fourth Turning) to a peak during the Generation X birth years. Since then it has gone back down, to a rate of a bit over 50% a few years ago and now with some sources saying that less than 1 out of 3 new boys are being cut. (All these statistics are for the U.S., which has been one of the world's champions in non-religious circumcisions; in fact over 75% of the world's men are intact.) Since the steepest part of both the rise (when medical professionals began to encourage it) and the fall (when more people are learning about the benefits of having a foreskin) occur/occurred during Fourth Turning eras this further shows that those eras are the most likely to have boy-raising practices called into question.

No comments:

Post a Comment