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Re: [xmca] Taking culture into account/Doing harm?

sorry, didn't catch what the "it" (male circumcision?) was in the phrase
"giving my parents a pass on it".

RE: male circumcision, there is lots and lots and lots of debate:
I just pulled this up:
but there is lots more debate out there, and a strong suggestion that it is
much more than "cosmetic." (and are you suggesting that "cosmetic" surgery
is an okay thing for doctors to practice).

And if you read Fuambai's article, there is also debate about how serious
female circumcision is (and Rick Shweder has often suggested that even a
nick on the clitoris might be able to count as an effective practice of

But the question isn't about male and female circumcision. The question is:
who gets to decide what is right and good and true when it comes to
people's (whether a child's or adult's) lives?

Do you really want to leave those decisions up to the doctors?
I don't.


On Mon, Jul 23, 2012 at 11:30 AM, Michael Glassman <MGlassman@ehe.osu.edu>wrote:

> Hi Gregg,
> One more thing,  to tell you the truth I wouldn't be so thrilled with a
> bunch of academics giving my parents a pass on it because it was their
> cultural belief systems.  How about you?
> Michael
> ________________________________
> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu on behalf of Michael Glassman
> Sent: Mon 7/23/2012 2:27 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: RE: [xmca] Taking culture into account/Doing harm?
> Greg,
> Obviously there are different levels of decision making.  Male
> circumcision is basically cosmetic surgery while female circumcision (and
> perhaps it shouldn't be called that) has lifelong implications.  I don't
> think it is a good comparison.  If male circumcision had the same lifelong
> implications I would say no, and be phenomenally angry at my parents - and
> believe they did not have the right in any way to do what they did, I am
> sure of that.  So why would you think many females wouldn't feel the same
> way.  I think it is always better to make decisions based on as much
> knowledge of people as possible rather than on opaque systems.
> Michael
> mca@weber.ucsd.e <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.e>
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Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Sanford I. Berman Post-Doctoral Scholar
Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition
Department of Communication
University of California, San Diego
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