Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

This is Your Brain. This is Your Brain on Circumcision. Any Questions?

By Zenparenting1 @ZenParenting1
We hear it all the time:
"It's best to circumcise boys as newborns, so they won't remember it."
Stop. Rewind. Reeducate.
Everything, ev. er. y. thing. we experience is stored in our brains. Did you miss that? EVERYTHING.
Specifically, the amygdala, a tiny little part in the medial temporal lobe of the brain, performs a primary role in memory and emotional response and stores all, ALL, painful and traumatic experiences. "Because the amygdala learns and stores information about emotional events, it is said to participate in emotional memory. Emotional memory is viewed as an implicit or unconscious form of memory and contrasts with explicit or declarative memory mediated by the hippocampus" (Scholarpedia).
This is Your Brain.  This is Your Brain on Circumcision.  Any Questions?
Circumcision is inarguably one of those painful and traumatic experiences that is indelibly imprinted upon one's emotional memory.
"In humans, it is the most sexually-dimorphic brain structure, and shrinks by more than 30% in males upon castration.
Conditions such as anxiety, autism, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and phobias are suspected of being linked to abnormal functioning of the amygdala, owing to damage, developmental problems, or neurotransmitter imbalance" (Science Daily).
The amydala has connections to aggression, sexual orientation, fear and fear response, social response and interactions, alcoholism, anxiety, stress, sexual arousal, and depression. Stimulate the amygdala improperly, through traumatic circumcision, for instance, and one is at risk for problems with any or all of these. The amygdala is partially responsible for innate behaviors and resultant physiology within us.
The ol' "Circumcision doesn't affect anyone. They turn out just fine" argument just doesn't hold water. Simply put, circumcision affects the very base of who he is and, because it is done so early on in his life, there's no other version of him with which to compare or contrast. The way he was born is irrevocably altered by that painful and traumatic experience. There' no getting around it.
This is science. This is your brain. And this is your brain on circumcision. Any questions?

Science Daily, "Amygdala"
Scholarpedia, "Amygdala"
Wikipedia, "Amygdala"

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