- Hugh YoungAffiliated withUniversity of Cantebury
Popular television has a subtle but significant role in promoting circumcision in the United States. It seems almost obligatory to devote at least part of an episode of every sitcom and soap opera to the topic. The foreskin is commonly denigrated. Contradictory messages are given — for example, that only Jews circumcise babies but all men are circumcised. Pain and harm are minimized or treated as comic. Wherever circumcision is treated as controversial, it is also treated as trivial and inevitable. Talk shows find it good fodder for noisy controversy.
Circumcision occupies a peculiar place in United States culture, being simultaneously ubiquitous, controversial, and a taboo topic of conversation. Thus, to refer to it on television can be simultaneously mundane and daring, a contradiction to which much television programming aspires. It is hardly surprising that references to circumcision maintain a high level of ambiguity: while people may argue about it, the outcome is almost invariably to promote it.
- “THAT THING”
- Book Title
- Circumcision and Human Rights
- pp 239-250
- Print ISBN
- Online ISBN
- Springer Netherlands
- Copyright Holder
- Springer Science + Business Media B.V.
- Additional Links
- Industry Sectors
- eBook Packages
- Editor Affiliations
- 1. University of Washington Seattle
- 2. National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers San Anselmo
- Hugh Young (3)
- Author Affiliations
- 3. University of Cantebury, New Zealand
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