This letter to the editor is from the Times of Swaziland today (29 September 2011).
What are we not being told about circumcision?
Kindly allow me space in your widely read newspaper to express my views on circumcision. I am a 14-year-old boy.
Our teacher gave us homework on circumcision so I did research on the subject.
I was the only one who came up with a disadvantage for circumcision.
It read, "10 per cent of the nerve endings are cut during circumcision and your pleasure will be reduced too."
Most of my classmates said the only risk they were told of at the clinic before they were circumcised was pain that would last for a few days; otherwise they told them all the good reasons why they should be circumcised.
There was a heated debate because our teacher did not believe me. I told them that I got this information from the internet and then asked my aunt, who works with issues of sexual reproductive health rights, and she confirmed that yes, it is a fact that the nerve-endings are cut in circumcision and that has an effect on the pleasure, as those nerves contribute to pleasure.
It became clear that those campaigning for circumcision are pushing their agenda without giving us all the information.
I am not circumcised yet but I want to be, although now I am scared because there might be other risks that are not being publicised. We will only discover them as time goes on and there can be no reversal.
I plead with those who are campaigning for circumcision to tell us both the advantages and disadvantages. It is our right to know about these things before we make a decision.
I have exercised my right to know in celebrating International Right To Know Day by writing this article and sharing information.
Concerned Swazi Boy
HAS SWAZI KING BEEN CIRCUMCISED?