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Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

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Genital modification no longer considered a taboo

Body modification began as an archaic art, but in today’s society, it may not be considered a taboo anymore.

Body modification has been seen since the beginning of history. Many tribes of the past had traditions that included tattooing, skin stretching, piercing, scarification and self-mutilation—procedures that did not exclude the genital area.

Today, the practices are still used.People tend to modify their genitals for many reasons, including sexual reassignment, medical necessity, cultural tradition, health-related issues or for aesthetic purposes.

“I don’t think that there really is a difference between people who get the regular plastic surgeries and those who decide to have genital alterations,” Jorge Hurtado, freshman engineering major said. “None feel comfortable with a specific aspect of their body, it doesn’t matter if it’s focused on their genitals or not. To me, it’s the same principle.”  Taboo surgeries and practices, from genital piercing and tattooing to genital bisection—where the penis is split in half— are actually undertaken for different purposes, such as adding sexual pleasure to an individual and their partner, for ethnic tradition and aesthetic appeal.

“I don’t think that there is anything wrong with it. Although, I do believe that the peer pressure of our surroundings is a weighty factor that has great impact on people who get theses surgeries,” Hurtado said.

Clitoris and penis enlargement and vaginal rejuvenation are a few of the many genital modifications practiced by people today to heighten the level of comfort with their own bodies and the pleasure during intimacy with their partners during sex.

These surgeries and modifications, however, have proven to be risky. Genital piercings, just as piercings in any other part of the body, carry the risk of infection. Although most men get their penises pierced with the purpose of increasing sexual pleasure, nerve damage can occur in the area, causing discomfort and swelling. The same risks occur with tattooing.

Surgeries like labiaplasty are less controversial and more common today than in past centuries, especially in the modern western world, where they have become a popular topic.

Although people are more comfortable with the sexual aspects of their lives, because of social media and the sexual liberties of the contemporary world, , they are also prone to lowered self-confidence when it comes to their bodies.

The exposure to pornography has also had an  impact on how people face the daily issue of body image, since the focus is fixated on their sexuality.

“I have heard a lot about this topic recently, especially about the surgery women get on the internal labia, you know, because bodies tend to change over time,” Karla Sofia Perez, freshman general studies major said. “I am guessing they do it to feel more comfortable about themselves and to be happy with their own bodies.”

When it comes to men, getting a circumcision may not be a personal choice. Most boys who are circumcised have the procedure done at a very young age. Many people and groups, such as Jews Against Circumcision, believe the surgery of circumcision to be a barbaric practice.  It has said  that circumcised penises loose sensitivity over time.

“I feel that circumcision is mostly a sanitary myth and that it is not realistic at all,” Perez said.“Hygiene in that area really depends on the individual, but if anyone wants to get it done, it’s their choice.”

Opinions are varied on the matter and individuals who decide to get their bodies modified, either from necessity, sexual pleasure or for issues of confidence, all have many things to consider before taking the final step, making sure to assess the risks and benefits of all genital modifications.

Jesus Lopez may be reached at [email protected].

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Genital modification no longer considered a taboo