Assorted Writings

"If we have been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth... It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we've been taken." --Carl Sagan

To easily find relevant information, you may want to use the page search function (Press Ctrl F in most browsers). 

For easier linking, clicking any title will take you to that piece's own page. For easier browsing, each piece is also included on this page. Please feel free to link to or repost anywhere(forum, blog, your own site etc) any of the writings listed on this page. I only ask that if you repost a piece, that you include the original author's name if given. 

     Protecting Our Sons[with wife]

     Considering Consensual(ie Adult) Circumcision?
     Humanist Perspective on Neonatal Circumcision

Satire & Poetry

     Involuntary Ritual Amputation Among the Nacirema People
     Routine Mastectomies Improve Women's Health
     Interview with Dr. Quack
     The Best Method of Circumcision



Selling Circumcision in America

By David Chamberlain Ph.D

Circumcision originated at least 6,000 years ago as a tribal and religious identity symbol in African and Semitic cultures. The ballooning of the practice in 20th century America, however, was the work of pediatricians and obstetricians who gave it new status as a "medical" procedure. Circumcision received a big lift from a nationally prominent physician, John Harvey Kellogg of Battle Creek, Michigan (later a founder of the famous cereal company) who was obsessed with the evils of sex in general and masturbation in particular; he saw the painful ritual of circumcision as a discouragement. Kellogg's book, Plain Facts for Old and Young (1877) urged parents to have their boys circumcised without anesthesia--because the pain would have a "salutary effect upon the mind." Before long, the book was as common as his corn flakes in American homes.

Expressing a sharply opposing view, psychohistorian Lloyd DeMause (1991) finds circumcision one of the numerous acts of genital mutilation and violence perpetrated on infants and children in virtually every culture since the earliest times. Because it involves sexual mutilation in the family circle, DeMause claims it falls into the category of "incest" and should be seen as "an adult perversion." Other modern critics have labeled it a "betrayal of the innocent" and a "breech of trust" (Grimes, 1978; Janov, 1983). Anesthesiologist John Scanlon (1985) simply calls it "barbarism." Nevertheless, a century ago, under medical leadership, circum- cision swept through the male population.

Medical circumcision became a uniquely American phenomenon. About 80% of the world's population never adopted the practice: This includes most of Europe, and populous countries like Japan, China, and Russia. Researcher Edward Wallerstein (1995) refers to circumcision as an American medical "enigma." A urologist estimates that 90% of American males currently living were initiated into life in this violent way. Significantly, for men, circumcision is where sex and violence first meet. Swiss psychoanalyst Alice Miller (1983) sees in this kind of cruelty the roots of social violence. 

Leading the crusade for circumcision over a century ago, the physician P. C. Remondino (1891) called the prepuce "a malign influence causing all manner of ills, unfitting a man for marriage or business and likely to land him in jail or a lunatic asylum." According to him, "circumcision is like a substantial and well-secured life annuity; every year of life you draw the benefit....Parents cannot make a better investment for their little boys, as it assures them better health, greater capacity for labor, longer life, less nervousness, sickness, loss of time, and less doctor bills" (Cited in Speert 1953:165). Dr. Remondino claimed that circumcision would cure about a hundred ailments, among them asthma, alcoholism, enuresis, and rheumatism (Wallerstein 1985). People were afraid and gullible.

Another physician of the day (Clifford 1893) enumerated the alleged dangers of the intact foreskin. These included penile irritation, interference with urination, nocturnal incontinence, hernia or prolapse of the rectum (from a tight foreskin!), syphilis, cancer, hysteria, epilepsy, chorea, erotic stimulation, and masterbation. This was the flimsy basis for selling circumcision to America--although none of it turned out to be true. In modern times, dire warnings are still dressed in medical language pointing to the normal foreskin as the source of sexual diseases, cancer, urinary infections, and even AIDS. Yet circumcision neither causes nor cures any of these conditions. The medical compulsion to perform the operation--usually without anesthesia--continues this long legacy of pain as many physicians are still turning a deaf ear to rational arguments from within their own profession (e.g. Grimes, 1978; Wallerstein 1985; Winberg et al. 1989; and Ritter 1992). The American record is unique.

Meanwhile, as the trade flourishes, a humane trend is clearly visible in journal publications. Numerous articles have reported empirical measures of stress during circumcision, and compare procedures and anesthetics for pain (e.g., Kirya and Werthmann 1978; Yeoman, Cooke and Hain, 1983; Pelosi and Apuzzio, 1985; Masciello, 1990). In this professional literature, one can see a growing empathy for infants, full acceptance of their pain, serious doubts about performing circumcisions, and strong recommendations for anesthetics which effectively reduce pain (Williamson and Williamson 1983; Holve et al. 1983; Dixon et al. 1984; Stang et al. 1988; and Rabinowitz and Hulbert 1995). Perhaps this is a harbinger of what is to come, and a sign that the century of denial may be ending.

A mix of cultural forces blur the future. In exploring the extent of physician influence on parental choice for circumcision, one study showed that when the doctor was opposed to circumcision, the rate fell to 20%, but when he was in favor, the rate was 100% (Patel 1966). In contrast, when four pediatricians in Baltimore did an educational experiment with pregnant mothers (Herrera et al. 1982), they were surprised at the results. While half had been taught the medical "risks and benefits" of circumcision and half received no information, virtually all the mothers opted for circumcision. The doctors concluded that deep cultural and traditional issues were working against a change in attitude in their group. Surveys examining parental motives for requesting circumcision have revealed these forces at work.

Parents typically care about "appearances," yield to pressure from relatives to continue circumcising, and believe the propaganda about medical "benefits." They hold a variety of false notions that circumcision is mandated by hospitals, by public health law, or is required for admission into the Armed Forces (Patel 1966; Grimes 1978). And parents are not warned that their infants will endure severe pain and be robbed of a functional part of their sexual anatomy for life! In the United States, while circumcision has fallen below 60% it still touches the lives of over one million baby boys each year.


Mom, Baseball, Apple Pie and Circumcision

by Donald Morgan

The nonreligious circumcision (NRC) of American males is as American as mom, baseball, and apple pie. In fact, it is a uniquely American custom which is not duplicated in any other country in the world.

While the vast majority of American males are circumcised, the vast majority of the world's males are not. The practice here, for example, contrasts sharply with that of the Scandinavian countries where NRC is not, and never has been, routinely practiced and where it is estimated that less than 5% of all males are circumcised.

The current rate of NRC in the United States is now about 70%, down from its peak in the late 1960s when about 95% of all newborn males who were born in hospitals were circumcised. In some regions, notably the Midwest and the Northeast, the NRC rate remains at almost 90%. In others, notably California, it is considerably less. Still, NRC remains the norm in most areas of the country. This is especially true in the case of white, middle-class America.

Few Americans likely realize that NRC was originally promoted in this country in the last half of the 19th century in an attempt to curb masturbation and the countless ills and dire consequences that were thought to be associated with it. Here is one of the many examples which could be cited reflecting the then current wisdom regarding masturbation:

In all cases which male children are suffering nerve tension, confirmed derangement of the digestive organs, restlessness, irritability, and other disturbances of the nervous system, even to chorea, convulsions, and paralysis, or where through nerve waste the nutritive facilities of the general system are below par and structural diseases are occurring, circumcision should be considered as among the lines of treatment to be pursued. [Charles E. Fisher, M.D., A Handbook on the Diseases of Children ...., Chicago: Medical Century Co., 1895, p. 875]

In fact, there was hardly an illness or disease that could not be, and was not, attributed to masturbation. In addition to those previously mentioned, the list included insanity, blindness, epilepsy, convulsions, tuberculosis--you name it. Often, a drastic circumcision performed without anaesthesia was the preferred "treatment."

Dr. Kellogg, founder of the corn flake company bearing his name, had this to say:

A remedy for masturbation which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision.... The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering anaesthetic, as the pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment. [John Harvey Kellogg, M.D., Plain Facts for Young and Old, Burlington, Iowa: F. Segner & Co., 1888, p. 295]

It began to be noticed, of course, that circumcision did not always prevent or cure masturbation and that masturbation did not cause the numerous illnesses and dire consequences that had been attributed to it.

Other medical justification was then found for continuing the practice of NRC. It was alleged, for example, that it made personal hygiene easier, precluded the need for circumcision at a later age, prevented cancer of the penis, lowered the risk of cervical cancer in one's partners, lowered the risk of prostate cancer, lowered the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), etc. The latest alleged benefits are a reduction in urinary tract infections (UTIs) in infant boys and HIV infections in adult men.

The list of alleged benefits has grown so long that the mere presence of a foreskin would seem to be a major health hazard--a ticking time bomb about to destroy its owner and any female that might be unfortunate enough to come into contact with him.

Because of this, it has not always been easy for an intact male to remain that way. Circumcision was and is often recommended by well-meaning physicians, certain that they are doing their patients a favor.

Beginning in the 1970s, the prevailing medical wisdom regarding circumcision began to be questioned on a number of fronts. Many of the alleged medical benefits proved to be completely bogus. Most of the others turned out to be so negligible as to be offset by the disadvantages and risks.

In 1971, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) announced its position that the routine circumcision of newborn males is medically unwarranted. This position was slightly modified in 1989 to reflect the fact that there are potential benefits as well as inherent risks, although the previously stated position that the routine circumcision of newborn males is medically unwarranted remained unchanged.

Nevertheless, the practice of routine NRC was so firmly entrenched in American culture that the AAP's position had only a small impact on NRC rates. Many Americans continued to believe that there were significant health benefits. In addition, new justification based on psychological and cultural considerations was offered and is often used today in support of the continued practice of NRC.

Many parents, for example, feel that it is important for a son to match dad, brothers, cousins, and/or peers. They fear that a boy may be teased and/or feel "different" if he is not circumcised. Many feel that it is simply more "aesthetic" to be circumcised.

Many parents are also convinced that--even if there are no good reasons in favor of NRC--there are certainly no good reasons not to do it. Parents and physicians alike tend to see circumcision as a trivial operation with few if any contraindications.

Unfortunately, most parents, and even many physicians, are unaware of either the frequency or seriousness of complications that are associated with circumcision.

A recent study states that the realistic complication rate is about 5%. Considering that more than 1,300,000 boys a year undergo this procedure in the U.S., this means that every year 65,000 will suffer some sort of complication, and some of those complications will be serious.

Circumcision complications and accidents do not often receive widespread publicity. Many times, nothing at all is reported in the media. For example, here in our own backyard just a few months ago, a La Conner infant (the son of the brother of a friend of the author's daughter) developed a severe infection as a complication of a "routine" circumcision on the fourth day of his life. This resulted in the loss of all the skin between the lower abdomen and upper thighs, inclusive.

This unfortunate child has already undergone several surgeries with many more to come. Extensive pig-skin grafting will be done. There is little chance that he will ever achieve normal sexual function.

This, by the way, is not the worst outcome that has been reported in the medical literature. Loss of a portion of or all of the penis--and even death--are not unheard of.

Though such unfortunate consequences are quite rare, the potential for harm as a consequence of circumcision cannot be easily dismissed.

Even when a circumcision is "normal," there is a loss involved. A recent study indicates that a typical circumcision removes tissue that not only plays an important part in the erogenous sensitivity of the male but is, in fact, more sensitive than that which is left.

The prepuce provides a large and important platform for several nerves and nerve endings.... The glans, by contrast, is insensitive to light touch, heat, cold, and, as far as the authors are aware, to pin prick. Le Gros Clark noted that the glans penis is one of the few areas on the body that enjoys nothing beyond primitive sensory modalities. [The Prepuce, Specialized Mucosa of the Penis, and Its Loss to Circumcision, British Journal of Urology, February 1996, pp 291-5]

Another consideration is the matter of pain. Although it was long believed that infants do not really feel pain, there are now a number of studies which prove otherwise.

Newborn infant responses to pain are similar to but greater than those in adult subjects. [Pain and its Effects in the Human Neonate and Fetus, New England Journal of Medicine, November 19, 1987, pp 1321-1329]

Many adults who have been present at a neonatal circumcision, typically performed without anaesthesia, have been so horrified at the obvious pain felt by the child that this alone has been enough to cause them to decide against NRC for their own son(s).

There are a number of reasons, however, that neonatal circumcisions are usually performed without anaesthesia. There are still a number of physicians who insist that infants do not feel pain. Worse, it has recently been determined that the injection of local anesthesia into free tissue can cause serious and permanent vascular and nerve damage. And general anaesthesia is simply too risky to use in the case of neonates.

In addition to all of these more obvious problems, there is also a human rights issue involved. Human rights activists feel strongly that every child has the right to an intact body. They believe that it is wrong for parents to seek, or physicians to engage in, genital surgery on children in the absence of a clear medical need. To remove normal, healthy, functional, erogenous tissue, from an infant or child who has not given informed consent is seen as a violation of the basic tenets of medical ethics.

In February 1995, the AAP Committee on Bioethics released a statement on informed consent. The Committee stated that medical interventions should only be undertaken in situations of clear and immediate medical necessity, such as disease, trauma, or deformity. The Committee suggested that nonessential treatments which could be deferred without substantial risk should be postponed until the individual's consent can be obtained.

The Committee's statement regarding unnecessary surgical procedures in the case of unconsenting minors seems to conflict with the AAP's position that routine, neonatal circumcision, though not medically justified, is a valid elective procedure that can be performed by its physician members in response to the simple, stated, aesthetic preference of parents.

The human rights issue in regard to circumcision will be thoroughly explored at the Fourth International Symposium on Sexual Mutilations which will be held in August, in Lausanne, Switzerland. The Ashley Montagu Resolution to End the Genital Mutilation of Children Worldwide will be presented. And, for the first time ever, the practice of routine circumcision in the United States will be specifically targeted.

Humanitarians everywhere decry female genital mutilation, and rightly so. It is time to do the same with regard to the practice of unnecessary genital surgery on infants and boys.

[This article was published in the June 1996 issue of Sound Views, monthly newsletter of the Humanists of North Puget Sound, La Conner, WA]


Onanism: Victorian America's Enemy

by Ornella Moscucci

Unease about masturbation began, as is well known, in the early eighteenth century, when a book appeared entitled Onania; or the Heinous Sin of Self-Pollution (1707-1717) appeared anonymously in Holland and met with great success. By the middle of the century Tissot's famous treatise, On Onania: or a Treatise upon the Disorders Produced by Masturbation (1760), had given a scientific veneer to the new anxiety about the "solitary vice." Drawing on ideas about the wastage of bodily energy, Tissot argued that physical illness resulted from loss of semen, leading to general debility, consumption, deterioration of eyesight, disturbance of the nervous system, and so on. From 1800 onwards, the evils of masturbation were widely discussed in medical and moralistic texts; although attitudes to the practice were not monolithic, much was made of its physically and mentally deterious effects (see Hall; Hare; Engelhardt; Comfort). In essence, masturbation was less a vice than an antisocial activity, an egotistic enjoyment of pleasures that were the proper domain of heterosexual intercourse. (Lacqueur, Making Sex 227-30). Polluting and debilitating for the individual, it had a destabilizing effect on society, as it prevented healthy sexual desire from fulfilling socially desirable ends--marriage and procreation, which was the foundation of the social order.

Belief in the horrors of masturbation was shared by doctors and patients. As Lesley Hall has shown for the later period (the 1920s), a large component of men's "hidden anxieties" related to the sense of disgust and self-loathing induced by masturbation: "folly," "mistake," "disease," were the words employed by men writing to Marie Stopes, the birth control pioneer, when they described their "addiction" to the pernicious habit of self-abuse. Such fears were easily exploited by a variety of groups with interests ranging from the religious to the commercial. Quacks were particularly active in the "treatment" of masturbation: posters, leaflets, handbills, and "anatomical museums" illustrating the dreadful consequences of onanism were widely used as marketing strategies, much to the concern of the medical profession, which was anxious to establish its own claims to the treatment of masturbation. In a letter to Lancet for 1857, for example, an anonymous doctor railed against the "spermatorrhoea imposture" that lay behind the peddling of contraptions such as the "American remedy" recommended as an infallible cure for masturbation. Retailing at two guineas apiece, the device consisted of a metal ring "with a screw passing through one of its sides, and projecting, into the center," which was to be applied to the part affected" at bed-time ("M.D.").

Doctors on the whole favored less heroic means of stopping the habit. Strengthening the sufferer's moral and physical tone was the first line of defense; adjuvants included the avoidance of sexually arousing amusements, and temptations such as lolling in bed in the morning. Sometimes sexual intercourse was prescribed (with prostitutes if necessary) in order to redirect desire toward more constructive heterosexual ends (see, e.g., Cantlie, "Spermatorrhoea," "Masturbation", Copeland; "Quack advertisements" 124-26;159-60; 224-25). Occasionally, however, the severity of the case required a more robust approach. The application of caustics to the urethra was recommended in the mid-Victorian period in order to remedy the consequences of chronic masturbation, such as spermatorrhoea and impotence; vasectomy and castration were also practiced, although such radical therapies appear to have been more popular in the United States than in England. In 1870, the use of blisters was recommended by Lancet as a means of "keeping up slight soreness of the body of the organ...sufficient to render erection painful" ("Quack advertisements" 224).

Interest in circumcision as a treatment for masturbation began to emerge in the 1850s. As the medical discourse on sexual hygiene gathered momentum, attention was focused on uncleanliness as a cause of masturbatory activity. The English physician James Copland, one of the first to advocate circumcision in the Anglo-Saxon world, claimed that masturbation was essentially an attempt to relieve, by friction, the "local irritations" caused by smegmatic accumulations under the prepuce. He recommended circumcision as a means of maintaining genital cleanliness, adding that the great physical resilience of the Jewish people was due to the observance of this "salutary rite" (III, 442; 445). By the end of the nineteenth century, the medical pleas for circumcision had become more insistent. The American physician Remondino, author of the best selling History of Circumcision, pitied the "unlucky and unhappy wearer of a prepuce": this "tight-constricted, glans-deforming, onanism-producing, cancer-generating" appendage, he claimed was an "unknown, undiscovered, and therefore unexplored region for some thousands of years," until the medical profession, venturing at last into this "Darkest Africa," had revealed the malign influence it exercised on its unwary victims (255-56) Parents could not make a "better paying investment" for their sons than circumcision: it was like a "substantial and well secured life-annuity," making for greater capacity for labor, a longer life, less nervousness, and fewer doctors' bills (186).

Physicians such as Remondino had little difficulty in persuading their middle-class readers, who already appreciated the importance of hygiene and moral restraint: it was the observance of regular habits that ostensibly set the middle classes apart from the debauched aristocracy and the degenerate working classes, legitimating middle class claims to cultural hegemony. By the early twentieth century, circumcision had become common among the upper and professional classes in Britain and America. In the 1930s, the earliest period for which statistics are available, two-thirds of public-school boys were circumcised as compared to one-tenth of working class boys; the British royal family employed a Jewish mohel for the purpose as late as the end of 1948. By virtue of its association with filth and sexual excess, the prepuce had become a marker of inferior social status: already by the end of the 1890s an equation was being made in America between being "uncircumcised" and being "uncivilized."

As Ronald Hyam has noted, circumcision was central to the late-Victorian re-definition of manliness in terms of sexual restraint and "cleanness." As the purity campaign gathered momentum in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the meaning of manliness shifted from the ideals of moral strenuousness and integrity to a cult of athleticism and robust virility. The offensive on male lust and the double standard of sexual morality presented masculinity as a never-ending battle requiring watchfulness and supervision: muscular Christianity was the goal, attainable through strict mental and physical discipline. Widely believed to dampen sexual desire, circumcision was seen positively as a means of promoting both the chastity and the physical health of the custodians of the empire ("Hygienic value," 271).

The emphasis on sexual hygiene no doubt explains why a Jewish ritual like circumcision was adopted by the British ruling elite, notwithstanding the antisemitism of much Victorian culture: at a time of profound concern about the physical decline of British manhood, the resilience of the Jews in the face of adversity and persecution was held up as proof that sexual hygiene was the mainspring of a nations vigor. While George Eliot's Daniel Deronda (1876) opposed the sustaining values of Jewish culture to the shallow conventions of contemporary Victorian society, doctors and politicians noted with envy the longevity and sturdiness of the Jews, testifying to the rarity of venereal disease, tuberculosis, and cancer of the penis in Jewish communities, as well as to the low levels of infant mortality, illegitimacy, and criminality. Over and over again, commentators attributed the physical and moral superiority of the Jews to the religious rituals and prescriptions observed in their culture (Remondino 161-82). In an influential article published in the Contemporary Review for 1903, Major General Sir Frederick Maurice, one the chief contributors to the turn-of-the-century physical deterioration debate, singled out childrearing practices as a factor contributing to the health and longevity of the Jews; although he did not recommend "stereotyped copying" of the Jews, he conceded that the rest of the nation had much to learn from them (Davin 16). The fact that circumcision had biblical sanction probably facilitated the spread of the practice in Christian Britain and America. The language of purity mobilized religious discourse, emphasizing the intimate connection between physical and moral health: circumcision showed that the divine law had scientific validation (Mort 109-12).


Cantlie, James. "Spermatorrhaea" A Dictionary of Medicine: Including General Pathology, General Therapeutics, Hygiene, and the Diseases Peculiar to Women and Children. Ed. R. Quain. 2 vols. London: Longmans, Green, 1882, II:144-50.
Comfort, Alex. The Anxiety Makers: Some Curious Preoccupations of the Medical Profession. London: Nelson, 1967.
Copland, James, "Pollutions," A Dictionary of Practical Medicine. 3 vols. London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans and Roberts, 1858. III: 441-48.
Davin, Anne. "Imperialism and motherhood." History Workshop 5 (1978):9-66.
Englehardt, Tristam. "The Disease of Masturbation: Values and the Concept of Disease." Bulletin of the History of Medicine 48 (1974):234-248.
Hall, Lesley A. "Forbidden by God, Despised by Men: Masturbation, Medical Warnings, Moral Panic and Manhood in Great Britain, 1850-1950." Forbidden History: The State, Society, and the Regulation of Sexuality in Modern Europe. Ed. J. C. Font. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1992, 293-316.
Hare, E.H. "Masturbatory Insanity: The History of an Idea." The Journal of Mental Science 108 (1962).
Hyam, Ronald. Empire and Sexuality: The British Experience. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1992, 293-316.
Laqueur, Thomas. Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1990.
"M.D." "The Spermatorrhoea Imposture." Lancet 1 (1867): 25.
Mort, Frank. Dangerous Sexualities: Medico-Moral Politics in England Since 1830. London and New York: Routledge, 1987.
"Quack advertisements." Lancet 2 (1870): 72; 89-90; 124-26; 159-60; 224-25.
Remondino, P.C. History of Circumcision from the Earliest Times to the Present. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis, 1900.


Ornella Moscucci took her first degree in sociology at Bristol University and received a Ph.D on the history of British gynecology from the University of Oxford. Between 1987 and 1989 she worked on the history of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and subsequently held a post as Research Fellow at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine in London. Her research has focused on the history of gender, and on the development of obstetrics and gynecology since 1800. Dr. Moscucci is the author of The Science of Woman: Gynaecology and Gender in England, 1800-1929, and of "Hermaphroditism and Sex Difference: The Construction of Gender in Victorian England" in Benjamin, Science and Sensibility.


Moscucci O. Clitoridectomy, Circumcision, and the Politics of Sexual Pleasure. In: Eds: Andrew H. Miller and James Eli Adams. Sexualities in Victorian Britain. Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis 1996: 63-65 (ISBN 0-253-33066-1).



Female Circumcision

America's Forgotten History of Female Circumcision

In the USA, while involuntary female circumcision never became routine like involuntary male circumcision became, it was promoted and done by some of the same doctors who were doing it to boys.

Clitoridectomy: Nineteenth Century Answer for Masturbation

The following six excerpt quotes are from actual American medical journals:

"...that the girl who becomes irritable, disagreeable and hysterical may become charming, interesting and possessed of all feminine graces when her prepuce[clitoral hood] is forcibly peeled away from the glans of the clitoris, and we have made a distinct step forward in civilization..." [Is evolution trying to do away with the clitoris? Transactions of the American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Vol. 5, 1892, pp. 288-302]

“I for one have circumcised as many girls as boys, and always with happy results.” [Circumcision of Girls. Journal of Orificial Surgery, Vol. 7, July 1898, pp. 31-33]

"Many neuroses and even psychoses have their origin in pathological conditions of the hood of the clitoris." [Circumcision in the Female: Its Necessity and How to Perform It. American Journal of Clinical Medicine, Vol. 22, No. 6, June 1915, pp. 520-523]

"Circumcision will relieve one of the greatest causes of masturbation" [Why not circumcise the girl as well as the boy? Texas State Journal of Medicine, Vol. 14, May 1918, pp. 17-19]

"The same reasons that apply for the circumcision of males are generally valid when considered for the female." [Circumcision of the Female. General Practioner, Vol. 18 No. 3, September 1958, pp. 98-99]

"If the husband is unusually awkward or difficult to educate, one should at times make the clitoris easier to find[by amputating the clitoral hood]." [Female Circumcision: Indications and a New Technique General Practioner, Vol. 20, No. 3, September 1959, pp. 115-120]


Here are three personal experiences:

Where is my clitoral hood? 

”The other day I had one of many debates that I have with a particular man in my life. This debate is on how he tried to defend his newborn circumcision and his reasons why all boys should be circumcised. His final argument when he realized none of the standard careworn and overused ones were working?

 "You are a woman without a penis so you really have no right to weigh in on this circumcision debate anyway."

It was then that I knew it was time to step forward and to stop hiding. I am thirty years old. I am white, not Middle Eastern or from Sudan or Malaysia or of the Muslim faith. My father is Irish Catholic. My mother is a Jewish woman who converted to Catholicism when she married my father. Both of my brothers are circumcised and my mother is adamant in her defense of their circumcision.

I step out of the shower and I stand in front of the mirror and I look like your average European American, pale skin, red hair, green eyes. I am not your average woman though.

 I am circumcised.

I am a white American, non-Muslim woman who was circumcised as a toddler by the same pediatrician that circumcised my brothers and at the same hospital at which I was born. I have no clitoral hood and only a V shaped scar and the tiniest bit of inner labia they were kind enough to leave behind. I always knew something was different. I have a half sister seven years my senior and she had a normal looking vagina. Mine always looked wrong to me but I never said anything because after all, every woman is unique and different.

I also have this vague and disturbing memory from when I was two and the most uncomfortable sexual feeling even at a young age around male doctors. When I married young to my now ex-husband on our honeymoon he said, "I have never seen a vagina like yours! It is amazingly perfect, too perfect, like something is missing." That too perfect vagina was most certainly missing something, and would cause me serious sexual issues that I chalked up to a sexual assault at the age of eighteen. If only I had know that it had been assaulted by a knife long before that perhaps I could have come to terms much sooner.

It was only as I was nearing my late twenties, had been divorced and had other sexual partners all of which commented in some way or another on the difference of my vagina, that I had an uncontrollable urge to dig deeper. Then at a well woman check up with my now favorite Ob/Gyn he told me or rather asked me why I was a circumcised female. He felt awful when he realized that I did not know and he had assumed I had consented to vaginal cosmetic surgery. As an aside I am happy to report that because of my experience and continued dialogue with him he is now against MGM (Male Genital Mutilation) a practice he used to support. 

After months of demanding, digging, and putting my foot down I obtained the records from my birth that told me nothing but did lead me to my childhood pediatrician. Those records revealed the ghastly truth of a two-year-old girl circumcised at her mother's request. In sadness I confronted my mother and was adamantly told that she had always done what was best for her children and had no regrets but did not want to speak of it.

I made an appointment to speak to the now retired physician only to have him move away before I could speak with him. I am still searching for him. I know he was an old friend of my parents who also did my brothers' bris. Surely he will know why my mother would request such a thing for her daughter. My father remains largely silent on the issue. "You know your mother," is the only answer I receive from him.

When my son was born I was young, I had familial and societal pressure. But I did NOT allow him to be assaulted with a knife . As a mother all that was in me cried out to truly research and know that genital mutilation is not okay. And now I know that not only as a mother but also as a survivor of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) every instinct told me not to allow him to be cut.

I will speak out against MGM because just like those innocent baby boys my prepuce has been removed. Can I orgasm? Yes I can. Within about sixty seconds of sexual contact I orgasm. Sounds good right? WRONG. After I orgasm I experience oversensitive raw pain for the duration of the sexual contact. There is no hood to protect my clitoris. I may very well be the only woman out there who is looking for a partner who is a "one minute wonder" to spend the rest of my life with. Even now, years later, clothing, undergarments, contact... all of these irritate my overexposed clitoris. I also have to deal with the fact that if I choose to have a new sexual partner I will deal with the inevitable comments and questions which leave me feeling unattractive and just plain wrong down there.

So I say: I DO have a right to speak out against MGM and I will continue to do so. I know the continued frustration and all that is missing due to being circumcised and no baby, boy or girl, should ever have to live with this choice being forced upon him or her.”

~V. Burns


Healing the Trauma of American Female Genital Mutilation

I am a white, anglo-saxon, protestant woman who was circumcised in the USA in the 1950’s. Some women advocate routine infant circumcision for males while decrying FGM in Africa. I cannot advocate cutting anyone, ever, for any reason.

What follows is my story. Thank you for reading it with an open heart.

As far as I can tell, I have scars on my labia set at 90 degree angles where flesh obviously met metal, and a “V”-shaped scar where a clitoris used to be. An expert on female genital anatomy told me I was also missing my clitoral hood.

My parents are both dead so I can’t ask them for details, but I have pieced events together and it seems to make sense that I was cut in two stages: the labia when I was one year old, and the clitoris and hood when I was six. I didn’t find out about it until I was over 50 years of age, so I lived in a bit of hell for many, many years.

My early photos show that I was the happiest of children — until I was in the first grade (see the photos on my website). Then a cloud came over me and after that time photos were full of anger, resentment and rejection. I lived that way for decades. I wanted to be dead. I rejected everyone and everything. I ran away or pushed away everyone who tried to love me… and I had no idea why. I was miserable and thought it was “normal”. I couldn’t understand how people could be happy and love each other. I had few friends. Although I usually had a boyfriend, I was always was exceedingly lonely. I am grateful that I did not turn to alcohol or drugs. A brush I’d had with an angelic voice when I was a little girl let me know suicide was not an option. Eventually, I learned all I could about healing. But nothing seemed to help me out of my own empty anger and grief.

No one could understand me, including myself. And then — a miracle! — I was wondering why most “men” were so different from most women and I realized that most of the men in the United States had been traumatized, when they were just babies, by circumcision. How cruel!. I was shocked, appalled, aghast. Due to my crisis counseling work, I knew that such a terrifying event could ruin an entire life. I felt quite safe around the people I met who were clear about not cutting children and I began to work with them to prevent circumcision. After I’d been involved for a couple of years, through a series of interesting “coincidences,” I discovered that I too had been circumcised. I had lost my clitoris, clitoral hood and labia. All of a sudden, my life made perfect sense. Knowing that I had been traumatized made sense of my feelings and behavior. A year or so ago, I met a wonderful therapist who was safe enough that I could allow myself to think about my childhood and piece together the memories. Healing the trauma came fairly quickly after that. After 50 miserable years, my little black cloud evaporated. I look in the mirror now and I see the happy smile I’d lost at age six. I am happy, at last, to be alive.

I found that I was always good at handling emergencies, so I specialized in dealing with people in trauma… at a crisis center and in private practice as a hypnotherapisst. This gave me a good background for dealing with my own situation when I discovered I’d been mutilated.

My entire life was hell before I found out I’d been cut, so when I found out, a lot of bad old feelings actually went away.. So I am hoping that healing can begin for many of my sisters and brothers who are still unaware that they were traumatized as children. Until they know the horror of it, and until they release the fear and terror around it, they might just be wondering why they kick the dog, throw the cat against the wall, yell at the wife, beat the kids, hate the boss, and frantically accumulate wealth to the detriment of their own integrity.

I hope this blog and my book will plant seeds of hope for your healng and/or compassion for the overwhelming number of people—both men and women—who have had this awful thing happen to them.

I am hoping to find out, by way of a book I wrote (and this blog), how many American women in the United States have been subjected to female genital mutilation. I suspect there are far more than we would ever imagine. I hope, if you were cut, you will get in touch with me. I am sorry it happened to you, and we can support each other in the process of healing the mental, emotional, and spiritual wounds… maybe we can ever figure out, like men have, how to restore our bodies to their original function.

If you would like, you can read more about my book here: I hope you will enjoy it and it will be of value to you.


Missing Pieces of Myself

I am a 57 year old, white, Canadian, Anglo-Saxon woman of Irish/English decent, non-religious but deeply spiritual. My story is still in the rough stages. It has only been a matter of weeks since I became aware that I am missing a couple of genital “pieces”. The new awareness has certainly answered many questions for me, and explained a lot about who I am. I was flipping through a book when I came across a picture of two fingers holding onto a clitoris. Impossible! They were describing the head of the clitoris as a wee button. No way! I got out a mirror and studied myself ever so carefully. I have done self explorations before, and pictures in books never looked like me. My conclusion was always that there was something wrong with the pictures! Not this time. I got onto the web, and studied as many pictures as I could find. I couldn’t find one that looked like me. I called my youngest sister. She was adamant that there was a tangible something in the clitoral region, known as the clitoris. You could touch it. It felt good to touch. Interesting. I called a childhood friend with whom I still talk regularly. She agreed with my sister. I called my other sister—two years younger. She would have nothing to do with any self-exploration, she wasn’t interested, sex had always been painful, could we change the subject, please. I have reason to believe she too endured a “cut.”

Anyway, further research on the net turned up a procedure called a clitoridectomy.From my research I determined that this procedure was quite common in the 1800’s, less common in the early 1900’s, yet still being conducted in North America into the mid-fifties, was covered by Blue Cross until mid ’70’s, and not completely banned in the U.S. until 1996. Although the tone of this paragraph sounds all whitewashed and devoid of emotion, my whole being was coming apart as I dredged up this data.

I was beginning to open the door to a truth which I had somehow managed to bury just under the surface of my consciousness. Flashbacks began. I remembered, as a child of 3 or 4, having “something” I could hold on to down there. Being of insatiable curiosity, I questioned my mother about it—as I did for just about everything that entered my line of vision. She was a staunch Roman Catholic of the extreme variety, hung up on sex and particularly masturbation. Somehow she managed to turn my question around to understand that somehow I was upset, disturbed and did not want this thing I was giving my attention to. She could make me “nice and pretty” and in this manner she solicited my agreement. I recall nothing of the actual procedure, but I have had flashbacks of events after the procedure. I recall sitting on the toilet seat and my mother tending the area, and telling me I was “nice and pretty” now. The “tending” happened over numerous occasions.

At the point I was having the above flashbacks, there was still a place in me which wanted to believe I was making all of this up. However, I had another friend who I had shared my concerns with. She had been sexually abused, and as part of her healing process, she had attended a women’s workshop, where they did shared self-exploration as part of getting to know and love their bodies. So she had seen many clitoris’s and felt that perhaps mine was simply small enough that somehow I just couldn’t find it. We arranged a show and tell. She couldn’t find it either! It seems that the “head” of the clitoris is missing. The rest is still in place. She noticed something else. Part of the clitoral hood was missing! There is no scar tissue, no discolouration …nice and pretty!

That same night, as I was in the place between waking and sleeping, I experienced the most intense pain in the genital area. I could actually feel the places …which are not there! Because this experience was not a fleeting thing, taking nearly a half hour to subside, it left no question that my suspicions were true. I had yet another flashback about trying to tell my mother how much it hurt, and how it hurt to pee. It hurt for the longest time. I remembered confusion, connected to pain, connected to my mother. My mother always used corporal punishment to discipline us and she began her disciplining as soon as we could crawl. I associated pain and my mother with being a bad girl. I believe I spent the rest of her life trying desperately to please her, so that I would never endure this pain again. Then I married her clone and spent 31 years of marriage following the same pattern. Now that the pain has resurfaced, it feels like it has always been there. Anytime I want to direct my attention to that area I can feel the places …which are not there! When I am very tired the pain returns like a nagging headache. I am amazed at the degree of denial I had to exert in order to block the pain and the memory.

Something I do remember vividly is that when I reached puberty, my mother took me to the doctor without any notice or explanation where I was subjected to a visual genital exam. There I was at 12 or 13 years of age, on the examining table, fully displayed for the doctor and my mother. who were at the end of the table, discussing and pointing at my genitals. This was so totally unexpected, I was so embarrassed and humiliated, that all I could hear of their conversation was Charlie Brown’s Blah! Blah! Blah! As we were leaving the doctor’s office I asked her why I had the examination, and she told me it was “none of my business!” I can only conclude that for whatever reason related to puberty there was a need to check up on their handiwork.

I have always been a deep thinker with an insatiable curiosity. So I have noticed a number of things about myself which I could attribute to this early childhood trauma. For instance, I have always noticed myself not being fully present in the moment. Whenever the going gets rough, I get going, right into some sort of comatose-like, dissociative state where I am not fully present, not fully alive. Could this be a learned behaviour from a childhood trauma?

Although I am 57 years old, there is a little girl in me who has never grown up, who is “unsure” of herself, who is easily frightened, who second guesses absolutely everything I do and say. I have done enough personal growth work that I can actually “feel” her. She is ever longing for parental love and approval. So sensitive, always needing reassurance. Years ago, a mentor once said to me how she gave me credit for all my accomplishments, but was very aware of a part of me which was still so childlike. She asked if I could explain it. I knew what she was talking about, but pretended I didn’t because I couldn’t explain it and was embarrassed by it. Can I explain it now? Is it arrested development as a result of childhood trauma? Will I be able to get a handle on it now? It has definitely stood between me and fully coming into my own as an adult.

And sexually speaking? Sometimes one will never know, what one never knew. I wasn’t a tomboy, but I didn’t go through the girly-girly phase either. I had no longing to dress up, make up and strut my stuff. I didn’t understand flirting. I didn’t understand the chemistry thing that happens between teens when their hormones are raging. My ex-husband picked me out of a group of girls I was with, and decided that very night that I would be his wife. I was flattered beyond words that some guy would actually pin point me in this way. I was 21, and there had only been one casual boyfriend in my entire young life. I was in love with love, and we were married a year later. In my limited opinion, he was a highly sexual man. The little girl in me wanted to be everything he wanted me to be. Perhaps that is where the real problem was! Psychologically perhaps, I just never grew up enough to be a sexually mature woman. Like I said, perhaps I will never know, what I never knew.


Here are some videos giving an overview and three personal experiences:


Female Genital Mutilation and Human Rights

By: Lisa Donaldson

Genital mutilation, both male and female, has been present in society since ancient times. Today it is present throughout the world, with some forms being readily accepted into educated western societies. While cases of female genital mutilation spark public outcries, it is interesting to note that male circumcision does not, despite involving hurting innocent minors, having negative repercussions on the child and, in most cases, providing no medical benefits. In fact there are very few cases where genital mutilation is performed for medical reasons, which contradicts the doctors oath, thus making doctors who perform circumcisions and the like, hypocrites. This, and the fact that it directly contradicts parts of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, is the basis of many people’s protests about the practice.

Mutilation is defined as being “Disfigurement or injury by removal or destruction of any conspicuous or essential part of the body” (Stedman’s Medical Dictionary, 26th Edition, 1995). This definition includes male circumcision, as many practitioners believe the foreskin is an essential part of the male genitalia. Medical science has recently rediscovered that the prepuce is the principal location of erogenous sensation in the human male and that removal of this prepuce substantially reduces the sensitivity of the area (History of Circumcision, page 1). Only in rare occurrences where the foreskin does not naturally retract is circumcision a medically based surgical procedure (Price, 1996).

Some side effects of circumcision include intense pain, death due to haemorrhaging or infection and loss of sexual pleasure. The pain experienced by babies during circumcision has been described as among the most painful procedures performed in neonatal medicine and of a level which would not be tolerated by older patients. There have been more fatalities linked to circumcision than there have been for penile cancer, which it was once believed that circumcision cured (Price, 1996).

In the case of female genital mutilation, there is no evidence to suggest it might be medically beneficial in any way, and can cause serious medical problems and even death due to complications directly resulting from the procedure (Abdallah, 1982; Dareer, 1982).

The possible side effects of female genital mutilation are numerous. They include urine retention, haemorrhaging, infection, pain, menstrual complications, infertility, loss of sexual pleasure or inability to perform sexual intercourse, death and psychological disturbances. In some cases, babies have been seriously harmed during prolonged labour, due to circumcision, resulting in brain damage or death of the child (Abdallah, 1982).

Genital mutilation is usually performed as either a religious ritual or to gain acceptance within the society. While the UN Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the freedom to practice their religion, many people object when the rituals involved in practicing a religion involve hurting another human being, especially a minor.

Mere assertion that ritual circumcision is seen as a religious duty is equally valueless in discharging the burden of proof: it may provide a reason but it does not provide a justification, or in other words it may explain but does not excuse. Price, 1996, page 4

While everyone has the freedom to practice their religion, in the case of doctors and members of society (ie midwives etc) performing genital mutilation on children, several rights as listed in the UN Declaration of Human Rights are denied. One example is Article 5, which states that “No one shall be subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” (United Nations, 1998). These are also rights, which are broken according to the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. In fact, part 2 of Article 2 states that “States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child’s parents, or family members.” Not only that, but it also contradicts another body of international law and standards:

Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Bearing in mind that the practice of genital mutilation breaks at least three international documents listing the rights of every human being, one is forced to ask why medical practitioners still perform male circumcisions. By doing so, they risk labelling themselves as hypocrites for going against one of the fundamental elements of their oath, which they take before becoming doctors. Price quoted it in his research paper on circumcision and renamed it the Hippocratic Oath:

The regimen I adopt shall be for the benefit of my patients according to my ability and judgement, and not for their hurt or for any wrong…. Whatsoever house I enter, there will I go for the benefit of the sick, refraining from all wrongdoing or corruption.

This was labelled as hippocratic as circumcision is not a medically beneficial procedure in most cases.

One also has to wonder why so little action is being taken on this matter throughout the world, and why the practice has remained so widespread. In America 60% of newborn males in 1996 were circumcised and 10% in Australia (History of Circumcision, page 3). Female circumcision rates are well above 70% in some African countries, including Sudan (Dareer, 1982).

While laws may have been passed preventing circumcision and female genital mutilation in some areas, inadequate law enforcement has rendered the legislation irrelevant and useless (Dareer, 1982). Clearly this is an issue which needs to be globally addressed and enforced in order to protect our children.

With the facts stated here, it is my belief that genital mutilation, both male and female, is very much and issue which again needs to be addressed on a global scale, as it was in 1989 with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Every day this issue goes unaddressed more children are violated and scarred for the rest of their lives, and their rights, as set out in the United Nation Declaration of Human Rights and Convention on the Rights of the Children are violated. It is also my belief that circumcision should be a procedure performed for medical reasons only, unless the person undergoing the operation is legally old enough to decide for himself. It then releases doctors from performing a procedure that goes against their ethics, thus freeing them from the stigma of being labelled hypocrites. Genital mutilation is a matter for global consideration as it is a global problem.


Abdallah R. H. D., 1982, Sisters in Affliction, Zed Press, London

Dareer A., 1982, Woman, Why Do You Weep, Zed Press, London

Female Genital Mutilation Network, 1999, The Basics

Forward USA, 1999, Female Genital Mutilation
History of Circumcision 
Price C., 1996, Male Circumcision: A Legal Affront [Online, accessed 9 Nov 1999]

Shanahan J., 1997, Australian Circumcision Rates

UNICEF and the Medicalization of Female Genital Mutilation, 1999

United Nations, 1998, Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Our Own Cultural Myopia?

By Harriet Washington

When Fauziya Kasinga, 19, of Togo sought U.S. asylum to escape female circumcision, it was impossible not to sympathize with her plight. No one should live in fear of having parts of her genitals sliced off against her will. Yet I was uncomfortable with the ethnocentric tone of those who criticized female circumcision in Africa as "a twisted entry into adulthood." They seemed to forget that nearly 60 percent of the newborn boys in the United States undergo a similar ritual.

K. Anthony Appiah, professor of African-American Studies and philosophy at Harvard, agrees that notions of cultural superiority may be at work but says that-acknowledging that doesn't necessarily imply support for other cultures' traditions. "...I think you can agree that there is ethnocentrism there while still thinking [female] circumcision is a bad idea."

Atlantic Monthly magazine smugly described female circumcision as "the sort of problem that until now Americans have never had to confront, " which must surely be news to the thousands of men in the burgeoning U.S. movement against male circumcision. Bills barring female circumcision on U.S. soil and barring trade with African countries that allow it have been presented, and African women are portrayed as helpless victims on whom barbaric violations are perpetrated. But one observer tells how women in northern Sudan successfully opposed men's attempt to change their type of female circumcision to a less severe form.

"People complain about the practice without asking women themselves the obvious questions such as `What does it feel like?'" Appiah points out. "Also, the arguments against female circumcision focus on sexuality rather than medical problems such as infections and infertility. In many of these cultures, the focus on orgasms strikes people as overdone."

Ifeyinwa Iweriebor, formerly of Black Women in Publishing Inc., sums it up: "The language and tone of the outcry in most cases reflect a total lack of respect for the culture of other peoples."

News stories refer to "female genital mutilation," a judgmental term that lumps together many different types of female circumcision. For example, in clitoridectomy, the clitoris is nicked; in excision, the clitoris and labia majora are cut off; in infibulation, the labia majora are cut off and the sides are stitched together, leaving a small opening for urination. Before the wedding night the woman's genitals have to be cut open.

"Infibulation is really horrendous. But in the politicization of female circumcision, all operations are reduced to that," says Corrine Kratz, of the Institute of African Studies at Emory University. She says that the Okiek women in Kenya with whom she has worked and lived "are not circumcised until after they reach sexual maturity and are often in a position to compare pre-and post-circumcised sex."

Yet circumcised women "speak of sex with relish." Some women insist that female circumcision enhances sexuality.

Muslims, Christians and Jews in 28 African countries practice female circumcision, and it was performed in Andean, Australian, Bedouin, Malaysian, Indonesian and ancient Roman cultures, says Asha Samad Matias, director of Women's Studies at the City College of New York.

Twenty percent of the world's males are circumcised -- the prospect appalls many of the rest. There are no medical reasons for male circumcision, and although removing an infant's foreskin is much less radical than infibulation, critics decry a loss of sexual sensitivity and the risks of infection, mutilation of the penis and even death. They also are concerned about an early association of pain with sexuality. But we in the U.S. tend to associate male circumcision with normality, sexual presentability and cleanliness -- exactly the reasons offered by some defenders of female circumcision.

How can we cast aspersions on their cultural rituals without questioning our own bloody rites? An old adage about stones and glass houses comes to mind.

An FGM researcher compares MGM cultural justifications:

Human Genital Mutilation Classification Chart:

Female Circumcision and Male Circumcision, Is There A Difference?:

Common Denominators between Male & Female "Circumcision":

Underlying Justifications in the US and Africa:

Side-by-side Comparison of official AAP positions:

Contrast and compare FGM and MGM:

America's Forgotten History of Female Circumcision:


Culture, Gender and Child Genital Cutting

Female genital cutting or circumcision (FC) is a cultural practice that is widely disputed around the world. More controversially, it is referred to as FGM (Female Genital Mutilation). It is practiced mostly in Muslim African countries and has been banned by law in many countries around the world. (Dietrich) FC was also common in Victorian England (Henslin 275). FC can involve any alteration of the labia or clitoris in carrying degrees ranging from a ritual pinprick of the clitoris to removal of the clitoral hood (or prepuce) to full infibulations involving the removal of all external genitalia and the suturing of the vagina (Dietrich). American society and the societies of other industrialized nations generally find FGM barbaric and strive to eliminate this heinous act.

In the US, the alteration of a female’s genitals to any degree without her consent is illegal and punishable by jail time and a fine (US Federal Law However, male circumcision (MC), more controversially termed MGM (Male Genital Mutilation), is legal and accepted, even though it involves the alteration of the genitalia, specifically the removal of the male foreskin (or prepuce). Doctors or rabbis perform male circumcisions in America. Contrary to popular belief, FC is also often performed by a doctor or religious figure, but the recent intolerance of female cutting has brought about more family or home cuttings (Hayford). The non-consensual removal of the prepuce is illegal for females, yet legal and accepted in the US for males. Some people may think that the two practices are performed for different reasons, making male circumcision justifiable and female circumcision unjustifiable. However, the social and cultural ideas surrounding female circumcision in countries that practice it bear striking resemblance to those surrounding male circumcision in the U.S.

"Circumcised parts are cleaner and more attractive"

This is a common way of thinking in regards to both male and female circumcisions in the US and Africa. Eric K. Silverman notes in an article that a common rationale for FC is that "Uncircumcised female genitals are unclean and impure." (421).This is congruent with America’s general view of uncircumcised men. There is a stigma surrounding the foreskin, and many believe it to be dirty or a carrier of disease. As a result, many infant boys are routinely circumcised for assumed reasons of cleanliness. Routine MC is the most common surgery in America, and only 10% are done for religious purposes (Watterstien, 126). Many Americans consider it a preventative surgery as they are convinced that their child will have problems with their foreskin and need to be circumcised as an adult. However, less than 1% of intact men require a circumcision for medical purposes as adults ("Summary"). Studies on the history of MC and FC also show that both practices were implemented in several different cultures to mark a child or adolescent with femininity or masculinity. The removal of the clitoris marks the removal of female parts that can represent or correlate to male genitalia. The suturing of the vagina feminizes the womb and is believed to retain the freshness of the woman to be pure for her husband and for child-bearing (Lightfoot-Kline). In males, the removal of the foreskin also marked the shedding of all things feminine on the male body, the separation from the womb and from the mother, and showed masculinity in the remaining scar. The exposed glans is considered a symbol of manhood (Silverman).

In FC nations, women often feel adamantly about having their infant girls operated on. They feel that if the girl is left natural, she will suffer for life because no man will want her as her external genital tissue is considered unfeminine (Hayford). They also feel that the tradition should be continued, and if the mother has been circumcised, so should the daughter (Fourcroy). American parents feel strongly about having their infant boys operated on, for similar reasons. They feel that he will suffer in finding a mate and desire the boy’s genitals to resemble his father’s. Both cultures cite tradition as reasons to perpetuate ancient rites. The society involvement on both sides is tremendous, since it is believed in both cultures that the non-circumcised individual will have social hardship with the opposite sex due to their intact genitals. Both cultures also believe that the surgery is relatively painless and that their children will not remember the procedure. In a comparison chart composed by Hanny Lightfoot Kline, the view on clitori..omy is "She loses only a little piece of the clitoris, just the part that protrudes. The girl does not miss it. She can still feel, after all. There is hardly any pain." The comparison chart also displays the American view on routine infant circumcision: "It’s only a little piece of skin. The baby does not feel any pain because his nervous system is not developed yet."("Comparison") The chart also displays views on cleanliness in both societies

Circumcision as a means of control

Sometimes the practice of MC is downplayed when compared to FC since a common view is that FC is used as a means of male control over women. It ensures that a woman is a virgin when she marries, and clitori..omy reduces sexual pleasure (Henslin, 275) This was thought to increase a woman’s faithfulness to her family and keep her mind clear of "unnecessary" things, such as personal pleasure. While these reasons may have initiated the practice, FC in some societies has become so common that the initial purpose is only a memory. The practice perpetuates because it is "normal" and socially accepted. For example, 97 per cent of women in Egypt are circumcised (Henslin, 274). This may seem outrageous, but consider that 60% of American males are circumcised as well (Grossfeld). While this number has dropped from its early-70’s percentage of 95 (Grossfeld), it is still high considering the world circumcision rate is only 15% (Watterstein).

We rarely associate MC with control over boys, but the history of routine circumcision in the US shows otherwise. Circumcision was virtually unheard of among non-Jewish Americans until the late 1800’s. A popular and respected doctor of the time, John Harvey Kellogg, wrote an article about the rising problem of sexual deviancy and masturbation. In this article, he wrote:

"A remedy for masturbation which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment. In females, the author had found the application of pure carbolic acid to the clitoris an excellent means of allaying the abnormal excitement." (Kellogg 295)

In the 1970’s, a urological textbook called Campbell’s Urology recommends circumcision as a means to control masturbation. (Darby) Other popular beliefs in America in the 1800’s were that foreskin caused degenerative disease, reflex neurosis, and that the ejaculation of sperm was a life-threatening disease. To prevent these conditions, doctors readily performed circumcision with no anesthesia. There is much evidence that MC became popular in the US as a means of sexual control. (Darby)These theories and beliefs about the therapeutic effects of circumcision have long since been disproved by science and laughed at by modern Americans. Yet the practice continues, even though female genital alteration has been not only forgotten, but made illegal in the US.

Medical Benefits and Risks

While it is difficult to impossible to find medical benefits of FC, a quick search of the internet will give you several benefits of MC. There have been suggestions that FC, like MC, reduces urinary tract infections in the first year of life. But the AAP specifically states that data regarding the benefits of infant MC are not strong enough to recommend the procedure as a routine surgery. (Rose) Many state Medicaid programs and insurance companies have even removed routine MC from the list of procedures covered; making it an elective, cosmetic procedure ("Summary").However, unlike FC, MC is still legal in the US.

FC nations believe that the clitoris and unsutured vagina can cause everything from impotence in their men to poisoned breast milk. American journalists have also uncovered many "health risks" to having a foreskin, such as causing cervical cancer in their women. (Lightfoot-Kline).Many people also believe that there is a huge risk for penile cancer to intact men, and that both penile and cervical cancers spontaneously arise simply from the presence of foreskin. Yet the routine circumcision of infants is still not recommended by any medical organization in the world because there is not enough evidence that the benefits outweigh the risks.

The risks for both surgeries are almost identical. Besides the obvious loss of healthy tissue, risks for FC include shock, bleeding, infection, infertility, and death. (Henslin 274). Risks for MC (besides loss of healthy tissue) include shock, bleeding, infection, penile necrosis (complete death of the tissue of the entire penis, making it non-functional), and death (Milos, Macris, 92s).

Placing FC and MC Side by Side

Ask any American what he or she thinks of FC and the answer will most likely be that it is disgusting or barbaric. For most of us, everything we know about the practice is what the media shows us. This is interesting, because for most of us, the only things we really know about MC is what the media shows us. We don’t consider that our reasons for perpetuating MC are almost identical to those that perpetuate FC. After all, we are a "civilized nation", and we would never do anything as disgusting as FC. The fact is that both practices are violations of human rights, whether done religiously or culturally. The US prides itself on religious freedom and bodily freedom, yet we routinely infringe on the religious and bodily rights of our male children. How can we fight for the bodily freedoms of women and girls in FC nations if we continue to exert our idea of normalcy on our own boys without their consent?

While there are new studies being published almost daily regarding HIV studies and circumcision, cancer and circumcision, infection and circumcision, none of these studies hold enough weight to change the recommendations of the AAP, the AMA, and the WHO. None of these major medical groups implement a policy of prescribing preventative circumcision. Yet small risks such as urinary tract infection and penile cancer are blown up and made the center of the debate. The fact is that circumcision reduces the risk of UTI in the first year of life, but the odds are still very small. The risk of UTI for an intact child is 1 in 100, while the risk for a circumcised child is 1 in 1000. Baby girls have an even higher risk of UTI because of the placement of the urethra, but rather than circumcise them, doctors prescribe antibiotics (Summary). Why the dualism? Why can we not recognize our primitive traditions and eradicate them as we are attempting to eradicate the primitive traditions of other cultures? If we can’t take a step back and realize that our own practices are just as bad as the ones we condemn, how can we consider ourselves a civilized society? Recent movements against MC are met with hostility and stubborn clutching on to tradition, much like movements and legislation against FC is met by the people who traditionally and religiously practice it.

There really are only two solutions to this problem. Americans have been thrown into their beliefs about MC by it’s evolution in society. We forget or ignore the outrageous reasons it became popular, and perpetuate the practice for the same reasons FC continues in Africa and Indonesia. Much like we attempt to educate these nations on the truths to FC, we need to make an active effort to do the same in our own country regarding MC. Until we do that, we have no place judging and placing our patriarchal hand over the beliefs and practices of other societies. It is very much the "pot calling the kettle black" kind of situation. So if what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, to continue the cliché’s. The only ways to display our civility and an attitude of monism and consistency in regards to genital cutting are to either ban MC or legalize FC. If we are to frown upon FC, logic, reason, and the history of both practices dictate we should hold that frown upon MC as well.

Learn more by visiting these links:

An FGM researcher compares MGM cultural justifications:

Human Genital Mutilation Classification Chart:

Female Circumcision and Male Circumcision, Is There A Difference?: cles3/femalecircumcision.shtml

Common Denominators between Male & Female "Circumcision":

Underlying Justifications in the US and Africa:

Side-by-side Comparison of official AAP positions:

Contrast and compare FGM and MGM:


Darby, Robert (2003). The masturbation taboo and the rise of routine male circumcision: A review of the historiography. Journal of Social History, 36(3), 737. Retrieved March 1. 2008 from Platinum Full Text Periodicals database. (Document ID 376493961)

Dietrich, H.L. (2003). " FGC Around the World". Retrieved March 1, 2008 from FGM Network: Fourcroy, Jean L (1999). Female Circumcision. American Family Physician, 60(2) 657-8 Retrieved March 1, 2008, from Platinum Full Text Periodicals Database. (Document ID: 44110387)

Grossfeld, Stan. "Controversy over Circumcision Heightened in US After Report" The Boston Globe. 25 July, 1999 (A1).

Hayford, Sarah R (2005). Conformity and Change: Community Effects on Female Genital Cutting in Kenya. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 46(2), 21-40. Retrieved March 2, 2008, from Platinum Full Text Periodicals database. (Document ID: 858901361).

Henslin, James M. Essentials of Sociology, A Down-To Earth Approach. 7th Edition Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. (274-75).

Kellogg, John Harvey, MD. "Treatment for Self-Abuse and it’s Effects". Plain Fact for Old and Young. Burlington, Iowa, Segner and Co, 1888. (295)

Lightfoot-Kline, Hanny (2003). Similarities in Attitudes and Misconceptions toward Infant Male Circumcision in North America and Ritual Female Genital Mutilation in Africa. The Female Genital Cutting Education and Networking Project. Retrieved March 1, 2008 from FGM network:

Milos, Marilyn, and Macris, Donna. "Circumcision: A Medical or a Human Rights Issue? Journal of Nurse-Midwifery. 27 (1992): 87s-96s

Rose, Verna L (1999). AAP updates its recommendations on circumcision. American Family Physician, 59(10), 2918-2923, Retrieved February 28 from Platinum Full Text Periodicals database. (Document ID: 41839893)

Silverman, Erik K (2004). Anthropology and Circumcision. Annual Review of Anthropology, 33, 419-445. Retrieved February 25 from Platinum Full Text Periodical Database. (Document ID : 749595851).

"Summary of General Circumcision Information". Circumcision Resource Center. Date Unknown. Retrieved March1, 2008 from

Watterstein, Edward. "Circumcision: The Uniquely American Enigma". Urologic Clinics of North America . 12 (1985) 123-132. Circumcsion Reference Library, Dec 2005. Retrieved Feb. 23, 2008 from


Back to Contents


Intersex Genital Mutilation

First Do No Harm

By Harper Jean Tobin

Last December, South African newspapers reported that the nation's Human Rights Commission was considering legislation to regulate "corrective" surgery on intersex children. Pediatricians and adults who had had such surgeries told the Commission that, while intended to make intersex children cosmetically "normal," are irreversible and may not be in the best interests of children. (The South African Justice Department was also considering amending civil rights legislation to include intersexuality in the statutory definition of "sex."

While intersexuality -- any of a variety of conditions where children are born with mixed sex characteristics -- is not usually associated with serious physical health risks, beginning in the 1950s some doctors began to view intersex births as a "social and medical emergency." They presumed that such children would be mocked by peers, rejected by parents, plagued by identity problems, and unable to have a normal sex life. Their solution was to surgically alter infants' genitals to make them appear like "normal" boys or girls -- usually girls. This treatment model that infants' gender identities are a "blank slate," and they could therefore be assigned to whatever sex was most surgically convenient.

This treatment model has come under increasing attack from doctors, social scientists and an emergent intersex rights movement as lacking meaningful empirical support. Reports at a recent conference of the American Association For The Advancement Of Science outlined mounting evidence that gender identity is unalterable from birth. Thus, some intersex people have grown up intensely unhappy with their assigned sex, and as adults undergone gender transition.

"Corrective" genital surgery has often been performed on young children in an atmosphere of urgency and secrecy, with parents presented with no other real options but to consent to the surgery and to conceal if from their child. Performing this kind of surgery on small children may limit or destroy sexual function and sensation in adult life. While some intersex people are sterile from birth, these treatments can destroy reproductive capacity for others. The repeated operations often required may result in medical complications and have dubious aesthetic results. Sociologist Sharon Preve's recent study Intersex and Identity suggests that despite the intent to bestow "normality," treating intersexuality as a dangerous, pathological secret can leave children feeling suspcious and freakish.

Even before attracting official attention in Capetown, this issue came before the Colombian Constitutional Court in 1999. In short, the Court held that parents could not consent to cosmetic genital surgeries for children over five years of age, and applied a heightened informed consent standard parents of children under five. Basing these holdings on an implied constitutional right to define one's own gender identity, the Court called for dialogue among doctors and society, "to open a space to these people, who until now have been silenced."

In the US, there is now a vigorous debate among doctors, activists and legal scholars about intersex surgeries. Some have called for a complete moratorium on such surgeries before individuals can consent for themselves. And there has been considerable speculation as to the legal implications:

Will today's surgical candidates be tomorrow's plaintiffs? While we define medical negligence by the standard of professional consensus, here it is appears that that consensus is breaking down, rendering a definition of malpractice difficult at best. The question also arises whether parents should be able to consent for their children in these cases, when they may be reluctant to consider their child's future sexual and reproductive interests. There are indications that many parents have not been fully informed as to the risks or uncertainties involved. Should these operations be subject to the same heightened judicial scrutiny as involuntary sterilization of mentally impaired children?

A recent article by Kate Haas in the American Journal of Law and Medicine suggested that, when performed in a publicly-owned hospital, these operations could implicate Fourteenth Amendment rights. The right to bodily in integrity is the most clearly relevant, but the right to reproductive choice can also be involved. Inasmuch as sex assignment determines whom one can marry, the right to marry is also implicated.

Haas even suggested that some operations could fall under the 1996 Criminalization of Female Genital Mutilation Act, which makes it a crime to circumcise or excise any part of the labia or clitoris of a minor unless it is necessary to the minor's health. In contrast to the well-established evidence of the benefits (and sometimes the life-saving value) of reassignment surgery for many transsexuals, there is little if any evidence that surgery for intersex children is medically necessary. In that light, these procedures could even be considered medical experiments conducted on unconsenting children in violation of the international Nuremburg Code.

But this truly is all speculation: there appears to be no recorded US case law on these matters. Inevitably, there will be. Our law, which to date has not recognized the existence of intersexuality, must in time address these issues. Hopefully, it will "open a space" for intersex people in our society as well.

Intersexuals Fight Back:

The Tyranny of the Aesthetic - Surgical Violations:

First Do No Harm:

A mainstream news article calls for an end non-consential surgical intervention:

Sex Police:

Making the Cut:

Learn about the academic fraud at the heart of Doctor's rationalizations:

An academic analysis of the current situation to date:

Intersex Society of North America:


Back to Contents



Baby Foreskins for Sale

by Phallusy

Have you ever wondered what happens to all of those foreskins after circumcision? Would you be surprised if I told you that hospitals have been selling discarded foreskins to private bio-research laboraties and pharmaceutical companies? You will be even more surprised when I tell you exactly where that precious, densely innervated tissue ends up!

Human foreskin is in great demand and equals multi-million dollar profits for bio-medical research and pharmaceutical companies. Why? Human flesh is a required raw research material for bio-medical companies in order to create many medical products from growing new tissue to use as skin grafts for burn patients, to creating new eyelids and used in the production of insulin. Foreskin is an ideal tissue because the young flesh grows better, is likely to be free of disease, and is a consistently and readily available resource.

Human foreskin also contains all of the things that we lose as we age, growth factors, amino acids, proteins, collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, and there is an endless stream of companies ready to capitalize on that fact. It has become the active secret ingredient in many face creams as well as used for collagen for those lovely plump kissers you see on many models and actors. That's right, the next time you see that youthful glow and ample pout, you'll know that baby penis made it all possible.

The key ingredient in SkinMedica's 'fountain of youth' anti-wrinkle cream, which is called TNS recovery complex, has been highly touted by Oprah and many other celebrities. I bet. On a discussion, it was asked, "If the cream was made from the bi-product of baby Afro-American clitoral skin, would Oprah still be promoting it?" I doubt it. When asked of the smell, Barbara Blair says, "It's disgusting. It's got a sour smell to it that makes you want to gag, but you get used to it."

Now that you know the motive behind the cutting of your children's foreskin, it is important for you to know what's at stake. Circumcision removes about 50% of the skin of the penis, with that, he loses length and circumference and the mechanical action of being able to 'slide' in and out of itself, a highly pleasurable function for a man and his partner. It also removes the frenar ridged band which is the primary erogenous zone of the male body along with meissner's corpuscles and branches of the dorsal nerve, 20,000 fine-touch receptors and specialized erotogenic nerve endings. Rich with sexually responsive tissue, loss of this reduces the fullness and intensity of sexual response. The circumcised male also loses part of his immunological system and function in the soft mucosa which produces plasma cells, these cells secrete immunoglobulin antibodies as well as antibacterial and antiviral proteins, including the pathogen killing enzyme lysozyme. Langerhans cells, a special immunological set of cells that are a front line of defense against disease and has recently been shown to produce langerin, which actually kills HIV, is also, you guessed it, lost. The lost list includes but is not limited to: frenulum, dartos fascia, lymphatic vessels, estrogen receptors, apocrine glands, sebaceous glands, natural glans coloration, blood vessels, and sometimes even the entire penis.

According to, circumcision performed during infancy disrupts the bonding process between child and mother. There are indications that the innate sense of trust in intimate human contact is inhibited or lost. It can also have significant adverse effects on neurological development. Additionally, an infant's self-confidence and hardiness is diminished by forcing the newborn victim into a defensive psychological state of "learned helplessness" or "acquired passivity" to cope with the excruciating pain which he can neither fight nor flee. The trauma of this early pain lowers a circumcised boy's pain threshold below that of intact boys and girls. Too often, some boys even lose their lives as a result of circumcision... it only takes a small amount of blood lost in such a tiny body to send the newborn in shock. Recently, a boy died from heart attack and loss of oxygen he experienced during the procedure.

So what do YOU get out of this? Big pharma gets big profits, the child gets tortured in an unimaginable way, stripping him of the best part of his body, and YOU actually PAY for it! Whether you think you do or not, if you pay taxes, you are paying for circumcisions! What? Yes, you heard me right, you or your insurance company pay the doctor (if not directly, you will end up paying indirectly!) to strap down newborn baby boys while their foreskin is brutally ripped away from the glans and sliced off, with little or no effective pain relief, then the foreskins are sold for the production of miracle wrinkle creams and collagen injections that earn BILLIONS of dollars in profit each year. And that poor baby, well, he TOTALLY gets shafted, er... shall I say, DE-shafted, in this deal... all that profit on his loss and he doesn't even get so much as a trust fund for college or a way to pay for a surgical restoration. He doesn't even get a SAY! Heck, even the models and actors make money out of this deal... that fresh, ageless skin and juicy lips help earn them an extra killing out of the additional ten years of work. (If it is true that it takes 10 years off!)

Circumcision is big business, when considering that a SINGLE foreskin can bring in $100,000 in profit, there is no question about why circumcisions are still being performed in America despite the fact that no major medical association in the world recommends it.

As Paul M. Fliess MD states in the Case Against Circumcision, "Parents should be wary of anyone who tries to retract their child's foreskin, and especially wary of anyone who wants to cut it off."


Face Cream's secret ingredient:

Harvesting Foreskins for commercial use:

Human Foreskins are Big Business for Cosmetics:

"Dr. Wexler told us the factors are engineered from human foreskin!"

Abstract of a research paper on using foreskins
"...fibroblast cultures are established from freshly harvested neonatal foreskin tissue"

Where do all the foreskins go?

Foreskins for Sale:

Near the bottom of the page - "Injectable collagen derived from newborn foreskin":

Buy your own culture of Epidermal keratinocytes derived from neonatal foreskins:

This commercial biomedical company sells foreskin-derived cell cultures(Search for Foreskin):


Here are some additional companies that use infant foreskin(compiled by Joseph Lewis on Times Live NZ

Organogenesis is a corporation based in Canton, MA.[1] They profit from Apligraf, which is a synthetic skin created from harvested foreskins.[1] Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. has global marketing rights to Apligraf. 
Call for increase of foreskin harvesting
WE MUST BE ABLE TO OBTAIN ADEQUATE SOURCES OF SUPPLY   We manufacture Apligraf for commercial sale, as well as for use in clinical trials, at our Canton, Massachusetts facility. Among the fundamental raw materials needed to manufacture Apligraf are keratinocyte and fibroblast cells. Because these cells are derived from donated infant foreskin, they may contain human-borne pathogens. We perform extensive testing of the cells for pathogens, including the HIV or "AIDS" virus. Our inability to obtain cells of adequate purity, or cells that are pathogen-free, would limit our ability to manufacture sufficient quantities of our products." 

-- Organogensis, 2001 Annual Report (Delaware: Organogenesis, 2001), p.8.
↑ 1.0 1.1 "Headquarters". Organogenesis.  Retrieved 2011-03-06. "The corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility are located in Canton, Massachusetts."  

Dermagraft-TC which is an artifical skin created from harvested foreskins from infant circumcision.[1] It is made and sold by Advanced Tissue Sciences (ATS), which is a corporation based in La Jolla, CA. Dermagraft-TC is FDA approved,[2][3] and it sells for about $3,000 per square foot; one foreskin contains enough genetic material to grow 250,000 square feet of skin.[4] 
1.↑ "Dermagraft-TC: Overview". Advanced Biohealing, Inc.. Retrieved 2011-03-06. "Dermagraft is manufactured from human fibroblast cells derived from newborn foreskin tissue."  
2.↑ "Dermagraft-TC". MediLexicon. Retrieved 2011-03-06. "...fibroblast-derived temporary skin substitute for the treatment of partial-thickness burns that has been approved for marketing by the FDA."  
3.↑ "Advanced Tissue Sciences' temporary wound covering Dermagraft-TC approved for marketing by FDA". Transplant News. 2007-03-28. Retrieved 2011-03-06. "...the Food and Drug Administration has approved Dermagraft-TC for marketing, making it the first human fibroblast-derived temporary skin substitute to be approved."  
4.↑ Circumcision. Daecher M. Icon 1998;2(2):70-3.

 Apligraf is a synthetic skin created from harvested foreskins.[1] It is FDA approved,[2] and it is made and sold by Organogenesis, which a corporation based in Canton, MA. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. has global marketing rights to Apligraf. 
1.↑ "Apligraf: How Is It Made?". Organogenesis. Retrieved 2011-03-06. "Human keratinocytes and fibroblasts are derived from neonatal foreskins"  
2.↑ "Apligraf". Organogenesis. Retrieved 2011-03-06. "Apligraf® is the first bio-engineered cell based product to receive FDA approval (in 1998)."  
AlloDerm(R) which is a skin graft created from harvested infant foreskins.[1] It is approved by the FDA[2] and it is made and sold by LifeCell Corporation (Nasdaq:LIFC), which is a corporation based in Branchburg, NJ.[3] 
1.↑ "LifeCell Research Demonstrates Potential". Business Wire. 1995-05-16. Retrieved 2011-03-06. "...the culturing of human neonatal foreskin keratinocytes..."  
2.↑ "AlloDerm®Tissue Matrix defined". LifeCell Corporation. Retrieved 2011-03-06. "...screened and tested according to FDA regulations..."  
3.↑ "Index". LifeCell Corporation. Retrieved 2011-03-06.

Advanced Tissue Sciences
Advanced Tissue Sciences is a corporation based in La Jolla, CA. They are the makers of Dermagraft-TC, which is an artifical skin created from harvested foreskins from infant circumcision.[1] They are also the makers of NouriCel, another product made from harvested foreskins,[2] and one of the main ingredients of SkinMedica's TNS Recovery Complex product.[3] 
Dermagraft-TC is FDA approved,[4][5] and it sells for about $3,000 per square foot and one foreskin contains enough genetic material to grow 250,000 square feet of skin.[6] 
Advanced Tissue Sciences has sold about $1 million worth of cultured dermis to Proctor & Gamble, Helene Curtis, and other such businesses for pre-market testing. Advanced Tissue Science's foreskin-derived merchandise held a $32 million stock offering in the beginning of 1992.[7] 
In 1996 alone, Advanced Tissue Sciences could boast of a healthy $663.9 million market capitalization performance.[8] 
↑ "Dermagraft-TC: Overview". Advanced Biohealing, Inc.. Retrieved 2011-03-06. "Dermagraft is manufactured from human fibroblast cells derived from newborn foreskin tissue."  
↑ "The Foreskin Mafia". Retrieved 2011-03-06. "TNS contains... NouriCel-MD which is... a combination of Natural Growth Factors, matrix proteins, and soluble collagen. Human Growth Factors extracted from cultured cells of foreskin..."  
↑ "SkinMedica Introduces TNS Recovery Complex". SkinMedica. 2002-02-12. Retrieved 2011-03-06. "TNS Recovery Complex is the only product containing a professional concentration of NouriCel®, a new cosmetic ingredient from leading tissue-engineering company Advanced Tissue Sciences."  
↑ "Dermagraft-TC: General Information". Advanced Tissue Sciences. MediLexicon International Ltd. 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-07. "Dermagraft-TC is the first human, fibroblast-derived temporary skin substitute for the treatment of partial-thickness burns that has been approved for marketing by the FDA."  
↑ "Advanced Tissue Sciences' temporary wound covering Dermagraft-TC approved for marketing by FDA". Transplant News. HighBeam Research. 1997-03-28. Retrieved 2011-05-07. "the Food and Drug Administration has approved Dermagraft-TC"  
↑ Circumcision. Daecher M. Icon 1998;2(2):70-3.
↑ Julie Pitta. Biosynthetics. Forbes 10 May 1993: 170-171 Note: The 32-page Advanced Tissue Sciences, Inc. 1997 Annual Report refers to "fibroblasts" but does not contain the word "foreskin."
↑ Biotech's Big Discovery. Hall CT. San Francisco Chronicle. October 25, 1996: E1, E4.

LifeCell Corporation
LifeCell Corporation (Nasdaq:LIFC) is a corporation based in Branchburg, NJ.[1] The profit from the creation and sale of AlloDerm(R) which is a skin graft created from harvested infant foreskins.[2] 
↑ "Index". LifeCell Corporation. Retrieved 2011-03-06.  
↑ "LifeCell Research Demonstrates Potential". Business Wire. 1995-05-16. Retrieved 2011-03-06. "...the culturing of human neonatal foreskin keratinocytes..."


Raising Intact Sons

By Suzanne Cook

When you make the choice not to circumcise your newborn son, you are giving him the opportunity to grow up with his God-given sexuality.  Unfortunately, many American boys are not given this right because their parents are  misinformed into believing circumcision is necessary for health, cleanliness or social reasons.  Some parents will honestly admit that they personally prefer a circumcised penis and subject their normal and healthy newborn baby to surgery to have his penis altered to suit their own tastes.  Some have their own hang-ups in regards to an intact penis such as the way it looks or the fear that they might actually have to teach their sons how to retract and clean his own penis.  Circumcision has become a culturally accepted and sometimes expected surgery for newborn boys here in America but the tides are changing.  Parents in the new generation are realizing that what they have been told about circumcision was based on myths.  They realize that their sons are supposed to have foreskins and more and more babies every day are being left intact.

Raising an intact son can be an interesting experience in our circumcising society.  Parents of circumcised sons don't realize how different their sons are from their intact peers.  I've heard parents joke about how their sons pee across the room...or in the parents face!  I've since learned that this seems to be related only to circumcised boys and my theory is that the foreskin helps channel the flow of urine downward, the way it is normally supposed to go, rather than straight out like a circumcised boy.  Also, with the foreskin removed, the urethral opening tends to narrow slightly and this also contributes to a "squirt gun" type flow of urine in circumcised boys.

I've also noticed that many parents of intact boys do without the "splatter guard" that can be attached to many potties for potty "training".  This is also related to the above statement about the squirting effect of circumcised boys.

One common myth of an intact boy is that a parent must retract and clean under his foreskin then teach their son how to do it when he is old enough (and make sure he does it).  This is a very bad myth and a potentially harmful one!  Boys are born with their foreskins firmly attached to the glans (head) of their penis, similar to how our fingernails are attached to our fingers.  The newborn foreskin does not and should not ever be retracted!!   Erections, growth and normal curiosity help dissolve the connecting tissue (synechia) and the foreskin will naturally separate from the glans and become retractable on its own.  Care of Intact Boys    

NEVER attempt to retract your son's foreskin and NEVER allow anyone else to retract it, including medical professionals.  Forced retraction can cause pain and bleeding as the foreskin is literally torn from the glans.  The foreskin will then heal back to the glans and scar tissue can develop.  A condition called "acquired phimosis" is caused from forced retraction.  With acquired phimosis, the foreskin will have difficulty retracting or will not retract at all.  This does not mean that a circumcision will be necessary.  There are non-surgical alternatives to help the foreskin retract including steroid creams and manual stretching.  If your son becomes a victim of forced retraction, leave his penis alone to heal and report the offended to the proper agency so another intact boy is not harmed.  My son Clayton

The proper care of an intact child is to simply leave it alone.  An intact boy's penis is self-cleaning during infancy and childhood.  Nothing gets under the foreskin that isn't supposed to be there and it gets "flushed out" through urination.  When taking a bath, you merely need to clean the outside of his penis with plain water.

Avoid baby powder on both baby boys and baby girls since it can irritate their genitals.  If your son's foreskin becomes retractable on it's own, just leave it alone.  If you find that it has retracted and the glans is exposed (from rubbing on a diaper or playing nude), gently pull the foreskin back over the glans and leave it alone.  Some boys with "short" foreskins become retractable before boys with longer foreskins.  This is perfectly normal.  There is no set age when a foreskin is supposed to retract, though most will become retractable by adolescence.  You will probably not know when your son's foreskin becomes retractable because he will be at an age when he is caring for his own body and such personal questions are usually off limits to Mom and Dad.

Some parents worry that their son will be teased because he is not circumcised like some other boys.  There will always be differences among children and always something to tease another about.  If it's not the look of his penis, it will be the color of his hair, his freckles, the size of his ears, his name... you name it.  If boys are in a locker room situation where they are nude, most will not make comments about another's penis because to make such comments means he had to look at it...and many boys do not want to admit that they were looking at another boy's penis (that could cause some other kind of  teasing all together).  Girls are equally at risk for teasing when it comes to breast size.  If your daughter has small breasts and is teased about it, should you pay for breast enlargement surgery so she will "fit in" with her peers?  No, of course not.  To consider genital surgery for your son to make him fit in is equally absurd.  The situation today is that your son will be amongst intact and circumcised boys alike.

By explaining circumcision to your son, he will be better prepared if he ever faces a situation with other boys when questions about his penis arise.  It would not be polite to teach your son to tease circumcised boys since they had no choice in the matter of whether they were circumcised or not.  Many circumcised boys don't realize that something was cut off their penis when they were born.  Most parents of circumcised boys do not discuss this issue with their sons.  I know I would much rather explain to my sons why they are not circumcised than why I had something cut off their penis when they were born.

I don't think it's healthy either to teach your intact sons that they are better than boys who are circumcised.  While it may be true that they have the advantage of having their whole penis, circumcised boys are a victim of unnecessary surgery perpetrated upon them when they were a vulnerable baby.  It would be unfair and cruel to hold this against them.  It's not their fault they are circumcised.  If anything, we should teach our sons to have compassion for their circumcised counterparts.  Circumcised fathers tend to circumcise their own sons out of ignorance and anger about their own circumcision.  Children seem to accept and understand issues sometimes better than adults so it's important that circumcised boys realize that what happened to them does not have to happen to their own sons, once they become fathers.  Many circumcised fathers today are raising intact sons.  The excuse to circumcise a boy because his father is circumcised is incredibly lame and narcissistic.  Whether both father and son are circumcised or intact, there will be many differences merely because of age (size, hair).  There is also no one look of a circumcised penis and no one look of an intact penis.  Everyone is created differently and no two circumcisions look exactly alike.  The only similarity a circumcised father and a circumcised son will have is the fact that they both underwent painful unnecessary genital surgery as babies and both are missing their foreskins as a result.  Fathers and sons don't stand around comparing penises!  If they do, then they have more issues than circumcision to deal with!!

If a father is circumcised and his son is left intact, a simple explanation about when his father was born, circumcision was thought to be necessary for health reasons but now that they know it's not, they didn't want to put their newborn son through surgery.  Some parents will also add that the surgery is painful and they know their son needs his foreskin.  Those are some of the reasons parents give to their intact sons to explain why they are not circumcised and their father is (if the issue ever comes up to begin with).

Raising an intact son has also inspired circumcised fathers to begin foreskin restoration to reverse some of the damage that their own neonatal circumcision caused.  Men who have done this report vastly improved results, both physically and emotionally.

If you are the parent of a circumcised son, you may have feelings of guilt and regret.  You were not informed when you made the decision to circumcise your son but now you know better.  Now it's time to heal.  Apologize to your son and help educate those around you so other parents will know the facts before any harm comes to their son.
If you are expecting a baby, make sure your midwife, doctor and nurses at the hospital you are going to give birth in know that you do not want your son circumcised.  Carefully read any papers you are asked to sign and clearly mark on the paper that you don't want your son circumcised.  Submit a birth plan to your doctor and the hospital and be sure to verbally remind them at the time of delivery.  It would be wise to arrange for someone to be present to advocate for you if you cannot and to make sure the baby is not "accidentally" circumcised, especially in larger hospitals where "assembly line" circumcisions occur and circumcision is considered routine for all boys.  Room-in with your baby if possible.  If your baby must be taken to the nursery, make sure someone who knows about circumcision accompanies him.  Accidents do happen and it would be unfortunate for it to happen to your son.  Be sure to remind everyone not to retract his foreskin as well.

If you are the parent of an intact son, congratulations!  Whether you realize it or not, you have spared your son from the pain and trauma of the circumcision surgery and post-surgical healing period and have allowed him to enjoy his body the way it was intended to be.    


Comparison Chart of Common Issues/Concerns 

by Glenn Epps

INFANT URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS (UTIs) An Incidence Rate Alleged At About 1-2%--Treated With Antibiotics. An Incidence Rate Alleged As Usually Less Than 1% - Treated With Antibiotics.
HIV/AIDS & STDs Comparable Male Counterparts Around The World Have Some Of The Lowest Incidence Rates. 'Safe Sex' & The Use Of A Condom Are Suggested As The Best Defence Against Contracting HIV/AIDS Or STDs. Incidence Rate In The U.S. Greater Than Any Other Western World Country. Gonorrhoea Remains The Most Frequently Reported Infectious Disease In The United States; Circumcision Has Apparently Offered No Protection. Chlamydia Is Considered Even More Prevalent, And Syphilis Is Resurgent; Circumcision Has Apparently Offered No Protection. 'Safe Sex' & The Use Of A Condom Are Suggested As The Best Defence Against Contracting HIV/AIDS Or STDs.
CANCER OF THE PENIS 0.89-2.0 per 100,000 (Norway) 1.0-2.0 per 100,000 (United States)
PHIMOSIS "True" Phimosis Is Not that Common Amongst The Worlds Intact Male Population, But Constantly Misdiagnosed In Intact Males By Doctors Unfamiliar With The Anatomy And Development Of The Male Penis. See The Intact Handbook™. Extremely Rare.
CANCER OF THE CERVIX Years Ago It Was Noted That Jewish Women Had A Low Incidence Of Cervical Cancer, Smegma Of The Penis Was Thought To Be Carcinogenic. Today, Now-Jewish American Women Have A High Incidence Of Cervical Cancer Even Though Most Of Their Partners Were Circumcised. Further Smegma, Occurs In Both Males And Females, And Has Been Found Not To Be Carcinogenic. See Information On Smoking And Cervical Cancer Risk. Years Ago It Was Noted That Jewish Women Had A Low Incidence Of Cervical Cancer, Smegma Of The Penis Was Thought To Be Carcinogenic. Today, Now-Jewish American Women Have A High Incidence Of Cervical Cancer Even Though Most Of Their Partners Were Circumcised. Further Smegma, Occurs In Both Males And Females, And Has Been Found Not To Be Carcinogenic. See Information On Smoking And Cervical Cancer Risk.
ANATOMY AND FUNCTION OF MALE PENIS Of The Western World Countries (Particularly the United States, Canada, Australia)--Greatly Misunderstood, Lack Of Knowledge, And Inaccurate Information INCLUDING Those In The MEDICAL COMMUNITY. Of The Western World Countries (Particularly The United States, Canada, Australia) Greatly Misunderstood, Lack Of Knowledge, And Inaccurate Information INCLUDING Those In The MEDICAL COMMUNITY.
THE NEED FOR CHILD, TEEN OR ADULT CIRCUMCISION In Scandinavia, Only Two-Tenths Of One Percent Of Older Boys And Men Have To Be Circumcised For Medical Reasons. In Finland Where The Neonatal Circumcision Rate Is Zero, 6 In 100,000 OLDER Men Undergo Circumcision. Worldwide, Foreskin Problems, If Any, Are Treated Conservatively--Not Surgically. The Rate Is Not High, But It Is Not Zero As You Might Expect. Some Undergo, Re-Circumcisions Because Of Poorly Performed (Or Botched) Circumcisions.
NEONATAL CIRCUMCISION PROCEDURE Not Applicable Incredibly Painful, Most Often Done Without Anaesthetic. More Common Complications: Haemorrhage, Urinary Retention, Laceration Of Penile And Scrotal Skin, Excessive Penile Skin Loss, Bevelling Deformities Of The Glans, Hypospadias Deformity, Epispadias Deformity, Skin Bridges. Less Frequent: Loss Of Penis, Death.
POST-CIRCUMCISION INFECTIONS Not Applicable With The Gomco Clamp And Plastibell About 0.4-0.8%.


Almost Non-Existent. Incident Rates Of About 20%.


Almost Non-Existent. Incident Rate Of About 30%.
EROGENOUS TISSUES Inner Foreskin (Mucosa), Outer Foreskin & Frenulum. These Tissues Allow A Man, And To A Degree His Partner, To Experience Full Ranges Of Sexual Sensations And Experiences. Most Of The Inner (Mucosa) & Outer Foreskin Is Removed (Excised). Possibility Of Frenulum Remnant; Dependent Upon The Physician And Technique Employed. Inability To Fully Enjoy All Sensations Provided By The Intact Penis. Circumcision Severely Interferes With Both The Function And Sensory Capabilities Of The Penis.
MALE FORESKIN RESTORATION Not Applicable Thousands Of Men Who Where Circumcised, As Babies Or Children, Are Seeking Foreskin Restoration. Most Express Increased Sensitivity, Increased Sexual Pleasure And Increased Self-Esteem. Simply, These Men (From All Walks Of Life) Are Actively Reversing The Effects Of Saying "Yes" To Circumcision--A Decision To Which They Would Have Said "No."
PENILE SKIN MOBILITY Mobile Penile Sheath Aids In Sexual Intercourse And Masturbation. Taut Shaft Skin, Often Causing Painful Erections And Abrasive Sexual Intercourse. Some Males Do Have Some Mobility In The Shaft Skin But This Is The Exception Rather Than The Norm.
HYGIENE Water. Water.
PENIS STATUS OF MEN AROUND THE WORLD 85% Remain Intact (Uncircumcised). 15% Have Been Circumcised. (A Majority Of These Have Been For Religious Reasons).


The Foreskin: What does it do?

Contrary to some common misconceptions, the prepuce (foreskin) is not just a double fold of “skin” covering the glans penis. The foreskin is an organ of touch, an anatomically unique structure with its own complex vascular and neural systems and separate attachments to its parts and to the penis. Skin is for containment, attached to the tissue beneath and cannot move independently. The foreskin is the separate and distinct tissues fore (before) the skin of the penile shaft. The following description of the foreskin is that of the flaccid (non-erect) penis as the structural dynamics of the foreskin changes dramatically as the penis proceeds through tumescence to erection.

The foreskin consists of the outer foreskin, an extension of the shaft skin from the back of the sulcus to the foreskin opening, not attached nor part of any other structure which makes the underside of the outer foreskin unique from any other skin found on the body, turns beneath itself at the mucocutaneous juncture where the inner foreskin begins. The inner foreskin mucosa begins at the mucocutaneous junction and is specialized and separate tissue which continues from this junction, traveling between the outer foreskin and the glans, attaching to the penis at the back of the sulcus beneath the end of the shaft skin and beginning of the outer foreskin at the top of the penis (about 10mm to 25mm, 3/8 to 1 inch, behind the back of the glans). The inner foreskin continues toward the glans at the sides and transitions into the frenulum toward the bottom. 

The Frenulum

The frenulum is the structure traveling down the inner foreskin and connects the inner foreskin to the penis between the hemispheres of the glans below the meatus (urethral opening) at the bottom of the glans and toward the sides and proceeding down the midline of the shaft. Many of the tactile nerve endings of the penis are found in the frenulum. This is similar to the glottal frenulum attaching the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. The ridged bands (small corrugations of tissue, like mountain “ridges”) are behind the mucocutaneous juncture and when the foreskin is retracted appear behind the attachment at the sulcus. This area also contains many of the tactile nerve endings of the foreskin’s neural system.

The foreskin’s neural system contains hundreds of feet of nerves and thousands of tactile nerve endings, most of which are concentrated in the frenulum and frenar bands. Tactile nerves are sensuous nerves sensitive to pleasant sensations and almost all present in the penis are found within the foreskin. Comparatively, the nerve endings found in the glans are Free Nerve Endings, or nociceptive nerve endings, which are sensitive to cold, pain and unpleasant sensations. The foreskin’s vascular system is also quite complex. The blood is supplied by the frenar artery and small and larger veins are present throughout the foreskin and travel down the top of the penis. The abrupt ending of penile veins where they were crushed around the circumference of the penis just behind the area cut off can be seen on a circumcised penis. The tissue and blood vessels over the glans on the top must also be crushed prior to the dorsal cut to prevent hemorrhage and if a circumcision is to be allowed, special care must be taken to thoroughly crush the frenar artery as hemorrhage is very difficult to control.

Some of the function of the foreskin may be fairly obvious after this short narrative on the anatomy, but there is much more to learn about the functional foreskin in the next part. 

Physical and Sexual Functions

Due to lack of understanding, interest or purposely, the many physical and sexual functions of the foreskin have been ignored as no other part of the human anatomy. This is incredible considering the vital role the penis plays in life of the male, his mate, his sexual sensuousness and natural sexual gratification. During the life of the male the functions of the foreskin change, slightly to profoundly. Due to these changes we will first examine the years of infancy and childhood and then puberty, adolescence and adulthood.

At birth the infant boy’s foreskin is almost always fused to his glans as his penis is not fully developed and one function of the foreskin is to keep feces and other foreign substances from the meatal opening and the urinary tract of the infant and toddler. That is why the only care for the intact penis is to leave it alone, completely alone. No doctor, nurse, parent or any other care provider should ever investigate, probe or examine his foreskin, especially any forced retraction which will tear foreskin from glans. The undisturbed glans and inner foreskin mucosa is uncontaminated and any such trespasses may introduce that which the foreskin is designed to keep out. His foreskin will naturally separate from his glans and he should be the only one to touch or retract it. When it separates, he will know and he will be retracting his own foreskin. No other person should interfere with this natural process. His foreskin, on average, will represent about 60% to 80% of his penile coverage for additional reasons.

The vascular system of his foreskin protects his glans from cold. As the temperature drops his foreskin will curl toward his glans, thickening and assuring warmth. The near surface nerve endings in his glans are very concentrated, similar to the female’s glans clitoris, until his glans greatly expand at maturity when these nerve endings are more sparse, disbursed over a greater area. The foreskin protects the nerve endings from abrasive action of friction on clothing and without this protection about 75% of these near surface nerve endings will be destroyed by adolescence. In addition, the very delicate covering of the glans must be protected as it is only about two cells thick and without the foreskin must grow nerveless skin for protection, thirty to forty cells thick. This callousness is called keratanization. Of great importance is the fact that the boy’s longer foreskin of infancy and childhood is there for his penis to grow into during the explosive penile growth during puberty. The adult foreskin will be proportionately less than the childhood foreskin, but will still average 40% to 50% of penile coverage which is needed for natural erection – for an unlimited, unencumbered and moveable penis.

The child’s foreskin will naturally separate and retract at different ages and the size of the foreskin is as varied as penis sizes. Some boys are born with a foreskin which is not fused to his glans, some are born with a foreskin that does not cover all of his glans, but these are uncommon. About 60% will separate by age 3 and 80% by age 6. The remaining will separate between 6 and teen years. This is normal, natural, is not phimosis and there should be no intervention with this natural process. All boys and girls are different and on different physical time tables. Physical maturation of the genitalia may begin by age 9 in one boy and another not until age 16. Because the average age of this process begins at age 12 there is no cause for worry or concern if sexual maturation begins a couple of years earlier or later. Such are the individualized variations of foreskin separation.

For the pubescent and adolescent boy a visual as well as physical change will occur. He will notice that his foreskin no longer extends as far in front of his glans nor has the tube-like appearance of his childhood years. His penis grows proportionately larger than his foreskin during this short time span. This is the moment in his life when the marriage of the physical and sexual occur. It is the onset of a voracious appetite for sexual knowledge, interest, investigation and exploration. The natural penis with the sensuous, moveable foreskin is of vital importance from this time onward.

Masturbation must be addressed as the dynamics of the foreskin during this virtually universal practice is very important. Puberty is the time the boy learns about his own feelings, sexuality and explores the workings of his penis. He will find which foreskin motions, the stretching and relaxing of his frenulum, rolling back and forth over his glans and friction in different areas feel best to him. He is a sexual apprentice learning about himself prior to sharing himself with the opposite sex and new learning experiences. Many young men enter relationships with little knowledge about their own sexuality causing these relationships to suffer.

Parents should be able to talk to their sons at this time about masturbation. The intact boy should have real education about his penis and foreskin. He should be informed that it is best to masturbate with his foreskin going back and forth entirely over his glans as this will serve as a dilator should his foreskin be a bit snug. During later intercourse the foreskin of most men will remain behind their glans as most will have very little coverage or a bare glans when erect. But almost all boys begin to masturbate before penile growth and penile maturity so the penis has relatively more foreskin at this time than the later years. At what age does masturbation begin? Again, a large variation from age 8 to 16, most beginning by age 12 (average 11.5 years). Only pulling his foreskin forward and always over his glans when pleasuring himself may result in a rather snug opening. It is also important that the boy distinguish and separate different feelings from different parts of his penis at this time and the reason will be explained in the next section. Of profound importance is the fact that this communication will protect the boy from feelings of shame or guilt associated with sexual self pleasuring and the door will be open from that time onward for honest and open dialogue between the boy and his parents. Sex is natural, his sexuality normal, and his penis is as normal and natural as any other part of his body and should be treated as such.

The sexually active intact male will experience separate and very distinct sensations during intercourse. Most men, however, have not thought to distinguish these unique sensations and their brains have been wired to receive but one impulse, a false perception of pleasure from a singular source. The next section will describe the workings of the intact penis during intercourse and the separation of the sensations that will add to the male’s sensuousness many times over.

The Foreskin During Intercourse

Most intact men are unaware of the many separate and distinct sensuous feelings which originate from the various parts and attachments of their remarkable foreskin. This is due to the neurological wiring of penis and brain which gives the male the perception of a singular center of sensuousness. This one wire perception and not being cognizant of the separate and distinct sensations emanating from the dynamics of motion and tensions can be separated and his sex life will be enhanced remarkably. Instead of the one sensation wiring experienced by most males, and accepted as the totality of their sensuous sexuality, an intact male can enhance that wiring by adding several more wires to his sexual neurology. All that is required is some concentration and delightful practice to consciously segregate and distinguish the various unique feelings of the most sensuous parts of the penis.

The tactile nerve endings of the outer and inner foreskin and concentrated in the frenulum and ridged (corrugated) bands are not only excited by the applied friction of the vaginal walls during motion, but the stretching, relaxing and friction upon these structures must be separated to be thoroughly enjoyed. The male can change this psycho/sexual oneness into a psycho/sexual mosaic with a multitude of delightful, separate sensuous feelings. We will investigate the dramatic entrance, often missed by most men; the motions and frictions of the entire inner and outer foreskin as well as the extension down the shaft and accumulation behind the glans; the stretching and relaxing dynamics of the frenulum and the frenar band; and glans with its very delicate covering (protected).

It must be emphasized that the foreskin comes in many different lengths and when the penis becomes totally erect may naturally retract completely to the shaft or cover some or all of the glans. For the slight majority of intact men, contrary to some sources, once the foreskin is retracted at erection or insertion it will remain behind the glans until withdrawal or until erection is lost. In most instances the foreskin will accumulate behind the glans on the out-stroke creating a larger diameter ring that keeps the natural vaginal lubrication within. Men with a longer foreskin will find that their foreskin may pop onto the glans at the end of the out-stroke, also making the diameter much larger and also keeping the lubrication within. In the former example the glans and vaginal walls are constantly in contact, in the latter the foreskin acts as a sleeve within a sleeve at the end of the out-strokes. Regardless of positions used it is urged that the foreskin be completely forward when entering, allowing the vaginal opening to retract. One man said that he and his wife always retracted his foreskin before entrance and when told to try it as far forward as possible said, “It was the best sex we had ever had. I realized that I had the best of both worlds.”

Separating all of these wonderful sensations will be a very delightful experience. The help and understanding of your partner is important. It is suggested that she take the top position facing you and allow you to orchestrate her movements, the depth and the speed while you concentrate. First, ask her to take your penis in slowly to total penetration and concentrate on your foreskin only – the total retraction and movement down your shaft, perhaps all the way to the base of your penis. If you have foreskin on all or part of your glans prior to entrance, feel your foreskin rolling over your glans during entrance and then down your shaft. Try to ignore the stretching or friction on your frenulum or anywhere else. Ask your partner to go all the way up without withdrawal and all the way downward slowly and deliberately and concentrate on the location of your foreskin during these long strokes and how it feels as it stretches downward and relaxes as the out-stroke progresses. Talk about it. You will know if your foreskin bunches up behind your glans or pops over,how it feels rolling off and on the corona of your glans if it does, or the friction on the accumulated foreskin at the end of the out-stoke. Is she feeling your foreskin as it accumulates or if it pops over your corona and the rolling off and on? This is the easiest part of finding the various feelings and not too much time need be spent on this part. After a few moments at the tip of the out-stroke, concentrate on the bottom of your penis only as she goes to full penetration again and ask her to position herself so that the bottom portion has the most vaginal contact. This concentration may take more than one love making session as the entire dynamics of your frenulum will offer more than one particular sensation.

Try to ignore everything but the underside of your penis. You will feel your frenulum stretching down your shaft on the in-stroke as the attachment to your inner foreskin will pull it downward. The attachments between the hemispheres of your glans and the shaft will also feel such stretching as your frenulum is attached to a stationary and a moving part. If the frenulum is severed from the inner foreskin, it is not possible to enjoy this phenomena. After concentrating for some time on the stretching and relaxing of your frenulum, do deep short strokes and shallow short strokes as well as full stroking. The varieties of tension applied to your frenulum will give different sensations. Then concentrate on the friction of the vaginal wall against your frenulum when stretched downward, relaxed, in between. You will find different messages from the tension applied and the friction against your frenulum. This may take several sessions to separate and appreciate and you will also be cognizant of the motion of your entire foreskin at the same time. Talk about what you are feeling with your partner and ask what she is feeling. When the different sensations offered by your frenulum become recognized and separated, ask her to position herself where most of the vaginal friction is now on the top of your penis.

The sensuous feelings from the ridged or frenar band on the top of your penis (about half an inch behind your glans and proceeding downward toward your glans and making a transition into your frenulum) may be more difficult to distinguish due to location. Try to disregard the sensations of foreskin movement, friction on your frenulum and the frenar stretching and concentrate on the friction upon the top and sides just behind your glans and also the stretching and relaxing of this area. Being aware of the other dynamics by this time may make this area more difficult to concentrate on and distinguish, but your concentration will separate these sensations. Most of the sensations will be found at the beginning of the change from your relaxed foreskin and the stretching downward.

The only part remaining to distinguish different sensations is your glans. By this time you will not be surprised that your glans, compared to the foreskin and its parts, actually gives the least of all the sensuous sensations offered by your penis. As pathologist Dr. John Taylor observed (his research in the British Journal of Urology,February 1996, “The Prepuce: specialized mucosa of the penis and its loss to circumcision”), compared to the foreskin the glans is a dumb organ.

If all of the distinct sensations have successfully been separated and identified you can now enjoy sexual intercourse with a new “oneness” with a bundle of wire instead of the singular wiring. As one man summed-up his adventure, “I wish to thank you for real sex education. The journey is now so much more exiting that I don’t think about the destination and it has not only enhanced my sex life but my wife enjoys my much longer duration and the frequency of her orgasms has at least doubled. I cannot imagine sex without my erogenous foreskin. Why has it been so successfully hidden from men in this country?”

It is a sad state of sexual affairs when men do not experience or are unable to experience all the joys of sex that Nature intended. Over the centuries an oft repeated reason given for removing the foreskin was the idea that human males were incapable of managing so much natural sensuality, could not withstand the enormous amount of sexual gratification afforded by a complete penis. It would cause men to spend too much time thinking of sex, engaged in sexual pursuits or self-pleasuring. Sex was just too “bad” to be enjoyed so much.

The intensities and areas of most sensuality will vary from man to man because of foreskin variety – long, medium or short; long, medium or short frenulum; tight, snug or loose. After taking this excursion please e-mail your experiences and thoughts to the address on the home page.

An interesting added note is the fact that the relatively large area of tissue on the underside of the penis from the foreskin opening to the shaft skin (containing the inner foreskin, outer foreskin and frenulum)is shared by the foreskin, shaft skin and scrotal skin. If this is removed the testicles may be brought quite high at erection as there is no tissue to move downward displacing tissue needed during that large increase in size.


Help for Tight Foreskin

By Geoffrey B.


The penis has a number of structures that you should know. The head of the penis is called the glans. The foreskin is also called the prepuce. It is attached under the pee hole or meatus by a y-shaped piece of skin called the fraenulum or frenulum. The frenulum is similar in structure to the one under the tongue and has an important sexual function. The fraenular band is the tight bit at the foreskin opening that is being stretched in this case.


Phimosis may be mild or severe. Some men can retract their foreskin easily when their penis is flaccid (soft) but experience difficulty when erect. In others the opening is so tight that they can only see a tiny bit of their glans when they pull back on their foreskin.

Why Bother to Stretch

Although some men manage to live with phimosis there are some disadvantages to having a non-retractable foreskin. Firstly it is hard to clean and may smell. The body produces a white substance called smegma that collects under the foreskin and in the folds of female genitalia. Smegma usually does no harm but it is susceptible to infections that can cause pain and/or odours. Secondly having sex with the foreskin forward reduces sexual sensations. Thirdly many men with tight foreskins complain that sex without a condom is painful as the foreskin may be forced back during sex.


You can ask your doctor to prescribe Betamethasone 1% ointment. A tiny amount of this ointment can be applied to the tight part of the foreskin. It will speed up the stretching process but won’t do anything on its own, without stretching. Stretching will still work without the ointment, just more slowly.

Stretching Technique One

If the foreskin is very tight the simplest method is to pull back on the skin (easiest with an erection) so that the opening feels tight without real pain. Hold that for a few minutes and repeat a few times. Do this a couple of times a day. Soaking in a warm bath will make the skin easier to stretch. If the opening becomes sore, or develops splits, stop and let things heal up. Going at it too fast will only slow things down in the end. Once the opening is big enough to just fit over the rim of the glans when erect the foreskin is at risk of getting stuck behind it. If this happens paraphimosis may develop. Stretching technique two avoids this risk.


Paraphimosis occurs when the foreskin gets stuck behind the glans of an erect penis, trapping the blood that causes the erection in the glans and causing swelling of the foreskin itself. If the foreskin becomes stuck squeeze the head of the penis firmly to force the blood out and try and ease the foreskin forward. If after many tries you still can’t do this see a doctor or ER fast. This is uncommon but you should be warned.

Stretching Technique Two

You can either grab each side of the foreskin opening (with the foreskin forward) and gently pull on each side of the opening or, even better, insert the ends of two fingers, even the little fingers and pull them gently apart. Stretch the opening in this way until it feels uncomfortably stretched but not actually painful. Hold and repeat as for method one. Once again this is best done after soaking in a warm bath.


As you stretch and are able to expose more of the glans you may find that it is very sensitive or even painful to touch. You will find it less painful the more you expose and use it and gradually the over-sensitivity will lessen. A gentle way to start touching the head is by using the shower spray. Also use lube when touching the head directly.

Smegma Build-Up

As you stretch and are able to expose more of the head you may discover a build up of smegma. This may even contain hard lumps that are hard to remove. Soften them with a light vegetable oil or a non-scented, oily cream such as sorbolene or vitamin E cream. The smegma and softening agent can then be removed with a mild non-scented soap followed by a thorough rinse with plain water. A number of applications over a period of time may be necessary before the build up is cleaned away. Once it is then simple rinsing with plain water every day is enough to keep most penises clean and fresh. Some men can use soap daily but others find it upsets the natural balance and can actually cause infections or irritation.

Tight Fraenulum

Sometimes the cause of difficulty in retracting the foreskin is not a tight foreskin opening but a short fraenulum (frenulum), also known as fraenulum breve. This can also be stretched though it is sometimes more difficult to do this. You can grab the underside of the foreskin opening and pull out away from your body until you feel the fraenulum stretching. Or if your foreskin opening is large enough you can pull back on the foreskin until you feel the fraenulum stretching. Hold and repeat as in the foreskin opening stretching methods. If the fraenulum can’t be stretched then an alternative to circumcision is a frenuloplasty. It is a simple operation that does not remove any tissue but fixes the problem with minimal healing time.

Keep At It

Keep stretching for a while once you get to the diameter of foreskin opening you want. If you stop too soon it is possible for things to tighten up again. So just keep doing the exercises for a week or two after everything is loose enough to work properly.


Treatment for Foreskin

By Glenn Epps

Please note that the conditions outlined in The Intact Handbook (TM) also apply to the circumcised penis. This further illuminates that circumcision, in most cases as a prophylactic or preventative measure, is not a proper method of dealing with conditions of the penis.

Lack of information and misinformation abounds respecting the anatomy, function and treatment of the structures of the male penis. At the slightest sign of "trouble" or "problem" with a males foreskin the suggested treatment is often circumcision. Circumcision is an invasive form of treatment and most radical. The Intact Handbook is here to help. If you have a foreskin related problem you'll likely find information that will allow you to avoid circumcision.

As we all become more cognizant of the structure, function and purpose of the complete structure of the male penile anatomy it is important that we make available various forms of treatment that preserve the integrity of these important structures. Circumcision should be seen as a last resort, and truly, almost all foreskin related problems DO NOT require circumcision--alternative treatment methods exist. It is these alternative treatment methods that should become the primary focus for treating various problems that a male may experience. This methodology for treatment is not new. This methodology is employed with respect to almost all medical conditions and problems.

It would be misleading to suggest that the intact penis does not befall to certain medical conditions--this is true of the circumcised penis as well. All parts of the body, whether one is male or female has the potential for befalling to various aliments or problems. It is generally accepted and expected that treatments will be conservative and that surgery is relied upon only as a last resort or where no choice exists. This principle should strongly be adhered to when we are talking about the genitals--male or female--every male and female is entitled to the benefits afforded by such structures lest there being some compelling reason that requires and necessitates surgical intervention. More and more doctors are familiarizing themselves with proper treatment methods for conditions of the penis/foreskin--if your doctor has not--perhaps you can provide him with information or seek a doctor that is up-to-date with current medical treatment methods.

The sections of The Intact Handbook provides some basic information related to some of the more common conditions and problems of the foreskin and also those conditions that have more commonly in the past resulted in treatment by way of radical surgical intervention, namely circumcision.

Attempts have been made, throughout The Intact Handbook, to use wording that is not too technical, medically or otherwise. However, there is a need to use various medical terms and terminology. Definitions to common medical terms used are provided below the Sections.


Phimosis and/or Tight Foreskin

Restricted Foreskin Movement

General Irritation and Infection

Reddened and/or Irritated Foreskin

Redness/Swelling of the Glans

Inflammation of the Glans

Adhesions: Attachment of the foreskin, skin, to the glans of the penis. Adhesions (of the inner foreskin [mucosa] to the glans) occurs if the foreskin is forcibly retracted and the inner mucosa is torn from the glans and adheres to the glans after the foreskin recovers the glans (generally there results the formation of scar tissue). Since the penis is not developed at birth, the inner mucosa and epithelium (the skin surface of the glans) of the glans are fused together. This fusion is not an adhesion. The fusion is natural and will separate in time, whereas adhesions are caused by an ignorant person forcing retraction and ripping those fused tissues and those torn tissues adhering to one another.
Corona: The prominent elevated rim that is the base of the glans penis.
Frenular Band: Essentially this is the tip of the penis. It is specialized tissues and muscles that encircle the tip of the penis.
Frenulum: This is a cord like structure (mucus membrane) which is found on the under side of the glans penis that connects the glans to the foreskin.
Frenulum Breve: Having a short frenulum (frenum).
Glans: The head of the penis.
Meatus: The opening at the end of the males' urethra.
Sulcus: The groove around the base of the glans where it meets the shaft of the penis.
Urethra: The tube-like conduit (for urine and/or semen) which runs on the underside (ventral) of the shaft of the penis and connects to the bladder; the tube ends at the meatus.

Ammonia: A strong smelling gas, which can dissolve in water (liquid ammonia) which is comprised of nitrogen and hydrogen. Ammonia can cause skin irritation.
Balanitis: An inflammation or rash on the glans penis. Balanitis is due most often to NSD (Non-specific dermatitis) which is easily treated with application of an emollient cream and restriction of soap usage. Other histological features are lichen sclerosus, lichen palnus, plasma cell balanitis, dermatitis artefacta, post scabetic, candida, wart virus. Diabetes mellitus may be a factor in some cases, as are fungi and staphylococcus aureus.
Dermatitis: Inflammation of the skin. Note that this big word is used for diaper rash [nappy rash in the UK] Where the child does not have a foreskin instead of a "reddening" of the foreskin the child may develop meatal stenosis from the irritation. Meatal stenosis is uncommon if the penis is intact but is commonly observed in those penises which have been circumcised; corrective surgery may be required for those whose meatus has been "damaged."
Emollient: Something that softens and soothes.
Flora: Plant life, the plant life characteristic of a region, period or special environment. I.e., bacteria of the human intestine. *Note that in the absence of flora, in the stomach, for example, life ceases. Many flora are in symbiotic relationship with the human life form, that is both benefit by co-existing together.
Lactobacillus: A genus of gram positive nonmotile lactic-acid-formins bacteria of the family Lactobacillaccae including various commercially important lactic acid bacteria. Or if you prefer these are bacteria which live in milk and other products.
Meatus: The opening at the end of the males' urethra.
Pus: A liquid formed by inflammation of infected tissue in the body, consisting of white blood cells, bacteria, serum and other agents. Usually whitish-yellowish in appearance.
Urethra: The tube-like conduit (for urine and/or semen) which runs on the underside (ventral) of the shaft of the penis and connects to the bladder; the tube ends at the meatus.

 Phimosis and/or Tight Foreskin:

The foreskin of the male penis* does not retract to expose the glans of the penis.
The foreskin of the male penis* retracts partially, thereby partially exposing the glans of the penis.
The foreskin constricts the glans of the penis* when retracted, either during the flaccid or erect condition of the penis (paraphimosis).
The retraction of the foreskin during sexual activity causes pain.
During sexual activity the foreskin does not retract and there is pain associated with the sexual activity.

*Phimosis is a natural condition of the infant and child penis. Generally, phimosis can not be properly diagnosed until the early adult years.

Please note that note all men have a foreskin which can retract fully. Some men's foreskin only partially retracts. Both of these conditions are normal in that they do not cause pain or discomfort for the man and he is able to maintain hygiene between the foreskin and the glans.



Having a non-retractable foreskin is not necessarily any problem. Many adult men go through life without being able to retract their foreskins. If your foreskin does not retract and you are having no pain you still may wish to have a retractable foreskin. This is your decision--options are available to you without necessitating the denuding of the glans by way of circumcision.

We all have to come to understand that there are many variances in the penises of men. Where intervention is usually required are for those men who experience pain during sexual activity which is being caused by the non-retractabability of the foreskin.

A non-retractable foreskin is not, however, synonymous with phimosis and it should not be used as an excuse for "lopping off an innocent and useful appendage." [British Medical Journal, 3 September 1988. Other sources: Dr. J.E. Wright, The Medical Journal of Australia, Vol. 160, 7 Feb. 1994]


Phimosis* is a normal condition of the human prepuce in young males; in fact the prepuce is literally attached to the glans at birth. The word comes directly from the Greek and means "muzzling." Its English definition is, "A tightness or constriction of the orifice of the prepuce, arising either congenitally or from inflammation, congestion, etc., and making it impossible to bare the glans." This, of course, is precisely what the prepuce does during the early years of life. The ending, "-osis," according to Webster's International Dictionary, is a suffix signifying "condition, state, process." A condition of muzzling. Perfectly normal. [Say No to Circumcision, Thomas J. Ritter, M.D. & George C. Denniston, M.D.]



If men who have been circumcised can stretch a new foreskin (known as foreskin restoration or skin expansion), it surely must be possible for a man to stretch the opening of his foreskin to allow for retraction. Surgical intervention, and that of circumcision, should generally be considered a last resort.

BASIC POINT ON STRETCHING: Stretch without pain. If you produce pain, you may be tearing tissue, which can then scar, making matters more difficult. Stretching has to be done slowly, over time.

First, lets assume that the frenar band (essentially the tip of the foreskin) is too tight, there are no preputial adhesions, no rare pathological phimosis (usually balanitis xerotica obliterans-- lichen sclerosus et atrophicus). It should not be too difficult to stretch (dilate) the opening (lateral stretching only).

Soak the end of the penis in warm water and apply a good lubricating cream (i.e. Vaseline or another lubricant which is non-irritating ) and insert two blunt objects about a quarter inch or so within the prepuce and apply some outward pressure so-in-that the foreskin opening has pressure on it. One will need something that can apply outward pressure and not just sit or stand there holding it. Something like large tweezers that open quite widely would be good (insert closed and release), be very careful not to cause injury to any of the penile structures.

If nothing is available to do that, one may stretch it as far as possible over a lubricated short dowel (drill a hole in it for urinating) and slowly increase the size of the dowels. A good place to find doweling materials at a hobby supply store, or the local lumber shop. This may sound a bit unusual but it might be the solution for some.

Stretching should be gradual. There is no need to hurry the process, and in fact if one does try to stretch too quickly it may lead to complications and possibly complications that would then necessitate surgical intervention of some manner. It may be somewhat uncomfortable and one should be on the lookout for any splitting of the foreskin and resultant scarring. If that happens, one may have a fibrotic disease (physiological phimosis). Remember, stretching does not occur overnight. This is not a quick results program.

During the time of stretching, one should occasionally try to retract one's foreskin over the glans, but not past the corona until one is comfortable with the opening having been enlarged enough not to get 'stuck' behind the corona (paraphimosis). One should also try to ascertain, at the time of retracting to the corona, if there are any adhesions. Such adhesions might be indicative of premature retraction at an earlier age. Such adhesions (the foreskin 'fused' to the glans) may require separation by a doctor. Given that there are no major adhesions, the separating of such adhesions should not be difficult for a doctor to do.

Michel Beauge, M.D. (faculty of medicine, Saint-Antoine University in Paris), in his paper working with young men with tight foreskins, uses therapeutic masturbation procedures of which he has reported a terrific success rate.

If one has generally masturbated by stroking the glans through the foreskin in the usual way, but pulls the skin toward the tip of the penis rather than that of pulling it back toward the pubis, one's foreskin may well be similar to that of many of Dr. Beauge's patients, i.e., the presence of a long tubular foreskin as seen in infants (this is normal in infants) and a tighter opening due to it never having been stretched during normal masturbatory experiences.

In his report it is noted that, "Some boys roll the penis between two palms or between one hand and another surface. It is usual in these cases for the raphe on the underside of the penis not to be in the midline but more or less displaced to one side or even spiral; the preputial orifice is often displaced." Further, "It is of course essential that the preputial opening be stretched round the circumference of the fully erect glans. This technique meets the requirements of the kinesitherapy of soft tissues, gradual stretching. In some cases I have recommended instrumental dilation with the use of a dilator in patients who agree to this procedure, or I have advised the introduction of two fingers into the opening of the foreskin to stretch it." Also, "Thus the boy can progressively expand his foreskin until the diameter is equal to that of the erect glans, allowing him subsequently to proceed to sexual intercourse without risk of paraphimosis."

People tend to want quick results, but again stretching should be done slowly and with patience. If the conventional stretching methods are not working well (give them time) one may want to approach their doctor to prescribe Temovate (clobetasol propionate cream 0.05%) If you are using such cream, apply the cream sparingly on the narrowest portion of the foreskin as one gently retracts on a daily basis. Then, after a few days, one can use the erect penis (the glans itself) as a dilator (or other methods mentioned), gently stretching the foreskin, but not past the point of pain, because that could introduce tearing. It is recommended that the cream not be used for more than two weeks at a time because of systemic side effects of cortisone-like substances.

NOTE: Using a topical steroid (0.05% betamethasone cream) has been shown to have excellent results in the treatment of phimosis. [Z. Colubovic, D. Milanovic, V. Vukadivovic, I. Radic and S. Perovic, The Conservative Treatment Of Phimosis In Boys, British Journal Of Urology, 1996; Vol. 78: pages 786-788.] It should be emphasized that there should be great hesitancy of a doctor to diagnosis phimosis, particularly in young boys. However, if so diagnosed, there are very effective treatments which do not require circumcision. In any event, z-plasty (prepuital plasty) will preserve most of the foreskin if surgery is required. Prepuital plasty (where a small incision is made vertically, then closed horizontally so as to widen the opening) is a particularly effective means of dealing with many of the problems for which circumcision is often employed. In an alternative only a small portion of the tip of the foreskin need be removed (in most cases) to resolve phimosis thereby successfully leaving almost all of the foreskin intact.

Sometimes stretching alone does not always work. The frenulum should be considered in an exam. For example, a short frenulum may restrict the ability of the foreskin to retract partially and even in some cases fully. It should be noted again, men's penises vary greatly. It should be remembered that the degree of retractability varies from man to man; this is all normal. What is not normal is for men to experience pain during normal sexual activities. For more information on conditions related to the frenulum see the section "Restrictive Foreskin" in the Intact Handbook.

If there are adhesions found after successful stretching one may advise (seek) his physician that he would like to try the EMLA (Eutectic Mixture of Local Anaesthetics) cream inserted in the foreskin and left there for about an hour and then the adhesions separated. Many doctors are quick to recommend circumcision at the first sign of adhesions. Some physicians recommend against this at any age so again, it would be extremely beneficial to find a foreskin friendly doctor knowledgeable about the natural penis (difficult to find in North America) and any of the rare problems that may occur would be most helpful.

You should keep in mind that if stretching achieves the desired result you may need to employ a regular method of stretching if you find that tightening begins to occur.


Sometimes what happens is that the foreskin will tighten either around the head of the penis or in most cases behind the glans (head of the penis). No need to worry. DO NOT PANIC! If this ever happens, just grasp the head of your penis in your fingers and apply constant pressure. This pressure will force the blood out of the glans (head) and you should then be able to slip the foreskin back over the head. One might want to get a lubricant, like KY, and smear it all around the area where the foreskin is lodged and the rest of the glans. If left alone, or if taken to a doctor, circumcision is likely as many doctors still do not understand that there are good reasons for trying to preserve the penile structures, particularly the foreskin.

Consider an alternative to soap; certainly this is not always necessary but it is something to consider. Alkali in soap is the leading cause of irritation that looks like infection. (balanitis (among the circumcised and intact) and balanoposthitis). It causes non-specific dermatitis. Intact (and circumcised) children should be taught to wash their penises with water -- omit the soap. If in a bath, wash the intact penis (one that has naturally retracted) first so the water is clean and there will be no soap residue. Otherwise, one may wish to shop around and find a soap that is alkali-free.

If these options have been non-responsive, surgical intervention maybe necessary. Once again one should seek out a doctor who has knowledge of the penis and not just circumcised penises. Circumcision need not be performed. A procedure, which a well-informed doctor ought to know about, called a Z-plasty will almost certainly alleviate the problems that are non-responsive to less invasive treatments. A Z-plasty (the stitched up incision take the form of a z) removes essentially no tissue and allows a 'widening' of the foreskin. This is an invasive surgery, less radical than a circumcision, and should be sought if less conservative measures are not successful.

 Restrictive Foreskin Movement:

The foreskin of the male penis does not retract to expose the glans of the penis.
The foreskin of the male penis retracts partially, thereby partially exposing the glans of the penis.
The frenulum tears or bleeds upon more forceful retraction of the foreskin.
The retraction of the foreskin during sexual activity causes pain.
During sexual activity the foreskin does not retract and there is pain associated with the sexual activity.
Retraction of the foreskin causes a significant pull on the glans of the penis.

Please note that note all men have a foreskin which can retract fully. Some men's foreskin only partially retracts. Both of these conditions are normal in that they do not cause pain or discomfort for the man and he is able to maintain hygiene between the foreskin and the glans.




Having a non-retractable foreskin is not necessarily any problem. Many adult men go through life without being able to retract their foreskins. If your foreskin does not retract and you are having no pain you still may wish to have a retractable foreskin. This is your decision--options are available to you without necessitating the denuding of the glans by way of circumcision.

We all have to come to understand that there are many variances in the penises of men. Where intervention is usually required are for those men who experience pain during sexual activity which is being caused by the non-retractabability of the foreskin.


The foreskin of a male may not retract or may only partially retract due to restrictions caused by the frenulum. The frenulum is also commonly referred to as the frenum. This condition (restrictions caused by the frenulum) can often be misdiagnosed as being phimosis--it is not. Frenulum breve essentially means having a short frenulum. The frenulum (highly sensitive and erogenous tissue) connects the foreskin to the glans.

The frenulum, a mucosa membrane, is found on the ventral side (back) of the glans (head) of the penis. It starting point is often at the meatus, running down the back of the head and attaching to the foreskin. However, the frenulum various from man to man. One man may not find it starting right at the meatus, others may find it to be quite long. It can be short, it can be a substantial amount of tissue or a smaller amount of tissue. In more rare cases, the frenulum can (or is) almost non-existent wherein the foreskin is essentially fused to the back of the glans.

If the frenulum is short it may restrict the ability of the foreskin to retract. Such restriction could mean that the foreskin can not retract at all, or that the foreskin only retracts partially; hence the misdiagnosis of phimosis. There also may be a situation wherein the foreskin retracts but upon pulling down on the foreskin with more force the frenulum becomes extremely taut and pulls considerably on the glans, pulling it in a downward fashion and in-so-doing causing pain or extreme discomfort. --Note-- Upon full retraction, in an erect or non-erect state, it is quite normal for the frenulum to be 'comfortably' taut and to pull somewhat on the glans of the penis.

Perhaps you are a bit confused in being able to identify the frenulum. Go to a mirror, open your mouth and lift your tongue. You will see a frenulum. The frenulum joins the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. Lift your tongue a bit and feel and move the frenulum--you will see that it is not taut. Now raise your tongue as high as possible and do the same--you will now see and feel that the frenulum is quite taut.

Although rare, the frenulum may tear with resultant bleeding (may be minimal or more substantial) and pain. Such tearing could happen during one's first sexual 'type' experience or at any time but it seems more reasonable to assume that if there is going to be a tearing that it will occur early at the outset of engaging in sexual experience(s). Generally if the tear is not large it will heal spontaneously (over a period of several days), however it is advised that you undergo a close examination of the frenulum to determine whether corrective action needs to be taken. A tearing of the frenulum does not normally ever necessitate the need of a circumcision.



Depending on exactly the brevity (shortness) of the frenulum or its attachment to the glans, may result in various methods of treatment. Most treatments are very simple surgical procedures which do not ablate (remove) the foreskin or the frenulum. The type of surgical procedure will depend on the manner in which the frenulum is causing a restriction of movement. Generally, most or all of the frenulum can be saved and need not be removed to correct the brevity, so be clear that you and your doctor are fully aware of what exactly is going to be done. Remember, that the frenulum is considered the most sensitive part of the penis; ensure you seek out a knowledgeable medical doctor.

You should also keep in mind that the frenulum can be stretched and if stretching relieves any breve condition that may exist you should make sure that you continue to stretch the frenulum or you may find that it becomes rather taut again.

 General Irritation and Infection:

Inflammation of the glans and/or foreskin.
Reddened glans and/or foreskin.
Tenderness of the glans and/or foreskin and possible appearance of infection.



The foreskin is an integral part of the penile and normal urinary tract, and therefore is colonized with helpful flora, or bacteria (One's stomach is also colonized with helpful flora and bacteria). When this is interfered with, sometimes inflammation and infection occurs, because the normal flora have been killed off and cannot help the body fight infections from foreign substances. This imbalance may also give rise to excess ammonia which may cause inflammation and irritation.

One of the most common foreskin problems that boys experience is inflammation during or right after taking antibiotics; i.e., antibiotics for ear/throat infections. The antibiotics are eliminated from the body through the urethra and as such urine comes into contact with the foreskin. As this process occurs the antibiotics being excreted kill off the helpful, natural flora.

For those who have been circumcised they too may experience problems, however they are localized to the glans.




Apply some lotrimin lotion on the foreskin to ease the inflammation. The help restore the natural bacterial/flora balance ensure that the boy eats food that contains lactobacillus and other helpful bacteria, if he is not allergic. These might include live culture yogurt, or any juice with lactobacillus added.

If the condition arises during the antibiotic treatment one may want to increase the frequency of bathing (i.e., once a day) using warm water to gently wash the genitals.

This is a temporary imbalance for which circumcision most certainly is not needed.

Ammonia Dermatitis:

Reddened and/or irritated foreskin.



An infant may develop a reddened foreskin which could indicate an infection. Most commonly what is happening is that he is suffering from ammoniacal dermatitis. Ammonia is produced by a specific bacteria in the infants feces. The ammonia causes a reddening of the foreskin but which can also be found to be irritating the diapered area; an infant female can also suffer from the same problem.


If an infant develops a reddened foreskin, it may be an infection. Cutting through infected tissue to remove it is dangerous. Most commonly, a reddened foreskin is an ammoniacal dermatitis. Ammonia is produced by a specific badcterium in the infant's feces, b.ammoniagenes. The ammonia causes the reddening, which may extend over the diapered area, and may include vesicles and papules with some excoriation. [Say No to Circumcision, Thomas J. Ritter, M.D. & George C. Denniston, M.D.]




May be alleviated by treating the diapers with an antiseptic (mercuric chloride) which inhibits the ammonia-producing bacterium. Frequent diaper changes can also help alleviate this problem.

Infants skin can be very sensitive and react to a number of agents. Alkali in hand soap's can be the cause of irritation. Simply bathing with warm water may alleviate the irritation--with patients and time the redness will disappear. Alkali in laundry detergents may be the source of irritation particularly if one is using cloth diapers. You may want to find both a bathing soap and a laundry soap which is alkali free.

Surprisingly the diaper itself may be the agent causing irritation; switching of brands may eliminate irritation.

Other things to watch for are reactions to bubble bath soaps, reactions to chlorine, this maybe particularly evident if you take your child to public swimming pools. Certainly not all the problems will affect your son, whether circumcised or not, but in some cases these are do have a bearing on children and in many cases also that of females as well.

Often when the foreskin reddens it shows that it is doing is job of protecting the glans. Meatal ulceration (the opening at the tip of the penis) is seen in 30% of circumcised boys. This can be a most painful condition and lead to meatal stenosis and in many cases requiring surgical intervention to enlarge the urinary opening. Meatal ulceration is almost non-existent in intact boys. Meatal ulceration is considered a complication of circumcision but of which is hardly ever told to parents by doctors.

Note: Ammonia Dermatitis and Eczema are quite frequently found with the circumcised penis. The problems are more particularly exacerbated by the exposed glans. Remember, the foreskin is essentially like a protective glove. We often wear gloves to protect our hands when dealing with cleaning solutions (ammonia, Javex) and to protect against abrasion, i.e. raking grass/leaves.



Redness of the glans, swelling of the glans and pus.



Be cautious of the diagnosis of balanitis, which is not really balanitis, but simply irritation and normal smegma. Balanitis does not cause phimosis, and no single pathogen is involved. Usually a boy suffers on one episode. [Escala JM, Rickwood AMK. Balanitis BR J Urol 63: 196-197, 1989] Circumcision is a radical means of treating such a condition.


Literally, "inflammation of the acorn" or glans penis, diagnosis of balantitis requires redness, swelling and pus. Generally a boy will only suffer one episode. [Say No to Circumcision, Thomas J. Ritter, M.D. & George C. Denniston, M.D.]




Balanitis may be treated by bathing in hot water and local washing; a saline solution might be advisable. One can get this from a pharmacy or make it yourself with 4 teaspoons of salt in 1 liter of clean water Application of an emollient cream may also help ease this condition.

One should BOIL their undergarments for at least 20 minutes then wash them and rinse them three or more times. There have been cases where the problem was washpowder on the underpants which irritated the penis and gave the impression of an infection. After this one might want to make sure that they are using a laundry detergent which is not harsh and alkali free.

In some cases broad spectrum oral antibiotic is required as the problem can be 'inside' rather than 'outside' the person. But depending on the cause one may need injected penicillin if there are certain specific problems.

One may also want to ensure that they are not "over-bathing." Constant washing of the irritated area can sometimes cause further irritation.

Note: In most cases balanitis is that of Nonspecific Dermatitis (NSD) and is treated with emollient cream and the restriction of soap usage and that 90% of all cases respond well to this very simple treatment.


Inflammation of the glans and the foreskin.








Sample cultures should be taken to identify any offending organism(s) and then by appropriately treated with antibiotics.


Back to Contents



New Father Josh's View of Circumcision

By Josh

How it all began...

Finding out that you're going to be a parent is an exciting, yet surreal, moment.
But, if you've got a boy on the way, one of the decisions you'll need to make is whether his penis will circumcised or not. This is the decision that my fianceé left to me last year when we found out the sex.

Anna was indifferent about it, and I just assumed our boy would be circumcised, mostly because I am myself. We also live in the United States (New Jersey to be particular) and it just seemed like something everybody does.

It wasn't until we met with the paediatrician one day and he brought the topic up. He said, somewhat bluntly, that "the Paediatrics Academy doesn't recommend this procedure. From a medical standpoint its not really beneficial, and from an ethical standpoint... well that depends on your point of view."

Driving home, this got me thinking (while Anna concerned herself more with boy names and bedroom wallpaper designs). Her opinion was that I'm the one with the penis, so I should decide what happens in that department.

So, I went on the internet, and did some homework. What happened next shocked me.

It soon became clear that circumcision was no longer something everyone "just did".
I started from the very beginning — doing a Google search for circumcision returned over six million results. At that point, I decided I would need a beer.

So, armed with a 4-pack of Bud and a curiosity as to why there are 6,000,000 webpages about it, I got stuck in.

Next, I realized how hotly debated circumcision actually is. I found it very difficult to find resources that were impartial. Most seemed to be either very "pro" or very "anti", and a lot of people have very strong opinions for their side of the fence, some even resorting to flat out abuse of the opposition.

Oh by the way, for the purposes of this blog, I will often refer to circumcised penises as "cut" and uncircumcised ones as "intact". This seemed like what each battalion preferred calling their respective units, and also I am the laziest person I know, so typing out the long versions every other sentence will soon get tiresome.

When I was eventually able to find some objective resources, I quickly learned a lot. See, I thought that if we didn't have baby Joseph (so he turned out to be named) circumcised, we'd have to intricately wash under his foreskin after every diaper change to prevent all sorts of nasty diseases. Not so. In fact it seemed like more care and attention would be required if we had him cut!

I also learned that the foreskin plays an important role in protecting the penis head, and that I could actually be missing out on some sexual sensation being cut. I think this is disputable, and almost impossible to prove.

To outline what follows: I've split my blog up into 4 sections.
In the first, I'll share what I know of the actual thing that us Americans like to cut off: the foreskin itself.
Next, I'll talk about how America is actually the only country that cuts foreskins off for non-religious reasons!
Thirdly, I will dedicate a whole section to the potential protections circumcision has to offer, as well as its potential risks.
And finally, the decision that I made for little Joe, as I smoked a thousand cigarettes while Anna pressed through labor for what seemed like an eternity, way back in the April of '08...

What is the foreskin there for?

"Its just a ghastly flap of extra skin."
That may be how you've heard a male foreskin described. But allow me to shed some light on what the foreskin really is.

Well, firstly, its not "extra". All guys are born with it, so that immediately begs the question, "if we were born with it, it must be there for a reason?" Well it is.

Foreskin comprises four-fifths of penile skin, and is full of specialized nerve receptors. These receptors play a role in sexualfunctions (as I will soon explain) and the way that it acts as a 'sheath' over the head (or 'glans' to be scientific) means that itprotects it too.

Understanding how the foreskin plays a role in sex is something of a vague science.
So lets start with masturbation.

Don't frown; we all do it, and your son will do it too, especially when he starts 'growing up'! Doctors actually first started circumcising boys to STOP them from masturbating, because once-upon-a-time they thought it was harmful. The way the foreskin can be glided back and forth over the glans and shaft makes masturbation easier and, arguably, more enjoyable. Without the need for artificial lubrication, it seems as though boys can discover self-pleasure from a youunger age if they are intact.

In sex it is believed that this gliding action is what most stimulates the orgasmic elements of the penis. It also makes for smoother movement between the partners, and creates a pressure that enables enhanced pleasure for both.

Don't get me wrong. Circumcised men can still lead normal and very enjoyable sex lives. I do. But the prospect that it could be better if I had a foreskin certainly makes me wonder...

While not masturbating or having sex, the foreskin sits in its usual forward position, protecting the glans.
This protection keeps the glans soft and sensitive. Cut the foreskin off, and thousands of nerve endings are removed and the glans becomes tough and dry, in a process called keratinization.
So you see, the foreskin does serve a purpose. Several important ones, in fact.

Who in the world circumcises...

As far as I can see, there are three main reasons why a boy would be circumcised:
1. Religious reasons
2. Medical reasons
3. Cultural reasons

In terms of reason 1, the mainstream religions that require their males to be circumcised are Judaism and Islam. Therefore, all Jewish and Muslim men are 'cut'. Furthermore, this means that the majority of men in the Middle East are circumcised.

Sometimes, a boy may have a medical condition where a circumcision is required. The most common such condition appears to be phimosis, where the foreskin cannot be pulled back.
Although these problems are rare, they are usually the reason behind most circumcisions in first-world countries other than the U.S.

Cultural reasons...
Ask me to define 'culture' and I'd struggle to be very precise at all.
But let me give you an example: Nelson Mandela.
It was a custom for him to undergo a circumcision at the age of 16, as a sign of transition from boy to man. Mandela even had to bury his own severed foreskin in the ground as part of the ritual.
In the Philippines, boys undergo a similar cultural tradition when they hit puberty, and have their foreskins cut off too.

Now I want to make something clear:
The USA is the only developed country that circumcises most of its boys for non-religious and non-medical reasons. Our European, Asian, Australian and South-American friends do not routinely circumcise.
However, the U.S. rate of circumcision has dwindled to just 57% with the lowest rates in the south and west and higher rates in the midwest.

Later, I will make very important comparisons between the USA, a country where 80% of males are 'cut', and countries where 80% of males are 'intact'.

To conclude this section, I can summarise by telling you that on the global scale, approximately 80% of males are 'intact'.
At the time of going to print, the world's population was 6¾ billion.
So assuming there are around 3.4 billion men on the planet, that means about 2.7 billion of them have foreskins!

Now let’s get down to business…

Circumcision has some pros, but are they sufficient enough to warrant cutting your son's foreskin off?
It would be unfair, impartial and futile for me to deny that circumcision carries some benefits. The extent of these benefits however, are not as great as I once thought. Especially in a country like mine where hot water runs out of our taps, and people can purchase condoms from their local store.

Let's explore the apparent advantages, one by one:

STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection)

  • Its never been more essential to use a condom or other reliable contraceptive.
  • Whether a man is 'cut' or 'intact' actually appears to have little or no affect on his exposure to STDs. Studies are often conflicting and complex, but the most recent one showed that circumcision offers a tiny 1% reduction. Every study however notes that there are much more significant factors, such as use of condoms and promiscuous behavior, in the acquisition of STDs, than whether the man has a foreskin or not.
  • As mentioned earlier, I would also like to compare a mostly-circumcised region to a mostly-uncircumcised region. The USA has a greater incidence of STDs than several Western European countries, despite having most of its males 'cut' compared to most of their males 'intact'.

UTI (Urinary Tract Infections)

  • Females are far more prone to UTIs than males.
  • Again, the risk of UTIs in developed countries like the U.S. are markedly reduced compared to the third-world, yet one-third of adult Americans reported getting a UTI at some point in their lives. This is in a country where 80% are circumcised...
  • In the UK however, where 80% of males have foreskins, only 1 in 30 boys reported having a UTI by the age of 16.
  • The effect of circumcision on risk of UTIs is also minimal, and risk in adulthood is more commonly associated with increased and vigorous intercourse with a new partner.

Penile cancer

  • Cancer scares the shit of people. And rightly so.
  • In 'cut' men, the cancer usually forms on the actual circumcision scar itself, whereas in 'intact' men, it usually forms on the foreskin if the man has particularly poor hygiene. But penile cancer is very rare, affecting less than 1 in 100,000 men.
  • The American Cancer Society declared that having a foreskin does not increase the risk of penile cancer any more than having unprotected sex with multiple partners and smoking cigarettes.
  • The American Medical Association (and Australia's equivalent body) also declared that circumcising an infant in hope of preventing penile cancer is "unjustified".
  • Again, comparing the prevalence of penile cancer in the USA to a non-circumcising region such as Scandinavia, showed no difference at all.

Cervical cancer

  • Cervical cancer is most commonly caused by the HPV virus and a promiscuous sexual history. Not all strains of HPV can be transmitted and not all are dangerous; believe it or not, 80% of sexually-active Americans will carry some form of HPV at some point in their lives.
  • In 2006, the HPV Vaccine for girls was approved, which showed protection against 70% of cervical cancer-causing HPV strains and 90% of strains which cause genital warts.
  • The affect of male circumcision on female cervical cancer is "insignificant" according to one study, especially if the 'intact' man practises good hygiene and the woman keeps her sexual behavior at a low-risk. Bigger factors which affect a woman's risk to cervical cancer are having multiple sex partners, having sex before the age of 18, and having sex with a man who has had previously had sex with someone with the cancer.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)

  • You, like me, may have come across headlines sensationally declaring circumcision reduces a man's risk to HIV by up to 60%. This is all very well in some African countries, where there is an epidemic and contraception is rarely (or never) available nor used.
  • In the U.S., prevalence of HIV is much lower though, and contraception is always available and usually used. Attitudes towards maintaining relationships instead of having multiple sex partners is also different in the West than in Africa.
  • The USA has the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDs than any developed country, at 0.6%. We also have a male population that is 80% circumcised.

    In France, its 0.4%. In the UK its 0.2%. Its only 0.1% in Finland, Ireland, Sweden and New Zealand, and 0.01% in Germany. Most men in those countries are 'intact'.
  • My point is that circumcision is being used as a seemingly "desperate" measure in Africa to help curb the HIV epidemic. But in the developed world, its irrelevant.

To sum up, I concluded that the advantages of circumcision are minimal and insignificant, and that if a man cleans his foreskin area regularly and properly, and sensibly uses contraception, then he is no more at risk of any health problem.

I also read the testimonies of 'intact' men who actually decided to get cut as adults.
Ouch right? Well, one common theme was that the operation itself was painless and that the recovery from it was entirely manageable.

So if men can easily undergo circumcision as adults without a traumatic experience, then why not let our babies make the decision for themselves when they're old enough?

This would bring me onto the ethical issues of circumcising baby boys, but like our ped said to us, that depends on your point of view.

So, what happened to our little Joe?

Researching circumcision was an absorbing experience for me.
So absorbing in fact, that six months later I decided to write all about my findings, and now I have posted them here online. So, what did Anna and I decide to do for Joseph?

You know, in spite of concluding circumcision is unnecessary, I still had to come to terms with the idea of my son being "different" than me.

It wasn't that I wasn't sure how to teach him how to take care for his equipment if we didn't circumcise, since there are several websites out there with advice for parents on how to care for both 'cut' and 'intact' boys.

I guess I just didn't want Joe to be worried that he's different from me, or his friends. The fact that more and more boys aren't being cut nowadays helped us realize he shouldn't have any horror stories with teasing in locker rooms. Then, something clicked.
I figured Joe wouldn't be like me anyway. His would be tiny and bald, mine would be big and hairy. So what about being cut or not? And I never really paid much attention to my dad's penis anyway!

One day I'll explain all this to him. I'll explain that my foreskin was cut off because back then they thought it was harmful to keep it on.
But in the 21st-century, its completely fine to keep a boy's penis intact, so long as you're willing to teach him to take care of it when he's older.

Joe turns 1 this spring, and he's not had any problems with his foreskin.



Fighting Adult Peer Pressure

By Alan David Doane

Would you let doctors cut off part of your child's penis for no real reason at all?

In 1995, my wife and I discovered (by accident, courtesy of a sloppy ultrasound technician) that we were going to have a boy. It was our second pregnancy, and we were asked fairly early on if we wanted him circumcised.

I had long been vaguely annoyed that I had been circumcised without my consent as an infant, and had long since come to the conclusion that there is no real reason for this procedure. I am not of the opinion that males are born "defective" and need to be "fixed" before they can live their lives as males.

It took some months of convincing my wife about this; despite the fact that she was not born with a penis, she bought into all the rote arguments made in favour of the procedure. I showed her enough scientific evidence that it is unnecessary, even cruel, and she and I eventually agreed that our son would live his life intact, with all the parts his DNA instructed his growing, unborn body to have.

Convincing my wife was easy; the real arguing didn't happen until late in her pregnancy, when we were asked to come in to the doctor's office specifically to discuss the issue of circumcision.

We were taken into a quiet office and a middle-aged woman sat down...I don't remember now if she was a nurse or physician's assistant, but she asked us to tell her what we wanted to do regarding my son's foreskin.

We told the woman that we were not going to have him circumcised. Looking very discomfited and somewhat condescending, she asked us to explain our obviously ridiculous decision.

Assuming as the parents we were allowed to make this sort of decision, I somewhat flippantly told her that "I don't believe boys are born with things that need to be snipped off of them."

At that point, the brow-beating began.

The argument (and I am certain this was a standardized meeting that occurred with all parents negligent and degenerate enough to make the sort of decision Lora and I did) basically boiled down to three points:

1. "He won't 'look like you.'"

2. "He may need to have a circumcision as an adult."

3. "He'll have to learn to clean his foreskin."

My responses to those grave concerns:

1. I don't want him "looking at my penis." I frankly don't want anyone looking at my penis. Even me.

2. What are the odds? I made her look it up. 7 out of 100, she informed us. "So there's a 93 percent chance that if we don't cut off part of my son's penis, he'll grow up happy and healthy?" She had no convincing rebuttal to that argument.

3. This one really pissed me off. My response: "He'll have to learn to clean his ass, too; should we cut that off too, while we're at it?" My wife was not amused.

Call me a prick (many have), but I didn't find any of these three arguments particularly compelling. One of my main points all along had been that Americans generally find it laughable and horrifying that there are African tribes that circumcise baby girls, and yet think it is normal, in fact necessary, to do the same thing to boys.

To me it is all symptomatic of the post-intelligent, Planet of the Apes-style culture we live in. The vast majority of sheep-like Americans follow the mystical rituals laid down by our "Fore (skin) fathers" eons ago, without ever really questioning whether anything we're doing in the name of Jeezus or Cleanliness in fact is desirable, ethical or even just not laughable.

My son turns 12 later this year. His intact foreskin has never once been a problem for him, and I have successfully managed to not have him see my penis once in all those years. Snip-happy doctors aside, I think we both prefer it that way.



By Jed Diamond (excerpt from The Warriors Journey Home)

I began to gather information for this chapter; I would regularly break into tears for no apparent reason. Gradually, the tears bean to form themselves into unspoken, long-hidden questions which bubbled to the surface. What is it like for an infant boy-a boy born perfect, whole and complete-to have part of his body removed? What is the effect of having a large person, most often man, spread the baby's little legs and cut away the end of his penis? Could the trauma of this event have anything to do with men's later feelings of shame about their bodies, their concern about the size of their penis, their anguish over sexual performance, their frozen feelings, or the male ability-which is really a liability-to ignore pain?

These questions are unavoidably personal. How had circumcision affected me? Was my own sexual confusion and anger related to this event? What had I really done to my son when I had him circumcised with so little inquiry? Would I be stirring up old wounds if I looked more deeply? Would people ridicule me if I talked and wrote about circumcision as an important men's issue?

Despite my fears, I decided to move ahead. Surely, I thought, with all the focus on men these days, there must be a lot of discussion on circumcision in the literature on men. Just because I had avoided this issue, surely others must be talking about it. As a writer, I have accumulated a fairly good-sized collection of books on men. I was sure I would find a lot of information right here.

Out of the 58 books I had on my shelf which were specifically focused on men, only 8 mentioned circumcision at all. Of those, 5 of the references were so brief that I had trouble finding them when I looked up the page number. In only 3 of the books was circumcision discussed in any depth, and from none of my books did I feel I had gotten a clear understanding of the effects of circumcision on men's psyches and men's lives.

In Search of the truth about circumcision.

What I learned in the months since I began asking questions has shocked and upset me. The foreskin, I learned, was not some useless appendage that could be discarded without harm. Actually, the foreskin provides protection for the glans, and is abundantly supplied with nerve endings. These afford unique sensual stimulation. During masturbation and intercourse, the foreskin stimulates the glans and acts as a natural gliding mechanism which provides a great deal of pleasure. Like the clitoris, the glans is naturally an internal organ and should be treated as such.

The reasons usually given for circumcising baby boys-the intact penis is difficult to keep clean; circumcision prevents future medical problems, such as urinary tract infections, venereal disease, penile and prostate cancer, and cervical cancer in partners, are based on faulty medical data.

Jews have traditionally circumcised their infant boys in fulfilment of a covenant with God. The original practice involved a symbolic removal of the tip of the foreskin. The more radical surgery practiced by modem Jews and the medical establishment, in which the entire foreskin is removed, is not in keeping with the original practice.

The surgery itself, far from being benign, causes extreme pain and trauma. It is not as risk-free as we have been told, and instances of mutilation and death have been reported. The United States is the only country in the world that still practices routine medical circumcision for infants. Three thousand three hundred boys each day-that's 1.2 million per year-undergo this so-called elective surgery that's done without the patient's permission. Though the rate of circumcision declined from a high of 85 percent in 1980, it has remained constant around 60 percent since 1988.

Some of you may feel that I'm devoting too much space to this topic. Before I learned the facts, I would have agreed with you. Consider the following:

  • The facts about circumcision are still unknown to most people: it's only misinformation that allows the wide practice of this surgery to be continued.
  • The effects of circumcision on the male infant are traumatic and long-lasting. Since the trauma occurs before language development, it is difficult for men to remember what happened, and hence difficult for them to heal their emotional scars.
  • The act of circumcision itself is abusive, contributing to later problems with addiction and violence.
  • Ending this practice is one of the most important things we can do to ensure that the next generation of boys has a chance to grow up healthy and free.

Words from those who were there.

Most of the men reading this book have been circumcised. Many of us had our sons circumcised when they were born. Learning the truth about circumcision is difficult. It's easy to feel angry, guilty, and shameful. Yet, I know that we each did the best we could, and our parents did the best they could, given the knowledge available at the time. Hearing from those who have had the courage to remember can help us get back in touch with the feelings we have so long suppressed. What we feel we can heal.

I began by asking my wife what she felt about circumcision. Her three sons from a previous marriage were all circumcised routinely as infants. I was surprised by the strength of her feelings.

“I thought it was done for health reasons. I knew it was done for boys, because I had two younger brothers and assumed they were circumcised to protect them, like getting an immunization shot. With Dane, my first-born, it wasn't until we left the hospital and I changed him at home that I saw what had been done. I had been given instructions in the hospital about keeping his penis clean, but I was shocked when I saw how red and swollen it was. Every time he peed, it seemed to irritate him. The wound would begin to heal then become irritated again and break open.

It didn't seem right. A baby should cry when he is hungry or cold, not because his penis
is hurt. With each child, I had more and more doubts, though the social pressure kept me agreeing. All the many guilts I have felt about not being a good enough mother pale in comparison to the guilt I feel for not being strong enough to do my own investigating. If I had, my boys would still be whole and complete. Any discomfort they might feel in the locker room because they look different is nothing compared to what I let them go through as babies.”

By the time she finished talking, we were both crying. The tears continue to flow as my body, if not my mind, remembers what was done to me as an infant. Listen to the experiences of others.

“Unfortunately, I'm another son of another new mother who fell into the automatic circumcision trap. It makes me wonder where the hell my father was, or if he ever knew what was going on. I want it back!

“They strapped him down, which we hated. We massaged his head, stroked him, and talked to him the whole time. My husband said it was the most awful thing he'd ever seen or done. I stood outside the door while they were doing it to him and listened to him scream and cry. That's the first time I really began to wonder what the hell I had let them do to my baby! Since then I have asked myself that a million times.”

“I am a 17-year-old male who is circumcised. I got to thinking, what am I missing? Most likely, I'll never know. It makes me sad because I'm not whole, as I was intended to be. I try not to be bitter about it. I try not to blame my parents, but who can I blame? I had no say in the matter, and after all, it is my penis. It's a part of me that I'll never know.”

“I'm a victim of infant circumcision, and even though I'm 55 years old, I'm forcefully and painfully reminded of this atrocity, perpetrated upon me deliberately by my mother, who ordered it done, every time I take a shower, dress and undress, look at myself in a full-length mirror, or masturbate. And my studies indicate this atrocity even takes all the fun out of the last item above. I am still dealing with deep anger and rage over this.”

“I was deprived of my foreskin when I was 26. I had ample experience in the sexual area, and I was quite happy-delirious, in fact-with what pleasure I could experience, beginning with foreplay and continuing, as an intact male. After my circumcision, that pleasure was utterly gone.

Let me put it this way. On a scale of 10, the uncircumcised penis experiences pleasure that is at least 11 or 12; the circumcised penis is lucky to get to 3. Really-and I mean this in all seriousness-if American men who were circumcised at birth could know the deprivation of pleasure that they would experience, they would storm the hospitals and not permit their sons to undergo this unnecessary loss. But how can they know this? You have to be circumcised as an adult, as I was, to realize what a terrible loss of pleasure results from this cruel operation.”

Marilyn Milos is the mother of three circumcised boys. She was a student nurse in 1979 the day she first saw the operation performed. "It was a day that changed the course of my life," she says now.

“We students filed in the newborn nursery to find a baby strapped spread-eagle to a plastic board on a counter top across the room. He was struggling against his restraints-tugging, whimpering, and then crying helplessly. No one was tending the infant, but when I asked my instructor if I could comfort him, she said, "Wait til the doctor gets here." I wondered how a teacher of the healing arts could watch someone suffer arid not offer assistance. I wondered about the doctor's power which could intimidate others from following protective instincts. When he did arrive, I immediately asked the doctor if I could help the baby. He told me to put my finger into the baby's mouth; I did, and the baby sucked. I stroked his little head and spoke softly to him. He began to relax, and was momentarily quiet.

The silence was soon broken by a piercing scream-the baby's reaction to having his foreskin pinched and crushed as the doctor attached the clamp to his penis. The shriek intensified when the doctor inserted an instrument between the foreskin and the glans (head of the penis), tearing the two structures apart. (They are normally attached to each other during infancy so the foreskin can protect the sensitive glans from urine and faeces.) The baby started shaking his head back and forth-the only part of his body free to move-as the doctor used another clamp to crush the foreskin length-wise, where he then cut. This made the opening of the foreskin large enough to insert a circumcision instrument, the device used to protect the glans from being severed during the surgery.

The baby began to gasp and choke, breathless from his shrill, continuous screams. How could anyone say circumcision is painless when the suffering is so obvious? My bottom lip began to quiver, tears filled my eyes and spilled over, I found my own sobs difficult to contain. How much longer could this go on?

During the next stage of the surgery, the doctor crushed the foreskin against the circumcision instrument and then, finally, amputated it. The baby was limp, exhausted, spent. I had not been prepared; nothing could have prepared me, for this experience. To see a part of this baby's penis being cut off-without an anaesthetic-was devastating. But even more shocking was the doctor's comment, barely audible several octaves below the piercing screams of the baby: "There's no medical reason for doing this." I couldn't believe my ears, my knees became weak, and I felt sick to my stomach. I couldn't believe that medical professionals, dedicated to helping and healing, could inflict such unnecessary pain and anguish on innocent babies.”

Since that day, Marilyn has dedicated herself to providing information to parents and medical professionals so they can have all the facts available before they decide whether circumcision should be' performed. She is the Director of the National Organisation of Circumcision Information Resource Centres. Among their various activities, they have put together two international conferences on circumcision.

What the health professionals say now.

The most authoritative book on the subject, Say No to Circumcision! 40 compelling reasons why you should respect his birthright and keep your son whole, was written by Thomas J. Ritter, M.D., in 1992. "I am a general surgeon," he writes. "The prime dictum in medicine is 'Thou shalt do no harm.' The intent of this book is to explode the myth that routine newborn circumcision does no harm." After years of having gathered information, he draws the following conclusion:

“The operation of routine, infant circumcision of males involves a paradox of absurdities completely at variance with sound medical-surgical-legal practice; a normal structure is operated upon; no anaesthesia is used; the patient does not give his consent; he is forcibly restrained while a normal segment of his body is removed; the parental consent is of quasi-legality since the part removed is a healthy, non-diseased appendage; there are no legitimate surgical-medical indications for the operation; the patient and the part operated upon are subject to a host of possible complications, including death; the genitalia are now irrevocably diminished in appearance, function and sensitivity.”

Dr. Ritter is not alone in his opinion. Here are the words of a few experts who are calling for an end to the cruelty we are inflicting on our baby boys,

My own preference, if I had the good fortune to have another son, would be to leave his little penis alone.” -Benjamin Spock, M.D., author, Baby and Child Care

“Circumcision is a very cruel, very painful practice with no benefit whatsoever.
-Ashley Montagu, Ph.D., anthropologist, author of The Concept of the Primitive

“In addition to the obvious discomfort involved, there is now serious concern this routine procedure may actually deprive adult men of a vital part of their sexual sensitivity.”-Dean Edell, M.D., National radio and television personality.

“All of the Western world raises its children uncircumcised and it seems logical that, with the extent of health knowledge in those countries, such a practice must be safe.”-CO Everett Koop, M.D., former U.S. Surgeon General.

“In this case, the old dictum that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" seems to make good sense. Minor surgery is one that is performed on someone else. Using the surgical treatment of circumcision to prevent phimosis is a little like preventing headaches by decapitation. It works but it is hardly a prudent form of treatment.” -Eugene Robin, M.D., Stanford University Medical School.

“Even if you found that there were absolutely no harmful psychological effects, it would still not justify doing an unnecessary procedure. You just should not be cruel to babies.”-Paul Heiss, M.D., University of Southern California Medical School.

“No one seriously advocates removing the breasts of female infants to prevent the more common malignancy of breast cancer. Circumcision must be recognized as an equally serious mutilation of men with equally insubstantial justification for continuing the practice.”-James Snyder, M.D., past president, Virginia Urologic Society.

“We cannot but wonder why such a torture has been inflicted on the child. How could a being who has been aggressed in this way, while totally helpless, develop into a relaxed, loving, trusting person? Indeed, he will never to able to trust anyone in life, he will always be on the defensive, unable to open up to others and to life.”-Dr. Frederick Leboler, author Birth Without Violence.

There is a relationship between the later experiences men have with shame-I'm too short, too fat, too tall, too hairy, not hairy enough, not a real man-and the first experience that gave us the message that our penis was wrong.

Stage 5 recovery: healing men's shame.

To accomplish the task of healing our body and soul, we must work with the following issues:
. Recognize the hidden purpose in circumcision and other forms of male shaming.
. Learn to accept and love our bodies.
. Begin moving toward a healthy, shame-free diet.
. Discover how to earn a shame-free living.

Recognise the hidden purpose in circumcision and other forms of male shaming.

Male genital mutilation is the first way in which men are shamed. It is also the most damaging, and lays the foundation for later assaults on our body and soul. In order to heal, we must understand why we continue to condone such behaviour in the United States.

"Circumcision," says Dr. Nicholas Cunningham of the Departments of Paediatrics and Public Health at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, "is probably an idea whose time has gone." Yet the practice continues, and the majority of baby boys in America are still subjected to this cruel and unusual punishment. We must ask why.

"Male babies need to be circumcised" is a mythic statement, not a statement of fact. Mythic statements are not just untrue and superstitious, but connect with our deepest desires and fears. Social Psychologist Elizabeth Janeway says that it is characteristic of mythic statements generally to be prescriptions more than descriptions reflecting reality. "For it is the nature of myth," she asserts, "to be both true and false, false in fact, but true to human yearnings and human fears and thus, at all times, a powerful shaping force.”

To change behaviour based on social myth, we need to uncover the roots and understand the real reasons why a given behaviour is valued in a culture. This is explored in greater detail below.

The tame-and-shame syndrome: hidden reasons for cutting boy's genitals.

We can get clues about the hidden agenda supporting circumcision if we understand why the practice began to spread in the U.S. in the late 1800s. Circumcision gained importance only after the medical profession, playing upon prevailing sexual anxieties, urged it as a "cure" for a long list of childhood diseases and disorders, including polio, tuberculosis, bedwetting, and a new syndrome which appeared widely in the medical literature of the time, "masturbatory insanity." Circumcision was then advocated along with a host of exceedingly harsh, pain-inducing devices and practices designed to thwart any vestige of genital pleasure in children, and to ensure that they remained under parental control.

I found the religious roots and reasoning for circumcision by looking to my Jewish heritage. The thirteenth-century Rabbi Moses Maimonides was more honest than almost anyone since in his reasons for supporting circumcision:

“The bodily injury caused to that organ is exactly that which is desired, it does not interrupt any vital function, nor does it destroy the power of regeneration. Circumcision simply counteracts excessive lust; for there is no doubt that circumcision weakens the power of sexual excitement, and sometimes lessens the natural enjoyment.”

We need to recognise that decreasing sexual pleasure and increasing sexual pain has a very useful purpose in a dominator culture. It produces men who are numb, cut off from their feelings, with a great deal of repressed rage. The real purpose of circumcising baby boys is to begin a process of taking the "wild" out of them.

This has been the goal of all the dominator cultures that have arisen over the last 10,000 years. As we have tried to wipe out the indigenous wild cultures of the world, kill the wild animals, and destroy the naturally occurring plant life, so too have we tried to tame men's "wild sexuality." What better way to destroy the hunter-warrior in us all than to attack the basis of our manhood, our genitals? What better way to make us docile enough to be willing to go off to desert wars, or fight in the jungles of Wall Street to keep the over-consumptive, addictive, American dream alive?

Shame of all kinds serves the same purpose. If men can be convinced that they are inherently bad, that there is something wrong with us at our core, then we are more easily controlled.

The final step in the shaming process calls for us to forget the source of our shame. The first step in healing is to remember what was done to us, feel the feelings we have so long repressed, and allow ourselves to grieve for what we have lost.


Cutting Through the Nonsense

By Laird Harrison

I don't know what I thought circumcision would be like. A haircut? Trimming toenails? The fact is that it hurts. I could hear it in my son's scream when he felt himself cut. My gut tightened as his tiny hand clenched around my finger. And I'm amazed now that I didn't expect that.

That knot inside me relaxed a little when the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended this month that babies being circumcised should get painkillers. The academy is the most influential group of children's doctors in the country; people who write books about childcare defer to the academy on questions as trivial as "When can you give a baby fruit juice?" So the chances are good that a lot more newborns are going to get anesthesia from now on.

But the academy refrained from answering the really big circumcision question: Should a healthy boy be circumcised? Millions of parents spend millions of hours debating this issue. It bedeviled my wife and me so much that we ended up circumcising one of our sons and not the other. And even the academy's taskforce on circumcision, after two years of poring over crates full of scientific reports, essentially couldn't make up its collective mind. "Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision," the academy wrote. "However, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision....Parents should determine what's in the interest of the child."

The ethnic and the scientific

Wishy-washy as it sounds, I think that's a wise position. I spent days mucking around in the scientific literature on circumcision until I realized that some questions just can't be answered in the laboratory. To satisfy the normal rigors of scientific research, you would have to randomly select babies to be either circumcised or not circumcised, then follow them for several years to see which group was healthier. Obviously, no sane parent would consent to such an experiment.

So researchers are left trying to answer the question by comparing people whose parents (or doctors) chose to circumcise them to those with their foreskins intact. But that leaves too many variables unaccounted for. For example, educated people, until recently, were more likely to have their kids circumcised than uneducated ones. Whites are more likely to be circumcised than blacks, Midwesterners more than Californians, and of course, Jews more than Christians. And all of these social, geographic, and genetic factors influence a child's health.

"It is legitimate for parents to take into account cultural, religious and ethnic traditions, in addition to the medical factors, when making this decision," the academy wrote. And that's where I disagree. I think the ethnic factors are the only ones worth taking into account.

Binding the tribe

Let's assume for a moment that you could design a truly scientific experiment and prove that removing a boy's foreskin reduces his risk of a serious disease, such as cancer of the penis. It still wouldn't make any more sense to remove a boy's foreskin at birth than it would to remove his breast tissue (breast cancer in men is about common as penis cancer), his tonsils, or his appendix.

Why do we discriminate against the foreskin in this way? Why is circumcision the only surgery commonly done without anesthesia? Why are only a tiny fraction of European boys circumcised while more than a half of American males go under the knife? And why have advocates changed their minds about what circumcision is supposed to prevent, from masturbation in the 19th century to sexually transmitted disease in the 1940s to urinary tract infections today? The reason, I think, is that circumcision is not a medical procedure and it never has been.

Even when performed by white-coated doctors in antiseptic hospital rooms, circumcision is a ritual. Like scarring, branding, tattooing and piercing, it sets members of one group apart from another. It binds the tribe.

Getting our own answers

My wife is Jewish. I'm...well, let's say ethnically Christian. But more important, I was circumcised at birth. My father was circumcised, and his father before him. So when Rachele wanted our son, Dashiell, circumcised, I went along with it. And because I believed then as now that the procedure served only a religious function, I insisted that we hold a bris, the traditional Jewish ceremony, performed by a mohel, in our living room, with a bagel brunch.

While Rachele ducked into the kitchen, I watched the mohel slice away a little bit of my son. That was five years ago, and it's true that Dashiell has no conscious memory of that pain, no sense of loss. He doesn't miss what he never knew he had. But I miss it. I miss it because as soon as the blade bit into him I knew I had transgressed. I knew that it was wrong to take away a healthy, living piece of a human being's body all against his will. I knew that I would never let that happen to another son of mine.

Every tribe looks to its priests to approve its rituals; we look to our scientists. But the panel we anointed to authorize this particular rite has modestly abstained. We have to look beyond them to whatever or whoever creates the human conscience. Over the years, together and separately, like any couple, Rachele and I have turned to that authority with any question that really matters. Our sons will always bear the record of the one time we got different answers.



Protecting Our Sons

We have five living sons and one daughter. Although Bruce was circumcised at birth, we jointly agreed not to have our sons circumcised.

BRUCE - I studied the subject extensively before marriage, and the only half-valid reasons the american medical community could give for the procedure was so-called cleanliness reasons - which experience has taught are false. After studying the history of the introduction of circumcision as a common procedure - that of curing masturbation as well as headaches and back aches and a list of about fifty other disorders not even related to that part of the body - I decided the american medical community didn't have a real clue - it was a matter of 'everyone else does it'. I also discovered America is alone in routine infant circumcision! All other countries have abandoned (or are abandoning) it as not only unnecessary but as a harmful procedure! (Of course, it is still practiced by Muslim and Jewish communities.)

Being a religious person, I turned to the Bible - God created mankind and pronounced the creation "very good". It's true circumcision was a sign of the covenant God made with Abraham, but today's procedure is not the same procedure! In Abraham's day only enough of the foreskin was removed to expose the tip of the glans (or, the 'head'); the same amount usually loose at birth! The Maccabees, during their famous revolt against the Greek domination of the Jews, changed it to the procedure known today and forced it on all Jewish men on pain of death! It became a political sign of revolt against the Greeks instead of the spiritual sign of having made a covenant with God! And there were many who chose death rather than meddle with God's ordinance!

In the New Testament, the Apostles announced (Acts chapter fifteen) that the ordinances of the Law of Moses we no longer required. The Book of Mormon is even more direct, the subject being addressed by the resurrected Christ Himself: "the law of circumcision is done away with in me." (Moroni 8:8).

In Europe and some parts of Asia the procedure is gaining popularity - not as a health proedure but as a cosmetic operation to look more american! This is being done mainly among the pornography industry in an attempt to become profitable in the American market - there's no mention of any so-called health reasons! Among the non-pornography society in Europe, Asia, and the rest of the non-U.S. world, circumcision is not only ignored but actively discouraged! Several European countries will treat foreskin problems even to the extent of hospitalizing the patient long before they'll even consider removal.

So, all my pre-marriage study showed plainly that there's no valid medical, social, or Christian reason to circumcise my sons! And as far as Judaism and Islam goes, they are not practicing the covenant God established with Abraham - they are practicing a political substitute! There are many Americans who have the false notion that circumcising our sons shows we aren't anti-Jewish. I grew up with many Jewish friends, have I've been to Israel multiple times and even made friends there - they all knew that even though I am Christian I still had a deep love for the Old Testament and a fierce love for all the children of Abraham - and my circumcision status has never been sought after and has never been required to prove anything! My love for Israel, the Jewish people, and the Old Testament is from the heart, not the groin. I think the Jews and Israelis I know would be horrified at the thought that we would mutilate our bodies to show religious and/or political support! (This action would even be forbidden by the Law of Moses!)

LAURIE - I didn't really know what circumcision was until Bruce explained it to me shortly after we were engaged, and at that point I didn't really care. (Bruce says we talked about it before we were married, but I don't remember.) To be frank, it just plain made no sense to destroy what God had created. I would never inflict such torture on such an innocent person who could never protect themself! And that's all it is: useless, senseless torture!

With our first several sons, we followed the advise of american doctors; that of pulling the foreskin back, forcing it to let go of the glans and routinely cleaning it. But after more independent study we gave it up - non-american medical writings make it plain that as boys grow and as the need is present, then the foreskin detaches on its own. As long as the urinary opening has access to the 'outside world', the foreskin should be left alone! And with our boys, the wisdom of the European doctors has proven true. We've had no infection or disease because of our decision. While bathing the child I would push the skin back to clean only as far as it had already let go as I would the rest of the body. But I only did it weekly at the most; the foreskin was just too good at keeping the glans clean all by itself! The glans is kept perfectly clean and healthy by letting Nature alone!

One item of interest to those changing diapers: It's all too common for a baby boy to urinate just as soon as the diaper is opened. But with our intact sons, there isn't any sudden air temperature change on the glans, and so there isn't anything to trigger the response to urinate! Through the diapers of five boys, we have yet to be wet on! I've taken great delight in watching mothers with circumcised babies get wet on nearly every time they open the diaper! (Great sport in a boring hospital room.) My husband refuses to change a diaper on anyone else's son unless they're intact because of this; he refuses to be wet on!

BRUCE - One great fear a lot of fathers voice is having to explain the difference between their circumcision and their son's intactness. This is trivial - when each of my boys were three and four and we were still bathing together, every one of them have asked. I've simply told them that when I was a baby the doctors thought it was a good thing to cut it off but now we know better. With that, the subject has always dropped until they were old enough to have more extensive health discussions - I didn't make a big deal out of it, so they saw no reason to make a big deal out of it. As far as pains of jealousy, etc. - yes, I went through them, but I've gotten over it and am glad I made the decision I did - and, I'm even considering one of the many restoration techniques. As far as being uncomfortable - what is there to be uncomfortable about? My parents made their decision and I made mine; what they did is water under the bridge, and I've corrected it with the next generation. And I doubt very much my sons are jealous of my circumcision.

From talks with my oldest son (16 years old at this writing) I've discovered that he's not experienced ninety-nine percent of the unintentional stimulation's I went through as a teenager! We circumcised men well remember those puberty years when just turning and having our underwear rub our exposed glans was enough to set off erection after erection. There were times when just walking or riding a bicycle was enough rubbing across the glans (and I wore loose, modest clothing) to trigger the reaction. (This is rough for paper boys!) My son, with his glans safely tucked away and covered against undue stimulation, tells me he's never experienced this and was horrified over my stories. So much for circumcision being a cure for masturbation; as far as I'm concerned circumcision is a major cause of masturbation!

Some people are afraid their son will feel 'uncomfortable' in the school shower. With the trend in non-circumcision we've been experiencing in the last twenty years, more likely your son will have plenty of company and will be envied. Again I've consulted my oldest son, and he tells me boys his age are so paranoid about being caught 'looking' and being branded with a sexual-orientation accusation that today's boys are overcautious and almost afraid to look at anyone below the navel - he went an entire school year without being able to tell me if any of the boys in his gym class were also intact!

And as far as your son having to match the other men in the family - how often does the need to match come up? Wedding pictures? Christmas card photos? Unless you're a family of nudists this really isn't a problem! This excuse is really a declaration of either jealousy on the part of the men in your family (misery loves company) or the fear to tell your family you've made a decision with which they're not going to agree. Let the relatives know to back off - we had to! My father was horrified the first time he saw a foreskin on a grandson, but we held our ground. And my mother-in-law put us through the ringer, sure her grandson was in for a lifetime of horrible health problems. Five sons later, we still haven't seen a single one of them.

LAURIE - The biggest thing new parents must remember is that the doctor is not the one in control. And, american doctors will even admit that they aren't even trained in knowledge or theory concerning the function, use, or maintenance of the foreskin; they're only taught to cut it off for reasons that weren't even valid 80 years ago when a non-medical 'authority' decreed it to be the ultimate cure for all male ills. Simply tell the doctors and the nurses 'No'. You do not owe them any explanation. My husband I was once threatened with child neglect; in return he threatened that nurse with child molestation and mutilation. [BRUCE - My experience is that the biggest problem will be with the nurses. They are the ones with the plans, schedules, and programs, and by not having your son circumcised you will be upsetting those plans, schedules, and programs. And my experiences tells me that a nurse with an upset program or schedule is not a happy nurse.]

Everyday in the hospital the nurses will ask if you want the procedure done; just tell them no. When they badger you tell them to back off - they have no right to tell you what to do! Don't let them bully you; you tell them what YOU want and make sure it gets done! After all, they are there to serve and not to dictate. Every morning when they take the babies away for the doctor to check them, make sure they know you don't want it done.

LAURIE and BRUCE - DO NOT SIGN ANY CONSENT FORMS WITHOUT READING THEM COMPLETELY! AND READ THE FINE PRINT; consent to this procedure often shows up in the fine print!! Also, many consent forms give the medical professionals the right to perform any procedure they deem necessary - no not sign these forms! (We don't even sign them today for scout, school, or church activities!) Too many consent forms are all-inclusive and give the doctor or scout leader the right to treat your child any way he or she deems correct - trash those forms and only consent to procedures on a one-by-one basis. (For field trips and scout trips we specify they are only allowed to perform life-saving emergency procedures without our presence and/or specific permission.) In many places you can cross out and add items to consent forms; if you live in a place where you can do this, then do it! And remember that you cannot be forced to sign anything. Not by doctors, school teachers, or even scout and religious youth group leaders. (BRUCE - Since first sending this writing out on the internet, a lawyer contacted us and advised us that here in the United States it IS legal to cross off anything on a consent form you don't agree with; he said to make sure you initial the cross-off to show that you did in fact cross it off and not someone else. I say just hand the form back and make them, the service-provider, give you a form without the items to which you object. YOU are the customer; they can interrupt their schedule and program to provide for you.) When an institution tells you that you have to use their pre-printed release form, laugh at them and ask them who is the customer and who is the service-provider. I've had to tell scout leaders that they will use the form I approve of and am willing to sign and that's that. I've done the same with schools, church, and hospitals. A lot of these organizations have changed their forms because of my stubbornness.

LAURIE - In the military hospitals our children have been born in, they've put a sign in bold letters on the baby's basket: "NO CIRC". Make sure your hospital has some way of quickly identifying your son so no one 'accidentally' wheels him in for the procedure.

I've discovered that all the instructions American doctors give concerning stretching the baby's foreskin and daily washing are wrong. With our last two sons we followed the advise of non-american doctors and the results have been healthier than when we meddled with Nature.

BRUCE - The internet web sites and e-mail groups on this subject have been abuzz lately with what I feel are the real reasons circumcision is still alive in this country - hospitals are actually making money selling the foreskins. Some are going for skin grafts for burn patients. Some are going to cosmetic companies - all that testing no longer done on animals is now being done on the foreskins of the American male! So, after billing you for removing healthy tissue from your son, they turn around and sell it and make even more money off that healthy skin!

What it came down to for us is that there is simply no reason for the procedure and that modern research has proven what the rest of the world knew all along. As parents it's up to us to do what's best for our children. Whether they are male or female, leaving their reproductive organs intact so they can function correctly is the right moral and medical decision.

Today there is a growing 'civil rights' movement of allowing persons of both genders to make decisions about their body. Men - it's time we better educate ourselves on this subject and then take hold of our parental right and not leave it up to ill-informed doctors and too-trusting mothers (I don't say this to insult any woman!) - it's not a dirty or embarrassing subject; it's mass mutilation based solely on gender! It's our son's health we're talking about; open your mouth and be heard! (And do it before you even marry! As a man, you need to educate your future spouse on male sexuality and its needs and rights.) Five years ago, in response to a magazine article, I wrote that when we men demand and hold out for the right to control our body (as women so demand) as a heritage for all men, then this practice of mutilation will end!

Women - every time I hear you announcing your rights in controlling your bodies (which I am not denying), I can't help but hope you'll grant this same right of personal control and decision to your sons - as you already do to your daughters! If the U.S. Congress can give African women refugee status so they can remain in the U.S. to escape female circumcision, then maybe it's time to reconsider the ignorant manner in which we mutilate our sons at birth. Why do we so thoroughly mass-mutilate our own sons while at the same time take to the streets and write our government, insisting on the protection of foreign women from the same form of mutilation?





I'm pregnant, so I researched circumcision

It's amazing the number of things you never have to consider before becoming a parent - breastfeed or formula feed; cloth diapers or disposables; vaccinations; when to start solids; organic vs. conventional foods; public school, private school or homeschool; and, of course, if you are having a boy - whether or not to circumcise.

I hope to write about my feelings, opinions and choices regarding circumcision and my son, knowing full well that everyone who reads this blog will not agree with me. I think that anyone who has a son will have their list of reasons for why they decided for or against circumcision. I simply wish to share my reasons here (and some of the information I came across along the way) for deciding against it.

I hope that by including some links below to reputable sources, other parents who are trying to decide what is best for their son can make an informed decision - whether it be to circumcise or not.


The short and sweet answer as to why Jody and I are not having our son circumcised is that we can't find a single reason to indicate that it is a necessary procedure.

I believe that the body we are born with, in its entirety, is that way for a reason. I think that each different part has a unique purpose for existing. If we didn't need a certain part, I believe that over time we would evolve so that it no longer existed.

In doing my research on circumcision, I came across a lot of interesting information. Some of it has to do with the origins of circumcision in the United States, some about the actual procedure, some about the effects of circumcision and about the current rates of circumcision in the U.S. I read a lot more than I will blog about here, but these are some things I thought were worth mentioning.

"Circumcision started in America during the masturbation hysteria of the Victorian Era, when a few American doctors circumcised boys to punish them for masturbating. Victorian doctors knew very well that circumcision denudes, desensitizes, and disables the penis. Nevertheless, they were soon claiming that circumcision cured epilepsy, convulsions, paralysis, elephantiasis, tuberculosis, eczema, bed-wetting, hip-joint disease, fecal incontinence, rectal prolapse, wet dreams, hernia, headaches, nervousness, hysteria, poor eyesight, idiocy, mental retardation, and insanity.

In fact, no procedure in the history of medicine has been claimed to cure and prevent more diseases than circumcision. As late as the 1970s, leading American medical textbooks still advocated routine circumcision as a way to prevent masturbation."

-- Paul M. Fleiss, MD The Case Against Circumcision

Uh, I'm not a guy and no expert, but I am pretty sure that circumcision does NOT prevent masturbation.

"Today the reasons given for circumcision have been updated to play on contemporary fears and anxieties; but one day they, too, will be considered irrational. Now that such current excuses as the claim that this procedure prevents cancer and sexually transmitted diseases have been thoroughly discredited, circumcisers will undoubtedly invent new ones. But if circumcisers were really motivated by purely medical considerations, the procedure would have died out long ago, along with leeching, skull-drilling, and castration. The fact that it has not suggests that the compulsion to circumcise came first, the "reasons," later." -- Fleiss

The fact that new reasons to continue the circumcision practice are being invented is rather disturbing if you ask me.

One website I came across in my research shows step-by-step (graphic) pictures of an actual circumcision of a newborn boy. What Happens During Circumcision There is also a video there, but the pictures alone were more than enough for me. I don't think I could've stomached the video. I had never thought much about the actual procedure itself. I figured that the foreskin was clamped and removed without much effort and the baby was left to heal over the next week or whatever. I didn't think about the baby needing to be restrained, whether or not any type of anesthesia is used, the foreskin needing to be pried apart from the penis, the amount of bleeding involved, the raw exposed penis, etc. Not to mention the child crying in pain. :( It was not easy to look at.

There's a laundry list of "things" that are lost forever when a circumcision takes place. While all of these things in the list are noteworthy, I thought I would mention a few here that stood out to me:

"When a baby boy's natural and intact penis is "circumcised," this is what is lost forever:

** An estimated 240 feet of microscopic nerves, including branches of the dorsal nerve.

** Several feet of blood vessels, including the frenular artery and branches of the dorsal artery. The loss of this dense vascularity interrupts normal blood flow to the shaft and glans of the penis, obviously damaging its natural function and possibly stunting its complete and healthy development.

** The immunological defense system of the soft mucosa, which may produce antibacterial and antiviral proteins such as lysozyme, also found in mothers milk, and plasma cells, which secrete immunoglobulin antibodies.

** The essential "gliding" mechanism. If unfolded and spread out flat, the average adult foreskin measures about 15 square inches, the size of a postcard. This abundance of specialized, self-lubricating mobile skin gives the natural penis its unique hallmark ability to smoothly "glide" in and out within itself—permitting natural non-abrasive masturbation and intercourse, without drying out the vagina or requiring artificial lubricants."

-- Gary L. Harryman - What is Lost to Circumcision

I know some parents may be concerned about whether or not an intact penis requires special care. Personally, having no experience with an uncircumcised penis in the past, I had no idea what the answer was before asking friends of mine who's sons were left intact. FYI:

"The natural penis requires no special care. A child's foreskin, like his eyelids, is self-cleansing. For the same reason it is inadvisable to lift the eyelids and wash the eyeballs, it is inadvisable to retract a child's foreskin and wash the glans. Immersion in plain water during the bath is all that is needed to keep the intact penis clean." -- Fleiss

Also worth noting that the foreskin should never be forced to retract before it is ready.

"As noted, the foreskin and glans develop as one tissue. Separation will evolve over time. It should not be forced. When will separation occur? Each child is different. Separation may occur before birth; this is rare. It may take a few days, weeks, months, or even years. This is normal. Although many foreskins will retract by age 5, there is no need for concern even after a longer period. Some boys do not attain full retractability of the foreskin until adolescence."

-- Newborns: Care of the Uncircumcised Penis

Regarding the rate of circumcision in the world and U.S.:

"Circumcision is almost unheard of in Europe, South America, and non-Muslim Asia. In fact, only 10 to 15 percent of men throughout the world are circumcised, the vast majority of whom are Muslim. The neonatal circumcision rate in the western U.S. has now fallen to 34.2 percent." -- Fleiss

"The nationwide circumcision rate had been fluctuating in the low 60 percent range for some years, but a decline in the percentage of boys circumcised started in 2002 and continued into 2003. From 2002 to 2003 declines occured in all four census regions. Non-circumcision has been the norm in the Western Region for more than a decade."-- U.S. Circumcision Incidence

I think it's important to note that the circumcision rate is dropping in the United States because the old parental concern of not wanting a child to be teased because they look differently from the other boys will no longer be an issue if the ratio of circ'd boys to uncirc'd boys is approaching 50-50. I know in my own circle of friends, the ratio of circ'd boys to uncirc'd boys (babies and toddlers I mean) is probably more like 20 (circ'd) to 80 (uncirc'd) or even slightly higher in favor of the uncircumcised boys. Some parents I know (both in "real life" and on message boards) had their first son circumcised before they had done much research on the topic, and then, after learning more about the procedure, chose not to circumcise their second son.

(And now at the risk of sharing TMI...) Having never been with an uncircumcised man (yes, you can infer from that that Jody is circumcised), I was very interested to learn that not only is the pleasure of the male affected by circumcision, but also the pleasure of the female. (I mentioned a bit about this above as well.)

"One of the foreskin's functions is to facilitate smooth, gentle movement between the mucosal surfaces of the two partners during intercourse. The foreskin enables the penis to slip in and out of the vagina nonabrasively inside its own slick sheath of self-lubricating, movable skin. The female is thus stimulated by moving pressure rather than by friction only, as when the male's foreskin is missing."-- Fleiss

Like I said above, I couldn't find a reason to convince me that circumcision is necessary for our son. I don't feel the need to provide a list of all of the reasons against it. They are easy enough to find online. By reading through some of the links I provided below, you can read more information for yourself if you so desire.

I feel it is worth noting that I tried to find some pro-circumcision websites to include in my list (to keep it balanced), but 99% of the information I found "out there" is anti-circumcision. The one site (a members-only list serv "where circumcision is discussed and always supported") I did find turned out to be centered around pornography associated with circumcision so I removed it from my list. The fact that it is a porn site is not apparent from anything posted on the public side of it.

In conclusion, I don't feel that it is my right to make the decision to remove a part of my son's anatomy without his consent. I believe that circumcision is a personal choice - one that should be made by the person who owns the penis. By leaving my son intact, he can always decide when he gets older that he wants to have a circumcision. If I were to circumcise him as a baby, he wouldn't have the option of taking that back. I feel it is his body, his penis, and his choice.


National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers

Circumcision Resource Center

The Case Against Circumcision - an eye-opening, very informative (IMO) article By Paul M. Fleiss, MD, MPH (interesting to note that Fleiss is Jewish)

My Son: The Little Jew with a Foreskin - By Stacey Greenberg

The Case Against Circumcision Discussion Forum on

What Happens During Circumcision? - Graphic photos/video of the circumcision process on a newborn

Protect Your Uncircumcised Son: Expert Medical Advice for Parents

Circumcision Information and Resource Pages

Doctors Opposing Circumcision



Reasons Most People Give

Some of my friends and family have given me crap about not circumcising our little baby, and the ignorant comments are fairly irritating. There are so many stupid myths that people in this country believe about circumcision. I did my research and agreed with my husband that the minimal possible benefits were not worth the risks of the surgery. I think I have heard every possible argument for why it should be done, and I have a response for each one.

"It's harder to take care of an intact penis" - Actually, in the first few weeks it is easier to care for an uncircumcised newborn. At birth the foreskin is fused to the head of the penis and no special care is required... no Vaseline to mess with, no worrying about if the penis is healing properly. It usually takes several years for the foreskin to naturally retract, sometimes up to puberty. Forcefully retracting the foreskin can cause pain, bleeding, and lead to infection and other complications. Once the foreskin is able to naturally retract, it takes maybe an extra 30 seconds to clean.

"The Bible says you have to circumcise" - Unlike Jews, Christians are NOT required to circumcise. It states this several times in the New Testament.

"He should look like his father" - This is one of the most ridiculous arguments I've heard. If John lost one of his fingers in an accident, we wouldn't have our baby's corresponding digit removed.

"He'll get an infection if he's not circumcised" - As long as no one forcefully retracts my son's foreskin (if that happens, someone's looking for a beat down), he has less than a 1% chance of having an issue. There is a greater chance of having a problem resulting from circumcision surgery.

"He'll be different from all the other boys and will get teased in the locker room" - There's nothing wrong with being different. It is becoming increasingly popular to leave boys intact. My pediatrician estimates that our area has about a 30% intact rate, and some other parts of the country are closer to 50%. I have spoken with several intact men and parents of intact boys, and locker room teasing isn't any worse for intact boys than circumcised boys. If one boy says something about another boy's penis, the teaser is usually made fun of for looking. Some boys might compare size, but intact penises generally look larger.

"If he needs/wants to be circumcised later, it'll be more painful" - If our son wants or needs the surgery later on, he'll have a higher pain threshold, will be able to be unconscious for the procedure, and will be able to have some nice drugs for pain management.

"Routine infant circumcision is no big deal... they don't feel pain and they won't remember it anyway" - I find it absurd to have surgery performed on a perfectly healthy infant. Circumcision is a painful cosmetic surgery with some serious risks. Many hospitals (including the one I delivered at) do not use anything to numb the skin or relieve the pain, and infants definitely do feel pain! I have seen how they do the procedure, and it's awful. Even if he won't remember the pain, that does not justify it. I wouldn't make him go through it alone, and I couldn't stand to see my little guy have the most sensitive part of his body cut up.

"He'll be rejected by women as an adult" - Some women think that intact penises look ugly, but penises in general don't really look "pretty". Any chick who doesn't want to be with a guy simply because he has an unaltered and NORMAL penis is a shallow, ignorant bitch. I wouldn't want my son with someone like that.

"He'll be more likely to contract an STD" - If you look closely at the Africa HIV study; you'll see that the circumcised men had a lower HIV infection rate because their sexual behavior was less risky. All in the circumcised group were circumcised as adults, and the majority of those not infected had complications from the surgery that made it difficult or nearly impossible to have sex. There has been a study done that shows that when males are circumcised as infants, they are no less likely to contract STDs in adulthood than intact males. It is responsible sexual behavior that protects against STDs, not the lack of a foreskin!

"He'll hate you for not circumcising him" - There may be a very small percentage of intact males who wish they'd been circumcised as infants, but most intact men like their foreskins. We should all be able to choose our own unnecessary body alterations, and I refuse to take away my son's choice in this matter for the miniscule chance that he might be bitter about it down the road. I got to choose all of my optional physical modifications, and so will my son.

I could not find a single justifiable reason for having our son circumcised, but plenty of reasons to leave him intact. Most people in this country circumcise their son without really thinking about it simply because it's what the majority does. Some people berate me for not going with the majority. Well, those people can kiss my ass! You make the best decision with the information you have, and I had more information than most on this issue. I am confident that my husband and I made the best choice for our son in leaving him with a natural and normal penis. I am very glad that I brought my son home from the hospital in one piece. No one is going to change my mind, so those who disagree with me can step off.


Why this Mother Cares

By Suzanne Cook

I have never gotten so worked up about a particular issue as I have with circumcision. Since the birth of my first child, I have learned more about circumcision than I ever wanted to know. I am glad that I have been able to make a truly informed decision on behalf of my children. None of my children have been circumcised. At the time my first son was born in 1992, all I knew about circumcision was what I learned in a pamphlet - that it was not medically necessary and was painful for the baby. That's all I needed to know to say no to circumcision. Caring for my intact baby boy couldn't have been easier. Just external washing was all that was needed. I knew his penis was still developing and retraction wouldn't be possible or even needed until his teen years, when he would be perfectly capable of doing it for himself. I have 100% confidence that my sons will be capable of cleaning their own genitals.

What bothers me most about the circumcision issue is the fact that most parents have no idea what circumcision is or what the foreskin is for. Even those who have been given ample opportunity to learn the facts still brush them off and refuse to accept them. They do this so they can continue to circumcise their children without guilt. I mean, how many parents are actually going to admit that they chose unnecessary surgery for their newborn baby that removed healthy, normal, functioning tissue from his genitals which caused unnecessary pain and suffering and a life-time of problems from the lack of foreskin? Not many.

Instead, they hide behind the myths of "it's cleaner", "he will be teased if he is not circumcised", "he'll have to have it done later in life so better to do it when he's still a baby". Years ago, it is understandable that the majority of parents were ignorant about the issue because they were specifically told that circumcision was cleaner, healthier, etc. Today, there is no excuse. No medical organization in the world recommends routine infant circumcision. There are no valid medical reasons to circumcise a newborn baby, yet the cutting continues. Why? The excuses used today are mostly so the baby will look like his father, if the father has been circumcised. That has got to be the stupidest excuse I have ever heard. I know parents who have used this excuse and guess what? The boy looks more like his mother than his father! In hair color, eye color, general facial appearance. Why his penis has to be cut up to match his father's is absolutely ridiculous! It's obvious a hang-up on the father's side. Maybe by circumcising his own son it justifies his own circumcision. He is the one that doesn't want to feel like the odd one. I just cannot believe these factors actually play a role in deciding whether to put a little baby through medically unwarranted surgery. Where is their common sense? Where are their parental instincts to protect their child? It's absurd.

"Our task is not to fix the blame for the past, but to fix the course for the future." -- John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963)

I often hear from circumcised men saying "There's nothing wrong with MY penis", "I am glad I am circumcised". That's fine. No one is trying to make you feel bad about being circumcised. No one wants you to feel inferior because you are missing a part of your penis. What I oppose is these attitudes contributing to harming more baby boys. A father's preferences for his own penis should have no effect on deciding upon surgery for his newborn baby! Surely if he had an appendectomy or tonsillectomy, he would not insist that his child have one too. When he looks objectively at the facts, he will see that circumcision is not in the best interest of his son. He was circumcised in a time when it was thought to be preferable...healthier, cleaner. We now know better. Fathers and sons will always have differences and the difference in their circumcision status' can be easily explained along with the other differences. A child is a product of their parents' love for one another, not a clone!

I do feel that circumcision is a form of abuse. It has become a social ritual here in America. People cling to their personal opinions and fears in order to continue the practice of circumcising baby boys.  If it were any other part of the body in which parents were deciding to amputate healthy tissue without the presence of disease or severe infection, you would hear a lot more outcry from the public. Since circumcision has been ingrained into our society as "normal", many people don't even think twice about it. In fact, many people don't even want to think about it at all!  They don't want to think about it, or talk about it, or hear about it. Just do it, get it over with, and forget it ever happened.     

The foreskin is the only tissue in which amputation is performed without medical justification. Rarely do problems occur that necessitates circumcision later in life. As with any part of the body, problems can occur and as with any other part of the body, problems can be treated medically rather than surgically. Surgery should be a last resort. But often with any and all problems related to the foreskin, circumcision is offered as the only solution. Parents in favor of infant circumcision state the men they know who HAD to have a circumcision later in life. In this society, it's no wonder. They either get them at birth or get them later in life. Either way, they WILL get them. Why the obsession with foreskin cutting? I think the issue is deep seated and may never be understood.

Improper treatment of an intact boy is a major cause of later problems and later circumcisions. Many parents and doctors harm little boys by retracting their foreskins before they are ready. The foreskin is attached to the head of the penis at birth. As the penis grows and develops, it gradually separates from the head (glans) and becomes retractable. There is no exact age when this occurs. There is also no reason to retract the foreskin before this separation is complete. Even after completion, retracting and rinsing does not need to begin until adolescence, when during puberty the body goes through tremendous change and personal hygiene needs to be given more priority in both sexes. I have never retracted either of my son's foreskins nor attempted to retract them. Any medical professional who has examined my sons has been told outright not to retract their foreskins. I really wouldn't think this would be necessary except that the sad situation exists that many doctors, nurses, etc. are uninformed about the normal male penis and their incompetence could harm my child through forced retraction. I have heard from many parents, horror stories about how a doctor forced their child's foreskin back to the point of causing pain and bleeding. This is abuse. Doctors are taught in medical school how to cut off the foreskin but they are not taught how to simply leave it alone! The responsibility is now placed upon us as parents to ensure that our children are not harmed. This is so important.

Every male is born with a foreskin. If he is not, he is considered to have a birth defect called aposthia. Interesting that to be circumcised is considered to be "normal" yet to be born circumcised and it's considered a defect. The foreskin protects the penis throughout life and aids in sexual functioning. The male glans is meant to be an internal organ, similar to the female clitoral glans. The double layered foreskin protects the male glans, just as the female foreskin, also known as a clitoral hood, protects the female glans.

Many parents don't even realize how much tissue is removed from their child's genitals during a circumcision. Many men have scar lines from the circular cut at mid shaft on their penis.

What they don't realize is from that point forward is all scars, including the entire glans, since the foreskin had to be unnaturally separated and torn away from the glans before it could be cut off. The fact that this tissue has to be torn away should send red flags up to anyone.  It is not supposed to be removed, especially at birth. During the diaper years, the foreskin protects the penis from urine, feces, and abrasions from diapers. Throughout life, the foreskin protects from abrasions from clothing, secretes antibiotic chemicals, and provides a sensual rolling and gliding mechanism during intercourse and masturbation. From birth to adolescence, the penis is self-cleaning. The foreskin keeps the penis clean. Nothing gets up in there that isn't supposed to be there. External washing is all that is needed and is easily accomplished during a bath or shower. In adolescence and after the foreskin becomes retractable, a simple retract and rinse is all that it needed to maintain genital hygiene.

Another part of this issue that I am concerned about is human rights and sex discrimination. Because of the facts concerning circumcision: that it is not medically necessary, that it removes normal, healthy, functioning tissue, that it is painful and traumatic, and is permanent, I feel that a child's rights have been violated when he is circumcised. Why should anyone have the right to remove a part of his body that he needs to function properly? Why should he be subjected to genital alteration for his parent's cosmetic preferences? It is HIS body. HE has to live with the consequences from the lack of foreskin and any complications from the circumcision surgery itself. When we speak about female circumcision, which is illegal in this country by the way, we are appalled that little girls are held down and ritually cut, regardless of the reasons to why it's being done. We know there are no medical reasons for it and it is very painful. The American Academy of Pediatrics has taken a solid stance against female circumcision and specifically states that parents religious, cultural or personal beliefs should not be taken into consideration. But with male circumcision, the AAP states that a parent's religious, cultural and personal beliefs SHOULD be considered and any decision to circumcise is appropriate. That is sex discrimination. It's not o.k. for girls but it is o.k. for boys. I've heard the argument "but female circumcision is much more severe; you can't compare the two." Yes, some forms of female genital mutilation are very severe but we are not comparing severity we are comparing soveignity. In the state of Washington, it was proposed that a local hospital be given permission to perform what is called a "sunna" circumcision, in which the clitoral hood (foreskin) of a girl is slit. No tissue is removed. This would satisfy the parent's cultural expectations and spare the girl a more drastic mutilation. The public was outraged and the hospital was not given permission to conduct the circumcisions. People were outraged that a little girl's genitals would be cut, yet they say nothing about the amputation of the entire male foreskin. They were outraged because the sunna circumcision was saw as barbaric, having no medical value and violating the child's right. The same could be said for male circumcision. Some people still refuse to see that but facts are facts.

Most people are also totally unaware that the majority of males in this world are not circumcised.  America is the only country who routinely circumcises the majority of male infants for non-religious reasons.  I don't feel an infant should be a martyr for their parent's religion.   It would be anti-Semitic to oppose circumcision for some boys but not for all, just because the reasoning differs. Some Christians mistakenly believe that they must circumcise, as God commanded. Many references in the Bible can attest to the fact that circumcision is not a requirement for Christians.  In fact, Paul preached about this "yoke of bondage" in Acts 15. When Jesus was crucified on the cross, he freed us from the laws of the Old Testament. In the New Testament, it is talked about as "circumcision of the heart". Surely they don't mean for you to cut open your chest and make a circular incision in your heart! Honestly, I really doubt that circumcision of the penis was ever commanded! Yes, it does say in Genesis "you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin", but in says nothing about "penis". And in other portions of the Bible, it talks about "foreskin of your heart". Just my views but I really doubt that such a loving, caring God would ask people to intentionally harm innocent children through circumcision. The foreskin was not put on the penis so it could be cut off. God made man in his image. He did not make a mistake as far as the genitals are concerned. The foreskin has a life-long function and is supposed to be there.

Because of my strong views about this issue, I volunteer a lot of my time trying to educate others. As a parent, I always welcome any information that effects the health and well being of my children. If I were a newborn baby boy, I sure hope someone would tell my parents that genital surgery is not needed! I think we need to move past the point of debating circumcision and on to healing those who have been harmed and keeping all boys and girls intact.


Extenuating Circumstances

by Kelley Mason

I am constantly dumfounded by new mothers I know who have strong feelings against circumcision yet choose to leave the decision up to their husbands thinking that they should make the choice since they are men.  This, in many cases, leads to their baby boys being altered and leaves the women feeling sorrow.  This concerns me.  Why aren't women standing up for their infant sons?  As a Christian I believe that the husband is ultimately the head of the house hold and decision maker (after consulting with the family of course).  I respect him for this, for his role as provider etc. and he respects us mothers as the barers and caregivers of the children. But this does not mean that we are to forget or ignore our God given instincts as mothers to protect the purity of our sons bodies as God created them.

I believe that women are more capable of making an informed, unbiased, decision about circumcision than many men are.  Yes that is what I said!!  I believe that many men have underlying feelings that may effect their rationality to make an unbiased, informed decision. And of course this only applies to the decision to circumcise not the decision not to since the decision not to is really not a decision at all it is merely letting things remain the way they were intended to be.  And I applaud the many men who have allowed their sons to remain whole, they are not the ones that I refer to in this article.

You would think that men, being the ones with the penis's, would be the best qualified to make a decision regarding it.  And this is true if he were choosing whether or not to circumcise himself.  But as a man, circumcised or not, he is already biased.  The man, who was circumcised as an infant, doesn't know what it is like to be uncircumcised and is not only unfamiliar with it, but probably a bit intimidated by it as well.  He doesn't know whether or not he has less sensation during sex, or what effect the pain of the procedure had on him as an infant or what side effects it may have had (unless of course he is still suffering from those side effects).  He only knows that he is circumcised, and most of his buddies are and that he is fine and happy and has no problems.  I am sure he has even been herd to say "I am circumcised and I am fine".  Being circumcised it all he knows.  This is also the case with the uncircumcised man who chooses circumcision for his son (thought this would be quite rare indeed) based on, in some part, the experiences he has had being intact.  A man, feeling a certain way about his "manliness" has preconceived notions about how his son would feel if left intact.  These notions seem to overpower any facts that he has read about how unnecessary and harmful circumcision is.  Let me give you an example of what I am talking about.  The cars that we own are Volvo's, we have 2 of them.  If a friend, about to buy his first car, were to ask my opinion what do you think I would say?  I would recommend Volvo because it is what I know and love, and have had only good experiences with them.  I really don't have much experience with many other types of cars.  Volvo's have worked great for us.  So my friend buys a Volvo as his first car and he HATES it!  It is not fast enough, not sleek enough, and he wishes he would have bought that Mercedes he was looking at instead. I cannot fathom anyone not loving Volvo's.  But hey, everyone is different.   Fortunately for him he can go and buy a different car.  The same can't be said for the boy who has been circumcised.

In looking at the reasons men choose to circumcise I am not talking about health, hygiene or religion (Jewish excluded) since these can be explained away with facts that these men cannot refute.  We know for a fact that there are no significant health benefits as a result of routine infant circumcision.  We know for a fact that the uncircumcised penis is no dirtier than a circumcised one and is, in fact, very easy to clean.  And we know that for Christians circumcision is not required of us. This is blatantly obvious in the New Testament.  For a man to try to use health, hygiene or religion as his reasons to circumcise is moot.  He would have no argument because facts would not support him.  Most of the reasons I hear about in the mans argument to circumcise their sons are purely cosmetic and egotistic.  The biggest excuse I have heard, and the one that holds the least amount of weight, is that the man wants his son to look like his peers (despite of course the fact that in the US today 4 of every 10 boys are uncircumcised).  He is afraid that his son will be made fun of in the locker room etc.  Well I am not a guy, but I know for a fact that I never paraded around stark naked in front of my girl friends.  So in my effort to understand that argument I have come to several conclusions.  Perhaps these men made fun of their peers for various reasons in the locker room.  Perhaps they were made fun or witnessed someone else being made fun of and they feel and are trying to protect their sons from having to experience this first hand.  The flaw in this thinking is that our children are not us.  Trying to protect them by having a surgical procedure performed on their genitals is not the answer.  They have to find their own way.  Rather than submitting your son to an irreversible procedure on the mere chance that someone will see his uncircumcised penis and make fun of him, it is better to educate him about it, let him feel proud of the fact that he is intact and perhaps he will not be the one feeling inferior after all but will feel pity for his peers who have had a piece of them cut off without their consent.

Another reason men choose circumcision for their sons is that, being circumcised themselves, they want their boy to look like them.  No offense but this is obviously an ego driven decision.  Does this man feel so inferior by his own circumcision that he needs to surround himself with men who look the same way?  Does the idea of having an uncircumcised male in the house make him feel like he is not as much of a man?  Maybe he thinks his son will feel odd if he looks different from his father.  Once again I have to ask . . . so what?  This can again be dealt with by educating your son about the fact that something was done to his father without his consent and that they didn't want to subject him to the same thing.  Allow him to feel proud of how he was created instead of assuming that he will be ashamed of it.

I am convinced that we as women and mothers are much more capable of making a decision on circumcision.  We are an objective third party.  We can see the pros and cons with an opened mind not having preconceived notions.  We can appreciate the perfection of our child's body because it grew inside us.  We understand that our child was perfect at birth just the way God created him.  We are talking about the removal of a part of the sexual organ of your infant son and doing so without his consent.  This cannot be remedied or fixed. Yes, as parents we are in a position of authority over our children but we are also their caregivers and protectors.  Who will stand up for our sons if not us?  This is why I have such a hard time understanding why so many women step aside and leave the decisions up to their husbands who may not be able to make that decision without bias.  Aren't we betraying our sons by not following our hearts and God given instincts and standing up for their well being?
But how can we protect our sons while respecting our husbands.  There is such thing as compromise.  A Godly husband will consider his wife's opinion in all his decisions.  He understands the wisdom that God has given women and respects it. Compromise can be reached if both parities are willing to look at the facts.  Perhaps you, as the mother, can take responsibility for teaching your son about your decision to leave him intact if his father is uncomfortable with doing so.  Since this is dealing with the private sexual organs of your son why not let him make the decision himself.  Perhaps when he is older if he expresses poor feelings about being intact he can be allowed to be circumcised.  At least then it will be his decision.  Maybe you can offer to give up something that you had desired.  Can we not compromise some of our personal wants to protect our sons?

Don't give up!!  These are extenuating circumstances!!  Be persistent, be honest, share your convictions and your feeling!!  Be respectful but don't back down!!  Try to understand your husband so that he can understand you. Whatever compromises are needed lets protect our sons, and lets pray for our husbands.  Don't give up on them.  As women we have a great power of persuasion and much wisdom.  Nothing is ever hopeless.  God willing our husbands will eventually come around and our sons will retain those perfect little bodies they were born with.  No scars, physically or emotionally.


When do you want him circumcised?

By Diane Baker Mason

It's only a piece of skin. It shouldn't upset me so much. Anyway, there's nothing I can do about it now. Besides, the experts said it was the best choice. In 1986 when my twin sons were born, the operation was de rigueur.

Back then, circumcision was performed on 85 per cent of North American boys. I got the whole spiel from the medical folk. I have no religious requirements respecting the procedure, so circumcision was unnecessary in my case but not according to the hospital staff. If I didn't have my sons circumcised, I was told, they'll be plagued with infections. They'll get cancer of the penis. They'll give their wives vaginal disorders. What's more, since their dad is circumcised, they'll be confused by the difference, and suffer psychological problems. The nurses assured me it was painless, and over in a flash. The message was: do your duty, mom, and get those little boys snipped! I wish I could claim total ignorance. But even then there was discussion about circumcision being unnecessary and painful (although it wasn't a very loud discussion). Men "perhaps since they'd forgotten what it felt like to have it done" didn't speak out against it, and women seemed more concerned with" women's" issues. But even though there wasn't enough objection to make me halt the procedure, I was suspicious about the claim it didn't hurt. How could it not hurt, to have a piece of skin lopped from your genitals?

Not trusting my own judgment, I agreed to it. Shortly after the operation, however, I was in the hospital nursery, and happened to see the plastic frame used for the procedure. It was a small device (for babies are small) with a moulded form for the boy to be tied to, so he could be held down easily during the circumcision. I pictured my babies in that device, and instantly recognized what I'd done. Too late. Had I seen that thing earlier--had the hospital shown me what they were really doing" I never would have let them near my children.

Nevertheless, I put the matter aside. It was easy to forget what had been done. The boys healed up, of course, and the first sentence they spoke was not " I remember the day I was tied up and mutilated, " but more along the lines of "Lookit car mama." But recently, I've done some reading on the subject, and the whole question of circumcision came back to me. I wouldn't do it to my thirteen-year-old sons, how could I do it to my babies?

There is evidence that circumcision is a devastating event that can have intense psychological repercussions. The foreskin is a complex and sensitive tissue, not just an appendix-like, superfluous tag of skin. It has functions.

I had no idea, for instance, that the head of the penis is normally a mucous membrane that is permanently changed by the removal of the protective sheath. What remains is arguably scarred tissue.

If you're a woman, imagine having your lips removed, or "as is done in some cultures, to the dismay of many" your genital lips, your labia. Imagine the sensitive and moist areas of your body, which normally are shielded, having their shielding taken away. Yet because no baby says, "Hey, don't do that," and no man circumcised in infancy knows what it's like to have a foreskin, the procedure continues.

Yet this procedure does damage. Why do we imagine that babies don't suffer and don't remember. How dare we take such a risk with their feelings, and their potential, as to do them such an injury? Looking back, my own weakness in the face of the status quo astounds me. But what astounds me more is that 13 years later, this is still going on. We are still letting this happen to our boy babies.

Years ago, when we women suffered ignominy and unnecessary procedures in childbirth "shaving, enemas, being tied down while in labour" we banded together and said no. We changed things. We should be changing this, too. We women in particular should be advocating for our boys. These are our children, and later they become partners and lovers and friends. A man or a boy with the power to declare his choice would not agree to be tied up and submit to an unnecessary operation, without so much as an analgesic, with its attendant psychological, sexual and even physical repercussions. Surely we cannot believe our speechless babies have fewer rights.

We are the agents of our children's choice. I wish I had remembered that, when "as I held my new little boys in my arms" I was approached by the doctor who asked me, "When do you want them circumcised?"

The answer, of course, should have been: Never.


Back to Contents



Cut in America

By Peter Neilson


During the 1980's, American medicine circumcised almost 90% of her infant males without question. Circumcision is a ritual cutting of the genitals and customs vary among primitive cultures. American circumcisers remove most of the foreskin, a functional and important part of male genital anatomy, in the name of "health." Without choice, the majority of American males were left to experience life without their foreskin, and both men and women of her society know very little about its natural function.

Over 85% of the world's men know what the foreskin is and why it is there. For America the foreskin is a forgotten organ and few know what a normal penis feels like. A combination of ignorance, conformity, sexism, pseudoscience, dogma, social acceptability and denial has led to rationalized gender-based child abuse. Many boys are traumatized upon learning about their circumcision and a growing number of circumcised men envy nothing more than the normal human body, a body these men had before their society inflicted its American "birth defect."


The foreskin is normal and does not present a problem for the rest of the world that enjoys having one. The U.S.A. just happens to be the last industrialized nation to continue the practice of routine infant male circumcision, for non-religious reasons.(1) All other English speaking countries that once practiced it gave it up and some recommend that it not be practiced. Cutting off an arm, a nose, or any body part, is an extreme measure to solve a problem when alternatives are almost always available.

Parents in Europe and non-Muslim Asia have never forced their boys to be circumcised. To them, cutting off a part of their boy's penis would be like cutting off parts of their ears.(2)

A growing number of men in the United States, Austraila, Canada and other nations are begining to speak about what it means to be missing this sensitive, useful, protective body part. One of the greatest injuries is that they were never given a choice when it was taken from them. Wicked Envy strives to come to terms with what our society has done, that continues to do to our sons, and hopes that wisdom, truth, and common sense will prevail to end this very strange and very personal violation for all genders.


    The belief that all knowledge and truth consist in what is ascertainable by rational processes of thought. The doctrine that true and absolute knowledge is found only in reason. (What do we call rationalism when its thought processes are based in dogma and ignorance?)

Most boys are never even told that they are circumcised until they ask why they look different. We are not told outright it was done or why, by the adults that had it done to us! When boys do ask, they are given certain rationalized reasons as a matter of fact. The strangest thing to an innocent boy is why one would do such a thing to the PENIS... something about it seems perverse, like the penis is bad... and had to be punished.

The rationalized explainations don't even make sense.

    Because all boys are...
    To keep you clean...
    To help prevent infection...
    Women's preference
    ...(something you hear when older)

Dr. Kopelman of The AAP's Bioethics committee on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has summarized four reasons cultures use to "explain" the custom of female circumcision.

    (1) To preserve group identity.
    (2) To help maintain cleanliness and health.
    (3) To prevent immorality.
    (4) To further marriage goals. (Men's preference)

When coming to terms with the loss of a body part we want to understand how and why it happened. To see if there was a way to prevent it and to find a better safer way of doing being to make sure it doesn't happen again. Personally I believe an amputation by accident would be easier to accept than an intentional one, such as a mutilating crime.

If a person was to forcibly cut off a man's foreskin without his consent, let's say while he is asleep, would our American laws protect his person and allow him justice?

How different is this crime from that of an infant strapped to a board who has his genitals "circumsised" (mutilated) for life? The only difference is America has rationalized it. They tell him that it is okay, that it was done FOR him not TO him, that they did it for his "benefit," and that is only after he starts asking questions. Where will he find justice when his society says "don't complain!" ??

Today, newborn foreskins supply an multi-million-dollar-a-year industry of skin manufacturers and biotech researchers who say their product is produced from "medical waste" and purport the benefits of this new procedure that grows skin (for burn victims) and interferons (anti-virus protiens) from, in all truth, a stolen body part.(5) That anyone, especially science, can rationalize and justify taking a healthy body part from a baby in the name of rightous medicine, disgusts and infuriates me. This practice is NOT Robin Hood morality, it is rationalized insanity!

Rationalism based on truth of ignorance.

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we have been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth... It's simply to painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we've been taken. - Carl Sagan - Demon Haunted World

Science and Medicine Today

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says from their study of female genital mutilation (FGM) that it is has been characterized as a practice that violates the rights of infants and children to good health and well-being, saying that it is part of a universal standard of basic human rights. (11)

The AAP stated that routine male "circumcision" is purely elective and has no conclusive benefits, but did not suggest that there were any negative aspects to the practice. (12)

There is a clear discrepancy here concerning our American "ethical" issues toward female circumcision (aka.,FGM) and male genital mutilation (aka.,circumcision).
(see "hypocrisy" below)

In 1996 the Canadian Pediatric Society says "Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed"

"To circumcise... would be unethical and inappropriate" says the British Medical Association

Male circumcision is now purely a matter of personal choice, which means it is not a societal one or a parental one.(5) Most intact men when they arrive at adulthood value their wholeness, and those that had the "procedure" performed after they reached adulthood found that sexual pleasure was utterly gone. Here's a little insight from a 26 year old, who had himself circumcised on the advice of his doctor.(8)

"I had ample sexual experience, and I was quite happy as an intact male. After my circumcision, that pleasure was utterly gone. On a scale of 1 to 10, the uncircumcised penis experiences pleasure of at least 11 or 12; the circumcised penis is lucky to get a 3. If circumcised men knew the loss of pleasure they would experience, they would storm the hospitals and not allow their sons to undergo this." ---Rick Thomas


    Asserting views as if they were facts especially in an arrogant way. || To believe in something as if it were fact || (What good is Belief if you don't challenge it?)

No one likes to think that their doctor could be giving wrong advice, but that is why people seek second opinions. Unfortunately most doctors practicing circumcision don't have all the facts or don't want to think that what they have been doing may, in fact, have been harmful. Denial, in this case, is a dangerous thing and your son will be its victim. If you are unsure about the facts surrounding circumcision become better informed about it and visit the Circumcision Resource Pages and the National Organization of Circumcision Resource Centers at for more information.

For decades doctors have promoted the benefits of circumcision to "prevent" urinary tract infections (UTI), yet UTIs are uncommon for men according to the National Institutes of Health. "UTI's may occur in infants who are born with abnormalities of the urinary tract, which sometimes need to be corrected with surgery. UTI's are rarely seen in boys and young men. In women, though, the rate of UTI's gradually increases with age. Scientists are not sure why women have more urinary infections than men. One factor may be that a woman's urethra is short, allowing bacteria quick access to the bladder. Also, a woman's urethral opening is near sources of bacteria from the anus and vagina."(9)

UTIs can be treated with antibiotics, the amputation of a boy's foreskin is permanent and more damaging than the UTI itself. It is more likely that a boy will get a UTI due to an abnormality of his urinary tract than his foreskin. The Canadian Pediatric Society suggests that breast feeding may play an important part in reducing UTIs in boys and girls.(10)

Which method is less invasive and more conservative? Breastfeeding or amputation? What about sexually transmitted diseases? Condom use or amputation? A real scientist would never propose to conduct an irreversible, non-therapeutic surgical procedure unless he is of the pseudoscientist type that promotes contraceptive sterilization. A male with his foreskin (most of the world) should think carefully before disfiguring his body for the benefit of his partner and his partner should know who she is sleeping with.

Dogma is a facisinating human attribute. Notably, a most profound defense mechanism used by those who have their belief system challenged. Dogma also occures to those who don't have a sound belief system based on their own inner sense of authority or conscience. when science became the authority in medicine, something unfortunate happened. People stopped asking questions of conscience and deffered to those who they believed knew what was right and what was wrong. These people gave up something most dear and may never have the ability to believe in themseleves again. They, too, were circumcised that day.

Medicine now uses dogma to perpetute circumcision, looking as hard as they can to find a reason to keep doing it, and asserts their views, their "medical opinions," as if they were facts. They ignore the history, ignore the deaths, ignore the amputations, ignore the pain they have caused in body and spirit, ignore the cultural influences that perpetuate it, ignore the similarities to female genital mutilation, ignore the human rights issue, ignore the baby that bleeds, ignores the beauty of the intact male body, and ignores the screams for humanity.

Dogma has no belief, it has no truth, for something cannot be true if it has not a false. Dogma is the loudest silence ever heard and the greatest silencer. Dogma says to its followers "do not question me or my authority. Do not look beyond, for you may not like what you see." Dogma uses fear to control its followers, limiting their potential. It claims to keep people safe in the pretend harmony they seek. All they will find is stagnation and a false god.

There is no place for dogma in science and there is no place for dogma in religion. Morality is not just for religion and science cannot claim that it is not one for it is. Just because science is based on the provable does not mean it will not function like a religion. The beauty of morality and conscience is that one bases his beliefs on an inner awareness of what is right and wrong. Now science, through self-evident truths will be able to show that it has helped perpetuate a most serious crime against its god.

Leo Tolstoy

"An event took place opposed to human reason and to human nature. Millions of men perpetrated against one another such innumerable crimes, frauds, treacheries, thefts, forgeries, issues of false money, burglaries, incendiarisms, and murders as in whole centuries are not recorded in the annals of all the law courts of the world, but which those who committed them did not at the time regard as being crimes."

"Each man lives for himself, using his freedom to attain his personal aims, and feels with his whole being that he can do or abstain from doing this or that action; but as soon as he has done it, that action performed at a certain moment in time becomes irrevocable and belongs to history, in which it has not a free but a predestined significance."


    Pretense of virtue, benevolence, or religious devotion.
    Saying one thing while behaving otherwise

Such is the case of current law that protects the female of our society from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) euphemistically called "circumcision" by the countries that practice it. Why is this law only protecting the female of our society? Is it because Male Genital Mutilation (MGM) or "circumcision" is over six times more frequent worldwide (4) and has been for such a long time that we have forgotten why it is even done or how it was started by medicine?

Our society recoils when we hear cases of female circumcision but hardly flinch when we do it to our baby boys. When will we realize that this practice of circumcision violates basic human rights and that all genders should have a right to keep their bodies protected?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Committee on Bioethics provides a policy statement for "Female Genital Mutilation" (FGM) and one for routine male infant circumcision titled "Circumcision Policy Statement." In the Bioethics policy they state that FGM is the ritual cutting and alteration of female genitals on infants and older individuals. They recommend that physicians oppose all forms of FGM, which according to their definitions, Type I female circumcision is identical to male circumcision (while the severity of the mutilation for the male is closer to Type II). Why then is female circumcision called FGM while male genital mutilation is called "circumcision?" Are they only wearing the hat that is in style?

The difference between the two Policy Statements is so staggering, it speaks nothing but with hypocrisy. They say that protection of the girls physical and mental health should be the overriding concern and suggest that performing a lesser procedure to satisfy cultural demands, such as pricking the skin of the clitoris, would just perpetuate the practice. The only reason the AAP presents themselves this way is because male circumcision is pandemic here in the USA. To perpetuate this practice requires that society deny the reality of what is happening.

The AAP's task force on circumcision, mentions nothing about the physical or mental well being of the male. Only that there are "anecdotal reports" that penile sensation and sexual satisfaction is decreased for circumcised males. They turn around from their position on FGM and say that it is legitimate for the parents to take into account cultural, religious, and ethnic traditions and to perform circumcision based on parent demands, this time with procedural analgesia. (12)

Doctors have an obligation to educate parents on circumcision and say no to circumcision, and state that it should be the boy's choice not ours. (see If the father has problems with normal male anatomy, compassionate psychological counseling would help. (2) He, as I did, may need to come to terms with his loss, and be allowed to want a normal body for himself without fear of ridicule or accusation. A woman who had just lost a breast would receive the greatest the medical community can give and is allowed the right to grieve over her loss.(5) Why not so for a man?

When a person has grief that is not openly acknowledged or socially sanctioned this grief is called disenfranchised grief and it is a very real condition.

Whose body, whose rights?

Forced female and male genital cutting is a human rights violation according to "The Declaration of Human Rights." However, scientific dogma, myth, and "pandemic ignorance"(2) has lead to social acceptability of gender-based abuse in America.

On December 10, 1948, after decades of war and atrocities, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In it they state that "common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance," and that all schools should teach it.

In the U.S.A, basic human rights are violated everyday. Baby boys are welcomed into our country by strapping him to a board, lovingly called a "circumstraint", and amputating a NORMAL healthy part of his body WITHOUT HIS consent!

Imagine this...

Simply change the age of the baby, imagine a 20 year old. Now strap him down and with or without anesthesia remove a normal part of his penis while he screams for the doctor to stop. You can "put a pacifier dipped in sucrose"(12) to reduce his cries if they bother you. Also, "a more physiologic positioning"(12) of the adult male in a padded environment may decrease distress while he observes you cutting his penis without his permission.

You don't even need the Declaration of Human Rights to tell you what is wrong with this image! And it's done to over 3000 baby boys a day, whom will someday realize no one asked their permission.

What is the difference other than age? The baby may not remember it completely but a 20 year old might do the same thing being subjected to such trauma. An infant can't speak to say "NO, thanks" but his screams mean the same thing. That's it. I guess America is not so outstanding or progressive in human rights as one would like to think.

Whose penis is it?

I have heard it stated that some women "prefer" the circumcised due to various reasons such as "her" stimulation or "her" attraction. That a man should commit himself to a mutilating ritual to make his partner happy is the same as the attitudes held in parts of Africa where women are circumcised for the preference of men!(5) Are we such hypocrites as to say that one is any less worse based on gender?

Some fathers will say "I want my son to look like me." Come on dad, let your son decide that for himself when he's old enough. How often do you obsess about your penis not looking like your dad's? Do you feel the same way about your eyes your feet or your lips? You will both be happy that you gave him the choice.

Ignorance and Education

Unfortunately, most male doctors in America are circumcised and have little experience or knowledge about foreskin function. We need education in this country about normal male anatomy, even for doctors, so they may adequately explain to the questioning parents why circumcision is unnecessary. Then explain to the parents how to care for the newborn male's intact anatomy, which is really easy.

For those who need to know how to care for child male anatomy (i.e., most of us in America...). It's simple, never force retraction of the foreskin on the individual. The first person to retract a boy's foreskin should be the child himself. In early years the tissues are connected by a common membrane called synchnia and will separate naturally.(3)

Forcing the foreskin back will damage the tissue and cause complication to the individual in future. (This type of damage can be seen on circumcised men). Care for the boy is just as it is for a girl. LEAVE IT ALONE! Give his body the respect it deserves and he'll grow up a happy, healthy boy, with ALL his parts. Find out more childcare info at NOCIRC's website.

Circumcise and forget about it?

Here in America I feel that men and women are not only expected to "act like" a man or a woman, we are expected to like it. I always got the impression that I was supposed to like having been circumcised; to complain was to disrespect those who "knew best". It was part of being a man and I should like being a man (A man as defined and accepted by my society). Well guess what, I'm tired of playing that game.

In my pro-feminist society, who is pro-circ, anything that has to do with male is to be ridiculed and denigrated; man is heathen, man is brute, man is disgusting like his penis, man defiles, man is impure, man has no right to feel hurt for he has been the oppressor and now must pay his price. So goes the theory obviously, because why else would a virgin pure become otherwise.

American men frequently internalize their cultures attitudes towards male genital cutting, which is sexist in nature but made not to seem that way. He may not feel that his experience, while painful, "qualifies" as painful. However, just because a man doesn't call it rape doesn't mean he doesn't feel violated. He may not have the language, or he may never even have been asked. The culture he lives in forces a gender conditioning on boys that does not allow feelings like these to be expressed by men.

We will never have equal rights until we have equal rights for what it means to be human. There is no difference between man and woman or intersex, heterosexual and homosexual or bisexual, we are one complementary whole. Color is equal unto itself for all colors are in the same spectrum. There is no god too small to teach, for he may be so humble as dirt that we crush him with our feet.

And so in an effort to bring about wholeness and healing I now ask...

Do you have any negative feelings about being circumcised?


I'm not missing anything by being circumcised.
- or am I?

My parents did what was best for me.
- they love me

I'm glad I'm circumcised, I think it would feel weird to have a foreskin.
- I wish I knew what it felt like...

It helps keep me clean...those uncircumcised guys better be careful.
- I feel awkward when I see a man with his foreskin, he doesn't seem that dirty to me...

I am glad it was done when I was a baby, that way I don't remember anything.
- I don't remember it right? why do I feel so sad?

I don't feel self-conscious about my penis! Guys don't do that.
- well I have wondered what that dark line was and why the skin is connected to the glans like that...

It's the thought that counts...
- did my parents or my society even think about what I wanted?!!!! MY BODY

I don't have any negative feelings about my circumcision, My son is circumcised; what's good for me is good for him.
- if I do it to him then it proves that it was good for me, right?

I'm not mad; I'm fine with it. If I was mad then that would show I'm weak and that my feelings were hurt. Guys don't do that...
- but the little boy inside really wants to cry now, it really, really hurts

MEN don't cry!
- why not?

I have to be strong, to prove I'm a man.
- I'm not asking you to prove you are a man, that much is obvious. Would a victim of female genital mutilation have any negative feelings? What I'm asking is, do you have any negative feelings about being circumcised? It takes courage to face your feelings. Hiding from them or pushing them away only makes it worse. Face your fear, face your sadness, or you will never truly feel joy.

I had many of these thoughts and more. The hard part was trying to hide from them. When I admitted they were there, trying to express them was just as difficult, or even more so. I had become an expert at hiding from my feelings and hiding them from others. This website is part of my expression.


I don't care if the baby boy is circumcised, it's the parents choice.
(It's unnecessary, abusive and painful. It goes against human rights...)

I'm circumcised, why shouldn't he be?
(It's not fair! I don't want him to have more than me...)

I'm a woman, I've been oppressed for years.
(Does that mean I should also oppress? How can we be equals when either half of the population is made to suffer?)

It doesn't affect me why should I care?
(Knowing about a violation and choosing not to do anything about it is worse than ignorance itself.)


I'm circumcised? They cut off part of my what? My penis??

Why my penis? Wait, wouldn't that hurt? Why my penis? This is really weird. But they told me it was to help keep me clean... how hard is it to clean? Why my penis? Why would doctors get rid of an organ just because they can? (They are not doctors they are circumcisers...) Why my penis? Of all the things to cut or remove, this is a weird one. Why not remove the tonsils at the same time? Why not the breasts of a girl? She might get cancer. Why the penis? Why my penis?

They don't circumcise in other countries? Men are fine there? Do men like having their foreskin? What would mine look like? That skin tag is because of circumcision? I would not have that if it were not for my circumcision? The pitted parts of my glans are from my circumcision? My glans is supposed to look glossy and smooth!? My erections are tight and the hair on my penis is not normal? The dark line is from my circumcision? The light colored skin is supposed to cover my glans? Why did they do this? Don't they know? Why my penis of all organs? My sexual organs! Why? I don't even want to pierce my ears for God's sake, why would I want to do this to my penis!?

I want to get away, this can't be happening, someone help me. Make it stop! I want to run away, to leave this body. Why didn't someone save me? I cried, couldn't somebody hear me! I screamed, I tried to get away…


But I don't want to be circumcised! Why didn't someone tell me? I had to find this out on my own? Why did they do this? Why didn't they ask me! I'm mutilated! I hate this! How can I say it, who should I tell? What has been done to me! What about my friends! Why don't the women know? Why didn't my mom protect me? Didn't dad know, why did he do this? Why didn't they let me decide? Doctors did this!? Shouldn't they know better! This is sick; they cut part of my PENIS off! They cut it off of BABIES! They don't do this to girls! How can they do this to boys but not to girls? They don't even question when it's done to boys! My society did this to me! My society, that believes in freedom and EQUAL rights!

America didn't circumcise when it was founded! How did this violation of our most precious freedoms come to pass without our knowledge? How could my society be so blind to this sort of gender-based child abuse? It has become accepted and even desired! Medicine that says "First, do no harm!" but I have been harmed in one of the most personal and horrible ways! If I were born 200 years ago I would have a normal body, or if I was born in the future I hope I would have had a normal body. Of all the times to be born in I just had to be born into medical medievalism.

Oh my god, what have they done?

Realization & Grief

When I first began to explore circumcision information I found my behavior perplexing. I was scared, I didn't want anyone to know I was looking into it and I kept telling myself I was fine with it. It was no big deal. Interesting though were the body responses I had when anticipating some information or writing in my journal. I started trembling, yet I kept a state of mind that noticed my physical reactions but did not feel their emotions.

It was not until six months after I began foreskin restoration that I realized I had not yet felt any of my feelings. That this was a pattern of behavior I kept in most aspects of my life. I did not allow myself to feel even good feelings. When I cried for the first time in a long time, it was difficult. I had been so afraid to show my feelings (even to myself) that I often just kept it in, or was unaware even to the existence of these feelings. By fighting and resisting my emotions I made them stay in place and I was unable to make progress.

During my youth I had many strange experiences that left me wondering where certain emotions and physical reactions came from. I went through periods of depression or sadness that manifested at strange times. Once, when I was spanked, about 4 years old, a combination of the desire for it not to happen and the pain from punishment, induced a strange memory like experience. I later sat on the stairs in my two-story house, crying unable to understand these disconcerting feelings that were hidden inside me.

My teenage years were very troubling sexually. I had very tight erections due to the tight "cut" I received as an infant, frequently from the age of 12 that would persist. I did not learn how to masturbate to orgasm until I was 15. I thought men had sex just to get the annoying painful erection to go away. Masturbation was mostly confusing and dissatisfying, as if I was doing something wrong, though I was told it was okay to do... Then one night in the summer of 1993, after masturbating, and a painful session at that, combined with the desire for orgasm not to happen, I fell into a depressed state, with feelings of helplessness and fear. This really confused me. Where did it come from! I had no reason to fall into depression. I could not eat normally for two weeks. (Some would like to blame a chemical imbalance but the timing and trigger speak volumes to me now). Struggling I buried my feelings, unable to find the reason for my sadness. This is when I stopped feeling, it was really the only thing left to do. I put on my mask of pretense and said I was okay, all the while a part of me was looking through hoping to get to breath again.

In December of 2001, when I began to allow my feelings to surface about being circumcised and notice what was there, I would pull back and hide from some of them. Over several weeks I worked with these feelings and discovered new ones. Something happend one night when I was crying and feeling the pain fully in all its variety. It was like I could remember something I had forgotten. Like a snap or flash, and I could remember. I did not believe it could be a memory at first, but it was as if a block had been released. I could experience it, if I allowed myself to.

Scientifically, I want proof that I do remember, that what I have done was to uncover the memory not fabricate one. Due to the nature of memory, there will always be that question. I cannot believe myself if I do not challenge theory with question. The way the memory surfaced and the way I was experiencing my emotions at the time, was not an attempt to remember, and what I found was something that I do not enjoy remembering. The fact remains that my behavior through childhood, my strange emotional surges, my self-doubt, my inability to say no, my quickness to say "there is no use to speak up it will happen anyway no matter what I want," were huge influences on my character that really have no adequate environmental explanation. My childhood was pretty standard, no traumatic domestic violence other than being mutilated as an infant.

True, my gender conditioning had other influences apart from these that I had developed over time, and hiding from my emotions was an easy escape because "men" are supposed to be able to do hide from everything but anger, desire and bravery.

To make the connection that I had remembered, that it may have been possible, was a profound relief. A relief because now I knew why I was having some of these feelings and that there was an explanation for the problems I had before. At once a relief yet at the same time troubling, because the memory was the most horrible thing I have ever experienced. I cried every night and sometimes during the day when no one was watching. I experienced pain in my genitals; sensitivity to sound and twice woke up trembling. It took a long time for me to accept that I could remember and I have to say that there will always be a part of me that says maybe it is false, but even so, I am still circumcised. I was assaulted and mutilated and I had no idea I was mutilated until much later. I just remember a horrible thing happened and I didn't know what it was or why.

I could hardly go to work, I felt this deep pain in my chest, like heartbreak, all the time. I entertained thoughts of suicide; I experienced loss of appetite and libido. I looked at everyone as being a hypocrite and resented anyone who was intact. I looked at other men and wondered intact or circ'd? Eventually I began to speak about my feelings with family and friends. Expressing my feelings was knew to me as well since I had become so accustomed to keeping it all bottled up. This continued through March 2002. February was when I was able to write down the memory completely, before that I could remember most of how it felt physically but emotionally the memory was different, filled with confusion. I had to work with the emotions separately to identify what I had been feeling at the time. I supposed at such an early stage of development, I did not have the language of feelings. The best way to describe it is like a storm of electricity and fire.

If you are experiencing similar problems, counseling is available and support groups are being formed. Visit NOHARMM and the Circumcision Resource Center for more information on counsel and NORM for local support groups.


    "Just because a woman doesn't call it rape doesn't mean she doesn't feel violated. She may not have the language, or she may never have been asked." Nahid Toubia

I hate being circumcised, and my whole outlook on my society has changed. I tried not to be angry about it but once again I was just denying my true feelings. I had become so accustomed to hiding from, or pushing away, my feelings that I had to learn what certain feelings were and where they were coming from. Then allow myself to feel them, no matter what they were. A flood of early childhood memories proceeded one connecting to the other and I allowed myself to observe what came to the surface and what feelings they produced.

I think I, and every other circumcised man and women, have every right to be angry with what was done to OUR BODIES, against OUR will. It was a horrible experience and naturally it has affected my life. I have trouble in relationships, aversion to touch, resentment and sometimes a feeling of misogyny. I'm really angry and I'm even angrier that there will be more boys and girls who will have to experience the same thing. I care deeply for the innocent, and I hope I can use my experiences to help them, to help their parents, to expose the crime, to break the silence around this violation of their human rights.

It seems like such a simple solution. Let the boy/girl/intersexes keep what is theirs that nature intended. No other primate on this planet would ever do such a disgusting thing to a child, not that I know of. It makes sense, like breastfeeding makes sense. There is a reason for it! Where in the hell did doctors ever come up with the idea of redundant organs! Just because you don't know the name or function of a plant doesn't automatically make it a weed!

Victorian Doctors knew what they were doing. Doctors that circumcise today are apparently idiots or evil. Hopefully historians will view biotech in the 21st century, which currently profits from refining infant foreskins, as primitive, heinous, disgusting, abhorrent and infamous. I see it akin to the way we view ancient Aztec human sacrifice. They will liken circumcision to social hysteria and sexual perversion. They will shake their heads in disbelief that Doctors of this era would amputate healthy epithelial tissue for money and not use anesthesia so as to preserve the specimen for secondary sale. That they could do such a thing to an infant only magnifies the crime to proportions that medical students of the next few centuries will be hard pressed to find a more despicable practice ever conducted by their profession on a mass scale. They may wish to change medicine's name so as not to be confused with the wrong crowd.


    - An innocent desire to share another's good || a feeling of antagonism towards someone (in this case intact men and women) because of some good which he himself is enjoying but which one does not have oneself

I envy not just the intact men and women, I envy that they did not have to go through the horrors of circumcision. The confusion it caused when growing up and the trauma of being reminded that it happened. To be changed because someone didn't like you they way you were made. I desire it more than anything else; to just be comfortable in my own skin, to not have sensory input from the glans. How irritable it makes me! Always there, masking all other input that comes in. To be flaccid and contained, to have grown up with this sort of comfort and security, innocence and trust, is invaluable to me. That is what I miss.

I wrote that before I started using the tape ring restoration method. I highly recommend it to those who have enough skin and find sensations from the glans uncomfortable or painful. Having the glans covered feels so much better!

I feel grateful that I have this ability to restore myself to a more normal state. I feel it is my duty to despise the ignorance of those who abused children's genitals beyond repair. I get so angry that other people can be compelled to destroy another person's property (especially genitals!) for any reason. Circumcision "mishaps" are tragic disasters; the first one should have been a wake up call. Medicine was able to dissuade parents into its belief system which is in its own state of religious dogma and denial. If medicine were based in true natural science, without an agenda, I believe none of this would have happened.


Do not pay attention or investigate; leave mind in its own sphere...
Do not see any fault anywhere,
Do not take anything to heart,
Do not hanker after the signs of progress...
Although this may be said to be what is meant by non-attention,
Yet do not fall prey to laziness;
Be attentive by constantly using inspection., The Jewel Ornament of Liberation, trans. Herbert V. Guenther (Berkeley, Calif.:Shambhala, 1971),pp. 216-17

What is truth? What is belief? What is faith? What is love? What is hate? Who am I? Who are you? What is right? What is wrong? What is science? What is conscience? What is justice? And whose interest does ignorance serve?

During this difficult period of remembering and repeating I found M.K.Gandhi's writings to bring great inspiration. His views on truth and non-violence are beautiful and a society that practices these natural processes is one I want to live in. During my introspection I learned how truth is real. What I want is to know truth no matter how painful it is.

It came as a relief to find the motive for specific patterns of behavior I expressed during my life so far. I feel as if I can stop repeating these patterns and move on. Sex and orgasm has turned from a confusing unpleasant experience into something joyful and pleasing. I look forward to the coming years of restoration to achieve a more natural feel. Before my memory surfaced, sex was not an experience, it was a function. It was if I could not understand it or that I knew something wasn't quite right. I have had years of problems and I know I am not alone.

I remember as a little boy, before I knew the truth about circumcision, I used to push my glans back under the penile shaft and hope it would stay. How odd it is to look back and wonder, was there an instinctual knowledge or did I unconsciously know the truth back then and wasn't mature enough to be able to handle it?

I have come to despise ignorance, hypocrisy, greed and dogma. I especially despise these parts of myself that I have developed over time as a protective defense from the pain. I endeavor to acknowledge these traits whenever I may use them and hope that I can free myself from their limitations.


"We men are tired of seeing parents misled by doctors. We men are tired of being lied to and ignored by doctors on this issue. As men who were circumcised as infants and who live with the long-term physical and psychological consequences of a surgery we did not choose, we have a right and a responsibility to speak up about a practice we know has harmed us and continues to harm others." MEN WILL NO LONGER BE SILENT! - Tim Hammond, Founder of NOHARMM (National Organization to Halt the Abuse and Routine Mutilation of Males)

One of the only ways I can heal my emotional scars is being able to educate others to help end one of the most strange and sickening practices that medical science and culture has done to our children. Religion has no right to behave in this manner either. If genital cutting is a requirement of a religion then it should be after the individual has matured enough to decide on his or her own whether or not he or she wishes to be in that religion. In my case my person BEING circumcised has violated MY religion and there is no going back! Parents have no right to force anything on children, and altering their sexual organs or any other part of their body should be condemned.

Ethics is the greatest obstacle to achieving illicit power and the influence to convince people to comply with agonizing, abnormal agendas. Silence perpetuates, protects and hides the unethical.(15)

You may be call me an "activist" but I am only asking that people do what is natural and moral. Maybe I prefer the term "normalism" or "normalist?" I am ashamed to be human when I think that I am asking parents and doctors not to harm their children's genitals! If there is a god, I think he cries every time his creations are violated and vandalized in such manner and must feel the pain they feel, one at a time, hundreds of millions in total.

"It is easy enough to say, ‘I do not believe in God.’ For God permits all things to be said of Him with impunity. He looks at our acts. And any breach of His law carries with it, not its vindictive, but its purifying, compelling punishment." - M.K. Gandhi

Acceptance, Forgiveness, and Restoration

Until I stopped being afraid of my pain, or until I recognized that I was afraid, I've never felt more real and genuine. My pain is real but so now is my joy.

I am still working on this part, acceptance and forgiveness will take more time I guess. The sections I have written so far are still incomplete. I am always asking questions about truth, faith, love and forgiveness.

Foreskin restoration has been part of the healing process for me. I'm was a victim, now I am survivor.

I don't feel like I am ready to forgive or maybe I never will. If that is so then maybe acceptance never really happened, but who is to say when it has or hasn't anyway.

Part of the restoration process is not just my physical body, but the restoration of the society in which I live. Blinded by so many things, we have truly harmed the most precious thing we have, our children. Children are not objects for us to control, raise for our benefit, manipulate, or take pride in who they become. You can admire them for their being but you cannot take credit for it.

All of America is an injured child right now. Look at the actions we have taken. Where are we going? What are we doing? Why are we doing it? Our views of life are becoming more astray and more distorted. We are lost and looking for the one who was supposed to protect us.

Forgetfulness, Recurrence

If it was possible for humanity to FORGET the original reason why circumcision was done and then to not even QUESTION it being done to our own children, then it can and will happen again. On top of all this, "medicine" is now able to harm children in a cold calculated way, by stealing infant foreskins and profiting with impunity.

Will we work so hard to show people their mayhem, their hysteria, their blindness, only to forget what has occured? Or for it to be trivialized? To overlook that part of the past we would rather not look at? It is one of my greatest fears.

I can hardly stand living in this society. It is like we are all asleep and numb to reality. I was numb; I didn't want to believe what had happened. A truly horrible abuse; perverted and despicable. Boys and girls worldwide are mutilated by the very adults who are supposed to protect them, who in turn do it to their children because it was done to them.

The politics of "government" only further perpetuates the crime and more children continue to be hurt by apathy. Democracy is a cowardly institution today befitting the name of hypocrisy rather than the pretense of freedom.

Circumcision is medical medievalism. I and millions of Americans were born in the dark ages.

Today Science and Technology are seen as crucial products of "civilization." However, more and more people are becoming dependent on others to explain these advancements. No one thinks for him or herself or regards him or herself as the authority. How else could mothers and fathers mutilate their children and be happy they did it. Flip the coin and Doctors who circumcise against their conscience lose that part of themselves called authority.

"We might get away with it for a while but this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces..." - from Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World

Source Notes

(1) Sheila Kitzinger, Alfred A. Knopf "The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth" (New York 1996) p.365

(2) Paul M. Fleiss "The Case Against Circumcision" (Mothering Magazine 1995)

(3) NOCIRC Information Series #4 "Answers to Your Questions About Your Young Son's Intact Penis"

(4) T. Hammond "A preliminary poll of men circumcised in infancy or childhood" (National Organization to Halt the Abuse & Routine Mutilation of Males) - (NOHARMM)

(5) Jim Bigelow "The Joy of Uncircumcising" (Hourglass Books) - Founder and Director of (UNCIRC)
(Note from webmaster: I highly recommend this book to the circumcised or intact.)

(6) Mark Jenkins "Seperated at Birth" (Mens Health July/August 1998) p.132
(Note from webmaster: A difficult article to read. Describes the cold distant nature of a circumciser, I'm sure a state of mind that is very difficult to keep.)

(7) Marilyn Milos, RN. 1999 Mutilating Male Sexual Performance (The Compleat Mother Fall'99) p.47

(8) Mark Jenkins "Seperated at Birth" (Mens Health July/August 1998) p.132

(9) National Institutes of Health 19 - November 1999 -

(10) Neonatal circumcision revisited Canadian Medical Association Journal 1996; 154(6): 769-780 Reaffirmed February 2001 Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS)

(11) AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS Committee on Bioethics; Female Genital Mutilation (RE9749) Policy Statement; Pediatrics Volume 102, Number 1 July 1998, pp 153-156

(12) AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS Task Force on Circumcision; Circumcision Policy Statement (RE9850); Pediatrics Volume 103, Number 3 March 1999, pp 686-693

(13) THE POPULATION COUNCIL LIBRARY CATALOGING DATA Sexual Coercion and Reproductive Health a focus on research / by Lori Heise, Kirsten Moore [and] Nahid Toubia. -- New York: Population Council. 1995. 59 p.

(14) Psychological, neurological, and sociological impacts of circumcision
Geoffery Falk

(15) "Is Circumcision ethical or unethical? What others others have to say about it." Medical Ethics Network Inc.

(16)p.16, (17)p.77, (18)p.82 Ron Goldman Ph.D. "Questioning Circumcision, a Jewish Perspective"

(19) Mark Epstein M.D. "Thoughts Without a Thinker" (Basic Books, 1995)


You Cut Off Part of Me

Dear Sir,

Pardon the presumption in contacting you, for it has been many years since we were last in each other's presence. You probably do not remember me, but I will remember the choice you made for the rest of my life. Although I know little about you, I do know some things about you that you yourself don't even realize.

You believe the design of the human body is inherently flawed and needs to be surgically corrected. This leads you to think that it is your right to amputate a perfectly normal and healthy body part from an individual without their consent.

Now maybe you don't think you believe this, but as evidenced by the permanent scar on my body and many others, you do. I do not remember what happened when I was with you, yet every time I use my penis I must face the irreversible consequences of what you did.

Let me refresh your memory: Shortly after I was born you took me away from my mother and carried me to a secluded room where she could not see or hear what was going to happen. You strapped my arms and legs firmly to a form-fitting board so that I couldn't move. You held my penis in your hand. You then forcibly separated my glans from my foreskin. You then cut around my penis amputating my foreskin and most of my frenulum. You threw the amputated parts of my penis into the trash. You collected a monetary sum for this.

Though at the time I couldn't speak or defend myself, I am a man now and you will listen to what through my profuse crying you should have understood then, "I don't want part of my penis cut off. Get your cold gleaming steel blade away from me. It is my body and you have no permission, authority, or right to cut off part of it. Stop!".

However, you never even paused to ask yourself whether I, the person whose body it is, want part of my body cut off or not. Instead you proceeded blithely against my explicit vocal opposition to cut off part of my infant body. I consider your actions, at minimum, tantamount to battery for which you should be held legally accountable.

You don't believe you are responsible for this because you were only doing what was asked of you. My parents are not qualified to make medical diagnoses. If they had asked you to cut off any other part of my body you would have refused to have done it, because you have 'morals' and also since it would have been criminal assault. As a medical professional it is your responsibility to be aware that no medical organization including the ones you belong to, consider this justifiable for health reasons which makes this by definition, cosmetic surgical amputation being performed on an infant. No matter how you want to try to rationalize it in your own mind, my blood from your sexual assault upon my infant body was and still is on your hands.

Despite all of this I know that you are a person who probably meant well and just got caught up in a cultural ritual. I know you would not have done this to me if you knew that I did not want it. In fact it is even likely that you too are missing part of your penis as well. Though you have permanently simplified and damaged the way my penis functions, you were probably ignorant and not malicious so I forgive you. However from my letter at least, you are ignorant no longer; therefore you now bear full ethical and moral responsibility for any future partial penis amputations you perform on infants. Please reconsider your decision to continue amputating a natural and functional part of someone else's body without their consent and instead let it be a choice each individual makes for himself when he reaches an age where he can decide what is best for his own body.

May you understand and heed for the first time what I and every other baby restrained helplessly before you has tried through our screams and tears so many times in vain to say to you.


A Man missing part of his body


Poll of Circumcised and Uncircumcised Men


There are many factors that affect sexuality(stress, drug use, emotional and physical health etc), the question is, is circumcision among them. Ask most mainstream American Doctors(who were likely circumcised at birth and have received no education on foreskin in medical school)  whether circumcision has any effect on sexuality and they will confidently tell you "No". However they say this, with their being little modern research done in this area(almost all modern research focuses on searching for health benefits of doing circumcisions and only extremely rarely does anyone ever think to research why foreskin might be useful to have). 

To help fill this void, I have conducted my own poll of cut and uncut men. I tried to make my survey as thorough as possible within 8 questions, but clearly there are many more pertinent aspects to studied. There are also limitations such as putting circumcised males all in one group when in reality, each circumcision can vary substantially in how much and what is removed depending merely on the predilection of the circumciser. In particular whether or not the circumcised man is left with all part or none of his highly erogenous frenulum may have a significant impact on how he judges his experience of being circumcised. 

This poll was conducted over a period of three months starting in late June 2006. It was hosted and tabulated by a free polling site. The poll takers are users of the site who saw this poll listed and decided to take it. Of the poll takers, 422 are circumcised and 209 are uncircumcised. About 20 circumcised and 4 uncircumcised guys only partially completed the poll. Because this poll was done informally online, it is not meant to be taken as a scientifically-publishable poll that would have poll-takers randomized from the general population. It is meant to be taken that how circumcision affects men's experiences is, in the very least, a valid topic to research and should no longer be taboo in American universities.

1 When fully erect, I have coarse pubic hair          
Cut       Uncut
  4%         2%   on more than half my shaft.                         
  7%         4%   approximately half way up my shaft.             
21%       13%   approximately a third way up my shaft.        
44%       44%   approximately a quarter way up my shaft.    
24%       37%   not on my shaft at all.                                   

2 When fully erect, my testicles
Cut       Uncut
  7%        2%   are pulled close to my shaft and it often feels uncomfortable.           
42%      36%   are pulled close to my shaft and it does not feel uncomfortable.      
51%      62%   are not pulled close to my shaft.                                                       

3 During masturbation as an additional lubricant, I usually use 
Cut       Uncut
34%          7%   a commercially-sold product                              
  9%          8%   my own saliva                              
14%        22%   my pre-cum fluid                        
42%        63%   none at all                                 
4 I would like my penis to be 
Cut       Uncut
51%       13%   more sensitive to physical stimulation.     
41%       77%   as sensitive as it is now.                         
  8%       10%   less sensitive to physical stimulation.        
5 The approximate duration of my usual experience of orgasm is: 
Cut       Uncut
13%        5%   Less than 5 seconds.               
45%      32%   Between 5 and 10 seconds.     
30%      34%  10 to 20 seconds.                    
  7%      17%   Between 20 and 40 seconds.    
  4%        7%   40 to 60 seconds.                       
  1%        5%   More than 1 minute.                   
6 The approximate location of my usual experience of orgasm is felt 
Cut       Uncut
  4%         0%   barely anywhere at all.                          
16%         7%   only in my genitalia.                             
28%        27%   in my genitalia and surrounding area.  
44%        47%   throughout most of my body.            
  8%        19%   throughout my entire body.                   
7 My usual experience of orgasm is more closely associated with these words
   (Select as many as apply):                                                            
 Cut       Uncut
   4%         0%   Disappointment, unfinished, depressed, frustration.                        
36%         29%   Relief, release, emptying. pumping, automatic pressure release.   
23%         15%   More physical than emotional.                                                           
  2%          6%    More emotional than physical.                                                            
10%        14%    Feelings of love, closeness, and union with my partner.                 
19%        23%    Waves of bliss.                                                                                  
  6%        10%    Transcendence, Oneness with the universe.                                    
  0%          1%    None of the above
8 Circumcised Men: Choose one: 
44%   I am content being circumcised.   
37%   I would rather be uncircumcised but I will live with it as it is. 
15%   I would rather be uncircumcised and I am considering restoration. 
  4%   I would rather be uncircumcised and I am actively restoring.  

8 Uncircumcised Men: Choose one: 
86%  I am content being uncircumcised. 
  7%  I would rather be circumcised but I will live with it as it is. 
  6%  I would rather be circumcised and I am considering having it done. 
  1%  I would rather be circumcised and I am definitely going to have it done. 


To varying degrees of effect(it may well be that the effects correlate with how much was cut off), circumcision: increases the amount of coarse pubic hair on the shaft, pulls the scrotum forward during erection, increases the need for lubrication, decreases penile sensitivity, decreases the duration location and intensity of orgasm, and decreases owner satisfaction. 

UPDATE: Some studies are beginning to be done; here is a one from Denmark. I think it is interesting how they find it surprising this hasn't been studied more before. I think this just shows how much of a taboo there still is in researching circumcision's functional effects.

"Yet, prevention of the rare cases of pathological phimosis remains a leading argument for proponents of routine circumcision. Other claimed benefits of circumcision, such as reduced risks of balanoposthitis, sexually transmitted infections and penile cancer, can be achieved without tissue loss through the maintenance of good penile hygiene combined with proper use of condoms, and whether circumcision reduces the risk of urinary tract infections in infancy has been questioned.

Despite the fact that no professional medical organization recommends routine circumcision, not even in the USA where most newborn boys undergo the operation, it remains a widespread belief that circumcision provides superior penile hygiene and protects against urinary tract infections, phimosis, paraphimosis, balanoposthitis, venereal diseases and cancer. Considering the organ involved with its sensitive anatomical structures, surprisingly few population based studies have been carried out to evaluate circumcision’s possible sexual consequences. A number of methodologically questionable reports have led to claims of impaired, improved or unaltered sexual function in circumcised men and their female partners."

Highlights include:

  • Women with circumcised partners more often than women with uncircumcised partners reported that their sexual needs were incompletely fulfilled; women with circumcised men also reported more difficulties such as orgasm difficulty, lubrication difficulty, irritation, infections, and painful sex (dyspareunia).
  • Circumcised men were more likely than uncircumcised men to report frequent orgasm difficulties.
  • The two most common sexual difficulties, premature ejaculation (reported as an occasional or frequent difficulty by 61%) and erectile difficulties (reported by 40%), were equally frequent in the two groups.
  • The only behavioural difference was that circumcised men were more likely than uncircumcised men to report a lifetime history of 10 or more sex partners.
  • Considering all sexual function difficulties together revealed no difference, but circumcised men were three times more likely than uncircumcised men to experience frequent orgasm difficulties which, according to an international expert panel, are either psychogenic or due to reduced penile sensitivity.
  • Robustness analyses showed that these difficulties of circumcised men were not explained by an excess of anxiety or depression in this group. This suggests that reduced penile sensitivity may, at least in part, explain the difference, a situation that has been recognized for centuries and supported by recent neurophysiological studies.


Back to Contents



What are the Effects of Circumcision? 

By Glenn Epps

en, just like that of females, are all born with sexual "color vision." As with ones visual sensitivity if one were born color blind one could live without ever seeing color; simply one wouldn't know what color was. Color blind people certainly function "fine" but most of us would argue that being able to see all colors is preferable. Men's sexual color vision is forever altered when circumcision is performed. Sure no doubt for most sexual pleasure is great but its not as it could have been or would have been. Frankly, what man or woman wouldn't want their cake and be able to eat

Many women, mostly those in African and Southeast Asia Muslim regions, have also had their sexual color vision forever altered. I'm sure many have read or heard about this. We have called it FGM or Female Genital Mutilation. FGM can be as "simple" as excising the clitoral hood (the clitoral hood is analogous to the male foreskin) or be much more drastic.Most Western countries have moved swiftly to make it illegal to alter the genitalia of non-consenting women who are minors. Most would agree, except perhaps those performing female circumcision, those females are entitled to full sexual function, feeling and sensations--full color vision. it too?

This Is What Many Doctors Do Not Mention Before They Perform Circumcision:

The Prepuce, More Commonly Referred To As The Foreskin, Is Not Just "Skin", "Redundant Foreskin" Or "Extra Skin."
The Foreskin Is Loaded With Nerves--Nerves Which Allow For A Complete Range of Sexual Enjoyment and Response.
The Inner Foreskin, Properly Called The Mucosa, Is Particularly Sensitive Tissue Most Of Which Is Destroyed By Most Circumcision Methods.
The Frenulum, Which Is Cut During Circumcision, In Part Or In Total, Has Even More Nerves Than The Foreskin.
The Glans Desensitises. Void Of The Protective Foreskin It Dries And The Skin Thickens To Protect Itself Against Constant Abrasion Of Clothing.
The Gliding Sheath Mechanism Of The Penis Is Destroyed Or Greatly Reduced.

Strangely, many people see the altering of males' genitals as being "different" from that of altering females' genitals. It only seems logical, and fair, that both men and women should be entitled to intact bodies free of genital altering surgeries. If an adult male or female wants to give informed consent to surgery, which alters their genitals, this then becomes an entirely different issue. What male or female wouldn't want to have full sexual sensory and functional capacity?

Circumcision is most effectively perpetuated. Men who have not been circumcised don't realize the benefits that are derived from their penises. These men often take for granted the feelings and sensations that they derive from having intact genitalia. The cliché, "You don't know what you've got until you've lost it" can't be more true for intact (uncircumcised) men. Circumcised men most often do not realize any loss. How could they? Circumcision is performed on them as babies--it was made impossible for them to ever experience what sensations are produced by tissue, which has been excised. These men can't be blamed for this situation but there is an onus on these men and all of us to take those steps necessary to let adult males decide they would like to make changes to his penis. Just because sex is "just fine" or "great" doesn't mean that we shouldn't allow our children the right and privilege to make decisions about operations to their genitalia themselves.

Neonatal circumcision ensures that a man will not know what he had. How many people have you heard say, "He won't remember the experience?" Think about this--every male born comes into this world with a penis, which as part of its anatomical structure includes foreskin and a frenum, just like every other male. In the United States, so many circumcisions have been performed that many men who are circumcised do not know that they have been circumcised and actually think they are intact. Studies have also shown that many women are unable to identify whether or not their partner has undergone a circumcision. I found this to be odd that people wouldn't be able to identify whether they had been circumcised or not, particularly men, but survey's do indicate this to be true and many men have reported that they where unaware of their circumcision for many years. As said elsewhere at this site, whether you circumcise your child or leave him intact, as a parent, you really ought to explain to your child his penile status. You should be letting your sons know that there are boys that have been circumcised and boys that have not.

All most every very medical authority agrees that when you perform a circumcision you pay special attention so that you don't accidentally damage the frenulum. This is because the frenulum can significantly increase sexual pleasure--but this takes a few extra minutes, and may require a different method of circumcision. Most egregiously many men have had part or all of their frenulum removed during circumcision. Why? Some doctors work more quickly, some don't employ methods to preserve this tissue structure, untrained resident doctors might be assigned to do the circumcisions while other simply don't care. Those doctors who purposefully remove this exquisitely sensitively tissue during circumcision might be committing the greatest crime! Do you have yours? The frenulum attaches the foreskin to the glans at the back (or underside) of the head. The end result is that thousands of men have to live with the results of doctors' haste, mistakes or lack of experience for the rest of their lives. How do you feel about this?

It is also agreed that you do not cut off healthy non-diseased tissue lest there be some absolute compelling medical reason and that the patient is fully aware of alternative treatments, alternative approaches and gives full consent for such surgery--not neonatal circumcision. It is the removal of healthy, sensitive and disease free tissue. The patient gave no consent--he couldn't--he was just a baby. In fact rather than giving consent a device known as the Circumstraint (TM) is used to literally strap the arms and legs of the baby down. Why the need for strapping? The baby struggles, kicks and screams during the procedure. This is what Olympic Medical Corp. has to say about their product, the Circumstraint, "In less than 30 seconds, a nurse can immobilize the struggling infant securely in the correct position with Circumstraint." The struggling, the kicking and the screaming leads us into yet another facet of this operation, pain.

It is also medically accepted and agreed that when performing operations one administers general or local anaesthetic's to conduct the operation--pain and discomfort are minimized as best can be. Both local and general anaesthetics pose problems and potential complications in conducting neonatal circumcisions. Medical protocol, and simple reasoning, would normally dictate that such an operation be postponed until such time that it can be done safely using anaesthetic--not an infant male circumcision. Parents have often been told it doesn't hurt. Just go and look at the pictures and you tell me whether you think you can perform such an operation and that the baby won't feel anything? This is what the Circumstraint assists in--immobilizing a baby that thrashes, kicks and moves--reacting to pain. None of this sounds nice, but what operation is nice? The truth of the matter is that neonatal circumcision breaches a number of normal medical protocols, practices and ethics. Did you know that every year thousands upon thousands of dollars spent on studding the various issues of circumcision to try and present reasons why the operation should be continued and why it is valid. This is in stark contrast to thousands and thousands of dollars spent each and every year to find ways to forgo surgical operations and look for less invasive means of treatment.


The material regarding circumcision can get highly complex and extremely difficult to understand--this in itself should tell us something about what is cut off (excised) during a circumcision. What I have put together is an overview of the losses. If you would like detailed medical reports or other findings I would suggest that you might want to visit the Circumcision Information and Resources Pages and to seek out other web resources to assist you. Please visit the Resource Centre of this site for a listing of other resources and sources of information available.


The foreskin (prepuce) is actually an extension of the penile shaft skin. This skin that covers the glans is really composed of two layers and types of skin. The outer foreskin and the inner foreskin; the inner properly referred to as mucosa. The outer foreskin folds over the mucosa when the foreskin is in a non-retracted state covering the glans. The circumference of the average man's erect penis is 5 inches around and the average foreskin length is 1-1/2 inches long. So you have 1-1/2 inches of outer foreskin and then another 1-1/2 inches of inner foreskin. Cutting off this skin approximates 36% of the male shaft skin!

An area of skin the size of a quarter contains more than 12 feet of nerves and over 40 nerve endings. [The Human Connection, Ashley Montague] Take a piece of paper and draw a rectangle with the size being 3 inches by 5 inches--this represents the average amount of inner and outer foreskin that an adult male has lost due to circumcision. Now take some quarters and see how many will fit in this rectangle. You'll find that 15 easily fit into this space, leaving plenty of space left over. That infant circumcision robs men of 240 feet of nerves and over 1,000 nerve endings meant to enhance his and his partner's sexual pleasure.

There is an excellent report published in the British Journal of Urology (1996), 77, 291-295, The Prepuce: Specialized Mucosa Of The Penis And Its Loss To Circumcision, by J.R. Taylor, A.P. Lockwood and A.J. Taylor Department of Pathology, Health Sciences Centre, University of Manitoba. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, which gives a comprehensive overview of what has been (and is) cut off during a circumcision. These doctors exemplify the positive and ethical steps that many doctors are taking to provide their peers and others with information that pertains to infant male circumcision.

The foreskin of the male penis creates the penis' only movable part. The foreskin of adult males is free to move back and forth exposing and covering the glans. This has better become known as the "gliding mechanism." Men that have been circumcised, in the erect state, either have very little mobility in shaft skin, or the shaft skin is taut. Such a condition is not seen in men that have not undergone circumcision. The benefits of a mobile shaft skin can easily be deduced. During sexual activity less friction is created; often-circumcised men require the use of lubricants in aid of intercourse or masturbation. It has also been postulated that the movement and contact of the foreskin, back and forth, over the glans produces further sensations; many intact men have cited the pleasures afforded by this practice. Also, the truly obvious, but often-overlooked feature is that there is more to enjoy by both the male and female. As with sexual intercourse, many variations of method exist, this holds true with the manipulation of the foreskin.

The frenulum is a mucous membrane, richly endowed with nerves and blood vessels, which attaches the foreskin to the penis. It is located on the ventral (back) of the glans. Over and over again one can read that this is a sensitive area on the male penis. In one women's magazine they referred to this as the male "G-Spot." Most, but not all, circumcision methods destroy part or all of the frenulum--this ultra sensitive tissue (the G-Spot) is surgically removed. What is much more serious is that in many cases the doctor has taken extra steps to cut the frenulum off. This structure enhances a male's sexual enjoyment; sadly many have had their frenulum completely excised! Many intact males have indicated that the frenulum, when stimulated just by its self, can produce an orgasmic response.

To the men--do you have part or all of your frenulum? To the women--does your partner have part or all of his frenulum? If some frenulum exists do you know if you had more which was "trimmed" away?

The glans (head of the penis) was designed to be a protected structure--hence the foreskin. The foreskin covering the glans allows the glans to be kept moist and supple. The exposed glans tends to become dry and the skin layers thicken.

Nerves lay near the top of the skin membrane that covers the glans in intact men. Once circumcised the glans seeks to protect itself from abrasion against diapers and later underwear and other apparel; this is known as keratinization. Dr. Dean Edell has noted it, and others, that the skin cell thickness in circumcised men is double or triple that of intact men. This build-up of skin cells deadens and desensitises the nerve endings in the glans.

The glans of the circumcised male losses much of its color and becomes similar in color to that of the rest of the penis. The color changes are generally an indication of the glans trying to protect itself by building up skin layers. Generally the glans is a darker color more reddish or purple in color in the intact man--the color differential between the glans and shaft is often quite noticeable.

Many men, in fact thousands, are committing or have committed to foreskin restoration. As males and females we should support any man who desires to restore. Do we not support women who undergo reconstructive surgery for breasts lost to cancer? Of course we do and there should be no difference in support for men. The book, The Joy of Uncircumcising, by Jim Bigelow, published by Hourglass Publishing is an excellent resource for those interested in restoration. Various resources are available through the Internet. Please the Circumcision Facts On-Line World Resource Center.


Great multitudes of men have reported adverse psychological consequences as a result of their circumcisions. Some of the more common reports are that of anger, resentment, lack of control, violation and low self-esteem. These are all normal responses. Sure, not every man will have such a response(s) but no man, who is impacted emotionally, due to circumcision, should be dismissed. Adverse psychological consequences resultant from circumcision were documented in the medical literature decades ago. The material isn't new, it just hasn't been made "available" to the general public.

Often the psychological consequences are compounded or exacerbated when the man (or woman in case of female genital mutilation [FGM]) becomes aware that his sex life has been forever altered as a result of surgery to which he did not consent. Other factors include that of poor circumcision results including skin bridges, prominent scars, tight and/or painful erections, excessive and prolonged stimulation required to reach orgasm and stimulation almost becoming painful in order to achieve orgasm just to mention a few.

What is incredibly important is that we breakdown the barriers in our taboo ridden society that prevents men from being able to openly acknowledge losses and to discuss such issues with both men and women.

This isn't just a lot of smoke and mirrors--these are the facts. If you are a circumcised man and are happy with your state that's great--self-image is important. Sadly, most circumcised men haven't been told the truth about this subject and then many when confronted with the subject have closed their ears. Of course this is understandable, when you think about what was done and what is missing who wouldn't want to think that everything is just great and ignore the harm and damage of circumcision.

What is very important is that we all have an understanding of what has been done. We can't change the past for males or females, who have undergone genital alterations, but we certainly can change the future. I would sincerely hope that we all could concur that male and female children throughout the world have the right to grow up knowing what it is like to have intact genitalia. If we can't agree on this I think individually and collectively we have to start asking some very serious questions--why can't we agree on such a principle?


Reasons to Circumcise Addressed

Let's take a closer look at some of the most common reasons given for infant circumcision:

Look Like Dad
Penile Cancer
Urinary Tract Infections(UTIs)

Look Like Dad

One of the most irrational excuses for infant circumcision is the notion that it is of such vital importance that a son's penis look like his father's penis that his foreskin must be amputated. When the circumcision frenzy began in earnest about 55 years ago almost all of the fathers were intact. The circumcision promoters told parents for over two decades that the father-son penile difference was so unimportant that it should not be a factor in the decision to circumcise. In most cases, if there were a consideration of the son having a foreskin like dad, the doctor went ahead and circumcised him without parental assent. Once more than 50% of males in the child rearing age were circumcised, the promoters began telling parents that it was important for the son's penis to look like his father's. It is very fortunate that any scars on the father's face or other parts of his body, missing fingers or other physical incidents which changed his physical appearance, and noticeable at most or all times, were not also important enough to maim infant boys in a similar manner to look like dad. In the 1980's and 1990's over 8 million circumcised fathers and enlightened mothers have taken the action to guarantee and protect the genital integrity of their sons and are raising healthy, happy intact boys. As one intact young man in high school replied when asked about looking different than his father and many of his friends, "Yes, delightfully different!" It will not be long before the grateful intact boys are the majority in the U.S. as they are in the rest of the western world.

It is much easier for a man with a circumcised penis to explain to his intact son why his penis looks different. Old excuses invalidated, exposure of the possible benefits as frauds, new information on the sensuousness of the foreskin and all of its parts and attachments, the importance of that moveable part, its function and protection, and that the father was denied all of this due to the advice given his parents and accepted by most people at that time. On the other hand, an intact father cannot tell, or will find it very difficult to tell his son, that he was circumcised because there is any benefit. The first question that will come to the boy's mind and remain there for years is, "If it is better, or there is some benefit, why don't you have your foreskin cut-off, too?"

There would be benefits for both the circumcised father and his son if the father restored a facsimile of his foreskin and insured his son's genital integrity. The father will realize sexual and physical gains by creating that new foreskin, the son will not be forced to suffer the loss, and their penises will look the same - if such a transparent physical similarity is that important to the father or mother.

Regardless of the foregoing, every person, male or female, has the basic human right to all of their body parts and any decision to remove, modify or alter any body parts must be the decision of the adult, reasonably informed owner of those body parts.


Many people continue to believe the myth that a circumcised penis is somehow cleaner than the natural, intact penis. In reality, the intact penis is cleaner due to Nature’s meticulous design of the foreskin and the protection it affords the glans and inner foreskin mucosa from all forms of harmful foreign substances detrimental to penile health. The natural penis was designed to be self-cleaning.

All body parts, external and internal, should be protected from natural and unnatural deleterious pollutants. The glans penis is an internal organ. The penis is not enhanced, but diminished by subtracting from this natural design. It makes no sense whatever to remove a seal, wrapper, cover, sheath, cap or lid until the time the protected product is ready for use. After use, the product is re-sealed, re-capped or re-wrapped to protect the contents until future use. A book without a cover quickly becomes soiled, deteriorates and falls apart. The same is true of any man made or natural object being protected from damage. The penis is no exception.

When the penis becomes erect, the glans is usually fully or partially exposed when the foreskin (sheath, cover, wrapper) removes itself (retracts), enabling the male to experience full sexual sensuousness. This includes the unique tactile sensations of the foreskin itself. The glans is then re-covered to protect it from foreign substances, cold, abrasive action of friction with clothing, etc. When bathing, after natural foreskin/glans separation, the foreskin is retracted for a couple of seconds, rinsed and replaced.

Dirt, all forms of dust and particles (soil, coal, metallic, wood), chemicals and other compounds and pollutants can easily be embedded in the exposed and toughened glans of the unprotected penis. Any embedment, sometimes quite deep, is caused by the friction between glans and clothing with the foreign debris acting as abrasive material between them. The head of the intact penis is untouched and a man simply washes any debris from the outer foreskin when bathing and retracts to was the naturally clean, undisturbed and naturally lubricated glans and inner foreskin. The circumcised peris of an infant and toddler is exposed to feces and other pollutants on his glans, urethral opening and scar tissue. Parents must be alert to anyone interfering with this protection by probing, stretching and retracting their son’s foreskin.

How does the circumcised penis protect itself? The constantly exposed glans grows layers of nerveless skin cells (cornification) in an attempt to protect itself and the head becomes an abnormal, unnatural, desensitized and toughened organ. Constant friction with clothing destroys most of the near surface nerve endings in the glans. The layers of skin cells that are grown for protection do not protect the glans from the dirt and debris that will continue to be embedded in the added layers of skin cells. Circumcised men have written of problems with accumulations of debris in skin tunnels and suture holes from their circumcision causing abscesses and “blackheads” that require constant attention, as well as sores on the scar and glans. Nature’s system of keeping the head of the penis clean, lubricated and protected is gone when the foreskin is amputated.

Does absence of of smegma mean a cleaner penis? A definition of smegma must be given as it is misunderstood and ill defined. Smegma is NOT the micro-fine film of natural which protects the glans, enables the foreskin to glide easily back and forth over the glans and insures the very soft , smooth texture. A dried out, rough glans and innerforeskin is not natural and just wouldn’t work very well! Smegma is NOT the fragrance released after the glans has been covered for a period of time. Some people mistakenly consider just the film of lubricant or the aroma as smegma. Smegma IS the substance created by discarded cells of the epithelium of the glans and inner foreskin mixed with the natural glans lubrication. All organs of the body undergo this constant process of cellular regeneration, the replacement of dead cells, and the penis is no exception.

Natural males seldom, if ever, experience smegma or “accumulation” of smegma. Most will only experience the lubrication and occasionally a very subtle aroma.

Females also produce smegma under the clitoral foreskin and in the folds of the labia minora and labia majora. Would this be a reason for female circumcision or infibulation? Of course not! This natural substance present among natural men and women is beneficial.

Joyce Wright, M.D., in an article for Sexology: HOW SMEGMA SERVES THE PENIS, “Nature’s Assurance That The Uncircumcised Glans Penis Will Function Smoothly Is Provided By Smegma.” relates, “Is smegma useful? Yes, certainly. It lubricates the cavity between the foreskin of the penis and the glans, thus allowing smooth movement between them during intercourse.” (The lubrication is not “smegma”)

In The Circumcision Decision, Edward Wallerstein says, “Not only is smegma not harmful, but beneficial, serving as a protective coating for and lubricant for the glans.”

“Wash, don’t amputate,” is the advice of Dr. Alex Comfort.

“Hygiene is another misplaced concern: The foreskin keeps itself clean by shedding dead cells.” says Dr. Marguerite Kelly in The Family Almanac.

Dr. Loraine Stern in Off to a Great Start, says, “It’s true that boys without foreskins don’t have these secretions, but that doesn’t mean that the foreskin is unclean.”

In Your Child’s Health, Dr. Barton Schmitt says, “The foreskin is not some cosmic error, it is there for protection, especially the sensitivity of the glans.”

Cleanliness is a mental state! There will be a certain percentage of people who will remain unclean. We may inspire good habits, but mostly a sense of cleanliness is a gift, which a certain number of humans, no matter where they may be found, whether in palaces, hovels, mansions, or huts, rich or poor, circumcised or natural, do not possess. A human with a sense of cleanliness, or one who is conditioned by good training and habits, will avail himself of a little soap or a handful of water to render himself clean. Men with a circumcised penis must practice genital hygiene as often as natural men. If a male, natural or circumcised, is constitutionally incapable of keeping himself clean, his penis is the least of his worries!

Circumcision was introduced to North America to aid male’s “moral hygiene,” to reduce, or prevent masturbation. They used penis and body restraints, acid and caustic solutions on the glans and foreskin to deaden and limit the penis and even castration and penis amputation to stop males from masturbating. They found that circumcision would produce the same results to the penis as acids and caustic solutions as well as limit movement of the shaft and promoted circumcision for the boys’ moral hygiene. But males didn’t masturbate any less. When that fact was discovered, the circumcision promoters changed the phrase from moral hygiene to physical hygiene, both hoaxes. Recent research (Journal of the American Medical Association) found that circumcised males masturbate and engage in anal intercourse more frequently than the intact males.

Parents, all males and females have the basic human right to whole, natural, sensuous and self-cleaning sex organs. Allow your sons to have the natural, normal, sensuous, protective and functional foreskin that Nature intended him to have.


Non-existent “phimosis” is widely used as a medically fraudulent excuse to circumcise many children, some teens and a few adult males. Phimosis is a rare condition of the foreskin that is widely misunderstood and very conveniently misdiagnosed. The myth that circumcision is the only solution to either a real or imagined pathology must be smashed. Medical treatment, not surgical intervention, should be the approach to a true diagnosis of phimosis.

We must have some definition that has some degree of accuracy and understand what phimosis is not. What is acquired phimosis, or iatrogenic (doctor caused) phimosis? How can doctors label early natural and normal fusion as phimosis when it is not? Is it a real concern, or does the presence of the foreskin trigger some psychic need to create a phantom diagnosis with circumcision the underlying intent? Is pathological or physiological phimosis rare? Is it a fact that medical treatment is often initiated when phimosis is not present due to physician ignorance of the intact penis? Do some doctors and nurses force retraction on purpose, fully aware it is damaging, in the hope of future circumcision due to that deliberate damage?

Definition? “The term phimosis (from the Greek word for muzzling),is often incorrectly applied to any foreskin that cannot be retracted. The underlying difficulty is the imprecision of the term phimosis.” 1 “This term used to be used in hospital records to justify social circumcision. It is easier to define what phimosis is not.” 2 It still is a term used to justify contraindicated circumcisions! “...a non-retractable foreskin beyond the age of 3 years.” 2 “Phimosis: Inability to retract the foreskin after the age of puberty.”3 Is this confusing? The doctor’s personal motives determine his particular definition and almost always it is incorrect.

Acquired phimosis is the condition of non-retractability due to the ignorance of the doctor, ignorance of the parents or other care givers due to misinformation or no information from the doctor. Consequently, the infant’s foreskin opening (at the ridged band or “frenar band”) is probed and widened unnecessarily or the foreskin is partially or fully retracted by force causing slight tears in the foreskin. This invasion of the foreskin may narrow and constrict the foreskin opening when the tears heal, can obstruct urine flow, can scar the glans when the mucosa is torn away and cause re-adhesion of the mucosato the glans after the tearing apart.

Boys can also cause their foreskins to be quite snug to very tight, and in some cases unretractable (self-acquired phimosis) when they discover masturbation. 4 Instead of drawing the foreskin back and forth over their glans mimicking vaginal penetration and intercourse (using their glans as a natural dilator) which naturally increases the size of the opening and adding foreskin suppleness, some boys will masturbate by rubbing their glans under their foreskin and only pulling their foreskin forward instead of toward the pubis. This will sometimes result in a longer, narrower, more tubular (as in childhood) foreskin which can be more restrictive. 4

Parents should talk with their sons about the natural and normal pleasures of masturbation which virtually all males will indulge. Make a suggestion or suggestions of method (or if embarrassed to do so,leave some information around the house that he will find). If he does have a rather tight or restrictive foreskin, masturbation by stroking the entire shaft and glans, allowing the foreskin to travel back and forth over the glans and down the shaft, will relieve a restrictive opening. Some men have experienced self-acquired phimosis by stretching their foreskin in the desire to have a longer, more substantial foreskin.

The inner foreskin mucosa is naturally fused to the glans of almost every infant (96%)5 as the development of the penis is not complete at birth. The synechia is the membrane attaching the foreskin to the glans. The desquamation of the cells of the synechia will cause the foreskin to naturally separate from the glans in most boys by the age of 5 or 6 (90%), by early teens (99%) or later teen years. This fusion is a natural design of oneness to protect the glans and meatus from feces, urine and foreign debris and protection against infection which obviously prevents the foreskin from retracting over the glans. This is NOT phimosis, but natural fusion. It is, however, the leading excuse to circumcise young boys when their foreskin has not yet retracted.

“The time to pull the foreskin back is when the child is old enough to do this himself.”2 For parents of intact sons, please tell them, “No one should pull your foreskin back unless it’s OK with you. If your doctor wants to check it, you can slide it back yourself.”6

Phimosis, then, is the inability to retract the foreskin over the glans of older boys and men due to one of the following etiologies: Pathological, Physiological, Iatrogenic, or Acquired Phimosis. In almost all cases, a normal degree of retractability will be achieved through treatment.

Most of the circumcisions performed using the excuse of phimosis are fraudulent or “sham diagnoses” of children with perfectly normal foreskins which are still naturally fused to their glans. Such circumcisions are contraindicated and the perpetrators should be reported to their respective medical society, ethics committees, state medical boards and prosecuted. This is as evil and fraudulent as telling parents that their son’s foreskin is “redundant” (too long)! Circumcision for these hoaxes make as much sense as telling a well endowed man that his nine inch penis must be reduced by three inches due to penile redundancy!

It must also be stressed that some men with phimosis are perfectly happy with that condition, will not consider circumcision nor treatment to achieve retractability. This is and should be a personal choice. Treatment published in medical journal literature reports a 90% success rate with conservative treatment using a topical steroid (betamethasone valerate 0.5%2 or clobetasol propionate cream, 0.05%7). Some individuals in the 10% who are still unable to retract opt to leave their foreskin or their son’s foreskin alone. This is also a successful treatment for the restriction of the opening if urine flow is obstructed. Balloon dilation is another treatment that reported a 100% cure rate among 512 cases.8

Pathological phimosis, due to balanitis xerotica obliterans (lichen sclerosis et atrophicus), is usually not responsive to treatment and the patient or his parents must decide whether to leave it alone, try other foreskin saving options (surgical - see below), or circumcision. Physiological phimosis, perhaps a fibrotic disease, is not understood and may be iatrogenic or self-induced.

It appears that the vast majority of the phimosis diagnoses are false - either through ignorance on the part of the physician or an excuse used to fulfill some need to circumcise his patient without medical indication. In this case, the pathology of the circumcisers should be studied.

Investigating the literature and figures in journal articles and removing all misdiagnosis of phimosis of the naturally fused glans and inner foreskin as well as iatrogenic phimosis caused either intentionally or unintentionally, very few intact males will ever experience this. Perhaps one male per thousand will experience a totally unretractable foreskin. With treatment 90% successful, one intact male in 10,000 would have to make the decision to just leave it alone, try Prepucial Plasty or Y-V Plasties, other interventions, or circumcision. About 5% of our children are being circumcised because of this fraud!

Paraphimosis is the strangling of the penis behind the glans at the sulcus. This is a rare condition caused by a tight foreskin (ridged band) which passes over the glans, tightens, will not allow theforeskin to pass back over the glans and restricts blood flow. The same treatment for phimosis will cure virtually every case of paraphimosis. If a child’s foreskin is found to be in this position, apply pressure to his glans and slide his foreskin back over.

The Solution: Phimosis would be very rare if medical staff and parents would leave the foreskin of infants and children alone and physicians educate themselves on what is and what is not phimosis and the treatments available should they ever encounter a real case.

1. Gordon A., Collin, J., “Save the normal foreskin,” British Medical Journal, vol. 30, January 2, 1996.

2. Wright, JE., “Further to ‘the further fate of the foreskin’,” The Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 180, February 7, 1994.

3. Ritter, TJ, MD, Denniston, GC, MD, MPH, Glossary, Say NO to Circumcision, Hourglass Publishing, 1996.

4. Beauge, M, MD, “Conservative Treatment of Primary Phimosis in Adolescents,” Faculty of Medicine, Saint-Antoine University, Paris VI, 1991. Translated by Dr. JP Warren.

5. Gairdner, D, “The Fate of the Foreskin,” British Medical Journal, December 24, 1949, p 1433-1437.

6. Noble, E, Sorger, L., MD, “The Joy of Being a Boy,” New LifeImages, 1994.

7. Jorgensen, ET, Svensson, A, “The Treatment of Phimosis in Boys,with a Potent Topical Steroid (Clobetasol Propionate 0.05%) Cream,” Acta Dermato-Vernereologica (Stockholm), vol. 73, No. 1, February, 1993.

8. From SURGERY, Gynecology & Obstetrics, Vol. 175, No. 3, September, 1992. (He Ying and Zhou Xiu-hua, Chinese Medical Journal, 1991).

Penile Cancer

The following letter from the American Cancer Society to the American Academy of Pediatrics should end to the disproved claim that having a foreskin increases the risk of penile cancer in older men. This is not an "official" statement of policy from the ACS. However, the ACS official statements on penile and cervical carcinomas do not include circumcision as any preventative. After this letter is a discussion of how this hoax was begun, perpetuated and proven false.


Dr. Peter Rappo Committee on Practice & Ambulatory Medicine American Academy of Pediatrics 141 Northwest Point Boulevard P. O. Box 927 Elk Grove Village, IL 60009-0927

Dear Dr. Rappo:

As representatives of the American Cancer Society, we would like to discourage the American Academy of Pediatrics from promoting circumcision as a preventative measure for penile or cervical cancer. The American Cancer Society does not consider routine circumcision to be a valid or effective measure to prevent suchcancers.

Research suggesting a pattern in the circumcision status of partners of women with cervical cancer is methodologically flawed, outdated and has not been taken seriously in the medical community for decades.

Likewise, research claiming a relationship between circumcision and penile cancer is inconclusive. Penile cancer is an extremely rare condition, effecting one in 200,000 men in the United States. Penile cancer rates in countries which do not practice circumcision are lower than those in the United States. Fatalities caused by circumcision accidents may approximate the mortality rate from penile cancer.

Portraying routine circumcision as an effective means of prevention distracts the public from the task of avoiding the behaviors proven to contribute to penile and cervical cancer: especially cigarette smoking and unprotected sexual relations with multiple partners. Perpetuating the mistaken belief that circumcision prevents cancer is inappropriate.

Sincerely, Hugh Shingleton, M.D. Clark W. Heath, Jr., M.D. National Vice President Vice President Detection & Treatment Epidemiology & Surveillance Research 1599 CLIFTON ROAD, N.E., ATLANTA, GEORGIA 30329 404-320-3333

An unscientific paper by Abraham Wolbarst, published in the Lancet, January, 1932, began the fraud that penile cancer is found only among intact men. Wolbarst asked hospitals for the number of patients diagnosed with penile cancer and whether or not they were Jewish (not whether or not they were ircumcised). To achieve desired results, he added numbers from older studies (1907, for example). The birth dates of men with penile cancer in these "studies" were from 1830 to 1885, years when it was about as difficult to find a circumcised man in the U. S. as it was a circumcised horse. Nearly all cases in those years should have been intact men as almost all men were intact.

Circumcision promoters took the annual number of penile cancer cases at that time and multiplied by population increase and the number of years since 1930 and tell us, "Of 60,000 cases of penile cancer since 1930, only 8 (or 10, or 12) have been found among circumcised men." The paper by Wolbarst has been the source for this fraudulent claim for the past 65 years. The intent is clear - use a false cancer scare to convince parents to circumcise their sons.

For years neither parents nor circumcision promoters have asked why the rate among European men, virtually all intact, is the same or lower than the more circumcised male population in North America. A circumcised penis is at approximately the same risk as the intact penis. The only means of preventing penile cancer is the amputation of the penis. Any living tissue is at risk of cancer, and this fact should be evident to the physicians who continue to believe this hoax.

Dr. Robert Van Howe has written a case study of a circumcised man who was told by his urologist that the neoplasm on his penis was nothing to worry about because, "Circumcised males can't get penile cancer." After two years and the continued growth of the neoplasm, he consulted a dermatologist who took a biopsy and found the neoplasm cancerous. Dr. Van Howe asks, "Is there a pattern here?" There may be. It is pathetic that the promoters have convinced not only the public, but many physicians of this fraud. How many circumcised men with penile cancer, told they couldn't have it, lost their penises, or lives, due to this hoax? Today, how many men with penile cancer are going without treatment due to this deception? Doctors, what do you say to these men later who, thanks to you, now have advanced penile cancer? Oooops?

The promoters of circumcision use this"study" as a scare tactic to circumcise male infants, despite the fact that penile cancer is one of the rarest of all carcinomas. This year there will be about 7 cases of penile cancer per million males, 2 deaths per million. Is this the same odds as death by lightning strike? Using data from a six year British study (Gairdner, British Medical Journal, 1949), the odds of the death of an infant boy due to circumcision is 1 in 6,000, or 167 per million circumcisions! "It is an incontestable fact... there are more deaths from circumcision each year than from cancer of the penis." (Gellis, S.S., American Journal of Diseases in Children). Please see the answer to a question in the letters section of this newsletter for an explanation of how these deaths go unreported. Male breast cancer is more common than penile cancer (SEERS Cancer Statistics Review), 6 times that of foreskin cancers and higher than all penile cancers.

The findings of the first case/control penile cancer study (Maden et al, an on-going study) was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, January 6,1993. 37% of the cases were circumcised men (which is close to the true percentage of men circumcised in the age group of the cases, born between 1910 and 1945). This study found cancers on the foreskin in 17% of the cases, (one case per 800,000 males). By definition, the difference between an intact and circumcised penis is the presence or absence of the foreskin. Therefore, 83% of penile carcinomas would be found regardless of circumcision status. The incidence of cancers on the foreskin are off-set by the higher incidence of tearing on the circumcised penis. Leading the risk factors for penile cancer, according to the Maden study, are penile rash, odds ratio 9.4 times that of men reporting no such history; genital warts, 5.9; penile tear, 3.9; over 30 sexual partners, 3.4; smoking, over 45 pack-year, 3.2; penile injury, 2.3. The intact, compared to all circumcised was a low 2.0 (1.5 is considered "chance").

Using figures from the Maden study and adjusting for the increased number of circumcised men in the age group at risk, the calculation of a national incidence of penile cancer suggests that in 1996 about 550 intact men and 450 circumcised men will be diagnosed with penile cancer. In the year 2000, when about 55% of the males in the group at risk will have circumcised penises, the data will show about 55% of the cases will be among circumcised men. The average age at diagnosis is 67 years. The circumcision boosters dare not look at the Maden study as the number is 1,400 times higher than the boosters claim! The Seattle area had 8 times more circumcised men with penile cancer in eleven years than the entire country was supposed to have had in 65 years!

In an interview with Dr. Janet Daling, study epidemiologist, she told this writer, "Penile cancer should never be considered in a circumcision decision." She said this statement was also given to the media, but never published. Dr. Daling's son is intact and twin boys born to Dr. and Mrs. Maden during the study are intact, which should be an indication that penile cancer is merely a scare tactic and circumcision does not prevent this disease - at least in the eyes of the researchers.

Circumcision promoters disregard this study and pretend it doesn't exist. They pretend the letter from the American Cancer Society doesn’t exist. They pretend the intact men of Europe with the same or lower penile cancer rates don’t exist. They continue to use the old fraud, the old scare tactic and continue to parrot the same lie over and over and over....

Urinary Tract Infections

Two facts must be well understood before addressing the medical literature on the incidence of urinary tract infections between the intact and circumcised boys in the first years of life. The first is the fact that most urinary tract defects are caused by urinary tract birth defects and it makes no difference if the boy is intact or not. Second, if the foreskins of infant boys were not probed, manipulated and inspected there would be no difference between the two cohorts and the intact boys may well have fewer incidents of UTI. The foreskin is designed to keep foreign debris and bacteruim from the urinary tract and when disturbed there is a slight increase in risk of a UTI. Circumcision promoters have been using fraudulent UTI and foreskin presence risk factors for about 15 years and tell parents that an intact boy will be ten or twenty times at higher risk.

UTI’s are actually quite rare. Paediatrics and Child Health, Vol.2, Supplement A, Page 55A, May/June 1997 (Canadian Paediatric Society), found, in following 61,543 boys in Ontario for the first five years of life (61% intact, 39% circumcised) that 511 boys were presented for a UTI over the five year period. The researchers found that the incidence of intact boys was 3 times higher than the circumcised. If 100,000 boys were circumcised, perhaps 160 cases of treatable UTI could be prevented according to this study. Urinary tract birth defects were not addressed, so the number would be much lower. Does it make any sense to circumcise a hundred thousand boys to maybe prevent 160 UTI’s when there are over 5,000 serious complications per 100,000 circumcisions (including deaths)?

“Understanding Urinary Tract Infection”, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “UTI’s are rarely seen in boys and young men. UTI’s may occur in infants with abnormalities in their urinary tract.”

“Urinary Tract Infection in Childhood”, (Infect Urol 8 (4), 111, 114-120, 1995): “60% of children with UTI’s have anatomic abnormalities in their urninary tracts.... In older children, UTI’s are significantly more common in girls and become as much as 50 times more common in girls by the age of five years. 0.3% to 1.2% of all infants will develop sympotomatic UTI’s during the first year of life.”

Removing 60% of cases with abnormailities, or urinary tract birth defects, the figures are now 0.12% to 0.48%. Removing the girls and circumcised infants leaves a figure between 0.04% to 0.18%, a mean rate of 0.11%. This means that there are 110 intact boys per 100,000 with a UTI in the first year of life. Since 70% of the male UTI’s in the first five years occur in the first year of life, there would be 157 in the first five years. Is it rational to circumcise 100,000 boys in an attempt to prevent or reduce 150 cases of a treatable UTI? And we must remember that these 100,000 circumcised boys are also at a risk of a UTI! Our studies are very close to the 160 per 100,000 in the Canadian study.

P These figures were checked against a study by Dr. Martin Altschul of 118,000 births and infants admitted with a diagnosis of UTI to Northern California Kaiser Permanente Hospitals. His finding for the intact boys is 120 per 100,000 in the first year of life. Although we do not have his figures for the first five years of life, using the 70% for the first year gives 170 cases.

Parents, allow your sons to have the natural, normal, sensuous, protective and functional foreskin that Nature intended him to have. Investigate the motives and agendas of the circumcisers and remember that a lifetime of very sensuous and complete sexuality and wholeness is in the balance. A complete penis not only enhances his sexuality, but there is the consideration of right and wrong and whose body it is that is being invaded. Subtraction does not add nor enhance.


The suggestion that there is any correlation between the presence of a foreskin and a higher incidence in HIV infection is not only irresponsible, illogical and unethical, but totally false and dangerous. The promoters of circumcision have sunk to a new low grasping for another imaginary straw in their futile search to find a reason to justify circumcision. There is more conclusive medical literature that the absence of the foreskin may increase the likelihood of HIV infection. Should a male have either a natural or circumcised penis he must protect himself from exposure to this terrible disease by adhering to a monogamous relationship, 100% condom usage or abstinence.

This misadventure by a very small number of circumcision boosters in the medical community, but with an almost unlimited access to the media to espouse their claims, was not going to be addressed in this series. However, since they have not abandoned the atrocious claim, this fraud must be exposed, too. Thanks to Dr. Robert S. Van Howe and his extensive HIV Meta-analysis and Dr. George Williams, The NOCIRC Newsletter from NOCIRC of Australia (July-December, 1995 edition).

A relationship between increased incidence of HIV/AIDS and a natural penis suggested by the late Dr. Aaron Fink was answered ten years ago in the New England Journal of Medicine (11 June 1987) by Dr. Robert Enzenhauer. He wrote, “Circumcision removes the protection normally provided by the foreskin. The absence of circumcision may actually protect against the transmission of AIDS by protecting the urethral mucosa.” The C.D.C. in Atlanta was called and asked if they supported any claim that circumcision protects against HIV transmission. They do not support that claim.

Dr. Van Howe’s meta-analysis, completed in late 1996, combined all published articles in which data was included. “When the raw data is combined, the man with a circumcised penis is at higher risk of acquiring and transmitting HIV. In spite of these findings, several North American physicians persist in promoting the myth that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV-infection. Based on the studies published to date, a cavalier call for routine circumcision in Africa, or elsewhere, is scientifically unfounded.”

The promoters of this correlation use small African studies only. A very insignificant study in Seattle is also quoted, where the HIV+ males were not examined to determine if they were circumcised or not. Two large studies in New York City found no correlation between HIV incidence and presence or absence of a foreskin and discovered another interesting fact. The men were asked whether or not they were circumcised and then, after physical examination, found that 15% answered incorrectly. They didn’t know what “circumcision” meant. The importance of physical examination among all study samples is obvious. If only two men in the Seattle sample answered incorrectly, the results would reverse!

If a population is going to be compared, it should have similar educational, medical and sanitary conditions; similar culture, religions and sexual practices; similar rates of intravenous drug use and size of the gay community. Western Europe is as close a mirror image as can be found. How can the fact that the predominantly circumcised males in the U.S. have an incidence of HIV infection four times that of a virtually intact European male population be so conveniently ignored? Although conclusions based on comparative epidemiology is considered less than reliable and unscientific, the comparison of the similar U.S. population and Western European population would be much more valid than would be the comparison of the U.S. population and the very different populations of Kenya, Rwanda, and Zaire.

In light of all of the above, The Backlash, issue 1994,carried an article by John Erickson which asks: “Does male circumcision contribute to the spread of AIDS? Isn’t it time we find out? One more question: If a positive correlation between AIDS and circumcision were in fact established, would it be fully and accurately reported by the media in this country, or, like so many other facts about the foreskin and circumcision, would it be distorted, censored and suppressed?”

“There is no evidence of a cause and effect relationship between having a foreskin and HIV infection. It has been strongly suggested that circumcision increases one’s risk of HIV because it creates a wound site.” Lancet, Vol. 345, March 18, 1995.

“The only logical means of protection against AIDS/HIV transmission is safe sex practices. By promoting circumcision as a protective measure against AIDS/HIV is irresponsible and could set a dangerous precedent for circumcised males who may ignore safe sex guidelines.” John Shanahan, The Newcastle Star, 6 September, 1995.

“Is someone really claiming that having an uncircumcised penis is a risk factor for HIV? Perhaps it depends on where you put it.” Dr. Brian Cheong, Australian Doctor, 27 October 1995.

  The most compelling summary for this article is a post from Dr. Van Howe of October 7, 1996: “I just received ‘A Physician Guide to HIV Prevention’ published by the AMA in conjunction with a host of organizations. It does not mention MGM as a method of HIV prevention. Enough said.”


The 'Heart' of the Issue

by Rosemary Romberg    

Many concerned individuals believe that infant circumcision is child abuse. In any other context, if someone were to forcibly restrain a child and do something to hurt his genitals, most people would consider that child abuse. Yet we have legally and socially sanctioned that same act when performed by our nation's medical profession.

    Organized groups that deal with recognized child abuse, however, have (so far) refused to take on infant circumcision. Certainly they encounter situations that are much, much worse. But perhaps many of their leaders are themselves parents of circumcised sons, or even doctors who perform the operation on infants, and therefore are shocked to hear of infant circumcision considered in that context.

    It is jarring and difficult to step out of one's own cultural context and really look at what we are doing. It is so much easier to gloss over reality with cultural justifications and apathy. After all, the intent on the part of the adults is not the same. We consider ourselves loving, concerned parents - nothing like "them."

    But the baby, strapped down to a board, knife to his genitals, knows nothing of the adults' intent.

    "Child abuse" labels turn into angry accusations hurled every which way. Doctors, parents, and society in general react defensively. The choice: be an ostrich and refuse to see, or face the issue squarely and accept the pain of wrongness. For some that inner pain is too much to face. Better to hide the issue. If the pain is only the baby's, that is okay for he cannot speak.

    Perhaps the term "child abuse" raises too many hackles to ever resolve the issue. Instead, we must temporarily set that matter aside, take a step back, and view the entire issue on a spectrum of an overall philosophy of how we treat our children. How do we truly view the parent-child relationship in our society?

    My initial concern was that circumcision inflicted severe pain and trauma on a helpless infant. A glaring, hideous contradiction to any beautiful, sensitive philosophies of treating a child with love, gentleness, and non-violence. But my American middle-class upbringing left me with a deeply ingrained belief that males were somehow, better off circumcised. (Hence the "dilemma.") Months of intensive research found myth after myth debunked by clear-cut, documented fact. With great pain and difficulty I had to admit that what I had chosen for my own sons was wrong. (How I admire others who can come to that same place through their own inner resources, or after reading just an article or two.)

    My earliest writings strongly emphasized the pain and trauma inflicted on an infant through circumcision. But as deeply as this alone has torn my heart, infant pain is actually a side issue. Doctors who have heard the uproar over infant pain have pulled out their hypodermics with local anesthesia and considered the problem "solved." Of course it isn't. There is still great trauma in being forcibly restrained, and much pain in healing for the infant. And the other issues have simply been swept under the rug.

    What about medical risks versus benefits? It seems that we can go on and on and on. I have covered each in depth in my book. All of the common arguments such as prevention of cancer and sexually transmitted disease have been found unsubstantiated. The complications of the operation itself are shocking and devastating. Health risks of staying intact? Over and over again we must emphasize their preventability. Leave the baby's foreskin alone!! Attempts to retract a baby's foreskin are the cause of virtually all of the purported "problems" associated with non-circumcision - including the latest, urinary tract infections.

    How did anything so utterly simple become so horrendously complicated? Entire populations have survived for thousands of generations with foreskins intact. Anything as horribly health hazardous as some pro-circumcisionists imagine would have been biologically selected against eons ago. Similar arguments over purported health hazards of other body extremities could easily be proffered. Amputative surgery of ears, toes, fingernails, etc. could come into vogue. Medical risks versus benefits" too are but a side issue that could keep us busy indefinitely.

    We expound on the preferred "natural state of the body." There are benefits to having a foreskin. It has a protective role and function. This is the outcry from the men involved. The foreskin protects the more delicate glans from urine and abrasions. There are sensitive nerve endings in the foreskin itself. It has advantages for variations during masturbation and intercourse. But these are realities much, much too painful for most American circumcised adult males to hear. Here is where so many hearts and minds close and dismiss the whole matter as "nonsense."

    Maternal protective instincts - exquisitely sensitive, yet powerful - almost always motivate informed mothers to refuse circumcision for their babies. But circumcised fathers so often want their sons to be "like them." Is this the only way a father can make his own circumcised state "okay?" He cannot allow his son to have something that he does not have himself? Otherwise he might have to come face to face with the painful reality of his own lack of foreskin? Some families have intact sons because the mother "won." Other families have circumcised sons because the father "won."

    But even our claimed benefits of the natural state of the body, the advantages of having a foreskin, - these too are not the heart of the issue.

    In a recent magazine article on "battered children" the following comments jumped out at me

    "Why is physical abuse of children by their own parents allowed to go on in this country, even after it has been detected and documented? Why does it happen in the first place?

    To answer those questions, the best place to begin might be with another question: Does a parent 'own' a child?" ....... " . . . there's a feeling that, even when parents do go too far and even if some parents don't love and protect their children, it's nobody else’s business.

    ‘We still think of children as their parents’ private property ----- and that is the heart of the problem,’ says Donald Bross, a lawyer and medical sociologist who is an advocate for abused children through Denver’s Kempe Center, which treats and researches child abuse." *

    The article was addressing deliberate, recognized, types of child abuse, and not infant circumcision. But again, the entire issue exists on a spectrum of how we view and treat our children.

    My first three sons were born during an era in which infant circumcision was something that "everybody" did and no one talked about. But today the issue is in the air. People do talk about it, and many are vociferously against it. Childbirth educators attempt to talk parents out of it. Some doctors refuse to perform the operation.

    But many others are taking a "nice", "neutral", non-committal stand of "present the facts and whatever the parents decide is okay." Most disturbing of all are the many doctors who claim to agree with our views, yet still will circumcise babies if the parents insist upon it. I suppose this is the "safest" way out since the baby cannot speak for himself. It sounds good in theory. Activists are dismissed as obnoxious for not being more "understanding." We are admonished not to try to "influence" parents' decisions. "It's none of your business what they choose! It's their baby!"

    Underlying all of this is the very frightening philosophy that the child is "property" of the parents. Parents are therefore free to surgically alter his body or not as they so choose. Society's sanctioning of this act opens the door a little farther for other types of more severe, deliberate child abuse.

    But if we are to consider the child as a human being, with rights, needs, and feelings of his own - where does that leave us?

    This then - not pain, not medical issues, not even the advantages of the natural state of the body - but the child's individual rights to all normally occurring parts of his body - is the true heart of the issue.


The Psychology of Cutting Others

While all other relics of 19th century surgical quackery, i.e. blood-letting, trephining, routine tonsillectomy, routine appendectomy, adenoidectomy, clitoredectomy, have silently disappeared, the persistence of routine prepucectomy [prepuce- the male foreskin; prepucectomy then the correct term for circumcision] remains an enigma. Clearly, the answer to this enigma lies in the fact that the organ in question is the penis, that most powerful symbol of male self-identity and self-esteem. The circumcised male's irrational demand for all other males to undergo a similar surgical penile reduction is an indication of the intensely complex anxieties penile alterations create in the male psyche. Significantly, only circumcised men display feelings of hostility and loathing towards the prepuce, and describe it as a dangerous threat to health. Although such psychological neuroses may be endemic to all levels of American society, there exist many effective solutions to this problem.

Parental requests to alter permanently the genitals of their children are most often based on myths, erroneous science, and common societal sex-negative attitudes. Parental attitudes of discomfort towards the natural genitalia of their newborn sons are also indicative of serious sexual and psychological disturbances. Sexual repression, rationalizations, emotional insulation, avoidance of cognitive dissonance, feelings of competitiveness towards the child on the part of fathers, and transference to the child of anxieties and fears over nonconformity have been commonly noted. The psychological need to deny that the prepuce is part of the penis and the need to deny that its amputation has negative sexual consequences, or indeed the belief that amputation has positive sexual consequences is testimony to the seriousness of this problem. Clearly, the surgery is not performed on the child's behalf but is paradoxically performed to alleviate the sexual and social anxieties of the parents or the attending physician.

Undoubtedly the person in need of medical attention is not the child, but the parent. The reasonable prescription in this case is for a qualified psychiatrist for the parents, not a surgeon for the child. To this aim, Woodmansey made the following sound recommendation in a letter to the British Medical Journal:

"Something must be done to help the parents who show such an irrational need...Consider asking a colleague whose job is to help people with their emotional problems to try to discover and alleviate the parents' underlying difficulties, which not only impel them to demand this operation but which, if not adequately dealt with, may perpetuate difficulties in the parent-child relationship with the risk of later psychiatric illness in the child...This important kind of work can and should be undertaken by the medical social workers in a general or children's hospital, provided that they receive suitable psychiatric support." [Woodmansey AC. Circumcision. British Medical Journal 1965;2:419.]

As for physicians, one must ask what sort of person would actually choose to make his living sticking knives into the sexual organs of babies. One can hypothesize that a severe form of psychotic dementia can result from circumcision which impels the victim in later life to repeatedly reenact his own mutilation upon others. He assumes the role of the perpetrator. This role reversal can be a type of psychologic defense mechanism whereby the victim identifies with the perpetrator and his cause in order to rationalize the crime. He moves from a position of powerless victimization to an illusion of empowerment. It can also be a type of revenge by proxy. It can also be another form of defense mechanism whereby the victim diminishes the pain and personal identity of his victimhood by ensuring that as many others as possible suffer the same mutilation.

Victims of severe childhood physical abuse often grow up to be child beaters themselves as adults. Are we not seeing the same psychological patterning in circumcisors? Is it not concievable that some psychotic circumcision victims have deliberately maneuvered themselves into positions and careers where they can have access to children's genitals so that they feed their psychotic compulsions? In the case of this particular psychotic compulsion, there is a socially acceptable arena for this compulsion to be acted out. There is no socially acceptable arena for the beating of children and those who do so are liable to punishment if caught. Circumcisors have no fear of being caught. They get paid to harm children. Some of the more demented circumcisors present themselves as medical experts and claim to be acting in the best interest of their victims. Many charge that they are being persecuted when sane individuals question circumcision. Thus, they insure that the enacting of their psychotic compulsion remains socially acceptable. Most psychotic circumcision victims, however are content simply to circumcise, to play out their compulsion. They stay quite just so long as they have access to a fresh supply of babies to mutilate.

To paraphrase John A. Erickson; It is not circumcision, but circumcisors that need studying.


Have You Been Indoctrinated?

The conditioning and conforming to various social fads or trends of a few years (or the past four decades) is a very powerful force in the decision making process for all sorts of issues which confront parents and individuals. Should people make decisions based upon this force, they are controlled by agents with particular agendas who maintain that control by the perceptions continuously repeated with a goal of making the natural appear unnatural, the abnormal appearing normal. The art of condition, conform and control, "The 3-C's," has been used for millennia, one person or group with a goal of controlling and directing the lives of others.

The power and persuasion of "The 3-C's" is most likely one of the greatest forces which perpetuate the practice of foreskin amputation in the U.S. One "reason" some mothers (and fathers) assent to the trauma, terror, pain, sensual loss and penile restriction caused by circumcision is the personal perception that an exposed glans "looks better." This visual perception, as the rationale to assent, must deny the factual. Unlike the vast majority of women throughout the rest of the world, the majority of women in the U.S. from age 18 to 55 have never seen, manipulated, or had sex with a man with an intact penis. Sexual experiences with only circumcised penises, visual representations of the penis in only the circumcised condition and reading the many of often repeated frauds written by circumcision promoters, result in the "looks better" perception. A "penis perception" is created without examination of the intact penis and conditioning has negated the desire to examine and compare. Conforming has almost reached the extreme of adulation in some areas of the country. How terribly limiting. Those with experience with intact penises have written that the leathery glans and the scar and discoloration on the shaft looks artificial, unattractive, is a visual reminder of damage. They share with us the perception that appearance is much less important than the sadness they feel for the men in their lives who had no choice in their own physical and sexual destiny.

There are important questions that must be asked. Will the owner of the penis like the looks, the mobility, the function and the feelings of a natural penis? Will the owner of the penis dislike or even be angry having his physical and sexual life altered without his consent? Since we don't have the arrogance to believe we know the answer to what he may like, shouldn't the owner be granted the right to decide the fate of HIS foreskin as an adult? The perception that it "looks better" is a very radical "reason" to damage the male's primary sex organ. Will the boy and man have his penis on display all his life, or is the penis a part of the body that will usually not be routinely exposed to others during the lifetime of the individual? A part of another persons body has been amputated because of the aesthetic perception of another, totally disregarding the basic human right to all people to all of their functional, healthy and, in this case, sensual body parts. Should a male decide to divest himself of the most sensuous part of HIS body as an adult and limit HIS penis by removal of HIS foreskin, frenulum and ridged band, it is HIS to do just that. If it were forcibly removed and as an adult HE would like to have what HE was born with, the important questions were never considered.

Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But does any person have the right to alter by amputation the body of another to satisfy what is perceived as pleasing to their eye? No. Do we change the appearance of eyes, ears, noses, chins, hands or any body part which is always visible to satisfy another's perception of beauty? No. We are considering the most personal, most erotic, most identifiably male part of the anatomy and altering it. One wonders if people with such perceptions have had much exposure to the world's great art treasures which glorify the beauty of the natural human body with all its wonderful parts including the intact penis. Please, let him decide if he wants his foreskin removed. One of the reasons circumcision is performed upon infants and children is that they are helpless. Almost all older males will not allow it to be done when they have the voice and the power to reject it. Give them all the choice over their bodies and sexual free agency.


Circumcision as Ritual Initiation

By Geoffrey Leavens L.Ac.

Ancient tribal rituals, as with brainwashing imprint a very deep learning through a particular methodology. First you put the initiate into an altered state of consciousness, a trance. One way of doing this is to supply them with a total sensory overload of terror and pain. If they are old enough to have developed intellectual functioning, you give them a story to contextualize the experience and help to bury the pure facts of what was done to them. Then you give them an experience that embodies the lesson you want them to learn.

In the case of tribal initiation, the learning is, "Now you are a grown-up inner circle member of a group that will love and protect you for the rest of your life. The gods, though invisible, are also here to help and protect you as are the dead, your ancestors." In the Jewish tradition of circumcision, the context story is about a covenant with God. But to an infant, stories are meaningless. This is the story used to help bury the real learning. In non-Jewish, American culture, the story of circumcision is "disease prevention and cleanliness." It used to be "masturbation prevention." (It is largely irrelevant that these stories have no basis in fact.)

The real learning is given by the experiential facts of the event. The parents, who the baby is genetically programmed to believe are there only to love and protect and serve him, hand him over to some other who then straps him down and tears and cuts the most sensitive part of his body, the part that is designed by nature to bring pleasure, and finally cuts a piece of that part off. The real lesson is, "What you want or don't want and how you feel is of absolutely no concern to anyone. Not only do we not care enough to even try to listen and understand you, but the more you protest the more we will disassociate from you and ignore you. The world is a terrifying and dangerous place."

Often, under extreme stress and pain, babies will go into deep, almost catatonic shock and look as if they are falling asleep. They become very quiet and still. Another possible learning structured into the ritual is, "If I go numb and disassociate and hold very still, the world will stop torturing me and again start to be nice to me." This is the fact of what happens so this is what is imprinted as "reality" in the trance state induced by the torture of circumcision. If, as many other babies do, he continues to scream and struggle instead of going into shock and immobility, the learning is, "If I make enough noise and struggle hard enough and long enough, then the world will stop torturing me and again start to be nice to me." Either way, the primary lesson is of a dangerous and terrifying world. Some are programmed to fight and others to freeze in response to that threatening world. Either way, disassociation, fear and anger. For some, if I fight hard enough against the world, the pain and torture will stop and I will survive. For the others, if I freeze and go numb, the pain and torture will stop and I will survive.


Is Routine Infant Circumcision Phallusy?

by Chester McQuarry

It is the part of human anatomy most similar to the eyelid, being sensitive in and of itself, protecting a sensitive part of the body from abrasion and injury, made to slide and glide as part of its functions, and moving on a slightly moist mucous membrane. Yet in the United States, its routine removal a few days after birth is justified as a prophylactic medical procedure to prevent disease and dysfunction.

This practice began in the 1870s as male physicians moved to medicalize and hospitalize birth, pushed to outlaw the ancient practice of female midwifery, and introduced circumcision as a deterrent to male masturbation, thought to be weakening to health and responsible for countless afflictions. There was then only the bare start of a bacterial theory of disease and no understanding at all of viral and genetic afflictions. But it is remarkable that a tiny piece of a man's penis, and/or the excessive masturbation it was thought to incite, was identified as a major factor in, by one medical historian's study, more than 260 diseases. And the rest of the world's medical community looks on in amazement as U.S. medicine continues its century-old obsession with foreskin removal.

Today the largest secular circumcised male population in history lives in the United States. Europe (except for the United Kingdom), Asia, and Latin America never adopted the practice. The United Kingdom abandoned medical circumcision in the late 1940s. Some English-speaking nations like Canada, New Zealand, and Australia still have circumcision rates of 20 percent and more, but no nation matches the United States, where the infant circumcision rate steadily rose decade by decade through the 20th century, reaching 85 to 90 percent in the 1980s. Then it fell to around 60 percent nationally today, which still means about 3,000 un-anesthetized infant circumcisions daily, more than a million annually.

While much of the medical community has argued for the prophylactic effect of male circumcision, there have been increasing dissenting voices and studies in the past 20 years. And there is greater understanding that, like any other evolved part of anatomy, the foreskin has real and valuable functions, and its removal has real and negative consequences for individuals and society. All mammalian penes either are covered by a protective foreskin-like sheath or are protected inside the body. So why is the U.S.-born human male uniquely in need of surgical correction a few days after birth for evolution's presumed error? Since 85 percent of human males alive today still have their foreskins, why are they not suffering the dire consequences foretold by U.S. allopathic medicine for those who remain intact as nature made them?

In 1996, the first histological study of foreskin tissue was published by a team from the University of Manitoba. Contrary to mainstream medicine's continued claim that the foreskin is just a fold of skin covering the glans, the study found clear evidence of the protective and erotic nature of foreskin tissue, with a rich blood and nerve supply characteristic of erotic organs. And the foreskin contains Meissner's corpuscles, the type of pressure- and touch-sensitive nerve bundles that make the fingertips so instantly responsive. While physicians tell parents that circumcision only removes a tiny piece of skin the size of a quarter, the adult reality is that through normal growth, an adult man has lost 1/3 of his penile skin, about 15 square inches, and with it important areas of sensation and function. Since the glans has evolved as protected tissue, when the foreskin covering is removed, the glans develops multiple layers of keratinized cells, a kind of callus, rendering it ever less sensitive. Examinations of adult men show 12 to 24 layers of callus cells on their uncovered glans, and the light pink moist color of the intact glans of Caucasians becomes dark and dull.

The United States has high rates of teen pregnancies and STDs, and much lower rates of condom acceptance and use as compared with the largely uncircumcised populations of western Europe and Japan. So the question arises: Do U.S. men consciously or unconsciously resist condom usage to avoid adding a layer of latex over an already sensually dulled penis and thereby help create the high rates of STDs and teen pregnancies? And more and more women are reporting the differences they have experienced with intact and circumcised sexual partners. With the natural lubrication, slide-and glide-functions, and larger girth of the foreskin gone, circumcised men are often reported by women to be less sensitive and functional sexual partners. As men age and the keratinized callus cells on the glans accumulate in layers-a process unknown to most-they begin to complain that sexual intercourse just isn't good anymore, and this must be due to the birthing-overstretched vaginas of their partners. This is a baseless myth of male culture, when the real physiological culprit is their own callused penises.

A small but growing group of men are using simple, self-administered methods to stretch and restore their foreskin. While the lost nerve function cannot be regained, the glans can be re-covered and re-protected, thereby causing the callus cells to disappear. And the slide-and-glide function of the foreskin is also regained.

The U.S. medical establishment for more than a century has been highly resistant to new information and to the reality that medical circumcision is globally a rare and unique practice. Now it seems that U.S. medicine will have to be pushed by parents, dissenters in the medical professions, and citizen activists into facing the facts that the foreskin evolved as part of normally functioning male sexual anatomy, and that circumcision is a "phallusy."


Why We Should Put Down the Knife

"The doctor suggested it."

As far as my parents can remember, that's the reason I was circumcised as an infant. It wasn't required by their religion, and they didn't have any strong personal feelings about it. They were trying to be good parents and follow medical advice, so they sent me to an operating room where a sizeable portion of the skin around my penis was cut off.

Unfortunately for me, the "medical advice" they were following was based more on custom and ignorance than on actual facts. Rather than benefiting me, the procedure left my penis scarred and desensitized (as it does for most men), and left me with a nagging wonder about what things would be like if I'd been left intact.

Like my parents, most new moms and dads don't spend much time thinking about circumcision. Whether or not to have a son's foreskin removed is a parenting decision that's often made hastily, without much consideration. It's common for parents to just follow the recommendations of their doctor or religious leader without question, or to circumcise a son just "so he'll look like his father."

If parents did spend a little time learning about what circumcision is and what it does, it's doubtful that they would put their sons under the scalpel so readily. There's no solid medical need for it, and parents who agree to it may well be committing their sons to diminished sexual enjoyment in the future.

Some parents are clearly getting the message. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), infant circumcision rates in the United States are down from 80 percent in the 1970s to 65 percent in 1995, and they are continuing to fall. But that means that over a million infants still undergo foreskin removal every year, and clearly it's without their consent. The United States is the only country that routinely circumcises infants for non-religious reasons, and it's time for this backward practice to stop. Removing healthy body parts from babies is just not acceptable.

What's Cut Away

Despite what some people think, circumcision is not a surgery without consequences. The foreskin that's removed contains about 20,000 nerve endings, and cutting it off it dramatically reduces the amount of sexual sensation a man can feel. In addition, removing the foreskin takes away the cover that protects the sensitive head of the penis. The penis's head is then left exposed to rub against clothing every day of this boy's life. Just as skin on the hands and feet thickens into calluses when it is repeatedly exposed to friction, the skin of the penis head will thicken and become less sensitive without its natural cover to protect it.

Removing the foreskin also removes the penis's self-lubricating capability, which can make sex more uncomfortable. Men who were circumcised as infants often have prominent scars on their penises, and some find that erections feel tight and uncomfortable. That's certainly been the case with me. Because so much skin was removed during my circumcision, erections are sometimes painful, and the skin that's left is stretched, making it very fragile and easily irritated. If I don't use artificial lubricant, I frequently have to stop masturbating or having sex altogether because the pain and irritation are so great.

No Good Reason

Some people believe that circumcising their sons will help them avoid penile cancer, but there is no scientific justification for this. It's now thought that penile cancer is linked to the STD human papillomavirus (HPV), and it's unlikely to have anything to do with circumcision. In a 1996 letter to American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Hugh Shingleton, M.D., and Clark W. Heath, Jr., M.D., two representatives of the American Cancer Society, explained it this way: "Penile cancer is an extremely rare condition, affecting one in 200,000 men in the United States. Penile cancer rates in countries which do not practice circumcision are lower than those found in the United States. Fatalities caused by circumcision accidents may approximate the mortality rate from penile cancer."

Circumcision is also not an effective way to prevent HIV or STD transmission. The intact foreskin may, in some cases, serve as an entry point for STDs (particularly HIV), but in no way does getting circumcised protect men from getting STDs. If it did, we wouldn't see such huge numbers of people getting infected in the United States, where circumcision is common. Rather than cutting up young boys' penises, parents should teach them about using condoms when they become sexually active.

There is evidence that circumcision can cause a small decrease in the number of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in infants, but, according the AAP, the link is less than clear. The group says that most of the studies which have linked circumcision status to urinary tract infections haven't rigorously evaluated other factors that could affect whether infants get UTIs, like prematurity or breastfeeding.

It's hard to find a professional medical association that still supports infant circumcision. The AAP is the most recognized group in infant health care, and its current stance on circumcision says "Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision." The AMA has issued a statement saying that it also supports this ruling.

Circumcision is common in the United States in large part because of our Puritanical history. Historically, one of the main motivations for non-religious circumcisions was to inhibit masturbation. "A remedy [for masturbation] which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision," wrote famed anti-sex crusader John Harvey Kellogg, M.D. "The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment."

That may sound a little ridiculous today, but the justifications people use for modern day circumcision don't stand up much better. People say they want their sons to look "normal" or "natural," but isn't it more normal to be uncircumcised and look the way 85 percent of the men in the world do?

Religious Beliefs

Some religions, particularly Judaism and Islam, do promote infant circumcision. Parents' beliefs, however, cannot legitimately be used as a justification for doing unnecessary surgery on children. The procedure we are talking about, whether it's done in a hospital or in a religious setting, is a medical one, and decisions about its appropriateness and ethical acceptability must be made on the basis of its medical value. It is clear that circumcision offers very little in the way of benefits for infant boys, and can be the cause of significant harm. They should not be injured because of their parents' religious beliefs.

Men who want to be circumcised for religious or personal reasons can have the procedure done when they are old enough to consent to it of their own accord. No one, however, should be faced with getting a healthy, vital part of their most intimate anatomy sliced off without their permission. It's time for us to move into the modern age and leave infant circumcision behind.


Notable Quotes on Circumcision

Feel free to repost any of these quotes elsewhere. Many of the following quotes were culled from:


"There are no valid medical indications for circumcision in the neonatal period." 

- Committee on Fetus and Newborn. Standards and Recommendations for Hospital Care of Newborn Infants, 5th edition. Evanston, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics. (1971). p.110.


The worst "foreskin problem" most intact males ever have is that someone thinks they have a problem. 

- John A. Erickson


"Circumcision is not a medical decision. Preventing an improbably future infection is a spurious indication. The standard of care is antibiotics, not amputation." 

- Eileen Marie Wayne, MD, Letters (Nothing to debate on circumcision), American Medical News, (27 July, 1998). P.27.


"My own preference, if I had the good fortune to have another son, would be to leave his little penis alone."

- Benjamin Spock, MD World Famous Pediatric Author


"I believe the time has come to acknowledge that the practice of routine circumcision rests on the absurd premise that the only mammal in creation born in the condition that requires immediate surgical correction is the human male."

- Thomas Szasz, M.D


"It is strange that doctors in Western countries will not permit female circumcision, which involves removal of some or all of the erogenous tissue from the vulva ... but will permit, and in some cases encourage, the removal of the male prepuce, which is identical to the female prepuce in its embryological development, cell structure, and nerve and blood supply."

- E. Wallerstein, Circumcision: an American Health Fallacy


"The forced amputation of a healthy part of an infant's or child's genitals without his consent, whether in the name of medicine, religion or social custom, is a violation of his human rights."

- Paul M. Fleiss. MD, MPH


"Those who would circumcise, implicitly suggest that they know better than nature, God, or whatever power created us and our world."

- Ronald Goldman, Ph.D, Circumcision: The Hidden Trauma


"Childhood genital mutilations are anachronistic rituals inflicted on the helpless bodies of non-consenting children of both sexes." 

- Hanny Lightfoot-Klein, 1989 Author of  "Prisoners of Ritual" 


"When a child is subjected to intolerable, overwhelming pain, it conceptualizes mother as both participatory and responsible regardless of mother's intent. The perception of the infant of
her culpability and willingness to have him harmed is indelibly emplaced. The consequences for impaired bonding are significant."

- Rima Laibow, M.D., April 30, 1991 "Circumcision and its Relationship to Attachment Impairment"


"We recognize the inherent right of all human beings to an intact body. Without religious or racial prejudice, we affirm this basic human right. Parents or guardians do not have the right to
consent to the surgical removal or modification of their children's genitalia. Physicians and other health care providers have a responsibility to refuse to remove or mutilate normal body parts."

- First International Symposium on Circumcision May 3, 1989


"Justification of circumcision in order to save a boy later locker room embarrassment seems unrealistic. This is the latter half of the 20th century, a time supposedly to celebrate individuality and freedom of choice." 

- Capt. E. Noel Preston, MC, USAF "Whither the Foreskin?" JAMA, p. 1853, Sept. 14, 1970


"To me, the idea of performing 100,000 mutilative procedures on newborns to possibly prevent cancer in one elderly man is absurd."

- George Denniston, M.D. "Unnecessary Circumcision" The Female Patient, p. 14, July, 1992


"Risks of newborn circumcision are under reported and ignored factors in this argument. Often a poor surgical result is not recognized until years after the event. Adverse long-term consequences of infant circumcision on the sexual health of American men must be recognized by physicians, parents and

- James Snyder, M.D. "The Problem of Circumcision in America" The Truth Seeker, p. 39-42, Jul/Aug 1989


"All of the western world raises its children uncircumcised and it seems logical that, with the extent of health knowledge in those countries, such a practice must be safe."

- C. Everett Koop, M.D., Former Surgeon General Saturday Evening Post, July, 1982


"Circumcision is not primarily a medical issue but rather has its roots in deeply held religious and social customs that defy rational and humane understanding." 

- James Prescott, Ph.D. "Genital Pain vs. Genital Pleasure" The Truth Seeker, p. 14-21, Jul/Aug 1989


"Their penises are taken to the blade of a knife and cut. This is done to the male child prior to the age of consent. The fact that we do not know the long term impact of this surgery and have not asked to know tells us about our attitude toward males."

- Warren Farrell, Ph.D. "Why Men Are the Way They Are" p. 232-233, 1986


"Doctors who still perform circumcision are violating the first rule of good medical care - primum non nocere - first do no harm". 

- George Denniston M.D., M.P.H. University of Washington School of Medicine.


"Even if you found that there were absolutely no harmful psychological effects, it would still not justify doing an unnecessary procedure". 

- Paul Fleiss M.D. University of Southern California Medical School


"In addition to the obvious discomfort involved, there are now serious concerns this routine procedure may actually deprive adult males a vital part of their sexual sensitivity". 

- Dean Edell M.D. National Radio Host


"Circumcision causes pain, trauma, and a permanent loss of protective and erogenous tissue... Removing normal, healthy, functioning tissue for no medical reason has ethical implications: circumcision violates the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 5) and the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 13)." 

- Leo Sorger, to American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology: Stop Circumcisions, Ob Gyn News, (1 Nov., 1994). p.8. 


"Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed." 

- The Fetus and Newborn Committee and the Canadian Paediatric Society. March 15, 1996 Recommendations published - CMA Journal.


"It cannot be ethical for a doctor to amputate normal tissue from a normal child. In the case of disease, circumcision should only be used when there is evidence that conservative treatment is unlikely to be effective or when it has failed." 

- John P. Warren M. D. - British Medical Journal - Volume 312, February 10, 1996. (Dr. Warren co-signed with other 20 signatures.)


"Newborn circumcision raises serious ethical and legal questions. Do parents have the right to choose medically unnecessary and harmful cosmetic surgery for their children? I do not believe so."

"The United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child, recently ratified by Australia, guarantees the rights of children of ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities to enjoy their own culture. However, the Convention also calls for all parties to "take all effective and appropriate measures with a view to abolish traditional practices prejudicial to the health of children." Circumcision is prejudicial to the health of children, so its practice should be condemned." 

- Dr. George L. Williams, M.B., Ch.B., F.R.A.P. Pediatrician/Perinatologist: Presentation to the Second International Childbirth Conference - "Reclaiming our Heritage: Creating our Future" University of Sydney October 7, 1992.


"Dr. Margaret Somerville from the McGill Centre of Medicine, Ethics and Law in Canada (in her personal correspondence to The Honourable A. Kim Campbell, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, June 10, 1992) questions the legality of male circumcision on present medical evidence. She stated that any wounding -- and clearly circumcision involves this -- is 'prima facie' illegal unless it can be justified. For a male infant, the informed consent of an adult is not possible. Circumcision is non-therapeutic and involves irreversible consequences or harm. She concluded that both female and male circumcision should be prohibited on legal grounds."

"Circumcision is not surgery, by definition. In his classic History of Surgery, Welch has defined surgery to include: repair of wounds, extirpation of diseased organs (e.g. sympathectomy). Routine newborn circumcision eludes classification. If it is not surgery, what is it?" 

- George C. Denniston M.D., M.P.H. Preface to the Second Edition of "Say No to Circumcision" by Thomas Ritter M.D.

"Historians of the future will find it incredible that we mutilated babies by cutting off the end of their penises in the name of medicine. There are now serious concerns this routine procedure may actually deprive adult men of a vital part of their sexual sensitivity." 

- Dean Edell, MD - NBC Television Medical Advisor 


"Besides all these harmful aspects, nonreligious circumcision, male and female, is a basic human rights violation - a violation by one person of the right of another person to an intact body."

"The solution to this ethical and human rights dilemma is simple. Do not perform circumcision on infants. By ceasing to perform infant circumcision, nothing is lost. Any adult with fully informed consent, may have a circumcision whenever he wishes. Most hopeful of all, caring physicians are reviewing this operation in the light of their own ethical standards and are ceasing to perform infant circumcision." 

- George C. Denniston M.D., M.P.H. Circumcision and the Code of Ethics - Humane Health Care International, Volume 12, No. 2, April 1996.


"Whatever is done to stop this terrible practice of circumcision will be of tremendous importance. There is no rational, medical reasons to support it". 

- Dr. Frederick Leboyer : Author : Birth Without Violence.


"The thoughtless, wanton amputation of an exceedingly valuable segment of male genital anatomy never ceases to amaze me. It has always been difficult for me to understand why anyone would wish to subtract one iota from genital pleasure". 

- Thomas J. Ritter M.D. : Author, "Say No to Circumcision".


"My feeling is that it is a traumatic experience and I am opposing traumatizing the baby. I'm opposed to inflicting an operation on an individual without his permission. My feelings became more concrete when I talked to Dr. Leboyer and saw his birth film. It seemed so incongruous to have an non-violent birth and then immediately do violence to a baby by circumcising him."

- Howard Marchbanks M.D.


"Circumcision is a very cruel, very painful practice with no benefits whatsoever". 

- Asheley Montagu Ph.D.


"Take that poor penis. Take a knife--right? And start cutting. And everybody says, "It doesn't hurt." Everybody says, "No, it doesn't hurt." Get it? That's an excuse, of course, a subterfuge. They say that the sheaths of the nerves are not yet developed. Therefore, the sensation in the nerves is not yet developed. Therefore, the child doesn't feel a thing. Now, that's murder!

Circumcision is one of the worst treatments of children. And what happens to them? Just look at them. They can't talk to you. They just cry. What they do is shrink. They contract, get away into the inside, away from that ugly world. I express it very crudely, but you understand what I mean. "

- Dr Wilhelm Reich in his book Children of the Future


"There are speculations that the father who insists that his son be circumcised, in the absence of convincing medical or "social" arguments may be afraid to allow his son to have something that he himself lacks. Some male doctors and other practitioners who avidly endorse circumcision may not be doing so out of "glorified contentment" over their own circumcised state but instead may have a subconscious drive to deprive all other males of their foreskins". 

- Rosemary Romberg Author: "Circumcision: the Painful Dilemma".


"What a tragic statement of our society that we still continue such intrusion upon physical and psychological integrity as an 'acceptable form of child abuse!' ".

- Dave McKnight D.C., D.P., D.C.P.


"In summary, universal ablative surgery of normal structures in non-consenting infants can no more be justified than universal mastectomy, hysterectomy, or removal of ears for the prevention of sun-induced cancer."

"The problem lies in the fact the American literature has already lost credibility to a significant degree as a result of selective avoidances and suppressions related to the acrimony of the circumcision issue, and malpractice litigation more generally. For an accurate and meaningful account of the protective function of the foreskin in early life , you'll have to consult the British, and learn why they abandoned circumcision, and why you should too". 

- John G. Swadey M.D. - St. Petersburg Florida.


"The part of the baby that we have been throwing out with the bath water is the birthright of the child and should not be destroyed by the collusion of physicians and parents.

"In parting, I would like to paraphrase the words of Emperor Charles V who viewed the destruction of the Great Mosque of Cordoba and said, "What you have done could be done anytime - but what you have destroyed can never be replaced". 

- James Leigh Snyder M.D., FACS, Past President of the Virginia Urological Society. Presentation to the California Medical Association Scientific and Educational Activities Committee - Anaheim, California


"What these folks are supporting is the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars to torture newborn babies (of their own sex) because, as a society, we are too morally bankrupt, disorganized, and / or lazy to conduct thorough sex education. We are told that all boys should have a mutilating and excruciating experience in their first days of life, to prevent a few men (who have the understanding to deal with the operation and the guarantee of receiving anesthesia) from having cancer or VD, which can be prevented in a cheap and painless way. One can only guess at the sort of fundamental emotional outlook which can calmly rationalize this cold-blooded, wholesale cruelty". 

- David S. Bates M.D. Letter to Medical Tribune


"We in the United States are culturally acclimated to regard the foreskin as nonessential and even pathologic. We must not forget that the burden of proof is on the circumcision advocates. (To justify removing it) they must show cause and effect." 

- Martin Altschul M.Sc., M.D. Pediatrician


"It is an incontestable fact that there are more deaths each year from complications of circumcision than from cancer of the penis". 

- Dr. Sydney Gellis M.D.


"The best way to stop the complications of circumcision is to stop doing them". Mitch Ryder M.D.

"Widespread circumcision is a relic of a time when patients were not provided much of a voice in medical decision making. That era my be rapidly becoming to an end. It this case, the old dictum that 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' seems to make good sense. Submitting your son to the procedure to prevent urinary infections makes only a little more sense that buying insurance against being gored by a unicorn in Riverside". 

- Eugene Robin M.D. Stanford University Medical School


"Were girls so treated, there would be widespread protests. In my opinion the socially tolerated abuse of males is one of the primary cause of unconscious male anger and violence." 

- Aaron Kipnis Ph.D. Author : "Male Privilege or Privation?"


"I remember how inflamed and painful it seemed to be to my brother...There is a compulsive inability to leave infants alone. The compulsive issue must be explored and addressed". 

- Eileen Wayne M.D.


"We urge you to protect unconsenting infants and children from surgical alteration of their genitals. As nurses who formerly participated in neonatal circumcision, we have had the occasion to witness many 'botched' jobs where the penile shaft was grossly denuded. Upon consideration of the issues, we have come to the conclusion that every routine circumcision is a 'botch' job, since it is a brutal assault on the child's sexuality and a violation of a child's right to a whole intact body". 

- Betty Katz Sperlich R.N. and Mary Conant R.N. (Nurses for the Rights of the Child) in an open letter to pediatricians and the AAP.


"Finally, we should ask ourselves whether it is likely that nature, in her wisdom, would permit every male child to be born with a useless appendage, the presence of which according to some, frequently leads to serious consequences, including death. Why do men in Europe live so long despite not being raped at birth?" 

- William K C (Keith) Morgan M.D., FRCP (Ed), FRCPC, FACP, in his letter published in the November 1993 issue of the Canadian Medical Association - Journal 149 (10)


"For its part, Canada and Canadian physicians cannot consistently espouse the principle of respect for people on one hand, and then agree to the practice that violates that principle. Canadian physicians cannot consistently accept the principle of respect for people in the name of medical ethics, and then perform procedures they know to be medically inappropriate, harmful and demeaning only because they do not want to offend a misplaced cultural sensitivity."

"With due alteration of detail, the same ethical reasoning holds for male circumcision. There rarely are medical reasons for performing the procedure; personal preference or religious values of parents usually underlie the request. If these are insufficient to justify the circumcision of girls then unless there are distinguishing medical reasons, they are also insufficient to justify the circumcision of boys. To argue differently is to be guilty of discrimination on the basis of sex. The fact that female circumcision is more serious intervention does not alter the situation. Both involve what in other contexts would be called nonconsensual mutilation of a minor for non-medical reasons". 

- Eike-Henner Kluge Ph.D. Professor with the Department of Philosophy at the University of Victoria , B.C., in his article on "Female circumcision: when medical ethics confronts cultural values" published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal - January 1993, 148 (2)


"It is high time that the medical profession took a more definitive stand on the issue of circumcision. I agree with Kluge's reasoning and conclusion that the circumcision of girls and boys is unethical and is "nonconsensual mutilation of a minor for non-medical reasons". 

- Mary E. Lynch M.D., FRCPC, in her letter to the Canadian Medical Association Journal, July 1993, Male and female circumcision in Canada


"Children who are legally too young to give consent to treatment must still be treated as individuals whose rights as members of society are not solely dependent on the legal definition of the day. Every child shall be protected from unnecessary medical treatment". 

- JP Shield (Research fellow) and JD Baum (Professor of Child Health) Article entitled : " Children's consent of treatment" British Medical Journal, May 1994.


"Despite the great concern about child abuse among scholars and legislators in the past twenty years, the same type of cultural astigmatism which prevented past generations from perceiving or acknowledging the most widespread form of child abuse today: child mutilation through routine neonatal circumcision of males ....from the perspective of a neutral outsider, neonatal circumcision is as barbaric as female circumcision, the removal of earlobes, fingers or toes, the binding of infant feet or other disfiguring practices around the world". 

- W.E. Briggman, Professor of Law at the University of Louisville School of Law, Statement in the Journal of Family Law, Volume 23, No.3


"Criminally, the circumciser is guilty of assault, battery, kidnapping, false imprisonment, mayhem and child abuse. As children come to age and become aware of this, we should see many suits filed against those who took part in the bit of butchery. Parents who have consented based upon the advice of their physician might now reconsider, have themselves appointed as 'guardian ad Litem' and seek to recover for their sons the dollar value of the horror the innocent children suffered. The doctors and hospitals must might get financially circumcised". 

- Richard W. Morris LL.B., Ph.D. Practiced law in California and the US Federal Courts. From his well publicized article:"A New Area of Liability for Physicians, Hospitals and Parents"


"Perhaps one day we will grow weary of sticking skewers through man's noses and ears, cutting off his foreskin, tattooing his skin, and even 'conditioning' his mind and decree, and leave him free to develop what he has and where he wants it". 

- Geoffrey Parker M.D. British Medical Journal


"People still cling to their faulty old pre-1980's cliché complaining that men are insensitive and unfeeling or less intuitive, and yet these are the very same people who cannot find it in their hearts to tolerate an honest sensitive discussion of how we had a portion of our capacity for sensitivity and feeling (literally) surgically removed at birth."

"Not only do they offer no empathy for our feelings, but they offer no empathy for our feelings about our own circumcisions, circumcisions in general, nor do they offer any support in opposing its practices. The obvious bodily scars that we carry around with us have no place in their world view. The topic is simply ignored, repressed, forbidden, banned from the table, excised off, amputated and thrown in the dumpster."

"Now at last, we see the bitter truth about the women's movement. Despite what they say, they do not really want to acknowledge our sensitivity or capacity for feeling, except when they approve of it and it serves their goals. After all, as long as the world keeps us unaware of our full capacity for feeling, as long as we can be kept unconscious of the fact that a portion of our capacity for feeling was permanently taken from us by circumcision, then we will be more likely to remain safe feminist-supporting males who never go off seeking our own rights, questioning our own roles, staging our own rebellions, getting in touch with our own feelings. The perverse truth is that the feminist revenge of "keep them barefoot and pregnant has actually gone full circle and become "keep them circumcised and insensitive". LETTER FROM HAWAII to an anti circumcision activist."

"We are tired of seeing parents misled by doctors. We men are tired of being lied to and ignored by doctors on this issue. As men who were circumcised as infants and who live with the long-term physical and psychological consequences of a surgery we did not choose, we have a right and a responsibility to speak up about a practice we know has harmed us and continues to harm others."


- Tim Hammond, Founder of NOHARMM National Organization to Halt the Abuse and Routine Mutilation of Males. See Links Page for NOHARMM Web Site


"Throughout his hapless history the circumciser has been wrong on all counts. And tragically on the basis of his incredible record, many millions of children have been sacrificed upon the altar of genital mutilation".

- Nicholas Carter Author: "Routine Circumcision: The Tragic Myth". Mr. Carter was a TV news anchorman in Los Angeles, California.


"Thus, there is the continuing need for clarification to overcome the confusion generated by Fink and Wiswell. The worldwide rejection of routine nonreligious circumcision provides overwhelming evidence that this is the correct course to follow. In the United States, every relevant medical society has taken a public position in opposition of routine circumcision. No medical society has taken a position in support of the practice". 

- Edward Wallerstein Author: "Circumcision: An American Health Fallacy" (1980)


"There is another psychological benefit to keeping our sons intact. The work of Dr. Rima Laibow concludes that a man carries unconscious rage against his own mother for betrayal, abandonment, and the assault itself. In other words, the unconscious mind of the son blames his mother for his circumcision, not "tradition, the circumciser, or the father who wanted his son to look like himself" only the mother. It's just like some bad Jewish mother joke."

"Indeed, for a newborn, his world is mother. If she cannot protect him from violation in the beginning, a baby loses trust. And isn't lack of trust an issue relationships between the genders? Can sexuality be healed on a very deep, unconscious level during the prenatal period?"

"A connection exists between crimes of sexual violence, rape for example, and circumcision. The first heterosexual encounter - with a female nurse prepping the infant male - as well as betrayal by the mother, is revenged in sexual assaults against women. As Marilyn Milos, founder and director of NOCIRC says, "Circumcision is where sex and violence meet for the first time". 

- Jeannine Parvati Baker : "The Hand That Rocks The Circumstraint Board"


"Circumcision. There is something very, very wrong and very frightening about a society that systematically tortures and mutilates babies". 

- Mark Hulstrunk: American Cartoonist. 1989.


"Another important question to bear in mind is: Do we, as parents, have the right to make this life lasting decision for our sons? Shouldn't they be free to choose for themselves whether of not they may be circumcised when the are mature enough to seek out the facts and decide their own fate?"

"It would seem that based on the facts concerning circumcision, the total elimination of this inane procedure would be a positive step towards the evolution of human-kindness. We can no longer excuse ourselves with the bliss of ignorance when it is obvious that many of the routine practices performed on children have been proven hazardous to their well-being. The information is available - it is high time we come out of our dark ways and seek the light of truth". 

- Barbara J. Raibeck :"Circumcision: A Wound Which Lasts A Lifetime"


"Until now, most Americans of every political persuasion categorically refused to recognize the gross human rights violation of circumcision. While some may grudgingly accord the female the right to control her own reproductive organs, the male is denied such rights. We who know the truth of the intact penis must speak up. History will brand us as collaborators with a system of oppression if we do not act now to stop the circumcisers. We will be silent no longer". 

- Frederick Hodges, A medical historian.


"The procedure done to millions of babies, girls and women around the world that is euphemistically called "circumcision" is horrible and Ms. Goodman should be commended for speaking out against it. I do, however, take exception to one line: "Our bizarre analogy made between "female circumcision" and "male". Why does she consider this analogy to be so "bizarre"? There is really no difference, it's only a question of degree. It is just wrong to change another person's healthy genitals without their permission. Every baby born has the most basic human right to a whole body, and that includes intact genitals."

"The removal of healthy, erogenous, sexual tissue from another human being, male or female, without their expressed consent may someday be considered to be a crime. Until then, it remains a national and worldwide shame." 

- Susan Peer, East Stroudsburg, PA Letter to the Editor. 


"We ... cannot allow females or any group of patients to be mutilated. I'm afraid that this is even more basic than religion." 

- John C. Nelson, MD, AMA Trustee (in American Medical News, Vol 39, no. 40, October, 1996)


"The fallacy of the circumcision mystique is that the foreskin -- uniquely specialized, uniquely sensitive,
uniquely functional erogenous tissue -- is demonized as abnormal, dangerous, and harmful; and circumcision -- which literally censors a male's life by irreversibly destroying that tissue -- is extolled as normal, safe, and beneficial."

"One can only wonder about the effects of such a misrepresentation over several generations on an entire nation -- much less on a single human life." 

- John A. Erickson


"The subject of circumcision is dark and deep. Some aspects are *so* dark and *so* deep -- so remote from the average person's experience and awareness -- that there is almost no way for the average person to become aware of them." 

- John A. Erickson


"Consent given by a person of good will to circumcise a baby can never be -- and never has been -- informed. The only informed choice possible for a person of good will to make about the foreskin of a baby is the choice that the baby himself, when old enough to understand what his foreskin is and what would have been done to it had he been circumcised, is most likely to be glad was made for him. That choice, beyond any reasonable doubt, is to let him keep his foreskin intact." 

- John A. Erickson


"Sharing the awareness that the human penis is designed correctly the way it normally comes into the world: with its foreskin intact; that a male's possession of his own penis - including his foreskin - is his inviolable birthright; and that a child's chances for health and happiness throughout his life are greater - by far - if he is allowed to keep all of the penis he is born with."

- John A. Erickson



The Ultimate Circumcision Complication

by W E Martin

Most of us have played the state lottery, especially if we live in a lottery state. We all think we have a chance to win. We also play a lottery of sorts when we circumcise a child. The odds of a child dying from his circumcision injuries are at least 1,750 times greater than winning the lottery. On the long odds, we bet a dollar. On the short odds, we bet a life. We celebrate the winner of the state lottery and someone gets paid. We deny the "winner" of the circumcision lottery and an innocent life is lost. In the state lottery we all think we have a chance of winning otherwise we wouldn't give up our hard earned money. In the circumcision lottery we deny there is a chance of "winning" and risk losing a son.

Some babies die of complications of circumcision.[1] There has been a need to assemble in one convenient location information concerning death from complications of circumcision. This page is designed to fill that need.

Deaths occur secondary to loss of blood or systemic infection from the circumcision wound.

A few deaths are reported in the medical literature. Other medical literature discusses the frequency of those deaths. A few deaths are reported in the popular press.

There is reason to believe that many deaths from circumcision are attributed to other causes. For example, if a baby were to die of meningitis that was contracted through the circumcision wound, the death may be attributed to meningitis while ignoring the fact that the baby would not have had meningitis if he had not been circumcised.

Circumcision originated before the dawn of history. There was no knowledge of sanitation or the need for a sterile operating environment. Jews have traditionally performed circumcision on the eighth day after birth for many thousands of years. The medical literature was still reporting numerous deaths from ritual circumcision in the early twentieth century.[2, 3] There must have been vast numbers of babies who died under those conditions through the centuries. Jewish law allows parents who have had three sons die from circumcision to leave the fourth son intact.[5]

Doctors are highly motivated to conceal the true cause of circumcision death. Neonatal circumcision has no medical indication and is now considered to be an unnecessary6 non-therapeutic[7] operation. It is unethical to carry out such operations on minors who cannot consent for themselves.[8] Consequently, most doctors who have a baby die after a circumcision would prefer to attribute the results of his unethical operation to secondary causes, such as infection or bleeding, while ignoring the primary cause, which is the circumcision that resulted in the infection or bleeding. It is, therefore, very hard to identify the total number of deaths that occur from circumcision. One senses that one is seeing only the "tip of the iceberg," with the vast majority of deaths from circumcision being concealed. The deaths undoubtedly cause an increase in infant mortality. Male infant mortality is higher than female infant mortality. It is not known how much of this increased mortality is due to the practice of male circumcision.

Several doctors have given estimates of the number of deaths that occur each year. Douglas Gairdner reported 16-19 actual deaths a year in England and Wales from neonatal circumcisions in the 1940s.[9] Sydney Gellis believed that "there are more deaths from complications of circumcision than from cancer of the penis.[10] There are various figures for the number of deaths from penile cancer ranging from 200 to 480 deaths per year. Robert Baker estimated 229 deaths per year from circumcision in the United States.[11]

There are several case reports of death in the medical literature. These are deaths from various infections.[2,3,4,12-14]

There are several newspaper accounts of boys who have died after circumcision. These are from bleeding and from complications of anesthesia.[15-24]

The coroner's report on the death of a previously healthy one-month-old infant, Ryleigh Roman Bryan McWillis, less that 48 hours after his circumcision, is available. Baby Ryleigh died of hypovolemic shock, after exsanguination caused by hemorrhage at the circumcision wound.[35, 36] Ryleigh's mother said, "I unplugged his life support at 5 a.m. on the 22nd of August, one month and one day after he was born."[37]

Many African tribes have initation ceremonies in which a youth or young man is initiated into manhood. The youths are sent to a camp in a remote area where initiation ceremonies, including circumcision, take place. The circumcisions are carried out by persons without medical training. African tribal ritual circumcision produces reports of death or serious injury every year.[25-34] The Mail and Guardian reports seven dead in the Fall of 2003 and a total of 250 dead since 1995.[34]

Some victims of circumcision are known by name. They are:

* Aleck, Baby Boy: Died June 10, 1910, Island County, WA 
* Roland Albert McCarty: Died 1932, Jacksonville, Florida 
* Christopher Dolezal: Died November 1982, Des Moines, IA 
* Steven Christopher Chacon: Died November 1986, San Francisco, CA 
* Allen A. Ervin: Died July 8, 1992, Spartanburg, SC 
* Demetrius Manker: Died June 26, 1993, Carol City, FL 
* Jeremie Johnson: Died July 18, 1995, Houston, TX 
* Dustin Evans: Died October 1998, Cleveland, OH 
* Ryleigh Roman Bryan McWillis: Died August 22, 2002, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada35

Rest in peace young men. Your short lives were not in vain. Some will learn the lesson.


1. Williams N, Kapila L. Complications of Circumcision. Brit J Surg 1993; 80: 1231-1236. 
2. Holt LE. Tuberculosis acquired through ritual circumcision. JAMA 1913;LXI(2):99-102. 
3. Reuben MS. Tuberculosis from ritual circumcision. Proceedings of the New York Academy of Medicine 1916; (December 15): 333-334. 
4. Rosenstein JL. Wound diphtheria in the newborn infant following circumcision: report of a case. J Pediatr 1941;18:657-8. 
5. The Talmud of Babylonia: An American Translation. Translated by Jacob Neusner. Number 251. Volume XIII.B: Tractate Yebamot, Chapters 4-6. Program in Judaic Studies Brown University. Atlanta: Scholars Press. 1992. 
6. Denniston GC. Unnecessary Circumcision. The Female Patient 1992: 17: 13-14. 
7. Council on Scientific Affairs, American Medical Association. Report 10: Neonatal circumcision. Chicago: American Medical Association, 1999. 
8. Hodges FM, Svoboda JS, Van Howe RS. Prophylactic interventions on children: balancing human rights with public health. J Med Ethics 2002;28(1):10-16. 
9. Gairdner D. The fate of the foreskin. Br Med J 1949; 2:1433-1437. 
10. Gellis SS. Circumcision. Am J Dis Child 1978;132:1168. 
11. Baker RL. Newborn male circumcision: needless and dangerous. Sexual Medicine Today 1979;3 (11):35-36. 
12. Sauer LW: Fatal Staphylococcus broncho-pneumonia following ritual circumcision. Am J Obstet Gynecol 46:583, 1943. 
13. Scurlock JM, Pemberton PJ. Neonatal meningitis and circumcision. Med J Aust 1977;1(10):332- 
14. Cleary TG, Kohl S. Overwhelming infection with group B beta-hemolytic streptococcus associated with circumcision. Pediatrics 1979;64(3):301-303. 
15. Peter Rachter. Grand jury to probe death of baby after circumcision. The Des Moines Register, Des Moines, Saturday, November 20, 1982. 
16. Boy in coma most of his 6 years dies. The State, Columbia South Carolina, July 10, 1992: F21. 
17. Baby bleeds to death after circumcision. Miami Herald, Miami, Florida, June 26, 1993. 
18. Lyndia Lum, Ruth Sorelle. Boy's death to be probed. Houston Chronicle, Houston, Texas, Friday, July 28, 1995, page 28A. 
19. Circumcision That Didn't Heal Kills Boy, NewsNet5, Cleveland, OH, October 20, 1998. 
20. Omskuren treåring dog av bedövning [Circumcised three-year-old died from anaesthesia]. Aftonbladet, Stockholm, Sweden, Friday, 9 February 2001. 
21. Paul Stokes. Patient died 'because surgeon guessed dose'. Daily Telegraph, Friday, November 30, 2001. 
22. Sandra Vogel-Hockley. Death of local baby subject of investigation. The Penticton Western, Penticton, B.C., Volume 36, Issue 69, 31 August 2002. 
23. Man hunted after death of circumcision baby., Dublin, 20 August 2003. 
24. Infant dies after home circumcision. Munster Express, Munster, Southeathern Ireland, Friday, 22 August 2003. 
25. Initiation Horror as Four Dead. Eastern Province Herald, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Friday, July 19, 1996. 
26. Chris McGreal. Botched circumcision kills boys. The Guardian, London, 7 January 2000. 
27. Dumisane Lubisi, African Eye News Service. Boy bleeds to death after circumcision. News24, South Africa, 26 June 2001. 
28. Steven Kretzmann. Hospitals Struggle Against Odds to Treat Septic Initiates. East Cape News, Grahamtown, Eastern Cape, South Africa, 01 August 2001. 
29. Dumisane Lubisi. 11-year-old dies after botched circumcision. Daily Mail and Guardian, South Africa, Thursday, 16 August 2001. 
30. Sarie Van Niekerk. Five teens die during initiation. Natal Witness, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, Wednesday, 26 June 2002. 
31. Fourteen dead after initiation rituals in S.Africa. The Times of India, 5 July 2002. 
32. Circumcision leaves 24 dead, 100 in hospital. The Star, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, 17 July 2002. 
33. Madoda Dyonana. 'Errant surgeon will be found'. Business Day, Saturday, 7 December 2002. 
34. Law vs tradition in circumcision debacle. The Mail and Guardian. Johannesburg, South Africa, Monday, 8 December 2003. 
35. Newell TEC. Judgement of inquiry into the death of McWillis, Ryleigh Roman Bryan. Burnaby, B.C.: British Columbia Coroner's Service, Monday, 19 January 2004. [HTML file] 
36. Newell TEC. Judgement of inquiry into the death of McWillis, Ryleigh Roman Bryan. Burnaby, B.C.: British Columbia Coroner's Service, Monday, 19 January 2004. [PDF file] 
37. Suzanne Fournier. Lack of post-surgery info angers grieving parents. The Province, Vancouver, B.C., Friday, 13 February 2004. 
38. Circumcision school initiate dies. South African Press Association (SAPA), 8 July 2004. 


Considering Consensual(ie Adult) Circumcision?

By Glenn Epps

If any male is considering circumcision, he should educate himself sufficiently on the anatomy and dynamics of the intact penis, specifically his foreskin. Most intact men do not know what they have. This decision, if carried out, will have lifetime consequences which most males, intact and circumcised, are not aware. Intact men will become fully aware of the consequences if they follow through with the excision (circumcision) of their foreskins'.

Untold thousands of men in North America have restored or are restoring a facsimile of their lost foreskins in an attempt to regain some of what circumcision took away. The idea of deliberately excising such physically and sexually significant tissue for any considerations, social or other perceptions, might likely be a profound loss. A very significant number of males who have chosen this surgical intervention dearly regret it--immediately or a few years later.

Most men around the world have never been circumcised and never give any serious thought to ever submitting themselves to such a procedure. Occasionally some men do give serious consideration to getting circumcised. These are men who generally are living in a heavily circumcised (non-religious circumcisions) society.

Such a situation is almost endemic to that of the United States but exists to lesser degrees in other countries that previously had higher rates of non-religious circumcision such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Many parents simply elect circumcision either out of lack of knowledge or because others are doing it. Basic empathy is lacking--many parents are willing to submit their healthy newborn sons to traumatic genital surgery because they feel "pressure" to do so and just don't say "no." Those who have not been circumcised can be thankful to their parents for not going along with a "group mentality." If anything, your parents demonstrated their respect for your body--allowing you to be able to make this very personal decision as an adult.

Many who promote circumcision say that this is one of the oldest operations. It is true that genital alterations have been performed for millennia but only a tiny fraction of the world's males have been subjected to it. We also know is that throughout this long-standing history there have been thousands of men who have resorted to various methods to restore their foreskins!

While male circumcision may be one of the oldest operations known to man we also know that throughout humankind's history there has always been a "fascination" with the genitals of both sexes and arguably more so with the infamous "phallus" (the penis).Given that we are talking about sexual organs, the altering of such organs on non-consenting males' or females' has profound psychological consequences.

The men who give consideration to circumcision have reported a number of reasons why they have given or are giving consideration to circumcision. Typically there are common threads in the reasons:

They are pressured or feel pressure from their peers to get circumcised.
They feel "different" or "out of place."
They have or report a lowered sense of self-esteem.

Likely, most of these men have done a "number on themselves" likely as a result of lack of information and "tools" to deal with such situations. When one is considering circumcision one should also consider a number of other issues--this resource attempts to provide some insight, thoughts and tools for such a person.

A great many intact (uncircumcised) men have usually never spent any time to really understand the function and purpose of the penile structures that are typically lost to circumcision. These men have often not paid much attention, if any, as to where the feelings and sensations they get from sexual interaction. Simply, they take for granted their "intactness" or don't appreciate or truly comprehend the benefits of not having been circumcised (i.e. being intact). It's probably a classic case of, "you don't appreciate what you have got until you haven't got it."

A circumcision generally removes most of the foreskin (inner and outer) and part or all of the frenulum. Also, the foreskin is actually two separate structures. The inner foreskin is a mucosal membrane and not just "skin." The most erogenous and pleasure sensitive nerves found in the penis are found in the foreskin (tactile nerve endings, including Meissner corpuscles). These are concentrated in the frenar band (corrugated bands at the juncture of the inner and outer foreskin and these bands are behind the sulcus when retracted during erection) the frenulum, where it is attached to the inner foreskin. The frenar tissue itself which is like a web between the inner foreskin around the bottom portion and the shaft and hemispheres of the glans and the small tendon-like structures from the inner foreskin and the area on each side of the midline of the upper shaft just below the glans and attached to the shaft below. Also, the foreskin is designed to stretch down the shaft during the in stroke and all the parts mentioned above are "excited." On the outstroke it accumulates behind the glans and acts as an O-ring to keep the natural lubrication within the vagina. (The intact penis and a woman's vagina really work in harmony. These are just more features of the human body, which has so often been referred to as the "incredible machine.") Intact men and their partners often do not need any lubrication for sexual activities.

Make sure you have "explored" the feelings that you get from the structures of your penis--the frenulum, the frenar band, the movement of the foreskin and the unique sensuousness of these tissues; each part should be separately and sensuously explored. In doing this you are likely to learn something yourself but you'll also be able to share this with your sexual partner. It's also important to do this as intact men report different feelings, that is, some find the frenulum to be extremely sensitive, others may find the tip of the foreskin very pleasurable, it might be the movement the foreskin back and forth over the glans and so forth. You will lose some or all of these sensations and the question is: Are you willing to give these sensual feelings up?



It has often been reported by intact men that the more they understand the function, purpose and associated feelings and sensations from all parts of their penises the more invaluable their "intactness" becomes.



Only in recent years has the public began to learn the truth about circumcision and the irreparable harm it has caused countless men.

Do you honestly believe that if a baby boy could speak he would have given his consent for "his" circumcision?

It doesn't take a great deal of thinking to realise why most men in the world have not been circumcised.


Go to the drug store and get some medical tape. Tape back your foreskin and see whether you like the feeling of a constantly exposed glans. If you find it "uncomfortable" this may continue for a period of time but many report that this feeling will diminish as the mucosal membrane of the glans thickens to protect itself--sensitivity most often then decreases. This test of course will do little to demonstrate the greatly decreased lack of skin mobility of the intact penis.

Most Circumcised Men Fit Into One of Four Categories When They Run Across an Intact Male:
1. They do and say what they can to try and get the intact male to feel bad, guilty or whatever, placing pressure (if not suggesting) that he get himself circumcised--the intact male will then "fit in" with the circumcised males. Essentially get others to become circumcised to validate their own circumcision--or the practice of circumcision in general.
2. They try to sneak quick peeks in the locker room to see what an intact penis is like--theirs is a curiosity for what they have lost.
3. There are also the circumcised who are envious, some very envious, knowing that they lost something important and would give almost anything to have what the intact male has.
4. They just don't care either way. They say and do nothing.

The vast majority of circumcised males have said little about their state. It is only now that more and more of circumcised men are beginning to speak up revealing the psychological and physical harm done to them. The silence of the "circumcised" is being broken but one must remember that many circumcised males will find it difficult to speak up. Why? First, they did not have a choice in the matter but they must live with the results--they can't opt for a circumcision as an intact man can. Circumcision, particularly in the United States, has been so pervasive that many circumcised males do not encounter intact males regularly. How does a circumcised male know what he is missing? A glance in the change room will provide little information. They must work by sound reasoning and logic--the foreskin moves, the foreskin is loaded with nerves, the frenulum is loaded with nerves--by deduction it must provide unique sensations and feelings.

What can a circumcised man do? He can use lotions to try and help increase sensitivity of the glans or at least help offset decreases in sensitivity. He can start a regime of foreskin restoration by stretching. And, most importantly, he can make a positive change and not submit his sons to circumcision--allowing them to make an informed choice as adults.

What about those men or boys who tease or make fun of another man or boy who has not been circumcised? Many men, when they start to think about it, realize that if it did occur it wasn't that many who did the teasing or it was a situation where one or two boys started it. We are only beginning to explore the reasons behind teasing. Teasing by those who have been subjected to circumcision who are "making fun of" another who has not been subjected to genital surgery has deep psychological implications. One man wrote a letter saying that he was very angry that he was circumcised in the years when few boys were circumcised and all of his friends and peers were intact. He said he has always been grateful to the intact boys who never teased him for having a different appearing penis, "his penis being chopped-up."

Do these boys/men have a problem with self-esteem? Are they distressed that they have had a portion of their penis removed? Ultimately they will know that they are different from an intact male because it was they who had a surgery. Does the teasing give themselves the illusion that since they are circumcised it is good? The search for justification for them may have just begun--justification of their circumcision. If you were teased think back to the situation. Was it a situation wherein it might have been the boy's (man's) or a group of boys (men) first or more rare occasion to have come across a intact boy/man? This of itself may put the situation into perspective.

Here is how some intact men have handled a "tease" type of situation (Remember, some situations well may be with friends who don't intend to make either a circumcised man or an intact man feel bad--it is more of a mechanism used to deal with the phenomenon of infant circumcision):

Some intact men relate, when speaking with circumcised men about their "intact" state, "At least a third to a half of my penis has not been cut off," or, "Well, I've got an inch on you guys." One fellow told of his first year of high school and the way some of the other boys were staring at his intact penis, that he asked them, "You mean you got chopped-up and don't even question it?" Or, "You guys are all hard tops. I have the combination, convertible and (retracting his foreskin) hard top."

Teasing may also be an inquisitive probe! Remember that circumcised males have little means of knowing what being intact is like. Such curiosity or inquisitiveness only seems natural given that a circumcised man will likely be aware that he was born like the intact male.

The "Oh, so I see you aren't circumcised" comment may be nothing more than a statement of fact or some form of curiosity. The question is how do you handle this type of comment, other comments or a glance? If you take these as negatives could you be a victim of your own devices? Does the following, quoted from a song by country singer Clint Black, "The trouble I found could have never found me....I use to think my way into some hard here I go thinking again" perhaps apply to you?


What About Other Intact Males--What Are Their Feelings? Intact Males Often Fall Into One Of Three Categories (Living In An Area Where Non-Religious Circumcision Is Pervasive):
1. They feel out of place, different or odd. This includes those who have gone as far as actually getting circumcised or those who are seriously considering circumcision. Typically there is a common thread in their feelings as was outlined earlier.
2. They are happy to be intact and some who live in a heavily circumcised society take "pride" in being intact--their "difference."
3. They don't really care.

Most intact men never consider the fact that as many or more men with a circumcised penis feel bad that they aren't intact, or at least be able to experience an intact penis. Intact men also rarely consider the fact that these circumcised men, either curious or angry over having had their foreskins taken from them, do not have the choice later in life that the intact man has.

"The power of conformity often overwhelms the individual, preventing many from investigation or objective reality, and is difficult to change. Blindly following particular ideas, practices or concepts, which may be harmful to the individual and the society, is a common human failure that often takes a long time to correct. I wonder if individualism is becoming a thing of the past. Is trusting what we believe in our hearts and our minds being discarded and neglected because of what others are saying and doing? Do we neglect investigating what is important, if there are motives or particular agendas behind the perpetuation of practices? If we are ruled more by our perceptions of what others MAY think of us or our actions than how we perceive ourselves and our actions, we are in some profound problems with self-image, self-esteem, self-reliance and emotional self-sufficiency. This applies not only to circumcision, but many of life's perplexities and dilemmas" --Ken Derifield, The Intact Network.


Some of us, perhaps all of us, at one time or another have thought our way into some awful decisions--" I go thinking again...."

Is it important enough to look like Fred and Jack, for 10 minutes a week in the locker room, for a lifetime of altered sexual experience?

"...I felt that I was missing something, and now I know what, my foreskin, I think that boys should have the right to keep their penis intact until they are of legal age to have it removed, I mean we are not in the 1800's anymore... "

Circumcised Father--Intact Son

Ensure that you make an informed decision.

Ultimately you are free to make a decision as to whether you would like to remain intact or to get yourself circumcised. I dare say that few intact men realize that thousands of circumcised men wish to be able to have the right and the ability to decide.


Humanist Perspective on Neonatal Circumcision

Tradition, whether cultural or religious, is often viewed as exempt from criticism and critical analysis for fear of being offensive to religious beliefs or due to the fallacious assumption that age or popularity lends merit to an idea. Humanism has often been at odds with cultural, religious, and other traditions because Humanism seeks to examine traditional beliefs and practices through a scientific and empathetic lens. Such an examination often brings to light the negative aspects of traditional belief. This is why Humanism is often seen as an enemy to social conservatism, which is by definition tied to old, and often unexamined, traditions. Humanists should subject all traditions, cultural, religious, or otherwise to unbiased examination in order to determine whether they are beneficial, detrimental or innocuous. Traditions which are beneficial or neutral should be accepted or tolerated whereas traditions which cause unnecessary harm or otherwise violate human rights should be actively opposed. One such tradition is the practice of routine neonatal circumcision in America.

Genital mutilation, the alteration or removal of the external genitalia for non-medical reasons, takes a wide variety of forms and is performed for a number of different reasons. For example, some persons choose to alter their genitals as a form of expression; this is known as body art or modification. There are also cases of elective procedures performed with patient consent for aesthetic reasons. These forms of genital alteration are not of concern because they are done for personal or medical reasons and are performed with the consent of the individual. Medically indicated procedures used to treat certain rare conditions are not considered mutilations for they have a solid medical purpose. However, neonatal circumcision is a form of genital mutilation which is performed without the consent of the patient and without solid medical justifications. Parents who give consent for the procedure by proxy may feel coerced by tradition or tenuous medical claims. Therefore the routine practice of neonatal circumcision should end.

A History of Routine Neonatal Circumcision

Religious ritual circumcision is antecedent to the modern tradition of non-religious (or not specifically religious) neonatal circumcision. The ancient Egyptians practiced circumcision for religious reasons as did various other cultures though out history. According to the book of Exodus God commanded Abraham to circumcise himself and all of his male descendants as part of the covenant between God and Israel. Any man marrying into Judaism and any slave purchased by an Israelite was also to be circumcised. The Abrahamic faiths Judaism and Islam both explicitly call for circumcision based upon this covenant. The penalty for not observing the circumcision covenant was to be cut off from Israel. In Hebrew the word ’arel’ for uncircumcised is also the word used for that which is unclean or forbidden. Non-Israelite peoples are often negatively referred to as uncircumcised in the bible. Male circumcision either in infancy or adolescence is still practiced by most Jewish and Islamic communities. Ritual circumcision very rarely involves the use of anesthetics as these procedures are usually not performed by medical professionals.

Neonatal circumcision of males is the most common surgical procedure performed in U.S. hospitals.[1] Based on the latest statistical data it is estimated that about 1.2 million infant boys are circumcised annually in the U.S. or about 63% of all newborn males. The percentage of newborns circumcised has been steadily decreasing since the mid 1970s, when circumcision reached its peak in the U.S., with about 85% of all newborns being circumcised. 70% (approx. 102 million men) of the current male population in the U.S. has been circumcised.[2] Before the 1900s routine circumcision in the U.S. was uncommon, usually being routinely practiced only by religious minorities.

Circumcision gained popularity in the U.S. mainly due to the belief that it made masturbation less pleasurable, thereby deterring the behavior. Masturbation was once commonly thought to cause myriad health problems and deviant behavior; insanity, blindness, neuroses, epilepsy, impotence, gonorrhea, and criminal acts such as rape or sexual assault were all once thought to be linked to masturbation. The prevailing religious belief in the U.S., Christianity, surely played a role in demonizing masturbation because most Christians view any sexual act without the intent to fertilize, as sin. Masturbation phobia reached its peak in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, producing a number of torture-inflicting chastity devices and radical surgical procedures, such as clitoridotomy, clitorectomy, infibulation, and ovariotomy for females and cutting of the penile dorsal nerves, blistering of the glans, castration, full excision of the genitalia, circumcision, and surgical implantation of electrodes for males.[3] Circumcision was viewed as the most humane method of achieving the desired effect of decreasing the urge to masturbate by most physicians.

The Purported Medical Benefits of Male Circumcision

Routine circumcision prescribed as a medical prophylactic procedure is a relatively recent invention, beginning in the late 19th century. During this time when little was known about the etiology of disease, circumcision was justified medically as a preventative measure against insanity, depravity, and a whole slew of medical conditions which today we know share no link to the anatomy of the penis. Today there is a continuing trend to try to justify the procedure in a medical context – it is often touted as a way of decreasing the risk of penile cancer, decreasing the incidence of urinary tract infection in newborns, and a guard against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The prevention of penile cancer is the most easily discredited claim of a medical justification for routine circumcision. Penile cancer is a rare disease in the United States (0.9 to 1 per 100,000),[4] and the incidence of this disease is similarly low in countries which do not practice routine neonatal circumcison.[5] As Sydney Gellis, M.D. writing for the American Journal of Diseases in Childhood states, "There are more deaths each year from circumcision than from cancer of the penis." [6] The American Medical Association corroborates, "because this disease is rare and occurs later in life, the use of circumcision as a preventive practice is not justified." [7]

Some studies suggest that circumcision may reduce the incidence of urinary tract infection (UTI) in the first year of life. One study (which is now widely discredited) shows a ten-fold decrease in the incidence of UTI in circumcised infants.[8] These studies are often used to cite a solid, medical benefit of neonatal circumcision. But "the reliability of these studies has been questioned due to the lack of controls for potential confounders such as prematurity, extent of breastfeeding, and the method of urine collection used to identify bacteriuria (presence of bacteria in the urine)."[7] Premature babies and babies born ill are usually not circumcised due to their health; in these immunocompromised infants there is a higher risk of UTI. This would account for some of the higher incidences of UTI in the uncircumcised. The method of urine collection used to collect samples from uncircumcised infants, catheterization, may cause false bacteriuria, an error overlooked by the researchers. Also, some of the UTIs in these hospital studies are thought to be iatrogenic (unintentionally caused by hospital staff or parents), due to the ill-advised instruction by doctors and nurses unfamiliar with the hygienic care of an intact penis, to forcibly retract the foreskin (which is naturally adhered throughout infancy and early childhood) and scrub the glans and underside of the foreskin. The reported preventative benefit of circumcision appears to be negligible when considering the overall low incidence of UTI in uncircumcised male infants (0.4%-1%)7 – it appears approximately 100 to 200 circumcisions would need to be performed to prevent 1 UTI.[9,10] After factoring in the rate of circumcision complications and the ease of treating UTIs, routine amputation of normal penile anatomy for a small reduction in UTI risk (if one exists) is not even close to being medically justifiable.

There are similar problems with the findings which show a decreased risk of HIV infection in circumcised men. In these studies there has been shown to be a correlation between areas of sub-Saharan Africa where circumcision is commonly performed and a decrease in the incidence of HIV infection. As the medical historian, David L. Gollaher points out, "Circumcision is not random. It remains an expression of powerful cultural and religious ideas. Knowing this, we are apt to wonder whether the circumcised practice different hygiene, engage in different sexual behaviors, or even eat different foods than the uncircumcised." He also points out "the same mapping technique (which shows a correlation between circumcision and HIV infection in Africa) applied to North America would reveal the opposite correlation. The United States has far higher per-capita rates of both circumcision and HIV infection than Canada, but no one has pointed to circumcision to explain the difference."[11] In fact America leads the industrialized world in STI (including HIV) infections and circumcision. If circumcision provides protection why do we see such a high incidence of HIV infection? One theory proposes that the desensitization caused by circumcision leads men to promiscuity in an attempt to achieve satisfaction.

There are many other questions: Could the desensitization caused by circumcision make men less likely to wear condoms? Will uneducated men view this purported protection circumcision offers as more of a protection than it really is and endanger themselves by foregoing the use of condoms? Does female genital mutilation (FGM) offer any protection against HIV or other STIs - if foreskin tissue creates a greater risk for HIV in men what about the labia or clitoral hood (or prepuce) of females? If FGM offered protection it is unlikely that it would be implemented due to its stigmatization in the west, which shows that there is a cultural bias at work. If we are willing to genitally mutilate infant boys for equivocal (at best) protection from disease why should we not consider similar procedures on women?

Even if circumcision is shown to provide a significant protection against HIV infection, it is surely unethical to amputate body parts from unconsenting patients. Sexual education and distributing and encouraging the use of condoms is a more sensible and ethical way to prevent HIV infection than routine genital mutilation. Would we recommend routine neonatal mastectomy to prevent the risk of breast cancer? In the end, the American Academy of Pediatrics provides a fair summary, "Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision."[12]

Routine Male Neonatal Circumcision; What Is It and What Does It Do?

Routine neonatal circumcision of the male is the partial or complete removal of the foreskin (prepuce), which protects the sensitive glans penis (head of the penis) and urinary meatus (urethral opening) when the penis is not erect. The procedure is performed soon after birth. There are several methods by which circumcision may be performed, most involving the use of a clamp which fits around the foreskin to aid in cutting and hemostasis (the stoppage of bleeding) and a scalpel blade. No matter which method is used, they all accomplish the same end – amputation of the foreskin and occasionally the prepucial frenulum – an erogenous zone that is similar to the anchoring flap of skin on the underside of the tongue. Prior to the procedure the infant is commonly placed on a circumcision restraint board with straps for securing the infants limbs. All neonatal circumcision techniques begin by ripping away the foreskin, which is naturally adhered to the glans in infants and young boys in much the same way a fingernail is adhered to the nail bed. This is done by inserting a probe into the opening of the foreskin, and forcing it in between the glans and the foreskin and then slowly moving all the way around ripping the tissues apart. After the glans is free from the foreskin, the foreskin is excised. The baby usually reacts to the procedure by screaming and crying. Shock may cause the child to run risk of choking or of having breathing difficulties.[13] Occasionally the baby will become withdrawn and quiet entering a state of neurogenic shock which is often mistaken for calmness or sleep.[14] After excision of the foreskin the glans appears reddened and is extremely sore. Urine (which is naturally acidic), feces and the abrasive diaper surface cause horrible pain when they come in contact with the inflamed glans. Up to 96% of neonatal circumcisions are performed without any type of anesthesia.[13,15] A 1997 study on the pain associated with circumcision was stopped early rather than subject any more babies to the pain of circumcision sans anesthesia. During the study the researchers found that babies not only experience severe pain but also have an increased risk of choking and breathing difficulty, due to the pain.[13,15]

The low percentage of anesthetic use in neonatal circumcision is primarily due to the long disproved belief that infants do not feel pain, and the ignorant and insensitive view that it does not matter because they will not remember the procedure. Other factors that contribute to low-usage of anesthetics are the patient’s age, which precludes the option of general anesthesia, and problems associated with local anesthetics such as injection pain and reactions to the anesthetic. Topical anesthetics are frequently used (when anesthetics are used at all), but they are almost completely ineffective at controlling the pain of circumcision.[15] Most people would view performing a surgical procedure on a fully conscious adult as an unconscionable act. For some reason this view does not apply to American babies for they are routinely forced to endure an extremely painful procedure with no anesthesia and no regard for their consent, because ’they will not remember it anyways’ and their inability to voice a worded-protest.

Psychologists now know that the brain is highly formative in the infant stages. Although there is an inability to recall memories of infancy the experiences of infancy will shape how the child develops mentally and psychologically. It has been shown that painful experiences during infancy, such as circumcision, can cause psychological trauma which has a profound and lasting effect on the individual. A May 2002 study published by the Journal of Health Psychology concludes that men who were circumcised as babies can go on to suffer a host of psychological problems including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In response to the study the US Attorney warned doctors that, "The foundation is well laid for lawsuits." The study states, "PTSD may result from childhood circumcision, just as it does from childhood sexual abuse and rape," and that "some men circumcised in infancy or childhood without their consent have described their present feelings in the language of violation, torture, mutilation, and sexual assault." The study also found that men who were circumcised as babies reported lower self-esteem, feelings of personal vulnerability and experienced problems with rage, depression, phobias, panic and anxiety disorders more commonly than their genitally intact counterparts.[16] Another study showed that circumcised men more commonly experience "shyness, anger, fear, powerlessness, distrust, low self-esteem, relationship difficulties, and sexual shame."[17]

The foreskin is not just extra tissue as some people believe, nor is it a vestigial part of the human anatomy. If the foreskin served no practical purpose, or was detrimental to health, it would have slowly disappeared (or be in the process of doing so) from the human phenotype as a natural process of evolution – we do not see evidence of this occurring. The foreskin is present in the human phenotype because it is an important and functional part of the genital anatomy. It is the most sensitive area of the penis[18] with unique and specialized functions.

Below is a list of the unique structures, cells and tissues lost to circumcision (from "The Lost List" -

* The Taylor "ridged band" [sometimes called the "frenar band"], the primary erogenous zone of the male body. This unique, highly specialized and exquisitely sensitive structure is equipped with soft ridges designed by nature to stimulate the female’s inner labia and G-spot during intercourse.

* The frenulum, the highly erogenous V-shaped tethering structure on the underside of the head of the penis. (The frenulum may be either partially or completely removed during circumcision; in some men, it is left largely intact)

* Between 10,000 and 20,000 specialized erotogenic nerve endings of several types, which can feel slight variations in pressure and stretching, subtle changes in temperature, and fine gradations in texture.

* Thousands of coiled fine-touch receptors called Meissner’s corpuscles, which are also found in the fingertips.

Also lost are:

* The foreskin’s gliding action, the non-abrasive gliding of the shaft of the penis within its own sheath, which facilitates smooth, comfortable and pleasurable intercourse for both partners.

* The "subpreputual wetness" which protects the mucosa of the glans (and inner foreskin), and which contains immunoglobulin antibodies and antibacterial and antiviral proteins such as the pathogen-killing enzyme lysozyme, a potent HIV killer which is also found in tears and mothers’ milk.

* Estrogen receptors, the purpose of which is not fully understood.

* The foreskin’s apocrine glands, which produce pheromones.

* The protection and lubrication of the erogenous surface of the penis, which is designed by nature to be an internal organ like the vagina. Natural sex involves contact between two internal organs.[19]

The glans penis is covered with mucosa, a type of tissue that lines internal organs such as the intestines and the inside of the mouth – mucosa is not meant to be constantly exposed to the outside environment. The glans penis of a circumcised individual is noticeably hardened and is less sensitive than the glans of an intact male. There is therefore a decrease in pleasurable sensation produced by masturbation and sex. This is due to the constant exposure of the glans, which is normally ensheathed in the foreskin that protects it from friction and dryness. In order to protect the sensitive glans the body begins the processes of keratinization (or cornification) – moving the tough fibrous protein, keratin, to the surface (much like a calloused hand or foot). The foreskin also provides a natural lubricant and gliding action which makes sex more pleasurable for both partners and makes penetration much easier. Many men circumcised in adulthood report that sex with their partners now requires lubricants and their female partners reported a loss of pleasurable sensation, an increase in vaginal dryness (during sex) and an inability to achieve orgasm.[20,21] It has been hypothesized that the ridged band, which is lost to circumcision, improves female arousal by stimulating the Gräfenberg spot (G spot). The foreskin also eliminates a significant amount of friction which preserves a woman’s lubrication.[19,20] The common female complaints about not being able to produce enough lubricant, or achieve an orgasm during sex (Female Arousal Disorder or FAD) may be related to male circumcision and not dysfunction in the female.[20,21] A fine touch pressure study performed at Michigan State University has shown that not only does circumcision ablate the most sensitive parts of the penis, it also causes a decrease in the sensitivity of the glans.[18] The peer-reviewed urology journal, Urology Today, states: "This study suggests that the transitional region from the external to the internal prepuce is the most sensitive region of the uncircumcised penis and more sensitive than the most sensitive region of the circumcised penis. It appears that circumcision ablates the most sensitive parts of the penis." [22]

There are many complications associated with circumcision. The exact complication rate of the procedure is unknown. Excessive bleeding and infection are the most common complications. Bleeding may be severe if the patient has a clotting disorder – which are not screened for pre-operatively. Infection can lead to sepsis, a serious and potentially fatal infection in the bloodstream.[7] Especially during infancy there is an increased risk of meatitis, meatal stenosis and meatal ulceration.[23] Studies have shown a link to many different types of sexual dysfunction including impotence, desensitization which makes ejaculation difficult or impossible, painful erections, painful intercourse, premature ejaculation, and chordee (curvature of the penis).[24] The use of local anesthetics during circumcision can cause anaphylactic reactions, necrotic reactions, and systemic toxicity.[7] Accidents during surgery can result in lacerations of the glans, and accidental amputation of parts of the penis which may require sexual reassignment of the individual. Death from routine circumcision is rare but has been documented.[25] Other complications include skin bridges – adhesions formed between the circumcision scar and the glans, hypospadias and epispadias (abnormal positionings of the urethral opening), skin tags, cysts, psychological problems, ulceration of the glans, lymphedema, secondary phimosis, urinary fistulas, and more. [25]

Putting an End to Neonatal Circumcision

In the past few decades there has been a large international effort made by organizations and individuals to end the atrocity of FGM while male genital mutilation such as neonatal circumcision has been largely ignored. It is time that organizations and individuals who oppose FGM end this hypocrisy by opposing all genital mutilations regardless of severity of the procedure or gender of the victim.

People may prefer to not hear the truth about genital mutilation. Many men report feeling uncomfortable, angry, or violated after becoming conscious of what has been done to them by circumcision, they may wish to return to their previous state of ignorance about the issue. Some people may dismiss the controversy over circumcision as not a big deal. Others may maintain a pro-mutilation position, in order to avoid feelings of guilt for their complicity in the genital mutilations of their children. It is important to face these feelings, become aware of what has been done, and come to terms with the pain or the guilt so we may use these feelings constructively. We cannot change what has been done but we can fight to ensure that a future generation does not have to go through this traumatic and unnecessary procedure.

Addendum: Female Genital Mutilation

Female genital mutilation, female genital cutting, and female circumcision are all terms that refer to any procedure "involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons."

"Between 100 and 140 million girls and women in the world are estimated to have undergone such procedures, and 3 million girls are estimated to be at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation every year. Female genital mutilation has been documented in 28 countries in Africa and in several countries in Asia and the Middle East. Some forms of the practice have also been reported from other countries, including among certain ethnic groups in Central and South America. There is also evidence of increasing numbers of girls and women living outside their place of origin, including in North America and western Europe, who have undergone or may be at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation." – The World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) puts FGM into four different classifications: Type I, II, III, and IV.

Type I: This form involves removal of the clitoral hood – "hoo..omy" (or "clitoridotomy") with or without excision of the clitoris.

Type II: This type involves excision of the clitoris and the labia minora. It is called khafd (reduction) in Arabic speaking countries.

Type III: Is known as infibulation or Pharaonic circumcision. It involves removal of all external female genitalia and the suturing of the vaginal opening. Only a small hole is left open for the draining of urine and menstrual flow. This opening is sometimes re-opened by the woman’s husband for intercourse or by midwives during childbirth, it is subsequently re-sutured.

Type IV: Is the miscellaneous category for mutilations which are non-traditional or obscure.

FGM types II and III are considerably more severe mutilations than male circumcision, Type I (without removal of the clitoris) is analogous to male circumcision.

1. Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project –
2. Population .. U.S. Bureau of the Census; Circumcision .. Wallerstein.
3. H. Tristram Engelhardt, "The Disease of Masturbation: Values and the Concept of Disease," Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Vol. 48 (1974), 244-5.
4. Cutler SJ, Young JL Jr (eds): Third National Cancer Survey: Incidence Data. National Cancer Institute Monograph 41. Bethesda, Md, US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, 1975.
5. Wallerstein, Edward. Circumcision: An American Health Fallacy. Springer-Verlag, New York, 1980.
6. Gellis SS. Circumcision. Am J Dis Child 1978; 132: 1168-9.
7. American Medical Association, Report 10 of the Council on Scientific Affairs (I-99), Neonatal circumcision.
8. Wiswell TE, Roscelli JD. Corroborative evidence for the decreased incidence of urinary tract infections in circumcised male infants. Pediatrics 1986; 78: 96-99.
9. Thompson RS. Is routine circumcision indicated in the newborn? An opposing view. J Fam Pract. 1990;31:189-196.
10. To T, Mohammad A, Dick PT, Feldman W. Cohort study of circumcision of newborn boys and subsequent risk of urinary tract infection. Lancet. 1998;352:1813-1816.
11. David L. Gollaher, "Circumcision: A History of the World’s Most Controversial Surgery", pg 103-104.
12. American Academy of Pediatrics, "Circumcision Policy Statement", Pediatrics, 103(3):686-693, March, 1999.
13. Circumcision study halted due to trauma -
14. Romberg, R. Circumcision: The Painful Dilemma. South Hadley, MA: Bergin & Garvey, 1985.
15. J. Lander et al, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada "Comparison of ring block, dorsal penile nerve block, and topical anesthesia for neonatal circumcision: a randomized controlled trial"
16. Gregory J. Boyle, Phd, Ronald Goldman, Phd, Ephrem Fernandez, J. Steven Svoboda, MA, JD, "Male Circumcision: Pain, Trauma, and Psychosexual Sequelae" Journal of Health Psychology, Volume 07 Issue 03 - Publication Date: 1 May 2002,
17. Rhinehart, J, "Neonatal Circumcision Revistited," Transactional Analysis Journal 29 (1999): 215-221.
18. Sorrells, M, et al., Michigan State University, "Fine-Touch Pressure Thresholds in the Adult Penis," BJU International 99 (2007): 864-869.
19. "The Lost List" -
20. Bensley GA, and Boyle GJ: Effect of male circumcision on female arousal and orgasm. N Z Med J 116: 595–596, 2003. -
21. O’Hara K, O’Hara J. The effect of male circumcision on the sexual enjoyment of the female partner. BJU Int 1999;83 Suppl 1:79–84. -
22. Reuters (2007, June 28). Does Circumcision Remove The Most Sensitive Parts Of The Penis? ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 9, 2008, from
23. Freud, Paul (August 1947). "The ulcerated urethral meatus in male children". The Journal of Pediatrics 31 (2): 131-41. doi:10.1016/S0022-3476(47)80098-8. Retrieved on 2006-07-07.
24. Foreskin Sexual Function/Circumcision Sexual Dysfunction -
25. Kaplan, George W., M.D. (August 1983). "Complications of Circumcision" (HTML). UROLOGIC CLINICS OF NORTH AMERICA 10 (3): 543–549. Retrieved on 2006-09-29. -


Back to Contents


Satire & Poetry

Involuntary Ritual Amputation Among the Nacirema People
This one is only available on its own page.

Routine Mastectomies Improve Women's Health
This one is only available on its own page.

Interview with Dr. Quack

by Jeremy Tyck

Interviewer: "What is your stance on circumcision doctor?"

DQ: "I'm all for tying down creatures that are weaker than me, cutting away important body parts, then saying they can't feel it to avoid litigation. People need this sort of thing. The earlier the better. Just imagine how peaceful and harmonious people would be without this being encoded into them during the first days of life in our world?"

Interviewer: "It is almost too scary for me to think about."

DQ: "Paranoia and fear are often overlooked by the modern caregiver. No amount of neglect and abuse can compare to the sheer amount of terror we introduce into your bundle of joy. That's the type of quality care you can't match any other way. Who else is going to give your baby this eye opening experience? Some religious quack who still holds on to outdated traditions? Some person who doesn't use cold plastic and steel tools, assembly line methods, and an uninviting sterile environment that would make robots cringe? Where's the life altering experience in that? We don't need any other reason than nature is ignorant and we are smart. It's up to us to correct the flawed bodies that have let us survive for thousands of years. I'm going to give it to you straight. The baby needs this. The baby wants it so bad he can taste it. Babies are vile and conceited little creatures, all they do is whine and poop. They're perpetual garbage disposals that make a 'waah' sound. There's even been times when I've seen a baby get an erection as the nurse straps him down and puts antiseptic on his penis."

Interviewer: "Disgusting."

DQ: "What do they think this is a brothel? If these little pigs are going to learn how to live in our society they need the gift only a metal clamp and scalpel can give them. They may give the impression that they don't like it and have been betrayed by their fellow humans, but that is just speculative nonsense at this point. I have never had a baby tell me to stop. Let's face it, if they really didn't like to be held down and attacked then they would say so, but all they do is cry. Babies are dumb and can't express themselves the way higher level mammals like us can. How can you be sure they aren't elated with so much excitement it isn't a happy cry? If this procedure was so bad for the baby wouldn't you hear ear piercing screams as the baby struggles? Until it whites out, and its body shut offs and looks like an oxygen deprived comatose Smurf?"

Interviewer: "Yes."

DQ: "I can personally say that I have never seen that happen in all the years I've been correcting the hideous mistakes of nature we call our male babies."

The doctor spirals further as the interview progresses.

DQ: "Having seen public opinion, and fearing for my medical license, I would like to alter my stance. Do I think that babies are vile and putrid little creatures that deserve all the pain they get, yes. Do I advocate tearing, crushing and cutting their penis to achieve this? No."

Interviewer: "Yes but,"

DQ: "Look Ed."

Interviewer: "My name isn't Ed."

DQ: "Look Jeb, I don't advocate circumcision trauma anymore than a Polar Bear advocates eating its young."

Interviewer: "Is it true that you are lucratively paid for the sale of the cut skin to organ harvesters?"

DQ: "I get paid the same no matter who I sell it to."

Interviewer: "What is your new position?"

DQ: "I'm glad that you asked Gary. I did some research the other night on Yahoo and have arrived at the conclusion that circumcision prevents all bad things from happening."

Interviewer: stunned silence

DQ: "A study in Africa showed that a certain population group that was not circumcised and that was exposed to certain VDs had a high epidemic of VDs. Another population group that wasn't exposed to those VDs and that was circumcised had no cases reported of those VDs."

Interviewer: "You’re saying that circumcision prevents the spread of venereal disease?"

DQ: "No, I'm saying that people who are circumcised are too smart to allow a group of eugenics engineers pretending to be researchers to expose them to a host of VDs for season tickets to 'Cats'! 'Cats' isn't even playing anymore. There can be no survival in an uncompassionate and psychopathic world unless we're all brutalized and psychopathic! Get them before they get you! Sadism is love! The gods love you Larry! Let them mutilate you! It's like they say in baseball; defense is offense!"

Interviewer: "Cleary circumcision has benefits."

DQ: "That's what I'm saying Todd. Did you know that the cut penis skin can be reused for treating patients who need tissue transplants? This is what it's all about, the good we can do for our fellow man."

Interviewer: "You don't say."

DQ: "Yes, I've even had patients I've circumcised approach me about the procedure."

Interviewer: "That must be nice to get some recognition."

DQ: "They usually tell me that they are going to peel the skin off of my body with a fruit peeler and sacrifice it to their anti-circumcision gods."

Interviewer: "And your follow up to this would be?"

DQ: "It just reinforces the fact that circumcision makes you smarter Gary. Clearly using a fruit peeler is beyond the grasp of most men. I have trouble opening juice boxes, I never know what end to poke. Who knows what would happen if people like me weren't circumcised? The world would stop turning Harry, the-world-would-stop-turning."

Interviewer: "We wouldn't want that."

DQ: "No Ed we wouldn't. If the world stopped turning it would lose its gravity and everybody would fall off."

Interviewer: "I suppose you got this from Yahoo."

DQ: "No I saw it on a '2010' movie, our planet operates on a centrifugal gravity system."

Interviewer: stunned silence

DQ: "That is why everybody needs to be circumcised."

Interviewer: "You were saying how circumcised skin is sold and used in tissue transplants. If the people who are asking for transplants or various creams the skin is used in are circumcised; are those that have been circumcised buying something back that was theirs to begin with?"

DQ: stunned silence

Interviewer: "Wouldn't you agree that this is a case of cutting off somebody's arm to further the growth of the prosthetics industry?"

DQ: "Now you're going over my head Jerry. All I know is that in Japan they sold more bagels when circumcision rates went up last year. Clearly circumcision helps support the struggling bagel farmers in that country."

Interviewer: "So you're going off of statistical evidence here?"

DQ: "Again Jerry, way over my head."

Interviewer: "Are you aware of the phrase "snake oil"? It's a product that the seller claims to cure everything from the common cold to cancer. It's used to describe any miracle procedure with obvious ineffectiveness and/or ulterior motives."

DQ: "It cures the common cold and cancer! Where I can get some?"

Interviewer: "Why do I try..."

DQ: "Did you know that sniffing glue can lead to increased states of awareness?"

Interviewer: .....

DQ: "It's true, studies of children who eat paste and sniff glue during art class have shown them to be more active and better ready for extra scholastic activities like soccer. Extra scholastic activities are good for kids Jerry, it keeps them out of trouble."

Interviewer: "Do you have any concept of relevant cause and effect in your mind at all?"

DQ: "Let me check, nope."

For the next several minutes the doctor seemed to lift off into space, staring vapidly with a dumb grin on his face.

DQ: "Did you know that ancient civilizations on the moon used to circumcise their young? Do you know why Jerry?"

Interviewer: "No but I suppose you're going to tell me."

DQ: "To keep their penises from explosively decompressing. There's no gravity on the moon, if they had that shell around their penis the air trapped inside would burst out."

Interviewer: "Ouch."

DQ: "Explosive decompression, real scary stuff."

Interviewer: "That sounds like a smart society."

DQ: "That's because they were circumcised. If they weren't circumcised how could they build rockets to travel to the moon ? It's a long way from Mars."

Interviewer: "How would they travel from Mars? That's a good point doctor."

DQ: "What?"

Interviewer: "I said it was a good point."

DQ: "You have to stop sidetracking us here Jerry, this is an important issue."

Interviewer: "You said that you've gotten no complaints from people who you've circumcised, I'd like to show you a letter from somebody who says differently:


Your senseless act has ruined my life, there is not a day that goes by when I don't think about what you took from me. You are a vile excuse of a man and should not be allowed a medical license."

DQ: "Clearly this is not an issue about whether or not he was circumcised. A circumcised man would be too insecure and traumatized to send a letter, I doubt that he was circumcised at all."

Interviewer: "You don't get any valid complaints then?"

DQ: "I haven't listened to a single one of them."

Interviewer: "Perceptive reality doctor?"

DQ: "Hey did you know the kids like circumcision, it's like earrings and tattoos."

Interviewer: "You don't say."

DQ: "I do."

Interviewer: "Ok you do, what do you have to say about the subject?"

DQ: "About what."

Interviewer: "About circumcision being a trend."

DQ: "I didn't say that."

Interviewer: "But,"

DQ: "Look Ed, I know you aren't the smartest knife in the drawer but try to keep up."

Interviewer: "Alright doctor."

DQ: "Everybody should be circumcised."

Interviewer: "You don't say... I mean, why is that?"

DQ: "Because people are defective, God wouldn't of given us scalpels if he didn't want us to cut something."

Interviewer: "You would recommend that girls get circumcised then?"

DQ: "No, what are you an animal? That would be dehumanizing and cruel. That would be like giving men equal treatment in equality laws. Men are pigs Jerry, I would know I'm a man. Do you want to see?"

Interviewer: "No! Pull your pants back up doctor!"

DQ: "Once I get going I don't stop. If it wasn't for the guilt and repression of circumcision half the world would be impregnated with my piggish seed by now."

Interviewer: "Scary."

DQ: "If your children were packaged with dipping sauce would you eat them?"

Interviewer: "What?"

DQ: "It's a simple question Jerry."

Interviewer: "No! Of course I wouldn't."

DQ: "I would."

Interviewer: ........

DQ: "My favorite sauce is barbecue. Did you know that a circumcised man invented barbecue sauce? Just think what the world would be like without barbecue sauce."

Interviewer: "I can't imagine."

The doctor turned around and tried to talk to the wall for fifteen minutes. I regained his attention by yelling 'candy bar', for some reason the doctor has a thing for candy bars.

DQ: "'What's Happening' or 'Good Times'?"

Interviewer: "Good Times?"

DQ: "I like Fat Albert."

Interviewer: "That's great doctor." It was at this point that I decided to make my exit. Leaving the doctor to feed his fish rubber cement and sniff aquarium algae.

* For additional writings by this author and healer, visit his blog:

by Jeremy Tyck

Interviewer: "What is your stance on circumcision doctor?"

DQ: "I'm all for tying down creatures that are weaker than me, cutting away important body parts, then saying they can't feel it to avoid litigation. People need this sort of thing. The earlier the better. Just imagine how peaceful and harmonious people would be without this being encoded into them during the first days of life in our world?"

Interviewer: "It is almost too scary for me to think about."

DQ: "Paranoia and fear are often overlooked by the modern caregiver. No amount of neglect and abuse can compare to the sheer amount of terror we introduce into your bundle of joy. That's the type of quality care you can't match any other way. Who else is going to give your baby this eye opening experience? Some religious quack who still holds on to outdated traditions? Some person who doesn't use cold plastic and steel tools, assembly line methods, and an uninviting sterile environment that would make robots cringe? Where's the life altering experience in that? We don't need any other reason than nature is ignorant and we are smart. It's up to us to correct the flawed bodies that have let us survive for thousands of years. I'm going to give it to you straight. The baby needs this. The baby wants it so bad he can taste it. Babies are vile and conceited little creatures, all they do is whine and poop. They're perpetual garbage disposals that make a 'waah' sound. There's even been times when I've seen a baby get an erection as the nurse straps him down and puts antiseptic on his penis."

Interviewer: "Disgusting."

DQ: "What do they think this is a brothel? If these little pigs are going to learn how to live in our society they need the gift only a metal clamp and scalpel can give them. They may give the impression that they don't like it and have been betrayed by their fellow humans, but that is just speculative nonsense at this point. I have never had a baby tell me to stop. Let's face it, if they really didn't like to be held down and attacked then they would say so, but all they do is cry. Babies are dumb and can't express themselves the way higher level mammals like us can. How can you be sure they aren't elated with so much excitement it isn't a happy cry? If this procedure was so bad for the baby wouldn't you hear ear piercing screams as the baby struggles? Until it whites out, and its body shut offs and looks like an oxygen deprived comatose Smurf?"

Interviewer: "Yes."

DQ: "I can personally say that I have never seen that happen in all the years I've been correcting the hideous mistakes of nature we call our male babies."

The doctor spirals further as the interview progresses.

DQ: "Having seen public opinion, and fearing for my medical license, I would like to alter my stance. Do I think that babies are vile and putrid little creatures that deserve all the pain they get, yes. Do I advocate tearing, crushing and cutting their penis to achieve this? No."

Interviewer: "Yes but,"

DQ: "Look Ed."

Interviewer: "My name isn't Ed."

DQ: "Look Jeb, I don't advocate circumcision trauma anymore than a Polar Bear advocates eating its young."

Interviewer: "Is it true that you are lucratively paid for the sale of the cut skin to organ harvesters?"

DQ: "I get paid the same no matter who I sell it to."

Interviewer: "What is your new position?"

DQ: "I'm glad that you asked Gary. I did some research the other night on Yahoo and have arrived at the conclusion that circumcision prevents all bad things from happening."

Interviewer: stunned silence

DQ: "A study in Africa showed that a certain population group that was not circumcised and that was exposed to certain VDs had a high epidemic of VDs. Another population group that wasn't exposed to those VDs and that was circumcised had no cases reported of those VDs."

Interviewer: "You’re saying that circumcision prevents the spread of venereal disease?"

DQ: "No, I'm saying that people who are circumcised are too smart to allow a group of eugenics engineers pretending to be researchers to expose them to a host of VDs for season tickets to 'Cats'! 'Cats' isn't even playing anymore. There can be no survival in an uncompassionate and psychopathic world unless we're all brutalized and psychopathic! Get them before they get you! Sadism is love! The gods love you Larry! Let them mutilate you! It's like they say in baseball; defense is offense!"

Interviewer: "Cleary circumcision has benefits."

DQ: "That's what I'm saying Todd. Did you know that the cut penis skin can be reused for treating patients who need tissue transplants? This is what it's all about, the good we can do for our fellow man."

Interviewer: "You don't say."

DQ: "Yes, I've even had patients I've circumcised approach me about the procedure."

Interviewer: "That must be nice to get some recognition."

DQ: "They usually tell me that they are going to peel the skin off of my body with a fruit peeler and sacrifice it to their anti-circumcision gods."

Interviewer: "And your follow up to this would be?"

DQ: "It just reinforces the fact that circumcision makes you smarter Gary. Clearly using a fruit peeler is beyond the grasp of most men. I have trouble opening juice boxes, I never know what end to poke. Who knows what would happen if people like me weren't circumcised? The world would stop turning Harry, the-world-would-stop-turning."

Interviewer: "We wouldn't want that."

DQ: "No Ed we wouldn't. If the world stopped turning it would lose its gravity and everybody would fall off."

Interviewer: "I suppose you got this from Yahoo."

DQ: "No I saw it on a '2010' movie, our planet operates on a centrifugal gravity system."

Interviewer: stunned silence

DQ: "That is why everybody needs to be circumcised."

Interviewer: "You were saying how circumcised skin is sold and used in tissue transplants. If the people who are asking for transplants or various creams the skin is used in are circumcised; are those that have been circumcised buying something back that was theirs to begin with?"

DQ: stunned silence

Interviewer: "Wouldn't you agree that this is a case of cutting off somebody's arm to further the growth of the prosthetics industry?"

DQ: "Now you're going over my head Jerry. All I know is that in Japan they sold more bagels when circumcision rates went up last year. Clearly circumcision helps support the struggling bagel farmers in that country."

Interviewer: "So you're going off of statistical evidence here?"

DQ: "Again Jerry, way over my head."

Interviewer: "Are you aware of the phrase "snake oil"? It's a product that the seller claims to cure everything from the common cold to cancer. It's used to describe any miracle procedure with obvious ineffectiveness and/or ulterior motives."

DQ: "It cures the common cold and cancer! Where I can get some?"

Interviewer: "Why do I try..."

DQ: "Did you know that sniffing glue can lead to increased states of awareness?"

Interviewer: .....

DQ: "It's true, studies of children who eat paste and sniff glue during art class have shown them to be more active and better ready for extra scholastic activities like soccer. Extra scholastic activities are good for kids Jerry, it keeps them out of trouble."

Interviewer: "Do you have any concept of relevant cause and effect in your mind at all?"

DQ: "Let me check, nope."

For the next several minutes the doctor seemed to lift off into space, staring vapidly with a dumb grin on his face.

DQ: "Did you know that ancient civilizations on the moon used to circumcise their young? Do you know why Jerry?"

Interviewer: "No but I suppose you're going to tell me."

DQ: "To keep their penises from explosively decompressing. There's no gravity on the moon, if they had that shell around their penis the air trapped inside would burst out."

Interviewer: "Ouch."

DQ: "Explosive decompression, real scary stuff."

Interviewer: "That sounds like a smart society."

DQ: "That's because they were circumcised. If they weren't circumcised how could they build rockets to travel to the moon ? It's a long way from Mars."

Interviewer: "How would they travel from Mars? That's a good point doctor."

DQ: "What?"

Interviewer: "I said it was a good point."

DQ: "You have to stop sidetracking us here Jerry, this is an important issue."

Interviewer: "You said that you've gotten no complaints from people who you've circumcised, I'd like to show you a letter from somebody who says differently:


Your senseless act has ruined my life, there is not a day that goes by when I don't think about what you took from me. You are a vile excuse of a man and should not be allowed a medical license."

DQ: "Clearly this is not an issue about whether or not he was circumcised. A circumcised man would be too insecure and traumatized to send a letter, I doubt that he was circumcised at all."

Interviewer: "You don't get any valid complaints then?"

DQ: "I haven't listened to a single one of them."

Interviewer: "Perceptive reality doctor?"

DQ: "Hey did you know the kids like circumcision, it's like earrings and tattoos."

Interviewer: "You don't say."

DQ: "I do."

Interviewer: "Ok you do, what do you have to say about the subject?"

DQ: "About what."

Interviewer: "About circumcision being a trend."

DQ: "I didn't say that."

Interviewer: "But,"

DQ: "Look Ed, I know you aren't the smartest knife in the drawer but try to keep up."

Interviewer: "Alright doctor."

DQ: "Everybody should be circumcised."

Interviewer: "You don't say... I mean, why is that?"

DQ: "Because people are defective, God wouldn't of given us scalpels if he didn't want us to cut something."

Interviewer: "You would recommend that girls get circumcised then?"

DQ: "No, what are you an animal? That would be dehumanizing and cruel. That would be like giving men equal treatment in equality laws. Men are pigs Jerry, I would know I'm a man. Do you want to see?"

Interviewer: "No! Pull your pants back up doctor!"

DQ: "Once I get going I don't stop. If it wasn't for the guilt and repression of circumcision half the world would be impregnated with my piggish seed by now."

Interviewer: "Scary."

DQ: "If your children were packaged with dipping sauce would you eat them?"

Interviewer: "What?"

DQ: "It's a simple question Jerry."

Interviewer: "No! Of course I wouldn't."

DQ: "I would."

Interviewer: ........

DQ: "My favorite sauce is barbecue. Did you know that a circumcised man invented barbecue sauce? Just think what the world would be like without barbecue sauce."

Interviewer: "I can't imagine."

The doctor turned around and tried to talk to the wall for fifteen minutes. I regained his attention by yelling 'candy bar', for some reason the doctor has a thing for candy bars.

DQ: "'What's Happening' or 'Good Times'?"

Interviewer: "Good Times?"

DQ: "I like Fat Albert."

Interviewer: "That's great doctor." It was at this point that I decided to make my exit. Leaving the doctor to feed his fish rubber cement and sniff aquarium algae.

* For additional writings by this author and healer, visit his blog:


The Best Method of Circumcision

by Bob

The best method is to circumcise about an inch above the doctor's wrist on the hand she or he uses to hold a knife. Cut squarely and forcefully with a sharp blade. An alternative device uses a clamp to increase pressure slowly until the hand is severed completely. This is thought to reduce the sudden trauma and help to cauterize the wound. It is important to cauterize emotions along with blood vessels so the procedure should be a painful as possible.

Some parents feel that a "nice tight circumcision" should be done right below the doctor's chin. However, others feel that this form of circumcision is more aggressive than necessary. Under chin circumcision does have the greatest benefit in preventing future diseases and has been shown to reduce cancer rates more than the less intrusive wrist circumcision. Doctors who have had under chin circumcision also have greatly reduced death rates from AIDS according to research done in undeveloped countries. A doctor who has had an under chin circumcision will not worry about possible death from AIDS or cancer in another 40 years. A parent should consider the merits of both methods before deciding which method to choose for their child's doctor.

In later life the circumcised doctor will have a reduced chance of skin cancer, broken bones or hangnails. Accidental injuries have been shown to be significantly reduced by hand circumcision. It will be much cleaner since her or his hand won't be picking buggers any more. She or he won't be spreading as much infection around the hospital and won't have to wash with soap and water so often. Circumcision prevents the need for frequent washing. Its so much better to do it once and be done with it than to have a life long problem with digital cleanliness.

Circumcision of a hand is also known to increases sensitivity. The scar of a stump is known to be the most sensitive part of the hand and is more exposed once the hand is removed. Some individuals may feel that the loss of very sensitive nerve endings in fingers actually reduces sensitivity, but that is just a matter of personal feeling, not a matter of anatomy.

Don't bother with her or his permission; no patient getting a circumcision has human rights in her or his medical practice. Just badger the child's parent who is in obvious stress to check a little box so you will leave them alone. If they don't approve the doctor's circumcision the first time you ask, keep asking until they do. That way you can claim you have satisfied the need for a parent's approval (or request) for the circumcision. We only do it because parents demand it. Our approval requirements meet the ethical recommendations of the AMA and the AAP, both of which recommend that circumcision should be a parent's decision. After all, whose body is it anyway? The person whose body is getting circumcised should never be consulted nor their rights respected when making this decision. Circumcision is a parent's right.

If the doctor screams or struggles be sure to restrain her or him in a full body circumstraint. That way her or his screaming and struggling won't interfere with your "medical" treatment.

There's no need for anesthetic. Everyone knows that doctors don't feel any pain.

Don't confuse the screaming with objecting to the procedure. Doctors do not have the mental facilities to understand circumcision and offer a valid objection. That is why the parents of the child need to make the choice. Doctors are too young to understand the benefits of circumcision and just scream because they are away from their office. It doesn't mean they are in pain or terror or suffering at all. They will come to understand circumcision much better as they grow older once the wound has fully healed.

It heals up completely in a few days and causes no harm. The few doctors who die from the procedure each year are of no consequence and the losses can be hushed up by the hospital as natural causes. It has no negative affects on their lives and no loss of feeling; after all they can still reproduce.

Later as she or he grows older and asks why you circumcised her or his hand you can explain, "it's for your own good," and "we just did what we thought was best." If she or he is still angry you can tell her or him to "get over it" after all "its just a little piece of skin" and bones. If she or he protests more you can insult her or him as a "hand freak."

Circumcision above the wrist has been shown to greatly reduce masturbation and its harmful effects such as hairy hands. It works even better if you circumcise both hands. Studies show that under chin circumcision is even more effective in reducing the many harmful results of masturbation such as dementia or mental retardation. The parents should review the benefits of each method and decide which method to use for their child's doctor.

The hand(s) can be sold for medical research or tossed in the trash without asking her or him.

Amputation above the doctor's wrist or right below the doctor's chin are by far the best and the only really safe methods of circumcision. All other methods cause life long physical injury and emotional damage to the child.

Religious and Human Rights Considerations

It is important to respect the religious beliefs of the parents when considering whether or not to circumcise the doctor. Disregarding their beliefs is a violation of their human rights to free expression and practice of religion. Do not worry about the human rights of the doctor since he or she has demonstrated that the human rights of any person to be circumcised do not matter. It is a sacred act when performed as a religious ritual in several ancient faiths. A religious ritual sacrifice that began over 3,000 years ago should not be questioned now. No one should criticize the free exercise of the parent's religion. The religious rights of the parents to sacrifice the flesh of another person are what is important. The human rights of the person who's flesh is to be sacrificed shall always be disregarded.

When performing the "nice tight" circumcision below the doctor's chin it is well established that a Rabbi, Priest, or Shaman may be called to the last rites for the doctor. In some faiths the below chin circumcision should be done by the Cleric as part of a religious sacrifice to the God of the parents, as they believe was commanded by their God. Such religious sacrifice should be made 8 days after the birth of the child and 8 days before the burial or cremation of the doctor according to the word of God (or according to some dumb schmuck claiming to have the "word of god.")

In Summary

The authors generally prefer the "nice tight" under chin circumcision over the less aggressive above the wrist circumcision since it has the greater prophylactic effect in preventing death due to AIDS, cancer, heart disease, and several other causes. Under chin circumcision also prevents future trauma to other children by stopping the doctor from ever sexually mutilating another child. However, the above the hand "wrist" circumcision is also acceptable. It is always the parent's right to chose what's best for their child's doctor. 



Ode to His Stolen Foreskin

I never knew you. I wish I had.
Someone said you were bad.
Ripped you off before you were complete,
thought that bare glans looked so neat.

Now we deal with wet against dry
and rely on KY.

How much fun it would have been
to slide you back and forth again.

And see the pleasure in his eyes
as his pressure starts to rise.

Circumcision robs more than one
of the perfect design for fun.

He doesn't miss what he never had,
so why does it make me so sad?


Birthright Reclamation

By Rosie 

I have a lover
whom I adore
he loves to love me
but he longs for more

He says he can't feel
when we make love at night
his body feels numb 
with no solution in sight

And as I cry
I ask if it is me
he reassures 
that it could not be

Frustrated now
I ask "then what?"
with a broken heart
he says "because I'm cut"

So I search my memory
and realize that it's true
he never enjoys the ride
as much as I do

My lover can't feel
the same sensation
that I enjoy
with such elation

So I hold him close
and we both begin to cry
the time to pretend is over
such harm we can't deny

"Tell me how to fix this."
I ask my wounded man
he answers me, defeated
"I don't think we can"

So we look on the internet
determined to find a way
we find a restorer 
and order it that day

It's been about two years now
since he started restoration
he has partial coverage
and a bit more sensation

Coarse hair no more on the shaft
pain no longer upon erection
his scrotum stays comfortably back
because he grew a new skin section 

He looks more natural now
but that scar didn't compare
to the scar on his soul
which was just too much to bare

With love and meditation
we slowly chipped away
at many years of confusion
denial and dismay

We must face the hurt
to get to the pleasure
making love was empty
but now it's his treasure

When my lover and I join
bodies and hearts intertwined
I feel his deep rapture
and know that he feels mine



Whole Baby Home

By Glen Powell

I am a newborn baby boy
Ready to go home
Where is my mommy
Where did she go

I am in a room with doctors
Who will care for me
They strap my arms and legs 
to do the best for me

I feel a terrible pain
I scream in agony
As they separate tissue
not developed completely

A cut at the top
this is where it starts
Why are they doing this
It really hurts

In goes the bell
This hurts like hell
Out comes the knife
I scream for my life

Around the bell it goes
Cutting without care
For what I am going through
Is anyone there

Are they killing me
Will I die of pain
So close to my birth day
This is done in vain

A quarter size piece of flesh
This is what is taken
They say it’s for the best
My heart is broken

They say it’s just skin
This is not true
It’s an organ with a function
That was cut from me

Why is this done
I don’t know why
They say it’s for the best
They don’t listen to my cries

They cut a piece of flesh
With nothing to stop the pain
It was part of me
Stolen who do I blame

They say its for the best 
It will stop disease
This is not true
You must not believe

If this is true 
Then my teeth should go
Cavities might come
And I will never know

Why is it legal
Torture of a baby boy
To do cosmetic surgery
So soon after birth

Why did my mommy
Have this done to me
She did not know
She did not see

If you saw this happen
To a newborn boy
You would cry for hours
You would feel no joy

This is done in private
So no one would know
If they found out
The money would not flow

They took away my pleasure
They gave me GREAT pain
it took away feeling
I will never know

Where are the police
To arrest the abusers here
Now one seems to care
A crime was committed here

They take me to my mommy
Say I will be sore
The pain will last forever
My memory will be poor

Of what they did to me
But they have done no good
Please stop this from happening
To other boys for good

why do they do this
Look at the facts
Remove a healthy organ
It doesn’t make much sense

For what they are doing
Does not prevent disease
To make me look like some others
But what about my ears

All of us are different
In so many ways
Why give me so much pain
for my birth day

I just wanted love
On my birth day
All I got was pain
And lost a part for good

I will take this pain
Use if for good
Till other boys are safe
From loosing their hood

Take your whole baby home!


Cold Touch

By Jeremy Tyck (from the perspective of a man with epilepsy and cavernous angiomas)

Strap me down
Protect the ignorance
Sacrifice cherub like exuberance

Feed my innocence to sterile claws and scalpel edge
The world's too nice anyways, clamp the vice!
Future killer #1,352,021 through the disassembly line
Plant the seeds of artificial darkness
Hydraulics will whirl later in life, spiral down the black cold road

The world's full of fear you hear
We might as well give in to it
We might as well corrode what we hold dear

Let them rip me from arms I barely knew
Good bye, farewell, go to hell
Catch a last glance, watch me screaming
Rosy cheeks turning a red hue

Lay me upon my metal chrysalis
Taken from warm and living womb, touch the cold cocoon
Antiseptic fluorescent light out my eyes
A feeling of epiphany
Too dangerous for anesthetic

Oh beautiful nurse, your long lines streaming
Lovely face beam the elegance on me
Stroke it long, stroke it hard
Latex hands probe my pleasure with your heat
Give me a natural high, ultimate high
A boy's first, make it good, make it deep
On the rivers of dopamine we'll meet

Stretch my arms, lock me down
Bond my legs
Fresh skin to biting air
A face tickled by your dangling hair
Ready it for the chief chopper, mechanical chief chopper

Oh doctor make your entrance
Professional and defiant
Push those emotions out
Target a body vulnerable and pliant

Size me up, size me down
Push her lithe fingers away, make me frown
We want to give it a perfect crown

Dab an exposed point with cold lotion
Rub with a soothing motion

Strange faces hang over
A language I'll never understand
This experience isn't so bad

Ooh what's that a shiny bell?
Crush, clamp! I'll yell

Crush it again!
Deprive the oxygen

Eyes water, a carotid strain
Eyes sizing me
Cries go unheard
Lost in ethereal oil

Pressure halts proceeding
Exhausted seconds stretched out
Taxed mind starting to relax on its painful plateau
Is this what love is about?

Oh nurse, I hear your voice so sweet
Let's sail away, there's still water in our stream

A stinging slice, cut away dreams of ecstatic vice
Cut and tear with your scalpel
Watch blood spurt and splatter
Spray my life, my red hot stream
Wipe it away with rough fiber, make it clean

Ready your hand, go in again
We'll make this one a perfect 10

A child holds back
Cheeks turn blue
Verging in and out
Capillaries burst
Face screaming beyond, straining body cutting off the fuel

They say there's two ways to deal with trauma
Scream and fight it, destroy with psychotic rage
Detach and let it, hide in places far away

Go on chief mechanical officer, finish it

Ketanalize my feeling!
Kill the reality of love
Haunting after effects kill it in my dreams!

Love and feminine touch, wonder where'd it go
It's not needed in this world, tis what the inventors thought
Where it goes, nobody knows

Skin the apple of my eye
Let it bleed and die

Revel the destruction
Watch the force of life cease to function

It looks like we're done
Oh wait, he still has a sliver of that bridging ligament
Grind it down, cut deep
Over stimulated nerves, burning out, make me a real man
Make sure you get it, cut underneath
It'll leave a grated surface
It's not his to keep

Wrap it up Flesh sliced, pitted and raw
This one will form a lovely brown scar

Bring an exhausted mind to fall asleep in stranger's arms
Tell me it's all right, calm my nerves
"How could you?" a baby asks
You darkened the light of my verve
Betrayal welling, if I could I would attack
If I knew what you were I would attack

Fall to sleep young child
Face so pale and mild

Days without food and nutrient
Too traumatized and numb to nibble a breast
Just lay me down, let me rest
Away from your arms so inept

I'll grow to a normal child by this world's standards
My mushroom manna cultivated like everybody else's

A ritual of skinning grown through psychedelics?
I wonder later in life, what the hell?
Even if girls I've never met still think disfiguration is swell

Oh what an experience to have days after birth
Engraving pain, expanding weak malformed veins

Maybe it would of been different if I wasn't born with a disorder
But my brain's oxygenating pathways didn't form in normal order

What a jump those asphyxiating screams must of gave me
Pumping arteries, blowing brain malformations
Blood leaking, killing tissue
Body seizing
Blacking out

There would be more before eighteen
A wonderfully despairing and lonely life lived by a teen
Afraid of girls, afraid of life
What rage we've imprinted in this one
A loving touch is something he disbelieves
With damaged synapses, I doubt he would be able to show

They made me better, stronger, more destructive than anyone before

Your ignorant machine bit the wrong one
Uncontrollable power will be the end of your days

Watch out world, the Alpha has seen the Omega
I hate left brained intellectuals
I hate pseudo minds
They've brought me pain and hate's bitter wine

No thanks, goodbye, that's what I'll say
I won't have any part in your destruction
I'd rather live detached in my planes

Someday I'll transcend, and the fear will end
Leaving you with your involution and sadism
Leaving you to be consumed by the darkness

~For additional writings by this author and healer, visit his blog:



They lost their rights by violating mine
Contempt for parents lost these days I find
And hatred for those circum-paedophiles
Who strapped me, gasping, to a circumstraint
Who tore off, like a nail from the nail bed
The foreskin from my neonatal glans...

My mother enjoyed my father intact;
Surely they desired the same for their sons?
"They did what was best," we like to believe;
Twenty-five percent less, minus the sleeve;
Pleasure diminished, to give and receive;
Lost structure and function, reason to grieve;
My bedtime ordeal: a struggle to breathe!

These days, whenever I think who they were
Their history went the way of my skin:
Scarred tattered remnants, in memoriam.


Day One

By Arcadia

You were born whole
Thus deemed imperfect.
Your parents sent you
Down the hall
To have you mutilated
By a pervert in a white coat.

The member of your body,
That defined you
"Its a boy!"
Was beheaded in a metal

The cruel clamp held you.
The cruel razor cut through
Slicing off a piece of you
with nerves
and veins
and feeling, too.

Your screams of terror
Your trembling body
Your racing heart,
The pain that rushed you,
All this was hidden
In that dreadful room.

And no one rescued you.

Down the hall,
Back to your mother.
Your penis bound
in bloody bandage.
She took you in her arms
Gazed into your face
As if she really loved you.
Oblivious of her betrayal
Of the violence done to you.
And you clung to her
In a fog of throbbing pain.

It didn't have to happen.
This sexual mutilation.
It didn't have to happen.
This will NOT prevent infection.
It didn't have to happen.
Nor can it stop masturbation.

But it did happen.
In the name of Tradition.
But it did happen.
In the name of Sanitation.
But it did happen.
To profit a sadistic physician.

Who weeps for you?
Damned to this torture
-To the stealing of your skin?
I do.
And I will fight it.
We will fight it.

And I will enlighten others.
Together, we CAN break
This vicious practice of
Bloodthirsty ignorance!

[Read Circumcision Study Halted Due to Trauma]


Back to Contents