Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Are You Fully Informed?


To make a fully informed decision. That is what should happen among parents who still have the legal choice to decide whether or not to circumcise their newborn baby. However, studies have shown that all too often parents are simply posed with this question and nothing more:

Would you like to circumcise your son?

Now, there are many inherent problems with this question as it is stated. One is that it would be much more appropriate to ask, "Would you like to keep your son intact?" as this is the natural, normal way human beings (and all mammals), be they male or female, enter the world. To alter or modify a baby's body at birth is not the 'norm' and the question should not be stated as though it is. There is simply nothing typical or natural about cutting off 1/3 to 3/4 (depending on the size of the prepuce organ) of a tiny baby's sensitive genitals immediately upon entrance into the world.

However, these same studies demonstrate that most of the medical personnel posing this question to parents know no more about the prepuce (the organ amputated in U.S. style circumcision) or the surgery of circumcision than the mothers and fathers who are making the decision.

Rarely is a fully informed choice made. And in the case of a newborn baby, this choice is never a fully informed consented choice.

In fact, I have yet to see a parent who is fully informed on the purposes of the prepuce and circumcision elect to cut their baby. It just doesn't happen. The more you know, the worse it is. Period.

I have, however, witnessed those who say they 'researched' the subject by going to Google and hitting up Brian Morris' sponsored sites, by reading MSN news media, Edgar Schoen quotes, or Yahoo reports... by opening headlines from The New York Times or Washington Post.

Sorry, folks, pop media or skewed info from the circumfetish cutting kings doesn't count as 'research' to being fully informed - especially not on this subject. Not when it directly deals with the health, development, bonding and well-being of YOUR BABY. Your child. Who will grow up to be an adult, with a body that was designed perfectly for him - or one that was modified without his consent.

In an effort to stamp out a fraction of the ignorance that resounds throughout pop culture on any given day in North America, there are a number of articles and informative pieces presented here at peaceful parenting. I spent the better portion of my graduate years studying this subject. But you don't have to take 8 years of your life, or hundreds of thousands of dollars, to complete your own quick course on the subject.

If you'd really like to be fully informed in this matter -- one that certainly becomes more urgent, more severe, more horrifying, the more you know -- please don't stop at this site. Dig deeper. Learn more. Open books. Pour over medical journals. Dive into discussions with scholars who are in-the-know; doctors who do study the prepuce and circumcision; historians who know the literature inside and out.

By simply reading the articles and links provided on this site alone, you will be more informed than the vast majority of the rest of the U.S. population on the prepuce organ and circumcision. Yet, I encourage you, if you feel so inclined, to keep going. Check it out for yourself. Don't just take my word for it. And if, while you are out there researching and writing and questioning and building your own mental library of data on this subject, you feel so inclined to come back and write for us here at peaceful parenting - we'd love to have your fresh voice of insight and experience in the matter.

The following is a listing of books, websites, and articles to start with. There are thousands of empirical, peer-reviewed, research journal articles out there on the subject -- those that have been written for the past 100 years on the prepuce and circumcision -- and unfortunately we cannot reasonably list them all here. But these sources will get you off to a great start at being FULLY INFORMED.


BOOKS


What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Circumcision

Circumcision: What Every Parent Should Know

Marked in Your Flesh: Circumcision from Ancient Judea to Modern America

Circumcision: The Hidden Trauma

Circumcision: The Rest of the Story

Doctors Re-examine Circumcision

Circumcision: An American Health Fallacy

Circumcision: The Painful Dilemma

A Surgical Temptation: The Demonization of the Foreskin and the Rise of Circumcision in Britain

Circumcision: A History of the World's Most Controversial Surgery

Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective

Covenant of Blood: Circumcision and Gender in Rabbinic Judaism

Circumcision Exposed: Rethinking a Medical and Cultural Tradition

In the Name of Humanity: Speaking Out Against Circumcision

40 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Respect His Birthright and Keep Your Son Whole


Children's Genitals Under the Knife

As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised As A Girl [1 detailed example of the consequences of botched circumcision]

Sex as Nature Intended It

A Mind of Its Own: A Cultural History of the Penis

The Joy of Uncircumcising *also found as downloadable book here

Crystallized Pathology: The Clitoris, the Penis and Women's Sexual Health *currently limited and ordered by request peacefulparents@gmail.com

Circumcision *Mothering reprint of articles


WEBSITES
In Alphabetical Order


AIDS and Circumcision
www.AIDSCirc.org

As Nature Intended
www.asnatureintended.info

Attorneys for the Rights of the Child
www.arclaw.org

Beyond the Bris
www.beyondthebris.com

Circumcision Decision Maker

Catholics Against Circumcision
www.catholicsagainstcircumcision.org

Circumcision Information and Resource Pages

Circumcision Information Australia

Circumcision Information Resource Center of Colorado

Circumcision Resource Center

Doctors Opposing Circumcision

DrMomma.org

End Routine Infant Circumcision
www.4eric.org

Foregen
www.foregen.org

Genital Autonomy
www.genitalautonomy.eu

Historical Medical Quotes on Circumcision

History of Circumcision
In Memory of the Sexually Mutilated Child

Intact America
The Intact Network
The Intactivism Pages

International Coalition for Genital Integrity
www.icgi.org

Jewish Circumcision Resource Center
www.jewishcircumcision.org

Jews Against Circumcision

Male Circumcision and HIV
www.circumcisionandhiv.com

The Male Circumcision Information Site

MGM Bill: A Bill to End Male Genital Mutilation in the United States

Mothering Magazine

Mothers Against Circumcision

National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers

National Organization of Restoring Men

National Organization to Halt the Abuse and Routine Mutilation of Males

Not Just Skin

Peaceful Parenting

Quran Circumcision [Islam]

Quranic Path [Islam]

Restoring Tally

Ridged Band

Saving Our Sons
Stop The Cut

Stop Infant Circumcision Society

TLC Tugger

ARTICLES
The following are items cataloged at DrMomma.org

Additional news, blogs and printables located at The Intact Network


The Phony Phimosis Diagnosis













































































The Circumcision Decision with Dr. Dean Edell







The Appendix: Useful & Promising [much like the prepuce...]
















MA MGM Bill Hearing

Georganne Chapin on Fox News


Fox News Report on MA MGM Bill

MA MGM Bill Public Testimonies

Until the Violence Stops!

McGill University Study on Male Body Image & Genital Self Esteem

Circumcision: The Uncut Version (Kate Holt's site)

Cervical Cancer: A Reason for Circumcision?

Male Circumcision & Cervical Cancer

Cervical Cancer & Circumcision


Sandra Bullock Cuts Newly Adopted Son

Article Asks, "Are Infant Foreskins the New Botox?"


My Son is Circumcised, and I Support the MGM Bill


Turtle Heads


Stepping Away From Friendship in the Name of Human Rights

American Baby Intactivist in Scotland

A Strategic Approach to End Infant Circumcision in Canada


MEDICAL STUDIES

The following is a sampling of peer reviewed medical studies pertaining to circumcision and the prepuce (foreskin) that has been published and is accessible in full or part online. List compiled in part by the Circumcision Resource Center at Circumcision.org. To add a study to this list, write to DrMomma.org@gmail.com

Circumcision Information and Resource Pages - CIRP.org - houses a significant amount of published literature and journal articles available for online viewing.

The International Symposia on Law, Genital Autonomy and Children's Rights (Symposia details here) publishes scholarly articles from the symposia. The first through the eleventh symposia curriculum are linked from the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers here.

Publications include:

Genital Autonomy: Protecting Personal Choice (2010)

Circumcision and Human Rights (2009)

Bodily Integrity and the Politics of Circumcision: Culture, Controversy and Change (2006)

Flesh and Blood: Perspectives on the Problem of Circumcision in Contemporary Society (2003)

Understanding Circumcision: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to a Multi-Dimentional Problem (2001)

Male and Female Circumcision: Medical, Legal and Ethical Considerations in Pediatric Practice (1999)

Sexual Mutilations: A Human Tragedy (1997)

Journal Articles

Circumcision is Associated with Adult Difficulty in Identifying and Expressing Feelings 

This preliminary study investigates what role early trauma might have in alexithymia (difficulty in identifying and expressing feelings) acquisition for adults by controlling for male circumcision. Three hundred self-selected men were administered the Toronto Twenty-Item Alexithymia Scale checklist and a personal history questionnaire. The circumcised men had age-adjusted alexithymia scores 19.9 percent higher than the intact men; were 1.57 times more likely to have high alexithymia scores; were 2.30 times less likely to have low alexithymia scores; had higher prevalence of two of the three alexithymia factors (difficulty identifying feelings and difficulty describing feelings); and were 4.53 times more likely to use an erectile dysfunction drug. Alexithymia in this population of adult men is statistically significant for having experienced circumcision trauma and for erectile dysfunction drug use. http://mensstudies.metapress.com/content/2772r13175400432/
Bollinger, D. and Van Howe, R. , "Alexithymia and Circumcision Trauma: A Preliminary Investigation," International Journal of Men's Health (2011);184-195.

Circumcision Associated with Sexual Difficulties in Men and Women 

A new national survey in Denmark, where about 5% of men are circumcised, examined associations of circumcision with a range of sexual measures in both sexes. Circumcised men were more likely to report frequent orgasm difficulties, and women with circumcised spouses more often reported incomplete sexual needs fulfillment and frequent sexual function difficulties overall, notably orgasm difficulties, and painful sexual intercourse. Thorough examination of these matters in areas where male circumcision is more common is warranted. http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/06/13/ije.dyr104.short?rss=1
Frisch, M., Lindholm, M., and Grønbæk, M., "Male Circumcision and Sexual Function in Men and Women: A Survey-based, Cross-sectional Study in Denmark," International Journal of Epidemiology (2011);1–15.

Circumcision is Associated with Premature Ejaculation

Premature ejaculation (PE) is common. However, it has been under-reported and under-treated. The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of PE and to investigate possible associated factors of PE. This cross-sectional study was conducted at a primary care clinic over a 3-month period in 2008. Men aged 18-70 years attending the clinic were recruited, and they completed self-administered questionnaires. A total of 207 men were recruited with a response rate of 93.2%. Their mean age was 46.0 years. The prevalence of PE was 40.6%. No significant association was found between age and PE. Multivariate analysis showed that erectile dysfunction, circumcision, and sexual intercourse =5 times in 4 weeks were predictors of PE. These associations need further confirmation. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02280.x/full
Tang, W. and Khoo, E. "Prevalence and Correlates of Premature Ejaculation in a Primary Care Setting: A Preliminary Cross-Sectional Study," Journal of Sexual Medicine (2011) Apr 14.

Claim of Circumcision Benefit is Overstated and Premature

Further research is required to assess the feasibility, desirability and cost-effectiveness of circumcision to reduce the acquisition of HIV. This paper endorses the need for such research and suggests that, in its absence, it is premature to promote circumcision as a reliable strategy for combating HIV. Since articles in leading medical journals as well as the popular press continue to do so, scientific researchers should think carefully about how their conclusions may be translated both to policy makers and to a more general audience. The importance of addressing ethico-legal concerns that such trials may raise is highlighted. The understandable haste to find a solution to the HIV pandemic means that the promise offered by preliminary and specific research studies may be overstated. This may mean that ethical concerns are marginalized. Such haste may also obscure the need to be attentive to local cultural sensitivities, which vary from one African region to another, in formulating policy concerning circumcision. http://jme.bmj.com/content/36/12/798.abstract
Fox, M. and Thomson, M., "HIV/AIDS and Circumcision : Lost in Translation," Journal of Medical Ethics 36 (2010):798-801.

Circumcision/HIV Claims are Based on Insufficient Evidence

An article endorsed by thirty-two professionals questions the results of three highly publicized African circumcision studies. The studies claim that circumcision reduces HIV transmission, and they are being used to promote circumcisions. Substantial evidence in this article refutes the claim of the studies. Examples in the article include the following: Circumcision is associated with increased transmission of HIV to women. Conditions for the studies were unlike conditions found in real-world settings. Other studies show that male circumcision is not associated with reduced HIV transmission. The U.S. has a high rate of HIV infection and a high rate of circumcision. Other countries have low rates of circumcision and low rates of HIV infection. Condoms are 95 times more cost effective in preventing HIV transmission. Circumcision removes healthy, functioning, unique tissue, raising ethical considerations. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20965388
Green, L. et al., "Male Circumcision and HIV Prevention: Insufficient Evidence and Neglected External Validity," American Journal of Preventive Medicine 39 (2010): 479-82.

In National Survey Circumcision Had No Protective Effect 

A survey of South African men showed that circumcision had no protective effect in the prevention of HIV transmission. This is a concern, and has implications for the possible adoption of mass male circumcision strategy both as a public health policy and an HIV prevention strategy. http://www.ajol.info/index.php/samj/article/view/14003
Connolly, C. et al., South African Medical Journal 98(2008): 789-794.

Circumcision is Not Cost Effective

The findings suggest that behavior change programs are more efficient and cost effective than circumcision. Providing free condoms is estimated to be significantly less costly, more effective in comparison to circumcising, and at least 95 times more cost effective at stopping the spread of HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, condom usage provides protection for women as well as men. This is significant in an area where almost 61% of adults living with AIDS are women. http://www.ajol.info/index.php/samj/article/viewFile/14003/2617
McAllister, R. et al., "The Cost to Circumcise Africa," American Journal of Men's Health 7(2008): 307-316.

Circumcision/HIV Have Incomplete Evaluation

The push to institute mass circumcision in Africa, following the three randomized clinical trials (RCTs) conducted in Africa, is based on an incomplete evaluation of real-world preventive effects over the long-term – effects that may be quite different outside the research setting and circumstances, with their access to resources, sanitary standards and intensive counseling. Moreover, proposals for mass circumcision lack a thorough and objective consideration of costs in relation to hoped-for benefits. No field-test has been performed to evaluate the effectiveness, complications, personnel requirements, costs and practicality of proposed approaches in real-life conditions. These are the classic distinctions between efficacy and effectiveness trials, and between internal validity and external validity.

Campaigns to promote safe-sex behaviors have been shown to accomplish a high rate of infection reduction, without the surgical risks and complications of circumcision, and at a much lower cost. For the health community to rush to recommend a program based on incomplete evidence is both premature and ill-advised. It misleads the public by promoting false hope from uncertain conclusions and might ultimately aggravate the problem by altering people’s behavioral patterns and exposing them and their partners to new or expanded risks. Given these problems, circumcision of adults, and especially of children, by coercion or by false hope, raises human rights concerns. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2801441/?tool=pmcentrez&render
Green, L. et al., "Male Circumcision is Not the HIV ‘Vaccine’ We Have Been Waiting For!" Future Medicine 2 (2008): 193-199, DOI 10.2217/17469600.2.3.193.

Circumcision Decreases Sexual Pleasure

A questionnaire was used to study the sexuality of men circumcised as adults compared to uncircumcised men, and to compare their sex lives before and after circumcision. The study included 373 sexually active men, of whom 255 were circumcised and 118 were not. Of the 255 circumcised men, 138 had been sexually active before circumcision, and all were circumcised at >20 years of age. Masturbatory pleasure decreased after circumcision in 48% of the respondents, while 8% reported increased pleasure. Masturbatory difficulty increased after circumcision in 63% of the respondents but was easier in 37%. About 6% answered that their sex lives improved, while 20% reported a worse sex life after circumcision. There was a decrease in masturbatory pleasure and sexual enjoyment after circumcision, indicating that adult circumcision adversely affects sexual function in many men, possibly because of complications of the surgery and a loss of nerve endings. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2006.06646.x/abstract
Kim, D. and Pang, M., "The Effect of Male Circumcision on Sexuality," BJU International 99 (2007): 619-22.

Circumcision Removes the Most Sensitive Parts of the Penis

A sensitivity study of the adult penis in circumcised and uncircumcised men shows that the uncircumcised penis is significantly more sensitive. The most sensitive location on the circumcised penis is the circumcision scar on the ventral surface. Five locations on the uncircumcised penis that are routinely removed at circumcision are significantly more sensitive than the most sensitive location on the circumcised penis.

In addition, the glans (head) of the circumcised penis is less sensitive to fine touch than the glans of the uncircumcised penis. The tip of the foreskin is the most sensitive region of the uncircumcised penis, and it is significantly more sensitive than the most sensitive area of the circumcised penis. Circumcision removes the most sensitive parts of the penis.

This study presents the first extensive testing of fine touch pressure thresholds of the adult penis. The monofiliment testing instruments are calibrated and have been used to test female genital sensitivity. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17378847
Sorrells, M. et al., “Fine-Touch Pressure Thresholds in the Adult Penis,” BJU International 99 (2007): 864-869.

Circumcision Policy Influenced by Psychosocial Factors

The debate about the advisability of circumcision in English-speaking countries typically has focused on potential health factors. The position statements of committees from national medical organisations are expected to be evidence-based; however, the contentiousness of the ongoing debate suggests that other factors are involved. Various potential factors related to psychology, sociology, religion, and culture may also underlie policy decisions. These factors could affect the values and attitudes of medical committee members, the process of evaluating the medical literature, and the medical literature itself. Although medical professionals highly value rationality, it can be difficult to conduct a rational and objective evaluation of an emotional and controversial topic such as circumcision. A negotiated compromise between polarized committee factions could introduce additional psychosocial factors. These possibilities are speculative, not conclusive. It is recommended that an open discussion of psychosocial factors take place and that the potential biases of committee members be recognized. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2724127/
Goldman, R., “Circumcision Policy: A Psychosocial Perspective,” Paediatrics & Child Health 9 (2004): 630-633.

Circumcision is Not Good Health Policy

A cost-utility analysis, based on published data from multiple observational studies, comparing boys circumcised at birth and those not circumcised was undertaken using the Quality of Well-being Scale, a Markov analysis, the standard reference case, and a societal perspective. Neonatal circumcision increased incremental costs by $828.42 per patient and resulted in an incremental 15.30 well-years lost per 1000 males. If neonatal circumcision was cost-free, pain-free, and had no immediate complications, it was still more costly than not circumcising. Using sensitivity analysis, it was impossible to arrange a scenario that made neonatal circumcision cost-effective. Neonatal circumcision is not good health policy, and support for it as a medical procedure cannot be justified financially or medically. http://www.mendeley.com/research/costutility-analysis-neonatal-circumcision/
Van Howe, R., “A Cost-Utility Analysis of Neonatal Circumcision,” Medical Decision Making 24 (2004):584-601.

Pain, Trauma, Sexual, and Psychological Effects of Circumcision

Infant male circumcision continues despite growing questions about its medical justification. As usually performed without analgesia or anaesthetic, circumcision is observably painful. It is likely that genital cutting has physical, sexual and psychological consequences, too. Some studies link involuntary male circumcision with a range of negative emotions and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some circumcised men have described their current feelings in the language of violation, torture, mutilation and sexual assault. In view of the acute as well as long-term risks from circumcision and the legal liabilities that might arise, it is timely for health professionals and scientists to re-examine the evidence on this issue and participate in the debate about the advisability of this surgical procedure on unconsenting minors. http://epublications.bond.edu.au/hss_pubs/36/
Boyle G. et al., "Male Circumcision: Pain, Trauma and Psychosexual Sequelae," Journal of Health Psychology (2002): 329-343.

Circumcision Results in Significant Loss of Erogenous Tissue

A report published in the British Journal of Urology assessed the type and amount of tissue missing from the adult circumcised penis by examining adult foreskins obtained at autopsy. Investigators found that circumcision removes about one-half of the erogenous tissue on the penile shaft. The foreskin, according to the study, protects the head of the penis and is comprised of unique zones with several kinds of specialized nerves that are important to optimum sexual sensitivity. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8800902
Taylor, J. et al., "The Prepuce: Specialized Mucosa of the Penis and Its Loss to Circumcision," BJU 77 (1996): 291–295.

Circumcision Affects Sexual Behavior

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that circumcision provided no significant prophylactic benefit and that circumcised men were more likely to engage in various sexual practices. Specifically, circumcised men were significantly more likely to masturbate and to participate in heterosexual oral sex than uncircumcised men. http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/277/13/1052
Laumann, E. et al., "Circumcision in the U.S.: Prevalence, Prophylactic Effects, and Sexual Practice," JAMA 277 (1997): 1052–1057.

Researchers Demonstrate Traumatic Effects of Circumcision

A team of Canadian researchers produced new evidence that circumcision has long-lasting traumatic effects. An article published in the international medical journal The Lancet reported the effect of infant circumcision on pain response during subsequent routine vaccination. The researchers tested 87 infants at 4 months or 6 months of age. The boys who had been circumcised were more sensitive to pain than the uncircumcised boys. Differences between groups were significant regarding facial action, crying time, and assessments of pain.

The authors believe that "neonatal circumcision may induce long-lasting changes in infant pain behavior because of alterations in the infant’s central neural processing of painful stimuli." They also write that "the long-term consequences of surgery done without anaesthesia are likely to include post-traumatic stress as well as pain. It is therefore possible that the greater vaccination response in the infants circumcised without anaesthesia may represent an infant analogue of a post-traumatic stress disorder triggered by a traumatic and painful event and re-experienced under similar circumstances of pain during vaccination." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9057731
Taddio, A. et al., "Effect of Neonatal Circumcision on Pain Response during Subsequent Routine Vaccination," The Lancet 349 (1997): 599–603.

Circumcision Study Halted Due to Trauma

Researchers found circumcision so traumatic that they ended the study early rather than subject any more infants to the operation without anesthesia. Those infants circumcised without anesthesia experienced not only severe pain, but also an increased risk of choking and difficulty breathing. The findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Up to 96% of infants in some areas of the United States receive no anesthesia during circumcision. No anesthetic currently in use for circumcisions is effective during the most painful parts of the procedure. http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/278/24/2157.short?cited-by=yes&legid=jama;278/24/2157
Lander, J. et al., "Comparison of Ring Block, Dorsal Penile Nerve Block, and Topical Anesthesia for Neonatal Circumcision," JAMA 278 (1997): 2157–2162.

Circumcised Penis Requires More Care in Young Boys

The circumcised penis requires more care than the natural penis during the first three years of life, according to a report in the British Journal of Urology. The clinical findings of an American pediatrician showed that circumcised boys were significantly more likely to have skin adhesions, trapped debris, irritated urinary opening, and inflammation of the glans (head of the penis) than were boys with a foreskin. Furthermore, because there are large variations of appearance in circumcised boys, circumcision for cosmetic reasons should be discouraged. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1464-410X.1997.00467.x/pdf
Van Howe, R., "Variability in Penile Appearance and Penile Findings: A Prospective Study," BJU 80 (1997): 776–782.

Poll of Circumcised Men Reveals Harm

A poll of circumcised men published in the British Journal of Urology describes adverse outcomes on men’s health and well-being. Findings showed wide-ranging physical, sexual, and psychological consequences. Some respondents reported prominent scarring and excessive skin loss. Sexual consequences included progressive loss of sensitivity and sexual dysfunction. Emotional distress followed the realization that they were missing a functioning part of their penis. Low-self esteem, resentment, avoidance of intimacy, and depression were also noted. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1464-410x.1999.0830s1085.x/pdf
Hammond, T., "A Preliminary Poll of Men Circumcised in Infancy or Childhood," BJU 83 (1999): suppl. 1: 85–92

Psychological Effects of Circumcision Studied

An article titled "The Psychological Impact of Circumcision" reports that circumcision results in behavioral changes in infants and long-term unrecognized psychological effects on men. The piece reviews the medical literature on infants’ responses to circumcision and concludes, "there is strong evidence that circumcision is overwhelmingly painful and traumatic." The article notes that infants exhibit behavioral changes after circumcision, and some men have strong feelings of anger, shame, distrust, and grief about having been circumcised. In addition, circumcision has been shown to disrupt the mother-infant bond, and some mothers report significant distress after allowing their son to be circumcised. Psychological factors perpetuate circumcision. According to the author, "defending circumcision requires minimizing or dismissing the harm and producing overstated medical claims about protection from future harm. The ongoing denial requires the acceptance of false beliefs and misunderstanding of facts. These psychological factors affect professionals, members of religious groups, and parents involved in the practice."

Expressions from circumcised men are generally lacking because most circumcised men do not understand what circumcision is, emotional repression keeps feelings from awareness, or men may be aware of these feelings but afraid of disclosure. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1464-410x.1999.0830s1093.x/abstract
Goldman, R., "The Psychological Impact of Circumcision," BJU 83 (1999): suppl. 1: 93–102

Serious Consequences of Circumcision Trauma in Adult Men Clinically Observed

Using four case examples that are typical among his clients, a practicing psychiatrist presents clinical findings regarding the serious and sometimes disabling long-term somatic, emotional, and psychological consequences of infant circumcision in adult men. These consequences resemble complex post-traumatic stress disorder and emerge during psychotherapy focused on the resolution of perinatal and developmental trauma. Adult symptoms associated with circumcision trauma include shyness, anger, fear, powerlessness, distrust, low self-esteem, relationship difficulties, and sexual shame. Long-term psychotherapy dealing with early trauma resolution appears to be effective in healing these consequences. http://www.cmaj.ca/content/154/6/769.abstract
Rhinehart, J., "Neonatal Circumcision Revistited," Transactional Analysis Journal 29 (1999): 215-221

Anatomy and Function of the Foreskin Documented

A new article describes the foreskin (prepuce) as an integral, normal part of the genitals of mammals. It is specialized, protective, erogenous tissue. A description of the complex nerve structure of the penis explains why anesthetics provide incomplete pain relief during circumcision. Cutting off the foreskin removes many fine-touch receptors from the penis and results in thickening and desensitization of the glans outer layer. The complex anatomy and function of the foreskin dictate that circumcision should be avoided or deferred until the person can make an informed decision as an adult. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1464-410x.1999.0830s1034.x/pdf
Cold, C. and Taylor, J., "The Prepuce," BJU 83 (1999): suppl. 1: 34–44.

Male Circumcision Affects Female Sexual Enjoyment

A survey of women who have had sexual experience with circumcised and anatomically complete partners showed that the anatomically complete penis was preferred over the circumcised penis. Without the foreskin to provide a movable sleeve of skin, intercourse with a circumcised penis resulted in female discomfort from increased friction, abrasion, and loss of natural secretions. Respondents overwhelmingly concurred that the mechanics of coitus were different for the two groups of men. Unaltered men tended to thrust more gently with shorter strokes. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1464-410x.1999.0830s1079.x/pdf
O’Hara, K. and O’Hara, J., "The Effect of Male Circumcision on the Sexual Enjoyment of the Female Partner," BJU 83 (1999): suppl. 1: 79–84

Male Circumcision and Psychosexual Effects Investigated

Infant male circumcision continues despite growing questions about its medical justification. As usually performed without analgesia or anesthetic, circumcision is observably painful. It is likely that genital cutting has physical, sexual, and psychological consequences, too. Some studies link involuntary male circumcision with a range of negative emotions and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some circumcised men have described their current feelings in the language of violation, torture, mutilation, and sexual assault. In view of the acute as well as long-term risks from circumcision and the legal liabilities that might arise, it is timely for health professionals and scientists to re-examine the evidence on this issue and participate in the debate about the advisability of this surgical procedure on unconsenting minors. http://epublications.bond.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1036&context=hss_pubs
Boyle, G., Goldman, R., Svoboda, J.S., and Fernandez, E., "Male Circumcision: Pain, Trauma, and Psychosexual Sequelae," Journal of Health Psychology 7 (2002): 329-343.

Surveys Reveal Adverse Sexual and Psychological Effects of Circumcision

A survey of the 35 female and 42 gay sexual partners of circumcised and genitally intact men, and a separate survey of 53 circumcised and genitally intact men, and a separate survey of 30 genitally intact men themselves indicated that circumcised men experienced significantly reduced sexual sensation along with associated long-lasting negative emotional consequences. http://www.amsciepub.com/doi/abs/10.2466/pr0.2001.88.3c.1105
Boyle, G. and Bensley, G., "Adverse Sexual and Psychological Effects of Male Infant Circumcision,". Psychological Reports 88 (2001): 1105-1106.

Foreskin Reduces the Force Required for Penetration and Increases Comfort

Masters and Johnson observed that the foreskin unrolled with intercourse. However, they overlooked a prior observation that intromission (i.e., penetration) was thereby made easier. To evaluate this observation an artificial introitus was mounted on scales. Repeated measurements showed a 10-fold reduction of force on entry with an initially unretracted foreskin as compared to entry with a retracted foreskin. For the foreskin to reduce the force required it must cover most of the glans when the penis is erect. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12208206
Taves, D., "The Intromission Function of the Foreskin," Med Hypotheses 59 (2002): 180.

Survey of Men Circumcised as Adults Shows Mixed Results

Men circumcised as adults were surveyed to assess erectile function, penile sensitivity, sexual activity and overall satisfaction. Over 80% of these men were circumcised to treat a medical problem. The response rate was 44% among potential responders. Mean age of responders was 42 years at circumcision and 46 years at survey. Adult circumcision appears to result in worsened erectile function, decreased penile sensitivity, no change in sexual activity, and improved satisfaction. Of the men 50% reported benefits and 38% reported harm. Overall, 62% of men were satisfied with having been circumcised. Note: Results may be affected by the fact that there was no sample of normal, healthy, genitally intact men for comparison. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11956453
Fink, K., Carson, C., DeVellis, R., "Adult Circumcision Outcomes Study: Effect on Erectile Function, Penile Sensitivity, Sexual Activity and Satisfaction," J Urol 167 (2002): 2113-2116.

Survey Finds Circumcision Contributes to Vaginal Dryness

The impact of male circumcision on vaginal dryness during coitus was investigated. We conducted a survey of 35 female sexual partners aged 18 to 69 years who had experienced sexual intercourse with both circumcised and genitally intact men. Women reported they were significantly more likely to have experienced vaginal dryness during intercourse with circumcised than with genitally intact men. http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/116-1181/595/
Bensley, G. and Boyle, G., "Effects of Male Circumcision on Female Arousal and Orgasm," N Z Med J 116 (2003): 595-596.

Early Adverse Experiences May Lead to Abnormal Brain Development and Behavior

Self-destructive behavior in current society promotes a search for psychobiological factors underlying this epidemic. The brain of the newborn infant is particularly vulnerability to early adverse experiences, leading to abnormal development and behavior. Although several investigations have correlated newborn complications with abnormal adult behavior, our understanding of the underlying mechanisms remains rudimentary. Models of early experience, such as repetitive pain, sepsis, or maternal separation in rodents and other species have noted multiple alterations in the adult brain, correlated with specific behavioral types depending on the timing and nature of the adverse experience. The mechanisms mediating such changes in the newborn brain have remained largely unexplored. Maternal separation, sensory isolation (understimulation), and exposure to extreme or repetitive pain (overstimulation) may cause altered brain development (Circumcision is described as an intervention with long-term neurobehavioral effects.) These changes promote two distinct behavioral types characterized by increased anxiety, altered pain sensitivity, stress disorders, hyperactivity/attention deficit disorder, leading to impaired social skills and patterns of self-destructive behavior. The clinical importance of these mechanisms lies in the prevention of early adverse experiences and effective treatment of newborn pain and stress. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10657682
Anand, K. and Scalzo, F., "Can Adverse Neonatal Experiences Alter Brain Development and Subsequent Behavior? Biol Neonate 77 (2000): 69-82

~~~~

49 comments:

  1. Beyond the appropriateness of the way the circumcision question is asked by doctors, isn't it inappropriate to be asking anything at all?

    IS the foreskin some sort of birth defect or congenital deformity with which every baby boy is born with?

    Without any medical situation commanding any kind of surgical intervention whatsoever, how is it that doctors are even performing circumcisions, let alone have the audacity to ask parents to let them perform ANYTHING?

    It's actually kind of sad for me to read an article pleading, begging that parents become more informed on a surgical procedure, because whether or not it will be performed, medical necessity be damned, will be determined solely by them.

    This searching and becoming informed. This poring through books, studies and websites to become "better informed" on a medical matter.

    Is that not the doctor's job?

    Doctors went to school for 12 or so years. They hang their hard-earned piece of paper in a plaque on their wall and demand they be called "doctor." Yet, in a flash, they're suddenly stupid when it comes to circumcision, and suddenly it's the parent's job to "consider the pros and cons."

    What precisely are doctors being paid for then, if parents have to do all the work?

    What other surgical procedure are doctors simply too dumb to understand that they must ask parents to "help them out?"

    They say that it's hard to get a person to understand something when his salary depends on not understanding.

    BOTTOM LINE: Doctors should know better than to let naive parents do their job for them, and they should know better than to ask parents to let them perform medically unnecessary surgical procedure with dubious "medical benefits."

    The fact that there has to be articles like me makes me very sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, we have to start Somewhere!
      Also, this issue is intertwined with religious beliefs,
      and so the procedure is performed for that purpose.
      It will take a while to get the information out.
      Rather than blame anyone, we can be proactive.
      I am sure the medical profession will get the message
      and, over time, change the approach.

      Delete
  2. I'd love to write a piece and share with you (from the perspective of neonatal nurse and parent) why I chose to leave my sons intact. If you are interested, let me know how I might share my thoughts.

    mikeandchristina AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's a good point, Joseph, why would the question of unnecessary surgery ever be brought up by a health care professional for new parents? Ideally, shouldn't it be the parents, acting on uninformed assumptions and outdated traditions, who bring up the idea of circumcision, to which the health care professionals, sworn to do no harm, would respond, "You want to do WHAT to your healthy baby???"

    Maybe someday...

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  4. Wow - So many resources are listed here! I found that I was quite ignorant during pregnancy about circumcisions until I spoke more in-depth to others and, ultimately, watched a horrific video. We are creatures of habit and so many of us go through life doing what we've seen or accepted without question. What we need on this issue is more education. Thank you for your contribution.

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  5. I have a blog about natural birthing and related topics. I included the story of why I circ'ed my first son and didn't my second. Please feel free to link to it if people want to hear about from the perspective of a mother who changed her mind once she knew the facts.

    curllyq.wordpress.com

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  6. I have a blog about natural birth and related topics. I wrote about why I circ'ed my first son and left my second intact. Please feel free to link to it so people can read about it from the perspective of a mother who changed her mind after she did the research.

    ReplyDelete
  7. with our first, we were never told that a nicked artery and hemorrhaging was a possible complication. and when it happened and my 10 day old was in the hospital, i couldn't stop thinking, why did no one tell us? the reason behind the decision in the first place was pressure from my mother and i didn't want to do it.
    our second son is intact and i see my oldest's scar everyday and i will feel guilt for it always.

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  8. great list of sites and info, can't wait to do some more reading. Nobody ever even asked me (aside from my exhusband) if we wanted to circ. I assumed at the time that nobody had it done anymore, and I know here in Canada our rates are quite low, but really, from what I hear and read, sounds like some parents get a lot of pressure to do it and it's so bloody weird to me.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Andrea is a clear example of how physicians trick mothers and do not give enough information, circumcision is a painful and unnecessary mutilation and especially that prevents cancer is false.

    So we struggle to deceive not mothers, unfortunately Few of us We strive to give information, and most are women who are fighting for innocent babies.

    For as the medical men were discharged circunsidados that pain with babies and as they have no foreskin not accept that the other men have foreskin.

    ReplyDelete
  10. what about vaccines? what is your viewpoint on this matter? i have been researching and really don't want to vaccinate, but then i'm terrified she will happen to come across someone with a preventable disease...
    tormented...

    ReplyDelete
  11. thank-you Joseph for saying exactly what I've been trying to say for years! Only you said it more articulate and eloquent than I.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Joseph your quote," What precisely are doctors being paid for then, if parents have to do all the work?" is a shared concern for many parents who choose to be informed. I completely agree with you, and I'm not sure if your question is rhetorical, but I do have my 2 cents about this.

    In a way, doctors are paid to tell us what the health organizations tell them to tell us. Also, doctors are running businesses. Essentially they can choose which research to believe, and they might have their own personal biases about different organizations and their impact on the medical world. If researchers comes out with a study that proves that circumcision is not necessary, yet it is up to the parents to decide, doctors can EASILY take advantage of actually knowing the research, but not telling the parents the whole truth. Doctors are humans, just like us. We make mistakes, we manipulate, we desire to be successful in life, etc etc. Although doctors are taught over and over again to not abuse their position and to stay on top of research, there are plenty of political and monetary reasons why they either don't or simply can't. And yeah, that is really really sad. This is why we do our own research and become "active participants" in our own health.

    I still totally agree with you. Myself and the author of the post could both get into discussions about unnecessary and unauthorized procedures done during birth and to your baby in the name of what is "routine."

    ReplyDelete
  13. ellizabeth said...
    what about vaccines? what is your viewpoint on this matter? i have been researching and really don't want to vaccinate, but then i'm terrified she will happen to come across someone with a preventable disease...
    tormented...


    Yeah, what about vaccines?

    Vaccines work by affecting the immune system, creating antibodies that make one's body immune to microorganisms that cause disease.

    Circumcision cannot even come close to working like a vaccine.

    HOW are vaccines relevant?

    Christine said...
    ...doctors can EASILY take advantage of actually knowing the research, but not telling the parents the whole truth.


    In which case, it sounds like the abuse is twofold; helpless babies are being maimed and doctors are taking advantage of their position of power to dupe naive parents.

    Doctors aren't stupid; they know the system and how its loopholes work. The information is out there. Doctors can no longer feign ignorance. It is clear that the onus of "the big decision" is placed on parents so as to make money at the expense of the rights of children, and then wash their hands of it, so if there's ever a law suit they can say "the parents made me do it."

    Circumcised men shouldn't be the only angry people; parents have reason to hold doctors in contempt.

    Infant circumcision has got to be the oldest medical hoax in this country's history. I can't wait for the day when it blows over and doctors who profitted from this lie are torn limb from limb by angry men and parents.

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  14. That ribbon is a pregnancy and infant loss ribbon. Just thought you should know.

    ReplyDelete
  15. the ribbon design by NOHARMM (http://www.noharmm.org/raising.htm) seems fitting as this is an issue that impacts about 44% of all pregnancies in the U.S. (the pregnancy of a male child) and because many parents have lost their newborns due to the detrimental consequences of prepuce amputation -- either through death (most often due to hemorrhage, seizure, heart attack or stroke), or as a result of a baby being completely changed from post-traumatic stress 'disorder' (PTSD) after circumcision.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am a mother of a girl.
    She came to us in our home.
    If she ever discovers she has a brother, he will too.
    To date, she has had no medical intervention. She is perfectly and wonderfully healthy and her doctor is amazed at her intelligence and natural-ness.

    Thank you for making all this available. The sorrow I feel for the grown men who have been cut is often even greater than the babies... as I have not yet given birth to a boy.

    ReplyDelete
  17. i just read this and just found your blog. I would like to let you know that at my midwife clinic they handed me a brochure explaining why it wasn't necessary. Cool huh?

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am sad about Edgar Schoen's site. It provides points of view that just aren't true that may leave my boys feeling like they aren't normal or good enough. This HAS to be counter balanced with real life opinion. Intact boys are healthy, normal and SEXUALLY ATTRACTIVE! All of us need to be accepted and we are ALL at our most vulnerable when worrying about our attractiveness. Those of us need to say we have had much pleasure (or more in my case) when we have been with intact men. I LOVE intact men, please do not be self-conscious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi. I'm an intact male and happy about it. I also happen to be gay and being intact is certainly looked upon very positively in the gay community in general. I think most women around the world are used to intact men, just as most men are used to intact women, and some of them have never even seen a circumcised penis, just as many men have never seen a circumcised vulva.
      I don't care about sites like Schoen's or the Australian proponent, Brian Morris, because I am secure in my intact status and know it is the best way to be. So-called circumcision is a sinister meme that can be hard to stop. It can affect the psyche at a very deep level and so it is to be expected that some people will fight hard to defend it or promote it. Raise your kids to be confident and happy and educated and they will have no problem with their self-image or their foreskins.

      Delete
  19. Woah only half the links are coming up as ones I've clicked on since I reinstalled the computer 6 months ago.


    Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
  20. @Joseph:

    "This searching and becoming informed. This poring through books, studies and websites to become "better informed" on a medical matter.

    Is that not the doctor's job?"

    [...]

    "What other surgical procedure are doctors simply too dumb to understand that they must ask parents to "help them out?"

    Oh I wish that circumcision were the only think they were stupid about.

    I wish it wasn't also true for repeat c-sections, and more to the point "primary c-sections"

    I wish there weren't doctors who still preform "pelvimetry" to "see if the baby will fit". Or doctors doing c-sections because the woman is "short", "too young", or whatever. And I really wish they weren't doing them because its Friday afternoon and they want to spend their weekend at home.

    I wish they weren't doing episiotomies, really, ever.

    I wish they weren't doing hysterectomies instead of just removing the fibroid. They remove tumors from brains and hearts and I'm supposed to believe that a non-cancerous mass that you don't even have to worry about "getting it all" is too hard?

    We "used to" take out tonsils and adenoids left and right. We used to remove the appendix any time we were "in there".

    But you think this is just a woman and child issue, and I wish it were only that. I was told to have my toenail surgically removed and have a piece of metal put in to prevent it growing back. This was after ONE incident. I got a second opinion, still have my toe nail, and have never had another problem.

    Men have their prostate removed when the cancer is so slow growing it would almost never cause harm.

    And its also things like using antibiotics for ear infections, GBS, and other things despite the evidence they do harm. Years of prescribing antidepressants which cause suicides among teens. Meds that don't work, or worse may reduce the condition they are aimed at but increase other problems (ie statins, wanna die of a heart attack or liver failure?). Or influenza vaccines which are completely ineffective in children under two but given to them "to protect others".

    Who knows what other surgeries make no sense and are based on no evidence. I certainly don't. I'm a SAHM former programmer. I try to keep as informed as I can be on the health issues that impact my family... without subscribing to medical journals. Without med school.

    The sad thing is most people know more about how their car/oven works than their heart. Yes doctors should be waaay better at informed consent, being up to date, and evidence based practice. But consumers have to be aware too - Caveat emptor.

    ReplyDelete
  21. some of those are much less serious than others - a hysterectomy in a woman who's pre-menopausal is quite different than having tonsils or an appendix removed unnecessarily.

    As someone who might not have spent her 20's actively seeking out dangerous situations if I'd been on anti-depressants in my teens, I have to disagree on that one entirely. I spent 15-25 in dire need of good anti-depressants, putting myself through hell which plagues me in nightmares to this day... so maybe put that in a different category... Maybe teens need to be on suicide watch when starting an anti-depressant, but I wouldn't rule them out entirely.

    formerly depressed

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  22. I just want to say I am SO thankful for the info you have on your blog.

    My "natural minded" (but young) family dr retracted my intact 6 yr olds foreskin at his well check a couple of weeks ago and told me that since his foreskin can retract that we should teach him to clean under it at bath time. Thankfully, it wasn't a forceful retraction--his foreskin has started to separate from the glans--but I kind of freaked out inside and then went home and spent a lot of time gathering articles online to share w/the dr. Most of them were from your site--and several were linked from your site. I am now in the process of correcting his misconceptions about phimosis.

    Thanks so much for all you do. Your blog is wonderfully informative and important!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thank you so much for all this information. Drmomma is the reason I became an advocate on my own blog:

    http://lifeofcarla.blogspot.com/2010/09/mgm-infant-circumcision.html

    http://lifeofcarla.blogspot.com/2010/10/circumcision-whats-big-deal.html

    ReplyDelete
  24. I cried today when my brother, who is 6 years older than I, told me that I was the catalyst in his decision to NOT mutilate his newborn son who is now 3 weeks old. He was indecisive up until the doctor was ready to cut his penis. He talked to a nurse who told him the facts (which surprised me) and he decided that the decision was not his, but his sons. I have an intact 3 year old and I couldn't be prouder of my big brother.

    He wasn't expecting such an emotional response from me when he told me. I was genuinely crying from happiness and pride.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I will mention something here that has really disturbed me, as I feel the need to share with someone. I do some volunteer work with young children and often have to change diapers and take them to the bathroom. All the boys I've seen are circumcised, I'm very sorry to report. Mine are intact.

    Anyway, recently I saw two different little boys who had almost no penis left at all!!!!!!! They are the same age as my youngest, two. My son's penis is probably about an inch long (when he's not "happy" that is!) I haven't measured, but am guessing. I'm also going to guess about these other boys. I only saw them for the short time it took to change their diapers. I bet one only had about a quarter inch left and the other little boy had even less. That boy seemed to have almost no penis at all. :( I couldn't believe it and felt so bad for these boys and horrified as well.

    I actually dread diaper and potty duty with the boys as I hate to see circumcised boys. I always feel so bad for them and what they went through and what has been taken from them. I had not seen boys left with so little before, though. Since circumcision removes 1/3 to 3/4 of the penis, apparently I have now seen a couple of very unfortunate boys on the worse end of that spectrum. :(

    ReplyDelete
  26. The first thing I want to say is that I am not in any way going against what you're saying. I agree wholeheartedly that people need to make informed decisions. I am a person who will need to learn a LOT more before I can even consider calling myself informed.
    There's just one thing though: it seems that what is being implied is that these boys, once older, feel upset/abandoned/mistreated and otherwise betrayed by their parents. My fiance was circumcised and he says growing up he has never felt that he was lacking anything. It was not a source of insecurity and he did not feel as if he had been wronged by his parents or anyone else.

    Again, I'm not saying that I agree with circumcision, but it seems as though people who are against it automatically assume that it has an emotionally lasting effect when it doesn't necessarily. A physically lasting effect, obviously, but not always an emotional one. Don't get me wrong,I agree that it is definitely possible! Just it's not an inevitability is what I'm trying to say.

    I am, however, horrified that some of these poor boys lost most of their penis to circumcision! My fiance is definitely in no way lacking like that! I didn't even know it could be taken so far! That some doctors would do that sickens me :(

    ReplyDelete
  27. @Anonymous
    I understand what you're saying but I think your perspective on it is partly based on living in a society that accepts the circumcision of boys.
    The most common form of female circumcision is the removal of the clitoral hood- the prepuce organ- the same as male circumcision. Wouldn't you expect a victim of female genital mutilation to grow up with those same feelings you mentioned? I think you would. Because our girls have the rights to their whole bodies, the thought of a girl experiencing otherwise is beyond horrifying. But male genital mutilation is routine in our culture and so we are desensitised to it. That's the truly sad thing about it- there are people everywhere crying out about how barbaric FGM all the while there are little boys having their genitals cut.
    Your fiance is lacking something- he is lacking a foreskin. My own husband felt the same way, though, as a lot of men do. But that is a completely normal, emotional response to having one's genitals cut. It's a defense mechanism. Women in countries that practice FGM claim to feel the same way- they are happy this was done to them and they are not lacking anything. But as women with our whole bodies, we know better!
    After more research, my husband has realised that he is indeed missing something. He isn't bitter about it and has no hard feelings toward his mother. But he is in the process of restoring. This was the article that prompted him:
    http://www.drmomma.org/2009/10/how-male-circumcision-impacts-your-love.html

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anon,
    I speak as the mother of two young intact boys and a cut husband. My hubby thought a lot like your fiance does, and it's an unfortunate but legitimate train of thought for a man who has absolutely no idea what he has lost and was circumcised at a young age. It wasn't until he was into puberty and actually examined himself that he realizes that a couple of the "problems" that he figured were minor and were things that were completely coincidental were actually related to his being circumcised. The problems he has are more common than most would let on and while they are not detrimental to his physical being and do not severely impact our sex life, they are still problems that we can only assume would not exist if he had been left intact - unfortunately, even in the progressive area he was born, boys almost 30 years ago when he was born were always cut at birth, the end. However, once I started researching circumcision and discussing with him the function and importance of the foreskin, he has begun to realize exactly what he might have lost. While he isn't actively seeking restoration, and while he feels no ill will toward his parents for taking his opportunity to choose for himself, he still understands the gravity of circumcision and the lifelong implications it leaves for the boys and, later, the men who are affected.

    ReplyDelete
  29. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0mRtz3yg_0&feature=related

    All I can say after watching this brief video is:
    Whhhhhhhaaaaat theeeee {BLEEP} !!!? It makes me sooo angry. This is the EXACT kind of ignorance that is causing so much harm to these precious little baby boys.

    Be sure not no miss the very last line: "It's gonna be a better future for him."

    ReplyDelete
  30. i saw a little boy at swimming lessons this week who was circumcised (he also had two older brothers); and i'm someone has never seen a penis circumcised, it just looks terrible compared to my little boy. just didn't look right!! thank you for all that you do! you are doing a great job!!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I am a 56 year old grandmother and a Brit. and an ex nurse. I was shocked when I found out years ago that in America little baby boys were being circumcised with almost no yay or nay from the parents and to be honest, it was 'the done thing' so no-one would think it was wrong!

    I more surprised that it STILL goes on... In the UK it is virtually unheard of except in the case of Jewish parents. I can't imagine how such a generally 'useless' and nonsensical practise is allowed to go on. I would have thought that surgeries had to be seen to be NEEDED?

    I am so glad so many parents are seeing the light, and are making sure that their sons are kept intact and as perfect as the day they were born.

    After all ... as a woman, I wouldn't want my breast tissue removed at birth just because as a fully developed woman I might get a rash under them from time to time in the summer months !!

    ReplyDelete
  32. A few hours ago...when I was far less informed then I was now. I THOUGHT I was informed, and had a whole lot of reasons to defend my denial in that I really thought I was protecting my sons by having them circumsized.
    My stomach is in knots and my heart physically hurts for what I thought was right, no matter how hard it was. I think of my first son, so sensitive as I know his personality to be now. He would have been terrified- and I wasn't even there. My second son with a later diagnosed blood clotting disease could have hemorrhaged. Truly I am lucky he is even still alive. Why? Because I thought I Was protecting them from a urinary tract infection and they could look like their father. I was afraid of the stories I had heard from family members who had to be cicumsized in later childhood. Now I know those too were most likely unnecessary.
    The guilt I feel right now it almost unbearable.
    I hope that my sons will know that every day of their lives I have done my best in the moment for them, but when I know better sadly I cannot go back and undo what I didn't once know. I hope they will forgive me.
    Thank you for your site. I am grateful and my future intact sons are grateful.
    Jenn

    ReplyDelete
  33. Another eye opening lit analysis

    The Emotional and Behavioral Effects of Circumcision

    http://knol.google.com/k/circumcision-and-human-behavior#

    ReplyDelete
  34. I went out to eat with 3 friends the other night I haven't seen in years. Between us we have 11 boys! Not a single girl between us! So the topic of circumcision came up. Only one of us had circumcised her sons and I had to secretly smile at how horrified everyone else acted toward her. Statistics were tossed around, stories of strapping babies down were told. She was told to promise never to mutilate another son and after our talk she eagerly agreed!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Having been born in England back in 1957, myself, and my brother who was born earlier, were not circumcised, and after reading all the articles about circumcision I could find, am very glad that we were left with our natural parts intact.

    This was printed in a Playboy Advisor a few years back, and I was not only angry, but outraged at this stupid, ignorant woman. Here is the letter:

    "I am a mother of two sons. Although I consider myself to be holistic and a bit of a hippy holdover, I had my boys undergo circumcision. This is not to say that I didn't feel like an ogre as my sons were strapped down, but I felt the momentary pain they would experience was far less damaging then the pain they would feel by being rejected by their girlfriends because they were unsure or grossed out by their boyfriend having a foreskin, I wanted to make sure they looked like their Daddy."

    Can you believe that ignorant fool? Momentary pain, what the hell does she know about it, she wasn't the one who got chopped? And her assuming that their girlfriends will be teen age whores, if they are so wordly wise that they've been able to view so many penises. Next off, my brother and I didn't sit around with our Dad comparing penises. Also notice all the I's she uses, I felt this, and I wanted, I wonder what the hell the husband thought? Was he some stupid little wuss, who just went along with her to keep the peace? I'd like to grab and shake some sense into her. Too bad that the boys have to pay for her stupid, ignorant attitude.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thanks to the info from this page and others that I was able to share with my hubby, we did not circ our son who is now 3 days old :) Never even knew it was an option not to before finding this page, so thanks - we feel really good about our decision!

    ReplyDelete
  37. circumcision is very cultural...in Quebec you don't even get asked about it, if you want to get it done you have to find a doctor who does perform some (very rare) all on your own. It just doesn't seem like an option, why would it be? My son is intact just like every other man in my family!

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  38. You don't need to rely on research. Just *ASK* one of the adults who were circumcised as a child without anesthesia! Hasn't it even occurred to anyone to conduct a survey? To talk to the victims and ask them about their experiences?

    I am 28 years old. I was circumcised as a baby. Not only was it excruciatingly painful, but I physically responded to the pain which prevented the doctor from holding the scalpel steady which resulted in the circumcision being botched. I still remember the blood curdling scream that came from my mouth. I remember the pain in unfortunately vivid detail.

    As anyone could see from my experience, it hurt. A lot. I'm not citing research, I'm citing experience. I was a victim. I still am a victim. I was physically and emotionally traumatized by the experience.

    There were many consequences. For example, as a child I was terrified of needles. Sure, many children are, but the kind of fear I felt was like reliving the pain of the circumcision. Sharp knives and needles made me remember. I literally had all of the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and I couldn't even talk yet.

    Why do I remember? Simple: It was traumatic. If you think about any memory, which memories are the most clear? The emotional highs and lows. Along with the ones that you think about most often. That's just the way our memories work. The more traumatic the experience the more likely you are to remember it. I can remember the pain of the circumcision, but I can't remember what happened immediately before or after. I remember just what had the most impact on my developing mind.

    Parents are supposed to protect their children.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Why don't they inform parents about this procedure in childbirth classes or pregnancy classes? I think they should show a circumcision being performed just like they show women giving birth. What is wrong with this picture? I am sure that if parents could witness this procedure they would not be able to agree to have it done to their perfect little baby boy.

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  40. I was present at my friend's son's circumcision (she is under the mistaken impression that it will be "cleaner" that way), and was absolutely horrified at what I saw. I am so grateful I have a baby girl, and didn't have to fight for the right to keep any son of mine intact. Should I have a son in the future, he will be left intact. The worst part of their baby's circumcision, if you ask me, was listening to his pained screams every time he had his diaper changed. This became even worse when his parents decided that instead of putting the vaseline on the diaper to prevent friction, as the pediatrician had instructed them to, they were going to apply it directly to his raw, sore little penis with a q-tip Every. Single. Diaper change. Why did they do this? Because the vaseline interfered with the absorbency of the diapers, and they were tired of changing his clothes every time he peed through them. How selfish and lazy can you get?

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  41. If I ever suggested removing all the skin between a baby's toes, removing toes, or even just the toe nails to have healthier easy to clean feet, let alone performed the surgery, I'd surely lose my license. I practice podiatric medicine. Circumcision is irresponsible and unethical medicine, and I believe no parent would go thru with it if the doctor actually gave them an accurate description of risks and what is lost.

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  42. I sure do wish I could have read this about 4.5 years ago, while pregnant with my son. I will forever remember that awful day in the hospital, how my poor son's penis looked after they were done... and how I cried & held him, and apologized. I was completely ignorant on the topic, and allowed it to be done. Now I wish I'd read more about it. I too hope more mothers read this while pregnant, or even before they become pregnant with their sons!

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  43. Can a parent forcefully circumcise a 30 year old son? I don't see how this is different from circumcising a baby. By the time the person is 40 he is going to be circumcised whether it was done to him at age 30 or age 0, so what's the difference? There is no difference except that at least a 30 year old can fight back.

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  44. My son was cicumcised in a religious ceremony (a Bris). It was horrific to watch and was botched. I will forever regret our decision. His foreskin is fortunately still intact but he will have a scar forever. At the Urologist after, we were told that many times baby boys come in with the entire tip of the penis cut off.

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  45. Thank God I live in the UK where we leave our boys as they come into this world and don't mess with them once they're here. Come on USA! Follow us brits, keep your boys intact!! x x x

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  46. I just circumsiced my son about 8 hrs ago and I'm regretting it now after reading all this. He is sleeping now and has only cried once tonight, but I'm sure is going to scream his little head off when he wakes up again. He was also a patient of the neonatal unit for 10 days because of his breathing. I feel so guilty. I wish I could take it back.

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  47. I was circumcised when I was one HOUR old. I was taken away from my Mother for the first three days of my life when they performed a serious operation on my penis in an attempt to repair the damage. I very nearly died from blood loss and other complications, but my medical notes were very brief. The notes were written 41 years ago. I realised at a about the age of eight years, that I was different from everyone else. My penis had been de-nuded of all of it's skin and for the next 11 years I became more and more worried about it. Most of my penis was buried inside my scrotum. What was not inside me, was very badly scarred. I had been butchered. My first visit to the Doctor at nineteen years was not successful. He told me that it was a very aggressive circumcision and nothing really could be done. The anxiety and depression has been with me for all of my life. To date I have had nine operations on my genital area. I have had massive skin grafts, arteries transplanted and I still have the remains of my original penis which tripled in size after it was released from my scrotum. I am not alone with my circumcision mutilation and if the Doctor Beaston was still alive I would kill him. There are many blogs regarding circumcision, but few of them actually let on as to what circumcision is or what is defined by 'a circumcision' .To me, circumcision is the amputation of any part or all of the penis. Most circumcisions remove some or all of the foreskin. My circumcision took away all of my entire penile skin along with gouges cut from the shaft and a badly scarred glans. Why, why, why is this practice not banned. There was nothing wrong with my penis when I was born. If you have a baby son DO NOT ever get him cut up. I am European and things over here are completely different from the USA. About 2% of the adult males here are cut up. The other 98% just do not understand why anyone would want to get part of their penis cut off. Please leave your sons intact and let them decide if they want the chop when they are of age. Thank you for reading this. TC

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