Fine Touch Pressure Thresholds of the Human Penis: Intact and Circumcised




The above graphic demonstrates the fine touch pressure thresholds of the human penis in its intact and circumcised states. Note that the most sensitive parts of the penis are contained within the prepuce (foreskin) and that the amputation of the prepuce leaves very few of these sensitive areas behind. The prepuce is an organ present on the clitoris and penis of all mammals at birth, and serves many functions, including that of sexual pleasure and sensation.

Source: Sorrells ML, Snyder JL, Reiss MD, et al. Fine-touch pressure thresholds in the adult penis. BJU Int 2007;99:864-9. Full study available for review at: http://www.cirp.org/library/anatomy/sorrells_2007/

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First time father celebrates his growing child with a tender song and picture-a-day



First time father, Tom Fletcher, of the British band McFly, celebrates the growing-up of his new baby (inside and outside) with a photo-a-day of his wife, Giovanna. Assembled and set to a sweet tune he sings, the viewer listens and watches Giovanna's baby belly grow. The couples first child was born March 13, 2014. A beautiful idea for any parent with baby on the way...



Talking Jewish Circumcision (Especially When You Aren’t Jewish)

By Rebecca Wald © 2014
Support Wald's upcoming book, Celebrating Brit Shalom, here.


Jewish circumcision is a touchy subject to say the least. It involves religion, sex and politics—the “sacred cows” that are generally not spoken about, even among friends. However, advocates for genital autonomy (the concept that all children are entitled to keep their natural sex organs) often put educating others before the conventions of polite conversation.

As publisher of Beyond the Bris, I find myself talking about (and listening to others talk about) Jewish circumcision frequently. Is there a right—or better—way that all of us can talk about this highly charged topic? I feel there is.

Let me start off by saying that it’s much easier to talk about routine infant circumcision (RIC). The act of performing a painful, sometimes life-threatening and arguably damaging procedure is easy to assail when its being done simply as a matter of “routine” or because Dad is circumcised. However, Jewish circumcision isn’t routine. It’s been practiced (and is still protected) as a parent’s fundamental religious freedom. Whether it should be is another matter. Regardless, Jewish people have have fought and died to protect this parental freedom, as well as because of it.

Routine Infant Circumcision vs. Religious Circumcision

Not long ago in the anti-circumcision community, RIC was the term used and the primary focus by nearly everyone. Many felt it was unnecessary to get into the thorny issue of religious circumcision since it accounted for such a small percentage of male infant circumcision in the U.S. However, awareness about the harms of all forms of gential cutting has grown and there has been a shift away from talking just about RIC. Principles of genital autonomy assert that every child—whether male, female or intersex—and regardless of religion or culture, is entitled to the body they are born with, absent medical necessity. In the past 5-10 years, talk about RIC (which is more narrow) has evolved into talk about genital autonomy (which is more encompassing).

With this shift, vocal circumcision critics will inevitably find themselves in the tough position of criticizing the time-honored religious or cultural practices of a group to which they don’t belong. This is often a recipe for misunderstanding—or worse. The listener may be forever turned off to the concept of genital autonomy. The genital autonomy movement itself may sustain collateral damage should the matter become widely publicized. So how can Jewish circumcision (or for that matter any kind of religious or tribal genital cutting) be discussed in ways that help to avoid this?

The Inside Advantage

First of all, my feeling is that religious circumcision is best addressed by those who come from within the particular circumcising religion/culture, or are otherwise very familiar with it by virtue of extensive study and/or firsthand experience. Ronald Goldman, Ph.D., first made this assertion and it has always stuck with me. This doesn’t mean that if you aren’t Jewish you should never talk about Jewish circumcision, but understand that you’re at a strong disadvantage when it comes to such a conversation. Every religion (in fact every generation and every culture) has its own lingo—and getting the lingo right is vitally important.

This is why the thoughtful genital autonomy advocate will turn a discussion of Jewish circumcision in the direction of Jewish resources. The Jewish Circumcision Resource Center, Beyond the Bris and Dr. Mark Reiss’s Brit Shalom Providers Page are all good websites to mention. (Brit shalom is a bris-without-circumcision ceremony for intact Jewish boys.)

There are also a few good books. Dr. Goldman’s Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective remains relevant and invaluable. My own forthcoming book, Celebrating Brit Shalom, will be available this fall and can now be pre-ordered via our current Kickstarter campaign. With the anti-circumcision activist in mind, my co-author and I have included a “multiples pack” as a reward for backing our project—perfect for sharing with others as a component of outreach. The campaign lasts just 45-days, beginning on June 17, 2014, so please consider supporting us!

Improving the Conversation

Overall the treatment of Jewish circumcision within the intactivist community is respectful. However, there are times when I cringe at Facebook threads and article comments. Anything that starts with “You Jews” is a prime example. “How can anyone belong to a religion that expects circumcision?” is slightly less offensive, but still unhelpful. While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, this kind of talk reflects poorly on the whole genital autonomy movement and I wish it didn’t exist. Those who are wise enough to identify, stand up to, and redirect such conversations are worth their weight in gold.

There are certainly things that can—and should—be said about Jewish circumcision. Here are a few of them:

(1) Not all Jewish people circumcise; it’s a choice.
(2) The movement to question Jewish circumcision goes back a long time and includes many notable Jewish people.
(3) Brit shalom exists as an alternative to brit milah (religious circumcision).
(4) Infant circumcision actually conflicts with many aspects of traditional Jewish ethics and practice.
(5) Jewish ritual practice is diverse. Just because a family opts out of one aspect of it doesn’t mean they’re any less Jewish—or less valuable to the Jewish community.
(6) There are now many rabbis and other officiants who are willing to perform bris without circumcision (brit shalom).
(7) Some of today’s most vocal members of the genital autonomy movement are, in fact, Jewish.

Of course, one can never go wrong in pointing out the obvious—that all children, regardless of religion, have a right to their natural sex organs.


Rebecca Wald is the publisher of Beyond the Bris, a news and opinion website about the Jewish movement to question infant circumcision. Beyond the Bris has received widespread attention, and has been written about in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Village Voice, Tikkun, The Jewish Daily Forward, Haaretz, and The Times of Israel, among others. Rebecca is a graduate of The George Washington University and of Brooklyn Law School.










A Moment in Breastfeeding: Showing Less 'Boob' Than the Storefront Model



Laura Goodwin shared her experience in a Texas mall yesterday, and we thought it was a good one to pass along to readers. Thank YOU for nursing in public and normalizing the natural feeding of our young.

Laura writes, "I walked around the mall, nursing here and there, with hands-free while shopping. I don't think anyone even noticed that I was breastfeeding, but I thought I'd capture this moment to make a point about our society's view on breastfeeding in public. I'm 'showing less boob' than the model in the window. #NormalizeSociety, because breastfeeding is already normal!"

Laura continues, "I'm a pretty modest, shy person when it comes to various stages of undress, etc., but I don't see feeding my children as something to hide, or to be embarrassed of. I have been asked to cover up. I have fed my babies in a bathroom stall. And I have been judged for my choices... But just one day (not long ago) I decided I was done hiding and being ashamed. Now, if people don't like it, I just encourage them not to stare so much!"

Bravo!!


Laura Goodwin is a 31 year old at-home mom of two (Adalyn, 3, and Asher, almost 1) in Texas. She is an avid writer with a dream to serve mothers and their families as a doula one day. Laura is a natural/evidence-based birth advocate, lactavist, intactivist and children's advocate. She adores bing outside, painting, reading, music, animals and poetry.


For further reading and support visit the Breastfeeding Resource Page.



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Happy Father's Day to Our Baby-Savin' Dads!



Have a special baby-saving dad in your life? We had so much fun celebrating the fathers in our lives last year that we're going to do it again! This is your chance to celebrate the dad and advocate you know and love ~ and maybe win a little something in the process. Saving Our Sons invites you to share a picture and brief story of the father you know who stands up for the basic human right of genital autonomy for all. Email to SavingSons@gmail.com or post to the Saving Our Sons Facebook page wall and we will add it to the Real Men Save Babies album. On Father's Day we will be drawing 10 winners 25 winners from among submissions who will each be able to select an advocacy bracelet, button or info cards of their choice (http://www.savingsons.org/p/info-cards.html). Thank you to all the men and their loved ones this Father's Day who are making sure the next generation grows up with all they were born to have. ❤

2014 Winners
(Drawn at Random.org on Father's Day)
View full album of all fathers submitted here.

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Winners: Please email your name and mailing address, and the bracelet, button or info cards you'd like to SavingSons@gmail.com

You can find all available items here: http://www.savingsons.org/p/info-cards.html

REAL MEN SAVE BABIES
Photo Gallery & Fathers' Stories on Facebook


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It's Not a Mess... It's My ROCK Collection!



Our 5 year old has had so many rock collections (and shell collections, leaf collections, feather collections, wood collections) that we decided to get a few glass jars for his very favorite, most special pieces...

And as an always-learning-at-home family, we've come to love some of these activities and ideas for getting down and dirty in nature with the kids:

I Love Dirt!

Nature in a Nutshell

15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect With Your Kids

Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots

Fun with Nature: Take Along Guides

Sharing Nature With Children

Why Dirt is Good: 5 Ways to Make Germs Your Friend

The Green Hour: A Daily Dose of Nature for Happier, Healthier, Smarter Kids

Further reading on nature and the powerful, positive effect of being outside immersed in the natural world around us.


Children and Medical Trauma: He Will Remember

By Jolene Philo
Originally published at PTSD Perspectives



Some things parents never forget. Like the first time a mother holds her newborn child. Or the first time a baby belly laughs at a father’s antics. 

But when I think of our son’s early days, one unpleasant memory comes to mind. Our baby’s wince of pain when the nurse took him–bristling with drainage tubes, feeding tubes, IVs, and monitor wires–and placed him in his daddy’s arms. 

Newborns Don’t Feel Pain 

“Should we really be moving him?” my husband asked. “Wouldn’t it be better for him to lie still in his bed?” 

“No,” the nurse assured us. “He needs the security of your arms more than anything right now. Besides, newborns don’t feel pain like they do when they get older. That’s why your baby isn’t on pain meds.” 

I looked at the two inch vertical incision on our baby’ stomach and at the horizontal one that began under his armpit and ended at his spine. I looked at my son’s drawn mouth, the frown lines on his forehead, and the strain in his eyes. “Are you sure?” I questioned the nurse…and later the surgeon, the pediatrician, and the GI doctor. “Are you sure he’s not in pain? Are you sure this won’t affect him emotionally?” 

He Won’t Remember 

One after another, well-meaning health care professionals gave the same answer. 

“He won’t remember.” 
“He won’t remember.” 
“He won’t remember.” 

Our baby was 26-years-old before a mental health care intake counselor confirmed our suspicions.

Our newborn son did feel pain during and after surgery. 
He did remember. 
He remembered a lot. 

But because the experiences were pre-verbal, he had no words to describe how he felt. Those memories were the source of his emotional and behavioral issues during adolescence. 

Your Son Has PTSD 

"Your son has PTSD," the woman said. My heart sank. Then she added, “And we can help him.” At first, I didn’t believe her or the other counselors at the clinic. “Everyone says they can help,” I explained. “But nothing changes.” “We can help him,” they repeated. Because our son had nothing to lose and everything to gain, because my husband and I had no Plan B, because we all sensed God at work guiding us to this place, we stayed. Our Son Still Has PTSD One week later, our son had his life back. He was whole in a way he’d never been before. He was ready to move forward with his life, and he did. Our son still has PTSD. He always will. But it no longer controls him. Rather, he controls it. Because he now has words to explain what he experienced in the first hours and days of his life. When those emotions try to whisper fear, he speaks back truth. He moves on. 

June is PTSD Awareness Month 

All month long, people have been talking about adults with PTSD: soldiers returning from war, victims of natural disasters, children and teens who experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. But very few people talk about the babies, our special needs babies, who also suffer from PTSD.

Because we don’t want to believe they feel pain. 
Because we don’t want to believe they remember. 

But they do remember. 

My son remembered and suffered for 26 years. Then, in one short week, with the right treatment, his life was given back to him. No child should have to suffer for 26 years when effective treatments exist. My heart breaks when I think of lives ruined, families torn apart, teens and young adults who feel like failures because they want to change but can’t. Such would have been our story had God not intervened and led us to the talented mental health care professionals who healed our son. 

So this June, during PTSD Awareness Month, be aware of these truths: 

Newborns do feel pain. 
Infants can remember trauma. 
That trauma can develop into PTSD. 

Effective treatments for PTSD do exist. Children as young as 3 can be treated. If you think your child may have PTSD, seek treatment now. Hope exists! 

For more information on PTSD in children, visit DifferentDream.com and type “PTSD” in the search box.



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