No Circumcision

Okay, this one is going to piss some people off, but so be it. Circumcision is an issue in motherhood if you are going to have a son. For most issues I can find common ground, but not this one. I’m dead set against it, and in this tad longer-than-usual vlog, I say why. For more info on this subject, go to www.intactamerica.com.

95 thoughts on “No Circumcision

  1. I’m pregnant, due in March, also with a little boy. My husband is VERY pro circumcision, while I am leaning the other way. Does you husband have a feeling one way or another about this?

  2. I TOTALLY agree with you, on every point!! Yet I had all 3 of my sons (I also have 2 girls and 3 step children) circumcised, and here’s why…. My first husband is Greek, right off the boat from Greece, and was not circumcised. He was miserable every summer as he worked as a painter out in the heat and humidity which is central New Jersey where we live. I won’t go into all the yukky details, but it was extremely uncomfortable for him. He seriously considered adult circumcision…but was/is too scared. My present husband is black, and was also not circumcised at birth. Apparently his ex-wife was the one with the issues about his extra skin, and finally convinced him, in his late 30s to get circumcised. So there are arguments for and against. I had to think of my boys in their adulthood and weigh that into my decision.

  3. You lay out a very logical and thought out argument. And aside from the fact that it does limit the spread of STDs and cervical cancer to future partners, I totally agree with you on all points. When it came to circumcising our sons, however, it was left up to my husband (who has one and all) and, well, he wanted it done! So, as a L&D/postpartum nurse, I’ve noticed that more often than not, it’s the men who prefer to have their sons circumcised. What’s up with that?

  4. I agree with you 100%. My husband and I fought so much over this issue when I was pregnant with #1 that we ended up in counseling! It didn’t help. What finally got us to quit fighting was that I agreed to raise our kids pro-life (ugh) if he would agree to not circumcise them at birth. He agreed to that, and then we ended up with two girls. *sigh*

    I hope your husband is on board with your decision. I always told mine that if any son of ours wanted to decide for himself, say in middle school if he were to be teased, that I would pay to have it done and wait on him hand and foot during the recovery. My husband still fought me. I think because he (my husband) is circumcised, he felt like I was passing judgment on his penis, or his parents’ decision, or something. Who knows. Men are strange. Anyway, hope your man is on your side.

    Amy @ http://prettybabies.blogspot.com

  5. YAY! So friggin’ unnecessary. We have a 5 mo boy and despite my faith (Jewish, thanks), we refuse to circ.

    Pretty interesting:
    - Most Americans believe that female “circumcision” is a horrible, brutal practice. Yet we make a party for it over here when it’s practiced on boys.
    -Some say “It doesn’t hurt”, “Children don’t remember it.” If I have to explain why this is wrong… just apply it to your life. What painful experience can I apply to your body and well, if you forget, I guess it doesn’t matter, right?
    -I’m not supposed to get pierced or tattooed, but I can slice parts of my son’s penis off. We’ll be good Jews, then.
    -”But he’ll look different from other boys at school”
    Erm.. 1. Why are they comparing penises? 2. Everyone looks different. 3.Is it bad to be different? 4.WHY are they comparing penises?
    -I figure, if he wants to look like “everyone” else someday, he can have it done when he’s grown up. Like a tattoo or a piercing. I mean, it doesn’t hurt, right?! He won’t remember it… lol

    Just let it never be said that his Momma took him apart, deemed him unworthy at birth of his own body, and then threw a party for it.

  6. Hi, let me just start by saying very cool video post ! I am a little confused by the comments from women saying that they agree it is better to leave a boy uncircumcised or uncut but that in the end they left it up to their husband to decide. I in no way want to judge anyone but I find that kind of weird. I would have loved if my mother had been more vocal about her opposition to having me circumcised, but she let my dad decide. I consider that a failure on her part to protect me. I don’t blame her really but I’m angry the choice was taken from me. Also, circumcision isn’t done in Europe and there are less stds and HIV there. So, women, please protect your sons from this useless procedure. Don’t let your man’s vulnerable ego get in the way of good child rearing. Hope i didn’t offend anyone.

  7. Jim, that means a lot coming from a dude. thanks. I am astonished at all the great comments. I sort of thought I would get lot’s of crap today. So thanks for that!

    You all make great points. I am also on board with NOT letting it be up to the husband. I won’t pierce my little girls ears at a young age like some fold do either. And the funky foreskin problem I again repeat how females deal with our funky folds all the time.

    My husband knows how strongly I feel about it so it’s not an argument. He was circumcised ( btw my ex was born in Greece and he was circumcised too) and because he chose a different path for his son’s from a previous marriage, but I made it clear this was NON negotiable. And I have also made a few pointed references about how surprised I am that he was down with mutilating his sons.
    Oh, and he also pierced his daughter’s ear when she was a baby!

  8. *sniff* that’s beautiful Daph!
    As a gal fortunate to be having sex with (one of the 25-50 percenters) uncut young man…I’ll just say/shout “Hall-freaken-LOO-yaaaaaah!”
    (Keeping things ‘clean’ it’s a innafamilyway website after all)

    Oh! And I asked him and he was NEVER teased in locker room and he played football, etc. Guess what, guys don’t go around ‘checking each other out’. When he has discussed it later in life he just says ‘Hey, more of me to love.’ Hells yeah!

  9. You’re right.

    Don’t we inevitably have to teach our children (girls and boys) how to bathe themselves and keep all of their parts clean and healthy? Eyes, ears, fingers, toes, tops, bottoms etc., etc. The “it’s cleaner” argument is so outlandish. Cut away the skin instead of a simple hygiene lesson? It’s not very difficult. Barely an extra minute in the shower or bath.

    I’d forgotten about the “look like daddy” argument, but I have heard people say that. Strange. I don’t think this would ever be a realistic concern for the son, whose penis will not look anything like his father’s before puberty. At which point, he’s probably not bathing or changing with dad anymore. And it is only the concerns of the son that we should consider. As mentioned by another commenter, it’s really unfair for parents to impose their own insecurities on their children- at birth!

    It’s sad that you might have to explain this to your son one day, if someone ever makes him feel different or inadequate. (Though I really think this will happen less and less, especially in the middle school years, group showers in locker rooms, etc. are not so common anymore.) But you’ll be prepared to tell him that his penis is normal, healthy, and functional, just like you (or your husband) were prepared to teach him how to take care of it.

    Future sexual happiness is also a great point. Mom was just looking out for you, kid.

    Many congratulations on your baby boy. : )

  10. Right on, Daphne. Keep on spreading the word.

    Heard the Doc himself mention your video on my truck radio this afternoon, and figured I had better check it out.

    My wife is Japanese so it was never a big issue when our son was born. (Pretty soon we’ll see how this goes with grandsons.)

  11. Daphne this was a great rant, I 100% agree with you and the sooner we end routine circumcision, the better. It’s hard to believe that such myths can persist in a country like ours. It’s even harder to understand how doctors and square such a procedure with modern western medical ethics.

    Cassandra Said:

    “My first husband is Greek, right off the boat from Greece, and was not circumcised. He was miserable every summer as he worked as a painter out in the heat and humidity which is central New Jersey where we live. “

    I am quite surprised by this, I also grew up and live in the Mid-Atlantic area (further south than you and much more humid) and spent most of my time outside playing hard. I, nor anyone else I knew who was intact, never had any problem along these lines. I should also point out that Greece gets pretty hot in the summer itself, though possibly not as humid, and I don’t think most have this kind of problem either.

    Melissa Said:

    “You lay out a very logical and thought out argument. And aside from the fact that it does limit the spread of STDs and cervical cancer to future partners, I totally agree with you on all points. When it came to circumcising our sons, however, it was left up to my husband (who has one and all) and, well, he wanted it done! So, as a L&D/postpartum nurse, I’ve noticed that more often than not, it’s the men who prefer to have their sons circumcised. What’s up with that?”

    I am don’t think that is entirely accurate. One of the most resent studies, that was done in the first world, concluded that early childhood circumcision didn’t reduce the rate of STD acquisition. Get a copy of the paper here:

    http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/pdf/2008_Dickson.pdf

    These results match other very large cross-sectional studies in other developed countries.

    As far as cervical cancer goes, the paper that started this myth based it on the association between circumcision status and HPV status that rested on

    * 1 circumcised man in Brazil who didn’t have HPV
    * 1 circumcised man in Colombia who didn’t have HPV
    * 3 circumcised men in Spain who didn’t have HPV
    * nobody in Thailand, and
    * 1 intact man in the Philippines who did have HPV.

    Read a critique here:
    http://www.circumstitions.com/Cancer-cervNEJM.html

    Further, there is the vaccine option now, that girls can receive if they want it and as I recall is better than 95% effective. I also here an application to approve it for boys will soon be made.

  12. ‘- Most Americans believe that female “circumcision” is a horrible, brutal practice. Yet we make a party for it over here when it’s practiced on boys.’

    This is such a great point Jasileet and one I had not even considered. But so TRUE.

    Did not circumcise our son. Just did not seem humane to me. And I think the scars left on a former BF’s penis were testament to just leave it alone already!

  13. THANK YOU!! Thank you! for being so public about giving our sweet little boys the bodies they were born with. When our sons were born my partner and I couldn’t imagine doing anything other than swaddeling them and taking them home. It’s nice that my sister-in-law felt the same way. The boys are now 12 and 9 and are aware of the difference, but are very comfortable with their bodies.
    —L

  14. To eeek,

    I’m not surprised that your husband is “VERY” pro circumcision. This is very common among circumcised men. The reason is part denial, and part fear… I mean, if your boy has an intact penis, what does that say about your husbands penis? That’s the kind of thinking going on in his head.

    Every male pro-circ advocate is circumcised. The reasons should be obvious. If you are missing part of you body, you want it to be ok, and furthering this proceedure justifies their own loss (yes, I understand he doesn’t know what he’s missing, but I can assure you he wonders about it).

    Stop the cycle… it has to end somewhere.

  15. Male Glans (head): 4,000 nerve endings
    Female Clitoris: 8,000 nerve endings
    Male Foreskin: 20,000 nerve endings

    The Male Glans:
    Contains about 4,000 nerve endings, but they are pressure/pain-sensitive, not touch sensitive. These pain-sensitive nerves are called “Free Nerves”

    Male Foreskin:
    Contains about 20,000 nerve endings which are extremely touch sensitive (like the female clitoris). These touch-sensitive nerves are called “Meissner’s Corpuscles”

  16. Cassandra, those are horrible excuses to allow your sons to be circumcised. Having part of your chid’s boy cut off because someone’s ex-wife didn’t like it is NOT an excuse, nor is circumcision an excuse because of some guy who had a problem, and who probably didn’t wash himself properly!

    Melissa, circumcision doe NOT reduce the risk of cervical cancer among women or STDs. The STD study is horribly flawed, as well as performed by circision advocates. It is not a fact that circumcision helps against STDs. The cervical cancer issue was debunked a long time ago. The foreskin has nothing to do with cervical cancer.

    Coolmom, thank you for making the right choice. Circumcision is wrong and it is mutilation. Boys should have genital integrity just like girls!

  17. Daph, I have to post a comment before I even watch, because I know I’ll be too riled up to be coherent after.

    I was SO SO SO disappointed that we circumcised our boys. My ex was extremely pro-circ, and after a long time arguing I realized that he may later pass on some sort of disfigurement-complex if they didn’t look like their daddy, like he expected them to look. Even after I insisted we circumcise a girl as well, just to make a point. (No, we didn’t, in case anyone thinks I’m insane.)

    I held both babies through the procedures. He wasn’t there. I’m so mad at myself. And now? We see that many of our contemporaries are making the right decision. I mean, that thing’s been working just dandy for hundreds of thousands of years, right?

    My FIL’s repsonse was the bomb. When I said that I’d been against it – it’s unnecessary surgery, it’s messing with nature… he said, “Oh, no, you’ve GOT to get that thing off there!”

    Agog.

  18. Oh, and the response to my babies getting sick? “Get those tonsils out!” Like that is still a childhood rite of passage. My stepdad calls it “the original T&A.”

  19. Thank you so much for this! Circ is a “rite of passage” in the Philippines and is normally done with the boy is around 10 – 12 years old. Thank goodness I married a white man who insisted on NO CIRC for our boy and no piercing for our girl. We will not be altering their bodies without their consent. When they are older and know what is going on, then they can make that decision for themselves.

  20. Daphne, I didn’t know this was such a controversy. I thought it was just a choice and didn’t realize how strongly people felt about it.

    My hubbie & 2 sons are uncut and this one (currently expecting) will stay as God made him.

    I understand doing it for religious reasons. And if parents decided to for other reasons, so be it.

    A baby doesn’t have to be CUT now. They do have rings which can be clamped onto the foreskin cutting off circulation until it dies and falls off. Still not appealing to me, but probably less painful than cutting.

    The biggest point I want to make here, though, is…if you decide NOT to circumcise, be sure you know how to take care of your little one’s penis and that your doctor does too!

    Both peds with my sons told me to pull back the foreskin all the way to clean it when I bathed them. NOT CORRECT.

    With my first son, the dr. finally gave up and just told me to leave it alone and he should do fine.

    With my second son, the dr. had no clue and sent me to a urinary specialist who taught me…

    The foreskin can get stuck if forced back, it can tear and create problems(which did on both of them, poor babies).

    Only pull it back as far as it will go w/o forcing it. The foreskin usually doesn’t retract all the way until the boy is 5 or 6 years old, sometimes older. (As I learned as they got older.)

    The other thing I freaked out about was w/ #2 son, he had white stuff coming out around the foreskin. I thought it was pus and he had an infection. Again, the specialist said it was natural lubricant and quite normal. It kept the foreskin and penis clean and not too worry.

    So, here we go with son #3. Maybe this time I’ll get it right!

    I now have a 14-year old and a 7-year old who are both uncircumcised and quite healthy and, to this point, have had no problems with their penises (once this inexperienced mom learned how to take care of them)

  21. Thank you so much for this post!! I don’t have any children…yet, but at 26 and soon to be engaged(hopefully!) I’m starting to think more and more about these kind of decisions. After watching the documentary about the twins in the 70′s and the botched circumcision, I don’t see how I could ever even risk doing that to my child. Your thoughts on the subject are very helpful!

  22. Foreskin feels REALLY good.

    Every mammal on earth evolved a foreskin before there was surgery or soap. Male genitals are exactly as self-cleaning as female genitals. You want cleaner than that? Wash. 95% of the non-Muslim world does not circumcise. Three-fourths of babies in 4 Western US states are being left intact these days.

    HIS body HIS decision.

  23. Hey anonymous Annie with your CDC fact sheet: I got news for you and it’s going to sound like a conspiracy theory, but the CDC, WHO, and UNAIDS have been literally hijacked by procircers. Look at your fact sheet. It utterly discounts any manner of positive evidence, including MANY deaths reported in the news every year (it says NO deaths – a clear and provable lie), and the lack of HIV/circ relationship found in recent US studies. It ignores altogther the value of the exquisite natural male genitalia. It’s like a report on tooth decay concluding that pulling the teeth would “prevent cavities with few medical side-effects.”

    It ignores the fact that there are several African countries – including Cameroon, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, and Tanzania – where the CIRCUMCISED are the ones with the markedly higher rate of HIV infection. It also ignores the active criticism of the Africa studies and their human rights violations and ethical lapses.

    Halperin, one of the Africa study authors and advisor to WHO, is on record saying he sees his life’s mission as carrying on his grandfather’s work. His grandfather was a mohel, a jewish ritual circumciser. Others cited including Bailey, Auvert, Schoen, etc. are long-time justifiers.

    No national MEDICAL ASSOCIATION of actual doctors (WHO and UNAIDS executives are politicians, not doctors) endorses routine circumcision, not even Israel’s. Many such groups roundly condemn it. The RACP (Australia/New Zealand says IN BOLD on their web site: THERE IS NO MEDICAL INDICATION FOR ROUTINE NEONATAL CIRCUMCISION.

    Google “Circumcision Damage” to see the horrid under-reported unexpected outcomes that are not at all rare, and realize that even a “perfect” circumcision removes half a male’s sensual nerve endings and 15 square inches of pleasure-receptive sexual interface.

    If this non-therepeutic amputation was not entrenched in religion and had never been heard of in modern society, the first person proposing it for an infant would be locked up.

    Even a pin-prick to draw a ceremonial drop of blood from a female’s genitals is illegal for 94% of the world’s population.

    Protect boys too.

  24. Stephanie said:

    “A baby doesn’t have to be CUT now. They do have rings which can be clamped onto the foreskin cutting off circulation until it dies and falls off. Still not appealing to me, but probably less painful than cutting.”

    This is not actually true. All circumcisions require cutting by definition. The procedure you’re talking about is called the Plastibell Procedure and you can see that and all the other procedures in this document: WARNING NSFW and GRAPHIC == http://tinyurl.com/5eq4cz

    In any case, the first couple of steps require forced separation of the foreskin from the glans which is attached to each other like your finger nail is attached to your finger so that gives you an idea of part of the procedure. And perhaps to simulate how the Plastibell might feel, one might wrap a rubber band around their finger tight until it turns purple and then imagine it tighter and left there for days.

    Stephanie said:

    “The biggest point I want to make here, though, is…if you decide NOT to circumcise, be sure you know how to take care of your little one’s penis and that your doctor does too!”

    I couldn’t agree with you more. It is an unfortunate result of our sickening high rate of circumcision that pedis aren’t practiced in conservative and correct care of intact boys. Parents frequently get bad information. For those looking for that here are some good places:

    http://www.cirp.org/library/hygiene/

    And for information regarding normal development for intact males start here:
    http://www.cirp.org/library/normal/

    Congrats on three intact boys. :) It’s good to know US parents are increasingly leaving this decision to those who can best make it, their boys.

  25. Annie Said:

    “You make a lot of good points, but I think I still favor circumcision, considering the studies that have shown how it reduces HIV transmission. The Centers for Disease Control have a factsheet about the studies here (http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/circumcision.htm), if you’re interested.”

    The most interesting thing about that is, as always, most western agencies aren’t as ‘enthusiastic’ as the American agencies. For instances, the Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations in their July 2007 statement said:

    “Male circumcision has no role in the Australian HIV epidemic”, “African data on circumcision is context-specific and cannot be extrapolated to the Australian epidemic in any way.”, and perhaps their best observation “The USA has a growing heterosexual epidemic and very high rates of circumcision”.

    Find the rest here: http://www.afao.org.au/library_docs/policy/Circumcision07.pdf

    The French National Council on Aids (Conseil national du SIDA) in their August 2007 report concluded:

    The recommendations of the WHO state that this strategy is aimed at countries with high prevalence, and not at countries with low prevalence or in countries where it relates specifically to one part of the population such as in France or the United States.

    Find the rest here: http://www.circumcisionandhiv.com/files/07_05_24_rapport_circoncisions_eng.pdf

    Other western countries have spoken similarly, for some reason, American agencies tend to up sell circumcision. Perhaps because many of the men in those groups are themselves circumcised. There are MANY reasons why circumcision has no place in the US even if you believed it reliably reduced the risk of HIV as much as they claim.

  26. I made my choice to keep my son intact and just forgot about it altogether.

    I could cry.

    Honestly, just reading someone pro-circ reminds me of the mothers leading their little girls to surgery. Clitoris cut off. Because they thought it was cleaner this way. Genital mutilation. How is one different from the other?

  27. I was cut in birth,I was on drugs sleeping but the problem isnt the surgery because I didnt feel nothing .the problem is that I miss a part of my body!
    the first time I masturbated was very late!
    I tried to masturbate early but it was impossible in any ways!
    to have such problems with simpel release by my own hands for my own pleusure is horrible.
    the first time I reached release was with lube.
    it shouldnt be that way!
    the more a boy get cut the more problem he will get in his life!
    it feels like Gods only purpose with us boys/men is vaginal penetration!but thats a only small part of life.
    I can easily see why muslims produce most babies even if they are poor and live in misery !
    STOP RELIGION NOW!!!

  28. Look coming from a Guys point. Your born the way your born for a Reason, now if you want babies to be born cut you would have to be genetically altered! DUH!! Why don’t you cut the tip off your finger to find out how it FEELS.

  29. I am not reading the comments, I am not going to get into ALL I could. THIS is one of my biggest issues. I am in tears as I type now and just wanted to thank you. My beautiful son is in tact and if the baby growing in me right now is a boy he will be in tact too.

    All I wanted to say beyond thank you (and I knew I adored you!!!) is that for me there is absolutely zero difference between circumcising a girl and a boy yet almost anyone I know, if they knew someone who was doing it to their daughter they would be aghast and horrified. So when someone tells me they are or they did for whatever reason they spew all I feel is how anyone would feel hearing about a little baby girl having it done. It sickens me and saddens me beyond belief.

    Thanks again and congrats to your son.

  30. The HIV prevention myth (and it is truly mostly myth) is the current fad in a long line of supposed prophylactic benefits of circumcision. For more info, try these sites.

    A news article by a science writer:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/viewpoint/vp_strauss/20051121.html

    Another science article:

    http://www.cirp.org/library/disease/HIV/vanhowe2005a/

    A page with tons of information on all facets of circumcision, aptly named “Circumstitions”:

    http://www.circumstitions.com/HIV.html

    This also misses the point that baby boys cannot, under normal circumstances, contract HIV through their penises. The boy will be able to make an informed decision on the purported health benefit claims and actual risks of the amputatuon of erogenous tissue from his penis, at around the same time as he’s ALLOWED TO CONSENT TO SEX.

  31. I am so glad to have my penis intact!Frankly,I would not know what I would be without my foreskin.It has given me so many great experiences with lovers and alone.
    I only remember american woman saying how bad it was for them because it,or I think it was more because themselves,where others never had a problem with it.On the contrary.
    I think their fathers or mothers have some head upside down problems if they want to do this to the best part of their sons integrity.It would be like if abuse circle to keep.
    Like pederast seminary or rabbinary.
    In my country this is not even a question to choose or not.Only muslims and other africans do it.And the jews.
    They are very soon to make it illegal.

  32. Annie, did you know there are studies out there that say FEMALE CIRCUMCISION helps reduce the risk of infection for girls too? So, I guess you would be in favour of circumcising girls to protect them from HIV too, right?

  33. Great post – makes me feel like as hitty mom, but hey great post!
    I found your vlog through dooce which led me to momversation.So here I am at midnight after the dh and ds are fast asleep, doing a bit of surfing. We are “discussing” whether or not to pursue a second blessing at our advaned age – I am only 37 and still feel and look young thank you very much but my OB insists on caling me advanced maternal age anyway.
    SO ANYWAY, looked at lots of your videos most of which crack me up.
    I am not a young or uneducated or inexperienced person but I don’t feel like this issue ever reallly even came up during pregnancy. Guess it should have! We found out we were having a boy, we found out he was healthy and all was well, we decided on a nice normal family name, we (I) gave birth (what a nightmare!), and the next day he was wheeled out of the room and circumcised. He came back to our room crying a few minutes later and we took good care of his “wound” but I never thought much about it. Vaseline on the doodle and alcohol on the belly button for the next week and life went on! He’s got a nice looking doodle now at 2 yrs old but jeez should I have looked into the whole dealio more before it happened? YES! If we are lucky enought to have another and it is a boy I will make a much more informed decision. Thanks Daphne!

  34. Daphne, I’m 66 and circumcised.

    Dr. Dean made me aware that my mother made a mistake.

    Your son will thank you, and more important, his wife will really thank you.

    You’re probably thinking “my son and sex—-arghhh!”

    Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  35. Circumcision is so not what loving parents should be doing in the noughties. In the UK it is definately not the done thing to do, Infact, it isn’t even mentioned. I cannot believe that the USA is so far behind the drag curve. I do understand that its part of the Jewish ritual, so i would make allowances for that but otherwise it is pure evil. Yeuch.
    My husband is intact and i really don’t know what i would do with a circumcised penis…!!! Friction burns must be pretty awful!

  36. WoW, Daphne! What a topic! You sure got some responses!

    Joe – thank you for more info on that Plastibell procedure. I still won’t get MY sons c- however it is always good to be informed!

  37. Stephanie, I am glad to hear you would never do that to your son. I was just correcting the point about a procedure that doesn’t cut, they all do. That’s all.

    Kate, the issue of circumcision and HIV is more complicated than the mass media would have you think. If you want to read about some of that go to circumcisionandhiv.com

  38. I totally agree. My 5 year old son is cut. I deeply regret it. I was only 18 when I gave birth to him and both sets of grandparents pressured me into getting him cut. Now I am 24, having another son in February. He will not be cut. He will be keeping his precious penis skin.

  39. Kate, those HIV Studies are a load of crap. Do a little more research. Did you also know there are studies that show circumcising girls helps reduce the risk of HIV for girls as well?

  40. Thank you for joining the growing chorus of American mothers and young single women who have gone public with their disgust of routine infant circumcision. Nearly all medical problems with the foreskin come from misuse of the intact penis, and irresponsible sexual behaviour. The occasional malfunctioning foreskin is NOT a reason to cut every foreskin off.

    I am an intact male Baby Boomer, because born in Europe to a European mother, where RIC was simply not an option. My dad and his mother wanted me cut, but my mother held her ground and won. That established, my father never said a word about my penis for the rest of his life. My mother said nothing until I was 19, except to remind me regularly to wash “down there.” I did not know that I was normal, and that my father, brother, and schoolmates had all been surgically altered, until I was 13. I first read that uncut did not imply unsanitary when I was 20. I was 31 when I first read that American obstetrical practice was simply wrong about the foreskin.

    I did not understand the sexual functions of the foreskin until my 40s. Ladies, the foreskin is unusually rich in nerve endings, and could well be the most important male erogenous zone. Uncut oral sex is fine if he rinses off his penis in cold water beforehand. Men over 40-50 years of age often need foreplay, and the foreskin makes foreplay with the fingers very easy. The best way for a woman to understand what circumcision means is to imagine having your inner lips cut off without anesthesia. Super gross, eh?

    The otherwise fine 1997 study of American circumcision by University of Chicago sociologists claimed that intact men
    have more erectile dysfunction in middle age (the study did not include any subjects over 59). I am rankly skeptical; I suspect that the adverse effect of circumcision on male sexual enjoyment sets in mostly after 40. I am 56 and wish I had more sensation, not less.

    The jury is still out on whether the foreskin makes vaginal intercourse more pleasant. But if research ever confirms that, American circumcision will quickly die out, because childbearing women will revolt against it.

  41. I disagree with you. If it was your husband against it then fine. You are a women and should not make that decision alone. I came here after Dr Dean mention you. Well I’m glad you not my mom or my wife. And yes I have 4 children, 3 girls, and 1 boy. And yes my son is Circumcisied. My choice, as my wife had now say what so ever. I don’t even think of crossing my wife when it comes to my girls. She handles “girly” stuff, I handle “Man” stuff!

  42. Radical feminists are not indifferent to RIC. Andrea Dworkin did not like it. Ms magazine does not like it. Jewish feminists do not like the fact that boys undergo an important Jewish rite of passage that girls are forever barred from.

    The USA is the main producer of sex research. At the same time, the typical American scientist/doctor is himself circumcised, and this has contributed to a blind spot when researching the sexual consequences of circumcision. There is also a silent fear that research pointing to adverse sexual effects of RIC will antagonize the nontrivial Jewish and Moslem minorities in the USA.

    When Alfred Kinsey died in 1956, he was about to begin an investigation of whether circumcised boys were more likely to be gay when they grew up.

    I doubt that a RIC that is neither botched nor too tight impairs the sexuality of a male under 30 or 40. But I suspect that some circumcised men over 40 may not have enough feeling to enjoy vaginal intercourse of normal length and intensity.

    America fell in love with the circumcised penis at a time when almost nothing was understood about human sexual behavior and the foreskin. That circumcision could have adverse consequences for the sexual pleasure of one or both sexes, at least in some cases, is not at all surprising.

  43. As an uncircumcised male I find no use in having a foreskin. The benefits of it for protecting the glans are zero; I know this because somedays I keep it back and somedays forward. It feels just as nice on those dry days as on the wet days. And during sex I just wish that it would stay back out of the way since an uncovered glans provides the most stimulation. And masterbation is a two handed affair. One to keep the skin back and one to rub. So overall, I don’t believe that intact males have an obviously better sex life.

  44. J Lee, your response is pathetic. The forskin has 10,000-20,000 nerves, and the fact you still have a foreskin is the reason why you think it still feels good when it is pulled back.

    Sorry, but the glans does not provide the most stimulation! It is enhancing sex for you! Do some research on your foreskin before you talk. You are taking your foreskin for granted. Maybe you should get circumcised, and then you will see what you are missing!

  45. Roger wrote:

    “I disagree with you. If it was your husband against it then fine. You are a women and should not make that decision alone. I came here after Dr Dean mention you. Well I’m glad you not my mom or my wife. And yes I have 4 children, 3 girls, and 1 boy. And yes my son is Circumcisied. My choice, as my wife had now say what so ever. I don’t even think of crossing my wife when it comes to my girls. She handles “girly” stuff, I handle “Man” stuff!”

    So, if your wife wanted to circumcise your daughters, then you would let her do so?

  46. That this should turn into some flaming anti-semitic forum – how creepy. What rock was overturned to unearth these barbaric, English mangling fools?

    PS. I am so relieved we had a daughter. My husband and I had unresolved issues over this years ago.

  47. J Lee:

    The benefits of it for protecting the glans are zero.
    ME. This benefit can be overstated, agreed.

    I know this because somedays I keep it back and somedays forward. It feels just as nice on those dry days as on the wet days.
    ME. I too spent a lot of time in my teens and 20s retracted, and I suspect that that has reduced feeling in the glans.

    And during sex I just wish that it would stay back out of the way since an uncovered glans provides the most stimulation.
    ME. When I am fully erect, I have no foreskin to speak of.
    It does move back and forth during vaginal intercourse, but
    I enjoy that. Some women post saying they find the sliding
    foreskin heavenly.

    And masterbation is a two handed affair. One to keep the skin back and one to rub.
    ME. That is the way I masturbated when I was 16. Later I learned uncut jerking off consists of one handed pumping of the foreskin. Try it. Concentrate on massaging the rim
    of the glans with your moving foreskin.

    So overall, I don’t believe that intact males have an obviously better sex life
    ME. There’s more to the foreskin and sex than you seem to be aware of. It’s not entirely your fault; sex research is overwhelmingly carried out by circumcised American men, and American women married to circumcised men. Hence there have been some serious blind spots about how we intact men experience sex. And I think more will be learned in the future.

    Fore example you do not mention the sensitivity in the inner lining of the foreskin, the frenulum, and the tip of the foreskin (which becomes the ridged band).

    European women have told the leader of USA intactivism, Marilyn Milos, that they do not understand how women can
    do foreplay on an intact man. If you’re under 40, you probably don’t need a partner to stimulate you. But you will in later life.

    A number of authors writing before 1850 or so, wrote things
    that point to our ancestors assuming as obvious that the
    foreskin is hot, especially for women. The American popular culture of sex is changing fast, thanks to IT. I think that the web is helping young American women rediscover that fact. The web + broadband enables women to get up close and personal with an intact penis, in the complete privacy of her bedroom. She can chat about it with other women, in complete anonymity. Web erotica is probably THE driver behind women getting rid of their pubic hair.

    When I was in my 20s and 30s, I feared that my being intact contributed to my occasional premature ejaculation. Now that I am in my late 50s, I come much slower than my wife and I appreciate every bit of sensitivity I have. A few months ago, an old and dear friend of my generation, the father of 2 intact boys, told me that he feels very little during intercourse, and suspects that his circumcision is to blame.

  48. Lynne: not everyone opposed to routine infant circumcision is intelligent, or even polite. Many are angry in a totally dysfunctional way. For this reason, I neither mix with intactivist, nor belong to any intactivist organisation. I also much prefer women intactivists. They work from compassion and common sense.

  49. Lynn wrote:

    “That this should turn into some flaming anti-semitic forum – how creepy. What rock was overturned to unearth these barbaric, English mangling fools?”

    Excuse me? Who is the one being barbaric here? Barbaric is taking a knife to a child’s genitals, not speaking out against circumcision.

  50. edouard: Come off it! Men have every right to be angry! Some sick sociopath cuts off the most sensitive part of their penis, and they are acting dysfunctional? Give me a break! And no, women are not the only intactivists working from “compassion and common sense”. Just as many guys work with “compassion and common sense” too. But the men have every right to be angry, too. These are OUR bodies we are talking about, not women’s.

  51. Over the 20th century, about 100 milion American baby boys had their foreskins cut off, and their frenulums ablated, without any anesthesia of any kind.

    That’s barbaric. Big time. Discovering this fact seriously diminished my respect for American medicine. How can certain doctors perform hundreds of RICs over the course of their careers, without ever feeling guilty or upset?

    Best practice nowadays requires numbing the penis with lidocaine. But I have not read that best practice has become universal practice. And it would be much much better to simply leave baby penises alone.

    To my pleasant surprise, YouTube does not remove videos of RIC. Those videos are sick and gross. Being intact, I can assure you that what circumcision removes is highly sensitive and is a central player in the male experience of sex.

  52. Amen sista!

    Pretty much word for word the same rant I give any friends about to have a boy. We faced this decision in 2001. I did one internet search and said “forget it!”

    It is so barbaric I am embarrassed that the majority of Americans do this to their children. I am convinced that in 100 years it will no longer be done at all and those “future” people will look back on us as animals for making that choice.

  53. To nikol in particular and all in general:

    I heartily agree that routine circumcision in the USA is doomed. It has collided with kinder attitudes towards babies, a growing sophistication about how sex works in practice, and common sense about keeping clean.

    The day will come, before too long, when routine circumcision in the English speaking world will be seen as barbaric (during the last century, about 100 million American baby boys were routinely circumcised without anesthesia). It will also be seen as blatantly revealing of a weird ignorance about how sexual activity works in practice for men and boys.

  54. I am 25 and uncircumcised and I love being the one odd one out. . I am an athelete and always in the shower and like being the different one. However I want my children to be the norm, whatever it is at the time. No need to create problems for them in the future.

  55. Thanks Cool Mom Daphne for speaking up to protect baby boys from genital cutting and unnecessary amputative surgeries without medical necessity or their voluntary consent. Here is my personal quote on the atrocity of circumcision of male children:

    “The amputation of a male child’s nerve enriched prepuce (foreskin) is a penile reduction surgical procedure that unfortunately still infects our civilized, capitalistic, and so-called “equal rights” society. Not only is the circumcision of male infants and young boys considered a human rights violation by many, it’s a men’s health issue and perpetuates an irrational belief in our country that all little boys are somehow born imperfect or faulty requiring surgical correction of their penises upon birth! This belief is a sick one and is absurd to not only me, but the vast majority of people on earth”. – Dev, another American male intactivist.

    Here Are Some Other Relevant & Notable Quotes:

    “Despite the obviously irrational cruelty of circumcision, the profit incentive in American medical practice is unlikely to allow science or human rights principles to interrupt the highly lucrative American circumcision industry. It is now time for European medical associations loudly to condemn the North American medical community for participating in and profiting from what is by any standard a senseless and barbaric sexual mutilation of innocent children.” – Paul Fleiss MD, MPH., Circumcision. Lancet 1995; 345:927

    “Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity.” – George Bernard Shaw

    “What is done to children, they will do to society.” – Karl Menninger, MD

  56. ^^ I want my children to be the norm, whatever it is at the time. No need to create problems for them in the future. ^^
    * * * * *
    Well, you’re in luck.

    The US is the LAST country still cutting infants routinely for non-religious reasons, but the rate here is dropping. It’s about 50/50 so there’s no reason to cut your baby.

  57. To circumcise a boy simply so that he won’t attract bawdy comments in the shower when he is under 18-20, is the worst possible reason. Fix the smug attitudes, not the penis.
    Ditto for rejection by high school and college girls. A woman who will not educate herself about the foreskin is not worth dating and marrying. There’s a lot of pro foreskin material out on the web nowadays.

    If the foreskin proves to be a public health disaster, you can always cut it off later. But if the foreskin makes for better loving, and your parents circed you, you’re screwed. Tugging does not
    replace the delicate nerve endings.

  58. I saw this topic on Momversation. I fully understand your view that its unnecessary and support your decision not to circumcise your son.

    However, if I have a son, he will be circumcised. My current boyfriend was uncircumcised when we started dating. He has since had to be circumcised at the age of 25, due to tears in the foreskin from sex, and believe you me, it hurt him a LOT.

    My take is that babies don’t remember their circumcision, and in a hospital setting where there is anesthesia and cleanliness, it can be done well. If I can save my future son the kind of pain my boyfriend has gone through, I’ll circumcise.

  59. Gown Up Teenager: why assume that a son of yours will experience the same problem as your significant other?

    An intact man should not become intimate with others until his foreskin has become sufficiently supple. Suppleness can be enhanced with gentle stretching exercises, including gentle masturbation. Steroid ointment can help in bad cases. If a man tears his foreskin or frenulum during intercourse, he most likely has made one or more mistakes. He did not get you wet enough, did not use KY when he should, ignored borderline phimosis, had a short frenulum, etc.

    There is no compelling reason why adult circ should be traumatic. Tens of thousands of Russian immigrants to Israel were circumcised as adults during the 1980s and 90s. There are no reports of unusual pain. Adult circumcision is done under local anesthesia, and Darvon or the like is prescribed for the next 1-2 weeks. This strikes me as far far more humane than the classic American routine infant circumcision of the last century, with no analgesia whatsoever.

    I am with you that a newborn does not remember his circ. And I am sceptical that men circed in infancy are often psychologically damaged for life. The main complication of circ that is insufficiently appreciated is cutting too much off, and that is easily avoided. Still, I do not conclude that infant circ is a good thing.

  60. My first two sons were circumcised at the behest of their pediatrician and father (ex-husband). It bothered me that the sugery site was raw, exposed to urine and required special care. (As if a new mother doesn’t have more to worry about.)

    Number three was born in1994 and with the support of my new pediatrician and husband we left the boy intact.

    When I told my father, he read me the Riot Act, stating a circumcised penis is ‘cleaner’ and from his experience (circumcised at age 14, in 1946) the surgery is quite painful.

    However, number three is 14 now and has yet to complain. It’s his choice and I’m glad we afforded him that.

  61. Kelly, congrats for joining the growing ranks of mothers who have seen the light.

    Over and over I read on the web statements like your father’s, that having it done after infancy is very painful. I don’t get it.
    First of all, the comparison is being made with an infant who cannot articulate what he is feeling. Second, an older child, teen, or adult is done with careful anesthesia, and Darvon afterwards. An older person can be told how to manage pain and discomfort.

    The US military circed a lot of men in the 40s, 50s, and 60s. The reasons were often bad, but I’ve not heard of prolongued incapacitating pain. About 1 million people immigrated from the Soviet Block to Israel since 1980. All of the men landed in Israel intact, and a fair fraction of these were cut in hospitals. I have not read of this being unduly painful.

    Circumcision after one’s 18th or 21st birthday, by informed adult choice, is mostly definitely an option and, I might add,
    the only moral option.

  62. I had my son circumsized but it wasnt for any of those reasons….I just didnt want him to have a funky looking penis. selfish i know. but after watching your video Im leaning towards uncut. To be honest i dont want to think of of my kids and their sex life but what you said about that was a good point!

  63. Melissa, the tragedy of circumcising nearly all USA boys born between 1940 and 1980 is that millions of Americans have come to see the exposed glans as completely natural. Even I thought that way for years, even though I am intact! It is sad that you see the foreskin as “funky looking” but there are many parents out there who think just as you do.

    If you had younger brothers, they were cut. If you ever changed a diaper on a baby boy from another family, he was cut. If you’ve had a proper cautious sex life, every man you’ve been intimate with has probably been cut. Thus everyday USA women can be more anti foreskin than Jews and Moslems. A Jewish mother sees her son’s foreskin during the first week of his life. Moslems often do not circumcise until age 5 to 9. Americans circumcised with a passion for decades, but almost never talked about it outside of ob-gyn circles.

    Most readers of this blog have never had the pleasure of fondling the foreskin and frenulum with your fingers, in order to get an intact man to produce precum, nature’s wonderful natural lubricant. You’ve not had the opportunity to notice how the foreskin is a gentle feminine touch on the otherwise all too masculine male equipment. Some women post that the foreskin makes vaginal intercourse a good deal more pleasant. If they are right, the American Foreskin Holocaust has been a sexual Train Wreck.

    More and more young women are taking advntage of the Net to view porn in total privacy. If European and Latin American porn proves popular among them, that alone may assure that the American foreskin makes a comeback. That said, straight porn almost never does justice to the wonders of the foreskin. And I do NOT recommend that CoolMom members tune in to gay porn.

  64. While the married couple who researched “Sex As Nature Intended It” have their hearts in the right place, they claimed too much. If their writings mention childbirth and child rearing, I’ve completely missed it. I really cannot recommend either their book or the web site for the book. The website makes nontrivial use of footage from porn videos. One can be a completely passionate intactivist while also being totally committed to family values. The O’Haras flunk something that a lot of Moms pass with ease.

    ntvnat, as for moral leadership from President Obama, don’t hold your breath. He has bigger fish to fry. Wealthy Jews are major supporters of his party. By opposing routine circumcision, he risks being seen as anti semitic and anti-Islamic. He is the son of a circumcised Kenyan, and most likely circumcised himself. Also, don’t look to state legislatures to lead the way here either.

    This is a sexual culture issue. In the 1940s and 50, USA maternity wards adopted policies whereby every Caucasian baby boy was circumcised by default unless he was born premature, or unless the mother raised the subject and said No Way. Many mothers said nothing because they had no clue that if it was a boy he would be circumcised.

    We Baby Boomers were born to anesthetised mothers. As soon as we were out, we got put in a nursery. In the nursery, a nurse changed our diapers, not our mothers. With 48 hours we were circumcised. Mommy and Bubs were not sent home until about 10 days after the birth, by which time Bubs had mostly recovered from his circumcision. The upshot is that Mommy never saw her baby the way nature intended it to be. While babysitting and helping her mother with younger siblings, all she ever saw was circumcised as well. So tens of millions of adult American women have never seen a foreskin in the flesh. If they don’t Google “foreskin” they haven’t even seen a picture of the intact penis.

    Another thing. In proper respectable non-Jewish USA families, circumcision is not talked about. Too personal, too sexual, too icky. So every male is circumcised, but that’s not talked about. Sex ed doesn’t talk about it, if only for fear of offending Jews. So tens of millions of American grew up thinking that the helmet look is what nature ordered. Many proper young mothers first think about this bit of male anatomy when the prenatal class mentions it. My SO stumbled on the foreskin while reading the Britannica in middle school. Most of the boys I grew up with first heard of circ in high school health class, and we were very embarrassed. A lot of proper American boys are unsettled the first time they see a foreskin in a locker room, or at the urinal. Male intactivists often say that this discovery left them feeling sad, angry, and sexually deficient. But I would not be surprised if a more common male reaction is “eww that’s weird. And I don’t want to think about what might be growing under there.”

    I felt so alien growing up intact in the USA that I joked to myself that I belonged to a third sex! I was 20 when I first read something in print saying that I was healthy. I was 31 when I first read that American obstetrics was mistaken about the foreskin. Most of what I know about the foreskin and sex I discovered after my 40th birthday, and I am still learning. The books on sex and childbirth that fill American book stores are pretty much agreed that “don’t cut it off” but they don’t make an effective case re “this is why Mother Nature got it right.”

    I want to thank Daphne and other moms who post here, for being part of the informal woman-to-woman network that is the most likely way the American Foreskin Holocaust will come to a halt. Unless the AMA somehow passes a resolution forbidding circumcision for cosmetic reasons. Which I am not counting on

  65. sadly, because of AIDS rates in Africa there are some medical associations that for the first time are thinking of reccomending it. go here http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5922/t/6274/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=2135

    to sign petition to voice dissent on that.

    You know I don’t want people to feel bad about the choices they made at the time. Everyone did what they did with a good heart, but now going forward let’s realize that there is another way. That baby boys can keep their foreskin.

  66. Daphne, the CDC in the USA is the ONLY medical organisation in the First World that is leaning towards that conclusion, which is a mistaken one. British public health experts have remarked sarcastically about the American obsession with circumcision as a way out of the AIDS crisis.

    The western country that is most circumcised is the USA. And guess which western country also has, by far, the highest rate of HIV positive people?

    The hoo-ha about “circed men are less likely to catch AIDS”
    is based on African clinical trials. The way those trials were carried out left something to be desired. The way data from those trials was analysed also leaves something to be desired. But the biggest problem is that life in an East or South African villag is very very different from what we experience in our daily lives. Access to condoms, even soap, are a problem. Running water is a problem. Africans have bizarre ideas about sex. They behave badly and are very hypocritical about it. They have bizarre conspiracy theories about western nations wanting to oppress Africa by taking away sexual pleasure by teaching abstinence.

    Circ helps, if at all, ONLY with heterosexually transmitted AIDS. A cut man is as likely to infect a clean woman as an uncut man. Cut ONLY appears to reduce the likelihood that a man will be infected by an infected woman. GIven the way the clinical trials were run, we cannot rule out that circ only slows down the spread of AIDS. Given enough time, and enough irresponsible sex, cutting won’t much influence the death rate from AIDS over the long run.

  67. Those who say “circumcision reduces AIDS”, I point to this:

    Scandinavian countries (like Finland, where male circumcision is thankfully outlawed) have ALWAYS had historically low HIV/AIDS rates and have a virtually 100% male population. Europe is the same.

    Furthermore, the US is the 2ND HIGHEST male circumcision population (after Israel and Arab countries), yet has the 2ND HIGHEST HIV/AIDS rate (after Africa).

    Obviously it’s NOT about penis amputation but more about safer sex education and behaviour (after all, it’s in Africa where they believe circumcision gives them an “invisible condom” or “having sex with a virgin will rid you of HIV/AIDS”).

    I conclude that African study has NEVER had results duplicated in ANY other region of the world.

  68. NTVNAT: Wallerstein (1980), the founding tract of intactivism, and written before AIDS was discovered, pointed out the leadership role of Scandinavia in general and Finland in particular.

    The USA has the HIGHEST HIV/AIDS rate of any western nation.

    Thank you for giving concrete examples of the weird beliefs prevalent in Africa.

    The African clinical trials cannot be replicated in the West because they would not pass muster with human ethics committees. Imagine selecting 3000 German boys at random, excluding the circumcised Muslims, then selecting a random half of the remainder to undergo circumcision. The control group would be forbidden to undergo circumcision except for a compelling medical problem.

    Then follow the two groups for 20 years, carefully noting the STD experience of all subjects. What would the circumcised half say when they began their sex lives?

  69. I am looking for someone to do an expose’ on a custom. I am a nurse in newborn nursery. The pain that sweet tiny baby boys go through during a circumcision horrifies me. It is surgery without anesthesia. It is 10 minutes of pure hell. The pain is so horrendous that many babies go into shock immediately. They just stare and make gurgly noises. They are the lucky ones. The others remain perfectly aware of the pain that goes on and on. Their piercing screams haunt me.

    In history, the earliest surgery was done without anesthesia. Just tie them down and do it quick. Some people were willing to have surgery once. But I’ve read that people refused to endure surgery a second time – even if it meant death. They knew how severe the pain was, and decided they would rather die than endure that pain a second time.

    How can intelligent, educated people not realize that a scalpel causes a horrendous, sharp, excruciating pain that no human being should ever have to endure. Tell me how a custom can be so strong that it overpowers intelligence and common sense.

    For example, the Chinese custom of “binding” young girls’ feet. The toes were forced down under the foot [ breaking bones, I believe ] and tightly bound forever. So the feet couldn’t grow. Forever small. Big feet were considered UGLY. No one would marry a girl with big feet. Can you imagine the pain? Americans are not under the influence of Chinese customs and from a distance, we are apalled! But in China, even after a law was passed against foot-binding, some parents would still do it – knowing that they were going to prison. That is how strong a custom can be. It can cloud judgement.

    The pain of circumcision wouldn’t be quite as bad if the foreskin was fully developed at birth. But it is still adhered to the glans [ head of the penis ] and does not separate naturally for several years. Mother Nature may be slow, but it produces an exquisitely sensitive sexual organ.

    The first step of a circumcision is to rip the adhered foreskin off the glans using a metal probe. But the two skins are still fused as one. And patches of skin are ripped off the glans in the process. I see the glans of these tiny penises with skin missing and the tissue exposed every day. The pain is supposed to be comparable to having a metal probe forced under your fingernail and ripping it back and forth until the fingernail comes off. Imagine the pain! It is now recommended that a pain block be used. But it is not a law. So only a few babies get it.

    So why do we do it? Because it is what we are used to. A custom. Explain that to a baby that is enduring a pain that no human being should ever have to endure!

    There are many other reasons not to circumcise. It is removing the best skin of the penis. The foreskin contains approx. 20,000 specialized nerves that enhance sexual pleasure. The skin remaining is crude and has only a fraction of the sensation. The foreskin is NOT extra skin. It is there so that the penis can get longer during an erection. It is designed to unfold and stretch out, allowing the penis to grow. In the process, the foreskin is pulled off the glans. The glans is then uncovered and now the intact penis looks the same as a circumcised penis. They end up looking the same during an erection. But the intact penis is larger and has more sensation.

    Over the years, doctors have invented excuses for circumcision and the public latches onto them. These excuses are false and misleading. There is no reason good enough to inflict such sharp, excruciating pain on someone you love. To forever decrease his sexual pleasure. To amputate the best, most sensitive part of his penis. To violate his human rights.

    As I watch parents hug and kiss their new babies. Then insist that their babies endure a pain that is comparable to a fingernail being ripped off with a metal probe. And then a scalpel cuts – with no anesthesia. I want to scream, “Do you love your baby, or hate him?”

    There are many organizations that would help you with an expose’. They are easy to find on the internet. Please help! Babies are weak. This custom is strong.

  70. Karen Nurse: everything you wrote is well known in intactivist circles.

    The fundamental problem is that a good local anesthetic was first sold in 1950: lidocaine. It’s use for a variety of minor surgeries is completely standard. But it was almost never used for infant circ until about 10 years ago. Even today, at least half of infant circs are still done without anesthesia. Doctors can’t be bothered to do something differently from what they learned in their residencies years ago.

    I am surprised that more nurses have not revolted against this barbaric practice. I think that routine infant circ without anesthesia of some kind should be deemed a sexual assault or medical malpractice. It is sexual violence.

    Yet I have two friends who have told me that they held their sons as they were being cut, and shrugged off the screams they heard. That’s how deep the belief that circ is good is.

    I am deeply moved how a woman like yourself has a more eloquent understanding of the tender bits circ removes, than tens of millions of American men.

    Your typical young American parents have never seen foreskin in the flesh. The typical mother has never been intimate with an intact partner. The foreskin is imagined to be a foul trap for stale pee and smegma, which is believed to be the foulest body secretion. Fathers fear that an intact son will be humiliated in the locker room. Mother does not want to be reminded of foreskin every time she changes a diaper or gives a bath. Both parents fear that young ladies will refuse to date their son when they find out he is intact. Many Americans are nervous conformists when it comes to body appearance.

    American circ will end when young American women decide that it is sexual violence, and that they prefer sex with foreskin. That day will arrive, of that you can be sure.

  71. Very cool mum. All those moms who say “a boy should look like his father” see http://www.circumstitions.com/Images/looklike.gif . And those who say the father should decide because he has one, well, not to put too fine a point on it :{ but if he doesn’t have all of one, he doesn’t know what he’s missing. You (almost certainly) have all of yours – would you have it any other way?

    One small point, Daphe. The Lauman study only found that in some subgroups of men, the circumcised men had experiences slightly more of certain practices than the non-circumcised, but it’s not at all clear what the connection is, if any.

  72. Awesome video Daphne.

    I hope you’ll continue to speak out on, and inform parents about, this harmful and unethical practice which is mostly continued on because people just never thought to question it.

    We need passionate people like you to keep speaking out to make sure people understand that healthy, valuable body parts (like the foreskin) are protected and treasured!

  73. I am thrilled to be reading these conversations and happy to say I am a mom of an non-circumcised 3 year old boy! I live in Maryland and it is safe to say I only know one other family who decided to leave their son intact, and they moved to California. It is very uncommen around me, although I speak out about it to whomever will listen.

    It is so engraned it US customs, that people are afraid to think out of the box. If insurance complanies would stop paying for it perhaps it would make parents stop thinking it is just what you do before your bring your son home from the hospital.
    Thank you!!!

  74. @Heather. It is sad to read you say that leaving a boy intact remains rare in Maryland. In much of the USA heartland, and among families where the parents are not immigrants, the Bellend still rules the roost.

    @mayisay. I cannot endorse the website to which you supply the URL. It is harsh and graphic, and makes no concession to feminine delicacy. in current lingo, it is Too Much Information. That website was created to advertise a book that makes a number of defensible points, but the underlying research methods were questionable. I know, because I sent away for the questionnaire the authors drew up. That questionnaire was a biased and tendentious affair. It was obvious that the person who drew it up knew nothing about the sociology and social psychology of medicine and sex.

    Couples think they are free agents when they choose to circumcise or not. I cannot emphasize enough that in fact, their choices are often the predictable outcomes of their life experiences, the communities they were born into, and the communities they aspire to join. Whether a baby boy is circumcised or not says a great deal about where the parents fall in the national class system, and where they want their children to be. Parents are often held in thrall by snobbishness without being aware of it. Talk of health and hygiene is mostly a smokescreen and rationalisation.

  75. @edouard, you raise good points. Unfortunately, parents decide on circumcision for reasons not based on evidenced-based medicine.

    As a son who was circumcised at birth, I would have preferred to remain intact. I feel like my body has been violated. And, as I aged, my equipment stopped working. After I began restoring my foreskin, my equipment started working again as the foreskin was able to protect my glans. I am finding out first hand that having a foreskin is better than being circumcised. My wife loves it because she does not get sore like she used to. And, we don’t need to use lube like we used to. Having a foreskin is a win-win for both of us. Too bad my parents decided to have my foreskin amputated.

    My body, my choice.

  76. Readers, I wish to endorse what Restoring Talley posted immediately above. There are men circumcised as infants or as teens, who discover that sex is not much fun. Intercourse leaves her feeling sore for 1-2 days afterwards. The natural secretions seem to fall down on the job, and they need lots of artificial lube. Sometimes marital sex stops entirely. They discover foreskin restoration, and after a few months the couple becomes capable of having sex and enjoying it. Restoring Talley is not one of a kind.

    Foreskin motion during vaginal intercourse can make a world of difference. American medical and sex research has not been honest about this possibility.

  77. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is an association of almost all the Pediatricians in the U.S., the benefits and harms of male circumcision are equal. So it is not justifiable to circumcise baby boys because circumcision has no net benefit.

  78. Thanks for your views Daphne. I cannot speak out for male circumcision as I am not a male, but what really intrigues me is how some mothers are all for circumcising their sons while not even choosing to discuss the issue of their daughters’ circumcision.

    I am a Muslim woman and chose to undergo circumcision as an adult when I found my religion demanded it. It was a simple procedure really with the lady doctor snipping away the skin covering my clitoris and it quickly healed. I am totally satisfied with the result. No more smelly smegma collecting under the hood while sex has also become more pleasurable, particularly during oral sex. Since my clit is now exposed without that smelly bit of skin impeding it, it is quickly turned on by my hubby’s tongue. Also no more UTIs. And for your information, there a great site dealing with this procedure which is called hoodectomy – http://www.hoodectomyinformation.com.

    Those mothers who want their sons done should certainly consider a hoodectomy for the same reasons.

  79. Dollars to donuts the preceding post is by a troll seeking to yank our chains.

    Islam does not require any cutting of the female genitals. Some Islamic communities believe that Islam recommends it. Millions of very devout Moslem women have bodies that are completely innocent of the scalpel, including in austere and puritanical Saudi Arabia..

    A committee of Islamic theologians at the chief Islamic academy in Cairo, ruled in 2007 that female genital cutting had no basis in Islam.

  80. Female hood-ectomy is not part of Islam because the Qur’an says not one word about genital; cutting for either gender. But I’m not a Muslim and who am I to tell someone else what is and isn’t part of their religion?

    Likewise, male circumcision is not part of Christianity due to about a dozen New Testament passages including “If you be cicumcised Chirst shall profit you nothing.” But tell that to 5% of the world’s Chirstians (mainly in the US, South Korea, and The Philippines) who circumcise anyway.

    I do know the bible says THOU SHALL NOT STEAL, and taking healthy normal body parts from someone too young to give informed consent can only be stealing.

  81. In support of sister Roze, here an interesting news item that supports the need for a hoodectomy

    Oral sex linked to cancer risk

    US scientists said Sunday there is strong evidence linking oral sex to cancer, and urged more study of how human papillomaviruses may be to blame for a rise in oral cancer among white men.

    In the United States, oral cancer due to HPV infection is now more common than oral cancer from tobacco use, which remains the leading cause of such cancers in the rest of the world.

    Researchers have found a 225-percent increase in oral cancer cases in the United States from 1974 to 2007, mainly among white men, said Maura Gillison of Ohio State University. “The rise in oral cancer in the US is predominantly among young white males and we do not know the answer as to why.”

    It is obvious that the only way men can acquire the HPV virus is through the oral stimulation of one’s partner’s clitoris which allows the virus to enter the mouth. The virus no doubt is harboured in the prepuce of the clitoris just as it has been found that HPV also resides in the foreskins of males, through the transmission of which cervical cancer occurs in females. Thus a hoodectomy could, by removing the part that harbors the virus, significantly reduce or eliminate the risk of women transmitting the virus to their male partners.

  82. @ahmed: your post is silent about the fact that in the USA, about 1 adult male in 40 is exclusively homosexual after the 21st birthday. Some men are opportunistically bisexual, and are very reluctant to reveal the fact, because most women deem that grounds for divorce. It is quite possible that this rise in oral HPV is concentrated in men who have oral sex with men. Until it is demonstrated that there has been a large rise in HPV-caused oral cancer in purely straight men, we should keep scalpels away from women’s privates.

    @Roze: you had your genitalia altered as an adult, and an educated one at that. That is your prerogative. Please understand that your satisfaction with the outcome of what was done to you, in no way justifies doing the same to other woman under the age of 21.

    Likewise if a man who is past college age and whose sex life is well under way, wishes to have his foreskin and frenulum removed, that is his business. But please, people, leave baby boys alone.

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