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“When an American physician says that circumcision prevents UTI or cancer of the penis, he is sincere. But, it is like a medieval Chinese physician saying that foot binding prevents flat feet. If someone asks me, “What rate of preventable UTI would justify male circumcision?” I respond by asking, “What rate of preventable UTI would justify female circumcision?” The second question is patently absurd unless one’s cultural bias allows a sympathetic view of female circumcision. Therefore, the first question can be only slightly less absurd.”

~ Martin S. Altschul MD


Genital Integrity Statement by Doctors Opposing Circumcision

The Case Against Circumcision

1) The Pain is Excruciating

The foreskin is attached like a fingernail (see #4).

Need I say more?

Don’t forget to have the volume on for the following video.

That we have the legal and ethical option to inflict pain upon vulnerable, trusting, helpless babies for an unnecessary procedure is a testament to how far we still have to go before we can consider ourselves out of the dark ages.

50% of circumcisions in the United States are performed without any anaesthetic at all.  The 50% that do use it, often use the topical cream which is wrought with hazards.  The toxins in anaesthetics aside, the major problem is the doctors are not waiting long enough for the anaesthetic to work (link shortly), they are waiting an hour or less (sometimes only minutes) when it takes two hours or more to work.  Add to this, in babies under 6 months of age, they must not have the cream on longer than 1 hour.

The dorsal blocks and other needle locals have their own problems.  The pain of a local is quite significant and for a newborn it is shocking at best.  Then we have the issue of whether the block worked – for some it simply doesn’t, as many of us know ourselves.  For others, it takes longer, or it needs a top up… all these things an ADULT can communicate, a baby cannot.  So when the baby cries, they do not know this baby is experiencing great pain.  That is offensive and out of order, officially it is torture, although many parents who circumcise their boys object to the use of such a term… a rose by any other name… is still torture.

Then we have the millions upon millions of boys who are circumcised without anaesthetic because that is their custom, often ritualistic or religious.

It was not long ago that there was debate whether babies even feel the pain of having the most sensitive organ on their body sliced and peeled off.  This has now been conclusively scientifically debunked, however I think many people still cling to the idea that a newborn is such a non-entity, or the common, “they made it through the birth canal didn’t they?” that they don’t feel as much pain as an adult.  Add to that the fact that newborns in our society protest and scream so much that we can jot their experience of circumcision up to just another inconvenience, pat them on the back, and move past it.

Studies show there is tremendous pain felt by infants during and after circumcision.

Over a dozen studies confirm the extreme pain of circumcision. It has been described as “among the most painful [procedures] performed in neonatal medicine.”( 2) In one study, researchers concluded that the pain was “severe and persistent.”( 3) Increases in heart rate of 55 beats per minute have been recorded, about a 50 percent increase over the baseline.( 4) After circumcision, the level of blood cortisol increased by a factor of three to four times the level prior to circumcision.( 5) Investigators reported,

“This level of pain would not be tolerated by older patients.”( 6) …

When you lay them on their stomachs they scream. When their diaper is wet they scream. Normally, they don’t scream if their diaper is wet. Baby boys who are not circumcised do not scream like that. The circumcised babies are more irritable, and they nurse poorly.( 24) (see note on affects to breastfeeding, below)

Infant Responses During and Following Circumcision

Babies can actually survive torture, abuse and many other emotionally and physically horrific things and look quite fine in the morning, smiling at those who inflicted it upon them.  Did they not feel that pain, just because they cannot communicate it in a language we understand?  Or could it be that they are much more zen about suffering than an adult, who will replay the event over and over in their head and moan and whine about it for long lengths of time? Could a baby also give up trying to communicate their continued suffering, because they are not linguistic and in our culture, that is all we consider to be ‘communication'; screaming and bucking at restraints apparently isn’t clear enough to us.

Men who have been circumcised as adults have said that it hurts like hell to have their foreskin cut and removed.  However, they had it easy compared to a baby because a baby’s foreskin is still attached to the glans.  “Fused” is the term used in medical books.  It slowly and naturally wears down so that by the age of ten the foreskin is independent of the glans.  So a baby not only has the pain an adult has of circumcision but also the added pain of ripping the foreskin from the glans prematurely.

If you still insist on doing this to your child, do you know the answers to these questions:

  • Do you know for sure they are going to use anaesthetic on your child?
  • Do you know for sure the anaesthetic is a cream or a needle, which can be painful in itself?
  • How do you know for sure the anaesthetic will work?
  • Will you know the anaesthetic has kicked in before they cut?  This is a very common problem that an infant cannot communicate.
  • Do you know why they prefer you do not accompany your baby to be circumcised and in some places you are not allowed to?

Perhaps you’d like to consider the instincts a mother has to protect her baby are there for a reason.  If you see your child restrained and screaming desperately for you, even before the pain occurs, you will feel an overwhelming urge to grab your baby and run.  Trust nature and follow that instinct.  Keeping mothers from their babies during this abuse prevents that instinct from fully kicking in, although it will be there to some extent.

A friend told me she couldn’t watch her child being circumcised. I asked if she would sit by her baby if he had been harmed in an accident and was screaming for her, perhaps in much pain.  “Of course, that’s my job.”

“Could you sit through awake surgery, blood and all, for your son?”

“I see blood every month on my panties; I’d walk through fire for my son, I would be there.”

So I asked, “What is so different about this?  Because you’ll be the cause of it?”

Her mouth did the open-close goldfish thing but I could see I’d asked “the” uncomfortable question.  Congratulations, you’ve just given birth to several pounds of guilt.  Such is motherhood.

If you still do this to your child, at least have the guts and decency to be there.  You are putting them through this, stand up and be accounted for, don’t turn your back because it’s too hard for you to sit through.  This isn’t about you, it’s about them, snap out of it.  Learning that now will save you the next 20 years of anguish as you battle for your lost identity to the new one of “mother”.

Further research and reading:

Circumcision and Pain

2) The procedure and pain has long lasting consequences.

Like we should need to be told something like that.

We don’t remember our babyhood and most of our childhood is a blur.  This had led us to believe that anything that has happened during those “black” spaces of memory has not affected us.  Now that science and psychology is becoming more advanced, just what it can see on the surface shows this is far from the case.

The foundation years, although not even a memory to almost every adult, are profoundly important and influential to our future reactions, relationships and general interaction with the world.  The implications of being taken from the natural home of our mother’s arms, having our most intimate sexual body part forcibly inflicted with pain and altered while spread eagled on a table and with no compassionate face or touch to be found before we’ve even been given a chance to figure out where we are in this world, is profound.

That should not be a surprise.  Yet how often I hear, “I hadn’t thought of that.”  That’s because:  We’re just not thinking about this at all.  We do this out of social norm, habit and medical mythology and only a tiny fraction of people research this.

Trauma results in dissociation, a separation of the traumatic experience and associated emotional pain from awareness [28]…

The possibility of circumcision resulting in traumatic effects on older children can be better explored because of the easier access to memory and the child’s ability to talk. Two reports have studied the ritual as practiced without anaesthesia on children in Turkey. In the first report, testing subjects 4-7 years old shortly before and after the ritual yielded this result: ‘Circumcision is perceived by the child as an aggressive attack on his body, which damaged, humiliated and, in some cases totally destroyed him’ [37]. According to this study, circumcision resulted in increased aggressiveness and weakened the ego, causing withdrawal, and reduced functioning and adaptation. Withdrawal is a defensive response that individuals use to protect themselves against further attack.

Psychological Impact of Circumcision

Further research:

Effect of Neonatal Circumcision on Pain Response During Subsequent Routine Vaccination

Circumcision and Breastfeeding

Male Circumcision: Pain, Trauma and Psychosexual Sequelae.

3) It is genital mutilation.

Is Circumcision Mutilation?

Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity, and fashion will drive them to acquire any custom.

~ George Bernard Shaw

Anyone who was instrumental in having their son circumcised bucks at the term “mutilation”.  It is the correct term, however.  We don’t use the term commonly yet because people don’t like to hear the blatant truth of what it is.

The female version is female genital mutilation (FGM) according to most medical, legal and social arenas.

If we’re not comfortable with the term, there’s good reason for that.  It isn’t the name of it that should make us uncomfortable but the FACT of it.

An interesting parallel:

According to a joint WHO/UNICEF/UNFPA statement, the use of the word “mutilation” reinforces the idea that this practice is a violation of the human rights of girls and women, and thereby helps promote national and international advocacy towards its abandonment…They also state that parents resent the suggestion that they are “mutilating” their daughters.

Female Genital Cutting – wiki

Sound familiar?

Specifically, it fits the criteria of mutilation in these ways:

- to cut off or otherwise destroy the use of;

- deprivation of a limb or of an essential part

The foreskin is cut off and destroyed.  Just that alone fits the criteria. It is an essential part.  Some contest “essential”, apparently.  Yes, we live without it but we can live without many body parts, so that is not what is meant by “essential” here.  Essential to natural penile function.  And again, I agree a cut penis “functions”.  But it no longer functions naturally.  For the natural functions of the foreskin and penis, check the points about sensitivity loss and female problems.

4) In babies, the foreskin is attached like a fingernail.

Rip off your fingernail.  Notice the pain.

In infants, the foreskin is attached in the same way to the glans.  Medical texts call it “fused”.  The glans and the penis are like “one”.  This slowly separates over time until the foreskin moves independently from the glans.  A baby’s fingernails are more easily peeled off – anyone with kids may have accidentally discovered this horrifying fact!  My son loses bits of nail covering now and again, his nails are like paper.  Peeling back the foreskin of a baby is possible, difficult, but possible – like his fingernail.

The glans (or head of the penis), like the clitoris, was designed to be an internal organ that only comes “out” for intercourse.  It is important not to retract the foreskin of an intact baby due to this as damage can result.  Protect your intact son from doctors who will retract the foreskin in an examination.  You don’t peel back a fingernail to see what is underneath it, to clean it or to treat any condition of it.  Like a fingernail, you can see any problems from the outside and treat it orally or topically.  Step in fast, doctors can rip it back before you even get a chance to stop them, causing damage.  If a doctor or other health care worker attempts to retract, or already has, please follow these guidelines to prevent it happening to another baby: A Warning For Parents of Intact Sons

Once the foreskin has been removed, there is absolutely nothing to protect the glans, and it remains exposed. What was meant to be a moist, deep red internal area like the mouth is now dried out, chafed and skin coloured like the surrounding skin.

The circumcised male brings little lubrication to intercourse as the foreskin is retains the pre-ejaculate fluid; as such, western sexuality is almost cliche with the expectation that it is the woman who brings the wetness or a tube of lube.  The woman alone cannot maintain the lubrication required to prevent chafing and friction for the full length of a sexual experience.  Even entry to the vagina requires saliva or other artificial means most of the month except commonly during ovulation.  Most of the brunt of friction was meant to be taken by the foreskin, not a glob of lubricant.  Add to that the fact that a large percentage of cut men tend to thrust longer and harder to achieve the necessary sensations due to decreased sensitivity (see #8).

I once met a nurse who said a foreskin was hard to look after, yet compared to post-operative recovery, how bad could it be?  Turns out there are three rules to the care and feeding of the intact penis:

1) leave it alone.

2) leave it alone.

3) leave it alone.

Uhhh, that doesn’t seem all that difficult to me.  Two years on, and I have never had to do a thing to my son’s penis.  It cleans itself, it’s the easiest part of his anatomy, truth be told.  And no, he isn’t just “lucky”.  80% of the world is intact.  Problems with body parts occur in the ears, eyes, hands, umbilical cord, heart, brain and yes, penis and foreskin.  They are all rare, not something you “expect” just because the baby has that body part.

The Foreskin is Necessary

MEDICAL JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIA, Volume 160: Pages 134-135, 7 February 1994

5) I wouldn’t alter a girl in this way, and boys count, too.

Female vs Male

One day, male genital mutilation will be invalidated the way female genital mutilation (FGM) is in most countries now.  Females are mutilated in certain cultures for the same reasons we mutilate our boys, reasons like religious morality, hygiene, protection from disease and simply out of habit.  They see all that female flesh and think it serves no purpose, is ugly, pointless and a trap for discharge and dirt and the cause of immoral behaviour. All these things are exactly the way the male foreskin has been viewed. On both counts, male and female, they are all myths, dangerous, damaging myths.

The female equivalent of the foreskin is the clitoral hood (not the labia, or “lips” as commonly believed).  It is called the prepuce in both men and women and has been the most vilified normal human anatomical structure for at least several thousand years.

FGM varies in severity from removal of the hood right through to removal of the entire outer labia and clitoris itself.  However, the removal of the clitoral hood is technically termed Type 1a FGM This is the equivalent of “circumcision” in males, however it is illegal in most of the world and recognised as mutilation.  FGM even has it’s own UN sponsored awareness day, Feb 6: International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation

I predict that one day, so shall male genital mutilation.

Just as calling male circumcision mutilation has elicited strong emotional reaction in parents, so has likening it to female genital mutilation.  I’ve personally been told that it is an “offensive” and “ridiculous” comparison.  This only shows the common ignorance to the facts of both male and female genital “alteration”.    Apparently the removal of the female prepuce (clitoral hood) is completely different to the removal of the male prepuce (foreskin).

In WHAT way, exactly??

Oh, well there is one glaring difference… the adult clitoral hood is a tiny structure,; the adult foreskin is 15 inches of erogenous tissue!

The idea nature or God made some kind of mistake in males or females like that is ludicrous.  Nature doesn’t make mistakes.  WE do.

FGM is most common in Africa, and most commonly done on young girls although often on babies, too. The parallels are interesting:

- the mother is offended at the term “mutilation”. She does NOT believe what she did to her daughter is mutilation.

- they believe it helps prevent disease. They believe it keeps things ‘cleaner”. They believe it looks better than a natural one. They believe it makes absolutely no difference to the sexual experience, or that it is better.

- they have orgasms, and believe their sexuality is fully functional and that nothing traumatic happened to them, and that no deprivation of liberty occurred. They do the same to their own daughter.

- the mother believes she has the “right” to do this to her daughter.

Now, if you’re a woman with your foreskin (prepuce) intact, are you glad you still have it, or do you think you would have been better off if you were pinned down screaming and cut because “your mother was” or because “it’s unclean” and “dirty” and “ugly”??

6) It is pointless and absolutely unnecessary.

Remaining intact is natural.  Surgery immediately upon birth is not.

There are NO medical advantages.  HIV was the only medical idea showing results slightly in favour of circumcision occasionally.  However, not in the most recent studies of grown males:

After adjustment for age and number of partners, circumcision was unrelated to STI history except for non-specific urethritis (higher among circumcised men) and penile candidiasis (lower among circumcised men).

Circumcision was unrelated to any of the sexual difficulties we asked about … except that circumcised men were somewhat less likely to have worried during sex about whether their bodies looked unattractive. No association between lack of circumcision and erection difficulties was detected. After correction for age, circumcised men were somewhat more likely to have masturbated alone in the previous 12 months.

Circumcision in Australia -further evidence on its effects on sexual health and wellbeing, April 2010

I really like this man’s response to all this data:

Why are people even doing this research. You wouldn’t cut of any other healthy functional part of your body on the off chance that it may later be involved in a disease. Posted by Peter Hoath here.

Circumstitions

Mothers Against Circ

The Case Against Circumcision

Doctors Opposing Circumcision

Forum: The Case Against Circumcision

Forum: Mothering Magazine

Pro-circumcision advocates will tell you that circumcision in infancy prevents penile cancer and STDs.

An infant is not sexually active!  They have no risk of STDs, so again… it can wait.

As for penile cancer, it is not a risk in infancy, prophylactic surgery on an infant is maniacal.  Especially when you consider the fact that penile cancer is actually more rare than breast cancer in men!  2000 men get breast cancer, 500 die in a year.

1 in 100000 men get penile cancer.   When someone gives you this as a reason, feel assured you are dealing with a desperate pro-circ advocate who will be extremely biased because this particular statistic is not a valid reason to mutilate a child upon their birth.  No reason is, however this one is particularly offensive.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) at least have a statistic in whole numbers, at about 1 or 2% in boys depending on who’s statistics you buy.  8% are suffered by females.  They are also the only reason given by pro-circumcision activists for circumcision in infancy.  UTIs are easily treated, leaving a very tiny statistic of children at risk of any kidney involvement.

Over all, the medical argument is the weakest area of the pro-mutilation argument.  Studies are showing there is no benefit, now or in future.  Earlier studies that showed those benefits are so obscure (penile cancer) or simple (UTIs) or futuristic (STDs) that it is rather comical.

There are no advantages to genital mutilation for either a boy or a girl however there are many disadvantages and risks.

Aside from very rare medical issues, such as phimosis, there is no reason to remove a foreskin.  We don’t cut every baby’s eye muscles just because a rare few are born with strabismus (crossed eyes) and need those muscles cut.  The foreskin is necessary, removing it is insanity based on mythology and in our culture almost always done simply for tradition.

Cutting a pumpkin for Halloween is a cute tradition, stick with that.  Cutting a penis just because the rest of the family is cut… not so cute.

Circumcision actually has it’s history based in religion and morality (more on this in #18).  However, once that reason lost favour with the people in the 1900’s, the medical reasons became popular.  There are no medical benefits to having a perfectly good body part removed, and that includes the foreskin… just so we’re clear.

However, there have always been an interesting list of things the medicos of the day said you could avoid if you were circumcised.

For over a hundred years, circumcision has been a solution looking for a problem, and the problem has typically been the most frightening disease of the day -

  • “masturbation insanity” in the 19th century,
  • then tuberculosis,
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (then called Venereal Disease or VD) after World War I,
  • penile cancer in the 1930s, and
  • cervical cancer in the 1950s, when cancers were terrifyingly untreatable,
  • urinary tract infections from 1982 onward,
  • and now HIV.

Circumcision and HIV

Facing Circumcision: Eight Physicians Tell Their Stories

Does Circumcision Cause Disease?

Circumcision and Cancer

Religious Advantage

Some will say there is one advantage of genital mutilation, and that is of course, satisfying God or the religious community’s expectations.  The covenant with God in the Jewish faith, for instance, has always entailed circumcision of an infant at 8 days old.  Only 3% of Israeli Jews refuse to circumcise their sons.  However, the movement against MGM is growing, and questions are being raised amongst the faithful.

There is the option for Brit Shalom, or Brit b’li Milah (covenant without cutting).  Your son can choose to have his foreskin removed in his teens, it is the only right course of action.  God will understand.  What is God, if not the energy of understanding?  If you believe in a vengeful God, and many do, then you may fear God’s wrath will rain upon your son.  Fear not for your son.  God will not blame your son, for the choice is not his, he cannot be blamed for having an intact penis.  The choice to leave him intact will be yours.  Therefore, the blame falls to you.

The question then becomes: do you have the courage to take the blame from God to protect your son’s genital integrity so he may make the choice for himself at a later age?

Here’s a tip: God can see into your heart, even more clearly than you can.  God knows you are acting with love, he will forgive you.  A loving family will also forgive you.  No one will blame the child, no one who isn’t a raving lunatic, at any rate.  God made the foreskin, and many babies die with one, are the babies to blame?  No, God’s not stupid.

Will you act from fear, or will you act from love?  Think deeply, the two are easily confused.

Magnificent letter from a Jewish father to his intact son

Islam and Circumcision

The Case for Brit Without Milah

Jews Against Circumcision

A list of celebrants who perform Brit Shalom

Catholics Against Circumcision

7) I don’t have the right.

Many parents say it is their “choice” and they have the right.  This is FALSE.  You do not own your child’s body.  It is their body, from birth until death.  You are to help them keep it clean and healthy and safe, that’s it, that’s all.

Back OFF.

This is as much a choice as removing the labia from your daughter – do you consider that a choice that you have?  Why not? Do you have the right to alter your son’s earlobe?  No?  Why not?

We get confused, thinking all the decisions we make on the behalf of our children such as vaccinations, schooling and dental visits are the same as removing a perfectly healthy part of their body for no reason other than “preference”.  Circumcision has been put on the smörgåsbord of parental “choices” out of sheer madness and lack of clear thinking and knowledge.

If you have ever been a foster parent, you will be aware of the odd sensation of parenting a child who is not, and perhaps never will be, “yours”.  You are entrusted with their care but unlike other parents, you don’t make long term decisions on behalf of that child, because it might not suit the child’s future family, religion and preferences.

It is a shame we don’t apply this same respect to our own children.

Qld Australia Law Reform Commission:

“The court will not approve the treatment unless it is necessary and in the young person’s best interests.(132)… The basis of this attitude is the respect which must be paid to an INDIVIDUAL’S BODILY INTEGRITY…. On a strict interpretation of the assault provisions of the Queensland Criminal Code, routine circumcision of a male infant COULD BE REGARDED AS A CRIMINAL ACT.”


International Coalition for Genital Integrity

Circumcision and Human Rights

8.) Decreases sensitivity.

This is the most studied and obvious aspect of this topic.  Regardless of the volumes of studies on the tissue, the science, etc, the best evidence of this comes from studies of intact men who get circumcised as adults.  Regret is almost inevitable.  They do this for newly adopted religious reasons, misguided ideas or information on benefits and other reasons.

The foreskin is full of nerve endings and is the way of retaining natural lubrication.  It is also a protective cover.  Removing that cover exposes the glans of the penis to constant stimulation and rubbing against clothing.  This idea makes an intact male shudder.  Where some people think the exposed glans heightens sensitivity and sexual pleasure, the reverse is actually true.  The penis desensitises to cope.  The newly cut man will experience heightened sensitivity, however it is usually uncomfortable more than enjoyable and it does not last.

If you ask a circumcised man about sexuality and sensitivity he will usually tell you everything is fine, great, just dandy.  However, he doesn’t know it any other way.  You can’t miss something you’ve never had.  Only those who have been circumcised as adults have that perspective.

The whole of this article is full of reasons and links about the decrease of sensitivity.  However, aside from the before and after stories of men who were cut as adults, another way you can note the lessened sensitivity is the way a cut man masturbates.  He will often grasp the shaft really tightly and may even reef up and down like he might pull it right off.  If you have never done this, and are partnered with a circ’d man, clasp his penis and have him clasp around your hand and show you how tight to hold him, you might be surprised!  It is actually difficult to maintain that kind of grip for very long.    Intact men usually have to “teach” an experienced woman how to hold gently. Tell me, how is a soft vagina that has perhaps pushed out a baby supposed to compete with that kind of grip?  No wonder a “tight vagina” is the holy grail in our culture.

Video: 15 Inches of Erogenous Tissue

Study: Circumcision Removes Most Sensitive Parts

The Prepuce (foreskin)

Erogenous Tissue Loss After Circumcision

Functions of the Foreskin

9) Causes problems for female partners.

As a female, this was a particularly important aspect in my research.

It includes problems in the relationship, problems people would never think to suspect altered genitals as the culprit.  Yet, it makes so much sense when a little thought and research is put to the topic.

Mutilated/altered genitals = problems during sex for the victim and the victim’s partner.   It’s not a big stretch.  Suddenly everything starts to make sense.  How does a woman tell her partner that although long hard thrusts are good now and then, particularly when begged for, overall, they are more irritating and… let’s be frank, boring if that is how it goes every session.

Female orgasm during sex is almost myth, with the majority of orgasms occurring during foreplay or a specific part of intercourse dedicated to “her”.  The amount of books in the American market on the low libido of women is phenomenal, with sexual dysfunction in men a close second.  A little anthropological look around the world will unearth the disconcerting fact that this is not occurring in natural cultures.  Although there are many contributing factors in our culture, it’s time to take a good hard look at what we’re really trying to achieve by mutilating perfectly good sexual organs. Are we really going to play shocked at this point that it may be a contributing factor to one of our culture’s biggest relationship problems?

Emotional issues such as low libido, sexual frustration, disconnection from partner, lack of bonding and physical problems with lubrication, friction, and lack of clitoral stimulation to name a few.  The original reason to cut men was to decrease sensitivity and keep him morally upstanding… however, these are not goals in the bedroom of a long term loving relationship!

The loss of the required extra 15 inches of flesh means the erect penis is very tight; depending on the amount of foreskin loss, it can actually pull the pubic hair off the pubic mound and up the shaft, causing chafing in the lower vagina.

America has one of the highest global rates of circumcision and is the highest by a huge margin for non-religious cutting.

One of the more common problems with circumcised penises is the tendency to cause chronic bladder infections in women from the long thrusts and “bladder banging”.  Ya hear me girls?  I know you hear me.  Amen.

Another problem is vaginal dry out.  It becomes increasingly difficult to tell your man that you really do fancy him big time when the wetness diminishes as soon as the sex starts.  Perhaps his ego will be spared when he learns that 90% of the lubrication produced by a woman can be scooped out by a circ’d penis with one thrust.  Sobering.

So it isn’t your fault, ladies, you’re functioning just fine.  It isn’t his fault either, he most likely did not choose this situation.

This is a highly recommended link, to fully grasp the damage we have done to sex by assuming it’s “just a little flap of skin”:  As Nature Intended It

Top 10 Reasons Circumcised Sex Harms Women, with pictures and videos in each link:

WARNING: LINKS CONTAIN GRAPHIC MATERIAL.

1) Coronal Ridge Hook Scrapes the Vaginal Walls, causing Soreness

2) Coronal Hook Pulls Out Vaginal Lubrication

3) Elongated Thrusting Stroke Dries Out Vaginal Lubrication

4) Non-Moveable Shaft Skin Creates Friction Irritation

5) “Feels Like You’re Being Poked with a Broomstick”

6) Thrusts Hard, Rough and Tough, with Pounding, Bang-away Thrusting

7) Circumcised Penis’s Elongated Strokes Create Infrequent Clitoris Contact that Hinders Her from Achieving Orgasm

8.) Circumcised Penis’s Out-of-Sync Thrusting Frustrates Her from Achieving Orgasm

9) Circumcised Sex Lessens Feelings of Love for One’s Partner

10) Circumcised Sex Can Deteriorate the Relationship

Perhaps you agree with some, all, or none.  Regardless of your experience, the fact is, these things affect many people.  Some may seem unrelated, too big a leap… and to that I say, unless you’ve been there, you are not in a position to say.  We can only give our own perspective, we cannot speak for the truth of others.

10) The option will always be there when he grows up.

This speaks for itself.  It is my son’s foreskin.  It’s his choice.

As an adult, he may wish he was circumcised at which point he can go ahead and get it done.  The reverse is not true.  Should he wish he had a foreskin as an adult, he cannot ever put it back on.  Restoration is possible, but it is not the same as the original, with all its nerve endings. Which is tightly related to the next topic…

11) It is irreversible.

Once gone, it’s gone.  That’s it.  Kaput.

Restoration is not the same.  The percentage of men who become circumcised as adults is very small.  The percentage of those who then restore is even smaller, mostly because people don’t know it is an option.  However, those men do exist and the reports are that sexual function and sensation was a 10 before the cut, a 3 after the cut and a 7 after restoration.

Restoration won’t make it a natural 10, but a 7 is better than a 3!!

12) Risk of Physical Damage and Death.

Complications

More Complications

Death

More Death

It is an incontestable fact at this point that there are more deaths from complications of circumcision than from cancer of the penis.

It is unlikely that a listing of the hazards of circumcision will deter parents who insist on circumcision of their infant for religious reasons. However, for all other parents, physicians should become more vociferous than they have been in discouraging circumcision of the newborn.

(from link above)

13) Babies Tell You They Don’t Want To Be Circumcised.

Although I find it ridiculous that I must write this “out loud”, write it I shall because the world is full of twattery.  Fathers actually believe their child wants this done, because they prefer their own circumcised penis and are glad their parents made that choice.  Mothers believe their child wants it for much the same reason – they see their partner is happy with their lot – and because they prefer the look of the cut penis.

The babies are not giving you “future” consent.  There is no such thing.  They are not giving their consent at all, and their reactions make this clear.  There are different cries in babies, and mothers in a natural setting (the jungle, for example), are so in tune with their babies they rarely cry.  In fact, they don’t have diapers/nappies at all, they “just know” when the baby needs to go.  When asked by Westerners how they could possibly know this, the mother looks at them like they’re whacked and says, “How do you know when you need to go?”  It’s a no brainer to them, yet such a mother-child connection is an unfathomable freaky weird mystery to us.

Infants DO communicate, in quite a complex fashion.  Their cries change and even our culture can tell the difference between some cries, for instance, the pain cry.  If your baby is sick, a doctor will ask if your baby has a “high pitched, urgent cry” and this cry elicits panic from those around the baby, especially the mother – nature intended this reaction.

Watch this video again if you are not sure what a “pain cry” sounds like.  THAT is a pain cry.  Mixed with terror and confusion.

Don’t forget: they are human beings.

Our culture tends to forget that.  We treat our children with much less respect than we do adults, and we already treat each other with such little respect that doesn’t say much for what’s left over for kids.  If an adult hits another adult, even on the legs, he or she can be charged with assault.  Yet an adult can hit a child, even in public, and not only is nothing done, they may get smiles from onlookers.  That alone speaks volumes.  But it’s the tip of the iceberg.  We take liberties with our children, and then wonder what the heck is wrong with our social chaos, depression skyrocketing, crime widening… something is obviously going horribly wrong and I suggest how we treat our very foundation, our children, is the root of the problem.  Circumcision is only one of many ways we have lost our innate ability to parent effectively.

14) Interferes With Breastfeeding.

Circumcision and Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding in our culture is difficult enough with everyone urging you to put the baby on formula at the first hint of a problem.  A woman doesn’t need the added stress of a baby in pain and recovery from a surgery that can be completely avoided.  Peeing hurts them, laying on their belly hurts them… there are many things to consider and with all the other things on a new mother’s plate, why add to that?

The statistics of failed attempts to breastfeed are huge in the United States.

15) It Goes Against Natural and Attachment Parenting

At the moment in our culture/society attachment parenting is a minority, but it is growing.  It is based on the earth-based cultures who have less or no crime, no social dysfunction and have extraordinary children, and babies that rarely cry.  Anthropologists have always been amazed at these striking human/social differences to our own culture, and plenty of texts have been written on the subject, however most are not layman user friendly.  For more easy to access info on this topic, I highly recommend The Continuum Concept by Jean Leidloff and The Vital Touch by Sharon Heller.  The connection becomes stronger, perhaps not as strong as living wild in community and nature, but much stronger than it otherwise may have been.  This connection steers you so well, you don’t need any other books as you learn from the master – your baby!

A mother ignoring her instincts will often experience what we call “post natal depression”. And the baby will experience what we call “colic”.  We have a barrage of medicines for both (typical attitude “just medicate it!”) when the remedy is simple.  Teach the mother to trust her instincts and stay 24 hours a day with the baby.  Yes, even when she is complaining that she feels “trapped by the baby”.  I had PND, very severe in fact.  The remedy was information and trust and the overwhelming relief that I could bond with my baby and stop his crying if I just held him – all the time!  No prams, no cots, no swings or electronic baby sitters, just me (and usually a warm breast nearby).

Babies studied in other cultures don’t arch back like they’re in pain, don’t draw their legs in like they have gas, don’t vomit like they have reflux, and don’t scream constantly.  If the baby has been used to longing for you, it may take a while to build that trust, so hang in there and just hold him while he readjusts.  When in doubt, hug.  Good rule, that.

So for me, this was a very important point as I am an attachment parent of two.  The birth is sacred, with appropriate quiet and darkness, like a cat or any other mammal giving birth seeks these elements.  When born, the baby, if untouched by anyone else and left in peace, will actually crawl her own way to the breast and latch on.  It is called the “newborn crawl”, and you can see it in this video.  Nature always provides, in ways we can’t even imagine yet.  Inbuilt mechanisms and connections… the way breast milk changes from the touch of a baby’s lips to give the baby what it needs – how does the mother’s body know from his lips what he needs?  Miraculous.

If we leave things alone, and trust nature and our bodies and instincts, things go well.  Removing a baby from the mother any time within the first weeks has further reaching consequences than our current medical system will admit, even with the evidence dancing in front of it.

When a baby cries, a mother wants to pick him up but our society has told her she is “spoiling” the baby.  For centuries now we have left babies crying, using judgment instead of instinct to decide if they “deserve” to be given affection or if they are better left to “cry it out”.  Reject judgment, trust your baby.  He’s not manipulating you, you’re trying to manipulate him, he’s just trying to restore order.

Leave the baby alone, leave the mother alone, they know what they’re doing.

16) It is Medieval, Shocking Barbaric and Weird.

People in the future will look back at MGM the way we today look back at public disembowelment as a form of punishment, or blood letting and leaches as sound medical practice.  Back then, they scoffed at the previous century’s weird medical ideas and practices.  We always think we’re so advanced, but really, we’re just infants of the scientific stage.  When a thing is all pervasive, a normal part of one’s culture, even those who don’t practise it can’t see it for what it really is.  If you can step back for a minute and take a good hard look at circumcision, really think about it, think about the vulnerable, trusting babies… the whole fact of it, how can a reasonable person not come to the conclusion that it is weird, barbaric and medieval?

17) Spread eagled restraint is like torture to a baby.

This is a circumstraint

Some babies are simply strapped down, others held down.  They buck and writhe so severely they have to bolt the circumstraint to the table.  Some babies have vomited from the hard crying, some have bled internally from stress.  And all that is before they even start to mess with their organs – often without anaesthetic.

A baby has a natural urge to ball up, preferably on the chest of his mother  It’s a gorgeous photographic moment for a reason, but it isn’t meant to be a moment, it is meant to be where the baby lives for quite some time.  Natural baby slings help.  Simply taking the baby from his mother will usually cause him to cry unless he is less than two weeks old (sleepy weeks).  Taking a baby from his mother and wrenching his body open will cause him to react violently.  Do not mistake this for stubbornness, for God’s sake he’s just been born!

I’m finding this hard to write, I hope you are finding it hard to read.  If you are, maybe you’ll spread the word with me.  We need to stop this, have I made that clear enough yet?  That I protected my son is not enough for me.  Information will stop this practise, please help me.

18.) The historical reasons for it are morality based

The Pleasures of the Foreskin

I don’t know about you but I’m the captain of my own morality.  I don’t need to be told what is wrong and right and what is respectful loving behaviour and what is out of line.

The history of circumcision is firmly rooted in morality judgments.  This changed once this angle lost favour but for centuries (at least) the moral majority really felt that reigning in our sex drive would cure all societal ails.  Two problems with that, one being circumcision does not curtail the sex drive, the second being… it failed miserably at curing anything, let alone society’s ails.

I believe that the best thing I can do for my son’s sense of “morality” is to be the best person I can be.  I can tell him things until I’m blue in the face, but it is who I am that shapes him.  I want him to know that nothing external really matters, that no matter how he alters himself or adorns himself, be it tattoos, piercings or clothing, he is already perfect, if he will just be still enough to allow that perfection to shine through.

How can I send him that message if I cut and alter him?  By altering him to somehow make him “better” than he was born, I would instantly become a hypocrite.

Morality is not contained beneath the foreskin, if you hope to expose it there, you will be sorely disappointed.

19) 80% of the World’s Males are Intact.

Circumcision is the overwhelming minority, and America has the highest rate of non-religious male genital mutilation in the world.

Most of the world has normal, natural, whole penises.  This usually comes as quite a shock to the average American.  Yet the rate of divorce, cancer, HIV, and pretty much every reason to circumcise is highest in America.

From a global perspective, most of the world does not practise circumcision; over 80% of the world’s males are intact (not circumcised) [1]. Most circumcised men are Muslim or Jewish; the USA is the only country in the world that circumcises most (60%) of its male infants for non-religious reasons. Other countries that circumcised a significant minority of male infants for non-religious reasons include Canada and Australia.

Psychological Impact

20) The Foreskin is a Necessary and Amazing Anatomical Structure.

But you already know that now, don’t you?

Are You a Regretful Parent or a Resentful Victim?

Join the class action suit: http://www.sueeasy.com/class_action_detail.php?case_id=258

Google restoration

Spread the word, particularly to parents-to-be: It’s A Boy!

Talk to each other.  Talk to your parents about it, but try not to blame.  Who can we really blame, the parents, the doctors, or the whole system?  To point that finger we first need to check the ways in which we, personally, do things out of habit or tradition or culture; the way we parent, the choices we make.

Talk to your own son if you are the regretful parent.  Let him in on the secrets you’ve learned, perhaps he would benefit from restoration.  Perhaps a deep psychological healing will occur just from acknowledgment and validation.

None of this is intended to make a circumcised man “feel bad about himself”.  I have been told many times that it is better for men to never know they have been missing something and were so terribly brutalised.  On some ostrich-type level, yes, this is true, ignorance is bliss.  However, by not disclosing the truth, it continues, and that is unacceptable.  They deserve to know the truth!  They still have a choice to do foreskin restoration.  In the meanwhile, let’s stop this from happening to other babies, other men.  Truth is power, but it isn’t always pleasant.

Good” Children – at What Price?
The Secret Cost of Shame

by Robin Grille and Beth Macgregor
A five-month-old baby is lying in his mother’s arms. He is close to sleep, then wakes and begins to cry. His mother tells him that he should stop being a naughty boy, and that she will be cross with him if he doesn’t sleep.An 18-month-old child is taken to a restaurant with her father and uncle. Her father goes to the bar, leaving the child with the uncle at the table. The child gets down from the table to follow her father. She is grabbed by her uncle and told that she is a bad child, and to stay in her chair. She looks around worriedly for her father.At an adult’s birthday party, a six-year-old is awake long past his bedtime. He is running around the hall with the helium-filled balloons. His father yells at him to leave the balloons alone, and tells him to stop being a trouble-maker.What did these children learn from these experiences? Many would say that the adults’ responses were necessary to teach the child the difference between right and wrong: between “good” and “bad” behavior. Verbal punishment is common in almost every home and school. It relies on shame as the deterrent, in the same way that corporal punishment relies on pain. Shaming is one of the most common methods used to regulate children’s behavior. But what if shaming our children is harming our children? Could it be that repeated verbal punishment leaves children with an enduring sense of themselves as inherently “bad”? If so, what can we do differently?What is Shame?Shame is designed to cause children to curtail behavior through negative thoughts and feelings about themselves. It involves a comment – direct or indirect – about what the child is. Shaming operates by giving children a negative image about their selves – rather than about the impact of their behavior.What Does Shaming Look and Sound Like?Shaming makes the child wrong for feeling, wanting or needing something. It can take many forms; here are some everyday examples: The put-down: “You naughty boy!”, “You’re acting like a spoiled child!”, “You selfish brat!”, “You cry-baby!”. Moralizing: “Good little boys don’t act that way”, “You’ve been a bad little girl”. The age-based expectation: “Grow up!”, “Stop acting like a baby!”, “Big boys don’t cry”, The gender-based expectation: “Toughen-up!”, “Don’t be a sissy!”, The competency-based expectation: “You’re hopeless!”. The comparison: “Why can’t you be more like so-and-so?”, “None of the other children are acting like you are”.How Common is Shaming?

103 thoughts on “20 Reasons I Did Not Circumcise My Son

    • Thank you. I have commented on your blog. I’d love to break it down point by point as you so graciously did ;), however I’m not sure I’ll find the time for a while. So I did a quick comment based in an overall impression.

      • I Love the blog!! I have 2 intact sons! Please just delete his link to his blog… I started reading his idiotic blog and that really started to depress me that someone is really that obsessed with cutting little boys penises. And actually promotes it… kind of sick! I think you should just delete his comment. You are rated one of the top 100 bloggers! Don’t promote his blog by having his link on your page!

        • I agree with BreAnna. You were extremely polite in your debating, but it was kind of obvious from the first that his rebuttal is not based in fact or caring but in a desire to argue and “win” against something he feels is a power being threatened. It is rather impossible to debate with people like that. Keep on keeping on, your article is very well thought-out and full of heart and obvious love for humanity.

        • I agree. I got about 5 sentences in and knew that it was going to be biased, and snarky. Here’s the thing, he’s pro-parental choice, but the parents shouldn’t HAVE a choice in this. It isn’t theirs. If he wants to cut it off when he’s older (as Jake did) fine, so be it, go ahead! But what could it possibly harm (other than gaining trust that Mommy won’t cut off pieces of your body) to leave it alone? My sons will be born just as perfect as my daughters-if I don’t want to cut pieces off of them, why would I cut pieces off of my sons?

    • I only got through the first few lines, and I find your arguments very weak.
      Sorry, will not read more.

      You lost me with trying to say circumcision isn’t mutiliation because of a random definition you have. FGM is ok? I’m pretty sure you can LIVE without a clitoris?
      My uncle’s hand is mutilated from working in a factory. Yet, he LIVES without it. Doesn’t mean it isn’t “mutilated.”

      Sorry, bad article.

      Sagaciousmama, you rock.

  1. Brava Sagacious! As a cut adult male with an intact son, I applaud your bravery and dedication to this topic. I was only able to watch a few minutes, at most, of the circumcision video. What a barbaric society we live in. Although it may not be clear to some, your article appears to be about rights. What right do we have to mutilate a newborn? And Jake, are you retarded? Did you watch that video? How can you honestly say that it’s a parent’s right/choice whether or not they circumcise? That it’s not mutilation? That you can compare it to an education? Do the world a favor and… never mind. I WANT MY FORESKIN BACK! And I’ll never have it. Never. A whole square foot of erogenous tissue. I learned a lot of bad ideas about things from “adults” as a child. Now that I am an adult I can think about them, reject them if necessary and find my own truth. I can’t think my body whole again. Some future society will look back on circumcision and call us barbarians. When will our society realize that newborns are humans with the same rights as everyone else? Soon, I hope. Keep fighting the good fight Sagacious Mama. And, thank you.

  2. Congratulations Sagacious Mama! What a lucky little guy. :) I am sure that one day he will thank you. It always amazes me that we still do this to boys in the 21st century. Hopefully, one day everyone will come to their sense. But that day is a long way away. Thanks for your well thought out post I hope it will help others protect their sons.

  3. Good article. As a man who was circumcised at birth, I applaud your efforts to change the circumcision culture in the United States. I dislike my circumcision so much that I am restoring my foreskin.

    As you point out in #12, there are complications. The area adjacent my frenulum remnant has always been painful to touch for me. When the doctor separated my foreskin from my glans, he damaged my tissue, leaving lots of scar tissue. Fortunately, foreskin restoration broke down some of the scar tissue and has relieved the pain. Unfortunately, this type of damage never shows up in the studies and statistics.

    Also, as you point out in #9, circumcision creates problems for women. After restoring my foreskin, I no longer need to use lube during vaginal sex. Also, my wife does not get sore from sex like she used to. Having a foreskin is a win for both of us. This is anecdotal evidence, but it is supported by a study, see: http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/116-1181/595/

  4. Excellent arguments sagacious.As one who has been cut against his will,I’ll add another reason : Circumcision can lead to an obsession with the subject for some of its victims.I’ll write in detail soon.Once again,great work.

  5. Going to post this here since Jake won’t on his, but he was circumcised as an adult for fetish reasons. So his reasoning is somewhat affected by that little detail.

    Love your 20 reasons!

    • I went head to head with him (on his blog under his dissection of my article) before I learned more about him. I wondered why some of the things he said were downright creepy and seriously ugly… I don’t mind a good debate, but it got weird so I did some research… then ditched it. I don’t think he really sees how freaky he comes across. It’s a shame many people will be caught like I was, unaware of his background and potentially influenced by his intellectual discourse and excellent writing ability.

      • I think it’s pretty apparent to any person with half a brain cell that his blog post is laughably inaccurate, misleading and downright ludicrous.
        If it makes you feel better, I knew as soon as I started reading it that it was (at best) clutching at straws. And smacked of desperate self-reassurance.
        I was a little apprehensive seeing a rebuttal to your well set out and informative article; so I was pleased to see it barely necessitated a glance through, and won’t waste anymore of my time reading it.

    • I read that Jake had been circumcised only 7 yrs. prior to posting. The information that I have, reads at about 10 yrs. before sensitivity begins to decline. He has no idea. Poor Jake, what lessons we learn when we think we know. It’s ok, one day he will understand. The fact that he says that the penis is not ruined by being circumcised is like saying that a human body is not ruined when a car wreck amputates your legs. This logic is totally flawed. All the circ’d men that I know can’t get to an orgasm without some type of other stimulation. The intact man, can experience multiple orgasms in a single natural sexual event.

      • I asked Jake many questions and he had the operation for a collection of reasons apparently, and one of them he alluded to fixing a problem… the most common problem adults try to correct with circumcision is over sensitivity and/or premature ejaculation. When people say a circumcised penis is just as sensitive as an intact one, it is worth pointing out that people actually get the operation done to decrease sensitivity… and it succeeds in doing that.

      • “about 10 yrs. before sensitivity begins to decline.”
        I compared my keratinization (callousing) loss of sensitivity with other like restoring men. We came up with beginning noticeable loss at 5-7 years post circ.
        I chose circumcision at age 4-5 and experienced very noticeable sensitivity loss throughout my puberty. I was circumcised after natural foreskin/glans separation. I wondered if it was part of puberty and asked my close friends about the loss. They didn’t have the same experience so it messed with my mind. I wondered when the loss would stop or if it would stop and how much sensation I would have left. As time went on I started to doubt myself, yet I could still remember the exquisite feel and its loss making it more mind bending.(I know now that the sexual receptors are not fully developed, immature, so I didn’t experience this sensory loss. Also my friends were cut as infants so they didn’t experience loss from keratinization because they had scarring of the mucosa remnant and glans from having the foreskin torn away from the glans. This whole area is the true scar, not just the cut line.)

        “intact man, can experience multiple orgasms in a single natural sexual event.”
        Intact men can also orgasm hands free by docking of course, but also by doing Kegal exercises which with erection each clinch retracts the foreskin a bit towards the body activating enough receptors of the foreskin and glans to orgasm when done over and over. Maybe guys only think this is cool?

  6. LOVE this article.

    I think that in the part about death/complication perhaps you should also mention that SIDS deaths and deaths from cutting are statistically the same. And there may actually be more children who die from cutting that we just don’t know about because the deaths weren’t attributed directly to the procedure.

    Also, I wonder if there’s something to the fact that more male babies die of SIDS (were most of them cut, perhaps??); there may be a correlation to the serotonin levels in a cut child being affected.

    Additionally, there is more than twice the risk of complication from cutting than whatever issue *might* arise from remaining intact. Which adds to the assertion that if it ain’t broke, don’t proceed to break it by cutting!!

  7. Ah, yes, Jake… as in Jake W., the infamous sickie w/ a circumfetish from the circumfetish website Circlist. A guy who literally receives sexual satisfaction from the idea of cutting the foreskin off, no matter the age or the circumstances (whether it be a helpless newborn boy strapped to a Circumstraint and having a sharp scalpel taken to the foreskin, or a bunch of tribal Africans hiding out in the bush to ambush some poor, unsuspecting intact 16-year-old and having his circumcised peers holding him down and taking a rusty machete to his glans; even the concept of a fellow Circlist cronies talking about scheduling a circ revision to make it even tighter so there’s absolutely not a SINGLE loose wrinkle of skin on his shaft, even when flacid). Yeah, old Jakey there literally *precums* at the thought of these sickening scenarios. Your classic hallmarks are all there on your cut-happy blog. Funny how if I talked about enforcing Chinese footbinding on infant girls or African brass rings neck elongating, you’d tell me how “sick” that was. Careful, Mr. Waskett. You might find your sister or your aunt ambushed for her apendix someday, without her consent. Because *I* feel the body is MORE “beautiful” without it and think an appendectomy scar is a thing of beauty! No matter if SHE wants it or not. It’s aaaaaaaall about altering the body to please *others*, eh? You are a pathetic MOUSE of a man. A hypocritical *monster* who wants to indulge in your little torture, so long as you feel that (((POP))) when you orgasm to the thought of it… no matter if it’s creating a HELL ON EARTH for the poor innocent soul being tortured so *you* can feel good and get your rocks off. Some how if I were to be the attending doctor who gave birth to Mr. Jake Wasett’s daughter and I brought you to her with a bloody, bandaged baby toe and told you– “Well, I didn’t know you DIDN’T want her toe circumcised!”, as happened in hospitals during the 1950’s and 1960’s when BOYS had *their* penises amputated without even asking parental consent. You disgust me, Jake. You and the Brian Morris (Australia) of the world.

  8. just because i think this is a *fantastic* article you’ve written, i wanted to point out in #4 that you said “The foreskin, like the clitoris, was designed to be an internal organ that only comes “out” for intercourse.” i think you meant to say that the glans is an internal organ, not the foreskin, right? feel free to delete this comment after you’ve read it, i didn’t know how else to contact you. bravo!! :)

      • I’d say the mucosa of the penis is an internal organ. The mucosa covers the glans and all inner foreskin. To draw attention to only the glans being interior rather gives it sensory prioity which it is the least sensitive. The inner foreskin is the primary sexual organ.

  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting in such eloquent words what SHOULD be common sense. Sometimes I find it hard to even debate with people this subject because I’m so dumbfounded by it. Circumcision should be illegal and recognized for what it is – nothing more than arcane ritual, cosmetic surgery and torture. I’ll be posting this to my Facebook and trying to get as many people to read it as I can.

    Your son is lucky to have such a well-educated mother. I glad my intact son has never had to suffer for my ignorance. Well, at least that I know of so far!

    Cheers.

  10. As a man who was traumatized by his infant circumcision, thanks for this great piece! I found peace through the self-empowerment of non-surgical restoration.

    There is one minor inaccuracy about lubrication that should be corrected.
    You state: “The circumcised male brings no lubrication to intercourse” and “The foreskin … is the cause of natural lubrication.”

    This is not correct. “Precum” is produced internally by the Cowper’s gland, and leaks out the urethra. The foreskin simply helps to retain it, whereas it dries out easily with an exposed glans. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-ejaculate

    • Thank you! I’m going over the article tomorrow with some needed changes. I appreciate the tips.

  11. Very very well written. I am a mother of 3 circumcised boys and 2 intact boys. It’s one of those “If only I knew then what I know now” things, I never would have had my first 3 boys done.

  12. Great articles and links. Need to fix two typos in number 4. Think you meant to say could be treated topically not orally and rip instead of reef?

    • I did mean rip, yes. I did mean orally, as infections can be treated orally, but I will add topically, as that is also true.

  13. Thank you for this extremely thorough and well-written piece of truth! People will get offended. Who cares. Little babies need respect and protection. I’m spreading the word as much as I can, in a way I hope will cause people to not be offended but truly listen and consider the facts. But if they balk and are offended anyway, I could care less. Maybe now it’s just planting a seed, and they will see the light later. We need well thought out articles like this. Thank you. Thank you. You really have covered all the bases. I am forwarding this link to many people.

  14. My son intact son is now 32 years old. I gave birth to him at home, but he had respiratory distress and spent a few days in the hospital. When he was in the NICU, I witnessed a circumcision on another baby. It was horrifying. The baby screamed until he ran out of breath, and his mouth continued to contort, but no sound came out.I was only 20 years old. I clutched my newborn son to myself, and vowed that I would die before I let that happen to him. Until that moment, I was not sure of the right decision, everything I read told me there was no real medical reason, but I had in-laws telling me I should do it. After seeing what really happened to that poor child, there was no longer any question in my mind. It was the most barbaric, horrifying, cruel thing I have ever witnessed being done to an innocent child I could ever imagine. I followed my conscience, and have never regretted it. Whrn my son was old enough to understand, we had a conversation where I explained circumcision and why I did not do it to him, and he said-“Thank you”-Total validation.

  15. Pingback: 20 Reasons I Did Not Circumcise My Son « Sagacious Mama | Circumcision Wisdom

  16. Pingback: Is Our Family Different Or Are We What Normal Should Be? | The Atlas of Life

  17. Absolutely excellent! If this saves one baby boy from the torture of circumcision, it was worth all of your effort. :-)

    People’s eyes will not open unless they want to be opened though. People will read this and stubbornly say that they are still right.

    My son is intact, yet I still like to read all I can on the subject. I recently came aross some of what you were saying about intat men & lubrication. I really do wonder if RIC is to blame for our (The U.S., not “our”) crappy sex lives, LOL!

  18. I’m really sorry I ever clicked this link. What a bunch of silly “reasons”. I feel an arguement with you would be pointless, as you’d always fall back on these opinions and climb back up on your high horse. I’m always open to discussions, but over half of your reasons weren’t facts. They were emotional opinions that anyone could disagree with.

    I don’t have the RIGHT to make a choice about my son’s body? Should I ask him instead? Maybe wait for him to give his opinion before I cut his hair? It’s not about having the “right”. It’s about having the obligation to make decisions for our children. They are born into the world without the ability to care for themselves. That is our job and we do it how we believe is right. Does a mom have the “right” to force her child to feel upset while letting him cry it out? How dare she make an emotional decision for him! Right? What about the mom that feeds her child non-organic food? Or red meat? Has she violated his rights by making health decisions for him? Our entire purpose as mothers is to make decisions for our children until we’ve helped them grow enough to make their own. Why is this any different? If a child was born with an easily removable sixth finger, does a parent have the right to make the decision to remove it? The surgery may cause pain. There may be side effects. Would you write a list about why sixth fingers should be kept around until the kids could make their own choices?

    As for the long reaching effects, I find your entire agrument fact-less. I have two sons. Both circumcised. They are night and day. They both had nearly identical experiences during their circumsicions. Very quick with a moderate amount of crying. So how do you possibly explain their lack of damage? Why aren’t they in therapy? My nephew spit-up during his and had to have his throat suctioned. Guess what…he’s a normal, happy kid. I fell of a bed when I was a month old and broke my arm. The pain did not cause me to become agressive of afraid. You’re stretching the limits of psychology here.

    I don’t know if you’ll read this or give any of what I’ve said a fair look. But there it is.

    • You obviously haven’t a clue about about “good” parenting when you make needless decisions that violates your sons rights to genital integrity, this is 2010 not 1910!

    • Hair grows back. If a child grows up and decide that they don’t like the diet with which they were raised, they can changed it. But what happens to the circ’d boy who decides he isn’t happy? Nothing can be changed. The difference between the examples you gave and circ’ing is that your analogies are not permanent. Circumcision is. Furthermore, I’m not entirely certain that discussing your nephew needing his throat suctioned is a good point in favor of circumcision. I cannot IMAGINE willfully putting my baby through something so traumatic that he would choke on his spit up. Maybe he doesn’t remember, but as a parent, that would traumatize ME.

    • Factless? Where are ANY of the facts behind what you presented? There are MRI’s results done on an infant that shows the brain is permanently changed after circumcision. So what if they have anesthesia, their penis is SORE for weeks. They learn to associate pain with sex. Their glans are rubbing against their clothes for years afterward. Hmmm, wonder why men are predominantly into S&M, rape, pedophilia, etc? He told us that sex predators cannot get an orgasm unless they commit their crimes, so otherwise they are always sexually frustrated. By the way, got that FACT, from my psych. professor in college. He was a sex specialist. Why do you think they can’t achieve orgasm? Botched circumcision? If you ever saw pictures of tight circumcisions you would understand how a man wouldn’t be able to achieve orgasm like that. That is assuming that you understand the mechanism of a normal human penis, which I am sure you don’t. I am sure that you can say that your children are fine, but they are about as fine as a child born without arms.

  19. hair cut /= cut penis

    that’s completely asinine to compare the two…especially since hair grows back. When you sons are old enough, they can decide how long or short they want their hair to be. Their foreskin being amputated is not the same thing by any stretch of the imagination.

  20. OK…..I don’t really care that your son is NOT circumsized….
    SO, why do you care that MINE is???????

    really not your business , I don’t preach to you, so don’t preach to me

    THANKS

    • I don’t even know you, what makes you think I am preaching to you? If you feel judged I suggest it is coming from within yourself.

      And for the record, child abuse is everyone’s business.

      Just because an abuse is inflicted on a child unknowingly or with “good intentions” does not make it any less abusive.

      The biggest reason people do this to their child in western cultures is because they think an intact penis is ugly or gross. What would we say to people who dared to say that a vagina is so ugly and gross that we should “trim it up a little”, or surgically make it cleaner at birth? Don’t know about you but I’d be pretty offended, then I’d be profoundly resentful for having my most private areas modified to suit the preferences of my parents – parts that have nothing to do with my parents, because the person I have sex with is the only other person my genitals concern.

      Although, the way culture works, I most likely wouldn’t have an issue with the fact that my vagina was mutilated… if everyone else’s vagina was also mutilated… and provided I never learned the truth of what was taken from me. And that’s exactly what happens with the men in our culture.

      I find it disturbing that parents think their child’s genitals are something they should concern themselves with… like, how creepy.

      It’s amazing how our culture can blind us to what is so obvious to those outside our culture.

  21. Thanks for the great article. I am from the UK so when I had my first son here in the US I was surprised that it was even a conflict. I ended up having a REALLY big fight with my mother in law where she was DISGUSTED that I was getting my son circumcised. I responded, “would we even be having this conversation if he was a girl”. She didn’t apprecite the comparison, but you and I are completly right – it is the same thing.

    Again Thanks.

    • I think you meant, “disgusted that I wasn’t getting my son circumcised”. :) Yes, for some people it really is a new idea, especially the older generation where it was “take the baby away (mistake number one), weigh them (unnecessary), wash them (taking off the protective vernix), wrap them (preventing skin on skin contact), stick them in a box all alone and screaming for mama’s skin and arms and smell and a couple of days later inflict unnecessary surgery to remove a necessary sexual organ with little or no anaesthetic causing pain and bleeding requiring poisonous pain meds and difficulty urinating without pain for at least two weeks.” Yeah. WE’RE the disgusting ones… in looney world, perhaps.

  22. Sagacious Mama Rocks!! Let me just tell you, that every time somebody raises a question, or their own ”supporting theory” about circumcision, I know I can always come back here and find the answers, arguments and supporting evidence that I need to help me respond adequately.
    My intention is to post this article everywhere I can and try to help spread awareness.

    Thankyou, S.Mama.

    Anna.

  23. Looks like I have a new bookmark to use to educate other people. Whenever I see a circumcised boy in people’s Flickr’s albums, I offer educational links. I often either get my comments deleted and/or blasted by the parents via my inbox, but if it gives even ONE person pause for thought, it’s worth it!

    I treasure my intact foreskin and my intact human rights! <3

    Thank you!!!

  24. Thanks for writing this. When my son was born neither I nor my partner considered circumising our son for a second. I could not contemplate putting my baby in surgery unless his life was in danger, and quite frankly his penis is not putting him in danger. Would parents start taking their teenage girls to get their breasts cut off so they don’t get breast cancer? Heck even that would make more sense. I’ll bet parents who are pro-circumsision would quickly change their perspective if their child died as a result of circumsision.

  25. This is a great point by point article on why not to circumcise and I’ll definitely be directing future parents here. If only more American parents realized what harm they were doing to their sons and what exactly they were taking away from them! Great post.

  26. GREAT infomation Hope someday boys will have the same rights as girls and this will be illegal. I volunteer for nocirc of michigan after watching a circumcision on the internet because i was trying to find out the cause of my sexual problems I realized circumcision was the cause. I have been restoring and this has helped my problem of not feeling anything. It is a terrible painful thing to do to a baby and a violation of his rights why is it legal?

  27. Very well thought out and well written. You mentioned the sensitivity losses that the circumcised male suffers. What I find ridiculous is the fact that almost ALL the studies were conducted on the part that does not change. With only one exception that I am aware of, all researchers took careful measurements of the glans ONLY of both intact and circumcised males. That isn’t what defines a circumcision. The presence or absence of the foreskin defines if the man is intact or circumcised. Therefore, if you want to know the difference between the two conditions, you need to measure the FORESKIN. That’s what is either there or is missing. That is the difference.

    I said that there is one exception as far as studies go. Dr. Morris Sorrells conducted just such a study. He mapped out something like 17 points on the male penis and then conducted blind testing on all of those points on about 159 men. If the point was there, it was measured and given a value for sensitivity. If the point wasn’t, it could not get a value other than zero, because it was missing. I am going to try to put the summary graph of the Sorrells study in here. I don’t know if it will work.

    • @Just Wishing Sorrells et al. did a preliminary study that also included restored men. This showed restored men de-keratinized (contrary to Johns Hopkins) to the same touch sensitivity levels as intact men on the same parts, except for the glans which was less due to scarring from having the foreskin torn away from the glans. This less sensitive glans was very low. I think it was 10% less sensitive but still measurable. Sorrells wanted to include restored men in the bigger study but i was hard enough to find intact men let alone enough restored men in the study locale. Unfortunately I was rejected from participating because of BHP of the prostate. This lessens penile sensitivity.

  28. With venerable organizations like Web MD, the CDC, the W.H.O., Oprah’s Dr. Oz, even the docs at Fox News still pushing circ, it is a battle getting the news to parents in time, even in 2010.

    Thanks for this post. It goes on my arsenal of links to send friends and acquaintances struggling with this decision. Its one of the best I ever read. Thanks again.

  29. The practice originated in primitive cultures.It has led to serious injury and even deaths.Sometimes,older boys are circumcised and the shame and pain can last a lifetime.

  30. I always find it entertaining when advocates of circumcision evade the argument of whether circumcision is necessary, ethical or not, by falling back on the “I’m the parent, I decide what I want for my kids” line.

    Not only is this argument evasive and fails to address the question of ethics and necessity, it fails because this only applies to male infant circumcision and can’t be applied to anything else, say, female circumcision.

    DO parents have this limitless prerogative? Or does there come a time when something is considered “child abuse?”

    There were a couple of cases where parents tried tattooing their sons, one in Georgia, and the other in Fresno, CA. I don’t think those parents got off the hook, and in one case, the lawyer even brought up circumcision.

    So how far do parents have “religious freedom” and/or “parental choice?”

    Why does this argument only seem to apply to male circumcision?

    Why couldn’t parents of a faith, culture or ethnic group that practices female circumcision exercise his/her prerogative to circumcise their daughters?

    But more to the point, what business do people who call themselves medical practitioners have in obliging to a parent’s wishes to have their son or daughter circumcised?

    Isn’t a doctor’s duty to medicine?

    What then, is a doctor doing performing cultural mutilations in the name of science to appease parents?

    As long as he’s this slave to parents and their prerogative, is he not obliged, then, to be circumcising baby girls?

    Is he not obliged to provide piercing and tattoo service to parents who want to bling their babies and put the latest in body art on them?

    I’m sure parents must make many choices for their children.

    But usually, medical choices for them involve the addressing of some condition that requires immediate surgery.

    Parents can’t just decide to have their children’s gall bladders, appendices, spleens or thyroid glans removed; there must be some sort of compelling medical reason that commands circumcision.

    So, in a healthy nowborn boy, what is it?

    IS the foreskin a birth-defect that somehow 100% of boys around the world are born with? IS it this genetic anomaly analogous to a 6th finger? IS the foreskin some sort of congenital tumor that absolutely must be removed?

    Without a medical problem to address, just how is it that doctors even have the audacity to be performing circumcisions in healthy, non-consenting individuals, let alone pretend like he can be giving parents this “choice?”

    If there is no medical decision to make, precisely what choice do you have, oh choosy parents of circumcision?

    Just what other parts of your children’s bodies can you cut off and get away with it under “parental choice?”

    Methinks the only part of the body that works this way is a child’s foreskin.

    Bottom line; unless there is a medical problem that calls for immediate surgery, doctors have no business performing circumcisions, let alone letting you make any kind of “choice.”

    In charging money to perform medically unnecessary procedures in healthy, non-consenting individuals, doctors are committing medical fraud.

    In duping parents into agreeing to non-medical procedures for their children, doctors are committing abuse of power.

    And, in taking advantage of a healthy, helpless, non-consenting newborn infant, a doctor is performing nothing less than child rape.

  31. 1. You know how the older you get, the faster time flies. Now apply
    this to the painful duration a newborn feels being circumcised. His
    point of reference is so new it must be an eternity. Of course a
    minute can be an eternity.

    2. I have observed the same cry of an infant being circumcised as my
    nephew being strapped down in his car seat. He said he was afraid and
    that he won’t cry anymore. Is this the reliving of being strapped down
    in a Circumstraint Board? And the beginnings of self denying the pains
    and harms of circumcision?

    3. Being gay, I’ve also observed men using Crystal Methamphetamine to
    bolster their sexual appetite and to achieve greater orgasms. I
    believe circumcised men do this to compensate for their 65%-85%
    missing sexual receptors whether they are conscious of this or not.
    I’ve had about 1,000 men and I know intact men feel more pleasure than
    those circumcised. Those circumcised doing speed seem to pretty much
    get equal responses of intact men not doing meth. After reading in the
    news that the rate of women who before didn’t use meth, are now fast
    catching up. This puzzled me because women are not circumcised but
    considering it’s men that are using meth for sex, then their female
    partners may start to use and further may even supply their men with
    the drug for bettering sex for both. This relationship has been
    published in a hashish circumcision study.

    Did I mention I am restoring? Now at (circumcision index) CI 4.
    It will always remain a question if me being gay is a result of being
    circumcised at at 4-5. There’s a Turkish study showing circumcising at
    this age results in more homosexuals. Also sickness in the next year
    or two which happened to me that I had to stay back a year in school.

  32. I agree with Frank McGinness that being circumcised at an older age results in an unhealthy interest in the penis.The boy has then experienced both states,cut and uncut.My own circumcision at a late age against my wish has messed up my life.

  33. Pingback: Taking humanitarian honors in the fight to stop circumcision « Lawn Cares

  34. Circumcision removes the most sensitive part of a man’s penis. The five most sensitive areas of the penis are on the foreskin. The transitional region from the external to the internal foreskin is the most sensitive region of the fully intact penis, and more sensitive than the most sensitive region of the circumcised penis.
    —————————-
    Fine-Touch Pressure Thresholds In The Adult Penis
    British Journal of Urology International,
    2007, Vol. 99, No. 4, 864-869
    Sorrells et al.

  35. Pingback: Government-Free: Babies Hold the Key « Sagacious Mama

  36. Your essay should be reprinted in a nationally published parenting magazine.

    As for Jake Waskett “critique”. Jake is a well known circumfetishist who finds circumcision-even when performed on children-sexually arousing.
    He is a friend and supporter of Vernon Quaintaince-a publisher of pornographic circumcision stories, many of which deal with children getting abused and circumcised by adults.
    He is known to molest parents and parents on public forums urging them to circumcise their sons.

  37. ……… There is a movement of Jews who are questioning circumcision, and working to end this abuse of children. The movement ranges from the Orthodox to the secular, and includes mothers, fathers, scholars, historians, medical professionals, activists, and intellectuals.

    Jewish Groups for Genital Integrity

    Circumcision: A Jewish Feminist Perspective by Miriam Pollack

    http://www.noharmm.org/pollack.htm

    Jewish Intactivist Miriam Pollack has some great commentary on Foreskin Man in this recent interview.

    http://www.beyondthebris.com/2011/07/defying-convention-interview-with_27.html

    Jews Speak Out in Favor of Banning Circumcision on Minors

    http://intactnews.org/node/103/1311885181/jews-speak-out-favor-banning-circumcision-minors

    * Brit Shalom Celebrants by Mark D. Reiss, M.D. http://www.circumstitions.com/Jewish-shalom.html

    * Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective by Ron Goldman, Ph.D. http://www.jewishcircumcision.org

    * The Current Judaic Movement to End Circumcision: Part 1
    http://intactnews.org/node/105/1311886372/jewish-voices-current-judaic-movement-end-circumcision-part-1 …………………………..

  38. I really really wish I could get my husband to agree. I am so against it, but DH is unwilling to reason with me because generations of his family have been cut and that is what we do in America! UUUUUUUUGH!

    As a female, I just want to say that uncirced is better for the female. Truly. I just hope I can convince my husband of this before it is too late!

  39. Pingback: 3 Questions That Empower Your Choices : Empowered Papa

  40. S.M. – as I’ve come to expect from you, an insightful, well-written piece! I fired our doctor when my son was born, because he insisted on circumcising him.

    I’m including the following in my comment, though doubtless you’re familiar with it, others may not be, and I believe it fits well with many of the things you’ve said.

    Children Learn What They Live
    By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

    If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
    If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
    If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
    If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
    If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
    If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
    If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
    If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
    If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
    If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
    If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
    If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
    If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
    If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
    If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
    If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
    If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
    If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
    If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

    pax vobiscum,
    archaeopteryx
    in-His-own-image.com

  41. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all folks you actually recognize what you are speaking approximately!

    Bookmarked. Kindly additionally talk over with my website =).

    We can have a hyperlink exchange agreement among us

  42. i am a uncut adult male , most of the males in my country are uncut , and we are known for our sexual prowess ,(jamaica) …not to say that there are non that are because there are ….i also have 3 boys , 2 are uncut just like myself but the middle child is cut , im sure his mother did it out of revenge to spite me ,out of anger for ending our marriage …now i have custody of all 3 boys and as they are still very young i bath them , to see it on the one that is cut is something i cant explain , …his other brothers also ask , what happened to him, why is his thingy funny looking ??? i can tell you that , sex is very pleasureful to me and to my partner , i was raised and taught how to keep it clean , and i find my fore skin very stimulating during intercourse…. i personally think circumcising of young boys is no different than circumcising young girls , i think its barbaric and has no place in modern society , besides that i think its just torture , sadistic and unnecessary ……. i hope parents with some intellect can find it necessary to spare their babies from this brutal act , ……remember ,once its gone , its gone , but if he chooses to when he gets older he can always do it , i think thats a choice that needs to be made by a grown man …..not an act inflicted upon a child by sinister adults

  43. I find this article both disturbing and packed with half truths! It is the choice of the parent, if I have a son I will be cutting his foreskin off! No pain killers and I will be in the room with him!

    • Wow, you are truly evil. Your choice as a parent to surgically remove your child’s sex organ? Sounds like you are planning to get off on watching your son writhe in pain while observing the barbaric genital surgery. Wow, please don’t have kids or go into the medical field!

  44. I also discovered another site, “Circumcision News,” in which the blogger, “Jake,” reviewed your contentions on this site, and attempted to refute them, back in 2010.

    I tried to post a comment to his last assertion, and even signed in under my Google account, only to get a message that I needed to be a “team member” before I could leave a comment, yet I saw no opportunities on the page allowing me to acauire membership – I’m guessing there’s a secret handshake or something —

    At any rate, the important thing about my comment – which noted his denigration of “anecdotal evidence,” while citing case studies comprised of collections of anecdotal evidence – was the URL at the end. I would recommend, before considering circumcising a child, that parents read these pieces of “anecdotal” – meaning in this case, not based on cold statistics, but real-life experiences – “evidence”:

    “http://www.sueeasy.com/class_action_detail.php?case_id=258

  45. I’m very happy to discover this site. I want to to thank you for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely savored every bit of it and i also have you saved as a favorite to see new information in your website.

  46. This is critical of Jake and supportive of SM.

    1. Most USA doctors still do not use effective pain management when performing RIC. This is unethical and should be criminal.

    2. There are no studies of the possible effects of circumcision on adult sexual pleasure and function. Such studies should be based on large stratified random samples. Until such studies are carried out, doctors cannot fulfill their obligation to “first do no harm”.

    3. A large majority of parents do not have the urological and sexological knowledge required to make an informed decision about the fate of their son’s penis. hence they should leave it alone.

    4. Have you ever talked at length to a middle aged woman who had extensive experience of both kinds of penises during her free spirited youth? I have, because I am married to such a woman. I am astounded at how circumcision advocates do not seek the views of women. This is deplorably patronising to women.

  47. Very excellent article……I wish every parent who is considering the unnecessary traumatic genital alteration surgery for their infant son would read this article! Knowing all the facts is the only way to reach people who don’t understand how awful it is to put your perfect newborn through it!

  48. The point that it is nobody’s ‘choice’ or ‘decision’ to destroy such and important organ makes sense. So why would we offer protection to an infant knowing that his foreskin will be vitally important to him as an adult, then tell him as an adult he has a choice to be circumcised, fully knowing a circumciser would cause him destruction and a terrible loss? And why are doctors lurking in the background of this issue, waiting for uneducated potential victims to fall prey to their wiles and scalpels? Why are they ready to destroy foreskins at every age, stage and opportunity? Why are they not blocked from destroying other people’s genital sensation and mobility? Are they not mandated to do no harm? If they are, and will not cease and desist of their own volition then it is up to the public to stop them. Circumcising is really criminal. It is insane, unethical, a violent sexual assault on human beings who are guaranteed integrity by their constitutional rights in every country.

  49. I am so glad that my husband and I made the decision to leave our son INTACT. He was born PERFECT, and he will stay PERFECT. Plain and simple. I am not sure who decided, or why the decided that a precious baby boy was not perfect the way he was created. That is very hypocritical in the Christian religion, God says he made all of his creatures perfectly, but it is in “his covenant” to cut off a piece of his anatomy? Doesn’t add up for this Momma.

    • That’s two spam comments in a row – Carly R. Lale and Katherin P. – note how generic they are, they never mention specific content unique to this blog, thus they can be pasted time and again into anyone’s blog.

      I would advise no one click on anything in them, and that they be deleted asap – and if the facilities are available, that their ISP addresses be banned. Just a word of friendly advice –

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