Male Genital Mutilation

Quotes from Internet Resources
In America today, people still have to fight for the right to keep their genitals intact. How can such a thing be true? It’s absurd. It sounds like some sort of ethnic joke.

The percentage of American parents who choose to keep their boys’ genitals intact is growing and varies according to the region of the US in which they live:

Northeast 32% intact
Midwest 18% intact
South 35% intact
West 62% intact

source: National Center for Health Statistics, US Department of Health and Human Services, 1997

If God had wanted us to be uncircumcised, we’d all be born with foreskins. –J.D. Ahmanson

Diminished Sexual Pleasure and Other Negative Effects

  • If only the entire world could fit in that laboratory and see for
    themselves the damage that circumcision causes, circumcision would
    stop overnight. Circ Info Network 940713
  • Those circumcised as an adult suffer less trauma because the man has consented to the surgery, the foreskin has already separated from the glans, anesthesia and post-operative pain management are used, and any pain may be rationalized as worth the price paid to accommodate his motivations. Surgical mishap is far more common in infancy than adulthood. Circ Info Network 950123
  • During sexual intercourse, the foreskin acts as a moveable
    self-lubricating sheath, sliding up and down the shaft inside the
    vagina. This enhances sexual pleasure and comfort for both partners.
    The circumcised penis on the other hand, has no such advantage,
    which may explain, in part, why many American men and women rely
    on artificial lubricants during sexual activity. Also, many
    circumcised men and their partners complain of painful intercourse,
    which may be due to the abrasion resulting from the absence of the
    foreskin. Circ Info Network 940706
  • …gay guys look at each other’s penises and they’re not afraid to say something’s wrong–like extensive scars, skin bridges, curvatures because so much so taken off one side. Like a ball-point pen, if you take the cap off, pretty soon it’s going to fail because it dries up.’ Circ Info Network 941130
  • A 1991 survey of 301 males seeking foreskin restoration revealed that 70% of them hold deep resentment toward their parents for allowing this assault on their body… Circ Info Network 950922
  • [The] demonstrators marched from the College of Marin to Marin GeneralHospital, which was the site of a circumcision accident two years ago thatcost a baby the end of his glans, and the hospital that fired NOCIRCfounder Marilyn Milos for obtaining informed consent by showing parents

    videotape of the procedure. Circ Info Network 950805

  • …physicians are not fully informing parents of the pain, risks and potential complications of removing an infant’s foreskin. The problems, he said, include scarring and sexual dysfunction. “To impose circumcision on an unconsenting minor without disease or abnormality raises serious questions of ethics and human rights,” Hammond asserted. Circ Info Network 950805
  • Newborn circumcision also presents ethical and legal questions in the opinion of pediatrician George L. Williams, who stated in an October 1992 presentation to the Second International Childbirth Conference: “Do parents have the right to choose medically unnecessary and harmful cosmetic surgery for their children? I do not believe so.” Circ Info Network 950814
  • One newspaper article claims that doctors are worried that circumcised men may soon begin to sue them for assault, etc., and that parental consent will not be a valid defense. A strict interpretation of the law, after all, makes circumcision a crime. Circ Info Network 950821
  • Being circumcised too tightly was the second commonest physical complaint mentioned in the NOHARMM survey. It affects the sexual enjoyment of both men and women. Some men with this condition suffer from bent erections. Some men circumcised too tightly report painful erections and painful intercourse with bleeding from the scar site or tears elsewhere. Women complain of painful intercourse due to what they interpret as insufficient lubrication.
    Negative Aspects of Routine Infant Circumcision
  • Circumcision started in English-speaking countries as a means of preventing masturbation, doctors knowing full well that amputating the foreskin deprives a boy of a moveable foreskin to play with and erogenous tissue, which might be tempting. Not to mention the fact that masturbation was thought to cause dozens of diseases and conditions. Obviously, circumcision does not prevent masturbation, but it surely takes most of the fun of it. Circ Info Network 941216
  • “After 30 years in the intact state, I allowed myself to be persuaded by a physician to have the foreskin removed — not because of any problems at the time, but because, in the physician’s view, there might be problems in the future. That was five years ago, and I am sorry I had it done now from my standpoint and from what my female sex partners have told me. For myself, the sensitivity has been reduced by at least 50 percent …” Circ Info Network 950814
  • At age 7 at boarding school, I
    saw that most of the other boys had been circ’d but my
    reaction was not, as is so often said by the mutilators, to
    accept that we were normal/regular but rather to wonder what
    had happened to all of us. By then I knew in my mind, even
    when my gut/my feelings still played the old ‘sin-ridden’
    script, that we had been operated on but I still could not
    work out what had been wrong with so many of us that this had
    had to happen. From then to this day, I yearned for a foreskin,
    and envied those who had one. At age 9, when my parents
    suggested that I have surgery to correct the worst of the
    mess left [the bowing, the tags, the skin bridge] I can feel
    today as acutely as then the feelings of betrayal, of not
    wanting them to mess me up again; I also can recall with
    total clarity, to the extent that to-day at age 50 I can
    ‘see’ that room and my mother’s face as she talked to me, the
    feelings of shame, anger, betrayal, hate, grief and
    bewilderment when she told me that my MGM had been a mistake,
    that there had been no reason for it, that all the scarring
    etc. was a result and not
    the reason for it. –from the noharmm mail list

Childhood “Phimosis”

  • CIN has received several letters from worried parents of very young boys
    who have unretractable foreskins, and one from a reader who has a “cure”
    for childhood phimosis. More on that in a future CompuBulletin, but let
    it be known that although the great majority of boys can retract their
    foreskins by the age of three, the inability to do so up to the age of 17
    or so is not unheard of, and is not a source of concern as long as there
    is no pain. Furthermore, it is reversible by simple stretching techniques.
    No one should be allowed to retract a boy’s foreskin against his will.
    You wouldn’t force open the vagina of your daughter, would you? Circ Info Network 941123
  • It amuses me that there remains this argument about “something going
    wrong” if a person is left intact. Very few kids at school, as I recall,
    were circumcised, and those who had been were considered a curiosity (this was in the 60’s). No-one ever went sick or developed awful diseases because of their natural state. It’s all rather laughable seen from here, but hugely interesting to see what silliness is trotted out in the US. Circ Info Network 950506
  • It is most unlikely that a three year old would have a “phimosis” problem
    requiring treatment so drastic as need for circumcision. This would never
    be the course of treatment for an uncircumcised child in Europe. –Childbirth Education Foundation Circ Info Network 941123

Jewish Issues and Responses

  • “Like the archetypal southern sheriff who left a victimized
    black with nowhere to turn because the sheriff himself was a racist,
    the Equal Rights enforcement industry leaves us with nowhere to
    turn because it itself is sexist.
    One professional feminist, knowledgeable about research into the
    learning process of preborns (let alone newborns) and a real advocate
    against sexual abuse, tried to squirm her way out of the issue
    by suggesting: “How do we really know that there is any long-term
    memory of this?” Yet, this woman would be the first to prosecute
    a dentist who fondled an unconscious patient, or, even worse,
    a man who masturbated into the face of an infant girl. The whole
    issue of ‘memory’ is a red herring.” –Fred Hayward of Men’s
    Rights, Inc. Circ Info Network 941116
  • “One phenomenon which is holding us back is, ironically,
    mainstream opponents of female genital mutilation who stubbornly
    refuse to see the connection, or who somehow feel that only girls
    have an inherent right to an intact body, or that only boys are
    born imperfect and need to be operated on to be made ‘normal.’
    Circ Info Network 941228
  • Circumcision Victim Says Pain Knows No GenderAt home she’s become active in anti-circumcision circles, gender no object.
    “Cut is cut, mutilation is mutilation.” –Meserka Ramsey, FGM victim from Ethiopia. Circ Info Network 950527
  • Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, trying to outlaw female genital mutilation, acknowledged male genital mutilation (which she referred to as MGM) in a form letter to several activists. Circ Info Network 941228

Circumcision Is Not In the Best Interests
of the Health & Rights of the Child

This compact fact sheet includes reference sources, and covers the following topics:

  • Scope of the Problem
  • Early and Current Rationale
  • Decision Making
  • Foreskin Function
  • Penile Development
  • Immediate Risks and Complications
  • Long-Term Adverse Outcomes
  • Effects of Pain
  • Maternal Bonding / Breastfeeding
  • Questionable Benefits
  • Medical Ethics
  • Obstetrical Involvement
  • Restoration Movement
  • Children’s Rights
  • Why Does It Continue?

    “Often the less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to rid of.” — Mark Twain Circ Info Network 950821

    • When a 40 year-old man wants to mutilate his penis, that’s his own business.
    • When he wants to mutilate his children’s genitals, then he’s practicing some kind of religious extremism.
    • When he wants to mutilate my kids, he’s asking for trouble.