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Intaction News

IMAGINE 2016 – A Celebration of Foreskin Protection

On December 10, Intaction held its first ever event for intactivists to celebrate foreskin advocacy.

 

We call it IMAGINE because it takes imagination to make a dream a reality. The dream where babies can enter the world peacefully without the threat of genital cutting.

We recognize that change is happening. What seemed impossible before, is becoming a reality. Where Americans used to view genital cutting as beneficial and healthy, now they are starting to value being intact as natural, anatomically important, and desirable.

The celebration was an evening of fun, food, and entertainment, that took place at the  Knitting Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC. Some of the evenings highlights were:

  • A welcoming speech by Intaction Director Anthony Losquadro
  • An appearance by radio personality and comedian Sal “The Intact Stockbroker” from the Howard Stern Show.
  • A soulful performance by the intactivist singer Audra “Ms Blu” Berger.
  • The debut intactivist raunchy comedy act of Tony “The Alarm Guy”
  • Introduction of our Guest of Honor and pioneer intactivist Marilyn Milos.
  • Portions of the event were recorded for replay on the Howard Stern Show and in Kenny Neal Shults upcoming documentary “Pigs Without Blankets.”

Over fifty people attended our event, some traveling as far as Philadelphia and San Francisco to join us.

 

 

 

 

 

FUSION – Inside the Anti-Circumcision Movement

Inside the anti-circumcision movement: These blood-soaked activists want you to cut them some slack

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http://fusion.net/story/338894/anti-circumcision-movement-intactivists/
 Anthony Losquadro makes for a gallant chauffeur, though the vehicle he’s driving is a 30-foot-long, 9,000-pound repurposed van tricked out with a sound system, special lighting, and LED text signs. We’re in Washington, D.C. for the annual conference of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: he, to protest and me, to watch him.

For the past two years, Losquadro’s anti-circumcision group,Intaction, has used this eye-catching truck to highlight their cause. The images plastered to the tall, flat sides of Intaction’s mobile education unit are portraits of young men of various races, holding baby pictures while looking aggrieved. Those LED text signs scroll through messages like “Hygiene is about soap and water, not CUTTING,” and “Circumcision is painful and risky for babies.” I DID NOT CONSENT is emblazoned above and below, with Intaction’s name and website.

“We encounter a lot of curiosity,” Losquadro tells me. “The majority of the response is positive.” I watch a man inside a sedan next to us tilt his head to read the truck’s sides. He makes a “hmm!” expression, nods in concession, and finally grabs his phone to take a picture.

A former merchant marine, Losquadro is square-jawed, dark-haired, and burly—the type of Italian New Yorker made famous by early Scorsese films. It was he who found the volunteer models and arranged a photo shoot, but it was Intact America, another anti-cutting group, who started the “I Did Not Consent” campaign in 2012 by inviting circumcised men to send shots of themselves in this same pose. (“Intact” is the anti-circumcision movement’s preferred descriptor for uncircumcised men.) Those opposed to infant penile circumcision often emphasize the harm it can cause while refuting its alleged medical benefits. But according to Losquadro, the most irrefutable argument is the one that hinges on personal rights.

“You can’t force a medical procedure on someone, no matter how beneficial it is,” he says, using the example of a cancer patient who forgoes chemotherapy. “How can you not sympathize with this position?” Even though we usually defer to legal guardians about what happens to the bodies of children—whether that involves dietary choices and medical treatments or even ear piercings—the intactivists find elective genital surgery particularly indefensible since it involves such an intimate part of the body.

Most Americans are loath to consider the ethical implications of male circumcision given many men’s apparent apathy about their own. If it’s not usually a problem for those who’ve been through it, what’s the big deal? But Americans also claim to staunchly support independence and free will, whether that means freedom from the desires of the state or another individual, and bodily integrity is a crucial part of that. At a time when debates about campus assault, the sentencing of convicted rapists, and the alleged sexual crimes of Bill Cosbyand Roger Ailes dominate mainstream news, Americans are becoming more fluent in the language of consent. So why shouldn’t it apply to babies and their penises?

Though their tactics can be inflammatory and sometimes rely on troubling, unexamined analogies, the anti-circumcision advocates have a point: America’s embrace of male circumcision, established in an era deeply hostile to sexuality, uniquely lays bare our gendered double standards about bodies, physical pleasure, and trauma.

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When we pull up to the convention center corner where other “intactivists” are spreading the message on foot, Losquadro receives a hero’s welcome: waves, shouts of greeting, rainbow flags and sturdy signs. Intactivism isn’t only for cis men. Plenty of women are in attendance, too, in a crowd of about 40 people that spans an age range of about 45 years. As Losquadro makes one more loop around before finding a parking space, I have the sense that I’m in a parade float, like a pageant winner. “Born in the USA” plays through the truck’s speakers. It’s a beautiful May morning in the nation’s capital. I text my friends: I’ve never felt so American.

Compared to most of the world, the United States is big on circumcisions. At this point, it’s a secular American practice; it’s an obstetrician, not a religious figure like a mohel, who’s most likely to perform one. The U.S. circumcision rate (meaning how many newborns undergo the procedure) is officially placed at around 56%, which is lower than it once was but still far higher than other parts of the world. One-fourth of the planet’s men are Muslim and many are circumcised for religious reasons, as are most Jews, but the majority of European, Asian, and Central and South Americancountries don’t practice ritual foreskin removal, and the World Health Organization estimates only 30% of all men are circumcised.

Even fewer countries practice female circumcision, more commonly known as female genital mutilation and largely regarded as a serious human rights violation. (About 5% of the world’s women are circumcised, or 200 million of 3.7 billion.) In many parts of the world, it’s long been accepted that infant circumcision is unnecessary and devoid of substantial physical benefit.

Some countries have even banned it outright. In Denmark and Sweden, circumcisions that aren’t medically necessary are not allowed on children under the age of 12. Germany came close to an effective ban after a high court’s condemnatory ruling, but Parliament rushed to protect it in response to Muslim and Jewish outcry. In the 1970s, our own American Academy of Pediatrics agreed, “there are no valid medical indications for routine circumcisions, and the procedure cannot be considered an essential component of health care.” The Academy’s 2012 policy walked back this claim, stating “the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks,” but still stopped short of recommendation.

The politics of male circumcision first caught my attention in 2007, when the WHO officially recommended the procedure for Africans of all ages as an “important strategy” for HIV prevention in heterosexual men. For years, Washington D.C.—where I lived at the time—has struggled with an HIV epidemicthat rivals rates of contraction in some African countries, and the United States’ HIV contraction rate overall has long outpacedother developed nations, countries in which circumcision is far less common. If circumcision were such a magic bullet for African states, why hadn’t it worked better here at home? I thought. And if it’s so effective, why wasn’t the recommendation that males everywhere be circumcised? The implicit argument seemed to be that it was easier to convince African men to sever a piece of their genitals than it was to convince them to use condoms—either that, or parts of Africa were to be the test region for a prescription not yet applied to the Western world. It had the hallmarks of colonial mentality run rampant.

Circumcision is still not regarded as a viable HIV deterrent on any other continent. Even South Africa has rejected circumcision as a way to prevent HIV, and has prohibitions in place on circumcisions performed on boys under 16. Yet circumcision continues to be touted by many American doctors as a “surgical vaccine”—an inflated claim so widely criticizedand so breathtakingly irresponsible it’s a wonder it’s still repeated. “Surgical vaccine” is not an actual thing, and the only time the phrase is ever used is in connection with HIV and male circumcision, in spite of the fact that condoms and anti-retroviral drugs are far, far more effective. (Why not rebrand condoms as a “wearable vaccine”?)

Anti-circumcision activists have to push back against a more-than-century-long ugly history.

All of this matters for any society invested in scientific accuracy, but it also matters for intactivists’ mission of winning hearts and minds. (None of the people I spoke with attacked religious beliefs, or prioritized passage of laws banning the act. A cultural shift was the goal.) When male circumcision is stripped of its patina of medical legitimacy, it becomes an ethically suspect procedure, at least when it’s performed on infants or children too young to give meaningful medical consent. Without health advantages, a parent’s decision to cut their child’s penis starts to seem capricious and indefensible.

That’s exactly why some circumcision advocates grasp at straws to portray it as an easy, health-improving package—not just a surgical vaccine but a surgical multivitamin. In addition to the HIV angle, they cite lower rates of HPV contraction (although there’s a real vaccine for that) and lower incidence of urinary tract infections, which already has a low rate of occurrence among men.

The real pro-circumcision clincher, though, is the locker room argument—the claim that cutting is necessary because it’s already the norm, and without undergoing it, other boys will make fun. But parents regularly bestow children with names that invite ridicule. Bullies are merciless about a host of physical traits, from big ears to red hair, but parents don’t habitually dye their kids’ hair or interfere with their baby’s ears as a teasing preempting measure. And if Garfield is a traditional family name that’s been passed down for generations, you better suck it up, Garf, Jr.

Such distinctions can work in reverse, too. I went to high school with a boy who propositioned girls by promising his natural penis was more interesting, responsive, and special than circumcised ones. In gay communities, uncut men are often explicitly fetishized and if you’re looking for testimonials from women who love foreskin, you will find them. Fear of mockery is especially unfounded now that half of American babies do not get circumcised. Intactivists believe a more accurate count would put that number even lower, and that regardless of what it is now, it will continue to fall in the years ahead.

Circumcision rationalizations, and the stigma they depend upon—that foreskins are dirty, hard to clean, and therefore teeming with bacteria—make sense in the context of America’s circumcision history. Foreskin removal became popular during the Victorian era, when an obsession with eradicating germs and masturbation took hold. Circumcision was recommended as prophylactic for a variety of health issues, especially “sexual problems,” and various medical professionals of the ageremarked approvingly on the potential of creating a link between genitals and pain. (Use of anesthesia has only very recently become the standard, following an inexplicably protracted debate about whether babies actually felt pain during the procedure.) Nowadays we don’t often fret that foreskin is too perfect a masturbation sleeve, but the old chestnut that foreskins are filthy disease traps has held its ground.

“This is a lifetime wound. This is a permanent injury made visible.”– Brother K, anti-circumcision activist

Today, it’s the defenders of those supposed health benefits who often frame aversion to circumcision in Asian, Latino, and black parents as an issue of ignorance instead of cultural differences. Disconcerted by news of falling circumcision rates, which some experts attributed to the United States’ increasingly diverse demographics, the authors of one 2014 article suggested that the procedure be treated, once again, like vaccination and “be part of public health policies.”

This legislative rhetoric has solid historical precedence, too. In the 1890s, several American physicians “vigorously advocated” for compulsory circumcision of black men to keep them from raping white women: The government should be “enforcing circumcision” as one would “vaccination or quarantine regulations.” (This suggestion was endorsed by at least twomedical journals on the theory that Jewish men never rape, and their lack of foreskin must be the reason why—presumably because it was thought to decreases both genital pleasure and sexual craving.)

In the early 1900s, a doctor writing in the Journal of American Medical Association bemoaned the challenges of convincing syphilitic black men not to have sex, and suggested infant circumcision as the best method to control the spread of disease. As recently as 1949, doctors pointed to promiscuity, “meager” education, and a low circumcision rate to explain STIs among black citizens. Today, there are still doctors who maintain circumcision keeps Jewish men from committing rape.

Anti-circumcision activists have to push back against our more-than-century-long inculcation of this ugly history, along with a complacent modern medical community and deeply ingrained public misconceptions. So it’s no wonder they sometimes resort to dramatic, eyebrow-raising tactics to get their points across.

One thing that hardly tempers intactivists’ reputation as a group of isolated crazies is their fondness for blood imagery. On that day in D.C., fake blood is everywhere. As Losquadro and I take another pass by the protesters, I spot one man leaning over to spray paint another’s crotch deeper red. They’re both wearing white jumpsuits, the better to make the “blood” stand out.

Brother K is the man most prominently associated with the red-crotch-on-a-white-body look of some intactivism protesters. (Women wear the suits, too.) He’s head of the non-profit groupBloodstained Men, and he came by his name in 1986 when he changed it as a way to heal himself from the lasting psychic effects of circumcision. During a phone call after the protest, he would tell me that the “K” stands for “kind,” which I found easy to believe. He struck me as a deeply sincere and thoughtful guy in spite of his predilection for inflammatory visuals. “This is a lifetime wound,” he says. “This is a permanent injury made visible.”

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Brother K realizes the outfits “enrage some people,” but that’s part of what he’s going for. “Of course bloodstained suits generate an emotional response! We’re the shock troops of the movement.” He’s pleased when passersby take pictures and share them on social media, even as a form of ridicule, because a conversation is often sparked in the comments: At least the word is getting out.

It’s hard not to make a parallel between intactivists’ gory tactics and anti-choicers’. While I’m with Losquadro, a gruesome anti-abortion van follows a similar route to ours. Its images of choice are mangled fetuses; its words concern Jesus, Planned Parenthood, the government. “This guy…” Losquadro says. “He’s really fringe.” But as I exit his truck to get lunch, something catches my eye: It was a mounted, life-sized diorama of a baby strapped to a circumcision board, with forceps and scalpel poised over its penis.

I’m not the only one who made connections with the anti-circumcision movement to unsavory rightwing extremists. When I speak to friends about anti-circumcision activists, they sometimes respond as if I were discussing men’s rights activists: I get eye rolls and derisive laughter. The implication is that intactivists are just whiny men seizing upon a flimsy excuse to feel oppressed. I was relieved, but not surprised to find the people I spoke to didn’t fit that stereotype, not least because many of them are women. (MRAs, of course, sometimes blame feminism for circumcision.)

There’s nothing wrong with (or unusual about) one group of protesters borrowing from the other. And there will always be extremists in every movement. Still, it’s hard to explain away some of intactivism’s common tonal missteps. Most intactivists are white, which makes sense since white families are the ones most likely to practice circumcision in the U.S. But it facilitates the regrettable lack of perspective that allows activists to suggest they’re participating in the equivalent of the 1960s civil rights, or to analogize a mother fighting to keep her son intact to Rosa Parks. And given the penchant for “consent” language, it’s not surprising that many intactivists compare circumcision to rape, often in crude and upsetting terms—including calling doctors rapists or “sex criminals.” (Losquadro had Nirvana’s “Rape Me” on his protest playlist.)

Visceral provocations like the baby diorama seem unfair and inaccurate in a different way; as pro-choice advocates often point out, surgeries always involve blood. It’s true that in hospitals the baby is literally tied to a “circumcision board,” a phrase that wrenchingly evokes brutality. But babies sometimes have to be restrained for other, necessary procedures, too.

Instead of focusing on blood alone, it’s confronting the cosmetic purpose of male circumcision that forces nuanced ethical issues to come to the fore. “It’s not an exact science,” says one doctordescribing the operation on video. “Sometimes we take too much [skin] or too little. The worst,” he adds, “is too little.” Because then the parents request the surgery be done again. There can be no doubt that in these situations, cutting is a culturally-mandated cosmetic choice, not a medically-driven one. But that distinction doesn’t come across when all you’re visually confronted with is a bloody crotch, or a baby’s penis underneath a scalpel.

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Yet even without Intaction’s diorama and Brother K’s suits, it’s the suggestion of fragility in a male body that would (and does) alarm and rankle. Given the way most of us think about cis male bodies and sexuality, a message of male genital vulnerability is likely to be received as extreme and lacking perspective no matter what. Intactivists demand serious protection of bodily integrity in a culture that doesn’t value it, not for women nor for men, nor, as some intactivists point out, for intersex people. (If only attention to the spectrum of invasive, status quo-establishing medical acts were as common as their predilection for overeager use of “rape.”) Feminism, queer theory, and other progressive scholarship has at least laid a groundwork for women to talk about their genital and sexual violations within a patriarchy. But men have not yet done the same for their own specific challenges.

Nobody knows this better than Intact America’s Georganne Chapin, who meets me inside the convention center’s capacious lobby near a Starbucks. Unlike some of the protesters, she wears normal street clothes—no message tee, no bloody pants—but there’s no mistaking her focus. She’s pleasant and candid with me while we speak, but maintains the capable, brisk energy of a woman on a mission. “It’s a terror to confront what we’ve done to our boys,” she says.

Chapin sees circumcisions as part of a larger tendency towards indifference and denial of male pain. She mentions a recent Dear Abby letter in which a man writes in about his anguish and anger regarding his circumcision as an infant. Abby curtly tells him he needs psychological help because he’s probably displacing his reaction to a sexual assault—an example of our culture’s tendency to tell men, “it’s not the end of the world, get over it,” and a response Chapin finds to be woefully callous. We expect men to be so impervious to trauma that only large-scale horrors, namely combat in war, can harm them. (And even then, they may be regarded as wimpy or emasculated.)

Intactivists are treated as practically hysterical when they talk about male circumcision as mutilation but it’s not always a dramatic misnomer; sometimes circumcisions are botched. One study of Canadian doctors concluded that “most physicians performing neonatal circumcisions in our community have received informal and unstructured training.” A credentialed, practicing American pediatric urologist made a point of publicly confirming that he sees the effects of that educational oversight in the many corrective surgeries he performs, none of which are for cosmetic reasons alone. (Which means the effects are severe enough that penile function is impaired.) To deny and ignore the acute shame some men must feel, knowing they’ve been permanently injured in a culture of toxic masculinity that holds a penis to be a man’s defining characteristic, seems indefensibly cruel and senseless. A group of European physicians from 16 different countries unequivocally stated as much, in response to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ 2012 policy suggesting the health benefits of circumcision:

There are no compelling health arguments in favor of circumcision, while it can have serious long-term urological, psychological and sexual consequences. And performing medically unwarranted circumcision of underage boys conflicts with good medical practice. Male infant circumcision conflicts with children’s rights and the doctors’ oath not to do harm.

I don’t learn it until the day of the protest, but 34-year-old West Coast intactivist Jonathan Conte killed himself just days before the ACOG conference. His Facebook page is headed by the same sensationalism of the movement that gives some people pause: images of bloody babies paired with the imagined words of a villainous rapist. “Just relax, I know you’ll like it.” “You deserve it.” “It won’t hurt long.” Yet by all accounts of those who knew him, he was sensitive, intelligent, and gentle. Like the Dear Abby letter writer, Jonathan felt depressed, incomplete, and confused that his parents allowed him to be circumcised. “I didn’t have anybody to talk about this with,” he says in a video still online. “I felt isolated. I didn’t know how to deal with it.”

Of Conte’s passing, Brother K wrote, “All of us see on a daily basis the frantic denial of our friends and relatives, the denial that circumcision has any meaning or significance in our lives.”

It makes sense that Conte borrowed the language of rape to express his pain; men don’t have any other models for discussing intimate forms of physical violation. And this type of social desertion is doubly poignant when considering how cold our culture is to male victims of actual rape. Chapin knows no one can definitively say why Conte killed himself. Still, she points out, “we would have no problem believing … a woman’s trauma [from circumcision] was valid. But we really resist hearing this from men.”

If they learn to speak the language of mainstream politics, the intactivists’ most profound contribution may be breaking down this gendered double standard, along with providing some necessary validation to men who are genuinely hurting. Chapin recalls conversations she had with circumcised men who’d met Losquadro or heard Jonathon Conte speak. “They were just overwhelmed with grief and gratitude that someone was talking about this,” she says. “The isolation is awful.”

10 Reasons your a pro-circumcision fartbag

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10 Reasons You’re a Pro-Circumcision Fart Bag (NSFW)

Written by Clara Brown

I used to think circumcision was a good thing. I was also an ignorant fart bag. Coincidence?

After doing a little research, I saw the light. I knew I was wrong. Very fucking wrong. Like pineapple-on-pizza wrong. If you like that shit, you’re wrong and a cunt.

 

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Whatever opinion you may have on infant circumcision, welcome. I ask that you not feel alienated because my beef is not with you. It’s with an article I read recently.

This article to be exact: —–>  10 Reasons I Will Always Be A Pro-Circumcision Mom by blogger and chick lit author Bethany Ramos.

When I first read the article, I wanted to punch someone.

*adjusts glasses*

What in the fuckitty-fucking shit is this shittery-shit factory of giant unholy blasphemous ballsacks?

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I recovered.

The second time I read it, I practiced deep breathing exercises and decided to prepare a CALM rebuttal with better GIFs but it went something like this:

 

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If you haven’t read this pro-circumcision article, you should. It’s fun. And by fun, I mean running butt-first into a preheated fire poker. Hey, we all have our kinks, right? I just maxed out my credit card buying Mind Bleach in bulk.

I have a low tolerance for poor research and crappy GIFs, especially on the subject of circumcision. I like to correct false information about this surgery whenever possible. I’m also not against non-therapeutic circumcision. I just happen to think that a man’s dick and how much dick he wants to keep or cut off is his decision.

This subject makes people uncomfortable too. I like to prod them with sticks for my amusement.

 

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A super fun quote from her article:

“Yes, I’m writing a blog post about it [circumcision] because the topic is interesting to me, and people deserve to be informed.”

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Yes, people deserve to be informed. If this subject interests you, I encourage you to keep researching.

In the mean time:

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*tearing apart your article like the rabid dog that I am*
*wink-wink* 

 

 

*Here are the top 10 reasons that make a person a pro-circumcision fart bag.*

1.) Citing the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

 

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Photo credit: Bethany Ramos

Does the American Academy of Pediatrics really endorse the benefits of circumcision? They seem to, however, this is what they actually have to say about it:

“The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that circumcision has potential medical benefits and advantages, as well as risks. Evaluation of current evidence indicates that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks and that the procedure’s benefits justify access to this procedure for families who choose it, however, existing scientific evidence is not sufficient to recommend routine circumcision.”  Updated 05/14/2015

People seem to cling to the words “benefits” “outweigh” and “risks” while ignoring the rest. Yeah, that’s smart. Are your precious children not worth it for you to read the entire statement? I don’t know who puts their child through surgery for “potential” medical benefits when there are REAL, proven, risks involved with the surgery. You can read them all here: Stanford School of Medicine: Circumcision Complications

Besides that, the AAP can’t even recommend the procedure due to a lack of scientific evidence. But the benefits outweigh the risks? The “potential” benefits with a lack of scientific evidence? Seems to me they are cowardly dancing around the fact that they support infant circumcision with, again, a lack of scientific evidence. Seems legit.

Furthermore, the AAP circumcision task force is made up of only eight physicians. EIGHT! That is an octopus with eight doctor tentacles. Doctoctopus? God, what an ugly creature. It probably eats infant foreskins for snacks, shits em’ out, and then sells the steaming piles to bio-medical and cosmetic companies for profit.

“Is that baby foreskin in your wrinkle cream? Or turd juice from the AAP Doctoctopus?”

Not one medical organization in the world recommends circumcision for infant males. In fact, European doctors strongly discourage it.

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You can read that report here: From the AAP’s own website.  Cultural Bias in the AAP’s Policy Statement on Male Circumcision

The international group that condemns the AAP’s position on circumcision is made up of 37 doctors from 16 different countries. You can read that rebuttal here: HERE

“There are no compelling health arguments in favor of circumcision, while it can have serious long-term urological, psychological and sexual consequences. And performing medically unwarranted circumcision of underage boys conflicts with good medical practice. Male infant circumcision conflicts with children’s rights and the doctors’ oath not to do harm.”

This statement echoes the Royal Dutch Medical Association’s circumcision policy. Not to mention countless others around the world.

That sure mouth-punches the AAP baby-foreskin-eating Doctoctopus into oblivion. Good riddance, because that thing was messy and stupid.

 

 

2.) Citing “The New York Times” as “proof” of support of infant circumcision.

 

rebuttal 2                                                   Photo Credit: Bethany Ramos

I hate to break it to you (no I don’t) but The New York Times is a newspaper. Shit happens and they report that shit. If Florida Man lit his balls on fire while screaming racist profanities at the neighborhood pigeons, it doesn’t mean the newspaper reporting the incident agrees with his antics. Do you see the difference? The New York Times quoted the American Academy of Pediatrics when the new circumcision policy statement was released in 2012. The article was well balanced and cited pro-intact opinions as well.

But if we are going to get all technical n’ shit, I want to share this gem:

Group Backs Ritual ‘Nick’ as Female Circumcision Option

Anyone want to take a guess at who that “group” is?

Anyone?

The American Academy of Pediatrics. (AAP)

WHAT?!!!

 

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AWKWARD! The New York Times reported that the American Academy of Pediatrics previously endorsed (ENDORSED!) female genital mutilation because “religion and culture” as recently as 2010. The AAP later retracted their proposal after people went ape shit.

Here’s to you and your “research.”

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3.) Making bullshit assumptions and spreading more bullshit. 

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            Photo Credit: Bethany Ramos

While the above statement is not inherently false, it is misleading. What is the actual stance of the World Health Organization in regards to circumcision?

“There is compelling evidence that male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men by approximately 60%. Three randomized controlled trials have shown that male circumcision provided by well trained health professionals in properly equipped settings is safe. WHO/UNAIDS recommendations emphasize that male circumcision should be considered an efficacious intervention for HIV prevention in countries and regions with heterosexual epidemics, high HIV and low male circumcision prevalence.

Male circumcision provides only partial protection, and therefore should be only one element of a comprehensive HIV prevention package which includes: the provision of HIV testing and counseling services; treatment for sexually transmitted infections; the promotion of safer sex practices; the provision of male and female condoms and promotion of their correct and consistent use.”

The WHO says nothing about infant circumcision. They only support circumcision of men in HIV prevalent countries, which is NOT North America (in case some of you are confused). Sexually acquired HIV is not a risk factor for an infant nor should it be a deciding factor for a child because it’s not even relevant.

BUT WAIT! HANG THE FUCK ON! There’s more.

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What about the WHO’s claim that circumcision can reduce the spread of HIV up to approximately 60%? Is it true OR bullshit pseudoscience? First of all, the 60% figure comes from a relative rate of reduction. The difference in HIV prevalence between intact and cut men from the study was: 2.49% to 1.18%. The WHO makes it sound as if circumcision will decrease the chance of a heterosexual man contracting HIV by 60%.

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It is no secret that the three randomized controlled trials (RTC) are heavily criticized by the global medical and scientific communities. Why? For a shit-load of reasons, but some of the main highlights include:

“Numerous serious flaws in these RCTs included: inadequate equipoise, researcher and participant expectation bias, selection bias, inadequate blinding, problematic randomization, lead-time bias, attrition bias/participants lost to follow-up, early termination, and failure to control for non-sexual transmission of HIV, all of which most probably exaggerated treatment effects.”  Source: http://m.pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/1/e175/reply

“Peer Reviewed” studies? The peer reviewers say: YOUR CRAP SCIENCE IS UNETHICAL BULLSHIT!!

“Billions of dollars to circumcise millions of African males as an HIV infection prevention have been sought, yet the effectiveness of circumcision has not been demonstrated. Data from 109 populations comparing HIV prevalence and incidence in men based on circumcision status were evaluated using meta-regression. The impact on the association between circumcision and HIV incidence/prevalence of the HIV risk profile of the population, the circumcision rates within the population and whether the population was in Africa were assessed. No significant difference in the risk of HIV infection based on the circumcision status was seen in general populations. Studies of high-risk populations and populations with a higher prevalence of male circumcision reported significantly greater odds ratios (odds of intact man having HIV) (p < .0001). When adjusted for the impact of a high-risk population and the circumcision rate of the population, the baseline odds ratio was 0.78 (95% CI = 0.56-1.09). No consistent association between presence of HIV infection and circumcision status of adult males in general populations was found. When adjusted for other factors, having a foreskin was not a significant risk factor. This undermines the justification for using circumcision as a primary preventive for HIV infection.” Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/25760456/

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Let’s take this a step further:

If we are to assume the male foreskin harbors dangerous bacteria and viruses, we would see a significant decrease in HIV among countries with a high circumcision rate. The truth is, there is no discernible difference. Look at it this way, there is a reason why most of the world’s parents are not trying to circumcise their infants as a way to prevent disease.

The circumcised US actually has a higher rate of HIV infection than intact Europe. How’s that for a fun fact?

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4.) Believing circumcision pain is equivalent to baby shots. 

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Do you even logic? How on Earth would a shot be equivalent to surgery? The genitals are the most highly innervated parts of the body, not to mention babies feel pain as intensely as adults do if not more. http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2015-04-21-babies-feel-pain-adults

Hmmm, do I want a needle-prick? Or do I want someone to forcibly spread my legs and saw off my clitoral hood?

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But if you’re really convinced circumcision isn’t that painful for a baby, you can watch this video: neonatal circumcision. Don’t worry. The surgery is “very simple.” The video was posted on YouTube in 2010 by Kevin M. Windisch MD from Sparks, Nevada. The doctor is circumcising his own son, Benjamin, with full anesthetic.

Currently, there is no proven method to eliminate circumcision pain according to a study measuring effective types of pain relief for neonates. Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0012623/

Even if a child is too young to hold a conscious memory of the procedure, the body still remembers. When the body experiences pain or trauma, the adrenal gland releases a stress hormone called “cortisol.” Elevated levels of cortisol in a newborn have proven to negatively affect brain development. Infant trauma has real life-long consequences in adults including: increased anxiety, altered pain sensitivity, stress disorders, hyperactivity/attention disorder, impaired social skills, and patterns of self-destructive behavior. Sources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/10657682/ ; Science Daily: Pain In Infancy Alters Response to Stress, Anxiety Later in Life

Suppose the procedure is pain-free, would that excuse it? No, it wouldn’t. Because circumcision is a permanent, irreversible procedure and should only be done to consenting adults and in the case of an immediate medical need. Don’t hate. All I want is for boys to have the same right to genital integrity as girls. American Girls have legal protection from non-therapeutic surgery on their genitals. Why is it so much to ask for boys?

 

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“Shouldn’t the fact that you are comforting yourself by saying ‘He won’t remember it’ tell you that what you’re about to do is not good? You admit circumcision is unethical and inhumane the moment you have to justify it by saying your child won’t remember it.” – Seth Grimmr, Human Rights Activist

 

5.) Dropping the erroneous “hygiene” argument. 

 

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Photo Credit: Bethany Ramos

 

 

Which medical professionals recommend it for basic little boy hygiene?

These ones?

 

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The foreskin is fused to the head of the penis (glans) by a delicate membrane and naturally separates over time. The foreskin does not fully retract until the average age of ten. During the circumcision, the foreskin must be forcibly separated from the glans before the cutting even begins. It’s akin to ripping a fingernail from a finger.

There is no “extra” cleaning required for intact boys. In fact, intact boys are easier to clean than circumcised boys. Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/9393302/
Some of you may have chosen to circumcise your son because you thought you’d be constantly cleaning and fiddling with his penis. Sorry to say, you were misinformed. You may as well have circumcised him to prevent unicorn attacks.

Many parents are advised to forcibly retract the foreskin and clean underneath. This is not only bad advice, but can be very painful and permanently damaging to a child. Forceful retraction causes micro-tears in the delicate tissue resulting in inflammation and infection. Of course, many parents are just doing what they were instructed to do by a “medical professional.” Imagine if they told people to swab their daughter’s vaginas out with a Q-tip at every diaper change. Infection city? Oh yeah.

 

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This ignorance has been such an issue among American medical professionals that various news outlets have issued warnings for parents. The Huffington Post: If Your Son Is Not Circumcised Beware the Well-Baby Check

BEWARE THE CREEPY QUACK WHO TRIES TO PULL IT BACK.

Furthermore, what is more hygienic than an open wound in a diaper exposed to urine and feces?

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The hygiene argument isn’t even valid. If we want to justify cutting healthy tissue from a boy’s private parts for “hygiene” we should start with women. Women get more infections (such as UTI’s), have more folds for bacteria to hide, bleed once a month, and have a retractable foreskin. Would it be logical to remove parts of women’s genitals for “hygiene?” Why not? Because it’s cruel, oppressive, sexist, and overall bigoted? Well, yeah.

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The hygiene argument is a residual idea from the Victorian Era. American doctors from the late 1800’s prescribed circumcision as a treatment for masturbation. They believed that burping the worm lead to insanity and eventually death. Sexuality back then was viewed as sinful and inherently dirty and dangerous. So when you say, “circumcision is cleaner,” what you’re actually saying is, “sexual libido is dirty.” A cut penis is a pure and righteous penis.

Why do you think circumcision became highly medicalized in America but not other developed countries? Because Americans are prude assholes. That’s why.

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Don’t hate on Americans though. Female cutting cultures spout the same malarkey.

“[Female Circumcsion] It takes away excessive libido from women

It prevents unpleasant odours which result from foul secretions beneath the prepuce.

It reduces the incidence of urinary tract infections

It reduces the incidence of infections of the reproductive system.

In the book on Traditions that affect the health of women and children, which was published by the World Health Organization in 1979 it says:

With regard to the type of female circumcision which involves removal of the prepuce of the clitoris, which is similar to male circumcision, no harmful health effects have been noted.” 

Source: http://islamqa.info/en/45528

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6.) Giving excuses, not reasons. 

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Circumcision to reduce the risk of UTI’s (Urinary Tract Infections)? The overall risk of a UTI for an infant boy is 1%. (Girls are at a higher risk due to shorter urethras. Girls receive antibiotics, not genital surgery.)

“Given a risk in normal boys of about 1%, the number-needed-to-treat to prevent one UTI is 111. “

“Haemorrhage and infection are the commonest complications of circumcision, occurring at rate of about 2%.”  Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1720543/

“Meatal stenosis is a relatively common acquired condition occurring in 9-10% of males who are circumcised. This disorder is characterized by an upward deflected, difficult-to-aim urinary stream and, occasionally, dysuria and urgent, frequent, and prolonged urination. Surgical meatotomy is curative. Source: Meatal Stenosis: Background

“But…but…but, the benefits outweigh the risks….”

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Of course, forcefully retracting the foreskin actually causes UTI’s and penile inflammation.

When will this circus of stupid end?

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Penile Cancer? Fuckin’ really? Is it possible that penis reduction surgery (circumcision) would reduce the risk of cancer? Sure. But only in the foreskin, the part of the body that a cut man no longer has. The only way to prevent penile cancer is to chop off the entire penis. So let’s cut out the vulva of baby girls to prevent vulvar cancer. Because:

“In the United States, women have a 1 in 333 chance of developing vulvar cancer at some point during their life.” Source: American Cancer Society- Vulvar Cancer Statistics

Okay? Okay? Guys? STAY WITH ME HERE.

“Penile cancer is rare in North America and Europe. It occurs in less than 1 man in 100,000 and accounts for less than 1% of cancers in men in the United States.” Source: American Cancer Society- Penile Cancer Statistics

Circumcision to prevent penile cancer is a logic train wreck. It doesn’t even make sense.

 

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7.) Lack of critical thinking. 

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 Photo Credit: Bethany Ramos

Your pediatrician:

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Also, your pediatrician’s logic summed up in a GIF: 

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Let me get this straight: Circumcising a grown man is “invasive and painful” but NOT for a fragile infant?

Science doesn’t agree with your “pediatrician.”

“Conclusions: Pain is mild to moderate after circumcision in adults under general anesthesia with an intraoperative penile block. Severe pain is rare and mostly related to complications. Younger patients generally have more discomfort.” Source: American Urological Association – How Painful is Adult Circumcision?

According to many pro-circumcision dip-shits, the male foreskin in infancy is “just a flap of skin” removed by a “simple and nearly painless procedure.”

But on a grown man, the foreskin suddenly turns on its owner and becomes a-huge-smelly-confusing-Rubik’s-cube, and if removed, the pain is so bad that getting finger-fucked by zombies outside a Bed, Bath, and Beyond is merciful by comparison.

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But how common is a medically necessary circumcision?

According to a study from Finland, where you know, they aren’t trying to rip back baby foreskins to clean underneath, the risk is 1 in 16,667. To put this into perspective, your son has a 1 in 1000 chance of developing breast cancer. It makes more sense to remove his breast buds than part of his penis.

Doctors shouldn’t be recommending circumcision, but for some reason, society assumes that medical school makes a person immune to psychopathic behavior. Granted some doctors are horribly misinformed and some just enjoy skinning things for a good time.

 

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8.) Carving a sexual preference into a child. 

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Photo Credit: Bethany Ramos

 

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I’m not sure what the sexual preference of an adult (specifically a boy’s mother) has to do with his penis. I guess she plans on using it someday? Not sure. But aesthetics should never be brought up in a conversation about a child’s sex organs, ever. That is creepy and disgusting.

Since “looks” were mentioned though, take a glance at the below comparisons. Which looks better to you?

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It doesn’t matter which one looks better to you. What matters is that the owner of the penis gets to decide what looks better to HIM. If a man wants to be circumcised, he can make that choice himself as a consenting adult. Shit, he can get it done in an afternoon. If a cut man wants to be intact? He cannot magically regrow his foreskin. He’s fucked.

An option that some men are pursuing is foreskin restoration. This does not replace everything that circumcision takes away, but it brings back the gliding mechanism and glans coverage, some of the many functions that are lost to circumcision. Much like ear gauging, foreskin restoration is painless and encourages the growth of new skin and it slowly covers the glans over a period of four to six years. It would be irresponsible to think your son could just restore if he isn’t happy with his circumcision, therefore the surgery is justifiable. I’m sure he’ll be cursing your name with every tug, for the next four to six years.

“Before I began restoring, I had extremely tight, painful erections, with little to no pleasure. After starting restoration, I no longer have tight painful erections and I have an incredible amount of pleasure.” – Race Allen Craft, Human Rights Activist

9.) Downplaying the harms of circumcision while hiding behind laws that protect your own gender. 

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“Circumcision is not that big of a deal.”

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Imagine if these babies were little girls, would that change your perspective?

 

“Circumcision is not that big of a deal.”

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“Circumcision is not that big of a deal.”

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“Circumcision is not that big of a deal.”

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“Circumcision is not that big of a deal.”

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#IAmNotThankful

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“I am a thirty year-old white woman from the American South, born in a Catholic hospital to non-religious parents and I was circumcised. I’m missing more than most FGM victims, and yet I’m still thankful I’m not a man. If I were a man, I’d be missing my g-spot, even as a mutilated woman, I still have that. I still orgasm. I had a child (though birth was difficult). They are equally atrocious acts, but speaking in terms of loss, men lose much much more.” -Amber Baxley, Human Rights Activist (pictured above) 

In America, female genital mutilation (classified as removal of partial or all female genitalia without medical need, pin-pricks and nicks included) was outlawed in 1997. Although the 14th Amendment reads as follows:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” – Section 1, 14th Amendment, United States Constitution.

According to the US Constitution, not only do males have a right to their own property, (the right to keep all their normal, natural body parts intact) but the US must enforce laws to protect males just like they currently do for females. It is about equality. If you do not support a male child’s right to keep his natural body intact so he can make decisions regarding his own body and sexuality, you do not support equality. It’s that simple.

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10.) Having no idea what “pro-choice” means. 

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Photo Credit: Bethany Ramos

 

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Children are not property and parents do not own their bodies. Exactly why do you want to own your son’s penis? Does it make you feel big? Does it make you feel powerful?

The foreskin ignorance in America is so thick, I could tie it around my neck and hang myself.

 

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I consider myself “pro-choice” too but I support a man’s choice to make this decision for himself. If you wouldn’t support a parent’s choice to circumcise their daughter, it doesn’t make sense to support it for their son. Unless you’re a sexist bigot, of course.

 

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11.) BONUS! Believing that Female Genital Mutilation is “worse” than circumcision.

By now, many of you have heard of “female genital mutilation.” You’ve likely read about the sadistic shit they do to girls in the name of “culture.”

When you think of female genital mutilation, you probably think of a little girl being dragged into a straw hut and forcibly raped with a broken bottle or rusty razor, her genitals mutilated, bleeding, and barely recognizable. The truth is, this form of FGM is the rarest form. The most extreme, yes, but the rarest form. It typically takes place in unsanitary conditions in regions of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Something you likely didn’t know: boys are also victims of genital mutilation in these harsh, unsanitary conditions. So far this year, in the South African region, 14 boys have died and 141 have suffered major injuries as a result of circumcision.

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The most common forms of FGM take place in a sterile medical setting, just like male circumcision in America. They typically remove the female foreskin for reasons mirroring the reasons we do for males: greed, ignorance, fear, myth, religion, superstition, bullshit fuckery non-sense. American girls are legally protected but “culture” doesn’t stop some people from mutilating their daughters. Almost 500,000 women and girls living in the US are victims of FGM. Education is our most powerful ally.

image4                       Achlee White lifting the female foreskin and pointing to the head of the clitoris (head of penis in a male)

5278_503307669760425_638950615_nJonathon Conte, Human Rights Activist

I often hear this: “But they are not comparable.”

They are not comparable you say? Even a small clitoral nick or a piercing is considered FGM, but removing the entire prepuce of a male is “not as bad as FGM?”

If a child was raped, surely you wouldn’t first ask if the child was male or female before determining the severity of the assault. If a child was beaten, you wouldn’t decide that it was worse if the child was female rather than male.

So why do you use this logic when children (male, female, and intersex) are held down against their will and a knife taken to their most sensitive private parts?

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Take some time, digest this material. Look up the policies on circumcision for yourself. Read the entire statement. Read the studies. Educate yourself on cultural or societal conditioning. Learn the functions of the foreskin, learn about genital anatomy, learn about human rights. If you’ve done all of that and still choose to be “pro-circumcision” or “pro-parent’s choice” you’re not only a fart bag;

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Featured Image via ShutterStock

THE DAILY BEAST – The Men Who Want Their Foreskin Back

The-Daily-BeastBy Jenn Morson,  February 23, 2016:

The anti-male circumcision movement likens the procedure to genital mutilation and because of that it wants to restore what was lost with cones, weights, and more.
Ron Low never realized there was something missing from his penis until he was a grown man.

In the mid-1980s, he came across a magazine article about circumcision that detailed several personal accounts from men whose foreskins had not been removed at birth. This chance encounter with a then-unpopular position made Ron consider the reasons behind circumcision.

“How could humans could be the product of thousands of years of evolution and still need a part [of their body] cut off?,” Low recounts himself thinking.

Like many people, Ron viewed circumcision as a routine procedure that had been done to him as it was done to all male infants. According to the World Health Organization, 80 percent of adult males in the United States have been circumcised, compared to about 30 percent of the rest of the world. The Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics say that the benefits of male infant circumcision outweighs the risks. The World Health Organization endorses circumcision as a means to reduce the risk of the transmission of HIV.

Still, it appears that a movement to end routine circumcision is finding some success, or is at least coinciding with the practice being on the wane. Newborn male circumcision in the U.S. declined from 64.9 percent in the 1960s to 58.3 percent in 2010.

Low became a father in the early days of the Internet, when social media was limited to chat rooms and virtual bulletin boards.

“I was lurking around in chat rooms trying to find some solidarity with other parents, and these people would always show up and start railing about circumcisions and it was annoying!” he Low said. After a time, however, he slowly came around to their way of thinking. “But the same people who were always jumping in and talking about this stuff, some of those same folks, I am still in touch with today and use as sources.”

Around the same time, Low heard a radio program featuring author James Bigelow. He was discussing his latest book, The Joy of Uncircumcising.

As Low listened to Bigelow describe using tapes and weights to stretch the slack skin on his penis in order to regrow a foreskin, the interviewer quipped, “Could you just wear a little hat?”
An engineer by trade, Low thought: Well, why couldn’t you just wear a little hat? His own restoration journey was years off, but when he speaks of the design for the TLC Tugger, he hearkens back to this moment.

Ron and his wife had always enjoyed a fulfilling sex life, but as she approached her forties, considered a woman’s sexual peak, Ron noticed it was taking him longer to satisfy her. After some failed attempts using different positions as well as lotions, his doctor suggested that he should just get used to the fact that his circumcision had left the head of his penis exposed and dry.

“I knew it wasn’t my wife’s fault. And I had to do something. So I went to her, on April Fool’s Day, and I told her I was going to restore.” Ron’s wife predictably thought he was kidding. “I assured her I was serious, and told her to help me be accountable, and also to let me know when I should remove the tape,” he says, as taping meant that removal would involve cleaning off the adhesive residue which was a delicate and timely process.

“I taped my penis for four years, 80 percent of the time. And during a fifth year, I only wore the tape at work, but wore a retaining cone the rest of the time. The retaining cone protects the suppleness and sensitivity of the glands and also maintains progress,” he matter-of-factly shares about his own penis, completely unabashed.

Meanwhile, Low was perfecting his own device to restore foreskin without messy tape: the TLC Tugger.

Using silicone, he designed a conical device to grip skin using tension instead of adhesive. The TLC Tugger uses constant tension to grip the foreskin and then “tug” it via a strap attached to the leg. (Weights are available for purchase to enhance the tugging experience.)

“Unless men are experiencing a medical condition, there is no need to seek medical attention in order to undertake the restoring process,” Low said. Instead, he believes strongly in the “restoring community” he has created on his website, where he estimates about one-third of the members are customers.

Despite being a soft-spoken Midwesterner, there is no mistaking his harsh words for infant circumcision.

“Informed adults can make the decision. It is forced mutilation on those who can’t consent.”

There are no medical studies to suggest the efficacy of foreskin restoration and you’ll be hard pressed to find any physician endorsing devices like Low’s.

A urologist with over thirty years’ experience in the U.S. and abroad had harsh words about foreskin restoration.

“It is definitely on the fringe of medicine, and I doubt there are many urologists who would treat it,” the physician, who requested anonymity said.

“It is ironic they feel they have been mutilated against their will in the USA, while in parts of the third world it is accepted practice to circumcise all males as HIV prevention,” he added. Instead of foreskin restoration, the physician recommended men seek psychiatric evaluation and care.

Anthony Losquadro is aware of the psychological dimension of foreskin.

“You gotta be able to talk about this stuff,” the executive director of Intaction, an anti-circumcision group said. “We won’t be embarrassed to talk about it. We won’t be ashamed, doctors should be be the ones who are ashamed. We’re gonna try to gain back our power.”

Anthony said he was always somewhat aware that something had been done to him.

“The scars didn’t seem natural and no one was telling me, so I thought it must’ve been some type of trauma.”

As he moved into adulthood, Anthony said delved into all the research he could find and became angry.

“Doctors only amputate. They joke around that no one has come back and complained, but there are hundreds of thousands of men who have restored or are restoring. There are lots of unhappy men out there.”

The restoration process will not completely reverse the effects of a circumcision, though.

“You don’t get back 20,000 nerve endings, and you won’t get back your frenulum,” Anthony said, referring to the band of tissue that connects the foreskin and a lubricating gland. “Those are the most sensitive areas of the penis and there’s no way to get them back.”

Anthony sees restoration as more than just a physiological fix, however.

“The physical appearance is indistinguishable, but men feel their bodies have been violated. Restoration helps empower men to overcome these feelings as well as the physical.

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/02/23/the-men-who-want-their-foreskin-back.html

NY Post reports on circumcision intactivism

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by Andrea Peyser
January 25, 2016 | 12:26am

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Anthony Losquadro — a circumcision “intactivist” — with his anti-circumcision truck that he drives around New York City.

Anthony Losquadro is passionate about his penis.

“I think about it all the time,’’ the 50-year-old Long Island bodybuilder, real estate manager and married dad of a boy and a girl told me.

Losquadro is one of a small but growing breed of “intactivists” — men who believe they were mauled by the circumcisions they underwent as babies, and women who try to persuade the public to abandon a practice they consider excruciatingly painful, barbaric and unnecessary.

Intactivists claim that uncut penises deliver enhanced sexual pleasure to their owners and users, and liken male circumcision to female genital mutilation — even sexual assault and child abuse.

Losquadro won’t have his 6-month-old son snipped.

I asked if this obsession with foreskin is healthy, much less worthy of a movement modeled on the struggle for human rights.

“Do you think Martin Luther King was obsessed about civil rights?” Losquadro shot back. “Betty Friedan with women’s rights?”

Clearly, some men harbor deep-seated issues regarding their members.

Anthony Losquadro’s “anti-circumcision” truckPhoto: Matthew McDermott

Circumcision — the removal of the foreskin from the penis — has long been performed as a religious rite by Jews, Muslims and several ethnic groups in sub-Saharan Africa. In the 19th century, prudish Victorians believed it would prevent men from masturbating. (How’d that work out?) These days, it’s overwhelmingly an American thing.

But buoyed by recent declines in the practice in the United States, intactivists have created websites applauding uncut celebrities, including Charlie Sheen (yikes!) and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Photographs of Leo skinny-dipping reportedly were leaked online, which must have been awkward when he dated Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli.

Bernhard Goetz, the squirrel- and allegedly pot-loving “Subway Vigilante,” made quixotic runs for New York City mayor and public advocate on a pro-vegetarian, anti-circumcision platform.

Former Congressman Anthony “Carlos Danger’’ Weiner became an unwitting poster boy for circumcision, sexting pics of his excited and apparently cut junk to a variety of babes — penis pics I wish I could unsee.

About 81 percent of US males ages 14 to 59 have had their genitals snipped, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the percentage of newborns circumcised in American hospitals dipped from 83 percent in the 1960s to 77 percent in 2010, according to data published last year in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Another estimate put the US infant circumcision rate at 58 percent in 2010 — but the number could be higher, because procedures performed outside hospitals by, for example, mohels in Jewish bris ceremonies are not counted. The worldwide circumcision rate is a bit less than one-third; in some countries, the practice is practically nonexistent.

“I’ve actually thought that it [circumcision] was a wacky thing to do, that half the population needs surgical correction, ’’ said Georganne Chapin, 64, executive director of Intact America, who has tried, and failed, to persuade lawmakers to ban the procedure.

But mohels and doctors recently told The Post that an increasing number of grown men in America are now making the cut for religious, medical or aesthetic reasons.

Losquadro founded the organization Intaction and drives around the metropolitan area in a 30-foot van, handing out literature aimed at persuading parents to retain boys’ “genital integrity.”

He told me that in 2010, he confronted the then-88-year-old retired obstetrician who altered his manhood back in 1965.

“I asked him, ‘Did that make you feel like more of a man to do that to me when I was 8 pounds?’ ” Losquadro said. “He had nothing to say.”

Losquadro has concluded that restoring himself through skin grafts or by stretching the remaining skin would not make him whole.

Clinical research has found that circumcision can safeguard males from certain cancers, urinary-tract infections that might cause kidney damage, human papillomavirus and genital herpes, and can reduce the cervical-cancer risk in sex partners.

The World Health Organization revealed data showing circumcision reduces heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men by about 60 percent.

Intactivists counter that health risks are overblown, and contend that some 100 males die each year from circumcision-caused ailments including blood loss and infections.

I can’t help but agree with the babe characters on the TV show “Sex and the City” who, with the exception of slutty Samantha, enthused that shafts devoid of hoods were more pleasant to gaze upon and touch than intact ones.

I just hope that guys who spend their lives feeling wounded by circumcision, and the women who enable them, find new hobbies.

 

http://nypost.com/2016/01/25/circumcision-intactivists-dont-want-you-or-your-kids-to-get-snipped/

Foreskin restoration goes mainstream in the Voice

Amazingly featured on a front page article, journalist Jess Swanson extensively takes on rarely discussed issues about circumcision and sexual well-being for men. By personally interviewing several men on the issue, she describes how they have tried to overcome the debilitating effects of circumcision. The article goes on to describe in detail the techniques involved with foreskin restoration. She then explores the reasons why men are attempting to regain that which was taken from them at birth.

Published in New York City’s Village Voice, it’s a widely read free publication distributed throughout NYC’s five boro’s. A similar article was also published in the Miami New Times.

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/uncut-a-look-at-the-wacky-wrinkly-world-of-foreskin-restoration-7747950

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/meet-the-circumcised-men-in-miami-trying-to-regrow-their-foreskins-7954844

In the Voice article the author goes on to discuss how people, like those of Intaction, have gone beyond foreskin restoration by conducting advocacy to prevent the next generation of children from being affected. Intaction Directors Anthony Losquadro and David Grant were interviewed on several occasions for this article.

This article is a further manifestation of the cultural changes that are contributing to the decline of genital cutting of children. The fact that this issue is even being discussed, no less on the front page of a newspaper, shows how far our movement has advanced. Genital cutting advocates are now placed in a much more difficult position when touting the alleged benefits of circumcision, when thousands of men are attempting to reverse just that. Furthermore, men who engage in foreskin restoration are more likely to become involved in genital integrity advocacy adding to our ranks of the I DID NOT CONSENT MEN, and concerned people from all walks of life.

We want to recognize men like Ron Low of TLCTugger (www.tlctugger.com) that have been leaders in the area of foreskin restoration. Ron has proudly promoted restoration by designing his own devices and promoting them in numerous TV appearances. He has single-handedly and unashamedly taken foreskin restoration and genital integrity advocacy to a new level.

Anti-circumcision mobile display at NYC Pope Francis visit

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On Friday September 25, we took the mobile unit for a tour into Manhattan to coincide with the Papal visit in New York City. While NYC is always a busy place, this past Friday gave us an opportunity to place our message before unusually large crowds. With an overflow crowd well in excess of 80,000 people, Columbus Circle and Central Park West were a solid mass of people. After the Pope departed the area, so many people streamed out of Central Park we were unable to move the vehicle for a period of time. While many people came for a rare opportunity to see Pope Francis, instead they saw “CIRCUMCISION – I DID NOT CONSENT”

Lawsuit over botched baby circumcision

Georgia Lawsuit Filed Claiming Botched Circumcision

The Law Firm of Jonathan W. Johnson, LLC filed a lawsuit on September 25, 2014  in  Clayton  County  State  Court  on  behalf  of  their  client,  Stacie  Willis,  as parent  of  her  infant  son,  DeJuan  Williams,  who  had  the  end  of  his  penis amputated during a botched  circumcision. Ms. Willis had taken her son to Life Cycle OB/GYN and Pediatrics in Riverdale, Georgia for a routine circumcision in October  2013.  Nurse  Midwife  Melissa  Jones  performed the  procedure  with  a Mogen clamp. Most nurse midwives do not perform circumcisions.

On May 20, 2015, Judge Aaron B. Mason granted the Plaintiff’s motion to add as defendants,Teleflex Incorporated and Telefl​ex Medical Incorporated, the alleged manufacturer of the Mogen clamp used during the procedure.  Mogen ​clamps  have  been  found  to  be  defective  products  whi​ch  cause  circumcision injuries to infants in other cases.

The  infant  has  undergone  several  corrective  surgeries  and  it  is  expected that  his future medical needs and expenses will exceed  $1,000,000.00.

dejuan williams

By Stacie  Willis:

It all started on Oct 21, 2013 about 2 1/2 weeks after my baby boy (Dejuan) was born. During a time when I should have enjoyed being a mother, my nightmare began!  On Oct 21, 2013,  my son went in to Lifecycle OBGYN to get circumcised.  During this time, I  could hear my son screaming and hollering like he was in tremendous pain. I quickly ran to his side too see what the problem was.

I witnessed the glans of  my son’s penis gone.   The tip of his glands and urethra were severed. I repeatedly asked  the midwife what was going on and why was my son bleeding profusely from his penis.  She told me everything was okay and my baby would be fine.

I was scared and confused on what was happening, because I knew something was not right.

As a mother I got a second opinion,   I arrived at the hospital and had my son checked out, and  my suspicion  was right.  I knew the way his penis was bleeding was not right or normal. I have to other boys, (both have been circumcised) and never experienced this.

Due to this incident, it has caused my son to have  corrective surgery on his penis for the rest of his life. Dejuan has already had two surgeries  to reopen his pee hole to correct the problem, and he is only one year old. The fact that my son will never live a normal life is devastating and my son’s penis will never be normal no matter how many surgeries he has to have.

My son will never have a sensation feeling at the head of his penis and may never be able to have children due to his damaged nerves from this horrific accident. My son has already started to develop issues due to this horrific incident .

dejuan williams1
As a parent, it’s very hard to see your child face and live with the difficulties and magnitude of his situation. This pains me, and is very depressing and heart breaking to see my son go through all of this pain and suffering possibly for the rest of his life.

At a very young age my son Wille (will) start seeing a therapist to start helping him understand what he is going through and what he will be dealing with for the rest of his life. My son has had to have his man made pee hole stitched shut because the hole decreased tremendously  causing him pain while trying to urinate  as well as getting his  urethra re-opened, because of his urine stream decreased.

For the most part my son is a very happy and playful little boy.  My son will have his third surgery on May 22, 2015 at the Discovery Clinic at The University of Minnesota.

It is not known how many surgeries he will need over his lifetime, and each surgery is expensive. Dejuan is currently without any insurance coverage for Minnesota, and his medical needs have far exceeded what our family will be able to handle over a long period of time.

 

http://m.wsbtv.com/videos/news/woman-sues-clinic-after-sons-alleged-botched/vCttbz/

Psychology Today – Circumcision’s Psychological Damage

CDC wants all males to be cut–but it’s harmful psychologically

As psychologists, we are deeply concerned by the recently announced CDC guidelines promoting circumcision for all males, and in particular children.  The CDC guidelines are based on a sharply criticized 2012 policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The 2012 statement was condemned by a large group of physicians, medical organizations, and ethicists from European, Scandinavian, and Commonwealth countries as “culturally biased” and “different from [the conclusions] reached by physicians in other parts of the Western world, including Europe, Canada and Australia” (Frisch et al., 2013).

The new CDC guidelines highlight methodologically flawed studies from Africa that have no relevance to the United States. They chose to ignore studies that were conducted in the United States and show no link between circumcision and the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV (Thomas et al., 2004).

Worse, the CDC has completely ignored the psychological effects of genital cutting on male children. 

This article outlines the psychological research that demonstrates the relationship between circumcision and psychological harm.  The authors, along with other psychologists, have appealed to the CDC and Congress to reevaluate this policy in light of the psychological harm it will cause infants, children, and teens.

 

PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS ON INFANTS

1. Circumcision Causes Immediate Harm

Circumcision is often performed on infants without anesthetic or with a local anesthetic that is ineffective at substantially reducing pain (Lander et al., 1997).  In a study by Lander and colleagues (1997), a control group of infants who received no anesthesia was used as a baseline to measure the effectiveness of different types of anesthesia during circumcision.  The control group babies were in so much pain—some began choking and one even had a seizure—they decided it was unethical to continue.  It is important to also consider the effects of post-operative pain in circumcised infants (regardless of whether anesthesia is used), which is described as “severe” and “persistent” (Howard et al., 1994).  In addition to pain, there are other negative physical outcomes including possible infection and death (Van Howe, 1997, 2004).

2. Pain from Circumcision in Infancy Alters the Brain

Research has demonstrated the hormone cortisol, which is associated with stress and pain, spikes during circumcision (Talbert et al., 1976; Gunnar et al., 1981).  Although some believe that babies “won’t remember” the pain, we now know that the body “remembers” as evidenced by studies which demonstrate that circumcised infants are more sensitive to pain later in life (Taddio et al., 1997).  Research carried out using neonatal animals as a proxy to study the effects of pain on infants’ psychological development have found distinct behavioral patterns characterized by increased anxiety, altered pain sensitivity, hyperactivity, and attention problems (Anand & Scalzo, 2000).  In another similar study, it was found that painful procedures in the neonatal period were associated with site-specific changes in the brain that have been found to be associated with mood disorders (Victoria et al., 2013).

3. Infant Circumcision has Psychological Consequences for Men

Over the last decade there has been a movement of men who were circumcised as infants and have articulated their anger and sadness over having their genitals modified without their consent.  Goldman (1999) notes that shame and denial is one major factor that limits the number of men who publicly express this belief.  Studies of men who were circumcised in infancy have found that some men experienced symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, depression, anger, and intimacy problems that were directly associated with feelings about their circumcision (Boyle, 2002; Goldman, 1999; Hammond, 1999).

PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS ON CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

1. Medical Procedures in Childhood are Often Experienced as Traumatic

The CDC fails to consider that many medical procedures, even those that are described as routine, are often experienced as traumatic by children and adolescents (Levine & Kline, 2007).  Circumcision, for example, clearly meets the clinical definition of trauma because it involves a violation of physical integrity.  In fact, research has demonstrated that medical traumas in childhood and adolescence share many of the same psychological elements of childhood abuse, such as physical pain, fear, loss of control, and the perception that the event is a form of punishment (Nir, 1985; Shalev, 1993, Shopper, 1995).

2. Procedures Involving Children’s Genitals Produce Negative Psychological Effects

The psychological consequences of medical procedures are even greater when they involve a child’s genitals.  Studies have examined the psychological effects of medical photography of the genitals (Money, 1987), repeated genital examinations (Money, 1987), colposcopy (Shopper, 1995), cystscopy and catheterization (Shopper, 1995), voiding cystourethrogram (Goodman et al., 1990), and hypospadias repair (INSA, 1994). The studies found that these procedures often produce symptoms which are very similar to those of childhood sexual abuse, including dissociation and the development of a negative body image.  The effects often persist into adulthood as evidenced by a study that examined the effects of childhood penile surgery for hypospadias.  Men who had this surgery in childhood experienced more depressive symptoms, anxiety, and interpersonal difficulties than men who did not have the surgery (Berg & Berg, 1983).

3. Circumcision Causes Significant Psychological Harm in Children and Adolescents

Circumcision in childhood and adolescence has significant negative psychological consequences.  Following a traumatic event, many children experience anxiety, depression, and anger; and many others try to avoid and suppress these painful feelings (Gil, 2006).  In addition, children often experience a debilitating loss of control that negatively affects their ability to regulate emotions and make sense of the traumatic experience (Van der Kolk, 2005).  In a study of adults circumcised in childhood, Hammond (1999) found that many men conceptualized their circumcision experience as an act of violence, mutilation, or sexual assault.  Kennedy (1986) detailed the psychological effects of circumcision in a case study describing the psychotherapy of a boy who was circumcised at three years of age. The sense of inadequacy, feelings of victimization, and violent sexual fantasies experienced during this boy’s adolescence were found to be both consciously and unconsciously linked to his experience with losing part of his penis (Kennedy, 1986).  In a study examining the psychological effects of circumcision on boys between four and seven years of age, Cansever (1965) used psychological testing to measure boys’ level of distress.  The results of the study indicated that circumcision was perceived as an aggressive attack on the body that left children feeling damaged and mutilated (Cansever, 1968).  Cansever (1968) also noted that these boys experienced changes in body image (with many feeling smaller and incomplete), feelings of inadequacy and helplessness, as well as a tendency to withdraw psychologically.

4. The Majority of Boys Circumcised as Children and Adolescents Meet Diagnostic Criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

The most comprehensive study available that assesses the psychological impact of circumcision on children after infancy was conducted by Ramos and Boyle (2000) and involved 1072 pre-adolescent and adolescent boys who were circumcised in a hospital setting.  Using an adapted version of a clinically established PTSD interview rating scale, the study’s authors determined that 51 percent of these boys met the full diagnostic criteria for PTSD and noted that other variables such as age at circumcision (pre-adolescence versus adolescence) and time elapsed since the procedure (months versus years) were not predictive of a PTSD diagnosis (Ramos & Boyle, 2000).  As a point of comparison, the rate of PTSD among veterans of the Iraq war is approximately 20 percent (NIH, 2009).

5. By Encouraging Circumcision, Medical Professionals are Shaming Boys’ Bodies

If the CDC guidance is followed, medical providers will be communicating a psychologically damaging message to boys with intact genitals—that their penises are somehow “bad” or inferior.  The negative effects of such communications have been studied with regard to intersex children and have been found to be frightening, shaming, and embarrassing to the child (Rusch et al., 2000).  This is a particularly cruel message to send to adolescents, many of whom are already experiencing concerns regarding body image.

CONCLUSION

The circumcision of children has myriad negative psychological consequences that the CDC has failed to consider.  Removing healthy tissue in the absence of any medical need harms the patient and is a breach of medical providers’ ethical duty to the child.  We believe that all people have a right to bodily autonomy and self-determination and deeply respect this fundamental tenet of international human rights law (UNESCO 2005).  As children cannot advocate for themselves, they need adults to understand the complexities of their emotional experiences and provide them special protection.  We oppose the CDC’s circumcision recommendation and encourage all parents to do the same in order to protect their children from physical and psychological harm.

PARENTS: For clear, easy and plain-language help making the circumcision decision, try the CIRCUMCISION DECISION MAKER athttp://circumcisiondecisionmaker.com/.

TAKE ACTION for boy health, wellbeing and autonomy by submitting a comment at the CDC website. The comment period for their new guidelines closes on January 16, 2015.

ADDENDUM: Circumcision in childhood is linked to increased risk of autism.

 

POSTS IN BLOG SERIES ON CIRCUMCISION

Myths about Infant Circumcision you Likely believe

More Circumcision Myths You May Believe: Hygiene and STDs

Circumcision: Social, Sexual, Psychological Realities

Circumcision Ethics and Economics

What Is the Greatest Danger for an Uncircumcised Boy?

Why Continue to Harm Boys from Ignorance of Male Anatomy?

Pro-Circumcision Culturally Biased, Not Scientific: Experts

Protect (All) Your Boys from Early Trauma

 

References

Anand, K.J., & Scalzo, F.M. (2000). Can adverse neonatal experiences alter brain development and subsequent behavior? Biol Neonate, 77, 69-82.

Berg, R., & Berg, G. (1983). Castration complex: Evidence from men operated for hypospadias. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 68, 143-153.

Boyle, G.J., Goldman, R., Svoboda, JS., & Fernandez, E. (2002). Male circumcision: Pain, trauma, and psychosexual sequelae. Journal of Health Psychology, 7, 329-343.

Boyle, G.J., & Ramos, S. (2000). Ritual and medical circumcision among filipino boys: Evidence of post-traumatic stress disorder. Humanities & Social Science Papers, 114.

Cansever, G. (1965). Psychological effects of circumcision. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 38, 321-331.

Frisch, M., Aigrain, Y., Barauskas, V., Bjarnason, R., Boddy, S.A., Czauderna, P., de Gier, R.P., de Jong, T.P., Fasching, G., Fetter, W., Gahr, M., Graugaard, C., Greisen, G., Gunnarsdottir, A., Hartmann, W., Havranek, P., Hitchcock, R., Huddart. S., Janson, S., Jaszczak, P., Kupferschmid, C., Lahdes-Vasama, T., Lindahl, H., MacDonald, N., Markestad, T., Märtson, M., Nordhov, S.M., Pälve, H., Petersons, A., Quinn, F., Qvist, N., Rosmundsson, T., Saxen, H., Söder, O., Stehr, M., von Loewenich, V.C., Wallander, J., Wijnen, R. (2013). Cultural bias in the AAP’s 2012 Technical Report and Policy Statement on male circumcision. Pediatrics, 131, 796-800.

Gil, E. (2006). Helping abused and traumatized children. New York: Guilford Press.

Goldman, R. (1999). The psychological impact of circumcision. BJU International, 83, Suppl. 1, 93-102.

Goodman, G.S., Rudy, L., Bottoms, B.L., & Aman, C. (1990). Children’s concerns and memory: issues of ecological validity in the study of children’s eyewitness testimony. In R. Fivush J.A. Hudson (Eds.),Knowing and Remembering in Young Children (pp. 249-294). NY: Cambridge University Press.

Gunnar, M.R., Fisch, R.O., Korsvik, S. & Donhowe, J. (1981). The effects of circumcision on serum cortisol and behavior.Psychoneuroendocrinology, 6, 269-275.

Hammond, T. (1999). A preliminary poll of men circumcised in infancy or childhood. BJU International, 83, Suppl. 1, 85-92.

Howard, C.R., Howard, F.M., & Weitzman, M.L. (1994). Acetaminophen analgesia in neonatal circumcision: The effect on pain. Pediatrics, 93,641-646.

Intersex Society of North America (ISNA). (1994). Hypospadias: A parent’s guide.

Kennedy, H. (1986). Trauma in childhood: Signs and sequelae as seen in the analysis of an adolescent. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 41, 209-219.

Lander, J., Brady-Freyer, B.,  Metcalfe, J.B., Nazerali, S., & Muttit, S. (1997). Comparison of ring block, dorsal penile nerve block, and topical anesthesia for neonatal circumcision. JAMA, 278, 2157-2162.

Levine, P.A., & Kline, M. (2007). Trauma through a child’s eyes. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

Money, J., & Lamacz, M. (1987). Genital examination and exposure experienced as nosocomial sexual abuse in childhood. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 175, 713-721.

National Institutes of Health. (2009). PTSD: A growing epidemic.. NIH Medline, 4, 1. Retrieved from:http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/winter09/articles/winter09pg10-14.html

Nir, Y. (1985). Post-traumatic stress disorder in children with cancer. In S. Eth R. S. Pynoos (Eds.), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children (p. 121-132). Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Press, Inc.

Rusch, M.D., Grunert, B.K., Sanger, J.R., Dzwierzynski, W.W., & Matloub, H.S. (2000). Psychological adjustment in children after traumatic disfiguring injuries: A 12-month follow-up. Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, 106, 1451-60.

Shalev, A.Y., Schreiber, S., & Galai, T. (1993). Post-traumatic stress disorder following medical events. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 32, 247-253.

Shopper, M. (1995). Medical Procedures as a source of trauma. Bulletin of the Meninger Clinic, 59, 191-204.

Taddio A., Katz, J., Ilersich, A.L., Koren, G. (1997).  Effect of neonatal circumcision on pain response during subsequent routine vaccination.Lancet, 349, 599-603.

Talbert, C. M., Kraybill, E. N., & Potter H.D. (1976). Adrenal cortical response to circumcision in the neonate. Obstetrics and. Gynecology, 48,208-210.

Thomas, A.G., Bakhireva, L.N., Brodine, S., Shaffer, R. (2004). Prevalence of male circumcision and its association with HIV and sexually transmitted infections in a U.S. navy population. Poster Exhibition: The XV International AIDS Conference.

Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee. Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights. Adopted by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on 19 October 2005.

Van der Kolk, B.A. (2005). Developmental trauma disorder: Towards a rational diagnosis for children with complex trauma histories. Psychiatric Annals, 35, 401-408.

Van Howe, R..S. (1997).  Variability in penile appearance and penile findings: A prospective study. BJU, 80, 776-782.

Van Howe, R.S. (2004). A cost-utility analysis of neonatal circumcision.Medical Decision Making, 24, 584 – 601.

Victoria, N.C., Kiyoshi, I., Young, L.J., & Murphy, A.Z. (2013). Long-term dysregulation of brain corticotrophin and glucocorticoid receptors and stress reactivity by single early-life pain experience in male and female rats. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 38, 3015-3028.

Circumcision Doubles Autism Risk, Increases ADHD in Boys

Circumcision ‘doubles autism risk’ and increases risk of ADHD

 

  • The findings hold regardless of cultural background, say researchers
  • They suggest the pain caused by circumcision may be partly to blame
  • This may in turn affect how the brain develops and reacts to stress
  • Study looked at 340,000 boys born in Denmark between 1994 and 2003  
  • But experts have urged caution over the ‘extremely speculative findings’

 

Circumcision before the age of five can double a boy’s risk of developing autism, research suggests.

Scientists believe the finding may be linked to stress caused by the pain of the procedure.

The study of more than 340,000 boys in Denmark found that circumcision raised the overall chances of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) before the age of 10 by 46%.

But if circumcision took place before the age of five it doubled the risk.

Circumcision also appeared to increase the likelihood of boys from non-Muslim families developing hyperactivity disorder.

Professor Morten Frisch, of the Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, who led the research, said: “Our investigation was prompted by the combination of recent animal findings linking a single painful injury to lifelong deficits in stress response and a study showing a strong, positive correlation between a country’s neonatal male circumcision rate and its prevalence of ASD in boys.”

While it is considered unacceptable today to circumcise boys without proper pain relief, it is not possible to make the procedure completely pain-free.

The pain of circumcision is likely to be more severe in very young babies both during and after the operation, according to the scientists.

Painful experiences in newborns have been shown in both animal and human studies to be associated with long-term alterations in pain perception, a characteristic often seen in autistic children.

Prof Frisch added: “Possible mechanisms linking early life pain and stress to an increased risk of neurodevelopmental, behavioral or psychological problems in later life remain incompletely conceptualized.

“Given the widespread practice of non-therapeutic circumcision in infancy and childhood around the world, our findings should prompt other researchers to examine the possibility that circumcision trauma in infancy or early childhood might carry an increased risk of serious neuro-developmental and psychological consequences.”

The findings are reported in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Professor David Katz, from University College London, who chairs Milah UK, a body that speaks for the Jewish community on issues related to circumcision, said: “This report is far from convincing: correlation does not equal causation.

“There is a long history of attempts to link autistic spectrum disorders to unrelated practices, such as the measles/mumps/rubella association, which proved to be fraudulent.

“There is general agreement that in people suffering from an ASD there are abnormalities that can be identified in brain structure and/or function. There is a strong genetic component, which may be a factor within the faith communities studied here, and which does not appear to have been explored amongst them.

“Some contemporary research does indicate that factors besides the genetic component are contributing to the increasing occurrence of ASD – for example, a variety of environmental toxins have been invoked to explain why these conditions are more prevalent today than they may have been in the past – but again proof of causation is lacking, and these factors are only likely to be relevant in those who are already vulnerable to them.”

Applied statistician Professor Kevin McConway, from the Open University, said: “This study raises an interesting question, but one that cannot be fully answered with these data.

“The study is observational, and in such studies it’s always tricky to tell what causes what. The observed increase in risk of autism spectrum disorder in circumcised boys might be due to the circumcision, or it might not.

“Religions that prescribe circumcision prescribe other things too, such as diet or clothing. Perhaps differences in diet or clothing lead to the increased ASD risk, rather than the circumcision. Cultural and family differences may be crucial.”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2902214/Circumcised-boys-likely-develop-autism-ADHD-10.html#ixzz3OXUAtu5k