What is circumcision? : 1947: Dr. Eugene Hand of the American Medical Association, said in Newsweek, ”where the promiscuous and uncircumcised Negro had an incidence of venereal infection of “almost 100%,… for the widely educated Jew, circumcised at birth, the venereal disease rate has remained the same or decreased.” 1870: The renowned Dr. Lewis A. Sayre of NYC’s Bellevue Hospital claimed to cure a boy’s paralyzed legs with circumcision. He also claimed to cure epilepsy, mental disorders, hip-joint pain, & hernias with circumcision. “Genital irritations” & masturbation were deemed to be the cause of these issues. Sayre was a leading figure in the popularization of circumcision in America. He was later elected to president of the American Medical Association.
Before we wade into the debate about circumcision facts and myths, consider this. Ask yourself if it’s ethical to force someone to surgically modify their body. Can you force another person to get a tattoo, a body piercing, or cosmetic surgery? Few reasonable people would vote yes to that. So when it comes to circumcision , there can be only one ethical choice. Parents really ought to leave that decision to the boy to decide, when he becomes an adult. After all, it’s his body being changed by circumcision and it will affect him later in life. It’s his life, and he should be the one allowed to make that decision. Parents like to think they are “saving” their son from having to do it later. They are not.
Circumcision Controversy: The decision to circumcise is a controversial topic for many people, with strongly held opinions on both the for and against sides. Those for circumcision speak to alleged medical benefits and tradition. Those against it raise issues of risk, complications, loss of the sensitive foreskin, pain, trauma, psychological harm, and rights of individual consent. For those against, the benefits do not outweigh the risks. See more information about circumcision.
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).
Intaction is funded via private donations and volunteer assistance primarily by men and women that have been adversely affected by genital cutting. We promote the benefits of an intact body and the harm of genital cutting. We seek to achieve our goals through education, advocacy, and activism. We empower our members by providing them a constructive way to address the physical and emotional harm that was inflicted on them. Action is in our name. Foreskin is in our DNA. We accept the challenges of creating change, we meet our goals, and then chart new ones. We have no highly paid directors or staff like some big name popular causes. In fact, we are not paid at all. Our compensation is the satisfaction we receive from the many people whose lives we have touched. We help assure parents that keeping their son intact was the enlightened decision. We’ve helped many babies to stay intact. We help build body positive confidence in intact men so they can appreciate their own natural body. We’ve helped many cut men, essentially victims of genital cutting, to feel like they now have a voice, when as infants they didn’t have a choice. See extra information on this website.