Thursday, July 24, 2008

Circumcision Decision...

THAT is the question.

As the inevitable birth-day of my boy approaches my first difficult decision as a father began yesterday. Here's a breakdown of my CIRCUMCISION DECISION:

WIFE: I think you need to do some reading about circumcision. I know you've already made up your mind but, could you do some reading?

GJ: **sigh**All riight. **google. --> circumcision -->** basically I found out nothing new. and actually only served to confuse matters.
On the one side, you decide to have it done. Some people say there is no benefit. Others claim a benefit to hygiene and STDs. The medical reports are inconclusive with no significant differences in results to say one way is better than the other. So, FAIL to science and data. Some say the procedure causes psychological harm and some other namby-pamby bullshit about building trust. I don't remember getting circumcised. Do you?

On the other side, you don't have this 'medically unnecessary procedure' done and:
My son's schween will look like a long necked clam; We have to literally deal with schmegma; There is a 10 times higher chance of urinary tract infection; When is a little older I have to teach him how to 'retract the foreskin' and clean it.

'They' also do say sexual sensitivity is increased. That sounds good but doesn't it really just means that my kid to be a 'two pump chump' later in life?


The religious angle is out. We're not religious. If I were a Jew this could be easy.

I think after spending about 2 hours total writing this post that I am no closer to a decision. I started off with 'Yes Do It'. Then I went and started thinking and reading. Maybe I should just keep with my first instinct. I think the stats in the US are about 50/50.

I should just flip a coin.


instead of flipping a coin. I have added an internet poll in the upper right.


  1. LOL

    90% of white males in the US are circumcised; 79% overall male US rate

    50% overall in Canada, but varies by region

    Taiwan 9%

    Finland 7% (all for medical reasons)

    almost 100% for Muslims and Jews - go figure, they've got something in common. Wait, it's done on day 8 for Jews, anytime during childhood for Muslims.

    Hindus don't

    Low rates in Europe, China, Russia and Japan


    Probably doesn't help you much.

  2. My wife and I had the same decision point with our two boys. My first instinct was...research online much as you have done. Between seeing circumcision referred to as "male genital mutilation" and "kinder gentler cleaner" we were still undecided before going to the hospital. It wasn't until after we (she) experienced the birth and the doctors asked if? and we were discussing it that it crystallized. Both my Dad and my grandfather were there and I learned they had each had it done much later in life, mainly delayed due to cost (never knew). They also had it done after several years of intermittent discomfort and outright pain. The look of determination in their face and a realization that these were two men who had been on one side and were adamantly lobbying to have it done did we relent and say "yes." The second son was easy as we didn't want to have an unmatched pair so we said yes again. My two cents...

  3. First of all, the Raleigh looks AWESOME!
    Second, I don't know about other women, but I prefer circumcised over non...
    ...I'm just saying...
    Good luck with your decision...

  4. Hi Joe,
    That's probably more of a matter for the guys to debate.
    Would your MD be a good listen??
    Though the hygenic reason is pretty strong in itself...

    Lots of courage to yo & your wife for the coming weeks !!

  5. we are pro-foreskin. i know, you're probably not surprised...
    i'm mamby-pamby on the issue myself. i got to give it to you though: i never thought of the one,two,done argument.
    pton's dad is not circumcised and he's had no problems with it.
    i don't think the cleanliness thing would be a big deal as long as the kid isn't hydrophobic. uncircumcised penises are a little too naked looking, in my opinion. just my opinion.
    i'm just don't see a reason to do it. the std argument bothers me the most. condoms, people, condoms. folks in africa would be better off if they tried to work at the social stigma surrounding condoms and abandoned new circumcision goals.
    kid's up...i got to go to the hospital with her today for a blood draw to make sure our environment hasn't left any lead in her system. i want her to be crazy in her own right.

  6. Caught this from MyBlogLog.

    I have three boys so I had to make this decision, myself.

    My husband is a Hindu so no circumcision but I have always thought that if males are all born with extra protective skin there is a reason for it.

    Some say that uncircumcised members can be dirty, yeah, we all will be dirty if we don't wash properly.

    I said no, there is no medical reason for the act, if you are not religious there will be no missed ritual ceremony.

    As a woman, I look for cleanliness in that area not whether or not he has a cap on his head or not.

    Just my thoughts.

    Wishing you and yours health, balance and joy.

    In light and love


  7. after much thought I voted NO
    i'd rather not put all the reasons down
    but the weight was toward NO
    so I voted NO

  8. I think that, as a male who was circumsized at birth, and who has spent a lifetime lamenting that fact, that circumcision is wrong. Seriously, so ya gotta wash something. You guys are pretty clean people, so that shouldn't be hard.....End the cycle of "Male genital mutilation" that our society loves so much. That is all.

  9. I voted "yes" because of cleanliness.

  10. Remember that Friends episode where Joey got an acting part that required full nudity, and the director needed the actor to be uncircumcised? Then Monica helps him out by building a foreskin out of luncheon meat, only Joey eats it - LOL. Eventually they build one out of silly putty, but it falls off during the audition - LOL.

  11. I regret losing the option of deciding for myself, and I regret losing a functional part of my body. Since circumcision is clearly not a necessary surgery (so say all the medical associations), it should be left up to the individual.

    The vast majority of men on Earth are intact, and they do just fine. Circumcision is falling out of favor in the USA too, down near 50% whereas decades age it was up near 90%.

    There are many fine resources for in-depth research:

    There is no good reason to circumcise, and many good reasons not to.

  12. honestly bro, I really wouldnt do it. I'm 15 and my parents had me "crimped ", watch the videos its pretty gross. they have gotten more and more creative with "fun " ways of cutting the foreskin... its not even cutting anymore in some hospitals, more like pressing it apart in a gross way.

    who knows what method does the highest or lowest amount of damage, the bottom line is that the circ rate here in the usa is like around if not less than 50% now, so you dont have to decide based on what everyone else is anymore... you can just go with your instinct, which I hope is to just leave it alone. and that is the other thing, unless he gets a UTI, you can literally just leave it alone. there wont be any additional cleaning required until he is a lot older and can do it himself when the skin separates and can be moved around. this I guess happens at like age 7 or something.

    so yeah I wouldnt touch it, I am a guy and I know how it feels to have to be the only cut guy in the locker room... where I live almost all of my friends are uncut and I was devastated....

  13. "some other namby-pamby bullshit about building trust. I don't remember getting cicumcised, do you?" I don't remember being raped. I guess that means it is all right then?

    Not surprisingly I voted no. This is not your body to sexually alter. Let your son do with his body what he wishes.


  14. I found your blog on a search.

    I voted No. My husband is circumcised and we left our son intact. Circumcision is all pain, no gain. An intact boy is super easy to care for - wash like a finger and NEVER retract (it'll retract on it's own when his body is ready). A circumcised penis is an open wound, in contact with a diaper.

    10% of circumcised boys will develop meatal stenosis (narrowing of the urethral opening) - this only occurs in circumcised boys/men. My husband had this and required surgery at age 14 to make the opening bigger (he said it was excruciatingly painful).

    70% of circumcised boys will develop adhesions (where the remaining foreskin attempts to reattach).

    11% of girls get UTIs and it's treated with antibiotics, the same as how it *should* be treated in boys. Only in America would the solution be amputating a body part.

    Circumcision removes 50% of the skin from the penis - which equates to 15 square inches on a grown man - the size of a 3x5 index card! It also removes the most sensitive nerves, the rigid band, and often the frenulum. Intact men have actually shown to have MORE staying power than cut men, as they are much more in tune with their bodies.

    The smegma that you worry about, is normal. Girls actually make more of it than boys do, but if your son washes properly (post-puberty - no need to scrub with soap as an infant/child), he will never see smegma. Cut men can have hygeine issues too, so have faith in your son that he will be able to take an extra 3 seconds in the shower when he's older to wash his genitals.

    The HIV and STD studies have been disproven and flawed, plus it's better to teach about safe sex anyhow. The US has the highest circumcision rate in the developed world, as well as the highest HIV rate in the developed world. So much for that theory.

    I hope you will take your WHOLE son home from the hospital. I can guarantee you, he will thank you for it when he's older that you were informed enough not to cut off a part of his genitals for no good reason.

  15. I vote yes. Who wants to be one of the 10% of American kids with a clam neck in their pants?

  16. Hmmmm, looks like somebody went big brother on my ass with the Friends comment. Filtered content! Controlled environment! Filtered content!


  17. I think everything that needs to be said has been said. Circumcision has no proven medical benefit, and many men resent the fact that their genitals were operated on without their consent. A conservative estimate of how many circumcisions have future complications is 1 in 50, and these range from skin bridges to a deformed meatus to painful erections. Consider: how would you explain to your son that a decision you made has caused him to be in pain whenever he has an erection?

    'Hygiene' is not an acceptable reason to operate on your son. An uncircumcised penis is just as hygienic, it just needs a little cleaning now and then.

    Your son will not be a 'two pump chump'. Compare this to some circumcised men who have difficulty having an orgasm at all because of the reduced sensitivity caused by the loss of the foreskin. Most circumcised men have to use lubricant to masturbate because direct contact with the glans is painful, for example, whereas uncircumcised men do not.

    The fact that this trend is falling also shows that it's falling out of favour with MDs and medical organisations.

    Fundamentally, you simply cannot make the decision to cut for your child. He will choose himself: if he wants to be circumcised when he's eighteen, then let him. Statistically, though, fewer than one in one thousand men are circumcised this way, probably because they feel it's not a good idea!

    You should also read the experiences of men who were circumcised in later life, as many of them find a profound reduction in sensitivity and pleasure during sex.

    Please, I beg of you: do not deprive your son of a natural and important protective organ. Please. Once you make this decision, it is irreversible. The hordes of men online who are trying to restore their foreskins to their original state (just Google 'foreskin restoration') should tell you that if you were to circumcise him he may well hate you for it in the future.

  18. Here is a relevant article:

    Please read it all, as well as the comments, as I feel it might sway you. You will see that the thrust is that consenting adults may choose to be circumcised, but children may not, and it is not acceptable to circumcise an unconsenting child unless it is absolutely medically necessary (which routine circumcision is not).

    Also, have a look at this for some of the complications regarding circumcision:

    Let us know what your final decision is. And please, do reply to the comments that have been left! We're all open to having a discussion with you.

  19. The number of responses have been overwhelming. I will write another post today and try to wade through some of the responses and our decision making.

    Keep it commin'.
    Thanks everyone.
    It's been a big help so far.

  20. i did not have my son circumcised
    most of the males in the world are not circumcised and the rates are falling in canada and the us
    i found a blog on circumcision at

  21. Hey,

    I recently went through this myself. What made the decision for me was that circumcision is irreversable. If you decide later that it was a mistake the you're SOL. If the kid is mad that you had it done, then all you can say is sorry. Since circumcision rates are around 56% and falling it's a good possibility that my son would have friends both circumcised and intact.

    If you choose not to circumcise and later realize it was a mistake then it can always be done. If the kid wishes you had done it he can always choose to get it done himself.

    I don't buy that it hurts less as an infant. And when a kid is older they can be given better pain killers.

    If no one can give me a compelling medical reason to cut something off my kid's penis then I'll just wait and see and leave the decision to the one who owns the penis.

    Good luck with your decision.

  22. I defiantly vote no. I am not sure what the best way to go about this is but I figure first off full disclosure I am an intact guy and I'll check off one myth really quick, we aren't two pump chumps. ;)

    Almost all the concerns you cite are mostly exaggerations based on myths which have persisted among Americans for years. I specifically say Americans because we are in fact the only industrialized country that circumcises a slight majority of infant boys for non-religious reasons. In other countries that used to circumcise like we did (such as New Zealand, Australia, and Canada) it has largely been abandoned in the 70s, 80s, and 90s respectively. It was never common anywhere else in the world, for non-religious reasons. Though for reasons I can't seem to understand, we seem to be slower on the up take.

    I'll reply to some of the myths you and some commenters wrote. First there is the question about hygiene. I can assure you this is hardly an issue. In infancy and childhood, the only care that is required is to wipe it like finger. There is no other special care required. It's also not complicated for older boys, Retract, Rinse, and Replace. It takes about 5 seconds much less time than to wash most other parts of ones body. It is also very likely that you won't even have to teach him to do this. Most intact boys discover this for themselves and it is often the 'neatest' trick they can do with their favorite toy. ;) Here are some links addressing that question: cirp or AAP.

    You then discuss Smegma which is nothing more than dead skin cells, the above AAP link also mentions this. Smegma is also very common in women, they have more surface area and nooks and carnies for this stuff to build up in but like intact males it is uncommon to actually see any since periodic washing (which we all do) takes care of the little (if any) that might be there.

    The truth about UTIs is that they occur at a very low base line for both circumcised and intact boys, they are much more common in baby girls, and if either a boy or a girl acquires a UTI it can be quickly treated with ABX. Recurrent UTIs in boys are almost always due to a congenital anomaly of the urinary track not the foreskin.

    From time to time you may hear stories about some acquaintance that had to get circumcised for one reason or another. The problem is, especially in the US in the past, some Drs weren't practiced in conservative treatments for intact men. This has improved dramatically as rates have declined. In countries where circumcision is unheard of, circumcision for medical reasons is easily on the order of 1 in 20,000.

    We are seeing a national trend of declining rates, i believe we will soon be joining the other countries where it was once common but then abandoned the only difference is it would have taken us about 20 years longer to catch up, it's hard to understand why.

    Think of this another way. By leaving your son intact, you give him options. By circumcising him you take away options. It is possible for an intact man to get circumcised, though few ever choose it. But if a man in unhappy being circumcised he has really few options other than to live with it. There is no immediate need so why not give your son the option?

    For good information, try the CIRP library. It has one of the largest collections of academic literature and other materials on this subject.

  23. Have you watched a video of a circumcision? It's brutal. It's not just a little snip. First, baby is strapped down in a spread-eagle position. Next, the doctor has to separate the foreskin from the head of the penis by breaking the adhesions with a blunt probe. These are the same types of adhesions as those between your fingernail and nail bed. So yeah, baby gets the sensation of fingernails being ripped off.....all around the most sensitive part of his body.

    Next the doctor cuts the foreskin open so he can put a clamp over it. Then the foreskin gets crushed. Then it gets sliced off.

    Babies have been known to scream so hard that they rupture their stomachs. More frequently, they just shriek so hard and so high that their voices give out, and then they pass out from the pain.

    Then the nurse bandages the poor newborn's penis wound and brings him back to mom and dad, saying "See, he's a little trooper, he slept right through it." Which is total BS, but what is she going to say: "Yeah, your son passed out from the torture you just put him through because you thought that his normal penis looks like a longneck clam."

    Will all doctors tell you that circumcision is unnecessary? Nope. Guess why -- they make boatloads of money off it every year, or they don't want to offend you because of "parental choice." Well, that's BS too. The vast majority of doctors these days keep their own sons intact. That should tell you something.

    If you cut off your son's foreskin, you're removing half the skin and nerve endings. His penis will be shorter, thinner, and less sensitive, and you will have put him through torture that would violate the Geneva Conventions if we did it to POWs. Your wife has just spent 9 months growing a perfect little baby boy that -- because of your male DNA -- has a perfect little penis.

    Don't screw it up by cutting on him for no reason.

  24. Other folks seem to have handled the studies pretty thoroughly, so I'd like to mostly add some anecdotal evidence :) Though I'd first like to point out that Mothering Magazine has an article in the current issue about why the HIV-circumcision studies are completely flawed and I highly recommend that you find a copy!

    On to the anecdotes!

    The son must match the father?

    My father-in-law is circumcised and my husband is not. According to my husband, he is extremely happy to not "match" his father's penis, particularly since he has learned more about circumcision. My husband considers it to be a very strong father to break the cycle of circumcision and allow his son to have his whole anatomy when the father is missing part of it.

    We don't stress about the fact that grown men have hair around their penises and little boys do not. We don't worry about the fact that a grown man's penis is HUGE to a little boy. Those are the two things that my husband noticed about his father's penis. Once he was old enough to know about circumcision, he was old enough to know that he was happy to have the whole thing intact!

    Leaving a baby intact does not = inevitable circumcision later in life

    My husband has never had any serious problems with his penis. One time he had some tightness which was easily taken care of by stretching (playing with) his foreskin in the shower a bit for a couple of weeks. This was not exactly a hardship since playing with his foreskin is something that he enjoys to do very much ;)

    The cleanliness argument:

    Cleanliness-wise, it takes my husband a whole 3-5 seconds to retract his foreskin (a fun thing to do in and of itself), rinse underneath it, and pull it back forward in the shower. Voila! His penis is clean and ready to go! It takes infinitely longer for me to clean my genitals in the shower, however, I would never choose to have any of my fun bits cut off to lessen my cleaning time.

    The idea that girls/women prefer circumcised penises:

    My boyfriend in high school was also intact (not circumcised). He never had any complaints from the slew of women he dated and slept with and is also very proud to be intact.

    If I take a look at my friends who have been with both intact and circumcised men, it becomes obvious that they do not overwhelmingly prefer circumcised. How can I tell? Because every single one of my friends who have been with both have left their son(s) intact. Obviously their experiences with intact penises were not traumatic or unpleasant for them.

    50/50 rate - locker room argument:

    In the US as a whole the rate is about 50/50, however, the most recent numbers I have found for my state (WA) is 23% circumcised so any circumcised boy will be in the vast minority.

    However, it's not completely valid (in my opinion) to make the decision based on the rates in your area. All you have to do if your son is in the minority is to teach your son to respond to any potential (not inevitable - my husband was never teased about his penis even though the rates were quite high in the early 80s when he was born) teasing with, "Why are YOU so interested in my PENIS?" which should turn the teasing, quite neatly, onto the attempted teaser and away from your son. Besides, your son will probably be teased about something else (glasses, freckles, height or lack thereof) even if his penis does "fit in" with whatever the societal norm is in your part of the country.

    Adult circumcision - worse or not?

    I do have one friend who chose to be circumcised as an adult. He's the only intact man I have ever met who was unhappy with his status. However, he was easily able to make the appointment once he decided to be circumcised. He doesn't remember the surgery since he was put completely under for the duration. He also had wonderfully strong pain medications for the 1-2 week healing period. It really wasn't a big deal for him to get done. It was his body and he made his decision.

    However, I know a couple of circumcised men in person who are unhappy with their status. They're basically SOL. They can never get back everything that was cut off even though they would like to. They could restore their foreskins ("faux-skin"), but that process takes YEARS to complete and it only brings back the coverage and not all the nerve endings that they wish they had the choice to keep in the first place.

    The bottom line for me is that it's not your body. It's your son's body. If he, as an adult, decides that he wants to cosmetically modify his body, then groovy. It's his decision. However, in the parts of the world where circumcision is uncommon, adult circumcision is also uncommon. Fewer than 1% of men who are intact actually NEED to be circumcised later in life and very few choose to be if it's not necessary. is a great place to do research. It has studies and references and is a wonderful resource! Looking into the history of circumcision in the US is also very enlightening if you get a chance to read about it.

    Best wishes as you look into this issue, and good for you for looking into it instead of just saying, "Oh, it's just what's done." and doing it without thought! I wish more parents would look into this practice as you are :)

  25. The uncircumcised men I have been with were not "2 pump chumps." They could all last as long as the circumcised men that I have had as boyfriends. I think it makes more sense to let people decide as adults whether they want to have it done.

  26. OMG! I can't stop laughing at that penis photo! It looks like it belonged to a giant!
    A nurse who works for my husband told me to come here and look at that photo (please credit where it came from - I've got to know more!!! Ha!). Since I'm here I'll state my opinion, which isn't that strong one way or the other.
    I'm an American mom. I'd never really given the question much thought until I was pregnant. My husband was a resident at the time (he's now a pediatric orthopedist). He said he hated doing circumcisions and that it was almost like torture to those babies. He said when we found out we were having a boy that he really didn't want Scott circumcised, so he's not.
    It was no big deal to me one way or the other. I figured yes, babies do forget the pain, but if there's no reason to do it, why bother?
    I also worried about cleaning but I can honestly say it's no big deal because there isn't anything special about it. Trust me, cleaning his poopy but is far worse than wiping down his bits in the bath.
    I just tried to google circumcision statistics but I turned up nothing. I know plenty of boys in my kids playgroup who are not circumcised though. It's not uncommon anymore. And as someone already that most white males are circumcised, I don't think that's true necessarily. We are white and I know a few Asian boys and even more white boys who are uncircumcised. I would guess it's more even (circed vs uncirced) now.

    I have slept with one uncircumcised American man and he wasn't smelly or quick, so, I don't know if that helps the decision.

    Whatever you decide, best of luck! You've got plenty more big decisions coming your way - and they are all emotionally and financially straining - trust me!

    Seriously, that photo is the funniest thing I've ever seen!

    Sarah in Texas
    (I used to have one of these blog accounts but can't remember the password - you lose your memory once you have kids - your brain gets CIRCUMCISED!)

  27. Neither of our sons are circumcised. Our oldest is fourteen, and he's never had any difficulty with either dirt or the gym class locker room. My dad and his before him (on and on) were all born at home on homesteads, so they aren't cut either, and none of them had any trouble.

    I just say, "Why put your kids through the pain?" If FGM is sick and disgusting, then so should MGM.

  28. I was a "late bloomer" when it came to having kids, and I had heard about all the lovey mumbo-jumbo that you feel when they come out....turns out it's TRUE and there was NO WAY they were going to make my child scream in pain. I can't remember what it's called, but there's a video from a Maine PBS station hosted by Jeanine Lauber that showed the baby screaming, and I couldn't even watch. You'll be happy that you spared your child that trauma. I know I am!

  29. You might also want to check out the following:

    Canadian Paediatric Society
    Recommendation: Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed.
    Circumcision is a "non-therapeutic" procedure, which means it is not medically necessary. Parents who decide to circumcise their newborns often do so for religious, social or cultural reasons. To help make the decision about circumcision, parents should have information about risks and benefits. It is helpful to speak with your baby’s doctor.

    After reviewing the scientific evidence for and against circumcision, the CPS does not recommend routine circumcision for newborn boys. Many paediatricians no longer perform circumcisions.

    RACP Policy Statement on Circumcision
    "After extensive review of the literature the Royal Australasian College of Physicians reaffirms that there is no medical indication for routine neonatal circumcision."
    (those last nine words are in bold on their website, and almost all the men responsible for this statement will be circumcised themselves, as the male circumcision in Australia in 1950 was about 90%. “Routine” circumcision is now *banned* in public hospitals in Australia in all states except one.)

    British Medical Association: The law and ethics of male circumcision - guidance for doctors
    "to circumcise for therapeutic reasons where medical research has shown other techniques to be at least as effective and less invasive would be unethical and inappropriate."

    Drops in male circumcision:
    USA: from 90% to 57%
    Canada: from 47% to 14%
    UK: from 35% to about 3% (less than 1% among non-Muslims)
    Australia: 90% to 12.6% ("routine" circumcision has recently been *banned* in public hospitals in all states except one, so the rate will now be a lot lower)
    New Zealand: 95% to below 3% (mostly Samoans and Tongans)
    South America and Europe: never above 5%

  30. My son is intact, my husband is not. My husband wishes he was intact and is in the process of restoring his foreskin- a choice that his parents made for him. His body, his choice. Please bring your whole son home, you won't regret it. And your son will thank you for it.

  31. Nice, dude. You got people all kinds of fired up. MORE!



    Lol - got enough conflicting thoughts to induce analysis paralysis yet?

    What's the next controversial subject?

  32. I voted no. I can add little to what has been said. If you wantI more information please. for the welfare of your son, go to and look at their position statement (64 pages including footnotes).

  33. if your child had been born a girl, would you even be asking this question? no. you wouldn't want to hurt her and you would be clear that circumcision would detrimentally impact her sexuality.

    be as kind and loving and protective of your son as you would be of a daughter. boys deserve love and protection too.

    i'm a c'd female. i think circumcision makes people angry and depressed... hurting someone like that makes them figure they are not loved.

    circumcision is just a whitewashed way to say, 'socially sanctioned childhood sexual abuse'.

  34. Another no vote.

    Smegma is only a problem in adult males who don't wash. Teach your kid to wash his junk and there's no problem.

    UTIs are a nonissue. For some perspective, girls have a UTI rate 4x of what boys have and they are not offered preemptive surgery and are simply treated with antibiotics.

    The study that indicated a 10x increase in UTIs was flawed. It was an apples and oranges comparison. It compared full term, healthy, circumcised boys to intact NICU premies. Preemies have higher rates of UTIs in general and the NICU stay would involve catheters which also increase UTI. Thomas Wiswell, the study author, is an ardent advocate for circumcision.

    STDs/HIV: Teach your kid self respect and safe sex. The United States has higher per capita rates of STDS and HIV than non-cutting Europe.

    The easiest, best choice is to simply leave your son intact. If he wants to be circumcised later, it will be entirely his choice.

    The biggest thing to remember is this: The only person to retract your son's foreskin should be your son. Any other retraction, including by a doctor, is inappropriate and damaging and will cause infection. See the AAP guidelines for care.

    My son is intact and healthy and happy.

  35. What most people don't know is circumcision kills cells in parts of the brain through atrophy because they no longer receive neural impulses. 65% to 85% sexual nerves are removed. It is common among intact men to orgasm by thought alone. Intact men feel full body orgasms (toes curling),whereas circumcised men feel it locally. Circumcision removes the most sensitive parts of the penis (Sorrel et al.) A circumcised penis needs 10 times more pressure to penetrate.In regards to male female relations read Kristin O'Hara's book "Sex As Nature Intended". Read John Taylor's "Frenulum Delta"

  36. Leave the boy intact. Rinse the penis like a finger or toe. Later, maybe age 6 or 7, you'll tell him to retract,rinse and replace. My boy is 12, intact and never had any issues. His body belongs to him.

  37. Leave the boy alone, his parts belong to him. If he decides later in life to cut it, pierce it, or tattoo it, it will be up to him.

    The "too much sensitivity" angle is bogus. You get used to however much sensitivity you have. You can always wear a condom to cut down sensitivity, but you can't grow back nerve endings that were cut off.

  38. First off, not looking at circumfetishist sites, we find:
    20% for the world--primarily Americans, jews and Muslism.
    For the USA, we have:

    2003 %
    Male Births 2018078 52.1%
    Female Births 1857239 47.9%
    Total Births 3875317

    Circumcised 1128448 55.9%
    Uncircumcised 889630 44.1%

    The rates dropped in all 4 US regions.
    NE Region -4.2%
    MW Region -3.2%
    S Region -6.2%
    W region -1.2%

    Cirrcumcision has no proven benefis, and many proven harms.

  39. Foreskin feels REALLY good.

    HIS body HIS decision

  40. No way man! He can have it done when he's older if he wants to - and there is no way he will choose it.

    Noone in the world except Jews and Muslims circumcised until the Victorian age when doctors decided that maybe if they caused enough pain and trauma and removed 30% of the penis' sensitivity that then boys would not masturbate. They made up all sorts of "medical" reasons why it was necessary such as it prevented TB and the flu and other such nonsense. The most recent nonsense is that it prevents HIV (already disproven) and before that they said it prevents cancer (which was also debunked).

    Let's face it, circumcision is a big money maker. An actual surgery, and amputation that takes the doctor only 10 minutes from start to finish and gives the hsptl and thus him a big pay boost. Not to mention there is a secondary foreskin market - they are being sold so the tissue in them can be used in anti-wrinkle creams and in adhesives for bandages. My husband worked in medical manufacturing so I'm not just relating some internet hearsay.

    Statistics clearly show that men who were intact and circ later in life regret it happening. Maybe not immed, but they find a huge loss of sexual satisfaction in a few years time. They also say it's excruciatingly painful. Keep in mind that they have it done with full anesthesia which a baby can't have due to the danger of anesthesia. I would highly recommend you watch the procedure being done online. It's not a 2 second snip like I had always thought.

    Imagine someone strapping you down, taking your pinky finger and inserting a sharp cutting instrument under your nail. Then imagine them pulling that out and slipping a knife in there to clip with and clipping the skin all around your finger nail so the edges were loose from your finger. Imagine how much worse it would be if your fingernail extended around your finger as a foreskin does. Now they will take that painful, raw, bleeding wound and put a tight clamp over it to stop the bleeding. Next they will cut all around the bottom edge to complete the amputation. If you wouldn't want this done to you, then don't do it to him.

    Ok, so maybe you did have it done and think it's no big deal since you can't remember it. So then would you want it done to your finger if we promised to hypnotize you so you never rememberd it afterwards?? I think you get my point...

    You do need to read up on Unfortunately today's medical textbooks have no pics or info of an intact penis so there is all kinds of false info circulating thru the doctors offices.

    Myth #1 is that you need to retract it to clean it. Like someone else said, it will retract on it's own someday and then can be rinsed. Forcing retraction causes tearing, adhesions and infections.

    The only medical reason for circumcision are penile cancer, frostbite and gangrene. There is no other medical reason. It's not cleaner.

  41. He'll thank you to leave his penis alone. It is designed for efficiency and pleasure, which is why the foreskin contains the most sensitive nerves on the human body. Those nerve endings are wired directly to the brain, so only foolish people would want that first message to be "Ouch, dammit! What the hell are you doing?"

    The intact penis will benefit his ultimate wife, too. See

    Oh, yeh, the rates mentioned earlier for the USA and Canada include older people, those who had their foreskin removed when rates were high. Current rates in Canada are about 10% and rates in the USA are approaching 50/50. Circumcised American boys will soon be a minority, as they already are in states of the West.

  42. keepthemintact7/29/2008 02:29:00 AM

    ‘Only Clean What Is Seen’—Reversing The Epidemic of Forcible Foreskin Retractions

    Care of the intact penis is a simple task—leave it alone—so why all the confusion?

    By John V. Geisheker, JD, LLM, and John W. Travis, MD, MPH

    Published in Kindred magazine,, Vol 26, June- Aug 2008 edition

    Doctors Opposing Circumcision (D. O. C.), an international physicians’ charity, fields around three anguished complaints each week from parents of intact (not circumcised) boys whose foreskins were retracted by ignorant medical practitioners. Sadly, premature, forcible foreskin retraction (PFFR) is a much more painful, serious, and potentially permanent injury than most parents imagine. It is also epidemic in Anglo-American medicine and, as the number of intact boys grows, the situation is worsening.

    We speculate that only one in a thousand cases in the USA comes to our attention, and this could mean as many as 150,000 cases each year. Likely there are many similar incidents in other English-speaking countries (possibly an even higher percentage than the US because so many more boys outside the US are intact). Most parents have no idea that their child was injured or why.

    Here is a typical complaint we receive:

    Dear Doctors,
    I have read on a mothering website that you handle complaints about retracting the foreskins of little boys. We kept our boy, Ethan, now six-months old, uncircumcised because we know it is unnecessary, painful, and risky. Last week during a routine doctor visit, and before I could stop him, our paediatrician peeled Ethan’s foreskin back all the way. It happened so fast there was nothing I could do.
    Ethan screamed instantly, cried for hours, and has been restless and fussy ever since. There are now small circles, like cracks, around his foreskin, which ooze blood. His penis is red and swollen. Ethan is now unusually fussy as soon as his diaper is wet, so we think it must sting when he urinates. He screams when we change him or the diaper touches his penis. It just breaks my heart to hear him. He had no problems at all before this doctor visit.
    The doctor told us that we must pull Ethan’s foreskin back this way every day or at least at every bath, to prevent what he called ‘adhesions’ and to clean out the smegma that builds up there. He said that if we don’t, our boy would need to be circumcised for sure.
    Is all this necessary? I can’t believe you need to hurt a boy to keep him clean. It makes no sense to me. I am very angry at what happened to Ethan. He was a very happy baby before this. Please help us.

    What happened to Ethan is a clinically unnecessary injury and utterly inexcusable. Ethan’s parents have exactly the right instincts, and with good reason. But to understand why, the reader needs some background.

    The History of Forcible Foreskin Retraction
    In the mid-19th century, many British and American doctors were hoping to convert childbirth and infancy into medical opportunities, thereby marginalising their ancient competitors—midwives and doulas. Thus the medicalisation of childbirth and infancy began in earnest.

    Around the same time, other physicians promoted the notion that irritation or stimulation of sensitive tissue, like genital mucosa, caused disease to appear in a distant part of the body. They invented, for instance, the old locker-room myth that masturbation causes blindness. They called their pre-germ disease theory ‘reflex neurosis.’

    Of course this theory was false, but as well as conveniently blaming and shaming the patient for causing his own health problems, reflex neurosis spawned a whole breed of pseudo-medical interventions for children, including circumcision, clitoridectomy, and forced foreskin retraction. Aggressive cleaning, drying—even amputation—of sensitive, erogenous, genital tissue was, according to this theory, a way to discourage bodily exploration, thwart disease, and simultaneously promote ‘moral hygiene.’

    Especially widely publicised was the notion that a build-up of smegma, a protective secretion both boys’ and girls’ genitalia naturally produce, might cause unwanted stimulation, then termed ‘irritation.’ This stimulation might draw a child’s attention to his penis (or her clitoris)—so goes the theory—which he or she might then touch.

    Even casual genital exploration by the child was thought to cause tuberculosis, insanity, blindness, idiocy, hip malformation, unusual hair growth, and dozens of other conditions. As late as the 1930s, some doctors advised parents to tie scratchy muslin bags, especially made for the purpose, on the hands of boys and girls, to prevent even inadvertent genital contact during sleep.

    Parents were also advised to retract their boy’s foreskin and scrub out any ‘dangerous’ secretions regularly, or have the boy circumcised so these could not possibly accumulate. Throughout the 20th century in all English-speaking countries, forced retraction for genital cleaning became standard medical practice. Millions of living, intact Anglo men, it is safe to say, were forcibly—and painfully—retracted as children.

    An Australian medical historian recently published the following observation about the invented and erroneous myth of the need for rigorous infant male hygiene. He notes the irony that females only narrowly escaped similar treatment:

    To appreciate the scale of the error, consider its equivalent in women: it would be as if doctors had decided that the intact hymen in infant girls was a congenital defect known as ‘imperforate hymen’ arising from ‘arrested development’ and hence needed to be artificially broken in order to allow the interior of the vagina to be washed out regularly to ensure hygiene.

    —Dr. Robert Darby, A Surgical Temptation, The Demonization of the Foreskin and the Rise of Circumcision in Britain

    Lingering Myths
    Surprisingly, this paranoid version of male infant hygiene has not yet died out. It still lingers, in various watered-down versions, passed around among generations of physicians and nurses folklorically, who then teach it to parents. While you read this, likely a professional at your local well-baby clinic is forcibly retracting a hapless little boy or advising the parents to do so at each bath. And we will see later that even the Royal Australasian College of Physicians’ website, Paediatrics and Child Health Division, offers young parents antique and even potentially harmful advice on this subject.

    Care of the Foreskin
    Proper infant hygiene, for both girls and boys, is actually astonishingly simple:

    ‘Only Clean
    What Is Seen.’

    This means the boy (or girl) needs only warm water, gently applied to the outer, visible, portions of his or her genitalia. No soap is needed. No intrusive or interior cleaning of the genitalia of either gender is ever needed or desirable. Aggressive interior hygiene is destructive of developing tissue and natural flora, and is harmful as well as painful.

    At birth the penis is anatomically immature. The foreskin is connected to the glans by a natural membrane, the balano-preputial lamina (translation: ‘glans-foreskin layer’). This membrane is apparently nature’s method of protecting the highly nerve-supplied and erogenous foreskin of the developing penis from irritation by faeces, the ammonia in urine, and invading pathogens. Although very different in structure, it can reasonably be thought of as the male’s hymen, protecting the sexual organs during the years when they are not needed for sexual purposes. This membrane may take as long as 18 years or more to disappear naturally, allowing retraction.

    Numerous studies have shown that the mean age for natural foreskin retraction without pain or trauma is around 10 years. Some men never see their glans until they are in their 20s. Any age is normal; there is no need to see the glans prematurely. Indeed, pre-adolescent boys, like pre-adolescent girls, need no internal cleaning whatsoever, and to suggest toddlers need to be retracted at each bath, or should be taught to do so themselves, is antique, 19th century, medical superstition.

    Evolutionary Biology
    Let us think like evolutionary biologists for a moment. If such cleaning were actually necessary, would any of us exist? Surely our forefathers would have died of infection in childhood, long before they could reproduce. Our primate predecessors were unlikely to head down to a nearby river every day to scrub their children’s genitals.

    Nature would quickly eliminate those who needed such care. Only those tough enough to not require genital cleansing would have survived. We are those survivors.
    In reality, urine, in the absence of a urinary tract infection, is sterile. The foreskins of infants, toddlers, pre-school and primary school-age boys are flushed out with this sterile liquid at every urination. No further cleaning is necessary. Mid-19th century English-speaking boys and girls did not suddenly require aggressive genital hygiene when their ancestors, for hundreds of generations, survived nicely on benign neglect.
    Indeed the mucosal genitalia, like the eyes and mouth, are self-cleaning and self-defending. In evolutionary terms, it could not possibly be otherwise.

    Culture Influences Medical Training
    Male doctors born in America from the 1930s to the 1980s were almost invariably circumcised at birth. Consequently, they have no personal knowledge of the foreskin—a normal and highly specialised component of male anatomy. They are dependent upon whatever information they received in their medical training—from circumcised professors. Many American medical textbooks exported to Australia were written by circumcised doctors and lack even an illustration of normal male anatomy. Medical practitioners so minimally trained are unlikely to provide accurate information on proper care of a body part they do not possess and attend only occasionally.
    (Anecdotally we at D.O.C. know there is an element of psychological compulsion attending the foreskin. Intact boys are a novelty to Anglo doctors who, in the USA especially, are mostly circumcised themselves or partnered with someone who is. The impulse to examine the child to explore what the doctor himself lost, or sees only rarely, seems irresistible even when there is no evidence of disease or infection.)

    The Better Medicine vs. Hygiene Hysteria
    A few modern English-language medical books correctly describe normal penile anatomy as Europeans understand it, and warn against tampering. Unfortunately, of the forty-odd medical, nursing, and parent-advice books the staff of D.O.C. has surveyed, only four give the proper advice. Mostly they parrot 19th-century pre-germ hygiene hysteria.

    To understand the brief quotes from the best of these texts, it is helpful to know several medical definitions:

    Prepuce—the foreskin of the male or the hood of the clitoris of the female.
    Phimosis— Greek for ‘muzzling;’ a narrowness of the opening of the foreskin, preventing its being drawn back over the glans, and usually due to infection or trauma. This is different from the normal attachment of the foreskin to the glans found at birth. Some clinicians use the term interchangeably to describe both conditions, but this is erroneous.
    Paraphimosis—a tendency of an inelastic foreskin, once retracted, to become trapped behind the wide ridge of the glans.
    Retractile—retractable, as an adult foreskin.
    Pathologic—diseased, as opposed to normal physiology.

    One reference text, Pediatrics, notes the correct timetable for foreskin retraction:

    ‘The prepuce is normally not retractile at birth. The ventral [lower] surface of the foreskin is naturally fused to the glans of the penis. At age 6 years, 80 percent of boys still do not have a fully retractile foreskin. By age 17 years, however, 97 to 99 percent of uncircumcised males have a fully retractile foreskin.’

    And Roberton's Textbook of Neonatology warns:

    ‘Forcible retraction in infancy tears the tissues of the tip of the foreskin causing scarring, and is the commonest cause of genuine phimosis later in life.’

    Avery's Neonatology, issues an identical warning:

    ‘Forcible retraction of the foreskin tends to produce tears in the preputial orifice resulting in scarring that may lead to pathologic phimosis.’

    Similarly, Pediatrics notes that phimosis or paraphimosis is ‘…usually secondary to infection or trauma from trying to reduce a tight foreskin…’ And they add, ‘circumferential scarring of the foreskin is not a normal condition and will generally not resolve.’

    And even the American Academy of Pediatrics (who formerly discouraged breastfeeding and encouraged regular forced retraction of intact boys) has now changed its policy:

    ‘Caring for your son's uncircumcised penis requires no special action. Remember, foreskin retraction will occur naturally and should never be forced. Once boys begin to bathe themselves, they will need to wash their penis just as they do any other body part.’

    The RACP—Hygiene Hysteria + Dangerous Medical Advice?
    Unfortunately, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) website regurgitates old myths about foreskin retraction and the imaginary vulnerability of the intact child. The RACP also grossly misstate the timetable for natural retraction as well as imply the internal structure of the penis needs to be seen prematurely. They also imply that if a boy is not retractable at age four he may need medical intervention or surgery. This is unfortunately errant nonsense and fear-mongering, apparently intended to market genital surgeries including circumcision. They assert:

    Physiological phimosis (normal narrowing of the foreskin that may make visualisation of the glans difficult during infancy) will normally resolve by the age of three to four years and requires no treatment. If pathological (ie, non-physiological) phimosis fails to respond to steroid cream/ointment applied to the tight part of the foreskin two to four times a day for two to six weeks, there is a reasonable probability that it will cause problems in the future and the child may well benefit from circumcision.

    This notion is patently false, misleading, and suggests pathology after age four where none exists–unless created by prior forced retraction. Unfortunately, it reflects the training of Australasian medical professionals currently in practice. At four years of age, very few boys can retract their foreskins. Moreover, there is no need for them to do so, and like the hundreds of generations of their ancestors with natural genitalia, intact boys are at no unusual risk.

    The RACP has been unduly influenced by what knowledgeable practitioners call the ‘Gairdner Error.’ In 1949, Douglas Gairdner, a UK paediatrician, published an influential article asserting that by age three, 90% of boys should be fully retractable. He based this guess on his limited clinical experience and, like other physicians of his generation, forcibly retracted, for hygiene reasons, boys who did not meet his timetable. He almost certainly examined boys whom others had forcibly retracted.

    Though Gairdner’s condemnation of infant circumcision almost single-handedly ended that practice in the UK, his erroneous timetable for natural foreskin retraction was widely publicised. Through the years, this error of anatomy has been carried over, unquestioned, from medical text to medical text and thence to parental advice books, without appropriate clinical proof. Since 1968, four European and Asian studies have proven Gairdner wrong. The RACP, however, mired in the medicine of 1949 and footnoting only Gairdner, has apparently yet to catch up with this accepted research.

    So What Will Happen to Little Ethan?
    Ethan’s parents have every reason to be angry and concerned. Ethan’s unnecessary forcible retraction risks, or has created, one or more fully avoidable outcomes, some of which may not become obvious for years. All will remain a worry:

    Premature forcible foreskin retraction is uniquely painful because the foreskin is among the most densely nerve-supplied structures of the male body. Research shows that pain alone holds later psychological consequences.

    Likely the child now has an ‘iatrogenic’ (physician-induced) infection, caused by unnecessary tampering. Invariably forcible retractions are performed without surgical gloves or proper antisepsis, and the open wound becomes an immediate portal for disease.

    His infection may worsen, leading to urethral ulceration, and, perhaps to urinary stenosis (blockage). Indeed, septic genital tampering is the likely cause of many avoidable urinary tract infections, themselves then used to justify post-neonatal circumcision.

    The raw, bleeding surfaces, formerly separated by a natural membrane, might now grow together, causing unnatural adhesions or skin bridges that may, or may not, eventually dissolve.

    His infection may leave scar tissue, which renders the foreskin inelastic, complicating adult hygiene and normal sexual functioning.

    This inelasticity may create pathologic phimosis, an unnatural tightness of the foreskin opening, which might not fade with time and, ironically, may require medical intervention.

    The child with an inelastic foreskin may suffer periodic paraphimosis emergencies, or trapping of the foreskin behind the glans’ corona when retracted. His glans may become strangled, trapping blood and causing swelling, which then must be released by hand.

    The child may now endure painful nocturnal erections because of his compromised foreskin (four or five involuntary nightly erections are normal at all ages for both genders). This may interfere with necessary REM sleep and might even create sexual dysfunction in adulthood.

    The child may become understandably reluctant to have any adult touch his genitals or bathe him.

    Forcible Retraction and Circumcision
    You might already have sensed the connection between the historical marketing of circumcision and forcible foreskin retraction. Teaching youthful and trusting parents that an intact boy needs thoroughgoing internal hygiene at each bath helped to market circumcision, as it implied amputation might free the parents of this burden, unpleasant for them; painful for their son. Better—goes the argument—the immediate acute pain of circumcision than the periodic pain inflicted by parents over the years. And when the forcible retraction by parents did cause infection, or scar tissue, or adhesions, phimosis, or other problems, it was easy to blame the parents for inadequate hygiene or failing to choose circumcision, the ‘sensible’ option, to begin with.

    Indeed, there is much anecdotal evidence that forcible retraction in the 20th century became a sort of retribution for non-compliant Anglo parents who declined circumcision for their newborn. The two, circumcision and forced retraction, have always been closely allied, and both create work for medical professionals, while leaving the intact boy alone to develop normally holds no economic benefit whatsoever. The false ‘either-or’ choice presented to parents for over 140 years has always been retraction and cleaning—or circumcision. The easy and more ethical European or Asian solution—leaving the child’s genitals entirely alone—has only rarely been recommended in Anglo medical practice.

    Post-neonatal Circumcision
    A tendency to misidentify the normal connective foreskin membrane of toddlers and young boys as an abnormal ‘adhesion’ also leads to unnecessary post-neonatal circumcisions. Millions of older toddlers in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have endured painful, unnecessary, and psychologically challenging post-neonatal circumcision, with or without anaesthesia, based on this ignorance.
    Misdiagnosis of the child’s normal connective membrane is also the origin of the circumcision marketing mantra that ‘he’ll only need it later.’ It is the direct source of many a family’s story of their Uncle Bruce’s painful circumcision at age six, of which he is only too happy to remind everyone. The implication is that circumcision is best done at birth, when, in truth, normal genitalia do not need fixing at any age, and never did.

    Foreskin Retraction for Catheterisation
    …is never necessary. Sometimes, when a child has a fever of unknown origin, urinary tract infection (UTI) is suspected, though these are routinely over-diagnosed. (And ironically, many genuine UTI’s are the direct result of unnecessary genital tampering by or on the advice of medical professionals–forced foreskin retraction being a prime example.)

    The doctor might order the child catheterised to test for infection. Catheterisation itself poses a risk of pushing surface bacteria into the bladder causing a UTI, which always runs the risk of going further up into the kidneys. Better and less risky methods of testing for UTIs are available. Even when absolutely necessary, catheterisation can be done without retracting the foreskin. After threading the catheter through the preputial opening, the physician or nurse need only gently probe to find the inner urethral opening by ‘feel.’ Even partial retraction should not be needed. But especially in the US, where so many are circumcised and normal male genitalia get minimal respect, this conservative protocol has become a lost art.

    Immediate First Aid for Forcibly Retracted Intact Boys
    Not all forcibly retracted boys develop the problems we detail, and millions have eventually recovered from the physical results of forcible retraction by the doctor or on doctors’ orders. Of course, millions did not fully recover and bear permanent, lifelong problems that they may not even recognize as an injury. Moreover, the medical community has only a limited understanding of the psychological effect of unjustified pain imposed on a boy’s genitals by his caregivers.

    If your child has been forcibly retracted, some experts suggest creating a barrier between the raw surfaces by gentle separation and the use of an oil-based cream to prevent the surfaces from adhering abnormally But this is also very painful for the child, psychologically challenging, and holds no guarantee of success.
    Other experts suggest that it is better, physically and psychologically, to leave the boy alone and allow his natural healing powers to take over. Studies do show that adhesions from circumcision, for instance, tend to resolve spontaneously. This theory holds that the psychological effect of further, repeated, painful, and traumatic handling of the boy’s genitalia may not be worth the effort or risk.

    Unfortunately, there are no easy answers, and no studies show which method is best, as the extent of this unique injury has not been admitted, let alone widely recognised.
    Certainly the parents of a forcibly retracted boy are now obliged initially to monitor the child for infection. Additionally, the parents must be prepared in advance for paraphimosis emergencies for which the older forcibly retracted child is at unique risk. After puberty begins, the boy himself must determine his ability to retract his foreskin or whether he has adhesions that have not receded as he matured.

    The best medicine is, of course, prevention. Parents should absolutely forbid any retraction before it occurs by making their wishes known in advance, in no uncertain terms, in writing, perhaps with a copy of this article in hand. Make your wishes a formal part of your child’s chart. Ask yourself: if my medical professional does not grasp this fundamental anatomy, what else does he or she not understand?

    D. O. C. offers colourful nappy stickers for parents to use that read ‘I’m Intact; Don’t Retract!’ This prompts a non-threatening discussion with your child’s provider. Better to momentarily irritate—or educate—your family physician or nurse than to injure your son for life.

    And, if you are ignored and your child is forcibly retracted despite your warning—it can happen in seconds—you should report the offending physician or nurse to your medical licensing authorities, supplying all the details. Or contact our physicians’ group to help you. There is no charge for our intercession, though donations are appreciated.

    If your provider understands and respects your child’s natural anatomy, please share his or her name with us. We are always on the lookout for well-educated, ethical, ‘foreskin-friendly’ physicians and nurses, worldwide, to whom we can refer, with confidence, when parents of intact children of any country inquire.
    Remember—you have no duty to massage the ego of a poorly educated medical practitioner. Protect your child instead!

    Doctors Opposing Circumcision, Seattle, Washington:

    John V. Geisheker, JD, LLM, a native of New Zealand, is currently the Executive Director of Doctors Opposing Circumcision, based in Seattle, Washington. A law professor by education, he has been a litigator, law lecturer, arbitrator, and mediator, specialising in medical disputes, for 27 years. Most recently he helped to defend ‘Misha,’ a 13-year-old facing an involuntary, non-therapeutic, religious circumcision, a cause now headed to the United States Supreme Court.

    Mr. Geisheker is married and the father of two grown children. He is proud that his native New Zealand fully abandoned medicalised infant circumcision in the 1960s as unethical and unnecessary.

    John W. Travis, MD, MPH, completed his medical degree in Boston and a residency in general preventive medicine at Johns Hopkins University. He subsequently founded the first wellness centre in the US, developed the first Wellness Inventory (now available online), and co-authored the Wellness Workbook.

    Realizing, in 1991, that how children are raised has far more influence on their later wellness than other any factors in our lives, he expanded the focus of his work to Full-Spectrum Wellness to include infant wellness, along with co-founding The Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children (, and authoring Why Men Leave, The Epidemic of Disappearing Dads, first published in byronchild (now Kindred) in 2004, which is now becoming a book. He now lives in Mullumbimby, New South Wales.

  43. keep them intact7/29/2008 02:51:00 AM

    Here are some letters from a sexually mutilated child questioning why his parents unnecessarily mutilated him at birth ,the letters, show the pain of this poor mutilated lad who will never in his life ever experience sex as nature intended it.

    1st letter to some friends on a web page................

    As some of you may know, today is my 18th birthday. so a couple of
    minutes ago i was unwrapping some presents. the first one was "i am
    america and so can you" which i've been wanting to get. so i reached
    for the second one and when i opened it i got the crap scared out of
    me. out of some extremely weird coincidence they got me a book
    entitled "foreskin's lament"... they have no idea about what i'm doing
    or how much i resent them for doing what they did, so when i opened it
    i started sweating and shaking like crazy. so i was wondering "have
    they found out?" but no, they explained to me that it's a funny book
    that they think i would like. i couldn't believe it but there it was.
    i wanted to jump up and scream at them for even mentioning the word,
    but instead i just came up to my room, and now here i am, in my room.
    i just couldn't believe it.

    then he wrote this letter to his parents.................

    i just sent my dad an email, he'll probably get it tomorrow at work.
    here is what i said:

    you and mom just went up the hill on a dogwalk, and i'm sitting here
    and i decided to write this message. i'm tired of keeping this secret
    from you and right now i don't know weather or not it's still a
    secret. that book that you got me could have been a coincidence or it
    could be you trying to tell me that you know what's wrong with me,
    honestly i have no idea what it is. i've been trying to tell you since
    i found out back in February but i've found myself completely unable
    to do it. i found that it's easier to say it through an email and not
    strait to your faces. so what is it that i'm talking about? well i'm
    sure that you have figured it out already but i'll go ahead and say it
    anyways. i found out that i was circumcised last February and i've
    resented the two of you a little more every single day.

    it completely destroyed me when i found out because i feel as if you
    don't think of me as a person, instead i think you see me (or saw me)
    as a pet that doesn't have any thoughts ideas or opinions of its own.
    and that's why you said "yes" to that doctor 18 years ago, because you
    thought that i wouldn't be able to make the decision myself. it's as
    if you believed that my body belongs to you, and not me. as if you
    thought that i don't have the right to make this life changing
    decision myself because i am your property.

    that's why i've been treating you the way i have for almost a year.
    i'm sure you've noticed that i go out of my way to not be in the same
    room as either of you, and how i treat you with as much disrespect as
    i dare. i feel as if i can't trust anyone any more because the two
    people that i trusted most in life turned out to be the ones that have
    hurt me the most. i'm sure you've also noticed that i've been playing
    video games a lot more than i used to, i find that it's the only way
    for me to be able to release my anger and resentment for you. that's
    right, this is the reason why i've been playing video games so much
    and i think that without them i probably would have turned to drugs to
    try to get rid of my problems. i'm not trying to make you feel bad or
    anything, it's just the truth. this is how i've felt every day since i
    found out. i can't get it out of my head, i'm thinking about it all
    the time and it's driving me crazy. nobody (especially my age) should
    ever have to go through what i'm going through. and i shouldn't have
    to, i shouldn't be having this problem, i shouldn't have been

    you spent about 2 to 300 dollars to have me circumcised, but i would
    give anything to have it undone, anything. but i can't, it's a
    permanent change that i got no say in even though my body should
    belong to me and me alone, and i can't believe that out of all the
    people in the world who had done it, it was the two of you. i
    understand that you didn't think that i would interperate it this way.
    you were probably thinking that i should "look like dad" or something
    like that, but i still resent you for it and i don't think i'll ever
    be able to forgive you.

    thank you for giving me that book, if you hadn't i probably would have
    kept this to myself a lot longer and i probably would end up in an
    even worse condition than i am in now. i still haven't told anyone
    about this besides the people that are on a restoration network that
    i'm a part of. i've been talking to them for a long time now and they
    were the ones that made me decide to tell you this now.

    i have some websites that i would like you to see. unfortunately gmail
    isn't giving me the option to make links at the moment so you will
    have to type them into the URL thing yourself (or copy and paste)

  44. New mom here. My son is almost 2.

    We had him circumcised.

    I know there are plenty of statistics and studies and websites to make your head spin. But all I have to say on the matter is that this is the single biggest regret of my life.

    And not because something went wrong. It was just as it "should" have been. (For which I am thankful, since I have 2 nephews with botched circumcisions...)

    But a few months after my son was born, I realized that I made a mistake. Looking back at his newborn photos, fresh from my womb, he was perfect. He didn't need to be strapped down for surgery at one day old. I believe 100% that he was given to me just as God intended him to be, and I screwed up.

    I loved my son more than anything, even before I met him. I wanted to do the *right* thing for him. I only wish I had looked at the info closer, or at the very least - waited to take him home and get to know him before allowing this to be done to him. I'm certain I never would have gone through with it if I weren't in a post-birth haze of pain and dizziness.

    But for me, and many others who found out the truth when it was too late - I have spent nights laying awake in bed, holding back tears for decision I made. My first as a parent, and I can't take it back or fix it now. My husband, who is also circ'ed himself, also agreed now that we should not have had it done. Our future sons will remain intact.

    I'd rather take my chances with a UTI, and ultimately give the decision to my son (it's his body after all), than to remove a part of his body that he will never get back.

    <3 I wish you the best with your upcoming birth and parenting journey. I pray you don't make the same mistake I did.

  45. We went through the same with our son - my wife was for circumcision (from a predominately mulsim country where 'everybody' does it) and I was dead against (very tight circumcision, painful erections, jealous of intact men.

    I stuck by my guns, however, and our son is so very happy that I won out!! Says he wouldn't want to have been cut like his friends, that they're missing out on something important.

    Interestingly, we NEVER had a UTI problem with him, not once; out daughter, however, had repeated bouts of infection up to about 2 years of age. Go figure!

    When all is said and done, whose penis is it, anyway? What if your parents had pierced your nose or tattooed you as a kid? Let him choose and IF it's just a small, cosmetic thing, let him make that decision. What I regret most is that nobody asked me if I wanted to be circumcised! Don't we owe our children at least that?

  46. please don't do it man. it's your son's penis, and it won't require any kind of special attention (cutting off part of your son's body so you have less to deal with is pretty morally abhorrent, but it's not even an acceptable excuse in this case). you DON'T have to retract his foreskin or teach him how - he'll learn that himself. it's his body, it should be his choice. i was circumcised and i wish i wasn't. please do your son a favour and let him decide what he wants for himself. he'll probably thank you for it.

  47. Ok, my first question is why on earth is circumcision even legal?! It is the most inhumane, unnecessary surgery practiced. The poor infant is strapped down to a board, while conscious and feeling everything, his foreskin is separated from his penis with a knife thats inserted in between his penis and foreskin, then they pull the foreskin down and cut all the way around the penis until the foreskin is cut away and seperated. There arent any truley proven benefits for being circumcised, if you use the whole its for good hygene crap as an excuse you're pathetic! If youre too lazy to properly clean your sons penis then you definately don't need to be having children. The other thing some people try to say is being circumcised helps prevent STDs. How? I have no idea, because if you have intercourse with an infected person I'm pretty sure the infection or disease doesn't care if your penis happens to have foreskin or not. You know what else might help prevent STDs to all of the doctors out there that are FOR circumcision...a CONDOM...Hey thats an idea! Oh and my favorite excuse people have for going through with circumcisions is the, "well I want my son to fit in with everyone else and I don't want him to feel insecure about his body and I don't want other boys to make fun of him." Ok, if you aren't circumcised guess what, YOU ARE NORMAL! You are the way you should be, the way you were made to be, you luckily weren't brutally mutilated at birth, you were accepted the way you were born. With that being said, not that anyone should have to feel bad about themselves, but if there is anyone who should feel the way some uncircumcised boys/men are made to feel about themselves, it should be the ones who are circumcised. They should feel insecure, they should feel different or out of place. Youre the ones that weren't accepted for the way you came, you weren't born 'normal', you had to have part of your penis cut off to be accepted.

    Anyways, I'm not trying to be disrespectful in any way, im just trying to get my point across.
    I hope I may have changed some readers minds on circumcision, if you're for circumcision why don't you go on or anywhere online and look up some videos of live circumcisions, that may help you change the way you feel about circumcision as well.
    Thank you,
    18 year old female trying to get her point, thoughts and views across.

  48. Ok, my first question is why on earth is circumcision even legal?! It is the most inhumane, unnecessary surgery practiced. The poor infant is strapped down to a board, while conscious and feeling everything his foreskin is separated from his penis with a knife thats inserted in between his penis and foreskin, then they pull the foreskin down and cut all the way around the penis until the foreskin is cut away and seperated. There are no proven benefits for being circumcised, if you use the whole its for good hygene crap as an excuse you're pathetic! If youre too lazy to properly clean your sons penis then you definately don't need to be having children. The other thing some people try to say is being circumcised helps prevent STDs. How? I have no idea, because if you have intercourse with an infected person I'm pretty sure the infection or disease doesn't care if your penis happens to have foreskin or not. You know what else might help prevent STDs to all of the doctors out there that are FOR circumcision...a CONDOM...Hey thats an idea! Oh and my favorite excuse people have for going through with circumcisions is the, "well I want my son to fit in with everyone else and I don't want him to feel insecure about his body and I don't want other boys to make fun of him." Ok, if you aren't circumcised guess what, YOU ARE NORMAL! You are the way you should be, the way you were made to be, you luckily weren't brutally mutilated at birth, you were accepted the way you were born. With that being said, not that anyone should feel this way but if there is anyone who should, it should be the ones are circumcised. They should feel insecure and theyre the ones who should be made fun of. Youre the ones that weren't accepted for the way you came, you weren't born 'normal', you had to have part of your penis cut off to be accepted.

    Anyways, I'm not trying to be disrespectful in any way, im just trying to get my point across.
    I hope I may have changed some readers minds on circumcision, if you're for circumcision why don't you go on or anywhere online and look up some videos of live circumcisions, that may help you change the way you feel about circumcisions as well.

    -18 year old female trying to get her point, thoughts and views across.

  49. A lot of inflammatory material here - and not totally unbiased either - do you notice how the "don't do it" responses are hugely long and over-elaborate? I think they need taking with a pinch of salt.

    I had to be circumcised at 14 owing to recurrent infections and a tight foreskin. It was embarrassing and mildly uncomfortable at the time but I can honestly say that I much prefer the result and would definitely not go back to the way it was before.

    My biggest regret about being circumcised is not having been done as a baby.

    With that in mind my wife and I made the decision to have our son circumcised when he was born. It took 5 minutes, was performed under local anaesthetic and he hardly batted an eyelid. He certainly didn't cry and showed no signs of discomfort.

    Done carefully, and with local anaesthetic, it is an overwhelmingly safe procedure with lifelong hygienic and health benefits.

    Those people who post scare-mongering rubbish all over the internet about circumcision should be ashamed of themselves. They just cause anguish for parents (new and old), and make men who are already circumcised feel bad about themselves - and totally unnecessarily.

    Circumcision is a safe and effective way to ensure good hygiene and also provides protection from a range of common genital infections.

  50. I posted the official position statements on male circumcision of the Canadian Paediatric Society, the British Medical Association, and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Hardly scaremongering rubbish.

    If you or anyone else is glad to be circumcised, that's great, but doing it to babies just doesn't make sense. Circumcising to prevent a circumcision later on isn't a good reason. In the UK, only about 1 in 100 males ever actually needs to be circumcised, and it's getting rarer. That means you'd need to circumcise 99 babies unnecessarily to prevent 1 circumcision later. Circumcising later actually hurts less though, is safer, and the results are cosmetically better.

  51. I posted the official position statements on male circumcision of the Canadian Paediatric Association, the British Medical Association, and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Hardly scaremongering nonsense.

    If you or anyone else is glad to be circumcised that's great, but it's still wrong to do it to babies. Doing it to prevent a circumcision later on doesn't make sense. In the UK, only about 1 in 100 males ever actually needs to be circumcised for medical reasons, and it's getting rarer. that means you would need to circumcise 99 babies unnecessarily to prevent one later on. Circumcising later in life is actually safer though, as well as hurting less, and giving better cosmetic results.

  52. Circumcision of babies is a human rights violation, it shuold be treated like the crime it is, put those who mutilate in jail, remove children from parents who allow it to safe custody - just like you would if the victim wa a girl noe a boy.

  53. Everyone has their favorite way of using the internet. Many of us search to find what we want, click in to a specific website, read what’s available and click out. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because it’s efficient. We learn to tune out things we don’t need and go straight for what’s essential.

  54. the desicion that was the first day as a parent is really hard to take the decision for circumcision to his son something he affected in his first days after birth but in the future avoid many problems such as infections and other diseases.

  55. I posted the official position statements on male circumcision of the Canadian Paediatric Society, the British Medical Association, and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

    Here's what the Royal Dutch Medical Association say in their official position statement:
    "The official viewpoint of KNMG and other related medical/scientific organisations is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children’s rights to autonomy and physical integrity. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision can cause complications – bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularly common. KNMG is therefore urging a strong policy of deterrence. KNMG is calling upon doctors to actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications."