Infant circumcision is a cosmetic surgery that is not recommended by any medical organization on the planet. It removes the foreskin and the frenulum, the two most sensitive parts of the male body. The procedure is as follows: The baby is taken from his parents, usually in the second day of life, and tied down in a mechanism called a circumstraint. His wrists and feet are made immobile. The baby boy is given an erection. His foreskin, which is fused to the head of the penis during infancy, is ripped from the glans. This pain has been found to be equivalent to tearing a nail out of the nail bed. Then, in the case of a clamp circumcision, the clamp is placed over the glans and the foreskin is pulled over part of the clamp, then the clamp is tightened and the foreskin is literally crushed until it separates from the penis. If a Plastibell is used for the circumcision, the Plastibell will be placed on the penis, tightened around the foreskin until the foreskin has been crushed. Then the doctor will slice off the foreskin with a surgical knife. According to an article published by CNN, 96% of circumcisions in the US are performed without anesthesia. And studies, including one conducted at the University of Iowa Department of Medicine, have found that even when a dorsal penile nerve block, which is anesthesia injected into nerves in the penis, is used it is ineffective pain relief which fails to lower serum cortisol levels in infants. After the procedure, the baby is returned to his mother. Often times, the baby will appear as though he is sleeping. The baby, however, is not sleeping at all. When serum cortisol levels rise to a certain point,such as they do during circumcision, human beings go into a semi-comatose state which looks similar to sleep. This is a coping mechanism. Once the baby has awakened, his wound will be extremely sore and each time he urinates or has a bowel movement, it will burn intensely. If his diaper rubs against his genitals, it will be painful, and diaper changes will be especially painful due to the fact that the mother will not only need to clean his penis if he gets feces on it, but she will also have to change his gauze, clean the wound and check for adhesions. The baby will not be provided pain relief post operatively. Up to 33% of circumcisions are botched. Examples of this include too much foreskin removed causing painful erections, excessive scar tissue, ahesions, infections, meatal stenosis, buried penis, and in some rare cases entire removal of the penis, such as in the case of David Reimer. The United States is the only first world country that still practices male circumcision outside of religion.
Here are some facts about circumcision:
*Circumcision is unconstitutional under the 14th amendment which provides equal protection under law. Boys are not provided equal protection as girls, under law, and this must change.
*Approximately 100 babies die in the US as a result of circumcision complications, according to Thymos: The Journal of Boyhood Studies.
*Modern day circumcision which removes the entire foreskin was promoted by Dr. Harvey Kellogg in the 1800s in order to prevent masturbation. He also promoted putting carbolic acid on the female clitoris in order to prevent masturbation.
*Infant circumcision is not recommended by any medical organization in the world.
*Circumcision is damaging to sex. A study conducted by Dr T. Hammond and published in the British Medical Journal found that circumcision reduces sexual sensation by up to 75%. Circumcision is also associated with erectile dysfunction according to a study at conducted at the First Affiliated Hospital School of Medicine Department of Urology. Of 95 patients who were studied before and after circumcision, 28 reported erectile dysfunction after circumcision, 33 suffered from weakened erectile confidence, 41 suffered from difficult insertion during intercourse, and 31 suffered from anorgasm (inability to orgasm in a normal time frame and in some cases at all.) This is a result of losing the foreskin and frenulum to circumcision as well as keratinization and the severing of veins during circumcision. The head of the penis is not made to be constantly exposed and rubbed against clothing. In order to protect itself, it hardens through a process called keratinization. Another body part that keratinizes in order to protect itself is the foot. Keratinization drastically reduces sensation. During circumcision, veins can be severed which can cause problems with blood flow and erections in adulthood.
*Circumcision hurts women too. The foreskin plays an important role for women during sex. An intact man thrusts in an entirely different manner than a circumcised man. A circumcised man thrusts in a pounding pattern, while an intact man takes longer thrusts rather than pounding, preventing vaginal soreness. The foreskin also works to keep vaginal lubrication in the vagina so that the woman does not feel dry. sexasnatureintendedit.com shows various images and videos demostrating how this works, but is not work safe or for minors.
*The foreskin is homologous to the clitoral hood, which means it is the same organ. In the womb, before the Y chromosome kicks in, a male follows the same pattern of development as a female. This means that he develops a clitoris, a clitoral hood, and ovaries. Once the Y chromosome begins to take action, the clitoris becomes the penis, the clitoral hood becomes the foreskin, and the ovaries become the testes.
*Circumcision affects breastfeeding and has been associated with latching problems and even refusal to nurse.
Since this is one of my passions, people come to me nearly every day with questions. These questions are usually the same, because they are based on myths perpetuated in our culture.
1) "It's just a flap of skin and it is more hygenic." The foreskin is NOT just a flap of skin, but an entire mechanism that comprises half of the adult penis, on average 15 square inches. It contains approximately 30,000 nerves and is homologous to the clitoral hood. Circumcision does not create a more hygenic penis. The foreskin is a self cleaning organ. All it takes for a man to be clean is for him to retract his foreskin in the shower which, from watching my intact husband shower, takes literally a few seconds. Circumcised men still produce smegma and must still clean their penis in the shower. Another interesting fact is that women produce 20 times more smegma than men, yet we do not advocate female circumcision for cleanliness.
2) "Isn't it hard to clean an intact baby's penis?" The short answer is NO. An intact baby's penis is easier to clean than a circumcised baby's penis. To clean an intact penis you simply wipe it like a finger from base to tip. You NEVER retract a baby's foreskin or try to clean underneath it because this is not only painful, but can cause UTIs, adhesions and excessive scar tissue leading to problems in adulthood. A circumcised baby must have skin near the glans pulled away from the glans to prevent the penis from attempting to reattach the skin and form adhesions and excess scar tissue.
3) "Doesn't circumcision prevent UTIs?" Not really. A study conducted by the Canadian Paediatric Society found that it takes about 625 circumcisions to prevent a single UTI. UTIs are easily treated with antibiotics. Also, most UTIs in intact males are caused by forced retraction bringing bacteria into the foreskin, which is just one reason why it is so important to never retract an intact baby. Breastfeeding will also protect against UTIs, or if you cannot or choose not to breastfeed, giving your baby probiotics will also help protect against UTIs.
4) "I heard HIV can be prevented by circumcision." This is simply untrue. A series of three studies cumulatively called the Africa studies are often cited as having found that circumcision reduces HIV transmission by 60%. These studies were very flawed and statistics has been used to fool people. These studies were headed by David R. Tomlinson, who invented the AccuCirc device and the modern Gomco and Plastibell clamps. The studies were ended before the men's circumcisions had healed, meaning before they were even allowed to have sex again. And the 60% decrease is relative decrease not absolute decrease. Relative decrease is the difference between the percentage of HIV transmission prior to the circumcisions compared to the percentage after. Absolute decrease is the real decrease. For example, if a city's population in 2010 was 2% Asian and in 2011 the Asian population was only 1%, the relative decrease in the Asian population is 50%, but the absolute decrease is only 1%! The absolute decrease in HIV for the Africa study was a 1.3% decrease. This makes sense considering the men were not allowed to have sex yet. A study conduced by the US Navy found that circumcision has no effect on HIV transmission. Also consider Western Europe. 85% of men in Western Europe are intact and their HIV rate is 1/3 of the US's HIV rate. HIV is prevented by two things: Condom usage with as few partners as possible and by abstaining from IV drug use.
5) "Doesn't circumcision prevent penile cancer?" No, it does not. Circumcision has been found to increase risk of penile carcinoma in situ, particularly along the scar line.
6) "I know someone who needed to be circumcised in late childhood or adulthood because his foreskin was too tight" This phenomenom is known as phimosis. But here is the problem, phimosis cannot be diagnosed until after puberty because phimosis is defined as an inability to retract the foreskin! The foreskin is usually retractible between 3 and 8 years old but some men do not retract until late puberty. This is normal. Even if a man is diagnosed with phimosis in adulthood, he does not need to be circumcised. Phimosis can be easily treated with prescription steroid creams. Please remember that most cases of phimosis are caused by forced retraction during infancy, which is why it is so important that you never retract a baby's foreskin. The only person who should retract a child's foreskin is the child himself.
7) "Don't religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam require circumcision?" The answer is yes and no. I'll start with Islam and Christianity. In Islam, male circumcision along with female circumcision is recommended by books other than the Q'uran. The Q'uran specifically warns against following other books and in the Q'uran it says that Allah "created man in the best of moulds" and that Allah has "perfected everything." The Q'uran warns against body modification. Christianity explicitly forbids circumcision. Here are some verses regarding circumcision. some are offensive to those who are Jewish, but these are not my opinions, just what is written in the New Testament of the Bible.
"Behold, I, Paul, tell you that if you be circumcised, Christ will be of no advantage to you" Gal 5:2
"Watch out for those wicked men- dangerous dogs, I call them - who say you must be circumcised. beware of evil doers. beware of the mutilation. For it isn't the cutting of our bodies that makes us children of God; it is worshipping him with our spirits." Phil 3:2-3
There are MANY more verses regarding circumcision in the Bible found mostly in Galatians and Paul.
In regards to Judaism, yes Judaism requires circumcision. However, the original circumcision did not remove the entire foreskin, but only a tiny piece. There are also two ways around infant circumcision in Judaism. The first is to not circumcise an infant. In the Torah it says that if a male's father did not have him circumcised as an infant that he should be circumcised as an adult if he wants to remain a member of Judaism. This is a good option because not only does it respect the culture but it preserves the man's right to choose if he wants to remain part of the Jewish religion and if he wants to be circumcised. If an adult man decides that he wants to remain Jewish or that he wants to become Jewish he can be circumcised. He will be provided general anesthesia for the procedure and proper pain relief after the procedure. The risk of complications for adult circumcision is MUCH lower. Another option is called Bris Shalom. Bris Shalom is a non-cutting naming ceremony which is performed by a Rabbi. According to the organization Jews Against Circumcision, circumcision is contradictory in Judaism because in the mitzvos Jews are commanded not to make any cuttings in the flesh.
8) After learning about circumcision, I have been asked the following question by some men "Is there a way that I can reverse my circumcision?" Well yes and no. There is a process known as restoration. Restoration uses small weights to slowly stretch the penile skin and create the look of a foreskin. Restored men have fooled doctors. Through restoration, men can gain length and girth, increase sensitivity and reverse keratinization. Unfortunately, you can never regain the nerves you lost to circumcision, but you can get the look and increase sexual pleasure. I recommend the websites mendocomplain.com and restoringtally.com to these men.
Medical Circumcision Video (Please watch without children around, with the volume up)
History of Circumcision:
Regarding Myths About Circumcision:
Anesthesia Ineffective for Neonatal Circumcision:
Effect of Neonatal Circumcision on Pain Response:
Circumcision Trauma and PTSD:
Circumcision Effects Breastfeeding
Circumcision and HIV:
Circumcision and UTIs:
Note: Most UTIs in intact males are associated with improper care of the intact penis. In a male infant, the foreskin is fused to the glans of the penis. You are never supposed to retract and intact infant penis, as this can lead to bacteria being drawn into the skin as well as scar tissue and adhesions. See this video by Dr. Bob Sears for info on proper intact care: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCpKDY77IKM&feature=player_embedded
Circumcision and Cancer:
How Circumcision Damages Sex For Men (Including Erectile Dysfunction) & Women:
www.sexasnatureintendedit.com (not safe for work or minors)
See the Vast Difference Between the Intact and Circumcised Penis:
Circumcision and Judaism:
NOTE: Jewish males do not have to be circumcised as children. According to the Torah, they can be circumcised as adults if their father did not have them circumcised during infancy. This is a great option because it respects the man’s right to choose circumcision for himself, if this is what he wishes, in adulthood. This respects the man’s right to choose what religion he follows in adulthood and what religious rituals he would like to take part in.
Circumcision and Christianity:
Circumcision and Islam:
Foreskins Being Sold to Cosmetics Companies:
WHO Circumcision Bias:
NOTE: The World Health Organization currently recommends adult male circumcision to prevent HIV (remember NO health organization in the world recommends infant circumcision.) However, the expert on circumcision, David R. Tomlinson is also the inventor of the AccuCirc device as well as the modern Gomco and Plastibell circumcision devices. This is bias at its finest.