A trombone can play more notes than a vuvuzela.
This site does not pretend to be "balanced". The case for circumcision has been made daily for decades in public media such as TV sitcoms, magazine articles, by medical "authorities" and by word of mouth. Now, thanks to the Internet, the opposition has a chance to be heard uninterrupted. This site does attempt to tell the truth about circumcision, and not overstate the case against it.
There are some pictures of penises on this site, including erect ones and also a few babies' ones, where necessary for their purpose. They are preceded by warnings.
This site does not claim to offer medical advice, etc. etc.
Did you know that…
- most men in the world and the great majority of men in Europe, Scandinavia, Central and South America and Asia are not circumcised?
- "medical" infant circumcision was introduced to prevent masturbation?
- until a few decades ago, female genital cutting was promoted in the western world for many of the same reasons as male circumcision?
- infant circumcision was fashionable in the English-speaking world 50 years ago but is now rare (except in the US)?
- babies are strapped down to be circumcised?
- circumcision with a PlastiBell™ does involve cutting?
- before an infant's foreskin can be cut (or crushed) off, it must be torn away from the glans?
- circumcision removes 50% of the skin of the penis?
- circumcision removes the most sensitive part of the penis?
- no national medical association anywhere in the world supports non-therapeutic neonatal circumcision (male or female) on medical grounds?
- the claim that circumcision protects against HIV is based on 5,400 circumcisions protecting (perhaps) just 73 men?
- even if the claim is true,
- it would take hundreds of circumcisions to prevent one case in the US?
- circumcision offers no protection at all to women?
- circumcision offers no protection at all to gay men?
A comprehensive, independent rebuttal of the HIV claims.
The Intactivism Pages
The struggle for genital integrity and against the involuntary genital modification of children of any sex:
Female Genital Cutting
Involuntary Sex Reassignment
Genital Integrity for All!
Intactivist of the Month:
Dr John Fitton
East Midlands Regional Council,
British Medical Association
"This cutting trade has no place in our profession and any doctor who is profiting from it should be ashamed.
And be warned, if molestation can be prosecuted after 40 years, so might mutilation." (Starts at 13:02)
Bravo too to Dr Antony Lempert of the Secular Medical Forum for first speaking against the motion.
New book Celebrating Brit Shalom launched
PICTURES AT A CIRCUMCISION
Nobody should consent to a circumcision who has not seen one. Close-up still photos of an infant circumcision.
An 8 minute video of a Gomco circumcision
uploaded by Dr Kevin Windisch "for health professionals".
He has to raise his voice and still can't be heard over the baby,
to whom he repeatedly apologises. Disturbing.
|video of a circumcision|
And again, not for the squeamish.
(Also uses the same registration as above video.)
|Laser circumcision of a six-year-old in Indonesia posted by his father (23:47 NSFW) Much screaming.|
(clinical, from a scientific paper)
Warning, very graphic.
Still pictures of a sleeve procedure
(clinical, from a scientific paper)
Warning, very graphic.
12-page photo story of a a Gomco
(no close-ups, offsite, from the Saturday Evening Post)
A survey of historical and present-day circumcision instruments, and what can go wrong using each of them.
- Circumstitions (bad reasons for circumcising, the genesis of these pages):
- Fallacies used to promote circumcision
Who dares to be in favour of dirt? Facts about bacteria.
Circumcision is said to prevent…
- Phimosis (non-retractable foreskin).
- HIV The recent claims, based on Random Controlled Tests. ◦ One scientific rebuttal. ◦ Scepticism from Britain's Terrence Higgins Trust.
- Circumcision is no vaccine.
debunks the "circumcision prevents HIV" claims
- Urinary Tract Infections. ◦ Research that suggests circumcision may cause urinary problems.
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases ◦ Rebuttal to a high-profile study.
- Cancer, penile in the man himself and
- Cervical in his partner. ◦ A recent, widely-publicised study claiming protection against both Human Papilloma Virus in men and cervical cancer in their partners.
- Prostate cancer
Motivation to circumcise
The psychology of circumcising ◦ “Circumcision as a memeplex” ◦ Prejudice against intact men ◦ The remarkable silence around the intact penis and circumcision ◦ Circumsurdities—absurd claims for circumcision; circumfetishism, the sexualisation of circumcising.
Risks and damage, up to and including loss of the penis and death. • The autopsy reports on a Canadian baby who died of blood loss ◦ another when his urethra was blocked by a PlastiBell™
The pain of circumcision has long-term effects and is only partially relieved by anaesthetics. ◦ A report from the AAP recommends avoiding painful procedures, but fails to mention the commonest painful procedure.
◦ Circumcision may hinder Breastfeeding.
For those who think circumcision improves the appearance and is invariably harmless, there's a gallery of pictures of circumcisions. ◦ One man's multiple botches. ◦ Side-by-side comparison of the intact and circumcised penis: you can see the difference.
Famous men and others who resent/ed being circumcised Regrets
Parents who regret having circumcised their sons
Some people imagine circumcision is universal in the western world. They should see the map of its prevalence worldwide. ◦ The same page shows a map of the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Predominantly intact countries:
|New Zealand A presentation and an article. From being very rare in the 1950s, intactness is now commonplace. An intact New Zealander celebrates. (.wav file, 103KB)|
|Australia In Australia four boys in five are now left intact some states, more than 19 in 20 in others.|
|The Netherlands Non-religious circumcision has never been known in the Netherlands.|
Het geïnformeerdeg besnijdenisbeleid van KNMG
A Dutch documentary (with English subtitles)“Mama waaram ben ik besneden?”
(Mum, why was I circumcised?)
by Michael Schaap
covers most of the main issues — shows several circumcisions, not for the squeamish
Mexico A guide (en espagnol) from the National Center for Health Technology Excellence, with input from the institutions that make up the National Health System, says "Circumcision of boys should not be done without medical indication."
Finland In Finland, where the home circumcisions of six African boys were botched, a working party member has recommended that it be at parental discretion and public expense, but doctors refuse to co-operate.
The Pacific Practices vary widely in Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia.
|U.S.A. The United States is the only country in the world that surgically modifies a majority of its boy babies.|
Korea From unknown, circumcision has become almost universal in Korea in the last 50 years.
The Philippines A traditional ritual for boys has become medicalised in the Philippines without the need for it ever being questioned. Myths are rampant.
Yemen Justified by appeal to Islam, a report of Yemeni circumcision from 1921 details a particularly brutal variant (an answer to "but FGM is much worse")
The American Medical Association's policy statement on circumcision is weighed in the balance (and found wanting). It agrees with the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics. ◦ The stark contrast between the AAP statements on circumcision and Female Genital Mutilation ◦ The statements of the American Urological Association and the American Association of Family Physicians—both ethically barren
The serious bias towards circumcision of a leading US midwifery textbook, including a chapter telling midwives how to do it (yet it details the disadvantages of each method)—analysed and contrasted with a British textbook.
The case presented for circumcision is hydra-headed: answer one argument and its supporters will produce another, and another, indefinitely. (Urinary Tract Infections, until recently cited as the main reason to circumcise, were only added to the list in 1982) Something else is going on—if the foreskin has so many faults and varied, how could it ever have have survived?
• A 1941 article mentions in passing that some doctors then did it without asking
• Former US Surgeon-General G. Everett Koop's site, drkoop.com has moved forward very little.
• Harvard Medical School lends its prestige to a very one-sided article.
• Emeritus Professor Brian Morris, a retired molecular biologist formerly at the University of Sydney, has only a passing acQuaintance with facts.
• A 2003 leaflet for parents (revised 2008) by the Americal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) dissected.
• The Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Georgia offers a particularly bad example.
• Rebuttal to a pro-circ article in Parenting magazine's BabyTalk.
• A very biased BBC/Learning Channel documentary about HIV is rebutted here.
• A renewed claim that circumcision protects against cervical cancer in the partner is rebutted here.
• The American Association of Family Physicians' 2002 circumcision policy admits the low utility of circumcision, and discusses ethics (inadequately).
• The Royal Australasian College of Physicians' 2010 policy disposes of the medical claims and (unlike its predecessor) considers the functions of the foreskin, but still bends over backwards to blur the ethical issues so that it can stay on the fence.
• The RACP has issued a brochure.
• The Sydney Children's Hospital's Fact Sheet for parents is excellent, a model of its kind
Female Genital Cutting
Female circumstitions—bad reasons to cut a girl ◦ The AAP's 2010 policy on FGC compared with its 1999 policy, and its 1999 policies on FGC and MGC compared. ◦ A chart comparing circumcision with Female Genital Cutting (FGM/FGC). ◦ The UN definitions of the types of FGM/FGC ◦ A doctor defends FGM. ◦ A study showing FGM does not impair the frequency of women's sex (nothing about the quality). The circumcision A loving Malaysian mother's blog about her daughter's surgical FGC
Episiotomy A form of Female Genital Cutting still common in the US.
Breast-ironing Another cruel sexually-related female mutilation, practised in parts of West and Central Africa.
Intersexed people and non-consensual gender-assignment.
Castration Mozart, Handel, Rossini and Gluck wrote music for castrated singers, and Allegri was one. This was as accepted in Italy in 1600-1860 as circumcision is in the US today.
A Gallery of Intact Men and their Penises. ◦ A Gallery of Intact Men and their Penises in Art. (The entire sequence of five pages is a slide show with music off-site.) ◦ Countries that celebrate the (intact) penis. ◦ The "luscious beauty" of the intact male.
For intact (young US) men who worry about being "different," a Gallery of Intact Celebrities (with their clothes on): a page each of intact historical personages, US film stars former and current, US TV stars former and current, US sporting heroes, US musicians, non-US celebrities (musicians, actors, sportsmen and others), and leaders.
A Gallery of Very-Probably-Intact men.
Diagrams of male and female anatomy at eight weeks gestation and at birth illustrate the similarity of structure.
Functions of the Foreskin (22 of them)
aimed at doctors and uses medical language but very clear about the use and value of the foreskin.
The sexuality page corrects the fairly popular fallacy that there is no difference in sexual function between intact and circumcised men. ◦ The foreskin itself gives pleasure. ◦ A musical illustration. Reports by women about what a revelation intact men were to them. ◦ Condoms and the intact man. ◦ Tantric sex. ◦ Popular myth: "American women prefer circumcised." (Williamsons' survey of women in Iowa)
There's very little to it!
also available in PDF format
a response to the AAP's "Care of the Uncircumcised Penis"
Paraphimosis, one of the few real threats.
PDF format leaflet
Frenulum breve "tight banjo string"—can be readily treated.
FOR PARENTS (TO-BE) AND SONS
“It's a Boy!”
A historic documentary video
circa 1982 (How little has changed!)
featuring Intactivist pioneers Edward Wallerstein and Rosemary Romberg—includes a Mogen
(Parental Guidance Recommended)
Circumcision is sometimes pushed on parents, and even committed contrary to their wishes. To prevent this, a firmly-worded
Circumcision Refusal Form|
and a sheet of circumcision refusal stickers in PDF format
A short story for intact boys and their parents about what intactness is, and why intact boys should, if anything, be glad to be "different" from their friends.
(also available in PDF format)
Foreskin restoration—a growing movement
Vorhaut-Restoration—ausführliche Informationen auf Deutsch ◦ An artificial foreskin.
• Genital integrity is first and foremost a human rights issue.
• Medical organisations have very little to say about the ethics of circumcision. There is more here.
• The British Medical Association has issued ethical guidelines that rule out infant circumcision based on parental preference alone.
• An important book, "The Ethical Canary", includes a chapter on the ethics of circumcision.
The legal case against infant circumcision is growing. This section also contrasts the protection afforded cats, dogs and a baby's head against similar procedures.
A shocking parallel. Parental guidance recommended.
THE CAMPAIGN FOR GENITAL INTEGRITY: INTACTIVISM
- Reasons Not to Circumcise (at least 32)
- The Lost List—what is lost to circumcision (18)
- A chapter from a 1980 classic, Wallerstein's Circumcision: an American health fallacy.
Interview with Dan Strandjord, who daily pickets the University of Chicago Hospital to protest its high circumcision rate.
Five short videos from Genital Integrity Awareness Week 2009 on YouTube
—and over 100 other interviews about circumcision
Bruce Springsteen "sings" at Superbowl
An award-winning children's rights documentary
The only circumcision-related video to explore important issues not addressed in other programs, and so far the only one that can both be purchased as a DVD and viewed online.
- Short Answers on Circumcision
- Some relevant quotations
- The case for intactness in two minutes
- An epic ballad, The Rape of the Cock
- multimedia—animations, sound files and a logo
"The Rape of the Cock", an epic poem with illustrations
"The Foreskin and Circumcision"
Readymade T-shirts and bumperstickers from The Intactivism Shop
Also mugs, buttons, fridge-magnets, tote bags, and other gear.
T-shirts, bumperstickers, mugs, more.
Feedback from readers
Comments about this site are welcome. Please use email.
(No e-cards, thank you. Hostile messages may be displayed unedited. Link exchange considered only for sites related to genital cutting.)
Types of circumcision articles; circumcision in Shakespeare; infection vs. inflammation; diabetes; other "useless" organs, the appendix and Jacobsen's organ; whether babies remember being circumcised; permanent retraction; circumcision and royalty.
Have you changed your mind about circumcision?
We'd love to hear about it!