changing the way America thinks about circumcision
CIRCUMCISION HARMS BABY BOYS
Male child genital cutting (aka circumcision) is a hotly debated issue. Your support for Intact America will help us to spread the message that circumcision of baby boys—and the men they will become—is harmful, unnecessary, and wrong.
Intact America® is the largest group working to end child genital cutting and to ensure healthy sexual futures for all people. We do this by challenging social and sexual norms, and empowering our supporters and volunteers through creative messaging, advocacy and education.
This letter to the editor was published in The New Yorker on October 25, 2021. Kudos to Shteyngart for bravely exposing the harm that can be caused by circumcision. His heartbreaking personal struggle, while extreme, is more common among circumcised men than the...
by Lisa Braver Moss & Rebecca Wald In many cases, Jewish families who opt out of circumcision make a decision of omission — circumcision is simply skipped. But more and more parents are choosing an alternative ceremony known as brit shalom ("covenant of peace" in...
R.F., a proud mother of 2 intact boys, is the first and only parent in her large Jewish family to keep her sons intact. The following is a letter she wrote to her cousins who were expecting a boy and had recently been persuaded by a mohel to go forward with the...
Every man who has been circumcised has two stories…
…the one he can’t remember,
…and the one he can’t forget.
As a newborn, he probably will not recall being restrained, or his penis being clamped and cut (one in five men say they do remember it). What he is unaware of is that his brain may not develop normally because of the severe pain and trauma.
As a man, he might be reminded daily that his penis is not whole, not fully functional, and has a scar running around it. And he might know that he may still suffer from complications, like being at an increased risk for erectile dysfunction.
Four Reasons We Do This Work
Three quarters of all American males are walking around today with an important part of their penis missing. Many are oblivious to the damage. All have been harmed, and they—and their sexual partners—have never had the chance to enjoy the protective and pleasurable qualities of the foreskin.
Mothers are solicited an average of eight times by doctors and nurses to agree to having their newborn sons circumcised. Peddling this unnecessary surgery is profiteering, violates the AMA’s code of ethics, and is illegal in many states.
Every day, thousands of newborn boys are forcibly restrained and their penises are surgically and permanently altered. Even if they receive pain relief during the procedure, circumcision is still painful and traumatic. Many boys will experience complications, some severe, and a few will die.
Four out of ten intact (not circumcised) boys will experience having their foreskin forcibly torn from its foundation by misguided adults. This traumatic, painful and unnecessary action can lead to complications, such as bleeding, infection and eventual amputation of the foreskin. Early traumas are known to cause developmental and lifelong psychological problems.
New to the Issue?
Visit our entry-level companion website where you can learn the history of circumcision in America and arguments for and against, plus a parent’s guide for talking about it with doctors.