Intact America Names Dan Bollinger of West Lafayette, Indiana, as Vice Chairperson of Its Board of Directors

For 25 Years, Bollinger’s Activism and Research Have Propelled the Anti-Circumcision Movement Forward and Helped Shift Public Perception About a Medically Unnecessary Procedure

Dan Bollinger(Tarrytown, New York—November 10, 2021)…Dan Bollinger, an industrial designer whose personal circumcision trauma led him to become a committed American anti-circumcision activist, has joined the Intact America board of directors as vice chairperson, announced Georganne Chapin, MPhil, JD, founding executive director of the organization. Mr. Bollinger will also continue in his role as a strategic advisor to Intact America, which is the largest professional anti-circumcision group in the United States.

“Dan’s tireless devotion to this work has enabled Intact America to steadily shift public opinion against routine male child genital cutting in the United States,” said Ms. Chapin. “According to our latest public opinion poll this year, 22.5% of Americans favor keeping boys intact, up from 16.8% in 2019—a 25% increase in two years.”

The impact of Bollinger’s research

Mr. Bollinger’s studies and surveys have helped advance the field of circumcision research by documenting the procedure’s harm. His peer-reviewed paper published in Thymos: Journal of Boyhood Studies, “Lost Boys: An Estimate of U.S. Circumcision-Related Infant Deaths,” revealed that at least 100 babies die annually in the United States as a result of circumcision. Another study, published in the International Journal of Men’s Health, which he co-authored with Robert S. Van Howe, MD, “Alexithymia and Circumcision Trauma: A Preliminary Investigation,” uncovered an association between circumcision trauma and the personality trait disorder alexithymia, or difficulty in identifying and expressing feelings.

The “Alexithymia and Circumcision Trauma” paper also revealed an association between erectile dysfunction and circumcision, citing findings that circumcised men were 4.53 times more likely to use an erectile dysfunction drug than intact men. In his latest study, Mr. Bollinger writes, he found that dysfunctional households are more likely to chose circumcision for their sons, and that these boys have higher Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) scores. Higher ACE scores are associated with medical and psychological outcomes such as substance use, chronic illness, and a shorter lifespan.

“Doctors insist that circumcision doesn’t harm baby boys, but our research tells a different story,” said Mr. Bollinger. “The question we have to ask ourselves is why Americans encourage the genital cutting of baby boys when we’d be appalled if it were done to baby girls,” he adds. “No child—boy, girl, or intersex—should endure genital cutting until the child is old enough to give his, her, or their consent.”

Mr. Bollinger noted that the United States is the only Western country that routinely circumcises baby boys in a medical setting; therefore, most Americans know little about the male foreskin and its role in sex, “This is why Intact America is pushing to normalize the acceptance of the natural penis,” he said. He pointed out that the foreskin is the most sensitive tissue on the penis, designed to enhance sex for men and their partners. “It is unconscionable to me that American doctors routinely remove baby boy foreskins for no justifiable medical reason,” he said.

About Dan Bollinger

Dan Bollinger has been a social activist since his student days at Purdue University, where he earned his BA in Industrial Design. While at Purdue, he became interested in men’s issues and co-taught workshops to help men heal after losing their fathers. Later, he decided to focus on the one men’s issue he could personally relate to—involuntary male child genital cutting, or circumcision. A well-known and oft-quoted intactivist for 25 years. Bollinger was at the table when Intact America was founded in 2008, and has served as a strategic adviser since then. A lifelong Hoosier, he owns and operates, with his wife, a small manufacturing company in Tippecanoe County, Indiana.

 About Intact America

Intact America is the largest national advocacy group working to end involuntary child genital cutting in America and to ensure healthy sexual futures for all people. It does this by challenging social and sexual norms and empowering supporters and volunteers through advocacy and education. To learn more about the issues involved in the current conversation about newborn male circumcision,  visit IntactAmerica.org and CircumcisionDebate.org, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

Genital Autonomy-America Merges with Intact America

Marilyn Milos, Regarded as ‘The Mother of the Intactivist Movement,’ Merges Her Organization, Genital Autonomy-America, with Intact America, the Nation’s Largest Professional Anti-Circumcision Advocacy Group

Says Milos: “It’s an auspicious time to join forces and further public awareness of the direct correlation between circumcision solicitation in hospitals and the high rate of medically unnecessary circumcision in the United States.”

(Tarrytown, New York—October 30, 2021)   Georganne Chapin, MPhil, JD, founding executive director of Intact America, and Marilyn Milos, RN, founding executive director of Genital Autonomy-America, announced today that their two organizations have officially merged. Ms. Milos will continue her intactivist work at Intact America, the largest national, professional advocacy group that is changing the way America thinks about circumcision.

The newly merged entity, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, will retain the name Intact America. Ms. Milos will sit on Intact America’s Board of Directors and continue her intactivist work as Intact America’s clinical consultant.

“It’s a tremendous honor that Marilyn Milos and the Board of Directors of GA-America have entrusted their organization’s mission and vision to us,” said Ms. Chapin. “Thanks to her work, male genital cutting emerged from the shadows and became a human rights issue. I and many other intactivists consider Marilyn to be the mother of our movement.”

The Evolution of Organized Intactivism

It was a watershed event in intactivism when, in 1985, Marilyn Milos launched the National Organization of Circumcision Resource Centers (NOCIRC). (The organization was renamed Genital Autonomy-America [GA-America] in 2016.) The group was the first clearinghouse of circumcision information for doctors, nurses, parents, and the public. Over the years, NOCIRC succeeded in raising awareness among tens of thousands of people that male child genital cutting (circumcision) is physically painful and traumatic to a baby, medically unnecessary, and amputates the most erogenous part of the adult male genitalia.

Under Ms. Milos’ leadership, NOCIRC gained attention for organizing biennial International Symposia on Circumcision, beginning in 1989. Experts in medicine, academia, ethics, law, and other disciplines flocked to the symposia, whose proceedings were published and shared worldwide. These highly influential publications advanced the field of male and female genital cutting research and shed new light on the ill effects of routine male circumcision.

A Next Step for Intactivism

Although Ms. Milos broke the taboo about speaking publicly about circumcision, more work was needed to strategically change America’s systemic circumcision culture. In 2008, Ms. Milos and other leading intactivists helped to form Intact America, a professional advocacy group funded by philanthropist Dean Pisani and managed by the experienced health care executive and attorney Georganne Chapin. Intact America’s work includes conducting national research and generating public awareness by mounting campaigns against routine male child genital cutting and forced foreskin retraction of intact boys.

Ms. Chapin noted, “We’re shifting the public’s perception of circumcision. In our most recent opinion poll, conducted this year, we found that more than 22.5% of respondents favor keeping boys intact, up from 16.8% in 2019. That’s an increase of 25% in just two years. We’re making big progress.”

Ms. Milos said the merger comes at an auspicious time. “I’ve worked relentlessly to save baby boys from the horror of routine circumcision and help adults and families to overcome the physical and psychological consequences of unnecessary circumcisions,” Ms. Milos said. “Now, it’s time for me to step back from the day-to-day responsibility of running GA-America. Since it was founded, Intact America has taken intactivism to the next level. I feel that the movement’s future success could not be in better hands.”

About Intact America

Intact America is the largest national advocacy group working to end involuntary child genital cutting in America and to ensure healthy sexual futures for all people. It does this by challenging social and sexual norms and empowering supporters and volunteers through advocacy and education. To learn more about the issues involved in the current conversation about newborn male circumcision, visit IntactAmerica.org and CircumcisionDebate.org, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Kudos to Shteyngart

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 public has been led to believe. Since 2008, when I co-founded Intact America, an organization that seeks to change the way people in this country think about circumcision, I have heard from thousands of men who have suffered lifelong physical and psychological damage from the procedure. According to a 2019 report published in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery, in the U.S., where nearly all circumcisions take place in medical settings, eleven per cent of pediatric-surgery malpractice cases involve circumcision. Yet American doctors and hospitals keep putting babies at risk with a medically unnecessary procedure that is not routinely performed on male children in any other Western country. We must ask why we allow doctors and hospitals to profit from cutting the genitals of male children even as we fight to outlaw female genital cutting, here and abroad.

Georganne Chapin

Press Release: Having a Baby Boy? Get Ready for the Circumcision Sellers!

Media Contact:
Jeannie Ashford, Harrison Edwards PR
[email protected]
914.242.0010 x 3 (office) or 914.318.1568 (mobile)
 

A Groundbreaking Intact America Survey Finds Doctors, Nurses,
and Midwives Actively Solicit Moms to Have Their Sons Circumcised

 

78% of Mothers Had Their Sons Circumcised if Health Providers Asked,
Compared to Only 45% of Mothers Who Were Not Asked

 

“Doctors Tell Us They Circumcise Boys Only Because Parents Want It. This Survey Proves Otherwise”— Georganne Chapin, Executive Director, Intact America

 

(Tarrytown, New York—November 16, 2020) — A new study released by Intact America reveals that circumcision of baby boys is routinely and often aggressively pushed by physicians, nurses, and midwives, even if parents have not expressed interest in the procedure. Survey results, tabulated by Qualtrics, a widely used survey provider, show that new mothers are solicited eight times on average by health care professionals, “even though no medical society in the world, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommends surgically removing the foreskin of healthy baby boys,” said Georganne Chapin, executive director of Intact America, the nation’s largest advocacy organization seeking to end routine circumcision in the United States.

The Intact America 2020 survey is the first time researchers have shown the direct correlation between solicitation and an increased circumcision rate. Survey results indicate that solicitation increased circumcisions by 173%. Only 45% of new mothers circumcised their sons without being asked, compared to 78% of new mothers who had been solicited. New mothers agreed to the procedure after only one or two asks. Even a “soft sell,” such as giving the mother a consent form to perform the procedure, increased circumcisions by 137%.

Tellingly, the survey also found that 21% of mothers who agreed to allow their sons to be circumcised wished they had done more research on the topic, and 10% regretted their choice.

“For years, we’ve heard from parents, especially mothers, about having been pressured or coerced by doctors and nurses to circumcise their sons, but the impact and scope of solicitation has never been measured before,” said Chapin. “The survey shows solicitation directly and dramatically drives up the infant circumcision rate. Soliciting this unnecessary surgery has to end.”

Chapin continued, “Doctors tell us they circumcise boys only because parents want it, but this survey proves otherwise. Both doctors and nurses (including nurse midwives) give mothers the impression that circumcision is, if not necessary, ‘normal’ or desirable, so parents agree to permanently alter their sons’ genitals. But they don’t tell parents the whole story: that circumcision is painful, reduces sexual sensitivity for the man the baby will become, and can lead to lifelong trauma.”

About the Survey
Intact America worked with Qualtrics to send the circumcision solicitation survey to a national, random sample of 2,519 mothers who had given birth to a boy in the past four years. The survey defined “solicitation” as every time a physician, midwife, or nurse either verbally asked the mother if she wanted to circumcise her son; recommended she circumcise her son; told her that circumcision was required; handed her a circumcision consent form; or assumed (as perceived by the mother) that she wanted to circumcise her son.

Survey results (with a 3% margin of error) revealed numerous noteworthy facts:

  • 94% of mothers were solicited to have their baby boys circumcised.
  • 78% of mothers who were solicited agreed to have their sons circumcised.
  • 45% of mothers who had not been solicited allowed their sons to be circumcised.
  • “Soft sells,” such as being handed a consent form, increased circumcisions by 137%.
  • The average number of solicitations was 8.
  • Solicitation, in all forms, increased circumcisions by 173%.
  • 71% of mothers said they would have asked about circumcision without prompting.
  • 18% of mothers said they would not have thought to ask about circumcision.
  • 21% of mothers who agreed to having their sons circumcised said that they wish they had done more research.
  • 10% of mothers regretted their choice.
  • Physicians were responsible for 3 out of 5 solicitations; nurses and midwives were responsible for the remainder.

Why This Matters
Each year, an estimated 1.5 million baby boys are circumcised in American medical settings. Intact America estimates that if circumcision solicitations were to cease, 600,000 boys—and the men they will become—would be spared every year from the trauma and lifelong consequences of the procedure.

Chapin, an attorney with broad knowledge of health law and bioethics, believes that medical solicitation of infant male circumcision breaches several well-established ethical boundaries (see link) and the goal of health care equity.

Chapin said that Intact America will use the survey’s findings to mount a major campaign to halt the solicitation of circumcision by U.S. medical professionals, end public and private insurance payments for the procedure, and create an intact-informed society that is foreskin-positive and educated about the male genitalia.

“Instead of handing out consent forms, medical professionals should distribute educational materials on how to care for a baby’s intact penis,” Chapin said. “It’s so easy. Leave it alone and wash his penis like you do his fingers. His foreskin will retract in its own good time, by late puberty, if not before.”

The public is invited to begin its research into circumcision by visiting CircumcisionDebate.org, a companion site of IntactAmerica.org.

About Intact America
Intact America is the largest national advocacy group working to end involuntary child genital cutting in America and to ensure healthy sexual futures for all people. It does this by challenging social and sexual norms and empowering supporters and volunteers through advocacy and education. To learn more about the issues involved in the current conversation about newborn male circumcision, visit IntactAmerica.org and CircumcisionDebate.org, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Pride 2020

Join Our Intactivist Pride Virtual Event!

Virtual pride event hosted by Intact America
Pride 2020 events have been cancelled around the country, but Intact America is making it easy for you to come out as a Proud Intactivist from the safety of your home. Here’s how:

Download and print your “PROUD INTACTIVIST” button (below). Cut it out and fill in your name. Then – after dressing in your best Pride regalia (or boring everyday outfit) – hold that sign up, smile, shoot a selfie, and send it to us at [email protected].

We’ll assemble the photos into an awesome online Pride celebration later in the Summer.

Remember, nobody ever changed the world by staying anonymous!

Virtual Intactivist Pride Event Button 2020

Click on the image to download the button PDF to print.

 

Intact America Tells Sandra Bullock and Ellen DeGeneres That Using Korean Baby Foreskin in a Facial Product Is No Laughing Matter!

TARRYTOWN, NY—MAY 23, 2018

Georganne Chapin, executive director of Intact America, released the following statement today in response to the highly insensitive comments made last week by Sandra Bullock and Ellen DeGeneres about using Korean baby foreskin in a facial procedure. The comments were made when DeGeneres interviewed Bullock on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that aired Thursday, May 17, 2018. The interview can be viewed here; the insensitive comments begin at 2:45.

“That Bullock and DeGeneres could joke about using foreskins, taken without consent from Korean baby boys, for a beauty treatment indicates a total lack of understanding of the ethics involved.

“The foreskin is a normal, healthy, integral part of the male genitalia. It belongs to the baby—and to the man he will become. Its removal is painful, not medically necessary, and will deprive its owner of a lifetime of sexual pleasure. How ironic it is that these celebrities think of the male foreskin as something that’s okay to be chopped off and thrown away, but at the same time are willing to spend a fortune on luxury beauty products containing extracts from this pirated tissue.

“Imagine the outrage and shock if parts of the female genitalia were removed and used in hair-loss treatments for men.

“Celebrities and others with megaphone power need to think first before they joke about what amounts to tissue piracy.”

ABOUT INTACT AMERICA
Intact America is the largest national advocacy group working to end involuntary circumcision in America, and to ensure a healthy sexual future for all people. Intact America is based in Tarrytown, New York. For more information, visit Intact America at http://www.intactamerica.org, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/intactamerica, and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/intactamerica.