• Home
  • Our Story
  • Our Team
  • Initiatives
  • Blog
  • Events
  • Support Us
  • Donate

Do You Know: About the “Tipping Point?”

What’s a tipping point? The phenomenon is well-researched and documented in sociological literature, but it was popularized in Malcolm Gladwell’s book by the same name.

“The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate.”

What does this mean for intactivists?

Here is a graph depicting the circumcision belief tipping point. It was originally published on Intact America’s Facebook page, where it got a lot of interest and commentary.

With regard to Americans’ beliefs about the male body, a tipping point will be reached when having a foreskin becomes not just acceptable, but popular. Once we’ve reached that tipping point, the idea of circumcising a baby will be unpopular — even unthinkable.

How do we get there?

Reaching a tipping point requires a change in people’s beliefs — not just their behavior. People who have studied social change (including Malcolm Gladwell, mentioned above) have concluded that to reach a tipping point, you need 20-25 percent of the public to accept an alternative to the current status quo. Research conducted in 2014 by a respected polling firm hired by Intact America shows that, right now, about 12 percent of all Americans oppose circumcision, and 14 percent are undecided. We need to aim to convert that “undecided” group! Targeting those who adamantly defend circumcision is a waste of time — for now. Many of them will get onboard later, once the tipping point has occurred.

That’s why it isn’t enough for intactivists to target our advocacy mainly toward expectant parents. Currently, new moms- and dads-to-be are living in a society that is unfamiliar with — even hostile toward — intact male genitals. That’s not a conducive environment for raising an intact boy. Every trip to the doctor, every diaper change by the day care worker — or even by Grandma — invites raised eyebrows, negative comments and bad advice.

That’s why Intact America is reaching out to the general public, to convert those “undecideds.” That’s why we’re aiming our message — that intact genitals are healthy and normal, and that the foreskin is good — to people of all ages and backgrounds. That’s why our social media messages target young and old, gay and straight, and Americans of every ethnic persuasion.

Because everybody needs to understand that intact genitals are not just a human right — but that they’re healthy, normal and good ! That’s how we’ll reach the tipping point; that’s how we’ll change the way Americans think about circumcision.



Marilyn Fayre Milos, multiple award winner for her humanitarian work to end routine infant circumcision in the United States and advocating for the rights of infants and children to genital autonomy, has written a warm and compelling memoir of her path to becoming “the founding mother of the intactivist movement.” Needing to support her family as a single mother in the early sixties, Milos taught banjo—having learned to play from Jerry Garcia (later of The Grateful Dead)—and worked as an assistant to comedian and social critic Lenny Bruce, typing out the content of his shows and transcribing court proceedings of his trials for obscenity. After Lenny’s death, she found her voice as an activist as part of the counterculture revolution, living in Haight Ashbury in San Francisco during the 1967 Summer of Love, and honed her organizational skills by creating an alternative education open classroom (still operating) in Marin County. 

After witnessing the pain and trauma of the circumcision of a newborn baby boy when she was a nursing student at Marin College, Milos learned everything she could about why infants were subjected to such brutal surgery. The more she read and discovered, the more convinced she became that circumcision had no medical benefits. As a nurse on the obstetrical unit at Marin General Hospital, she committed to making sure parents understood what circumcision entailed before signing a consent form. Considered an agitator and forced to resign in 1985, she co-founded NOCIRC (National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers) and began organizing international symposia on circumcision, genital autonomy, and human rights. Milos edited and published the proceedings from the above-mentioned symposia and has written numerous articles in her quest to end circumcision and protect children’s bodily integrity. She currently serves on the board of directors of Intact America.


Georganne Chapin is a healthcare expert, attorney, social justice advocate, and founding executive director of Intact America, the nation’s most influential organization opposing the U.S. medical industry’s penchant for surgically altering the genitals of male children (“circumcision”). Under her leadership, Intact America has definitively documented tactics used by U.S. doctors and healthcare facilities to pathologize the male foreskin, pressure parents into circumcising their sons, and forcibly retract the foreskins of intact boys, creating potentially lifelong, iatrogenic harm. 

Chapin holds a BA in Anthropology from Barnard College, and a Master’s degree in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University. For 25 years, she served as president and chief executive officer of Hudson Health Plan, a nonprofit Medicaid insurer in New York’s Hudson Valley. Mid-career, she enrolled in an evening law program, where she explored the legal and ethical issues underlying routine male circumcision, a subject that had interested her since witnessing the aftermath of the surgery conducted on her younger brother. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Pace University School of Law in 2003, and was subsequently admitted to the New York Bar. As an adjunct professor, she taught Bioethics and Medicaid and Disability Law at Pace, and Bioethics in Dominican College’s doctoral program for advanced practice nurses.

In 2004, Chapin founded the nonprofit Hudson Center for Health Equity and Quality, a company that designs software and provides consulting services designed to reduce administrative complexities, streamline and integrate data collection and reporting, and enhance access to care for those in need. In 2008, she co-founded Intact America.

Chapin has published many articles and op-ed essays, and has been interviewed on local, national and international television, radio and podcasts about ways the U.S. healthcare system prioritizes profits over people’s basic needs. She cites routine (nontherapeutic) infant circumcision as a prime example of a practice that wastes money and harms boys and the men they will become. This Penis Business: A Memoir is her first book.