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Do You Know: Americans are changing their attitudes on circumcision?

In 2014, Intact America commissioned a national survey that asked (among many other questions) respondents; “Should baby boys be kept intact?” {the word “intact” was explained.} Only 10 percent of respondents answered in the affirmative, i.e., “Yes, baby boys should be kept intact.” In 2018, we asked the same question in a second national survey; fully 14 percent said yes, baby boys should be kept intact.

When Intact America was founded a decade ago, our expressed goal was “To Change the Way America Thinks about Circumcision.” The results of our surveys show that Intact America and the intactivist movement are moving public opinion in the right direction.

Many of you have read about our “Tipping Point” strategy. The strategy comes from decades of research about successful social change movements Put simply, a “tipping point” is:

an event or a stage (as in a social movement) where a critical mass of people accepts a new idea or alternative to the previous status quo.

Thus, for circumcision, the new idea/alternative to the status quo is the belief that the intact male body is normal and desirable, and that keeping a baby intact is also normal and desirable.

Social change experts know that behavior follows beliefs – not the other way around. People stop drinking sugary drinks after they hear about other tasty less-sugary alternatives that are growing in popularity.

That’s why the messages Intact America employs are designed to change public opinion, and popularize the foreskin and the intact male body. Here are some examples:

  • Three-quarters of men in the world are intact and have no problems with their foreskins.
  • The foreskin provides protection, lubrication and pleasure to a man and his sexual partner.
  • The intact penis requires no special care.
Our messages are working! Funds permitting (a reliable national survey costs $7,000-$10,000 to implement), Intact America will survey the public to measure progress toward the tipping point. In the meantime, we’ll continue to promote foreskin-positive messages so that every American begins to see the foreskin as normal and natural, and believe that keeping a baby boy intact is the natural thing to do.



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.