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Is This What “Religious Freedom” Looks Like?

The recent decision by a court in Cologne, Germany, which—following the circumcision-gone-wrong of a four-year-old Muslim boy—declared infant and child circumcision to be a crime and a human rights violation, seems to have started a trend. Shortly thereafter, in both Austria and Switzerland, hospitals announced that they will cease circumcising children in the absence of medical necessity.

Jewish groups cry “anti-Semitism!” (despite the fact that the child in question was not Jewish)—while throwing in the fact that among Muslims, circumcision is also ubiquitous. One group of rabbis called the German court decision “the worst thing to happen since the Holocaust.” Thus, they claim, any effort to ban the cutting of (boy) children violates the religious freedom of peoples who can cite a justification for this ritual from an ancient book.

Meanwhile in New York City, fearful of being called anti-Jewish, the Health Department has allowed ultra-Orthodox Jews to continue a practice, “metzizah b’peh,” by which the circumciser sucks the blood from the freshly cut penis with his mouth. This ritual, practiced only among a small segment of the Orthodox population, has led to two deaths in Brooklyn, and devastating injuries—including blindness and brain damage—in eleven other children. The ritual circumciser knew he was infected with active herpes, a disease survivable for adults, but deadly for infants.

In reaction, some officials have proposed that parents sign a “consent form,” which would do nothing to protect the child, but would allow the City to avoid any responsibility and— instead—blame the parents.

May we ask: Is this what religious freedom looks like?

Chilren violated in a mass Muslim circumcision

Is this what we are protecting, in order to assure the world we are not anti-Semitic?

Orthodox circumcision

Will this baby, numbed by shock as wine dribbles out of his mouth, thank us for preserving the religious freedom of his parents to hire somebody to cut off part of his penis?

A baby in shock after being circumcised

Is it anti-Semitic (or anti-Muslim) to advocate for babies and children who have their own right to religious freedom, but are too young to exercise it?

Is it not genuinely anti-Semitic or anti-Muslim to fail to defend the sons of Jews and Muslims? Are they any less worthy of our protection?

Georganne Chapin and John Geisheker
(John Geisheker is an attorney, and the Executive Director of Doctors Opposing Circumcision)



  • Robin

    July 30, 2012 1:49 pm

    Heartbreaking. What is wrong with the USA? I feel sick right now.

  • Dianna Jennings

    July 30, 2012 1:57 pm

    That is HORRIFYING..OH MY GOD..my son is intact and I would NEVER do that to him…how barbaric..and get your face away from that baby’s privates you sick b*stard..It is 2012 and people still live in the stone ages…DISGUSTING

    • JayTuohey

      August 12, 2012 7:23 pm

      That’s religion for you Dianna.
      A disgusting abuse of power.

  • Marilyn Mullinix Blanck

    July 30, 2012 2:13 pm

    Thank you for the stance you have taken. How long will it take for certain elements of society to grow out of their tribalisms and learn to think with the common sense that says, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” If a “religion” promotes the mutilation of infants, it is time for that religion to re-examine itself and hear a new message “from God” that will result both in an alteration of doctrine and in humane treatment of their offspring. I don’t think I’ve heard of a “religious” practice more barbaric than “metzizah b’peh,” and men who pass diseases on to infants after performing that act should be prosecuted for attempted murder.

    • Aria

      July 30, 2012 8:10 pm

      It’s pretty incredible what people will do and then try to hide behind religion. Right on down to allowing a man with herpes to suck on the penises of children.

  • Eshu21

    July 30, 2012 2:46 pm

    Male circumcision is beyond wrong, it is assault, pure and simple. And since when should anybody’s cultural needs in Germany or anywhere else outweigh protection for children’s bodies? It will be interesting, seeing the German government desperately tying itself in knots, trying to justify allowing male genital mutilation while still banning female genital mutilation. Hopefully both evils will be permanently banned; here are some great links comparing the two:


    Many Islamic and African tribal cultures have been oppressed by English, German, French, Dutch, etc colonizers; do these countries now have to protect and allow female genital mutilation out of cultural sensitivity? Or is that still allowed to be taboo, because any assault on female genitalia is a crime, but on boys, not so much?

    Thank you Georganne, for including these shocking photos so all can see the vile reality they defend in the name of “sensitivity”. As a Jew myself, I could no more think of coercive infant genital mutilation as a religious act than, say, child sacrifice to Baal – both are evil remnants of an ancient barbaric past, designed to propitiate a hateful deity. It is long past time the sickness stop.

  • Mama24-7

    July 30, 2012 3:10 pm

    Those pictures are so incredibly disturbing. I can not imagine choosing to have that done to a child of mine. What a violation of the trust a baby human being has in their mother. Sad doesn’t even begin to describe it.

  • whatUneverknew

    July 30, 2012 3:58 pm

    Perfectly put. These children not only have a right to their own religion (which means NOT having someone else’s religion cut into their body) but a right just like other children to their whole healthy bodies. It would be hateful to say that they should be denied it because of the religion of their parents.

  • wildwahinepaddler

    July 30, 2012 4:48 pm

    It’s utterly sickening. Yet, in some countries lining the little boys and babies and cutting them is not looked at in a negative way. It’s hard to imagine! I realize that lots of bad things are done in the name of religion…..which I find terrible….BUT genital cutting of children is one of the worst. I fail to understand what some people don’t understand about how wrong it is. The photos you posted tell it all!!!!!

  • Therese

    July 30, 2012 5:37 pm

    I told my midwife if anyone touched my boys I would do the same to them – male or female. Both remained intact.

    • mommy75

      July 31, 2012 3:41 pm

      Good for you, Therese! I had to fight my husband and my in-laws but I made sure that my son’s penis went unharmed. I have not for ONE MOMENT regretted or questioned my decision. I am so glad that I took a stand. He can always get circumcised, but he can never get un-cut, and I want it to be his choice and I want to honor his bodily integrity. All of the moms I know who have sons who were circumcised either question or regret their decisions-and even more so once their children are in some kind of school and see how many parents are making the choice to leave their sons intact. AND, ps. I’m Jewish.

    • jaytuohey

      August 17, 2012 8:20 pm

      Good for you therese,
      Why is this tradition so bloody prevelant,should be outlawed,obviously not that easy!

  • JMW

    July 30, 2012 5:48 pm

    The ignorant are so easily swayed. You all are shown pictures of extremists or ultra orthodox Jews that are even looked at as wacky by mainstream Jews and you all are gullible enough to believe that this is how it all goes down.

    I watched my son’s circumcision, he didn’t even cry. The dr did it in less than a minute and it healed in a week.

    • whitevalkyrie1988

      July 30, 2012 5:55 pm

      He probably didn’t cry because he was in shock from too much pain. Quit the crap.

    • Aria

      July 30, 2012 8:01 pm

      In case you didn’t realize it, extreme pain causes the body to release adrenaline to numb pain, otherwise known as going into shock. People who are shot can continue running for their lives without even realizing they were shot. It doesn’t mean that they didn’t feel pain when the shock wore off.

      Why do you think you have the right to remove a part of your child’s penis? If he wanted it removed, he could do it as an adult. Watch the videos on YouTube and be glad that YOU were spared from ear-piercing screams and watching your child shake in pain. Your next son may be one of those who don’t go into shock. Will you think it’s okay then? if you have a third son, are you going to be willing to gamble in if he’ll go into shock or cry immediately?

      And…do you support female circumcision? If it’s okay for boys, it should be okay for girls, right?

    • Marilyn Mullinix Blanck

      July 30, 2012 8:18 pm

      Do not refer to me or others who have disagreed with you as “ignorant”. We are not ignorant, nor am I “easily swayed” or “gullible”. That is an unwarranted assumption on your part and is offensive. Various persons have tried to convince me that circumcision was a right and proper act, but I never accepted this. Just for the record, I have never seen a circumcised penis, because the man I married was intact and was strongly opposed to sexual mutilation of children, be it by a doctor in a modern American hospital or by a religiously appointed person who knows how to cut.

      Just a question for you: you said your son’s official mutilation healed “in a week”. How did it feel, every time he peed, during that week? Surely some of that urine got onto the wound; wouldn’t that smart a bit?

    • Paul Frohlich

      July 31, 2012 12:30 am

      You are the ignorant JMW. Who do you think you are compared to the Forces or Reason responsible for all that exist? Evolution take millions of years to perfect something and your son was the result of that perfection when he was born. If his glans protective mechanic and anti-friction covers were useless thing than Nature, or God, if you wish, would remove the defect long time ago and he would be born without the foreskin. But you JMW most probably do not have the intellect to understand this.

    • Michael Steane

      July 31, 2012 2:30 am

      If he didn’t cry he probably went into traumatic shock caused by the extreme pain of an amputation to a sensitive part of his body without anaesthetic.

    • Rosdi Kasim

      July 31, 2012 8:10 am

      I can relate to what JMW said. Nowadays (in my country anyway – Malaysia), most circumcision is done at the age of 10/11 and is using laser circumcision, almost no bleeding at all. Checkout here: http://urologycentre.com.sg/circumcision_photos.html

    • eshu21

      July 31, 2012 10:52 am

      Congratulations to you and JMW! You have now bequeathed to your sons and their lovers:


      “Male circumcision leads to a bad sex life”
      November 14, 2011 – 21:47

      Circumcised men have more difficulties reaching orgasm, and their female partners experience more vaginal pains and an inferior sex life, a new study shows.

      “Circumcised men are three times as likely to experience a frequent inability to reach an orgasm,” says one of the researchers, Associate Professor Morten Frisch from Danish research enterprise SSI.

      “Previous studies into male circumcision have looked at the effects it has on the men. But scientists have never really studied the effects this has on the women’s sex lives,” says Frisch.

      “It appears that women with circumcised men are twice as likely to be sexually frustrated. They experience a three-fold risk of frequent difficulties in achieving orgasm, and an eight-fold risk of feeling pain during intercourse – also known as dyspareunia.”

      This on top of the risk of injury or death, and the loss of bodily integrity and personal choice, all for the sake of meaningless cultural tradition, or to placate an evil nonexistent Big Sky Demon. What an inheritance.

    • lj252

      July 31, 2012 12:15 pm

      It just boggles my mind that a Mom can have a part of the child they carried for 9 months removed. How do you really know he was ok with what you allowed done to him. What happens when he gets older and wants to know why you did this? Will you then force your beliefs on him, or allow him to come to his own conclusions.

    • alicia

      July 31, 2012 1:29 pm

      I agree that the “ignorant are easily swayed,” but I feel the ignorant are those who simply “go with the flow,” because that’s what mainstream society does or expects them to do. The medical community, in my opinion, is simply making LOTS of money off our “ignorance” and inability to feel comfortable asking questions and possibly denying certain “care.” I’ve been treated like a complete nut-so for not wanting to have tests performed during pregnancy, birth and beyond (circumcision included). Not many people are willing to stand up for their own care and that of their children. Please do your research on these topics, don’t just listen to “the norm.” I’m so very happy I decided not to harm my baby boys:)

    • Ban Circumcision (@BanCirc)

      July 31, 2012 6:21 pm

      It is hysterical to me when the truly ignorant call enlightened and educated people ignorant!

    • eshu21

      July 31, 2012 7:40 pm

      it’s funny how often pro-circumcisionists refer to us anti-mutilators as “emotional” and “hysterical”; if you read all the comments on this thread, you can see that the most overly emotional responses are from those desperate to protect male genital mutilation. The rational responses (along with reason and humanity) seem to be the exclusive province of those opposed to coercive infant genital mutilation…

    • Natch

      August 1, 2012 4:24 pm

      People in devastating car crashes go numb too. Shock is a survival mechanism. But the scars remain and are burned into our neural network. We don’t consciously remember the fear, pain and being sacrificed; but the mind is forever changed and that change often surfaces in bizarre and dangerous ways. Circumcision is known to create a greater propensity for violence. You don’t even need the science and studies to see that. Look at the nations that harm their children and you will see they have a common factor: high anxiety and preoccupation with violence.

      Don’t we want better for our children going forward so that PEACE is the result of our childhood?

    • Michelle

      August 1, 2012 9:34 pm

      Circumcision: where sex and violence first meet. Who are you calling ignorant or misinformed?? I’m a physician who actually performed circumcisions in training (but not willingly). Those babies’ screams were unnerving and still resonate in my soul. They were in INTENSE PAIN. I continue to feel extremely guilty about ever doing something so barbaric to innocent children. It was so clearly harmful and totally unnecessary. Your child probably was so surprised by what happened that he didn’t initially cry, but I am quite sure he had severe pain and discomfort as all males do when circumcised unless done under proper anesthesia with post-op pain relief. Even then, it is uncomfortable.

    • jaytuohey

      August 17, 2012 8:08 pm

      Have just been looking at my knob,amazing piece of evolution,there’s a vein that starts from my belly,thin at first then widens near the centre of my knob(where I have a lovely mole/beauty spot!),it then tapers towards the top of my foreskin where it meets it’s other vein mates and does its super job of circulatory brilliance,sexual stimuli!! and blood pumping magic!…although the girls from sex and the city might call my fabulous intact penis a “shar pei”..think it’s a dog!..Other girls(outside the Uk)might say “eewww”!..but, you know what,bollocks to you..
      If you are that lost in bullshit tradition,there isn’t a lot that I can say,except for this:open your eyes,listen,educate yourselves against this habitual,pointless and harmful mutilation..
      Because,however you want to justify your reasons for amputating a part of your child’s anatomy,it will never compare with the reasons not to.
      Eshu,you are top guy!!

    • eshu21

      August 17, 2012 8:39 pm

      Thank you very much JayTuohey! I appreciate the praise, though I have to admit, those I admire most are the people actually agitating for change, like Marilyn Milos, Georganne, the Foregen people, lawyer Holm Putzke http://www.intactamerica.org/putzke , etc. – these people give me hope!

  • Dan Bollinger

    July 30, 2012 10:16 pm

    All baby boys should be protected, not just the baby boys born to atheists. The only beneficiaries of circumcision are the persons requesting and performing it. No matter how well intentioned parents, mohels, or doctors may be, infant circumcision is and remains a human rights violation. Until boys are safe from genital harm, I hope every child born in America is a girl.

  • Michael Steane

    July 31, 2012 2:31 am

    Of course Jews do not accept the religious right of Muslims to kill unbelievers wherever they are found, which is part of their religion.

    • Michael Steane

      July 31, 2012 3:00 am

      Having checked the reference for this is in the Koran 2:191-2, I have to add that the act of killing unbelievers wherever they are found is subject to the condition that the Muslims must not attack first. However, an act as simple as saying you do not believe can be, and has been, considered to be an attack and believers are encouraged (8:65) to provoke unbelievers to attack to give them an excuse for retaliation.
      The point, however, in the context of male genital mutilation, is that religious freedom does not extend to suppressing other people’s rights e.g. the right to bodily integrity.

  • James McBride

    July 31, 2012 5:32 am

    It’s just sickening. Poor little guys. Why is male circumcision looked on so differently from female circumcision?

    • Abdelkader Boudih

      July 31, 2012 9:55 am

      The difference is that male circumcision don’t prevent them from having an orgasm with their penis. Once the clit is removed, it gone. But both should be outlawed unless the person do it to itself.

    • eshu21

      July 31, 2012 10:47 am

      As for your statement about female genital mutilation – the World Health Organization lists different degrees of FGM, some identical to male circumcisi­on (only the least common forms remove the clitoris), but all equally banned in the US.

      Rachel Stallings’ study of mutilated women in Tanzania showed marked reduction in AIDS, while an Italian study by Dr. Lucrezia Catania, a gynecologist, (http://www.fgmnetwork.org/gonews.php?subaction=showfull&id=1200867581&archive=) states that FGM women reported orgasms 70% of the time during sex.

      None of this justifies FGM (a horror), it just shows the ignorance of those who promote male circumcisi­on, a dangerous process that kills babies everywhere (including the US), and results in deaths and castration­s due to infection across Africa.

    • Ban Circumcision (@BanCirc)

      July 31, 2012 6:20 pm

      You are only partially right, Abdelkader Boudih. Women can still orgasm if the external clit is removed…since most of it is internal. Maybe some women can’t have internal orgasms, but many more can. Either way, it’s still an awful barbaric practice, even when only the hood is removed. Both forms of genital mutilation should be outlawed!

    • Michelle

      July 31, 2012 10:02 pm

      circumcised females can still have orgasms. Ask them.

  • Rosdi Kasim

    July 31, 2012 8:06 am

    In Malaysia the circumcision is normally done at the age of 10 or 11, no earlier than 10 no later than 12. Jews however do this at much earlier age, as early as a few days old. The picture above is clearly showing Jews circumcision.

    • Daniel

      July 31, 2012 8:33 am

      Because we all know that at age 10, a boy can make an independent decision that truly reflects his viewpoint, unaffected by pressures from his parents or peers.

      Seriously, how is a surgical operation that is executed without consent and without being medically indicated, not malpractice? And, if done by priests or whatever, how is it not criminal, practicing medicine without a license?

    • Serenity Auntie

      July 31, 2012 12:39 pm

      The picture was taken in Malaysia?

    • Michelle

      August 1, 2012 9:15 pm

      More likely is of Muslims because they are not little babies. They are older.

  • Smon

    July 31, 2012 10:15 am

    It comes down to personal choice. Why should a parent have the right to remove part of a child’s body without the child’s permission? Cut off his ears, why not? Poke his eyes out. Lop off a little finger. Remove some of his toes. It doesn’t matter whether it hurts or not, circumcision is still assault.

  • Marilyn Milos, RN

    July 31, 2012 10:25 am

    Thank you Georganne and John for having the courage to tell it like it is! Circumcision is abusive to infants and children and a human rights violation. No excuse is good enough to excuse circumcision!

  • keastfamily2006

    July 31, 2012 10:55 am

    circumcision is wrong on so many levels. what is wrong with society today. seriously. with most everything else in this world as we learn better we do better. but why not with this? female circumcision is highly frowned upon and illegal in most countries around the world…so why not male circumcision? those poor boys all over the world.

  • Jack

    July 31, 2012 11:17 am

    Thank you and thanks to all of the others that stand up to these wackos who still believe that the genital mutilation of baby boys is an acceptable practice in the 21st century. If they want to chop off parts of their own genitals let them. But doing it to a defenseless baby is, or should be, a crime.

    • Marilyn Rau

      July 31, 2012 4:31 pm

      You asshole. Circumcision keeps your penis from getting infected by getting rid of the foreskin which can be dirty. Keep it if you have it…………but you won’t get much oral sex with that disgusting piece of crap on your crotch.

      • Mary M.

        July 31, 2012 4:42 pm

        Most men in the world are NOT circumcised. As for preventing infection, what about all those Chinese and other Asians who are not cut? They seem to be doing more than all right.

    • Laura Intactivist

      July 31, 2012 5:21 pm

      Gosh Marilyn, ….so much hatred for one woman!

      Presumably if you’re driven by disgust of genital flesh which can harbour smegma, you’ve had your own labia minora obliterated (and perhaps your hood too)? After all the folds of your vulva are ten times more likely to to harbour myconium smegmatis than the penis.

    • Ban Circumcision (@BanCirc)

      July 31, 2012 6:15 pm

      Oh my, Marilyn, you have so many mental disorders, I don’t know where to start…and I actually won’t waste my time trying!

    • eshu21

      July 31, 2012 7:28 pm

      Marilyn, Marilyn… please, when you have your ears cut off for being “dirty” (no man would EVER stick his tongue in those foul things!), please remember to send them to us, along with your dirty dirty labia, toes, armpits, etc. – just like the trophies off a “bull”… but just remember, you CHOSE for yourself what to cut off of yourself. Baby boys should have that right too, when they are adults and can choose for themselves…

    • Michelle

      July 31, 2012 9:48 pm

      Wow Marilyn! Such hate speech directed at those you most likely have very little, if any, contact with-intact males. I have intact male patients in my practice and their penises look perfectly fine to me: unmutilated and normal. They are clean and have no problems with their sex lives. My intact male sons likewise seem to do just fine with all their equipment. They find people like you disgusting, ignorant, angry and hateful. Mostly we feel sorry for people, like you, who promote and harbor such hatred.

    • xena horvath

      August 1, 2012 9:07 am

      Marilyn, you are dirtier than any intact penis I know. If you feel the intact penis is so dirty, you could try educating yourself on proper hygiene.

      • larryzb

        August 1, 2012 2:58 pm

        It was John Stuart Mill (19th century British philosopher) that remarked that once a practice becomes widespread and accepted and even taken for granted within a society, it is almost impossible to root it out and get it stopped. People will not even question the practice.

        All the myths in support of infant circumcision have been debunked. The masturbation cure is false. It prevents cervical cancer? Then why does the USA have a higher rate of that cancer than non-mutilating countries?! It reduces the spread of STDs. Again, bunk. The USA has some of the highest infection rates for STDs in the world.

        Doctors know full well there is no health benefit in circumcision. But, there is a lot of money in needless surgeries that are performed approx. one million times a year in the USA.

        Think about it!!!

  • cosmopolite

    July 31, 2012 1:26 pm

    1, metzizah b’peh should be illegal. The “consent form” business is an utterly pathetic evasion of moral responsibility.

    2. The law should require that all male circumcisions be performed under anesthesia by a physician.

    3. The taxpayer and the health insurer should not cover any of the cost of circumcision.

    4. If USA malpractice insurers were to decline covering the liability in tort arising from circumcision accidents, circumcision would cease in the USA except among ultra-orthodox Jews.

    5. The controversy is not about circumcision per se, but about who gets to decide if a male shall be circumcised: his parents, or the consenting adult connected to the foreskin. I invite Judaism and Islam to make their peace with ritual circumcision performed between the 21st birthday and 3 months before one’s wedding day.

    6. The Koran is silent about circumcision. In Islam, circumcision is not a divine command, but a human custom done for two reasons. First, Islam desired a connection to Abraham and the Covenant, in the hope of converting the Jews of the Middle East. Second, Islam adopted circumcision in a place and time where a daily shower, soap, running water, and sewers were all unknown.

    7. No Jew should be circumcised unless he firmly believes in a personal God who cherishes humanity, in the Jews as the God’s Chosen People, and in a Covenant (contract) binding the Chosen People and God. Any other motive for brit milah reduces it to a cattle branding of humans.

    8. In quite a few religious and ethnic cultures, circumcised men mock and ridicule intact men, and the women reject marrying an intact man. Hence most circumcisions are performed out of cosmetic and sexual conformity.

    • Mary M.

      July 31, 2012 3:30 pm

      I like your list of points, all of which are clear and unambiguous. The first and second photographs in this blog demonstrate that circumcision is a brutal sex crime against male baby boys. The third photograph, if it was taken in the United States, shows a clear violation of the drinking laws in all 50 states as wine, an alcoholic beverage, is dribbling from the mouth of a child who is obviously under age 21. Some religions advocate prayer instead of medicine for healing sicknesses and, instead of taking their children to a physician for treatment, the parents prayer over them. In some cases, these children have died from easily treatable illnesses, leading to persecution of the parents. Yes, there are limits to “religious freedom” when a child is neglected. Circumcision goes beyond “neglect” in that it is real harm to a child whose body is violated sexually.

    • Miss B. Malofie

      July 31, 2012 5:12 pm

      Re your Item #5. I don’t know about the Moslems as to the timing of the cut, but with Jews, it has to be the 8th day. They don’t want it done sooner or later. Day #8 is special; the cut is not merely some kind of marker or identifier of a specific people. If the Jews had been cutting themselves at age 21 all these years, they would not be Jews. The covenant says Day Eight, not Year 21. In North Amerika, the problem is secular, nonreligious ciricumcision.

    • eshu21

      July 31, 2012 7:33 pm

      The problem, Miss B. Malofie, is ALL circumcision no matter whether the justification is religious or not. Are Mormons allowed to force underaged girls into polygamous marriages? Can Christian Scientists deny their children lifesaving medical care? Can a snake-handler throw a rattlesnake into a crib? Can a member of the Yoruba tribe religiously mutilate their baby girls’ genitalia? No to all of those? Then why should Jews or Muslims get a pass to allow them to mutilate the genitalia of their boys? Every religion can believe what it pleases, but when it comes to inflicting those practices on the bodies of others – it’s time they adapt to the 21st century, and learn to leave evil barbarities in the past (and I say this as a Jew).

    • L

      July 31, 2012 10:45 pm

      Actually my dad was 19 and asked to be. And he was. And it went fine. It’s just foreskin. It’s not the shaft.

    • eshu21

      July 31, 2012 10:58 pm

      “Just” the foreskin? Are you aware that one study found the five most pleasure-sensitive points on the penis to be on the foreskin? That the foreskin is responsible for the gliding action that is most comfortable for both partners during intercourse? That the shaft is relatively numb by comparison? That both genders’ experience of sex is worse when men are circumcised (see the following study:


      “Male circumcision leads to a bad sex life”
      November 14, 2011 – 21:47
      Circumcised men have more difficulties reaching orgasm, and their female partners experience more vaginal pains and an inferior sex life, a new study shows.)

      If your father had felt social pressure to be mutilated, he may have made up for lesser pleasurable sensation by a sense of psychologically fitting in; hardly a justification for routine infant genital mutilation…

    • Miss B. Malofie

      July 31, 2012 10:59 pm

      Eshu, just who exactly is going to stop longstanding religious circ from taking place? We can rail till the cows come home, but how do you get them “to adapt to the 21st century”? To me, this is a waste of breath and effort. There is hope for the banning of non-religious cutting (or at least making it mighty unpopular) and maybe that is where efforts should be directed. Look at what happened in Germany. The practitioners of this cruelty are 2 minorities living among a non-cutting majority and even then, the government tripped all over itself accommodating them. Do you know why the situation here in America would be easier to change, because I sure don’t. What knowledge do you have that I am not aware of?

    • eshu21

      July 31, 2012 11:25 pm

      @ Miss B. Malofie
      Good question, thank you for that! I certainly do not expect religious circumcision to disappear overnight, but on the other hand I cannot conceive of just throwing my hands in the air, declaring it will never change, and giving up on babies mutilated for religious reasons. Certain articles give me hope. Try looking at the Ha’aretz article about circumcision in Israel:


      as well as a site with many discussions among Jews opposed to mutilation, with some excellent links to movies, videos, rabbis who do non-surgical naming ceremonies, etc.:


      and a website in Hebrew as well:


      I agree with you that banning non-religious infant circumcision may influence some Jews to leave their boys intact, but I see no reason not to fight for what we actually believe in, that all circumcision of healthy children is wrong.

      I remember arguments similar to yours being made fifteen to twenty years ago, when gay groups started pushing for marriage, and the right to be in the military. Many liberals (and gays) made the argument that extreme positions could not be won, would alienate supporters, and set their causes back; better to concentrate on not being beaten up, and fighting workplace discrimination. Similar arguments were also made against civil rights marchers in the sixties; too much, too soon, too threatening. Better to go for a little bit and in a few years – or a century – we might accomplish something.

      The backlash (particularly in relation to gay marriage) seemed to support that position, but look where we are today. Less than twenty years later and gays can serve openly in the military and even some of the most extreme gay-marriage foes recognize that same-sex marriage will be an inevitability, as the new generation (even among evangelicals) just doesn’t care about the issue.

      As gays became more familiar and less threatening to the general populace (by fighting for their recognition as full normal participants in all aspects of society), gays changed views at an astonishing, continuing rate. We have to learn that lesson, and fight for what we really believe, the full loaf, and not settle for the trap of incrementalism.

  • Jimmy

    July 31, 2012 1:54 pm

    Who really gives a shit. If you think circumcision is so fucking bad and don’t want it done to you sons, then don’t fucking do it. Simple as that. What is it to any of you? Parents get their children’s ears pierced as infants. Shit, some people get them tattooed. People do all kinds of things to kids other people find fucked up. I don’t fucking care. Personally, I find indoctrinating children from birth to any religion more harmful than circumcision. I’m cut and I can fuck just fine with no other complications in my life. If you want your kid circumcised have a doctor do it, if not, don’t.

    • Luke

      July 31, 2012 2:08 pm

      Ignorant. You will never know what you are missing, so don’t speak as if you do.

    • OneTimePost

      July 31, 2012 2:10 pm

      You are stupid and ignorant. #1 what the parent does IS everyone’s business. its called child indoctrination. Is it ok for a father to rape his daughter? to kill his son? CUZ YOU KNOW, IT THE PARENTS.

      You force a child, who knows nothing about someone’s fantasized fantasy religion, and force them to partake in an event they cannot control.

      Find me an infant who wants to be circumcised- There will be plenty

      Find me a 20 yr old who wants to be-None

      Religious freedom has its boundaries, you don’t force innocent children to hold the Torah at birth, or the bible, or the Koran. If parents only bring children to the world to further their religious stupidity and to seek salvation, they are all morons.

      ********being parents does NOT FREE YOU FROM CRITICISM, neither does your religion****

    • eshu21

      July 31, 2012 2:10 pm

      “Who really gives a shit.”
      People who care about child abuse and coercive genital mutilation.

      “If you think circumcision is so fucking bad and don’t want it done to you sons, then don’t fucking do it. Simple as that. What is it to any of you?”
      How does that protect those of us who were mutilated, but had no voice in the matter? We at this site are trying to be that voice for children’s protection.

      “Parents get their children’s ears pierced as infants.”
      Yes, that sounds exactly like it is removing healthy sensitive functional sexual tissue, that’s a rational comparison. Circumcision removes over 20,000 pleasure-sensitive nerve endings on a piece of skin (in an adult male) the size of a 3″x5′ card – yes, that sounds like ear-piercing to me…

      “Shit, some people get them tattooed.”
      Yes, and been prosecuted for it too. That should happen with infant circumcision as well.

      “People do all kinds of things to kids other people find fucked up. I don’t fucking care.”
      Yes, we get that and have learned all we need to know about you.

      “Personally, I find indoctrinating children from birth to any religion more harmful than circumcision.”
      Really? What is the basis for your comparison, other than your own defensiveness (see my next note below)? And circumcision is, for some, a form of religious indoctrination. Does that mean you are only opposed to Jewish and Islamic circumcision?

      “I’m cut and I can fuck just fine with no other complications in my life.”
      Now we get to your real reason for posting – hysterical defensiveness about your genitalia, the sort of “I MUST be all right” thinking that has driven so many men to have their sons mutilated, so they cannot say that any man around them has – or feels – anything that they don’t. As for your being “just fine”, well, sorry, that’s not exactly true. Try reading:


      “Male circumcision leads to a bad sex life”
      November 14, 2011 – 21:47
      Circumcised men have more difficulties reaching orgasm, and their female partners experience more vaginal pains and an inferior sex life, a new study shows.

      “If you want your kid circumcised have a doctor do it, if not, don’t.”
      Our concern on this site is for children who have no one to protect them from this barbarity. Childish illogical defensiveness such as your shows that there is still a lot of educating to do.

    • OneTimePost

      July 31, 2012 2:12 pm

      Ever heard of female circumcision?
      Wanna know what it does to your body?

      All for the sake of a self justified holy religion, for the sake of a story in their scriptures. These people are willing to kill their own child in the name of god, to kill others, this just the tip of the ice berg

    • Ban Circumcision (@BanCirc)

      July 31, 2012 6:12 pm

      Ugh, another idiot! People are so perverted to want to continue abusing babies and children! If you agree with this, then you are no better than a rapist!

    • Larry

      July 31, 2012 11:24 pm

      “People do all kinds of things to kids other people find fucked up. ”

      That’s true.

      But if we can stop circumcision, then that is one fewer thing that people can do to fuck up kids.

      BTW: You sound kind of defensive about your circumcision. No one is criticizing you or your penis. Your callous attitude, however, sounds like a lot of what I hear in American public discussion today regarding caring about other people.

    • Natch

      August 1, 2012 6:36 pm

      Circumcision is a known factor in the attendant violence that is a significant hallmark of religions and nations which practice ‘ritual sacrifice’ on their babies and children. We need to stop this circle of violence. Or there will never be peace on the planet.

      We don’t need to read the scientific studies and journals to know this.
      We only have to watch the news.

    • Restoring the soul

      August 13, 2012 8:06 pm

      >>I’m cut and I can fuck just fine …<>…with no other complications in my life.<<

      …aside from your deep denial on the issue of forced child genital mutilation.

    • Restoring the soul

      August 13, 2012 8:08 pm

      “I’m cut and I can fuck just fine …”

      Actually, no you can’t. Sorry to be the one to break it to you, but your genitals are lacking the most sensitive components and anatomical moving parts (the remnants of which are affixed to static, immobile locations along the shaft) making the natural bio-mechanics of intercourse a physical impossibility.

      Where did those parts go? They were ripped, clamped, sliced then amputated off you, most likely without pain relief of any kind, in excruciating pain.

      “…with no other complications in my life.”

      …aside from your deep denial on the issue of forced child genital mutilation.

    • Thomas Paine

      January 11, 2014 5:40 pm

      Then all religions should ban religious attendance of all minors should be (unlawful), they have no choice about innate and false beliefs being programmed to their detriment. The Christian practice of water boarding (Baptist and christening) should be outlawed in addition causing deep emotional scarring many in adulthood realize this after suffering doctrine programming contrary to basically realizing everything is contrary to their own since of self unnecessary guilt and shame.

  • Rebecca Wald

    July 31, 2012 8:48 pm

    Thank you for this unfortunate but necessary depiction of the suffering of young boys. It is important for the world to see the harmfulness of childhood circumcision for what it is. Thanks to both of you, it is starting to. Some people think Jewish circumcision is automatic but it isn’t. A growing number of Jews (myself included) are saying no to circumcision for their sons. It doesn’t mean we are any less Jewish. Brit shalom is an alternative ceremony for eight day old Jewish boys that welcomes them into the covenant without cutting. Many rabbis are now willing to perform the alternative bris and more Jewish parents are asking for it. To learn more about brit shalom and the Jewish movement to question circumcision, please visit Beyond the Bris.

    • Michael Shafron

      August 6, 2012 10:32 pm

      Rebecca; what, 3500 years of tradition isn’t good enough for this generation. If you want to be part of the covenant, you perform a bris. If you want to be a deli Jew, that’s your choice, but the covenant is the covenant.

      Also, do you think that a mohel performs a Bris with a hacksaw. Sheesh! What’s next; believing that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah?

    • eshu21

      August 6, 2012 11:09 pm

      If you want to grow in knowledge rather than reveal your own ignorance Michael, you ought to learn that your “covenant” is a later imposition on Judaism by religious leaders exercising political and social control, not a commandment of any invisible bloodthirs­ty sky-daemon­. The continuanc­e of circumcisi­on is a habit, not medically or religiousl­y justifiabl­e. It is time Judaism and Islam entered the 21st century, and stopped mutilating children.

      According to modern scholars, circumcision is not even mentioned in the earliest, “J”, version of Bereshith (“Genesis”) nor the next three rewrites by other authors. Most importantly, the story of Abram is there in its entirety, except the part about the Covenant being “sealed” with circumcision. The parallel Covenant story of “a smoking kiln and its blazing torch” passing between the halves of animals and birds sacrificed by Abram is in J. Many biblical scholars agree on this point, and it is in accord with the mitzvot against desecrating the body.

    • Susanne.D.Nimes

      August 10, 2012 5:01 am

      The Bris Shalom is also an alternative which isn’t sexist, since girls can have this naming ceremony too.

      Michael – your views are going out the door. People are waking up to the harm your tradition is doing to its children.

      If adult men believe circumcision is necessary for their god, I fully support their right to choose circumcision for themselves. But the infant born eight days ago might not grow up to believe circumcision is necesssary. Why, then, should it be forced on him?

      Is he just a slate on which his parents’ faith can be written, or does he have a right to his own faith?

      No-one can support freedom of religion while also supporting forcing circumcision onto children.

  • Michelle

    July 31, 2012 9:59 pm

    I am reading a children’s book series by Philip Pullman: The Golden Compass and now The Subtle Knife. On page 50, I came across this paragraph about the “Church” and I quote: “For all its history…its tried to suppress and control every natural impulse. And when it can’t control them, it cuts them out. ….And that is horrible. There are churches, there, that cut their children … They cut their sexual organs, yes, both boys and girls; they cut them with knives so that they shan’t feel. That is what the Church does, and every church is the same: control, destroy, obliterate every good feeling.” And then I came to this blog and am horrified by the pictures above and what religion has done to our children and our world. I applaud everyone that speaks out against this atrocity. Philip Pullman is my new hero.

    • Susanne.D.Nimes

      August 10, 2012 4:57 am

      Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is such a fantastic work of fiction, and such a brilliant indictment of organised religion.

      It’s such a wonderfully moving story, that speaks to the bravery and brilliance of human nature, and how through shaming and through oppressing that goodness can be erased.

      I’d forgotten that it mentioned the genital cutting of children, but your reminder doesn’t surprise me at all. Any sensible person, those not in thrall to religious lunatics, can see circumcision for what it is – cruelty.

      The sooner we get rid of forced genital cutting, the better.

  • Hugo

    July 31, 2012 10:07 pm

    Also in Denmark an intense debate is going on these days. Parliament is expected to make a decision about a ban on infant genital mutilation after the summer recess.

    Here a video from the Danish debate, with English subtitles.

    Circumcision – Chief Physician / Pediatrician accuses Chief Rabbi – Danish Parliament considers ban (YouTube video of Danish news broadcast)

  • Roger Hubert

    July 31, 2012 11:50 pm

    It is a very sad state of the nation this brutal habit that has crippled America. I have used a simple band-aid to make a point many times. A finger is not very sensitive compared to the head of a penis, but we can all recall placing a band-aid on a finger for a day or two. Remove it and you can feel the very air as you move your finger. Imagine not a bandade, but living skin protecting the head of a penis 24 hours a day, years on end, whenever not exposed. A circumcised man can grow enraged by this simple band-aid test to think of his loss of feeling in a dulled handicapped penis. Women in America have to contend with circumcised males trying to reach satisfaction, or give satisfaction, with a blunted trigger. There needs to be a blitz of public action to stop this butchery. Grass roots outcry at every rural clinic on up to every hospital. PTA, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H, health class in every school, until a generation can grow up whole and unbutchered.

  • larryzb

    August 1, 2012 2:42 am

    Thank you for this!! It is lonely in the anti-circ fight. Now, if only more Americans could get up to speed on the harm that circ does to baby boys and to their future marriages.

  • larryzb

    August 1, 2012 2:45 am

    Reblogged this on larrysmusings and commented:
    Warning: This reblog includes a bloody picture of needlessly mutilated baby boys.

  • Tina

    August 1, 2012 7:12 pm

    Omg my heart jsut cries out for the lil one as i have 3 boys myself and never got them circumcised and never ever would i……..Omg that’s jsut so wrong

    • larryzb

      August 1, 2012 7:55 pm


      You are so right!!! Some mothers who have had their sons mutilated remain in a state of denial. Your sons and future daughters-in-law will one day thank you.

    • JayTuohey

      August 11, 2012 8:18 pm

      Good for you Tina,your boy’s will grow up happy and healthy(with all their bits intact)..
      As they should be..nice one.

  • Paul Frohlich

    August 2, 2012 12:19 am

    Marilyn Ram. Looking at your Facebook I see you are a commited leftee,Marxist, socialist.Your comment on how good it is to mutilate innocent beings makes me even more hate the American left. I have to be carefull here because not all democrats are as stupid as you are and I am sure many must oppose this Stone Age brutality. Some on the right are also dumb in this reguard like Mark Levin who I like otherwise for his conservative views.I did put some comments on his Facebook and got a few good responses to my opposition to genital mutilation. But I forgive the true conservative, one can talk to them they have more common sense. Since they believe in God more than the left I use it as a tool against circumcision. It go something like this: If God the Creator created all things so perfect including the human body, than it is the evil or Satan in mans heart to destroy something created by that God. The Creator would not create something defective on man, for the fun of it and than tell people to cut it of. All religious people have a trouble to to answer this one including Muslim. One, named Hassan, 20 years old even looked it up on the computer and is restoring his foreskin for the last 2 years. As for my deep hatred for the left. I grew up in the Communist Czechoslovakia and learned what the colective philosophy can do to a nation. If those like Marilyn would be conservative I know from experience to be able reason with them,but since Marilyn you are a leftist and and on top do not have mercy for the helpless human beings and so no intellect, than you have no values……. just a useles spit …

    • larryzb

      August 2, 2012 1:17 am

      Wow! Great comments, Paul. Thanks!

      We have taken on the Left on many issues over at larrysmusings.

    • Gloria Thai

      August 2, 2012 10:39 am

      Mr. Frohlich,

      Circumcision (genital mutilation) in the United States has nothing to do with being left or right. It has to do with cultural biases,ignorance and lack of education. Unbelievably, most people in the United States are clueless and believe that it is medically necessary, cleaner, etc. Most do not think about it, and most of the medical community will not bring the topic up with parents, nor will they speak up and say that there is no reason for their baby boy to be circumcised.

    • Michelle

      August 2, 2012 8:03 pm

      It serves no purpose to “hate” those on the left or the right. Clumping people together into different groupings and making broad generalizations ends up making one look very close-minded. It is best to realize that people are nuanced and deserve to be understood on an individual basis. There are wackos in every group, but it doesn’t make the entire group wacko. This is a non-partisan issue.

  • Howard.

    August 2, 2012 7:50 pm

    Thank you Georganne and John for what is a very thought provoking article. That not everyone who has read it, agrees with the message is a chilling reminder of how sick modern society still is. To mutilate a child’s genitals in order to force him to adopt his parent’s religion is a despicable act of coercion, and it is an act of utter betrayal that the justice system allows a parent to violate their child’s basic human right to an intact body in the name of religion, cosmetic preference or whatever.
    I applaud the Europeans for stopping the torture.

    • Miss Malofie

      August 4, 2012 12:24 am

      There aren’t any homo sapiens sapiens left. We’re all homo economicus now. Sorry.

  • eshu21

    August 4, 2012 1:58 am

    Remember to cut off your ears when you get earwax. And if you get body odor, please be consistent, and scrape your armpits raw. Yahweh will love you.

  • Roger Dea

    August 4, 2012 7:32 am

    I amleased to hear that a German Court has banned circumcision on young boy. I just wish the same would happen in UK as I regret that my foreskin was removed shortly after birth without my permission but at the will of my father. I am not Jewish nor Muslem but in a Christian family. I know a number of others who were mutulated as I was without giving consent and we all will regret it until our dying day.
    Roger Dean (UK)

    • Kevin Elks

      August 7, 2012 5:05 am

      Yes Roger Dea, I was also sexually mutilated in the same circumstances as you. There are many of us in the same situation here in the UK and indeed the whole world. Similarly it has had a devastating effect on my life being the catalyst of many problems that only get worse with age. I restored a foreskin by non-surgical means, enhanced it with a do-it myself operation and then ‘Z’ plasty. I say this because it is indicative of how desperate I was to rectify a very bad situation. Did it solve the problem? Well yes partly because it allowed me to have comfort and an improved sex life but it also had another side to it. It proved to me how great the loss was of that which nature had once provided; if an inferior replacement foreskin could do what it did then it served to prove how great my loss of the original must be.

      The Laws in the UK are in place to protect ALL children from sexual abuse and wounding but the law enforcers choose to look the other way. It must change in particular because of recent advances in EQUALITY law and HUMAN RIGHTS legislation and the UN/EU treaties/conventions on human rights.

      Prosecute and uphold the law with equality, no exemptions, no excuses.

      Kevin Elks, Dover, Kent, England. CT16 3DJ (UK)

    • Kevin Elks

      August 7, 2012 5:09 am
  • Tobias Kallitsalo

    August 4, 2012 3:55 pm

    Hell, hell, hell to that medieval thinking, or, lack of any thinking!


  • Michael Shafron

    August 6, 2012 10:46 pm

    Boy, the whole country is falling apart and you are concerned about circumcision? What is with everyone? If Jews want to continue their practice, they have the right to, just based on religious freedom. If you people think otherwise, fine. I understand why all the progressive Jews are moving away from the bris. It could be the same reason that some are moving away from Israel.

    • eshu21

      August 6, 2012 11:16 pm

      As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “What I must do is all that concerns me(…) It is harder because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it.”

      Nice of you to tell me what you think is important, and what I should be concerned with but, as a Jewish man, I would no more support the genital mutilation of the underaged (and that is exactly what infant circumcision is), than I would Mayan or Aztec heart-rippings; both are “religious” acts forced on the unconsenting.

      And by the way, freedom of religious beliefs does NOT equal freedom of religious practice. Can Christian Scientists deny life-saving medical care for their children? Can Mormons force their children into polygamous marriages? If I invent a religion that requires all baby girls to have their little toes cut off without an anesthetic, do I have that right? Would it be okay with anesthetic? Children have the right to have their bodies left whole and intact (unless there is immediate health need). The age of a religious practice (suttee, for example) is no justification for its continuance.

      Of course the usual implications of anti-semitism surface to try and cloud the issue; try looking at the Ha’aretz article about circumcision in Israel


      as well as




      for different views.

      Ultimately, no one has the right to mutilate a child’s genitalia – of any gender – to satisfy the desires of an ancient bloodthirsty barbaric deity. The world is finally waking up to what a sick practice circumcision really is, and it is time this mutilation stop. If “Yahweh” cannot wait until a man is old enough to decide for himself that he wants to be mutilated, then the hell with him. No worship for sick sky-demons, period.

    • Restoring the soul

      August 13, 2012 7:45 pm

      >>Boy, the whole country is falling apart and you are concerned about circumcision?<<

      Why don't you think forced child genital mutilation ranks as one of the country's major problems?

      And I can tell you, It would be a hell of lot easier to deal with "the country's problems" if I didn't have a horrifying scar on my privates– a constant , unavoidable reminder that my genital's exquisitely designed and sensitive moving parts had been forcibly ripped, clamped, sliced and amputated at a time when I was powerless to defend myself from this mutilation.

      • larryzb

        August 13, 2012 11:39 pm

        Correct! Mutilating genitals of infants or adolescents is all about power and control.

    • Michelle

      August 24, 2012 8:42 pm

      Superficially, this issue seems to some unimportant. But it is actually vitally important to stop this because it has an impact on our society that is pervasive, evil, aggressive, sick… When you start really thinking about what is involved and what happens to the child, really thinking about this, it will make you sick.

  • larryzb

    August 7, 2012 2:19 pm

    Call me heretic or apostate, I am not a Jew. But, we really must see this nonsense for what it is. The Hebrews (or Israelites?) picked up this practice in Egypt as the Egyptians practiced this. This is when the Hebrews wanted to be accepted by their hosts.

    Then hundreds of years later when the young boys asked why the hell were they to be put through this ordeal when no other surrounding peoples did this to their boys, the Rabbis made up this nonsense that circumcision is what made them members of the covenant. The Rabbis got together around 400 B.C. and “edited” their oral traditions and Scriptures so that it would look like God required this.

    Please people, for the sake of sanity, govern your religious fervor with reason (your God given reasoning abilities)!!

    • RodC

      August 23, 2012 9:34 am

      I am pleased to see that someone else has picked up this information. I have read that the three oldest known editions of the Torah make no mention of circumcision being part of the covenant between God and Abraham.

  • Oregon Intactivist

    August 8, 2012 1:26 pm

    I fully understand the reason for this post, but I also have to say that religious freedom is not a bad thing. It is the people who misrepresent what the bible says (I don’t know about muslims). This is what my bible says I don’t know the other peoples bible says. http://oregonintactivist.com/circumcision-and-the-bible/

    • eshu21

      August 8, 2012 1:31 pm

      I agree. Religious freedom of belief is truly a wonderful thing. Religious-freedom-to-mutilate-the-bodies-of-unconsenting-helpless-infants, not so much. Religions step out of line when they claim the right to slice-and-dice babies.

  • James

    August 11, 2012 4:44 pm

    Hello, I’m writing a research proposal for school, and I want to do it on the psychological effects of circumcision. Being a circumcised male, this is an extremely difficult subject for me to deal with. I’ve been busy reading everything I can find about it, but it seems that the existing papers don’t describe what’s been my experience too well.
    For me, I always knew something was very wrong down there, but never understood what it was. As a young teenager, I remember describing to my mom, that it felt like there was adrenalin coming from that area, and that it was driving me crazy. I recall punching myself in the groin, as hard as I could, dropping me to floor, in front of her. I had heard I was ‘cut’, but never really thought about what that meant.
    Since then, I’ve been diagnosed as bipolar, but have never felt the diagnosis applied very well to me. I really don’t have mood swings, I just always feel nervous, to the point my life isn’t really worth living. Now, as a graduate student studying psychology, I can see that my symptoms resemble PTSD more than anything, but I can’t recall anything too traumatic happening in my life. So this confused me, that is until I put my urinary problems, my anger toward my mother, my almost constant anxiety, and the timing of my emotional outbursts, together finally with the circumcision. Like a light bulb turning on, everything suddenly made perfect since.
    I believe that I need to fix this as best I can, that is if I intend to survive much longer. I can’t see making it long enough for a non-surgical restoration though. However, before I leave this world, if I decide to, I want to let people know why I couldn’t go on. Maybe it could save someone else from having to endure what I have.
    One of the ideas I’ve had concerning future research involves using a functional MRI to see what negative stimuli to the glans penile (the head) looks like in the brain, and then to see how often that same area ‘lights up’ throughout a person’s regular daily routine. I’m also interested in what the emotional response immediately afterward is, and what types of mental trauma appear to be similar in MRI pictures.
    Also, I’m interested to see what differences might exist between the brain function of an intact adolescent during an erection vs. that of a circumcised one. I predict that anxiety levels are much higher for the circumcised male, and that there might be more of a desperate feeling to make the anxiety stop. I believe this might result in avoidance of sexual stimuli, or a compulsion to ejaculate once erect. My suspicion is that this is the primary emotion prior to, and that results in, forcible rape, and compulsive masturbation.
    I want to make this paper one of the best, and to do that, I need all the best sources. So, if you know of any good sources concerning the psychological effects, could you please email me a few links?

    • Georganne Chapin

      August 12, 2012 1:45 pm

      James – You are describing some extremely important insights, and asking some extremely provocative questions. Are you aware of the Circumcision Harm Survey? http://www.circumcisionharm.org/ By asking the questions you are asking, and by participating in this discussion, you can go a long way toward healing yourself, helping others to heal – and protecting other boys from harm. Get in touch with me through [email protected], and I will put you in touch with others who I believe can help you. PLEASE do not harm yourself. Georganne

    • eshu21

      August 12, 2012 8:01 pm

      James, I have waited to respond to your post, because the emotional trauma you describe is so painful that I have trouble knowing how to approach it. James, what you are feeling is so close to the experiences of many cut men who have “woken up” that first, you need to know you are not alone. Knowing that we were violently assaulted as infants – for an imaginary devilish “God”, for ridiculous and disproved “health” myths (thank you, Hillary Clinton and Bill Gates), for insane “looks”, whatever – is a horrifying act of self-discovery. But it is not the end of our lives, not the end of all possibility of happiness.

      James, I deal with this knowledge every day by continuing to fight to stop this sick practice. I don’t do anything approaching the work that Georganne and this site do, but I do the best I can. I post my positions as often as possible, everywhere, I tell pregnant friends my thoughts on the subject – I even tell my religious brother (and his rabbi) my feelings about surgically altering helpless infants. In many cases, this is the first time these people have heard an anti-circumcision argument, certainly one that cannot be attributed to “those Nazis, over there”.

      I also contribute financially what little I can to those who fight against male genital mutilation. Of course there is IntactAmerica.org, and other great websites as well: CircumcisionandHIV.com, Circumstitions.com, Joseph4GI.blogspot.com, Foregen.org (may they discover true foreskin regrowth and restoration in our lifetimes!), and many many more.

      I also tell myself that, if anything good can possibly come out of my having been mutilated, it is that I can stand as witness,tell people my story over and over again, and hope that I become part of the growing mass of men fighting to have this brutality end. I am not a New Ager, believing that “everything happens for a reason”, but rather one who believes that I can choose to take a negative and make it a source of strength, to fight to improve the lives of those who come after us.That does not obliterate my own pain over circumcision, but I do derive some happiness and comfort, knowing I am on the right side of history, knowing that Jews, Muslims, tribal cultures, Americans in general, will be better, more ethical and healthier, having purged this form of child abuse from their ranks.

      Bit by bit female genital mutilation is disappearing from the earth. Don’t you want to be part of the fight, to eliminate male genital mutilation as well? I would rather hope to be honored as a warrior in a good cause, than allow one single circumcisor to win, by eliminating myself and any possibility that my contributions can be a catalyst for change.

      Do I think the paper you propose is of value? Yes, I do – but think how many more you can write, how much more you can do in a good cause, if you give yourself the grace of survival. I for one am endlessly curious about how the end of circumcision will come about; will a researcher demonstrate (perhaps through MRIs) how much more activation of the pleasure-centers of the brain an intact man has? Will the end of male mutilation come about for other medical reasons? Financial reasons? Ethical ones? Legal decisions, as in Germany? Perhaps because the arguments of people like you and me, and millions more of us around the globe, change the world for the better?

      The tide is turning; circumcision will end worldwide, and I for one hope to be there for the party. I hope you will be too. We are stronger with you than without you; please don’t deprive us of your voice, and deprive yourself of the possibility of doing good.

    • James

      August 13, 2012 1:54 pm

      Thank you eshu21 for such a tremendously inspiring post. I do want to fight on. This paper has been a real challenge for me, but I’m convinced that it must be written, and like you said, perhaps many more.
      Although I began this process of self-discovery some years ago, everyday has it own uniquely challenging hurdles. I apologize if I caused anyone distress concerning my welfare. I’ve been losing sleep, now on my third day, as my deadline forces me to study and write most of every day. However, I do want people unfamiliar with what we’re going through, to understand that this issue concerns more than just a bit of skin. It effects many of us emotionally, and some very deeply. I’m not sure yet if it’s an aggravater of existing psychological issues, or a causal agent itself.
      Our genitals aren’t like a finger or toe, they have a much greater effect on our minds, as they are more like sensory organs comparable to the eyes. I commonly compare the experience to the removal of an eyelid.
      Too many people think that the only thing we’re upset about is involving sex, or the actual trauma of the procedure itself. What they’re failing to realize, is that our glans are intended to be internal, and because of their exposure, they’re slowly going numb. It’s similar to how an eyeball would dry out, callus over, and become eventually become blind. Also, they may think that a numb body part is just like it’s not there, but that’s not true. We are more aware of something that’s numb, than any other part that still has feeling. It might be closely comparable to frost bite. With impotency looming in the near or distant future, can they really blame us for feeling desperate to do something to circumvent its occurrence?
      Sex or no sex, I would like to preserve the feeling that’s left. Another aspect I’m looking at, is a comparison to shellshock, a term that’s become linked to trauma. I’m not sure where the term really came from, but I imagine a turtle walking around with a damaged of partly missing shell. It must feel very vulnerable, maybe even somewhat paranoid. To that turtle, the world must appear to be a very hostile place.
      Again, thank you so much for your concern.
      I’m praying now, that Austria can take over the lead from Germany.

    • eshu21

      August 17, 2012 8:26 pm

      Thank you too James – glad to hear you are sounding better, and I am very glad my writing helped. I know what you mean about numbness, as well as the effect circumcision has on sex; also, there is the issue of identity and the sense of oneself as whole and complete that has been stolen. Yes, we have less sexual sensation, but there is also an awareness of assault and mutilation when we were helpless to resist. Hopefully many countries will now take the lead from Germany and bit by bit this sickness will vanish from the earth!

    • strife

      November 5, 2012 6:10 pm

      hi james, I don’t know how I happen to stumble upon this site or these posts, but I happen to have read yours and you trully are someone that is absolutely special. Not because of what happened to you but because of how you are handling things, because of who you are as an individual. English is not my best subject so excuse any grammar mistakes and poor choice of vocabulary. Im not sure of what exactly it is that I want to say because I read this post this morning and I felt really emotional for you and all else that had to and maybe have to in the future go through what youve gone through. The word circumcised have crossed my ears before but I had never thought too much of it until I read this post. You are doing exactly the right thing by writing the essay on this subject matter and by posting on this site. you raised awareness. and maybe it doesnt seem like much but a person a day or a person a year is still one more to add to the fight against circumcising. I’ve always been told that religion exist to teach us to become better people. but i cannot fathom some of the things that religion has taught some people to believe. how is it that circumcising an infant is relative to anything in the big picture? humans are created a certain way and each body part, each organ, our tiny hair follicles, play a role. every part of us is there to make us balanced. it works the same way with our emotions- i believe. to be happy you have to have been sad to understand the feelings of being happy. im sorry for writing nonsense babbling. i mostly just wanted to say thank you for being such a diplomatic person. thank you for raising awareness in a way that is non offensive and smart. i hope that you never think about doing anything that would cause you harm because life is certainly beautiful though it can be hard. as wierd as it is to say this, think about how privileged you are to have been granted life among all the eggs that your mom carries in her ovaries. though it definitely is far off from a perfect life. i hope you will make whats best of it and live life to soley be happy, to learn, and experience, and to take with you to the grave memories that will put a smile on your face. take care dear stranger.


  • JayTuohey

    August 11, 2012 8:05 pm

    God almighty!..what kind of world are we living in?..
    Are we so blinded and blinkered by religion and ‘tradition’.Is nothing sacred anymore,can’t human beings just have children and leave them alone,as nature intended.
    What is this bloody obsession with amputating healthy,protective,important,natural parts of babies?..It’s disgusting abuse that should be outlawed for good..
    To see pictures of babies being mutilated and in agony is utterly heartbreaking,to know that this goes on in the modern world for the purpose of fashion or bloody aesthetics is absolutely disgraceful.
    And after reading Marilyn Rau’s callous,ignorant,hateful,sickening rant I have come to this conclusion-you are a fucking idiot.

  • Roger Hubert

    August 23, 2012 3:29 pm

    James and all,

    When one absorbs all the sound reasons to stop butchering the penis, and sorts out the misinformation just vomited out by John Hopkins, etc, there are other untouched worlds of research to delve into.

    If spanking a baby into forced early potty-training has life-long effects on the child, what in the world does butchery of the foreskin cause? Is it not profoundly interesting that Americans and the Jewish culture are considered very possessive and aggressive in their material habits. What are they trying to retrieve and regain?

    There is no way the world can sooth the screaming explosive self-destructive blind terrorism of so many males of the Muslim faith. Does circumcision add an unquenchable madness to kill a world that chopped the core of their being off?

    It would be interesting to see the suicide rates of circumcised Americans virus uncircumcised. What about mass murderers? Rapists? I would predict an alarming high rate of circumcision in such individuals. Destroying the crown of the sexual identity may certainly endanger and sever important mental health balance.

    Uncircumcised males are probably happier souls and remain married at a higher rate. Circumcised males are forever unable to satisfy biological needs of their DNA. Wonder why American rates of divorce rocketed skyward as baby-boomers reached marriage age, just as the practice of circumcising started in America during WWII??

    Lots of social research can probably shock us out of this insane practice, if folks don’t see the physical reasons to stop the practice. To think that stopping the butchery on their male babies could help Arabs and Jews could find peace in a larger population of men whom are

    at peace with God’s gift to their wholeness?

    Much food for thought. Once we embrace stopping the practice of circumcision, a world of revelation awaits. We can heal, and James, you can help open many directions of research. Yes, circumcision is as important to stop as any political or environmental issue we face….and it won’t cost billions to stop this primitive bloody abomination.

    Roger Hubert

  • hannah

    October 7, 2012 12:53 pm

    how can they do that,that is just sick i hope they die in a very painful way ( btw i’m really upset so thats why i’m saying this)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Honey Gracoius

    January 26, 2013 5:00 pm

    Many people that have had their babies circumcise had no ideal of problems it could cause the child as an adult. We are told by the Dr.and nurses It is cleaner and the baby will never remember or know what happen . We need to educate people regarding all the negative side effect possibility instead of the few so called positives. I heard in the USA they numb the area now days, whether that helps or not IDK . But to leave babies in all that pain is just down right evil .

  • best hgh

    April 9, 2013 11:43 pm

    I recovered so umteen absorbing congest in your journal especially its word. From the mountain of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the exclusive one having all the activity here! stay up the neat production.

  • E S

    May 8, 2013 11:19 am

    I wonder, if a parent wanted to abort the same baby, to terminate its life, would you all be so up in arms and quick to defend it? I think not, hypocrites. Get off your moral high horses, the murder of babies is ever so much more heinous than circumcision, yet you advocate for the “choice” when the baby has no choice in the matter.

    “Will this baby, numbed by shock as wine dribbles out of his mouth, thank us for preserving the religious freedom of his parents to hire somebody to cut off part of his penis?

    Is it anti-Semitic (or anti-Muslim) to advocate for babies and children who have their own right to religious freedom, but are too young to exercise it?

    Is it not genuinely anti-Semitic or anti-Muslim to fail to defend the sons of Jews and Muslims? Are they any less worthy of our protection?”

    lets reword this: “will this baby who’s brain has been sucked out of a whole pierced in its skull thanks us for preserving it’s parents rights to murder it?”

    “is it old-fashioned (or anti-choice) to advocate for babies and children who have their own right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but are too young to exercise it?”

    “is it not genuinely cruel to fail to defend the lives of all humans? are they any less worthy of our protection?”

    • eshu21

      May 8, 2013 11:32 am

      You need to get off your high horse of moral “superiority” and pay attention to what this site is about. Do you see anyone here defending abortion? No. It’s not even discussed because the purpose of this site is to oppose the needless and cruel genital mutilation of helpless baby boys. If you were really concerned about protecting babies rather than scoring meaningless “purity points”, a little research would show you that, according to Thymos, the Journal of Boyhood Studies, 115 baby boys in the USA alone die from this utterly useless cosmetic surgery. In fact, Brian Morris, an extremist pro-circumcision advocate from Australia, estimates 156 US deaths from male genital mutilation each year (though presumably he thinks that is “acceptable”). Perhaps you don’t care about those deaths because these victims of surgical manslaughter are not the “pre-borns”, who are all you care about defending? Here on this site, we care about those babies and the needless suffering of them and their families. We care about that very much. Pay attention.

      • larryzb

        May 8, 2013 2:48 pm

        I do understand what this site is about. I have written 2 blog essays condemning circumcision. But, there is a valid point here, albeit perhaps not appropriate or german to this site’s mission. We really need to respect and defend all a child’s rights and that includes his/her right to bodily integrity and his/her right to life. Food for thought.

    • eshu21

      May 8, 2013 2:59 pm

      Please post links to your 2 blog essays – I would be interested in reading them, and thank you (in advance of reading them) for that. Unfortunately, for most people, combining different issues makes arguments more confused and weaker rather than more powerful; I could also claim that this site “must” include more about the need for better prenatal care and information about better early childhood nutrition too, all vitally important for children’s lives, but I would only be serving to dilute the entire purpose and argument of this site by doing so. The anti-circumcision position we here take would then be swallowed up and lost amidst other issues. It’s worth asking – how many anti-abortion sites have you posted on, insisting that they also be anti-circumcision? And how many have done so?

    • eshu21

      May 8, 2013 9:19 pm

      Thank you for the links! Both columns are extremely interesting, and I am grateful you included them. I do think it’s worth noting that many of the people who write and post here may actually address the issues of concern to you (abortion, human trafficking, etc.) in other venues. All we really know about each other here is that we come together, in this location, specifically for our shared opposition to infant genital mutilation. Thank you again for the links!

      • larryzb

        May 8, 2013 9:38 pm

        Thanks eshu21 for the kind words. I managed to get back online today aftera all. Just to clarify, I am not the original poster that used the words to the effect “get off your moral high ground.” Again, best wishes to all.

    • eshu21

      May 8, 2013 9:45 pm

      You are quite welcome! I certainly understand the high emotions around issues as controversial as circumcision and abortion; that may explain why your original post is so easy to perceive as an attack on this column, however well-meant it was. Seeing your other off-site posts about the subject certainly cleared that up. Thanks again!

      • larryzb

        May 9, 2013 11:55 am

        Sorry to have to repeat that I am NOT the original irate commenter. This is what keeps showing up in my emai at the start of every comment on this thread:

        “I wonder, if a parent wanted to abort the same baby, to terminate its life, would you all be so up in arms and quick to defend it? I think not, hypocrites. Get off your moral high horses, the murder of babies is ever so much more heinous than circumcision, yet you advocate for the […]”

        I started commenting subsequent to your reply to this other person. It appears that the original poster has not returned to this thread. I never attacked this column. No need to reply. We are on the same page so to speak. Best wishes to all.

  • Ashton

    July 13, 2013 9:20 am

    I’m starting a new online blog directory and was wondering if I can submit your website? I’m trying to grow my directory gradually by hand so that it maintains good quality.

    I’ll make sure and put your blog in the best category and I’ll also use, “Is This What “Religious Freedom” Looks Like? | The Intact America Blog” as your anchor text.
    Please be sure to let me know if this is acceptable with
    you by e-mailing me at: ashtongoldstein@freenet.
    de. Cheers

  • Sonny

    November 2, 2013 4:14 pm

    Circumcision also tortures Semitic babies thus making circumcision anti-Semitic.

    International doctors’ organizations condemn the AAP’s 2012 stance on circumcision.

    It is now more than a year after the anniversary of the AAP’s statement on circumcision. The AAP’s statement was made on August 27, 2012. It is time to learn about the condemnation of the AAP’s statement on infant male circumcision by 38 doctors representing more than 16 international medical associations. This is groundbreaking and historic. Why? When was the last time you have heard of so many doctors and their organizations condemning another doctors’ organization?

    I am including a reference to the American Academy of Pediatrics own journal which presents the international condemnation of the AAP:

    Cultural Bias in the AAP’s 2012 Technical Report and Policy Statement on Male Circumcision

    What is in the best interest of the child? It is in the best interest of the child
    1) to become educated and aware of what the foreskin is and what its functions involve before cutting it off,
    2) to consider the stereotypes and why they exist before cutting the foreskin off,
    3) to consider if any men circumcised in infancy have been harmed by the procedure since the newborn could possibly become one of these men in the future, and
    4) to avoid cutting off any body part if other less invasive means to care for that part of the body are available.
    5) to learn the easy care of the foreskin which is healthier than circumcision. A) Do not pull the foreskin back. Let nature take its time. B) Do not use harsh soaps or bubble bath. C) Give your child a regular bath. As easy as ABC!

  • Thomas Paine

    January 11, 2014 5:43 pm

    Then all religions should ban religious attendance of all minors should be (unlawful), they have no choice about innate and false beliefs being programmed to their detriment. The Christian practice of water boarding (Baptist and christening) should be outlawed in addition causing deep emotional scarring many in adulthood realize this after suffering doctrine programming contrary to basically realizing everything is contrary to their own since of self unnecessary guilt and shame.

  • Kimberly Casteel

    August 9, 2014 8:19 pm

    Why not Ban them from doing it and seek a professional to do the circumcisions this is not religion it’s insanitary and just stupid they can still keep religion and be made to seek a professional for protection of these children’s health back in the old days maybe but come on our world had grown in time to do the same things but in a better more humanitarian way. Stop making children suffer God, Allah is not going to punish you for doing it in a safer way. Parents there are to many deseases out the now days to let someone touch your precious child wake up!!!

    • eshu21

      August 19, 2014 12:32 pm

      Why not leave children completely intact, and skip this sick practice entirely? Would a nice clean hospital make female genital mutilation okay?

  • Kim Aldred

    August 19, 2014 12:18 pm

    Your pictures are horrid and unforgivable you do not need to show that kind of discust to get your point across. I have reported you! How would you even have these. And all religion is not like this Jay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • eshu21

      August 19, 2014 12:30 pm

      It is people like you and your faux “disgust”, hiding the reality of child genital mutilation, that allows this sick practice to continue. Grow up, and face reality. And reported this to whom, exactly? The fainting-couch police? No one here says all religion is like this – only those religious practices that actually mutilate children are EXACTLY like this…

      • David Loyd

        August 20, 2014 10:08 am

        A picture is worth a ‘Thousand Words, Our senses are visual dominated.

    • eshu21

      August 20, 2014 10:37 am

      Agreed! That’s why these pictures are so important!

      • maryscats

        August 20, 2014 12:54 pm

        Like Robin, I am also feeling sick at what my country, settled by ancestors who helped create the United States, is doing to innocent little boys. At least it’s illegal to do that to little baby girls. As for the religious issue, not all religions mandate male infant circumcision; in fact, Christianity and other faiths such as Hinduism do not require it for membership, and some Jews here in the USA and even in Israel are welcoming baby boys with a non-violent ceremony.

    • liz sammet

      May 28, 2015 12:25 pm

      Yes people do need to see these images so they can know wtf is really wrong with circumcision-.-

  • Larry B of larrysmusings.com

    August 20, 2014 2:17 pm

    It is sick. Mutilating the genitals of children, male or female, is not about health. It is about power and control.

  • Allen

    August 31, 2014 6:55 am

    I am circumcised but I chose to allow my son to make his own decision when he is old enough to know his own wishes with his body. He is of age now and has so far decided to stay intact. However, when I am with a guy I usually prefer circumcised.

    • Roger Dean age 74years

      August 31, 2014 11:04 am

      Good for you, wish I had been given that opportunity and I know that I would want to be intact. I prefer being with guys who are intact and enjoy the pleasure they give to their owner but also I get pleasure from some when I can dock inside a nice loose foreskin.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


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.