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ITOM – Tim Hammond

SEPTEMBER 2012: According to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ new Technical Report on Circumcision, the benefits of this medically unnecessary surgery outweigh the risks… and yet the Report provides no serious discussion of the known risks of circumcision and dismisses reports of circumcision damages. Tim Hammond

Thanks to the efforts of Tim Hammond, September’s Intactivist of the Month, we know better. Tim is the founder of the Global Survey of Circumcision Harm, originally published in BJU International in 1993, and re-launched in its current online version in 2011. Introductory material describes the survey as an “ongoing grassroots, all-volunteer effort to provide an online self-report and documentation method for any male who considers himself harmed by child genital cutting imposed on him without his fully informed consent.”

To date, more than 900 men have taken the survey. Last year, Intact America published an overview of the survey’s chilling results; you can see the latest survey data here. Many respondents have uploaded photographic evidence and video testimonies of harm. The stories and images are gut-wrenching proof that infant circumcision creates life-long damage, and is truly an egregious violation of ethics and human rights. The survey – available with the click of a computer mouse – provides graphic refutation of the AAP Task Force’s claim that circumcision complications are minor and insignificant. Any circumcising physician would do well to view the Circumcision Harms website, and consider the consequences of his or her practice.

Tim’s involvement in grassroots activism goes back to the 1960s, when he began speaking out against human rights abuses and advocating for the equality of women, rights of AIDS victims, and equal rights for gays and lesbians. In 1990, Tim co-founded the National Organization of Restoring Men (NORM), an international network of groups offering moral and technical support to men seeking foreskin restoration, and in 1992 he founded NOHARMM, “a non-violent, educational and direct-action network of men working together to end routine infant circumcision through a model of education and empowerment of other men.”

In addition to overseeing the survey, Tim is working to organize Canada’s first national registered charity devoted solely to the genital autonomy rights of male, female and intersex children. Understanding the need for national oversight of children’s rights, he says, “I’ve long recognized that as the movement to protect children’s genital autonomy grows, it will need well-funded professionally run organizations with highly skilled and effectively networked paid staff to bring our message to the halls of power and to the society at large. Intact America is one such organization on which I pin my hopes for this much needed social change.”

Says Georganne Chapin, Executive Director of Intact America, “Tim Hammond’s contributions to the genital integrity movement cannot be overstated. From his film Whose Body? Whose Rights? to his ongoing Global Survey of Circumcision Harm, Tim has spoken out for decades about the right of boys and men to a whole body, and about the lifelong damages caused by male circumcision. The Global Survey, though horrifying and heartbreaking, offers injured men a safe forum for telling their stories. How else will this violation of boys and men end, if not by making public what circumcisers would like to deny: the brutality of ‘routine’ genital cutting?”

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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.