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A Chronology of the Foreskin and Circumcision

(Dates marked * are those of Archbishop Ussher's chronology)

Most recent

Year

Month

Day

Event

~300,
000,
000
BCE

 

 

Reptiles evolve internal fertilization, using a retractable penis.

~100,
000,
000
BCE

 

 

A proto-mammalian species evolves the foreskin. (Alligators also have one: it would be an easy thing to evolve more than once.)

~600,
000
BCE

 

 

The species Homo sapiens emerges, still wearing his foreskin.

*4004 BCE

October

29
(Sat.)

Adam created (with a foreskin), according to Gen 1:27 or 2:7 and *Archbishop Ussher's 1650 chronology

~3100 BCE

 

 

Egypt invaded from the south - by tribes bringing circumcision?

~2300 BCE

 

 

Egypt: bas-relief made for the tomb of the 6th Dynasty tjatey (vizier) Ankhmabor (Overseer of the Great House, First Under the King [Teti]) in Saqqara that may show genital mutilation being performed. The actual relief is hard to interpret:

More commonly seen is a modern reproduction on papyrus for tourists:
Note that the victim on the left is being forcibly restrained. One interpretation is that it just shows the pubic hair being shaved - but the caption reportedly says "Hold him firmly so that he does not fall." Contrary to some reports, no circumcised mummies have been found, but some statues show what may be a superincision (dorsal slit).

This image has virtually become a logo for the "circumcision prevents AIDS" mantra. It appears on

1713 BCE / *1913 BCE

 

 

Abraham is instructed by G*d to circumcise himself and the tribe of Israel, according to Gen.17 10-27.

*1739 BCE

 

 

The sons of Jacob impose circumcision on the Hivites to weaken them, according to Gen. 34 14 -25.

*1491 BCE

 

 

Moses' wife Zipporah circumcises his son Gershon as some kind of reproach to him, according to Ex.4 25.

*1491 BCE

 

 

Israelites abandon circumcision (according to Josh 5 5) when they leave Egypt.

*1451 BCE

 

 

Israelites resume circumcision according to Josh. 5 2, "...again the second time" suggesting to one rabbi in the Talmud that Periah (radical circumcision) was instituted then.

*mid-13th c BCE

 

 

Moses mentions circumcision in passing on Mt Sinai (Leviticus 12 3) while specifying the duration of women's impurity after childbirth.

*1063 BCE

 

 

David kills and circumcises 200 Philistines (twice as many as Saul asked for) to provide a bride-price, according to 1 Sam. 18, 24 - 47.

~450 BCE

 

 

Greek historians note circumcision and penectomy among the Arabs, far antedating Islam.

Herodotus (484 - 420 BCE) notes circumcision among the Colchians, Ethiopians, Phoenicians, Syrians, and Macrones, as well as the Egyptian priestly caste. He criticises the fanatical ritual cleanliness of the Egyptians, saying "They [even] practice circumcision for the sake of cleanliness, considering it better to be clean than comely." - a terrible price in Greek eyes. (The context is of things Egyptians do that are the reverse of what other [more sensible] people do.) He notes that the salutory influence of Greek culture caused the Phoenicians to abandon circumcision. (Hodges)

~170 BCE

 

 

The Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175 - 165 BCE) consolidates Alexander's empire, and attempts to impose Greek civilization, including a ban on ritual circumcision. Some Jews seek foreskin restoration.

~3 BCE

Jan

1

Jesus is circumcised according to Luke 2 21.

43 CE

 

 

St Paul convinces a meeting in Jerusalem that circumcision is not essential for Christian converts.

~45

 

 

Philo (20-15 BCE to 45-50 CE), a Jewish philosopher in Alexandria, wrote "The legislators thought good to dock the organ which ministers to such intercourse, thus making circumcision the symbol of excision of excessive and superfluous pleasure."

132

 

 

Emperor Hadrian (98-138 CE) extends a previous ban, by Emperors Domitian (81-96) and Nerva (96-98), on castration of citizens or slaves throughout the Roman Empire, to include circumcision.

According to Historia Augusta this was the cause of the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132-6 CE), the third major Jewish war against the Empire.

"Moverant ea tempestate et Judaei bellum, quod vetabantur mutilare genitalia
(At this time also the Jews began war because they were forbidden to mutilate the genitals)"

- the first time circumcision was described as "mutilation"?

~140

 

 

Mishnah (commentary on Torah) first written down, details Periah (radical circumcision) giving rise to the idea that it was instituted then, to prevent Hellenized Jews from passing as intact in the Greek gymnasia.

Emperor Antoninus Pius lifts the legal prohibition on circumcision, but only for Jews, not their slaves, servants or other non-Jews (as prescribed by Jewish law).

~170

 

 

Galen (131-201 CE) describes methods of foreskin restoration.

~320

 

 

Emperor Constantine renews the ban on Jews circumcising non-Jews.

533

 

 

The Digest of Justinian restates the ban of Constantine.

~550

 

 

Christian church begins celebrating January 1 as the Feast of the Circumcision (of Christ).

570

 

 

Mohammed born "already circumcised" supposedly giving rise to Islamic circumcision, the most frequent single kind (but see ~450 BCE).

~1180-1190

 

 

Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, better known as Maimonides or "the Rambam" (1135-1204 CE), writes his "Guide for the Perplexed".

~1350

 

 

Polynesian voyagers reach Aotearoa (later "New Zealand") and abandon supercision.

1523

 

 

Italian anatomist Jacopo Berengario da Carpi (1460-1530) identifies the foreskin as the most sensitive part of the penis.
>1543

 

 

Anatomist Andreas Vesalius notes in a copy of his "De Humani Corporis Fabrica" that Ethiopians "cut off the fleshy processes from new born girls in accordance with their religion in the same way as they remove the foreskins of boys, 'although in their religious ceremonies they are otherwise generally similar to those of us Christians." This appears to be the first reference in a medical text to female genital cutting for non-medical purposes.

~1550

 

 

Italian anatomist Gabrielle Falloppio condemns circumcision as contrary to the intent of nature and destructive of sexual enjoyment.

1710

 

 

Clergyman turned physician Bekker publishes "Onania, or The Heinous Sin of Self Pollution, and all its frightful consequences in both sexes, considered, with spiritual and physical advice, etc."

1741

 

 

Swiss physician Tissot publishes "Onanism, Or, A Treatise on the Disorders of Masturbation" beginning the spread of the "masturbation danger" theory throughout Europe.

1842

 

 

French surgeon Claude-François Lallemand completes Les Pertes seminales involontaires (Involuntary seminal losses), promoting belief in "spermatorrhoea" - the view that almost any discharge from the penis was dangerous - promoting acupuncture (with large needles pushed into the prostate), catheters, cauterisation and circumcision as "cures" - all done as painfully as possible. His views are very influential.

1843

 

 

Reform rabbis in Frankfurt question the need for physical circumcision. The controversy lasts for 20 years.

1854

 

 

Jonathan Hutchinson surveys his Jewish and gentile patients and decides circumcision prevents syphilis (but not, as the same data implies, that it promotes gonorrhoea)

1860

Apr

7

In The Lancet (vol. 1: pp. 344-345), Athol A. W. Johnson promotes circumcision of boys with long foreskins to "cure" masturbation.

1860s

 

 

Circumcision as preventative of masturbation becomes UK medical dogma.

1861

 

 

English surgeon Isaac Baker Brown publishes the second edition of On Some Diseases of Women Admitting of Surgical Treatment with a section about "hypertrophy and irritation" of the clitoris leading to masturbation and recommending clitoridectomy as treatment comparable to circumcision.

1866

 

 

Isaac Baker Brown publishes a compendium of his cases. A heated debate arises in which the male and female genitalia are sharply distinguished (and the honour of women and the danger of doctors pronouncing on their virtue is an important factor) ...

1866

 

 

... leading to the expulsion of Isaac Baker Brown from the British Obstetrical Society and the repudiation of circumcision for females at the expense of males.

- R. Darby, A Surgical Temptation, p 298

1869

Nov

28

Approval by 13 Reform Jewish Rabbis who met in Philadelphia that: "... birth, and not circumcision, is the initiation into the Jewish religion."

- New York Times archives

1870

 

 

Lewis A. Sayre announces to the AMA that circumcision cures paralysis, epilepsy and masturbation, setting off the medical craze for "therapeutic" circumcision. His "circumcision" is, however, conservative, preserving as much tissue as possible. "Mutilation" was to be avoided.

1877

 

 

John Harvey Kellogg MD (1852-1943) publishes the first edition of "Plain facts for old and young: embracing the natural history and hygiene of organic life", in which child (but not infant) circumcision is promoted to "cure" masturbation.

1879

 

 

Neisser discovers the bacteria that cause gonnorrhoea, beginning the end of belief in "spermatorrhoea".

1881

Jul

2

Charles Guiteau shoots and kills President James A. Garfield. Phimosis and smegma buildup under his foreskin are blamed for his mental state.

1882

 

 

Norman H. Chapman, professor of nervous and mental disease at the University of Kansas City, writes in Medical News (Philadelphia) vol 41: p317 that "it is always good surgery to correct this deformity [a long and contracted foreskin]... as a precautionary measure, even though no symptoms have as yet presented themselves" ushering in routine circumcision.

1885

 

 

Dr Samuel Newman of New York advocates the circumcision of newborns. One of the advantages he claims is that it can be done without anaesthetic, and he borrows the idea of strapping the baby to a board from the Indians.

1885

Nov

16

At the National Rabbinical Convention of the Reformed Hebrew Church in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Dr Kohler of New York, "denounced the rite of circumcision as a relic of barbarism."

- New York Times archives

The conference issued an eight-point platform that might be read as abandoning circumcision (e.g. that they "...maintain only such ceremonies as elevate and sanctify our lives, but reject all such as are not adapted to the views and habits of modern civilization"), but did not explicitly do so.

late 1880s

 

 

The newly formed American Academy of Pediatrics joins Lewis Sayre's 1870 call for routine [neonatal] circumcision. Determined to lower the nation's infant mortality rate by reducing often-lethal diarrhoea, the AAP argues that the foreskin irritates the penis, which irritates the nervous system, which hampers digestion, which causes diarrhoea. (Simultaneously, the AAP also recommends against breast milk, saying it is a leading cause of infant diarrhoea. "Irritation" was a euphemism for sexual stimulation.)

1890

 

 

Herbert Snow publishes The barbarity of circumcision as a remedy for congenital abnormality, calling for "the abolition of an antiquated practice involving the infliction of very considerable suffering upon helpless infants; and sanctioned, on very questionable grounds, by men of eminent authority. ... no sane man who possessed the advantages of a sound and entire prepuce would willingly sacrifice it without just and sufficient cause being shown." - a man ahead of his time.

- R. Darby, A Surgical Temptation, p 301ff

1894

 

 

British-born but US-trained Elizabeth Blackwell denounces barbarity of circumcision, largely on ethical grounds.

1900May9-11Ap Morgan Vance MD presents a paper (Trans. KSMS VIII, 1900) on "Surgical Fanaticism" to the 45th annual session of the Kentucky State Medical Society in Georgetown, KY, at which he says: There are still among us many of the circumcising fanatics. Twenty years ago there were many followers of the great champion of this procedure [presumably J. H. Kellogg] as a cure-all for many of the ills of both boys and girls. When there was no foreskin to be removed, the clitoris was attacked. Little sufferers with infantile paralysis [poliomyelitis], Pott's disease [spinal tuberculosis], hip disease, chorea [twitching], worms, and almost anything else were subjected to this nearly always unnecessary mutilation. I believe circumcision never ought to be done unless there is some positive local reason for it. This very rarely ever exists in childhood. There would be no foreskins without good reasons for them, and I am sure if early reflexion is done by the age of ten years, all the uncovering of the glands [sic] necessary is accomplished by the process of development. Hence these faddists should be more conservative.

1902

 

 

Peter C. Remondino publishes his influential "History of Circumcision from the Earliest Times to the Present. Moral and Physical Reasons for its Performance...."
It is he who first declared that the foreskin was a relic of the time when man lived in "a wild state", and "in pursuit of either the juicy grasshopper or other small game, or of the female of his own species to gratify his lust, or in the frantic rush to escape the clutches, fangs, or claws of a pursuing enemy, he was obliged to fly and leap over thorny briars and bramble-bushes or hornets' nests or plunge through swamps alive with blood-sucking insects or leeches", that he needed "the protecting double fold of the preputial envelope that protected it from the thorns and cutting grasses, the coarse bark of trees, or the stings and bites of insects" but no longer needs it today - a claim that is still repeated today, though in somewhat less elaborate form.

1928

May

9-11

Dr Thomas Bolling Gay recommends routine infant circumcision to prevent phimosis and hence masturbation to the Med. Assoc of Georgia. His paper is published in JAMA July 21

1929

 

 

Eleanor Rathbone elected to the House of Commons as the Independent Member for the Combined British Universities. Over the next few years she campaigned against female circumcision in Africa.

1932

Jan

16

Abraham Leo Wolbarst's paper claiming that circumcision prevents cancer of the penis published in The Lancet (based on a few case reports of cancer in India and the US).

1934

 

 

Hiram S. ("Inch") Yellen, M.D. (1894-1969) and Aaron A. Goldstein (1899-1945) invent the GOMCO clamp.

late 1935

 

 

An extensive debate in the British Medical Journal shows doctors evenly divided. A J Faull suggests masturbation is harmless. R. Ainsworth suggests not trying to retract babies' foreskins. A H Williams is concerned that circumcision impairs the establishment of breastfeeding.

- R. Darby, A Surgical Temptation, p 304ff

1941

Sept

 

Alan Gutmacher writes in Parents' Magazine that some US doctors circumcise routinely without consulting parents, and that 75% of boys born in urban hospitals are circumcised.

1942

Aug

8

Battle of Guadalcanal. Mass circumcision of US soldiers in the Pacific in response to "an outbreak of phimosis and paraphimosis"! Military circumcisers Eugene A. Hand and Abraham Ravich promote circumcision to the masses through medical and popular journals after the war.

1942

Oct

23

Battle of El Alamein, allied offensive begins in Egypt, when some New Zealand (and other) soldiers are circumcised concurrently with widespread skin infection, giving rise to "sand under foreskin" myth. [Circumcision already heavily promoted in NZ, however.]

1946-7

 

 

British National Health Service set up, putting hospital doctors on salary and paying family doctors a flat rate per patient on their books. (Doctors were still free to circumcise, but they would no longer be paid any more for it.)

1949

 

 

Joseph Lewis's "In the Name of Humanity!" is published, perhaps the first outright condemnation of infant circumcision on humanitarian grounds.

1949

Dec

24

 

Douglas Gairdner
Douglas Gairdner

NORM-UK

D. Gairdner's paper "The Fate of the Foreskin" is published in the BMJ. This, coupled with the non-funding, led to a dramatic fall in the rate of circumcision in the UK.

1950

Jul

2

US troops land in South Korea. Under US influence, South Korea adopts boyhood circumcison.

1954

April

5

TIME magazine publishes Ernest Wynder's claim - since refuted - that smegma causes cervical cancer. TIME calls it a "comforting conclusion". The claim spreads widely.

Cover of 1954 ''People'' magazine - cancer & circumcision

1962

 

 

National Women's Hospital opens in Auckland, New Zealand (official opening February 14, 1964), as a publicly-funded-circumcision-free zone. This leads to a dramatic fall in the rate of circumcision in NZ.

1965

Jul

19

JAMA publishes Morgan's "The Rape of the Phallus" the first criticism of circumcision's murky psychology.

1966

Apr

27

Bungled circumcision of "John Thiessen" (Bruce, now David, Reimer) in Winnipeg leading to his sex-reassignment surgery (see Dec 11, 1997).

1968

 

 5

Gore Vidal publishes Myra Breckenridge, in which the title character denounces circumcision.

1970

Dec

16

Van Lewis and his brother Ben carry signs saying "Infant Circumcision is a Sex Crime. Abolish it." "Sex Criminals for Hire? Inquire Within." "Abolish Infant Circumcision." and "Men's Liberation" outside the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, Tallahassee, Florida, and are arrested. They are charged with disturbing the peace and spend a day in the cells.

Van Lewis in 2006
Van Lewis
in 2006

1971

 

 

American Academy of Pediatrics finds "no valid medical indications for routine infant circumcision."

1972

 

 

"Informed Consent" became required by law in the United States following the case of Canterbury v. Spence.
(Canterbury v. Spence, 464 F.2d 772, 789 (D.C. Cir. 1972))

1980 Summer

 

Citizens Against Ritual Violence (CARV) - Brother K (then Kenneth Hopkins) and Carol Babyak - demonstrate against circumcision outside General Hospital, Arcata CA,
1981 January

 

Citizens Against Ritual Violence (CARV) demonstrate against the refusal of Humboldt State University Psychology Department to allow the showing of a film of Australian sub-incision at a meeting about circumcision.

'"People have to understand that circumcision must be stopped," Hopkins said. "We hope to see others take an interest in this. We can't do it alone." '

- Jeff de Long, "Common operation called 'grotesque thing' : Anti-circumcision group pickets 'censors' "
The Lumberjack, January 21, 1981

1985

 

 

Nurse Marilyn Milos is fired for advising parents against circumcision and founds NOCIRC (the Nat. Org. of Circumision Information Resource Centers).

Marilyn Milos
Marilyn Fayre Milos

1988

Mar

 

California Med. Assoc. declares circumcision "an effective public health measure" on a voice vote, the resolution of urologist Aaron Fink.

1988

Dec

 

Canadian Paediatric Soc. reaffirms its stand against routine circumcision.

1989

Mar

1-3

First International Symposium on Circumcision, Anaheim, California adopts a declaration of bodily integrity.

1989

Mar

 

American Academy of Pediatrics suggests its 1971 stance on circumcision be re-examined, is widely misreported as having reversed its position.

1991

Apr
-
May

30
-
3

Second International Symposium on Circumcision, San Francisco, California. John Taylor describes the ridged band.

1992

 

 

More than 20 nurses of St Vincent Hospital, Santa Fe, NM, refuse to perform any more circumcisions. See what they say at YouTube.

1993

 

 

C. Maden et al.'s study of circumcision and cancer published in the JNCI. It showed penile cancer incidence (age for age) in proportion to circumcision and rising in proportion.

1993

Oct

 

Williams and Kapila's paper on risks and complications of circumcision is published in the BJS.

1994

Jan

 

Foreskin restoration list is started at M I T.

1994

May

22-25

Third International Symposium on Circumcision, Maryland.

1995

Feb

4

A. Taddio et al.'s first paper on circumcision pain published in The Lancet.

1995

Apr

10

Registered Nurses' Association of British Colombia votes to condemn routine infant circumcision of all sexes.

1995

Jun

 

Two of the nurses of St Vincent (see 1992), Mary Conant and Betty Katz Sperlich, found Nurses for the Rights of the Child.

1996

 

 

US outlaws FGM federally.

1996

 

 

R. Taylor et al.'s paper on the prepuce as specialised mucosa of the penis published in the B.J.Urol. It describes the highly innervated ridged bands.

1996

 

 

Canadian Paediatric Soc. Foetus and Newborn Cttee "does not support recommending circumcision as a routine procedure for newborns."

1996

 

 

Australian College of Paediatrics position statement: "...neonatal male circumcision has no medical indication..."

1996

Aug

11

Fourth International Symposium on Sexual Mutilations, Lausanne, Switzerland, passes the Ashley Montegu declaration and submits it to the World Court.

1997

Mar

1

A. Taddio et al.'s second paper on circumcision pain published in The Lancet. It shows pain of circumcision affects reaction to subsequent vaccination.

1997

Apr

2

Ed. O Laumann et al.'s study on circumcision and sexual practice and STDs published in JAMA. It shows circumcision does not prevent STDs, and correlates with more varied (stimulation-hungry?) sexual practice.

1997

Jun

3

Case of Fishbeck v. North Dakota (3:30) challenges FGM law as depriving boys of equal rights. Baby Fishbeck was circumcised contrary to his mother's wish. Case is lost.

1997

Dec

 

J. Lander et al.'s paper on pain published in JAMA It shows the pain of circumcision to be excruciating, and circumcision without anaesthetic was discontinued in the study for ethical reasons.

1997

Dec

11

"Rolling Stone" blows the whistle on Dr John Money's attempt at surgical sex-determination of "John/Joan/John".

1997Dec24"Babyboy" aged ~20 "liberates" a Circumstraint™ from New York Hospital

1997

Dec

28

Egyptian High Court upholds a lower court ban on FGM.

1998

Aug

5-7

Fifth International Symposium on Genital Mutilation held at Oxford, England.

1998

Oct

16

Highly publicised death of baby Dustin Evans Jr in Cleveland, Ohio, under anaesthetic during repair of circumcision complications. Doctors were at pains to distance his death from his circumcision.

1998

Dec

5

To, et al.'s study of UTIs shows it would take 195 circumcisions to prevent one UTI. You can see my graphic illustration of this figure.

1999

Mar

1

The American Academy of Pediatrics issues a policy statement that the potential medical benefits of circumcision do not warrent performing it routinely, but that paediatricians may perform it at the parents' behest for "cultural, religious, and ethnic" reasons, and that analgesia is essential. On this site you can see that policy compared with their policy on Female Genital Mutilation.

1999

Mar

 

Medina General Hospital, Ohio, settles with parents who had sued for $10,000,000. Their son had the tip of his penis amputated during a "routine" circumcision..

1999

May

1

An English judge rules that a non-practising Muslim father may not have his son circumcised contrary to the mother's wishes, even though they had agreed to raise the child as Muslim. The ruling is upheld on November 26, the Court of Appeal saying "a newborn child does not share the conceptions of the parents" and "it [is] not in the best interests of the child to be circumcised, with its risk of pain and psychological damage which the boy would find hard to understand."

1999

Nov

20

The Lancet publishes Halperin and Bailey's editorial call for mass circumcision in Africa to prevent HIV spread. US media interpret it as a call for mass circumcision everywhere. Halperin tells the Bay Area Reporter in San Francisco on November 25, "If I were a top [insertive partner in anal sex], and didn't like to use condoms, I would consider getting circumcised." - contradicting his own advice in the editorial.

1999

Dec

26

Western Australian court awards $A360,000 to Shane Peterson, a 26 year old Perth man whose infant circumcision was botched. Shane has written his own account of his experiences.

2000

Feb

 

"Circumcision of healthy boys: Criminal assault?" by Boyle, Svoboda, Price, & Turner published in the Journal of Law & Medicine

2000

Mar

8

Parents of Jacob Sweet, brain damaged after infection from circumcision in Anchorage, Alaska, settle legal medical malpractice suit after 13 years.

2000

Jul

6

The American Medical Association issues a policy statement on circumcision, calling it "non-therapeutic" and recommending anaesthesia, but endorsing the AAP's 1999 statement.

2000

Oct

11

The court-ordered circumcision of a New Jersey three-year-old is postponed after an avalanche of protest. The estranged parents disagreed about the surgery, prescribed after a long history of forcible foreskin retraction and consequent inflammations..

2000

Nov

 

Publication of "The Ethical Canary" by Margaret Somerville, including a chapter about infant circumcision..

2000

Dec

7-9

Sixth International Symposium on Genital Integrity in Sydney, Australia. New Zealander Ken McGrath first describes the frenular delta.

6ISGI: Click for larger image
Click for a larger image with names

2000

Dec

19

William G. Stowell, 18, files suit against the doctor who circumcised him and the hospital where it was done.
Settlement, April 25, 2003

2001

Jan

15

A Las Vegas father, Henry Corvera, goes to court to protect his three-year-old son from circumcision [in a case exactly parallel to that of Matthew Price].

2001

Jan

16

Court in the case of Matthew Price accepts amicus curiae brief of NOCIRC - so the full case against circumcision will be considered in all future hearings.

2001

Jan

17

Ontario Human Rights Commission moves its position on circumcision closer to that on FGM - recognises harm.

2001

Jan

25

Settlement in the case of Matthew Price. Parents agree he will not be circumcised.

2001

Feb

27

The Association for Genital Integrity in Toronto applies for public funding under the government's Court Challenges Program to file a court challenge to extend the Canadian Charter to include males in protection against genital mutilation.

2001

Apr

1

100 people demonstrate for genital integrity on the Capitol steps, Washington DC.

2001

Apr

12

The Association for Genital Integrity's application for public funding to file a court challenge is denied.

2001

May

11

Marilyn Milos wins Nurseweek award for patient advocacy.

Marilyn Milos
Marilyn Fayre Milos

2001

Jun

1

Sweden passes a law restricting infant male circumcision

2001

Oct

1

Swedish law restricting infant male circumcision comes into effect.. Jewish lobby threatens to take Swedish Government to the European Court of Human Rights (!)

2001

Nov

1

Medicaid North Carolina stops funding circumcision, saving up to 17,000 baby boys a year.

2002

Mar-Apr

  Seventh International Symposium on Genital Integrity held in Washington DC.

2002

Jul

2

Medicaid Missouri stops funding circumcision.

2002

Sept

27

Royal Australasian College of Physicians says "there is no medical indication for routine male circumcision," raises ethical and legal issues.

2002

Oct

1

Medicaid Arizona stops funding circumcision.

2002

Dec

 

College of Physicians of Manitoba acknowledges Intactivism and the role of the foreskin in its recommendation against circumcising.

2002

Dec

1

Medicaid North Carolina stops funding circumcision.

2003

Jan

1

Medicaid Montana stops funding circumcision.

2003

Feb

15

Case of Flatt vs Kantak ends in Fargo, ND. Only asked-for information found to be necessary for consent to be "informed".

2003

Apr

4

Liz Hurley gives birth to Damian Charles and refuses to have him circumcised despite the insistance of his reluctant father, Steve Bing.
Liz Hurley

2003

Apr

25

Settlement for an undisclosed sum announced in case of William Stowell, circumcised with disputed consent.

William Stowell
William Stowell

2003

Jul

1

Medicaid Utah and Florida stop funding circumcision.

2004

Feb

3

Medicaid Maine stops funding circumcision.

2004

Sept

2-4 Eighth International Symposium on Human Rights and Modern Society: Advancing Human Dignity and the Legal Right to Bodily Integrity in the 21st Century, held in Padova (Padua), Italy.

2005

Jul

1

Medicaid Idaho stops funding circumcision.

2005

Oct

25

Bertran Auvert et al. publish the first of three randomised (not double-blinded or placebo-) controlled trials of paid volunteers claiming to show that circumcison reduces the transmission of HIV from women to men.

2006

Aug

24-26 Ninth International Symposium on Circumcision, Genital Integrity and Human Rights held at University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

2007

Mar

30 March and demonstration at the Capitol, Washington D.C., to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the passage of the law outlawing all genital cutting of girls, no matter how minor, and without regard to religion or culture.

2007

Mar

28 WHO and UNAIDS release policy and recommendations that "male circumcision should be recognized as an efficient intervention for HIV prevention and that promoting male circumcision should be recognized as an additional, important strategy for the prevention of heterosexually-acquired HIV infection in men" following a meeting in Montreux, Switzerland, on 6-8 March 2007 of "experts representing a wide range of stakeholders, including government representatives, researchers, civil society representatives, gender experts, human rights and women's health advocates, young people, funding agencies and implementing partners" - but the names of participants have never been revealed. (They presumably rubberstamped a previously written policy.)

2007

Apr

  Sorrells et al. paper "Fine-touch pressure thresholds in the adult penis" published in the BJU International, demonstrates that circumcising cuts off the best part of the penis.

2008

Sept

4-6 Tenth International Symposium on Genital Integrity held at the University of Keele, Staffordshire, UK.

2009

Jun

2 Oregon judge rules that a 14-year-old may refuse to be circumcised

2009

Jun

22 Intact America formed

2010

Mar

2 Massachusetts Genital Mutilation Bill (closely modelled on existing FGC legislation) heard. First attempt to outlaw male genital cutting.

2010

Mar

19 Massachusetts Genital Mutilation Bill defeated

2010

Apr

26 American Academy of Pediatrics publishes Female Genital Cutting policy proposing a "ritual nick". Uproar. Outrage.

2010

May

27 American Academy of Pediatrics withdraws Female Genital Cutting policy proposing a "ritual nick"

2010

May

28 Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) issues policy unequivocally condemning male genital cutting

2010

Mar

19 Massachusetts Genital Mutilation Bill defeated

2010

Jul

29-31 Eleventh International Symposium on Genital Integrity held at the University of California, Berkeley: program and abstracts

2010

Nov

10 San Francisco MGM Bill petition launched

2011

May

17 San Francisco accepts MGM Bill petition has enough signatures for vote

2011

May

22 Santa Monica MGM Bill petition launched

2011

Jun

6 Santa Monica MGM Bill petition withdrawn

2011

Jun

24 Federal circumcision de-regulation Bill (HR2400) introduced. Referred to House Energy and Commerce Committee, where it languishes.

2011

Jun

23 South African Medical Ethics Committee agrees circumcision is unethical

2011

Jul

1 San Francisco City Attorney files brief to block MGM Bill

2011

Jul

7 California Defence of Circumcision Bill introduced (by unravelling a greenhouse gas control bill)

2011

Jul

28 Judge blocks MGM Bill

2011

Aug-Sep

31-1 First Genital Autonomy Conference held at the University of Keele, England details

2011

Sep

6 California Defence of Circumcision Bill (AB768) passed

2012

June

25

Cologne District Court rules that non-therapeutic circumcision is "bodily harm".

2012

June

25

First Foreskin Pride march held, Victoria BC

2012

July

19

Bundestag resolves to pass law permitting religious circumcision.

2012

August

27

American Academy of Pediatrics' new policy claims "benefits outweigh risks" of circumcision

2012

September

25

Geman Justice Ministry draws up law allowing "medical" circumcision by non-doctors - no mention of religion.

2012

Sep-Oct

30-3 Twelfth International Symposium on Genital Integrity, Helsinki, Finland.

2012

October

27

Richard Duncker first wore "Bloodstained Man" overalls in a demonstration against male genital cutting outside the offices of the Ministry of Health building in Whitehall, London with a woman friend in plain white overalls illustrating the difference in protection of males and females under UK law. (Also present were Peter Ball, Patrick Smyth, Jim Hayes and Iris Fudge.) The imagery was taken up in Intactivist demonstrations worldwide.

2013

September

16-17

Thirteenth International Symposium on Genital Autonomy, Keele, UK. London QC James Chegwidden tells it that infant circumcision is already contrary to the law.

2013

September

30

Children's Ombudsmen of five Scandinavian countries, and several Danish political parties come out together against infant circumcision.

2013

September

30

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe comes out against infant circumcision.

2015

March

30

Eighteenth anniversary of the passage of Federal law against female genital cutting. Males unequally protected turn 18. Let the lawsuits commence!

 

Thanks (but no blame) to:

Rob Darby
Leo Freyer
Frederick Hodges
Van Lewis
Ken McGrath
Marilyn Milos
Dennis Vik

Copyright © H.Y. 1998

May be republished in a context of opposition to infant circumcision.

The NOCIRC website has another chronology, from 1945 to the present, more focussed on the US and on publications.

An Australian website has a revised and expanded version of this chronology, with more emphasis on Australia.

The University of Florida website includes a lecture by Prof. Kenneth Kellner on the history of circumcision in the US in RealAudio, illustrated with slides. (His statements about cancer and women's preference are disputable, however.)

Related page:

 

 

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