This site differs from others opposed to genital mutilation—its focus is on intactness rather than on circumcision. It is intended to counteract the "circodoxy": the mindset that the foreskin is an "extra" "flap of skin" and that circumcision is the norm—and the corresponding mindsets that lead to the cutting of girls and intersex people.
A trombone can play more notes than a vuvuzela.
Policy Statement
This site does not pretend to be "balanced". The case for circumcision has been made daily for decades in public media such as TV sitcoms, magazine articles, by medical "authorities" and by word of mouth. Now, thanks to the Internet, the opposition has a chance to be heard uninterrupted. This site does attempt to tell the truth about circumcision, and not overstate the case against it.

There are some pictures of penises on this site, including erect ones and also a few babies' ones, where necessary for their purpose. They are preceded by warnings.

This site does not claim to offer medical advice, etc. etc.
Basics
Did you know that…

 


The Intactivism Pages

The struggle for genital integrity and against the involuntary genital modification of children of any sex:

Male Circumcision
Female Genital Cutting
Involuntary Sex Reassignment

Genital Integrity for All!

 

Infant male genital cutting is already illegal:

"The Assault We Ignore", London Queen's Counsel James Chegwidden's speech at the 2013 Genital Autonomy Symposium in Keele, Staffs, UK, about how non-therapeutic infant circumcision is in breach of national and international law.

James Chegwidden QC
James Chegwidden QC

 

The American Academy of Pediatrics policy on male genital cutting is culturally biased and seriously flawed. It should be withdrawn.

[The full version of this statement has been moved to a news page. A video version of the full statement ]

To the full policy, annotated (click on the yellow highlighting—PDF file may require downloading to view)—a work in progress.

The AAP's 2012 brochure for parents leans even further toward recommending it.


The AAP Policy is rejected by
the Paediatric Associations of
Austria, Britain*, Denmark, England*, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands
and by senior paediatricians in
Canada, the Czech Republic, France and Poland.

*the British Association of Paediatric Urologists, the British Association of Paediatric Surgeons and the Royal College of Surgeons of England

The letter from 38 eminent paediatricians, including the heads or spokespeople of those associations, to Pediatrics, rejecting the policy. (Annotations may only appear if opened in a pdf reader)

The reply from the AAP Task Force - "You're another!" (Annotations may only appear if opened in a pdf reader)

A video response, answering the Task Force


Earlier features

Intactivist News

Offsite:

An Orthodox Jew argues from Torah that Brit Milah is a human rights violation

Deutches fahn NEU! intaktiv e.V. Eine Stimme für genitale Bestestimmung

Israeli flag Now with Hebrew subtitles: Nerves of the Penis and Foreskin

On this site:

Professor Brian Morris, a consolidated rebuttal
The AAP's 2012 brochure for parents
The xxxxx of my xxxx*- The circumcision A loving Malaysian mother's blog describing her daughter's surgical gential cutting
RACP brochure annotated
Your legal rights
Comprehensive rebuttal of HIV-RCTs
Satire: How to write about circumcision
Permissible and forbidden analogies for circumcision

World News is now mirrored at the Circumstitions News Blog.
 

Eastern Cape Deaths
from Circumcision, 2013:
~110
2012 Total: 64

April 22, 2014

KENYA: Parents charged with murder after FGC death

April 21, 2014

MISSISSIPPI: Botched circumcision repair still needs AI for fatherhood

February 4, 2014

BOTSWANA: "Safe" infant circumcision - with Accu-circ and Mogen clamps

April 19, 2014

SOMALIA: Female cutting to continue

April 18, 2014

KENYA: Chief charged with cutting daughters

April 16, 2014

MALAWI: Older men are not buying circumcision...

April 15, 2014

UGANDA: Myths about circumcision help spread HIV

April 14, 2014

ZIMBABWE: Men are not buying circumcision...

April 14, 2014

ZIMBABWE: ...so they're doing it to babies

April 14, 2014

SOUTH AFRICA: Hitman shot bride for circumcision fee

April 14, 2014

EUROPE: Council of Ministers support underage circumcision

April 11, 2014

WOOLWICH, UK: Bogus nurse who nearly killed boy jailed

April 10, 2014

SOUTH CAROLINA: Intersex child castration case to proceed

April 9, 2014

BEIJING: Man kills his circumciser

April 3, 2014

HELSINKI: MPs support law to restrict circumcision

March 21, 2014

LONDON: First prosecutions for female cutting - some "mutilations" leave no trace

April 3, 2014

WELLINGTON, NZ: Morris's latest claim "extremely worrying" - Paediatric Prof.

March 27, 2014

NEW YORK: Metzitzah: Scofflaw mohel will do it regardless

March 26, 2014

BORNEO: Man hospitalised after co-worker circumcises him

March 24, 2014

BUDAPEST: Russian Chief Rabbi wants mandatory Jewish circumcision

March 21, 2014

NORWAY: Nurses want to age-restrict circumcision

March 21, 2014

ARIZONA: Female genital cutting outlawed

March 19, 2014

CALIFORNIA: Class action against foreskin product for cancer risk

March 19, 2014

NORWAY: Minister wants to mandate hospital circumcision

March 18, 2014

EMIRATES: Amateur skins boy's genitals

March 17, 2014

VANCOUVER: CAN-FAP to protest at Gates talk

March 14, 2014

KENYA: Female cutting spreads HIV

March 11, 2014

UNITED NATIONS: "Circumcision protected by freedom of religion"

March 11, 2014

LIBERIA: Boy loses penis to elusive circumciser

March 11, 2014

CAIRO: Doctor and father to stand trial for girl's death after genital cutting

March 6, 2014

JERUSALEM: Attorney General disputes Rabbinical Court's right to rule on circumcision

March 6, 2014

DARWIN: ABC's coverage of circumcision botch "insensitive"

March 5, 2014

ZIMBABWE: Circumcised men abandoning condoms

March 2, 2014

ZIMBABWE: Senator condemns infant circumcision

 

Earlier news items

Search site:
(uses Google)
open new window
 

Links to Blogs ◦ Essays ◦ Podcasts ◦ VideosFB logo Facebook pages

Twitter
  • Intactivism tweets are hashtagged with #i2
  • Intactive on TwitterThe host of these pages tweets as intactive but not very often.

Events

Intact News
announces future Intactivist events

Fundraising

Help send Attorney John Geisheker to Toronto

Mohel/Doctor Aaron Jesin, MD admits performing the penis blood-sucking ritual of metzizah b'peh on infants

An intactivist in Toronto has filed a complaint against Dr. Jesin, but the Ethics Committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario dismissed a complaint against him.

Attorney John Geisheker, JD, LLM, executive director of Doctors Opposing Circumcision has agreed to appeal this decision - pro bono - to the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board of Ontario, but needs at least $1500 to cover the costs of his airfare, food, lodging, and related expenses in Toronto for a few days. The hearing will be held on Monday, May 12, 2014.

DONATE

(Target reached! Any more donations go to
Doctors Opposing Circumcision)

Donate for Eleanor, the mother being fined $US149/day by the rabbinical court to make her circumcise her son

Help student Brian Earp
study circumcision
for his Masters degree in philiosopy
at Cambridge

Upcoming

Worldwide Day of Genital Autonomy
May 7, 2014

The second anniversary of the momentous Cologne court ruling that infant circumcision is bodily harm.

See MOGiS for details.

13th International Symposium on
Genital Autonomy and Children's Rights

July 24-26, 2014
University of Colorado
Boulder, Colorado, USA

Ongoing

Change.org Petition to
the Pariamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe:
:
Stand by your stance on circumcision
Avaaz.org Petition
an Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger
:
Stoppt die Beschneidung von Kindern aus religioesen Gruenden!


Circumcised? Mad as hell about it?

Join the class action
at SueEasy.com

 

Circumcision

PICTURES AT A CIRCUMCISION

Nobody should consent to a circumcision who has not seen one. Close-up still photos of an infant circumcision.

off-site video
off-
site
video
Videos
A 6 ½-minute video of a circumcision
(by Gomco
®
clamp
, with sound, not for the squeamish)
off-site video
A 3-minute video of a circumcision
(by Gomco
®
clamp
) with instructions—again, not for the squeamish.
(The sound-track does not include the baby.)
off-site video
A 12-minute video of a circumcision (by Gomco
®
clamp
)—again, not for the squeamish—the baby is quieter in this one, but what the doctor says may give you pause.
(Requires minimal registration to view—just an email address.)
off-site video
A 5¾ minute video of a circumcision
(by Mogen
®
clamp
)
And again, not for the squeamish.
(Also uses the same registration as above video.)
off-site video
A 6 minute video of a circumcision
(by Dr Milton Sales using a Plastibell™ with dorsal penile nerve block.)
off-site video
A 2 minute video of a circumcision (by Winkelman
®
clamp
) from Razi Hospital, Jenin, Palestine.     Disturbing.
off-site video
A 2¾ minute video of a circumcision by Accu-circ™ from the makers (click on "Live Demonstration").   Not for the squeamish—even though the baby's shrieks have been replaced by monotonous piano music.
off-site video
Ten close-up videos of Brit Milah with a barzel. (NSFW) They are indeed quick, though some may have been edited.
The mohel does not wear gloves.
Laser circumcision of a six-year-old in Indonesia posted by his father (23:47 NSFW) Much screaming.
 
Stills
Still pictures of a Plastibell
®
circumcision

(clinical, from a scientific paper)
Warning, very graphic.

Still pictures of a sleeve procedure
(clinical, from a scientific paper)
Warning, very graphic.

12-page photo story of a a Gomco
®
procedure

(no close-ups, offsite, from the Saturday Evening Post)


Methods

A survey of historical and present-day circumcision instruments, and what can go wrong using each of them.


EXCUSES

Lists of

Hygiene
Who dares to be in favour of dirt? Facts about bacteria.

Disease
Circumcision is said to prevent…

 
off-site video
an artistic version of how one young man successfully eased his (unusually tight—phimotic) foreskin back
off-site video
DR DEAN EDELL
debunks the "circumcision prevents HIV" claims
(off-
site)

Points to Consider
by David Gisselquist

challenging assumptions about HIV/AIDS transmission is now online.
A section challenges the circumcision trials.

Religion

khanda

Sikhism:
Almost alone in celebrating the natural body.

Cross

Christianity:
New Testament quotations and church policies.

Christianity and Circumcision

PDF format

An essay on Jesus' circumcision. ◦ A commentary on Mantegna's painting "The Circumcision".

Mineret

Islam:
The Qu'ran does not mention circumcision. ◦ This page challenges assumptions.

 
Menorah

Judaism:
A very small proportion of circumcision worldwide, but pre-eminent in the public consciousness of circumcision. ◦ An essay looks at the case for Brit without Milah.

Brit Without Milah

PDF format

A list of Rabbis and others who will perform it. A speech by one after a Kol Nidre service. A Jewish father's letter to his intact son.

Motivation to circumcise
The psychology of circumcising ◦ “Circumcision as a memeplex” ◦ Prejudice against intact men ◦ The remarkable silence around the intact penis and circumcision ◦ Circumsurdities—absurd claims for circumcision; circumfetishism, the sexualisation of circumcising.

Money
Evidence that doctors promote circumcision out of greed. • The declining rate of Medicaid cover. • The real cost of circumcision. A cost-utility analysis of circumcision—it's a loser.


DOWNSIDES

Complications
Risks and damage, up to and including loss of the penis and death. • The autopsy reports on a Canadian baby who died of blood loss ◦ another when his urethra was blocked by a PlastiBell™

Pain

The pain of circumcision has long-term effects and is only partially relieved by anaesthetics. ◦ A report from the AAP recommends avoiding painful procedures, but fails to mention the commonest painful procedure.

◦ Circumcision may hinder Breastfeeding.

Circumcision vs
Breastfeeding

PDF format

Appearance

For those who think circumcision improves the appearance and is invariably harmless, there's a gallery of pictures of circumcisions. ◦ One man's multiple botches. ◦ Side-by-side comparison of the intact and circumcised penis: you can see the difference.


Resentment
Famous men and others who resent/ed being circumcised

Regrets
NEW! Parents who regret having circumcised their sons


THE WORLD
Some people imagine circumcision is universal in the western world. They should see the map of its prevalence worldwide. ◦ The same page shows a map of the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).


Predominantly intact countries:

New Zealand   A presentation and an article. From being very rare in the 1950s, intactness is now commonplace. An intact New Zealander celebrates. (.wav file, 103KB)
Australia   In Australia four boys in five are now left intact some states, more than 19 in 20 in others.
De Nederlandse vlagHolland   Non-religious circumcision has never been known in Holland.

Het geïnformeerdeg besnijdenisbeleid van KNMG
The Royal Dutch Medical Association's
enlightened circumcision policy

off-site video
A Dutch documentary (with English subtitles)
Mama waaram ben ik besneden?
(Mum, why was I circumcised?)

by Michael Schaap
covers most of the main issues — shows several circumcisions, not for the squeamish

Mexican flag Mexico     A guide (en espagnol) from the National Center for Health Technology Excellence, with input from the institutions that make up the National Health System, says "Circumcision of boys should not be done without medical indication."

Sweden     Sveriges fana / Swedish flag (på svenska) The first country to regulate male circumcision ◦ See Items from Sweden, most in Swedish and English.

Finland     Finnish flagIn Finland, where the home circumcisions of six African boys were botched, a working party member has recommended that it be at parental discretion and public expense, but doctors refuse to co-operate.

The Pacific   Practices vary widely in Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia.

Predominantly circumcising countries:

Tribal circumcision

U.S.A.   The United States is the only country in the world that surgically modifies a majority of its boy babies.

Korea   From unknown, circumcision has become almost universal in Korea in the last 50 years.

The Philippines   A traditional ritual for boys has become medicalised in the Philippines without the need for it ever being questioned. Myths are rampant.

Yemen   Justified by appeal to Islam, a report of Yemeni circumcision from 1921 details a particularly brutal variant (an answer to "but FGM is much worse")


REPRESENTATION—how circumcision is perceived

Mass media
Circumcision episodes on TV sitcoms, soaps, talk shows and in movies. "That Thing"—common themes in TV shows.

Books
Books about, or with significant parts about, circumcision or the foreskin ◦ The foreskin and circumcision in literature, mainly fiction


Mutilation, Regrets, Second-thoughts
Why circumcision may be called "mutilation". ◦ A mother who regrets circumcising ◦ A last minute change of heart


AT THE OTHER END OF THE KNIFE

Doctors' organisations
The American Medical Association's policy statement on circumcision is weighed in the balance (and found wanting). It agrees with the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics. ◦ The stark contrast between the AAP statements on circumcision and Female Genital Mutilation ◦ The statements of the American Urological Association and the American Association of Family Physicians—both ethically barren

Nurses
Advice for nurses questioning circumcision

Midwives
The serious bias towards circumcision of a leading US midwifery textbook, including a chapter telling midwives how to do it (yet it details the disadvantages of each method)—analysed and contrasted with a British textbook.


REBUTTALS

The case presented for circumcision is hydra-headed: answer one argument and its supporters will produce another, and another, indefinitely. (Urinary Tract Infections, until recently cited as the main reason to circumcise, were only added to the list in 1982) Something else is going on—if the foreskin has so many faults and varied, how could it ever have have survived?

• A 1941 article mentions in passing that some doctors then did it without asking

• Former US Surgeon-General G. Everett Koop's site, drkoop.com has moved forward very little.

• Harvard Medical School lends its prestige to a very one-sided article.

• The American Medical Association finds no convincing medical reason, yet leaves the surgical decision to the parents.

• Emeritus Professor Brian Morris, a retired molecular biologist formerly at the University of Sydney, has only a passing acQuaintance with facts.

• A 2003 leaflet for parents (revised 2008) by the Americal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) dissected.

• The Mayo Clinic has produced a brochure for parents with misleading "before" and "after" pictures.

• The Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Georgia offers a particularly bad example.

• Rebuttal to a pro-circ article in Parenting magazine's BabyTalk.

• Calls for circumcision to prevent HIV are becoming more frequent and strident. That by Szabo and Short is answered here and contrasted with that of Weiss.

• A very biased BBC/Learning Channel documentary about HIV is rebutted here.

• A renewed claim that circumcision protects against cervical cancer in the partner is rebutted here.

• The American Association of Family Physicians' 2002 circumcision policy admits the low utility of circumcision, and discusses ethics (inadequately).

• The Royal Australasian College of Physicians' 2010 policy disposes of the medical claims and (unlike its predecessor) considers the functions of the foreskin, but still bends over backwards to blur the ethical issues so that it can stay on the fence.

• The RACP has issued a brochure.

• The AAP's 2012 policy statement is answered here. (1999)

• The AAP's 2012 brochure for parents is so full of bias that this page offers an alternative.

• The Sydney Children's Hospital's Fact Sheet for parents is excellent, a model of its kind


PARALLEL EVILS

Female Genital Cutting
Female circumstitions—bad reasons to cut a girl ◦ The AAP's 2010 policy on FGC compared with its 1999 policy, and its 1999 policies on FGC and MGC compared. ◦ A chart comparing circumcision with Female Genital Cutting (FGM/FGC). ◦ The UN definitions of the types of FGM/FGCA doctor defends FGM. ◦ A study showing FGM does not impair the frequency of women's sex (nothing about the quality). The circumcision A loving Malaysian mother's blog about her daughter's surgical FGC

Episiotomy   A form of Female Genital Cutting still common in the US.

Breast-ironing   Another cruel sexually-related female mutilation, practised in parts of West and Central Africa.

Intersexed   people and non-consensual gender-assignment.

Castration   Mozart, Handel, Rossini and Gluck wrote music for castrated singers, and Allegri was one. This was as accepted in Italy in 1600-1860 as circumcision is in the US today.

And beyond the genitals, infant circumcision compared with footbinding and uvulectomy (removal of the uvula that hangs down at the back of the mouth)

The Foreskin

APPEARANCE

A Gallery of Intact Men and their Penises. ◦ A Gallery of Intact Men and their Penises in Art. (The entire sequence of five pages is a slide show with music off-site.) ◦ Countries that celebrate the (intact) penis. ◦ The "luscious beauty" of the intact male.

For intact (young US) men who worry about being "different," a Gallery of Intact Celebrities (with their clothes on): a page each of intact historical personages, US film stars former and current, US TV stars former and current, US sporting heroes, US musicians, non-US celebrities (musicians, actors, sportsmen and others), and leaders.

A Gallery of Very-Probably-Intact men.


STRUCTURE

A Glossary of words relating to Intactivism and normal anatomy. Some of the main ones are illustrated.

Diagrams of male and female anatomy at eight weeks gestation and at birth illustrate the similarity of structure.

Not "just a flap of skin": a non-erotic animation of how a foreskin works. ◦ A more stylised animation to demonstrate its size. A remarkable illustration of its actual size.


FUNCTION
Functions of the Foreskin (22 of them)
off-site video
An enlightening online video:

The Prepuce

aimed at doctors and uses medical language but very clear about the use and value of the foreskin.

Sexuality
The sexuality page corrects the fairly popular fallacy that there is no difference in sexual function between intact and circumcised men. ◦ The foreskin itself gives pleasure. ◦ A musical illustration. Reports by women about what a revelation intact men were to them. ◦ Condoms and the intact man. ◦ Tantric sex. ◦ Popular myth: "American women prefer circumcised." (Williamsons' survey of women in Iowa)


CARE

Care of the Intact Penis

There's very little to it!

also available in PDF format

a response to the AAP's "Care of the Uncircumcised Penis"

Paraphimosis, one of the few real threats.

Paraphimosis

PDF format leaflet

Frenulum breve "tight banjo string"—can be readily treated.


FOR PARENTS (TO-BE) AND SONS

“It's a Boy!”

A short summary for parents and parents-to-be of the case for intactness in simple language.
Also available as a PDF format leaflet.

written to answer the AAP's brochure for parents which doesn't even acknowledge that the foreskin is part of the penis!

off-site video
A historic documentary video
circa 1982   (How little has changed!)
featuring Intactivist pioneers Edward Wallerstein and Rosemary Romberg—includes a Mogen
®
clamp circumcision—
(Parental Guidance Recommended)

Mothers (and mothers-to-be)
Sheila Kitzinger's New Pregnancy & Childbirth. ◦ A thought-experiment. ◦ How to raise the subject with a circumcised husband.

Fathers
A circumcised father with an intact son—a telling rejoinder to "a boy should look like his father" ◦ A cartoon ◦ A 2500-year-old fable by Æsop

Refusal
Circumcision is sometimes pushed on parents, and even committed contrary to their wishes. To prevent this, a firmly-worded

Circumcision Refusal Form
and a sheet of circumcision refusal stickers in PDF format

Intact boys

“Why is mine different?”

A short story for intact boys and their parents about what intactness is, and why intact boys should, if anything, be glad to be "different" from their friends.
(also available in PDF format)

Intact teens
“Something They Haven't”
A story and Q&A for intact teenagers about peer pressure and being intact.
(also available in PDF format)

Foreskin restorationa growing movement smile
Deutches fahn Vorhaut-Restoration—ausführliche Informationen auf Deutsch ◦ An artificial foreskin.

HUMAN RIGHTS
• Genital integrity is first and foremost a human rights issue.

Ethics
• Medical organisations have very little to say about the ethics of circumcision. There is more here.
• The British Medical Association has issued ethical guidelines that rule out infant circumcision based on parental preference alone.
• An important book, "The Ethical Canary", includes a chapter on the ethics of circumcision.

Two ethicists defend circumcision and attack their critics using flawed arguments. Here is a rebuttal.
The Chair of the AAP Bioethics Committee shows that parental consent is inadequate for unnecessary surgery.

Law
The legal case against infant circumcision is growing. This section also contrasts the protection afforded cats, dogs and a baby's head against similar procedures.

A shocking parallel. Parental guidance recommended.


THE CAMPAIGN FOR GENITAL INTEGRITY: INTACTIVISM


off-site video
SCHMUCK
Interview with Dan Strandjord, who daily pickets the University of Chicago Hospital to protest its high circumcision rate.
off-site video
Five short videos from Genital Integrity Awareness Week 2009 on YouTube
—and over 100 other interviews about circumcision
off-site video

Bruce Springsteen "sings" at Superbowl
"Born Intact"
Another great rewrite from TLCTugger.

off-site video

An award-winning children's rights documentary
"Whose Body, Whose Rights?"
is available online.

The only circumcision-related video to explore important issues not addressed in other programs, and so far the only one that can both be purchased as a DVD and viewed online.

LINKS to other Intactivist sites


BACKGROUND

Propaganda

Circumcision—a "cure" in search of a disease

Presentation to the New Zealand Skeptics, September 26, 2009
"The Rape of the Cock", an epic poem with illustrations
(Open Doc Presentation file—opens in Powerpoint and LibreOffice § 4.7MB)

"The Foreskin and Circumcision"
(Open Doc Presentation file—opens in LibreOffice and Powerpoint § 1.1MB)

(off-
site)
Podcast (audio) of the presentation

§ The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's promotion of circumcision encourages many to use free, open source alternatives to Microsoft software like LibreOffice & Calligra Suite.

Campaign resources
Readymade T-shirts and bumperstickers from The Intactivism Shop
Also mugs, buttons, fridge-magnets, tote bags, and other gear.

(off-
site)

The Intactivism Shop


NO-CIRC Sleeved T - The Intactivism Shop 'Wish I Was Intact' hoodie - The Intactivism Shop

T-shirts, bumperstickers, mugs, more.

anteater pride mug - The Intactivism Shop 'Cold Dead Hands' Thong - The Intactivism Shop


HOUSEKEEPING

Feedback from readers

Comments about this site are welcome. Please use email.
(No e-cards, thank you. Hostile messages may be displayed unedited. Link exchange considered only for sites related to genital cutting.)


Frequently Asked Questions


Miscellaneous
Types of circumcision articles; circumcision in Shakespeare; infection vs. inflammation; diabetes; other "useless" organs, the appendix and Jacobsen's organ; whether babies remember being circumcised; permanent retraction; circumcision and royalty.


To people who think the subject is beneath discussion.


Have you changed your mind about circumcision?
We'd love to hear about it!