The Intactivism Pages

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

Male Genital Cutting
Female Genital Cutting
Involuntary Sex Reassignment

Genital Autonomy for All!

This site differs from others opposed to genital mutilation: its focus is on intactness rather than on genital cutting. It is intended to counteract the mindset that the foreskin is an "extra" "flap of skin" and that male genital cutting is the norm, and the corresponding mindsets that lead to the cutting of girls and intersex people.

This page has been simplified to be more mobile-friendly: Policy, Basics, News and Action have been moved to their own pages. Links to the most useful pages, if they are not in the list below, are at Background.

The issue: Basics News Background Blogs, Essays, Videos FB logo Action
This site: Policy Contents FAQ Sitemap New Here Contact
The Foreskin  
Genital Cutting

Anatomy | [Brit Shalom is now offsite] | Celebrities | Christianity | Galleries | Links | Restoration | Sex


Disease | HIV (the RCTs) | Memes | Movies | TV

For Parents & Sons
Human Rights
-  law
-  chronology
-  quotations
-  references

-  links
-  feedback


-  circumstitions
-  disease
-  religion
-  death
-  resentment
-  regret
The World
-  literature


Other parallels

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The Foreskin


A Gallery of Intact Men and their Penises  A Gallery of Intact Men and their Penises in Art.  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.


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.

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.

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 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.


PDF format leaflet

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


"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-experimentHow to raise the subject with a circumcised husband.

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

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 restoration: a growing movement smile
Deutches fahn Vorhaut-Restoration: ausführliche Informationen auf Deutsch  An artificial foreskin.


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.

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.


off-site video
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.



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


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

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!

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Genital Cutting


Nobody should consent to a circumcision who has not seen one.

A nurse does her first circumcision, with a Gomco clamp.
Very painful to watch.
A 4'21" video of a circumcision (by Plastibell
with insufficient anaesthetic: the doctor can hardly make himself heard over the shrieking baby. Disturbing.
An 8 minute video of a Gomco circumcision
uploaded by Dr Kevin Windisch "for health professionals".
He has to raise his voice and still can't be heard over the baby,
to whom he repeatedly apologises. Disturbing.
off-site video
A 6'30" video of a circumcision
(by GomcoTMclamp, with sound, not for the squeamish)
off-site video
A 3-minute video of a circumcision
(by Gomco
) 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
) -- 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 5'45" minute video of a circumcision
(by Mogen
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 4'21" video of a circumcision
(by Dr Aladdin Altarteer using a Plastibell
with dorsal penile nerve block. The baby's shrieking is nonetheless disturbing.)
off-site video
A 2 minute video of a circumcision (by Winkelman
) from Razi Hospital, Jenin, Palestine.     Disturbing.
off-site video
A 2'15" 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.
Still pictures of a Plastibell

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

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

Close-up still photos of an infant circumcision. 12-page photo story of a a Gomco

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


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


Lists of

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

Circumcision is said to prevent or cure...

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

Points to Consider
by David Gisselquist

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



Almost alone in celebrating the natural body.


New Testament quotations and church policies.

Christianity and Circumcision

PDF format

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


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


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 memeplexPrejudice against intact men   Circumsurdities--absurd claims for circumcision; circumfetishism, the sexualisation of circumcising.

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.


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


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

PDF format


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 (NSFW).

Famous men and others who resent/ed being circumcised Regrets
NEW! Parents who regret having circumcised their sons

Some people imagine infant male genital cutting is universal in the western world. They should see the map of its prevalence worldwide.  The same page shows maps of  the prevalence and legality of Female Genital Cutting (FGC) and of recognition and protection of Intersexed people.

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 vlagThe Netherlands   Non-religious circumcision has never been known in the Netherlands.

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.

Iran   Infant male cutting is routine, even for boys whose parents are not Muslim.
Farsi (Persian) An article in Farsi (Persian) (NSFW
NSFW in Farsi)

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 male genital cutting is perceived
- the normalisation of male genital cutting by ignoring the foreskin 

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

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


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

Advice for nurses questioning circumcision

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. Famous hippie guru midwife Ina May Gaskin used to cut babies and has never renounced it. This video calls on her to do so:


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

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's proposed policy on male genital cutting is closedly based on the AAP's policy. It has received more than 3,100 replies, 97.2% of them opposed. They include submissions from

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


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/FGC  A 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)