Intactivism: Week in Review September 8, 2012
Circumcision Controversy in Germany
The big news this week the continuing saga of the circumcision controversy in Germany. Last month, a German court ruled that circumcision of a child is an illegal assault on that child's body and a human rights violation. This ruling was a result of a botched circumcision that harmed the child. As expected, religious groups attacked the court's decision, some calling it an anti-semitic decision. The German government responded to the backlash by attempting to mollify the religious groups. Recently, the German state of Berlin declared that child circumcisions could only be done by a medical practitioner, not by Jewish mohels. The controversy continues.
Throughout this recent controversy, it helps to know that many Jews do not agree with male infant circumcision. We can only hope that in time more will realize that male infant circumcision has outlived its time. We live in the 21st Century. It is time to put body modification rituals behind us and recognize the sanctity of all human life and everyones right to have a complete and whole body, free of any genital cutting.
Week in Review September 8, 2012
Parents, protect your babies. Support intactivism. The following list includes blogs, articles, and websites of interest to Intactivists that were published in the past week. This is a running tally of the ones I found interesting.
Sunday, September 2, 2012
The Good Men Project: Our Bodies, Our Choices: Circumcision is Not a Joke
"My body, my choice." That is an often repeated statement by intactivists, particularly men who were circumcised and are not happy about it. This article extensively covers male infant circumcision and the many things that can go wrong from the unnecessary, elective surgery of baby boys.
The Creativity Post: The AAP Report on Circumcision: Bad Science + Bad Ethics = Bad Medicine
Without mincing words: "The new policy regarding infant circumcision from the American Academy of Pediatrics is scientifically unfounded and ethically bankrupt. It should be rescinded without delay." In the risk/benefit calculations of the policy, the AAP leaves out a critical bulk of relevant factors including the range of proven healthcare strategies like condom-use or the administration of vaccines (including an effective HPV vaccine) and antibiotics. Any rational organization would have come to a different answer if they had bothered to consider human rights and bodily integrity issues, the function of the foreskin, and the foreskin's value to the individual and his possible wishes in later life.
The Rational Animal: Motivations Behind Circumcision
People who favor circumcision often make desperate and easily refuted arguments. This post addresses many of the most fevered and emotionally driven defenses of circumcision.
Intactivists of Australasia: Despair, embarrassment, grief and survival: A personal account of the impact of infant circumcision
A man writes about his experience as a man circumcised as a baby. Thanks to the Internet, he discovered the extent of his circumcision harm (it was botched). He also learned about foreskin restoration on the Internet. By restoring his foreskin, he improved himself and his quality of life. He also has become an intactivist, fighting to keep baby boys whole because they cannot speak for themselves.
Beyond the Bris: Questioning Jewish Circumcision: Facebook Campaign Protests AAP Circumcision Policy
A Jewish man against male infant circumcision writes about protesting the recently revised AAP circumcision policy. He acknowledges that he is on the margins of the Jewish community, but there have always been opponents of the Jewish circumcision rite.
Kractivist: Circumcision is Good? WTF!
A report about the AAP circumcision policy. The post includes references and quotes about how the revised AAP policy is unethical and infant circumcision is discouraged everywhere except in the US, where doctors make a lot of money from the unnecessary, elective surgery.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Your Tango: Why We Chose Not To Circumcise Our Son
A mother tells why she is confident in her decision to not circumcise her son despite the recent AAP circumcision policy statement. Her husband is intact and adamantly felt that his son should also be intact. She did not really disagree with him, but she was surprised at how quickly he responded to the circumcision question. He had really good reasons for keeping his son intact based on his own experiences and the benefits of having a foreskin.
Science-Based Medicine: Responses to “New AAP Policy on Circumcision”
Comments on an article about the AAP revised circumcision policy statement. The comments raise many valid points questioning the validity of the policy statement.
Religion News Service:Faith » Doctrine & Practice: GUEST COMMENTARY: Expanding the debate around circumcision
Ronald Goldman, Ph.D., is executive director of the Jewish Circumcision Resource Center and author of "Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective" and "Circumcision: The Hidden Trauma." He presents a valid viewpoint of the circumcision discussion that is being conducted worldwide. He explains why Germans, and many others, view male infant circumcision as harmful and unnecessary.
Concurring Opinions: The AAP’s New Circumcision Policy
The author is troubled with the language in the AAP's revised circumcision policy that advocates third parties paying for circumcision. She is concerned that ready payment for the unnecessary, elective surgery would increase the circumcision rate. I see that statement as a group of greedy doctors trying to ensure a steady income stream for unnecessary, elective surgery. It is all about the money.
Searching for Answers: Where Circumcision Doesn't Prevent HIV
Despite what the pro-circumcision advocates say, most countries in Africa have more HIV cases among the circumcised men than among those who are intact, uncut, or uncircumcised. In other words, the male circumcision campaign in Africa is based on incomplete information.
Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Stop circumcision
A critique of the recent AAP circumcision policy statement. The author notes that non-circumcising cultures, which include most countries in the world, do not agree with the flimsy genital cutting rationalizations such as used by the AAP. Some countries actively oppose male infant circumcision, as seen in the recent German controversy over child circumcision. The Royal Dutch Medical Association explains that the male foreskin is an important erotogenic structure for which there is no medical benefit that justifies its routine removal.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
NewsOK: Pediatricians group inaccurate, biased on circumcision
An Oklahoma mother who is also a lawyer and registered nurse states that the American Academy of Pediatrics circumcision policy statement is inaccurate, biased, and misleading. The AAP policy for genital cutting also fails to address ethical and human rights issues. She points out that money is likely driving the doctors' group to take a stand favoring genital cutting (male infant circumcision).
Bioethics Forum: Ritual Circumcision: Ban Metzitzah b’peh
A brief history of the current controversy over circumcision in Europe and the US. The article points out that there are medical reasons to stop the practice of Metzitzah b'peh, the Jewish circumcision rite that involves a mohel sucking the penis after it is cut. As noted in the article, freedom of religion does have limits, particularly when it involves harm to someone other than the person practicing the religion.
The Sacramento Bee: Child Advocacy Group Denounces the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Policy Statement on Circumcision
Intaction.org is a child advocacy group that denounces the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) over its newly published "Circumcision Policy Statement." The group notes that the AAP policy fails to address the risks and complications of male infant circumcision. The AAP also fails to consider medical information of other Western nations who have low circumcision rates and lower rates of HIV and STDs than the US.
Andrew Sullivan: The Dish: Attacking Sexual Pleasure At Birth
A look at how male infant circumcision affects a man's sexual pleasure. For example, in one study recently published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, researchers found that circumcised men and their partners suffer from higher rates of sexual difficulty than uncircumcised men and their partners. That is, circumcision results in more sexual problems than when the man is whole and intact.
The Conversation: Tasmanian report calls for groundbreaking reform of circumcision law
The Tasmanian Law Reform Institute in the Australian state of Tasmania is seeking to reform male infant circumcision law. The reform gives men and older boys the choice to decide their own circumcision status. The reform prohibits male infant circumcision performed for the sake of secular social reasons, like making junior look like circumcised dad.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Pink News: US medical body changes advice on circumcision
A UK site points out one fallacy in the AAP circumcision policy statement, namely, that the HIV effect seen in third world countries does not apply to the US. That is, it is foolhardy to promote male infant circumcision without considering studies based on Western nations, which mostly show that circumcision has no pronounced impact on the HIV rate. The British Medical Association currently has no policy on the male infant circumcision because of the “absence of unambiguously clear and consistent medical data on the implications of the intervention.” In other words, They have no circumcision policy because the medical science shows male infant circumcision is unnecessary.
Should I circumcise?: Speak out against the AAP
A call to intactivists and others to take action. Let the American Academy of Pediatricians know that their revised circumcision policy is unacceptable for modern society. The author provides 5 things that people can do to help protect baby boys from genital cutting.
Friday, September 7, 2012
American Humanist Association: Why the Foreskin? An Argument For Sexual Enjoyment
The author makes a strong statement: "So, what is the foreskin for? The answer is simple: SEX!" And he backs it up with good information. He describes how a foreskin works and the pleasure that a foreskin can bring to a man. As a humanist, he feels compelled to defend the basic human right of self-determination as it pertains to body integrity. An adult can do what he wishes to his body, but a child's body should remain whole and intact.
Mail & Guardian: Circumcision issue cuts two ways
A South Africa article about male infant circumcision. The AAP in the US advocates male infant circumcision while others outside the US point out the harms of infant circumcision and how the science does not support the need for infant circumcision. "There might be some partial protection against disease that is conferred by circumcision, but you don't cut off part of a child's body to prevent disease."
The Oklahoma Daily: Circumcision decisions should be left to those being circumcised
A circumcised man writes that he wishes his parents had left him whole and intact. He does not understand the cultural practice and tradition of male infant circumcision. He notes that the AAP circumcision policy relies heavily on Africa trials, but the AAP ignores the studies the refute the findings, both in Africa and in the United States. Male circumcision does not prevent HIV in the United States.
Saturday, September 8, 2012
Saving Our Sons: The Cut
A poem about a mother's regret that she allowed her son to be circumcised. The mother apologizes to her son for the harm she let befall him. She hopes that others learn from her mistakes.