The first intensive exploration of the unrecognized psychological and social aspects of this increasingly controversial American cultural practice. Endorsed by dozens of professionals in psychology, psychiatry, child development, pediatrics, obstetrics, childbirth education, sociology and anthropology.
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"What's done to children, they will do to society."
"Parents do not know what they are choosing, and physicians do not feel what they are doing."
"In response to circumcision, the baby cries a helpless, panicky, breathless, high-pitched cry!...[or] lapses into a semi-coma. Both of these states...are abnormal states in the newborn."
"Doctors who circumcise are the most resistant to change. They will not admit that they made a critical mistake by amputating an important part of the penis."
"In this case, the old dictum 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it' seems to make good sense."
"A whole life can be shaped by an old trauma, remembered or not."
"If we are to have real peace, we must begin with the children."
"We are interconnected. When a baby boy's sexuality is not safe, no one's sexuality is safe."
Men Circumcised as Adults
"After the circumcision there was a major change. It was like night and day. I lost most sensation. I would give anything to get the feeling back."
Only men circumcised as adults can experience the difference a foreskin makes. In the Journal of Sex Research, Money and Davison from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reported on five such men. Changes included diminished penile sensitivity and less penile gratification. The investigators concluded,
Erotosexually and cosmetically, the operation is, for the most part, contraindicated, and it should be evaluated in terms of possible pathological sequelae.
Other men circumcised as adults regret the change.
I play guitar and my fingers get callused from playing. That’s similar to what happened to my penis after circumcision.
After the circumcision there was a major change. It was like night and day. I lost most sensation. I would give anything to get the feeling back. I would give my house. [This man’s physician persuaded him to be circumcised by warning he could otherwise get penile cancer. When the man complained of the result, the physician replied, “That’s normal” and would not help him.]
Slowly the area lost its sensitivity, and as it did, I realized I had lost something rather vital. Stimuli that had previously aroused ecstasy had relatively little effect. . . . Circumcision destroys a very joyful aspect of the human experience for males and females.
The greatest disadvantage of circumcision is the awful loss of sensitivity when the foreskin is removed. . . . On a scale of 10, the intact penis experiences pleasure that is at least 11 or 12; the circumcised penis is lucky to get to 3.
The sexual differences between a circumcised and uncircumcised penis is . . . like wearing a condom or wearing a glove. . . . Sight without color would be a good analogy. . . . Only being able to see in black and white, for example, rather than seeing in full color would be like experiencing an orgasm with a foreskin and without. There are feelings you’ll just never have without a foreskin.
After thirty years in the natural state I allowed myself to be persuaded by a physician to have the foreskin removed—not because of any problems at the time, but because, in the physician’s view, there might be problems in the future. That was five years ago and I am sorry I had it done. . . . The sensitivity in the glans has been reduced by at least 50 percent. There it is, unprotected, constantly rubbing against the fabric of whatever I am wearing. In a sense, it has become callused. . . . I seem to have a relatively unresponsive stick where I once had a sexual organ.
References are available upon request.
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