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."
Circumcision Policies of Other Medical Organizations
2012 SWEDISH PAEDIATRIC SOCIETY
- Circumcision of young boys for religious and non-medical reasons ought to be banned in Sweden. "We consider it to be an assault on these boys," said Staffan Janson, chairman of the committee for ethical issues and childrens' rights. Children are unable to form a decision in the matter. Circumcision is an attack on boys' integrity. "It's such a complicated and difficult question, but even so, we've decided that this is a procedure to be done away with," Janson said."It's a mutilation of a child unable to decide for himself."
2010 ROYAL AUSTRALASIAN COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS
- "Ethical and human rights concerns have been raised regarding elective infant male circumcision because it is recognized that the foreskin has a functional role, the operation is non-therapeutic and the infant is unable to consent. After reviewing the currently available evidence, the RACP believes that the frequency of diseases modifiable by circumcision, the level of protection offered by circumcision and the complication rates of circumcision do not warrant routine infant circumcision in Australia and New Zealand."
- "The foreskin has two main functions. Firstly it exists to protect the glans penis. Secondly the foreskin is a primary sensory part of the penis, containing some of the most sensitive areas of the penis."
- "The potential harms include contravention of individual rights, loss of choice, loss of function, procedural and psychological complications. . . . A boy circumcised as an infant may deeply resent this when he grows older; he may want what he cannot have – not to have been circumcised. . . . The option of leaving circumcision until later, when the boy is old enough to make a decision for himself does need to be raised with parents and considered. . . . The ethical merit of this option is that it seeks to respect the child’s physical integrity, and capacity for autonomy by leaving the options open for him to make his own autonomous choice in the future."
2010 ROYAL DUTCH MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
- "There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene. Partly in light of the complications which can arise during or after circumcision, circumcision is not justifiable except on medical/therapeutic grounds. . . . Contrary to what is often thought, circumcision entails the risk of medical and psychological complications. . . . Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is contrary to the rule that minors may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present. . . . Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors conflicts with the child's right to autonomy and physical integrity. . . . Complications in the area of sexuality have also been reported as have extreme pain experiences in newborns causing behavioral changes which are still apparent years later. Similarly, the high social costs of circumcision as a result of complications have been cited. . . . The foreskin is a complex, erotogenic structure that plays an important role in the mechanical function of the penis during sexual acts, such as penetrative intercourse and masturbation. The many attempts by men to restore their foreskins by mechanical or surgical means also contradict the idea that the foreskin is a useless part of the body."
2008 DOCTORS OPPOSING CIRCUMCISION
- "We recommend that the genital integrity of boys be preserved. Parental request for non-therapeutic circumcision of a son appears to exceed the powers granted to parents by law. We further recommend that doctors refuse to perform non-therapeutic circumcision at parental request."
2006 BRITISH MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
- “The BMA does not believe that parental preference alone constitutes sufficient grounds for performing a surgical procedure on a child unable to express his own view. Parental preference must be weighed in terms of the child's interests. . . . The BMA considers that the evidence concerning health benefit from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification for doing it. . . . Some doctors may wish to not perform circumcisions for reasons of conscience. Doctors are under no obligation to comply with a request to circumcise a child.”
2002 CANADIAN PAEDIATRIC SOCIETY (REAFFIRMED 1996 POSITION)
- “Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed.”
routine circumcision of male infants.
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