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Say No to Infant Circumcision

Watch this video from Penn & Teller's Bullshit, where they spend 30 minutes showing the research and information behind circumcision.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of circumcision, check out this funny (yet very informative) video by Adam Ruins Everything on the topic.

Foreskin Restoration

Check out Atoro's Restoration page, where he's keeping a journal of his own foreskin restoration right now over the past several months. See the results, know it's possible, over 250k men are restoring their foreskin in the US, why aren't you?

Studies on Circumcision<

Study shows that, "women who had experienced coitus with both intact and circumcised men preferred intact partners by a ratio of 8.6 to one."
Source: http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/116-1181/595/

2006 study: "The glans of the circumcised penis is less sensitive to fine touch than the glans of the uncircumcised penis. The transitional region from the external to the internal prepuce is the most sensitive region of the uncircumcised penis and more sensitive than the most sensitive region of the circumcised penis. Circumcision ablates the most sensitive parts of the penis."
Source: http://www.nocirc.org/touch-test/bju_6685.pdf

2011 study: "Circumcision was associated with frequent orgasm difficulties in Danish men and with a range of frequent sexual difficulties in women, notably orgasm difficulties, dyspareunia and a sense of incomplete sexual needs fulfillment."
Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21672947

For more information check out: http://www.sexasnatureintendedit.com/

Christopher Hitchens: On Circumcision

Quick Terminology

Someone who is born with a foreskin and still has it. "I am an Intact male."
Synonym for "intact" someone who is born with a foreskin and still has it. The way nature intended.
Someone who has been circumcised as a child or later in life to remove their foreskin. "I was cut at birth." Many consider circumcision to be a mutilation of the penis because it fits the model of mutilation being defined as, "an injury that causes disfigurement or that deprives you of a limb or other important body part." when circumcision is called a mutilation it seems to cause a lot of negative reactive among the circumcised community, even though it's an exact definition.
A derogatory, improper term for "intact" or "natural" describing someone who is not circumcised. The term "cut" has no place in the realm to describe a naturally intact male. The reason why uncut is sometimes considered offensive is because of terminology specifics. Cut being the base word, "un" is a prefix to that means opposite or reverse. The main problem being the terminology establishes a stereotype or generalized opinion that circumcised males are the default norm because you are rather circumcised or NOT circumcision. The term intact is proper because it doesn't have any connection to a circumcision process, or lack of. It defines the state of being with, instead of being without (cut) or not without (uncut). It makes sense, that someone would use a word that accurately defines the situation or instance. Which is why Intact is the word used to describe a male with a foreskin.
The process of undergoing foreskin restoration. "I used to be circumcised, but I am now uncircumcised." "I'm currently undergoing uncircumcision."

The REAL modified definition of "uncut" in our attempts to correct misuse of simple English words is; someone who underwent foreskin restoration and is no longer cut. They have a restored foreskin. Which makes more sense than the current use of the word. Seeings that un means opposite or reverse. Cut in reverse, is uncut, to reverse a circumcision you restore the foreskin, hence, Uncut, the possession of a restored foreskin.

The Surgery (The Mutilation)

WARNING: Graphic content

HIV and Circumcision Fallacy

The idea that we Westerners are going to march into Africa -- which is so huge, so vast, so complicated -- and we're going to circumcise, perform an operation on millions and millions and millions of men, when we refuse to feed these people, get them useful jobs, and bring them fresh water, is so naive that it expresses to me the desperation of the pro-circumcision lobby.

The Facts Behind Circumcision

Newborn male circumcision is the most common surgical procedure performed in the U.S. It's a common misconception that there are tangible health benefits to male circumcision, but the truth is no medical society in the world recommends it. This invasive procedure carries serious health risks, including infection, hemorrhage, surgical mishap, and death, as well many ethical considerations. Yet, despite these risks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are developing public health recommendations that could mislead more parents into agreeing to circumcision for their newborn baby boys. Yaoi Haven Reborn is demanding that these organizations issue a truthful statement on the risks and harms of newborn male circumcision.

  • Myth – Circumcising baby boys is a safe and harmless procedure.
  • Fact – Surgically removing part of a baby boy's penis causes pain, creates immediate health risks and can lead to serious complications. Risks include infection, hemorrhage, scarring, difficulty urinating, loss of part or all of the penis, and even death. Circumcision complications can and do occur in even the best clinical settings.

  • Myth – Circumcision is just a little snip.
  • Fact – Surgical removal of the foreskin involves immobilizing the baby by strapping him face-up onto a molded plastic board. In one common method, the doctor then inserts a metal instrument under the foreskin to forcibly separate it from the glans, slits the foreskin, and inserts a circumcision device. The foreskin is crushed and then cut off. The amount of skin removed in a typical infant circumcision is the equivalent of 15 square inches in an adult male.

  • Myth – Circumcision is routinely recommended and endorsed by doctors and other health professionals.
  • Fact – No professional medical association in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world recommends routine circumcision as medically necessary. In fact, leaving boys intact is now the norm in the U.S., with circumcision rates well below 40%.

  • Myth – The baby does not feel any pain during circumcision.
  • Fact – Circumcision is painful. Babies are sensitive to pain, just like older children and adults. The analgesics used for circumcision only decrease pain; they do not eliminate it. Further, the open wound left by the removal of the foreskin will continue to cause the baby pain and discomfort for the 7-10 days it takes to heal.

  • Myth – If I don't circumcise my son, he will be ridiculed.
  • Fact – Times have changed and so has people's understanding of circumcision. Today, although the popularity of circumcision varies across geographical areas, more than 60% of all baby boys born in the U.S. will leave the hospital intact. Most medically advanced nations do not practice child circumcision. Three quarters of the world's men are intact.

  • Myth – A boy should be circumcised to look like his father.
  • Fact – Children differ from their parents in many ways, including eye and hair color, body type, and (of course) size and sexual development. If a child asks why his penis looks different from that of his circumcised father (or brother), parents can say, "Daddy (or brother) had a part of his penis removed when he was a baby; now we know it’s not necessary and we decided not to let anyone do that to you."

  • Myth – Routine circumcision of baby boys cannot be compared to Female Genital Mutilation.
  • Fact – Rationales offered in cultures that promote female genital cutting – hygiene, disease prevention, improved appearance of the genitalia, and social acceptance – are similar to those offered in cultures that promote male circumcision. Whatever the rationale, forced removal of healthy genital tissue from any child – male or female – is unethical. Boys have the same right as girls to an intact body, and to be spared this inhumane, unnecessary surgery.

  • Myth – To oppose male circumcision is religious and cultural bigotry.
  • Fact – Many who oppose the permanent alteration of children's genitals do so because they believe in universal human rights. All children – regardless of their ethnicity or culture – have the right to be protected from bodily harm.

  • Myth – Circumcising newborn baby boys produces health benefits later in life.
  • Fact – There is NO link between circumcision and better health. In fact, cutting a baby boy's genitals creates immediate health risks. The foreskin is actually an important and functional body part, protecting the head of the penis from injury and providing moisture and lubrication. Circumcision also diminishes sexual pleasure later in life.

  • Myth – Male circumcision helps prevent HIV.
  • Fact – Claims that circumcision prevents HIV have repeatedly been proven to be exaggerated or false. Only abstinence or safe sex, including the use of condoms, can prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.

10 Reasons NOT to Circumcise Your Baby Boy

  1. Because there is no medical reason for "routine" circumcision of baby boys.
    • No professional medical association in the United States or the rest of the world recommends routine neonatal circumcision. The American Medical Association calls it "non-therapeutic." At no time in its 75 years has the American Academy of Pediatrics ever recommended infant circumcision.
  2. Because the foreskin is not a birth defect.
    • The foreskin is a normal, sensitive, functional part of the body. In infant boys, the foreskin is attached to the head of the penis (glans), protects it from urine, feces, and irritation, and keeps contaminants from entering the urinary tract. The foreskin also has an important role in sexual pleasure, due to its specialized, erogenous nerve endings and its natural gliding and lubricating functions.
  3. Because you wouldn't circumcise your baby girl.
    • In the United States, girls of all ages are protected by federal and state laws from forced genital surgery, whether practiced in medical or non-medical settings, and regardless of the religious or cultural preferences of their parents. There is no ethical rationale for distinguishing between female and male genital alteration. If it is wrong to remove part of a baby girl's healthy genitals, then it is wrong to do the same to those of a baby boy.
  4. Because your baby does not want to be circumcised.
    • Circumcision painfully and permanently alters a baby boy's genitals, removing healthy, protective, functional tissue from the penis and exposing the child to unnecessary pain and medical risks –for no medical benefit. What do you think your baby boy would say if he could tell you?
  5. Because removing part of a baby's penis is painful, risky, and harmful.
    • We know babies are sensitive to pain. Many circumcisions are performed with no analgesic, but even when pain control is employed, the pain is not eliminated. As with any surgery, complications can and do occur with circumcision. These include infection, abnormal bleeding, removal of too much skin, loss of all or part of the glans, urinary problems, and even death. All circumcisions result in the loss of the foreskin and its functions, and leave a penile scar.
  6. Because times and attitudes have changed.
    • The circumcision rate in the United States is now below 40% (and much lower in some parts of the country), down from 81% in 1981. More than 60% of all baby boys in the U.S. leave the hospital intact, as more and more parents realize that circumcision is unnecessary and wrong.
  7. Because most medically advanced nations do not circumcise baby boys.
    • People in Europe, Asia and Latin America are often appalled to hear that American doctors and hospitals remove part of a boy's penis shortly after birth. Approximately 75% of the men in the world are not circumcised and remain intact throughout their lives.
  8. Because caring for and cleaning the foreskin is easy.
    • A natural, intact penis requires no special care, beyond gentle washing while bathing. Later, when the foreskin can be retracted (something that often does not occur until adolescence), a boy can be taught to pull back his foreskin to wash his penis. Forcible retraction of the foreskin results in pain and injury, and should not be done.
  9. Because circumcision does not prevent HIV or other diseases.
    • Over the years, the claims that circumcision prevents various diseases have repeatedly been proven to be exaggerated or outright fabrications. Most men in the United States are circumcised, but our STD rates are as high as or higher than those in countries where circumcision is rare.
  10. Because children should be protected from permanent bodily alteration inflicted on them without their consent in the name of culture, religion, profit, or parental preference.
    • Under accepted bioethical principles, parents can consent to surgery on behalf of a child only if it is necessary to protect the child's life or health. "Routine" circumcision fails this test because it painfully and permanently removes a normal and healthy part of a boy's penis, does not protect the child’s life or health, and in fact creates new risks. Removing the foreskin is no more justified than removing a finger or any other healthy body part.

Statement of Principles

The Prepuce – Facts and Function

The prepuce, or foreskin, is a normal part of both male and female genitalia, forming the anatomical covering of the glans penis in males and the clitoris in females. The prepuce is a specialized, junctional mucocutaneous tissue that marks the boundary between mucosa and epidermis; it is similar to the eyelids, labia minora, anus, and lips. The male prepuce also provides adequate tissue to accommodate a full erection. The unique innervation of the prepuce establishes its function as an erogenous tissue. In infant males, the foreskin is attached to the glans (head of the penis); as a boy matures, and usually by the time he reaches puberty, the foreskin gradually detaches from the glans and becomes a movable, elastic structure that enhances sexual intercourse and sexual pleasure. In females, the prepuce (or clitoral hood) surrounds the clitoris. Infant or childhood circumcision involves the removal of normal, healthy genital tissue from infants and children for religious, societal, or hypothetical medical benefits. Although the amount of genital tissue removed is variable, the penile prepuce is removed in nearly all male circumcisions, and the clitoral prepuce is removed in certain types of female circumcision.1 For purposes of this document the term “infant” and “child” or “childhood” are used interchangeably. Unless otherwise stated, “circumcision” refers to the surgical removal of the foreskin.

The Bioethics of Infant and Childhood Circumcision

Infant and childhood circumcision adheres to basic bioethical principles, including autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, and justice.2 Individual Autonomy, Parental Rights, and Informed Consent In health care decisions, respect for the autonomy of the patient implies that the patient has the capacity to act and decide intentionally, with understanding, and without coercion or influences that would mitigate against a free and voluntary act. This principle is the basis for the practice of informed consent in the physician/patient transaction regarding medical care. In the case of medical procedures offered to infants or children, because the child has no understanding or capacity to freely and voluntarily consent, the right to decide is given to the child’s parent or guardian in a form of consent known as proxy consent. However, the scope of proxy consent is, by necessity, limited. Parents or guardians have the right to consent to medical intervention on behalf of a minor child in their custody if and only if that intervention is necessary to save the life or the health of the child. Because the foreskin is a normal, healthy anatomical structure, and because routine neonatal or childhood circumcision does not save the child’s life or health, the parent or guardian has no right to solicit or consent to circumcision on behalf of the child. Therefore, childhood circumcision, except in extremely rare cases where a pathological condition is present, violates the principles of informed consent and cannot ethically be performed by medical practitioners or in medical settings. Nonmaleficence The principle of nonmaleficence requires that medical practitioners not intentionally create or cause to occur a needless harm or injury to the patient, through acts of either commission or omission. Childhood circumcision involves the permanent surgical removal of healthy, protective, erogenous tissue from a child who is unable to consent. The harms of circumcision are compounded by the fact that, often, no anesthetic or inadequate anesthetic is used for what is a prolonged and painful operation. Because it is not medically necessary, regardless of whether pain control is administered during the surgery, childhood circumcision violates the principle of nonmaleficience. Beneficence The principle of beneficence implies a duty upon health care professionals to not only provide a benefit to a patient but also to take positive steps to prevent harm from coming to the patient. It does not include the felt needs, concerns or cultural whims of anyone other than the patient. Because “routine” childhood circumcision does not seek to remedy an ill and, indeed, exposes babies and children to unnecessary risk, trauma and pain, it violates the bioethical principle of beneficence and should not be a part of medical practice. Justice The principle of justice in health care implies fairness, equal treatment and – by extension – equal protection. In the United States, girls of all ages are protected by federal and state laws from unconsented-to genital surgery practiced in medical or non-medical settings because of the health beliefs or religious or cultural preferences of their parents. Boys are accorded no such protection. There is no acceptable rationale for a distinction between female and male genital modification. Tolerance for and even the promotion of forced genital surgery on male children, while at the same time condemning and prohibiting forced genital surgery on female children, violates the bioethical principle of justice. In summary, because infant and childhood circumcision violates accepted principles of bioethics, it must not be tolerated.

Physician Solicitation of Circumcision

Yaoi Haven Reborn agrees with the American Medical Association’s position that states: “Physicians should not provide, prescribe, or seek compensation for medical services that they know are unnecessary.”3 Circumcision conducted in the absence of pathology is a medically unnecessary surgical procedure whose purpose is to permanently remove healthy issue. Therefore, it is a violation of the AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics for physicians to solicit, provide or seek compensation for such surgery.

Intersex Surgery

It is the position of Yaoi Haven Reborn that all persons –male, female, or intersex – should be protected from coerced genital surgery. In cases of children born with anomalous genitalia, Yaoi Haven Reborn opposes gender assignment surgery on those too young to express their gender preference and to understand the risks, harms, and irreversibility of such surgery.

Adult Circumcision

Yaoi Haven Reborn opposes the forced or coerced circumcision of persons of any age or gender. Should an adult choose to be circumcised or to undergo any other genital modification surgery or surgery on his or her reproductive organs, Yaoi Haven Reborn has no objection so long as that adult is fully informed of the permanent nature of the surgery, as well as all of the attendant risks and harms. In the case of a medically-indicated circumcision, informed consent includes information as to all possible alternative treatments, including the option of non-intervention. If full, informed patient consent is not possible due to age- or illness-related incompetence, proxy decision-makers must be provided with full information on all potential risks, harms, and options, including the option of non-intervention.

Abortion and Other Surgery on the Reproductive Organs and Genitalia

Yaoi Haven Reborn opposes all forms of coerced surgery involving the genitalia or reproductive organs, including abortion, cesarean section, tubal ligation, hysterectomy, vasectomy, castration, or any other such interventions forced on persons of any age or gender. Yaoi Haven Reborn takes no position on legal, elective abortion performed upon the request of a fully informed, consenting woman.

Breastfeeding and Circumcision

Yaoi Haven Reborn supports breastfeeding as a beneficial practice for both mothers and infants. Breastfeeding enhances the infant-mother emotional bond and provides the infant with optimal nutrition, while children who do not breastfeed are at greater risk for many illnesses. Because the pain, shock, and trauma of circumcision have been shown to interfere with infants’ ability to breastfeed, it must not be performed in the absence of clear and immediate medical imperatives.

Tattooing, Piercing, and Scarification

Yaoi Haven Reborn opposes any forced cosmetic modification of the human body, and holds that any elective body modification that entails permanent disfigurement or decoration must never take place without the fully informed consent of the individual whose body would be permanently modified.

Gender Equity

In the United States, federal and state laws prohibit any form of genital cutting on girls by health care professionals or laypersons, while the genital cutting of boys is not only currently tolerated but actually promoted in medical settings. Infant male genital cutting also is currently accepted as a legitimate expression of certain religious beliefs. Yaoi Haven Reborna stands for equal dignity and rights for all, and is committed to advancing human rights for all people. Yaoi Haven Reborn believes that all children – boys, girls, and intersex children alike – must be protected from bodily harm. Yaoi Haven Reborn thus endorses the principle of equal protection regarding forced genital surgery, and supports legal efforts to protect all children from such genital modification. Proponents of both male and female genital cutting use the same rationales to justify the practice. They say that genital cutting is traditional, culturally mandated, healthier, and cleaner; they say that the child will be more accepted by his or her peers and, as an adult, will be more marriageable. Defenders of male circumcision often resist any comparison to female genital cutting on the basis that the former is less damaging and less invasive than the latter. A further contention is that female genital cutting deprives girls of their sexual pleasure, and some girls die, while male genital cutting still allows men to achieve orgasm, and is “less risky.” This reasoning is flawed, because it implies that, if female genital cutting could be modified, for example, to leave the clitoris in place,4 or made safer through the use of sterile instruments, it would be acceptable. However, both female and male genital cutting of children involve the forced removal of healthy genital tissue from unconsenting persons who are powerless to defend themselves and who will live permanently with the consequences. Therefore, any attempt to rationalize the practice for one gender while condemning it for the other reflects prejudice, ignorance, and cultural bias, and is an exercise in futility. Moreover, such claims distract from the universal truth that all children – male, female, and intersex – deserve and have equal right to be protected, safeguarded, and loved.

Circumcision and Sexually Transmitted Infections (including HIV)

Yaoi Haven Reborn opposes the promotion of circumcision as a method for the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Physicians and others who would promote circumcision have a long history of claiming medical benefits (that have all subsequently been disproven) to justify genital cutting of both males and females. HIV/AIDS is the latest in a long list of diseases that have been held out as a justification for circumcision. It is socially irresponsible and dangerous to promote a message that circumcision offers protection from sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, when such protection – if it exists at all – is only partial, and comes at great expense and risk. Circumcised men can both contract and transmit sexually transmitted infections. The only way to prevent such infections is through abstinence or “safe sex” practices.

Religious Circumcision

Yaoi Haven Reborn believes that all children – regardless of their race, ethnicity, or culture of origin – have the right to be protected from bodily harm. Yaoi Haven Reborn recognizes the right of parents to raise their children in accordance with their own cultural and religious standards. However, this right is not limitless. Yaoi Haven Reborn holds that a child’s right to bodily integrity outweighs parental preference, cultural norms, and religious rituals. Therefore, parents may not (directly, or through the agency of a medical or religious practitioner) harm a child physically and irreversibly in the name of religion or culture. The above Statement of Principles expresses the values and positions of Yaoi Haven Reborn on a variety of issues related to children’s bodies, and to bodily interventions.

Fun Facts

  • Even though some US boys are ridiculed for being intact, the one's who ridicule fail to understand that in the world of men, the entire population of males in the world make circumcision a VAST minority clocking in at only 30% circumcised males in 2007, 70% of those being Muslim. In 2007, 70% of all the worlds men were Intact.
  • Circumcision is most prevalent in the Muslim world, Israel, South Korea, the United States...ISRAEL....KOREA....UNITED STATES.
  • It has been estimated that less than 1% of China and Japan are circumcised.
  • Circumcision used to be a deterrent for masturbation. At the time masturbation was thought to cause diseases like tuberculosis and pneumonia.

Religious Practices and Circumcision

It’s OK to criticize religious practices
Brian D. Earp, University of Oxford

Abstract: In 2012, a German court ruled that religious circumcision of male minors constitutes criminal bodily assault. Muslim and Jewish groups responded with outrage,with some commentators pegging the ruling to Islamophobic and anti-Semitic motivations. In doing so, these commentators failed to engage with any of the legal and ethical arguments actually given by the court in its landmark decision. In this brief commentary, I argue that a firm distinction must be drawn between criticisms of religious practices that stem from irrational prejudice and bigoted attitudes and those that are grounded in sound moral reasoning. Given that ritual circumcision is a pre-Enlightenment custom that elevates the inclinations of the community over the rights of the individual, it is hardly surprising that a growing number of post-Enlightenment philosophers and legal scholars are taking an ethical stand against it. As the “circumcision debate” continues,parties on all sides of the issue must remember to reason through the relevant considerations with care and respect.

In a now-notorious ruling, a regional court in Cologne, Germany decided that non-therapeutic circumcision of young boys violates their constitutional rights to bodily integrity and to self-determination – even if carried out with parental permission, and even for religious reasons (Landgericht Köln, June 26, 2012). The German legislature passed an emergency statute to protect religious circumcision from any future legal challenges, but the initial court decision sparked a firestorm of controversy. Muslim and Jewish commentators were outraged. Child rights activists and a handful of humanitarian groups were overjoyed. Professional bioethicists were not entirely surprised.

Why not? Ritual circumcision is a pre-Enlightenment tribal tradition. The Jewish version is openly sexist—females are left out of the divine covenant, perhaps to their great relief—and males lose functional erogenous tissue to an excruciating surgery done years before they are old enough to give their consent. Islam is more egalitarian: it allows for circumcision of boys and girls, although there appears to be no heavenly commandment involved in either case, and the procedure takes place in later childhood as opposed to pre-verbal infancy. Both versions are consistent with the norms of patriarchal tribalism; both elevate the concerns of the community over the freedom of the individual to make decisions about his own body in his own time; and both brand a child with a permanent mark of religious belonging despite the significant possibility that he may one day fail to embrace the belief system and/or cultural practices of his parents. Medical ethics, on the other hand, along with much of Western law, came to fruition in a post-Enlightenment world that favors notions like autonomy, consent, individual rights, and a child’s entitlement to an open future. Going by strict definitions, medically irrelevant excision of healthy genital tissue—whether it’s taken from the vulvas of little girls, or the penises of little boys—is equivalent to criminal assault of a minor under the legal codes of most developed nations. The tension was bound to cause cracks somewhere.

And there is a genuine tension here. The religious metaphysic – which appeals to things like community rights, ritual continuity, and obedience to divine command – just doesn't square very well with the normative basis of much of contemporary philosophical ethics nor with the underlying legal paradigm of secular constitutional democracies. You normally don’t get to cut off non-diseased, non-regenerating, functional and protective body parts from other people without first getting their permission, whether you think God told you to do it or not. Even religious freedom has its limits. But this point has not been very thoroughly acknowledged by the most vocal of Muslim and Jewish commentators in the ongoing aftermath of the Cologne decision: cries of religious persecution and even of outright Islamophobia and anti-Semitism came very quickly to the tongue. The ringing is still in the air.

Yet as Russell Blackford (2012) recently reminded us in his wonderful essay, “Excessive tolerance?”, it really is OK to criticise religious practices on moral, ethical, or legal grounds. If one can pull off one’s critique in a spirit of fairness, that is, and without any sort of undue spite. His topic happened to be the burqa. Reviewing Martha Nussbaum’s recent failure in The New Religious Intolerance (2012, Harvard University Press) to find “anything problematic at all” about veiling norms within Islam, Blackford brought up the existence of a handful of plausible, respectable, cogent, and relatively simple-to-pose moral objections to these contentious norms that have nothing whatsoever to do with irrational prejudice against Muslims.

Blackford’s assessment of Nussbaum is right on the mark, and provides a general lesson. While it’s true that “the state”, as he put it, “ought to adopt a degree of epistemic modesty about religious issues, and many moral ones (as well),” individual thinking citizens, and philosophers above all, need not be quite so timid about taking a clear ethical stand on potentially harmful customs, whether they are religious in nature or otherwise (p. 122). As Blackford puts it with characteristic pithiness:

“We are well within our rights to conclude, from within our respective understandings of the world and conceptions of the good, that a particular religion has its dark side, or that a moral norm favoured by some religion is preposterous and harmful.” (p. 122)

Of course, compelling women and young girls to hide themselves in cloth bags in the name of modesty is (at least arguably) one such moral norm. So too is cutting off parts of their genitals in the name of chastity. Likewise, and – again, as at least a sensible, non-prejudiced, non-bigoted collection of arguments can reasonably be taken to show – so too is amputating functional erogenous tissue from the penises of male babies and other minor boys.

* * *

As Douglas Adams (1998) once observed, “If somebody votes for a party that you don’t agree with, you’re free to argue about it as much as you like … everybody will have an argument but nobody feels aggrieved by it.” Same for different views on economic policy, or whatever else might come up for spirited and productive debate. But if somebody mentions something about her religious practices: “Here is an idea or a notion that you’re not allowed to say anything bad about; you’re just not. Why not? Because you're not!”

Adams’ point was plain enough. But it’s worth spelling out as a reminder – especially given recent debates about the moral and practical limits of freedom of speech in a climate of dangerous, and sometimes deadly, taking-of-offence. There is absolutely no good reason to think that we must refrain at all times from criticising an idea or custom just because it is rooted in religion. Indeed, sometimes we have an obligation to do the opposite. What if the pious practice is harmful? What if it flies in the face of certain ethical norms? What if we think those norms should count for something and are worth defending in the strongest of terms?

The circumcision debate will rage on for some time to come, and there are decent arguments to make on every side of it. But we do have to have the debate. Criticising a religious practice from the perspective of secular ethics is not the same thing as being prejudiced against the religion, nor does it imply any sort of ill-will toward members of a particular faith group. This distinction bears repeating at every turn. We simply have to be able to talk these things through.

Brian D. Earp is a Research Fellow in the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford.

Adams, D. (1998). Is there an artificial god? Digital Biota 2. Lecture conducted from the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK. Text retrieved from: http://www.biota.org/people/douglasadams/.

Blackford, R. (2012). Excessive tolerance? The Philosophers' Magazine, 59, 121-122. Nussbaum, M. (2012).

The new religious intolerance: Overcoming the politics of fear in an anxious age. Cambridge, Harvard University Press.

What a naturally functioning intact penis looks and behaves like

How nature intended

  1. Moynihan R. The making of a disease: female sexual dysfunction. BMJ 2003;326:45–7.
  2. Leiblum SR. Arousal disorders in women: complaints and complexities. Med J Aust 2003;178:638–40.
  3. Warren J, Bigelow J. The case against circumcision. Br J Sex Med 1994;Sept/Oct:6–8.
  4. O’Hara K, O’Hara J. The effect of male circumcision on the sexual enjoyment of the female partner. BJU Int 1999;83 Suppl 1:79–84.
  5. Bensley GA, Boyle GJ. Physical, sexual, and psychological effects of male infant circumcision: an exploratory survey. In: Denniston GC, Hodges FM, Milos MF, editors. Understanding circumcision: a multi-disciplinary approach to a multi-dimensional problem. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers; 2001. p. 207–39.

Circumcision and Human Behavior

"Van der Kolk (1989) reports that persons who have been traumatized have a compulsion to repeat the trauma and to find new victims on which to re-enact the trauma they suffered. This may apply with full force to victims of circumcision. The circumcision of an infant is a way to reenact the trauma of circumcision. The compulsion to circumcise is very strong and has resulted in unlawful batteries and abductions to circumcise an unwilling victim."

"The condition of the male phallus impacts a male’s feeling of well-being. A phallus diminished by the loss of the erogenous foreskin to circumcision necessarily adversely affects one’s feelings about one’s self, resulting in uncomfortable feelings of low self-esteem. There is, therefore, a strong tendency to deny that any loss occurred. Minimization of the loss is a common defense mechanism; ridicule of the subject is another. Persons who have lost body parts must grieve their loss. Failure to grieve and accept the loss puts one in permanent denial of loss."

"Many men who have been circumcised do not want non-circumcised males, including their own sons, around to remind them of their irreversible loss. For these emotional reasons, as Foley (1966) observed, there tends to be a strong irrational bias in favor of universal circumcision among circumcised males. Many fathers who were victims of neonatal circumcision, for the reasons described above, adamantly insist that any male offspring be circumcised. This phenomenon has come to be called “the adamant father syndrome.” Circumcision, therefore is a repeating cycle of trauma in which circumcised infant males grow up to be adult circumcisers."

Excerpts from Circumcision and Human Behavior - The emotional and behavioral effects of circumcision by George Hill.

How Male Sex Life is Affected by Circumcision

Coronal Ridge Hook Scrapes the Vaginal Walls, causing Soreness

See more info at http://www.sexasnatureintendedit.com/

On the erect penis the head flares out from the shaft like a barb or hook. On the circumcised penis, this hook is overly firm and constantly exposed, and on every outward stroke, it scrapes vaginal walls, causing irritation, redness, discomfort (even pain)

On the natural penis, the soft, flexible foreskin cushions the coronal-ridge hook and prevents it from scraping the vaginal walls, giving only pleasure, not soreness


On the circumcised penis, the flared-out Coronal Ridge Hook is constantly exposed, and on every outward stroke, it draws lubricating fluids out of the vagina, which is one of the reasons why, as circumcised sex progresses, vaginal lubrication tends to dry up.


On the natural penis, the loose, pliable foreskin bunches up on the outward stroke to create a seal that holds fluids in. During natural sex, lubrication stays inside the vagina.

Circumcised Penis's Non-Moveable Shaft Skin Creates Friction Irritation

The erect circumcised penis has little or no slack shaft skin. During intercourse, the constant rubbing of the tight penis skin against the vagina's delicate interior creates friction burn soreness. The finger simulation to right demonstrates how the circumcised penis's non-moveable shaft skin abrades and chafes the vagina.

Natural Penis's Gliding Mechanism

Upon erection, the foreskin is transferred to the penis shaft to become part of the total shaft skin system, resulting in a loose, movable shaft skin that provides a gentle gliding mechanism that minimizes friction to the vagina. Glide in. Glide out. Smooth, tender, loving strokes that gently caress the vaginal walls and opening. In the finger simulation, your left finger is the penis; your knuckle skin represents the extra skin on the natural penis shaft.

Circumcised Penis "Feels Like You're Being Poked with a Broomstick"

Circumcised penis head & shaft are abnormally hard when erect because too much swollen tissue is packed into too small a packaging of skin. Circumcision removes 1/3 to 1/2 of the penis's shaft skin. Upon erection, the shaft skin is forced to stretch tightly thin in order to accommodate the fullness of the erection. Like blowing up a balloon, as more air is forced in, the balloon gets stretched thinner & thinner, and becomes tighter and firmer. The tight skin —overly firm—circumcised penis feels to the woman like a "broomstick," quite different from the cushiony shaft & head of the natural penis.

The "extra" shaft skin the foreskin provides gives a thin, spongy cushioning to the erect natural penis shaft (like it's covered in velvet). And because the shaft has ample skin to accommodate its erection, it does not bear down and compress the shaft's tissue. Nor is the penis head pulled down and compacted. The natural penis head has a spongier give to it that allows it to yield and flex during thrusting. This provides a superior sensuousness that makes the natural penis head feel like it's making love to the vagina, rather than poking it.
Nature intended for sexual excitation to take place primarily in the upper penis

Pleasure from touch-sensitive nerves in the ridged band, inner foreskin, & frenulum

20,000-70,000 touch-sensitive nerves, in fact, of a type called Meissner's corpuscles, which are excited by gentle touching.

To get an idea of the difference between skin that is teeming with Meissner's corpuscles and skin that is not, stroke your fingernail across the back of your hand. Then compare that feeling to the sensation elicited by stroking the palm of your hand. That rather ticklish sensation is generated by the large numbers of Meissner's corpuscles found in your palm.

The photo to the left is a close up of the ridged band of the foreskin.

Pleasure from pressure-sensitive nerves in the TIP of the corpora cavernosum

Nature intended the penis to derive high levels of sexual pleasure from the thousands of touch sensitive nerves in its upper penis region.
The penis head (i.e., glans) is not the most erogenous tissue on the penis. Nor is the foreskin, nor its ridged band.

The MOST erogenous tissue on the penis is underneath the glans ― at the TIP of the corpora cavernosum.
The TIP of corpora cavernosum is so extremely sensitive that nature protects it from direct touch by placing the glans over it. Cushioned, indirect pressure is what the TIP needs, the kind it receives from the massaging actions of a pliable glans...
...and from the massaging actions of the foreskin, as it alternately bunches & un-bunches against the coronal ridge.

The massaging actions of the glans and foreskin, during intercourse thrusting, excite the super-erotic, pressure-sensitive nerves in the TIP of the corpora cavernosum, that's located interiorly beneath the coronal ridge. (See pics below.)

These TIP nerves that are excited by the application of a massaging-type pressure (i.e, alternating pressure and the release of pressure) send a waves of sexual excitement throughout the upper penis, giving the uncircumcised man exquisite pleasure and building him to orgasm.

When the compacted circ glans presses down tightly on the TIP, the circ man experiences a reduction in pleasurable feeling in his upper penis during intercourse thrusting. His upper penis area can end up going numb, or even worse, register discomfort and/or pain

This reduction in pleasure coming from the upper area causes the circumcised penis to seek pleasurable feelings elsewhere on the penis. It, therefore, thrusts to excite pressure-sensitive nerves in its middle and lower area. However, there are fewer pressure-sensitive nerves in the penis's middle and lower area, and they are deeper inside the corpora cavernosum tissue, so they require strong, hard thrusting against the vaginal opening to excite them.

Yes, it can now be said with certainty: The foreskin has a purpose — a sexual purpose. And during the intimacy of intercourse, the foreskin not only makes a difference — a superlative difference — in a man's sexual pleasure, but its presence during intercourse also makes a phenomenally greater difference to the person on the receiving end of the penis, immensely enhancing her pleasure and comfort , and substantially increasing the rate of orgasmic success.