Circumcision and hiv : a dangerous mistake : 1947: Dr. Eugene Hand of the American Medical Association, said in Newsweek, ”where the promiscuous and uncircumcised Negro had an incidence of venereal infection of “almost 100%,… for the widely educated Jew, circumcised at birth, the venereal disease rate has remained the same or decreased.” 1870: The renowned Dr. Lewis A. Sayre of NYC’s Bellevue Hospital claimed to cure a boy’s paralyzed legs with circumcision. He also claimed to cure epilepsy, mental disorders, hip-joint pain, & hernias with circumcision. “Genital irritations” & masturbation were deemed to be the cause of these issues. Sayre was a leading figure in the popularization of circumcision in America. He was later elected to president of the American Medical Association.
People are always amazed to learn about circumcision facts and myths. Are there real benefits to consider when making the circumcision decision, or is it just an illusion? As hard as circumcision promoters try to make the practice of genital cutting to be the “norm”, you may be surprised to learn that much of what many Americans think of as “fact” is actually just cultural “groupthink.” While some beliefs are rooted in ancient religious practices, most of what American’s believe is the “norm” has only existed in recent times when it comes to circumcision. In fact, you would be amazed at how many things you think are true that are simply false. Something important to consider when you review circumcision facts and myths.
There are essentially three stakeholders involved with the decision to circumcise an infant. The baby-patient, the parent-guardian, and the doctor. The physician is supposed to be bound by ethical principles of beneficence (serve the best interests of patients and their families) and non-maleficence (“first, do no harm”). The standard of “serving the interests of families” can be a slippery slope as doctors can be forced to do things against their better judgement to appease parents. Pro-circumcision or religious advocates typically want babies circumcised immediately because older children and adults would opt out if given the opportunity. See extra info on circumcision.
If the CDC guidance is followed, medical providers will be communicating a psychologically damaging message to boys with intact genitals—that their penises are somehow “bad” or inferior. The negative effects of such communications have been studied with regard to intersex children and have been found to be frightening, shaming, and embarrassing to the child (Rusch et al., 2000). This is a particularly cruel message to send to adolescents, many of whom are already experiencing concerns regarding body image. The circumcision of children has myriad negative psychological consequences that the CDC has failed to consider. This is being called circumcision’s psychological damage or harm. Removing healthy tissue in the absence of any medical need harms the patient and is a breach of medical providers’ ethical duty to the child. We believe that all people have a right to bodily autonomy and self-determination and deeply respect this fundamental tenet of international human rights law (UNESCO 2005). As children cannot advocate for themselves, they need adults to understand the complexities of their emotional experiences and provide them special protection. We oppose the CDC’s circumcision recommendation and encourage all parents to do the same in order to protect their children from physical and psychological harm.
Intaction is the only intactivist organization with a large full time mobile education truck which not only displays our intact body positive campaign, but transports our exhibits and materials for the many events we host. Our past events have included disruptive protests, parade contingents, demonstrations, parental education events, and our celebratory event IMAGINE. We hold constant outdoor events with our mobile education unit to engage our fellow Americans. These exchanges provide a unique opportunity for us to keep a finger on the pulse of public opinion. We also use print media, social media, and online platforms to engage people with our ideas. We seek to give those that feel they have been harmed by circumcision the ability to contribute to the cessation of this abhorrent practice. Together we can forge a path to a better world for future intact generations. All are welcome to join with us. Discover additional details on https://intaction.org/.