Circumcision facts and myths : 1893: In the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. J. A.Hofheimer claimed circumcision cured infant constipation. He then recommended circumcising babies before digestive issues appeared. “An early operation,” he wrote, “will relieve the child of a great source of irritation, and indirectly improve nutrition, changing a fretful, puny baby into a thriving, happy infant.” 1894: Dr. B. Merrill Ricketts wrote in the New York Medical Journal that he performed over 250 circumcisions to “cure” diseases such as hip-joint disease, tuberculosis, hernia, general nervousness, impotence, convulsions, and epilepsy.
That’s right. This fact is extensively documented in the historical literature. The idea started in the 1890’s that masturbation was a dirty vile habit that needed to be stopped. Medical experts from across America began promoting circumcision to parents as a way to prevent masturbation. The “experts” led parents to believe that masturbation would cause mental insanity and was also the root cause of many diseases. Notable people of the day like John Harvey Kellogg wrote in his book, “Plain Facts for Young and Old,” about curing masturbation, “A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, the operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment.”
Circumcision Overview: Circumcision is a surgical removal of the natural foreskin from the penis. The foreskin covers the head of the glans penis. This removal of the foreskin is one of the most common surgeries done to baby boys – in America. This hospital operation is typically done within one or two days after birth. Left undisturbed, that foreskin will grow into 15 square inches in the adult male. Therefore the decision to circumcise a baby is a serious consideration for parents to make. The procedure rates have been dropping in America. Most medical groups have stated there is no clear cut benefit, and the surgery is very painful to a baby. For many of the Jewish or Muslim faith, cutting and removal of the foreskin is an ancient religious act of faith, sacrifice, or covenant. Discover additional info on circumcision.
The psychological consequences of medical procedures are even greater when they involve a child’s genitals. Studies have examined the psychological effects of medical photography of the genitals (Money, 1987), repeated genital examinations (Money, 1987), colposcopy (Shopper, 1995), cystscopy and catheterization (Shopper, 1995), voiding cystourethrogram (Goodman et al., 1990), and hypospadias repair (INSA, 1994). The studies found that these procedures often produce symptoms which are very similar to those of childhood sexual abuse, including dissociation and the development of a negative body image. The effects often persist into adulthood as evidenced by a study that examined the effects of childhood penile surgery for hypospadias. Men who had this surgery in childhood experienced more depressive symptoms, anxiety, and interpersonal difficulties than men who did not have the surgery (Berg & Berg, 1983).
That every child has the inalienable right to an intact body. The foreskin is a special and unique part of the body that serves several important functions. We believe foreskin possesses “The Four Powers”: Pleasure, Protection, Lubrication, and Connection (between people and with oneself.) Both males and females are born with foreskin (equivalent to the clitoral hood). Even cut men were born with a foreskin, even if it was taken from them. Everyone has a stake in this issue and a reason to get involved. Intaction promotes an intact positive message so people understand and value the anatomical and psychological importance of an intact body. We seek to raise awareness on this issue in order to stop non-therapeutic, ritualized, medicalized infant circumcision and female genital cutting. Find additional details on this website.