Intactivism: Week in Review September 24, 2011
This week two petitions were started at the Whitehouse page. The right to petition our government is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Throughout our history, Americans have used petitions to organize around issues they care about from ending slavery, to guaranteeing women's right to vote, to the civil rights movement. The Whitehouse has set up a petition system that will bring the petition to the attention of the Whitehouse for an official response if the petition receives 5000 signatures within 30 days.
We petition the Obama administration to:
Ban non-therapeutic routine infant circumcision. (814 signatures since September 23)
- Amend the 1996 law banning female genital mutilation to include protection for males as well. (6 signatures since September 23)
Go to the Whitehouse petition site. Sign up. Sign each of these petitions. Do it for all the unborn baby boys who may get circumcised if you do nothing.
Parents, protect your babies. Support intactivism. The following list includes blogs, articles, and websites of interest to Intactivists that were published in the past week. This is a running tally of the ones I found interesting.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Dandelion Stories: Being Circumcised
A 76 year old man laments his infant circumcision. He started restoring his foreskin when he was 73 years old. He is happy to have regained his lost sensitivity. He wishes he had learned about foreskin restoration 50 years ago.
Dr Momma: Peaceful Parenting: Where Are All the Happy Babies?
Many infants today tend to look distracted, unhappy, dazed, and pretty uninterested in others. Their eyes do not glow or communicate understanding. It is rare to meet a happy, confident, socially engaged baby. Why is this? Perhaps it is the medicalization of birth and baby rearing. As a society, we do not endorse breast feeding, avoiding distress, avoiding discomfort, avoiding crying, and baby carrying for constant touch. As a society, we use artificial means to raise children. We feed children formula instead of breast feeding them. We let children cry it out (CIO) instead of identifying and caring for their needs. For male infants, we cut off part of their sex organ, usually without anesthesia. IS it any wonder that our children appear disassociated?
The StarPress: Local jury to decide circumcision case
In 2003 a newborn boy was circumcised against the wishes of his parents. The case is finally going to trial. The boy and his mother have already reached an out-of-court settlement with Ball Memorial Hospital, where the birth and circumcision took place. In the lawsuit the mother alleges her newborn baby displayed "calm, cuddly, confident behavior" on his first day of life. As a result of "the tremendous pain suffered upon him" a day after his birth, the child became "a very fussy and upset baby" for nearly a year, and continued to suffer pain for at least two weeks after the procedure, which the suit calls "an intentional battery." The mother maintains the physician targeted in the suit was aware of her opposition to circumcision, in part because he was the pediatrician for her "genitally intact" older son.
Awesatious: Circumfetish – sexual fetish of males being circumcised!
A rant about a Twitter user who continually tweets under two names. The tweets are very pro-circumcision and the twit often attacks those who make informative tweets about the harms and complications of circumcision. The author, like many others, believe that the pro-circ twit is a circumfetishist, that is, someone who gets turned on by the idea of circumcision.
Monday, September 19, 2011
The Healthy Bear: The Healthy Bear on Foreskin Restoration and How to Reverse Circumcision
An article about foreskin restoration from a doctor in Australia. He covers the different types of foreskin restoration and lists various sites of interest. But, sadly, he left out Restoring Foreskin.org He says, "doctors are now coming to understand the role the foreskin plays in protection of the glans during normal day to day activity, enabling ease of movement and increased sensitivity of the penis during intercourse." It is about time doctors realized this. Now if he could just export some of those doctors from Australia to the US.
Psychology Today: Circumcision: Social, Sexual, Psychological Realities
Part 3 of a circumcision series in Psychology Today. In this installment, the author considers more myths that are often cited to justify male infant circumcision. Reading these reasons without buying into the cultural norms makes one shake their head. People really cut the genitalia of their son so that he will match his father's circumcision status? See Part 2: Is circumcision cleaner and healthier? See Part 1: Circumcision does great harm to babies
Awesatious: Which regret is worse?
Which regret is worse? Circumcising your son or not circumcising your son? The author has read of many mothers who regret that they allowed their infant son to be circumcised. But she has never read of any mother who regrets not circumcising her son. I have read of regrets both ways. The number of mothers who regret circumcision done on their son far outweigh the number who regret not circumcising.
Everything Birth: Non-Heated Circumcision Discussion
A blogger finds a strictly informative video that she can share with everyone about circumcision. She does not want others to feel the regret that she has for letting her son be circumcised. She says the Child Circumcision: An Elephant in the Hospital YouTube video is graphic - 'not in a traumatic kind of graphic. Rather in a very “Biology 101″ kind of graphic.'
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Men's Studies Press: Alexithymia and Circumcision Trauma: A Preliminary Investigation
In the first study of its kind, Dan Bollinger and Robert S. Van Howe, M.D., M.S., FAAP, look at the link between circumcision and the personality trait disorder alexithymia. The study found that circumcised men are 60% more likely to suffer from alexithymia. Alexithymia is the inability to process emotions. People suffering from alexithymia have difficulty identifying and expressing their feelings. The disorder translates into not being able to imagine what others are feeling and leading to an inability to respond to others’ needs. If acquired at an early age, the disorder might limit access to language and interfere with the socialization process that begins early in life. Moderate to high alexithymia can interfere with personal relationships and hinder therapy. Impulsive behavior is a key symptom of alexithymia, and impulsivity is a precursor to violence.
Friendly Atheist: A Question About Circumcision
The Friendly Atheist reposts a portion of another blog that describes one way of looking at circumcision. A comment sums it up well: "If someone told you now, as a grown adult, that they would be removing a piece of your penis with a scalpel and you don't have a choice in the matter, how hard would you fight to make sure that didn't happen? Well that's the way your son would feel if he could understand it, but he's too small to fight so you'll have to do it for him."
Think Africa Press: Circumcision is no Cure for HIV
Jonathan Friedman argues that the focus on sexual behaviour modification in African HIV policies has led to inefficient and unethical male circumcision campaigns in Africa.
KeHigh Valley Live: Lecture on genital alteration in the United States by Professor Dena Davis
A professor asked students to “think outside of our preconceived notions” as she spoke about the issues of genital alteration in the United States in her lecture called, “Cutting to the Core: Male and Female Genital Alteration.” The issue lies in why male circumcision is happening to half of the boys in the United States and why it is occurring even when there has been no concrete health benefits linked to the procedure and insurance companies are refusing to cover it because it has been deemed unnecessary. The majority of Americans completely overlook this procedure and it is not at the forefront of cultural debates. One of the main reasons behind this seems to be the lack of discussion on the topic and the fact that most people haven’t realized that is actually an issue that is toying with human/individual rights.
The Atlantic: Fewer Boys Are Being Circumcised
Many factors may contribute to the decreasing circumcision rates seen in hospitals across the U.S., including the fact that good hygiene and practicing safe sex can provide similar benefits. Circumcision of newborn male infants, the surgical removal of the foreskin covering the tip of the penis, is an elective, and somewhat controversial, procedure.
IntactNews: Zambia: Another study fails to find that foreskins increase risk of HIV…
Study finds that uncircumcised (intact) men were less likely to contract HIV. But the study failed to include this finding in its conclusions. Hmm. Can we all say "Bias" together? It seems that the study authors have a string of studies all concluding that male circumcision is highly recommended, even when the evidence does not support such a conclusion.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The Cascade-University of the Fraser Valley: Dick Move: Everything You Need To Know About Circumcision
A university student writes about male infant circumcision and how the practice grew to be an accepted part of North American culture. He addresses many factors that helped circumcision remain common, such as the nonsensical belief that circumcision is common so there must be a good reason for it. He debunks the common beliefs of health and hygiene.
Athens Patch: The Circumcision Dilemma
A mother describes the decision process regarding the circumcision decision for her son. Like many other parents, she decided that her son should remain whole and intact.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
San Francisco Weekly: A Jewish Perspective on Circumcision: SF Weekly Talks to Cut Director Eli Ungar-Sargon
Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon, director of the documentary, Cut: Slicing Through the Myths of Circumcision, is interviewed by SF Weekly. The film is currently touring around the US and Canada. Eli was rasied in an Orthodox Jewish household, with rabbis in the family and a Talmudic scholar father. He dropped out of medical school to pursue a film career, and has struggled to reconcile Jewish traditions and ethical questions, especially regarding ritual circumcision, or brit milah. His film Cut is one way he expresses his questioning of Jewish circumcision.
What I'm Missing: Part 29, Ignorance
Kurt tells of a friend's discovery that he was circumcised. One would think that a person would know he is circumcised. But American culture has long treated the circumcised penis as being normal and conventional. Most men born 30 or more years ago do not think that their penis is not normal. Kurt even points out that 34% of men were when asked were unable to identify themselves as circumcised.
no circumcision: To snip or not to snip his foreskin, that is the question
A Jewish mother tells how she could not have her son circumcised. There is no reason to put any child through an unnecessary operation like circumcision, for cosmetic reasons or social norms.
Intact News: Study Links Circumcision to Personality Trait Disorder
Awesatious: Study Links Circumcision to Personality Trait Disorder
A report of the study published in The International Journal of Men’s Health that investigates the link between the early trauma of circumcision and the personality trait disorder alexithymia. Alexithymia is a disorder that results in a person being unable to process emotions and having difficulty identifying and expressing their feelings. Those with the disorder usually are not able to imagine what others are feeling, leading to an inability to respond to the needs of others.
Awesatious: There should be no debate about circumcision
Male infant circumcision is the non-therapeutic, elective surgery that removes a part of the baby's sex organ without the consent of the owner of that sex organ. We protect baby girls from similar genital cutting surgery. We do not question that girls need to be protected. There is no debate about cutting the genitals of girls. Why is there a debate about cutting the genitals of boys?
Friday, September 23, 2011
The Body: Circumcision Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in London, United Kingdom: An Unlikely Strategy for HIV Prevention
A news release from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about a study from the journal: Sexually Transmitted Diseases. "Most uncircumcised MSM in this London survey were unwilling to participate in research on circumcision and HIV prevention," the authors concluded. "Only a minority of uncircumcised men thought that there were benefits of circumcision. It is unlikely that circumcision would be a feasible strategy for HIV prevention among MSM in London." Few intact men have any desire to lose part of their sex organ by being circumcised. So why do we continue to cut babies?
HealthNews: Dutch doctors urge end to male circumcision
For a Secular Europe: Netherlands: doctors urge end to male circumcision
Heal blog: Doctors in the Netherlands want safer circumcision procedures
Members of the Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) would like to appeal to human rights defenders and politicians in order to persuade fellow Jewish and Muslim citizens to stop circumcising boys, or at least make the procedure safer. ‘We want to discourage male circumcision, because it is an unnecessary procedure with complications, which violates the integrity of the child.’ Doctors now argue it is also an unsafe and utterly unnecessary procedure, one of its subsequent downsides being a less satisfying sexual life. But fighting tradition is a difficult matter, so the group’s recommendations are unlikely to produce any changes, at least for the time being.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
LuLu: The PENIS Files: Foreskin Restoration (Illustrated)
Adrian Bosch has published a foreskin restoration eBook. He even has an advertisement for the eBook on YouTube. I have no idea if the ebook is any good. It costs only $8.99 US for immediate download. If anyone buys the foreskin restoration book, let me know and you can write a review of it here.