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."
Male and Female Genital Cutting Compared
American male genital cutting and African female genital cutting have similarities.
- Over 100 million procedures have been performed on current populations.
- They are unnecessary, extremely painful, and traumatic.
- They can have adverse sexual and psychological effects.
- They are generally done by force on children.
- They are generally supported by local medical doctors.
- Pertinent biological facts are not generally known where procedures are practiced.*
- They are defended with reasons such as tradition, religion, aesthetics, cleanliness, and health. These reasons are used to mask underlying reasons.
- The rationale has currently or historically been connected to controlling sexual pleasure.
- They are often believed to have no effect on normal sexual functioning.
- They are generally accepted and supported by those who have been subjected to them.
- The decision is generally controlled by men though women may be supportive.
- Those who are cut have a compulsion to repeat their trauma on their children, a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder.
- The choice may be motivated by underlying psychosexual reasons.
- Critical public discussion is generally taboo where they are practiced.
- They can result in serious complications that can lead to death.
- The adverse effects are hidden by repression and denial.
- Dozens of potentially harmful physiological, emotional, behavioral, sexual, and social effects on individuals and societies have never been studied.
- On a qualitative level, cutting the genitals of male and female children are the same. The harm starts with the first cut, any cut.
- They violate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- Male and female genital cutting generally exist together.**
- To stop one, we must stop both. Then we may better develop toward our individual and social potential. May courage overcome conformity.
* For example, most American medical doctors do not know the functions of the foreskin.
** A form of American female genital cutting is episiotomy, an obstetrical ritual that may precede hospital childbirth. It is unnecessary like other unnecessary surgeries on women.
© Circumcision Resource Center