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.
For circumcised men and expectant parents
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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."
Our mission includes raising awareness about Jewish circumcision. Jews that visit this website are interested in knowing if Jews are represented in the organization. Generally, people are more likely to consider information from members of their group than from people outside their group.
In addition, though American circumcision practice is generally believed to be independent of Jewish circumcision practice, it is not. Jewish practice and the American practice are connected. For example, of all the letters to the editor in response to the 1999 American Academy of Pediatrics Circumcision Policy Statement, the most strongly pro-circumcision responses were from Jewish doctors, including two who also perform Jewish ritual circumcisions. Of course, there are also Jewish doctors (and rabbis) that oppose circumcision, and Thomas Wiswell, a strong circumcision advocate, is not Jewish. However, some of the most outspoken advocates for circumcision tend to be Jewish. According to a MEDLINE search, Edgar Schoen, a strong Jewish advocate, has been published 20 times in the medical literature on the subject of circumcision.
To be clear, circumcision advocates do what they do because they are circumcised, not because they are Jewish. Since Jewish men are circumcised, there will always be Jewish men who promote circumcision. As described at Infant Responses to Circumcision and in detail in Circumcision: The Hidden Trauma, circumcision is traumatic, and there is a compulsion to repeat the trauma (or advocate its spread) for some circumcised men.
Regarding the medical profession's attitude toward circumcision, a physician at a major hospital in Boston who wrote the hospital's circumcision information sheet for parents defended its pro-circumcision bias by stating that "the religious aspect of circumcision plays a significant role." According to this physician, discouraging circumcision would put doctors "in a position of attacking religious belief." This stance suggests that religion may be a factor that inhibits the full disclosure of medical information and medical views on circumcision. In our experience, this example appears to represent a pattern suggesting that American discussion or questioning of the issue is affected by the Jewish presence. Therefore, we believe that when the subject is circumcision, mentioning religious affiliation is relevant to assessing potential bias.
References are available upon request.