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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."

Karl Menninger, psychiatrist

"Parents do not know what they are choosing, and physicians do not feel what they are doing."

Ronald Goldman, Ph.D., author

"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."

Justin Call, M.D., pediatrician

"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."

Paul Fleiss, M.D., pediatrician

"In this case, the old dictum 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it' seems to make good sense."

Eugene Robin, M.D., professor

"A whole life can be shaped by an old trauma, remembered or not."

Lenore Terr, M.D., child psychiatrist

"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."

Ronald Goldman, Ph.D., author
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Circumcision and Male Infant Mortality

Infant mortality is infant deaths in the first year per 1000 births. Male infants have a higher rate of mortality than female infants. Here is a comparative table for American births. The ratio of male infant mortality to female infant mortality yields the excess male infant mortality figures in the second column.


Excess Male
Infant Mortality

National Percent Circumcised

1942 1.26 66
1946 1.28 70
1950 1.295 80
1954 1.30 85
1958 1.30 81
1962 1.295 85
1966 1.295 85
1970 1.29 81
1979 1.245 64.5
1982 1.24 62.5
1986 1.255 59.4
1990 1.25 59.0

The rise (1942-1950) and fall (1970-1979) of excess male infant mortality coincides with rising and falling circumcision rates. Values are taken from graphs and are approximate. Circumcision rates between 1942 and 1970 are from Laumann et al. "Circumcision in the United States" Journal of the American Medical Association 1997;277:1052-1057. Later circumcision rates are from the National Center for Health Statistics. Excess infant mortality rates are from Drevenstedt et al. "The Rise and Fall of Excess Infant Mortality" Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2008;105:5016-5021.

Circumcision Resource Center