Port Townsend, Washington 98368-6541,
May, 1997


Adult Behavior in Circumcised Doctors and Religious Officials


Dear Editor:

      Thank you for publishing the letter of Rabbi Shechet and Dr. Levin.[1]

      The emotional sequelae produced in many adult males by infant circumcision are now well known. The phenomena have been described by Ritter[2] and by Bigelow[3]. Money et al. have described the loss of erotosexual function inherent in circumcision.[4] Typically, many circumcised adult males exhibit the Freudian defense mechanism of denial as they seek to shield themselves from the pain and grief of this loss. In the father, we call it the adamant father syndrome because the father adamantly insists that his son be circumcised even in the face of compelling evidence of the injury of circumcision. When the traumatized man is an M.D. or a religious official he is apt to use false medical or religious grounds to try to justify the wounded and less functional state of his own penis. These men will usually advocate universal circumcision. Such men may operate under a compulsion to repeat the trauma.[5]

      Rabbi Shechet and Dr. Levin have furnished us with an excellent example of a compelling reason to abolish circumcision of non-consenting children.

George Hill
1323 North River Road
Port Allen, Lousiana 70767-3303
Tel: 225-383-8067
Fax: 225-381-8200


  1. Shechet J, Levin E. Letter. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients; Nos. 163/164 (February-March 1997): pp. 109-110.
  2. Say No to Circumcision!, Thomas J. Ritter, MD. Hourglass, Aptos, 1992, p. 17-1 (ISBN 0-960482-0-1).
  3. The Joy of Uncircumcising!, 2nd. Ed., Jim Bigelow, PhD, Hourglass, Aptos, 1995, pp. 83-112 (ISBN 0-934061-22X).
  4. Money J. Davison J. Adult penile circumcision: erotosexual and cosmetic sequelae. J Sex Research 1983;19(3):289-292.
  5. van der Kolk B. The compulsion to repeat the trama: reenactment, revictimization, and masochism. Psychiatric Clinics of North America 1989;12:389-411. Cited in Circumcision: The Hidden Trauma, Ronald Goldman, Ph.D., Vanguard Publications, Boston, 1997 (ISBN 0-9644895-3-8).

(File last revised 31 October 2006)

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