THE TIMES OF INDIA, Friday, 8 December 2000.

Circumcision is sexual assault, says psychologist

SYDNEY: Male circumcision is tantamount to sexual assault and should be banned in Australia along with female genital mutilation, an international conference in Sydney was told on Thursday. Psychology Professor Greg Boyle told the sixth international symposium on genital integrity that cutting the foreskin could result in psychological and sexual problems in adulthood.

''Studies now demonstrate quite clearly that circumcision has long-term adverse consequences, not only physically but also sexually and psychologically,'' Boyle, of Queensland's Bond University, told the delegates.

''To amputate a highly erogenous sexual tissue such as the foreskin is quite clearly a criminal sexual assault.''

An estimated 12 per cent of infant boys in Australia have their foreskins surgically removed - down from 90 per cent in the 1950s.

Boyle claimed Australia was moving towards making circumcision a crime, quoting as evidence an increasing tide of litigation against doctors who performed it.

In an out-of-court settlement last year, a 24-year-old Perth man received A$360,000 ($194,000) compensation from the doctor who circumcised him as an infant.

Boyle said it was a violation of Australia's anti-discrimination laws to ban female genital mutilation while failing to give boys the same protection.

Female genital mutilation is illegal in Australia under laws introduced in 1995. (DPA)

Cite as:
(File prepared 11 December 2000)

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