[Nov 29 1995] I am an anthropology grad student. My main research interest is on Mexican immigrant communities. I also examine the process of "Americanization" (physical/psychological). Circumcision is definitely one of those American rituals. Being the child of Mexican immigrants myself, I am not circumcised. The posting you and others have arranged on the Web has made a lot of my research much more easy and accessible. It also saves on paper. Again, thank you for your work and energy.
[Jan 12 1996] I just read over a great deal of the material in your page. I don't understand why this is such an important issue to you. I don't understand why non-Jews get circumcised, but I don't lose sleep over it.
I was circumcised in accordance with Jewish law as part of my entry into a covenant with G-d. None of the Jewish historical sources you quote are against circumcision. Obviously, it hasn't had an adverse impact on the ability of Jews to reproduce.
If you believed that an all-knowing, all-powerful force wanted you to cut off your son's foreskin, wouldn't you do it?
As far as the Rambam's arguments go, it is important to note that he speculates as to the purpose of circumcision, but does not claim to know G-d's actual reason for its requirement. The Torah (in Deuteronomy 22:11) also prohibits wearing garments containing mixtures of wool and linen. This is a classic example of a law which has no obvious purpose. We (orthodox Jews) do it because G-d said so. Seems like a good enough reason for me.
Please note that Jews do not proselytize. Nothing in Jewish law requires, encourages, or looks favorably upon gentiles having the circumcision. In other words, I don't tell you how to live your life; please do me the same courtesy.
[Dec 10 1995] Thanks for the information. I will resume the taping that I started over twenty years ago. I needed to know that I was not crazy and you gave me the reassurance.
[Jan 13 1996] Oh dear... I have studied the info on circumcision and it is almost like reading my own life story.
I have suffered all the pain, I have been treated like a freak on numerous occasions. My (infant) circumcision affected my entire school life and my subsequent career choices. I cannot begin to describe the adverse effect it had upon my life when married...
[Jan 21 1996] Hey great Home Page! :-) It was extremely informative. Thanks for keeping it "clean", (as opposed to erotic like many other URL's are). Please keep it up to date, you are doing a fantastic job at getting out the TRUTH. I truly thank God that I was born in New Zealand, in 1969, and since that day I remain completely (and very happily) intact :-) !
[Feb 02 1996] Thank you for providing the on-line information for fathers of uncircumcised boys. I wish my dad had had this information when I was young. I do not fault my parents, but I had to undergo forcible retraction of the foreskin when I was about 6, and I have very negative memories about it. My own son is almost 6, and I have had the benefit of open and honest information like yours, so I don't think my son will have the hangups and problems that I did.
[Feb 03 1996] I greatly appreciated reading your web page dealing with infant circumcision and the many advantages stemming from keeping an intact male foreskin. I was circumcised at the age of two years, ostensibly because my foreskin had become too tight at that point in life. I have regretted that this was done and that I had no say in the matter. I have also wondered what effect this has had on the sensations that I experience during masturbation or other sexual activities. (I might add that I am in my 40's now.) This is probably something that one will never know, but the prospect of feeling a foreskin sliding over the glans of one's penis is tantalising. One of life's insoluble mysteries!...
I might add that I also like the two paintings you have included on a related page. They are quite impressive.
[Feb 03 1996] Thank you for compiling all that information on Circumcision. You helped me avoid making a BIG mistake.
[Feb 04 1996] Geez. A compelling reason to be pissed off at my parents and their obstetrician. I really wish I had a foreskin now, having reviewed this information.
[Feb 04 1996] Your statements about the male sex organ have merit, but are heavily steeped in superstition, anecdotal remarks, physiological inaccuracies, cultural bias, and therefore, are not worthy of further comment. Except... may I suggest you investigate further before wasting our time again?
[Feb 08 1996] Dear Mr. Falk,
I've just read your circumcision FAQ and I was disappointed at its bias. Statements like 20% of circumcised males suffer the following problems etc etc are pulled out of thin air without any justification. While I don't really care what Christian people do with their kids, there is no evidence that Jewish men or Moslem men as a who are any more harmed than women who pierce their ears.
Your faq would be more objective if you offer more useful information as to how parents could circumcise their kids if they wished to. The best way is to get a Jewish mohel. They are more experienced than any surgeon since that is all they do and that makes a big difference in the experience. At the only Jewish brit milah that I have attended, the mohel says, it takes him 45 seconds to cut and bandage. An hour later, the infant was fast asleep and according to his dad, smiled for the first time in his life the next morning.
As it stands, your so-called FAQ is seems more like an anti-circ polemic rather than a true honest attempt to disseminate information.
CIRP note: The 20% figure for complications includes meatal stenoses.
[Feb 10 1996] I just wanted to say that I admire the effort you have put into your anti-circumcision pages. I now consider myself one of the lucky ones who weren't mutilated, but also am old enough to remember the awkwardness and embarrassment I suffered in high school (in ever-progressive Central Wisconsin) because I wasn't circumcised. Despite maintaining a reasonable awareness of the issues, I still found plenty of new information in your pages. Keep up the good work!
[Feb 17 1996] The information that is presented is very good, even for one of the lucky ones who is not cut. As a father with two sons, at the birth of both, the physicians really pressured my wife and me to have the babies circumcised. I resisted both times; however, with the older son, I was told that his tight foreskin was going to present problems and that it was BEST to complete the operation on the infant. I reluctantly agreed, but asked for the least removal of foreskin--even suggested the dorsal slit. When I first saw my circumcised son, I realized that he had lost nearly ALL of the foreskin in the mutilation. My younger son was not cut. In our state, Washington, the mothers now may have TOTAL control over the approval/disapproval of the mutilation. In reading the information that is presented here, I discover how un-informed the pediatrician was about the need to cut my older son. I have always said that the $$$ is the reason for so many mutilations of infant boys.
[Feb 14 1996] I just wanted to hello and let you know that I think this restoration stuff is great. I just wish I had known about it earlier (I'm 32). I started in July 95 and I can't believe the results. I wasn't unhappy about my penis before, but when I came across restoration information on the Internet, I decided to try it out! I imagine you have been restoring yourself. How successful have you been?
[Feb 22 1996] I am a 35 year-old gay white male and I am very angry that I was circumcised as an infant. I saw the hospital bill and learned that I was cut for a mere $25.00. I would gladly have paid $2,500.00 NOT to have been circumcised... Thank you for your time and work.
[Mar 13 1996] This is a great public service. The degree of ignorance on this issue in the U.S. and especially within its medical community makes it a necessity. Thanks again!
[Mar 13 1996] Firstly allow me to congratulate you on such an excellent and comprehensive account of a taboo subject rarely challenged, mainly because of embarrassment.
It is partly because of the embarrassing nature of the subject that it's practice has escalated to the widespread use we are aware of today. It annoys me that many parents are unaware of the damage that circumcision causes. It is true to say that many parents think that they are doing their son a favour and that circumcision is a necessary procedure in order to maintain cleanliness and good health in life. Parents can even avoid the embarrassment of asking that the operation be carried out on their son by ticking a box on a form after the birth, consenting to the subsequent mutilation of their son.
It is about time that the terrible realities of infant circumcision are brought to light and an end is put to this barbaric and infibulating operation.
I am twenty years old and actually underwent circumcision a year or so ago due to a glans irritation. I must admit that since the operation I have had no recurrent glans irritation whatsoever which is fantastic, but I have also lost much sensitivity of the penis and have been left with a thick, pink scar about an inch back from the coronal ridge which is unsightly and my partner finds it uncomfortable during lovemaking.
The positive aspects of circumcision are vastly outweighed by the negative and this must be made known in order to put a stop to it.
You are doing an excellent job in maintaining this resource page and I hope you manage to keep it going.
[Mar 17 1996] Thank you for bringing the issue of circumcision to the WEB. You have provided a lot of good information. I thought I wanted to be circumcised when I was a college student at age 21 and I had it done. I just wanted to be like most others I had seen. BAD choice. Although I have no complaints about performance, I have always missed what I had cut off. I have had it both ways and I can tell you there is nothing to compare to a natural one. The feeling in a foreskin cannot be described. Those who were cut as babies have no idea what they are missing. I do and I regret the day I had it done. I am currently try a little restoring and have about 3/4 coverage again, but that missing end will never come back. Thanks for helping educate America!
[Mar 25 1996] Dear Mr. Falk:
I want to thank you for your wonderful circumcision pages. They are an incredible resource for parents and others who want to know the truth about circumcision. The tone is even and not hysterical, and the documentation is excellent.
I was not circumcised but always thought I should have been, and until about two years ago, more or less wanted to be. That all changed when I read Dr. Ritter's book in our university library. It changed my life. As I continued to read everything I could get my hands on and became better educated and aware of my own intact anatomy, I awakened and began to be active in the anti-circ movement. I have been less active lately as I prepare to take my family to England for an extended period. I still manage, however, to read the weekly CIN postings and I frequently check to see what is new on your pages.
I simply want to thank you for what you have done. You have done a great service for baby boys who can't defend themselves, and I, for one, appreciate it. I hope you will continue to maintain the site after graduation.
[Mar 25 1996] Geoffrey,
I'm glad that I ran across your page while searching for information on this topic. I was actually looking for information to prove to my wife, who is against circumcision, that "it" SHOULD be done. However, after reading the information on your site, my son will be intact. I hope to be able to spread this information to friends who will be having kids in the future.
[Mar 30 1996] Excellent collection!
Before I had my first child, I researched the why's of male circumcision (I then yet did not even know of female circumcision) to decide if my husband and I should circumcise our male children. (We have two boys.) Both grandfathers were not circumcised. My husband didn't think that was a big deal to be different from his own father in that regard. We couldn't find any religious argument for it in the Catholic church--we even asked a priest. My mother asked some Protestant ministers for my contribution.
Anyway, we did not circumcise either son (they're now 13 and 10) and we've not experienced any difficulty with that decision. If our boys have noticed that they are different, they've not said so. If they've had anyone tease them, they've not said so.
I just read a recent article in Reader's Digest that would lead people to believe that male circumcision should be done--that you should error on the side of doing it rather than not doing it. I say you can always cut it off, but you cannot put it back on!
I feel very strongly about not doing this. I would not pierce a child's ear or nose, nor would I remove a body part that God intended to be there!
[Apr 5 1996] I just wanted to say thank you so much for making the information on circumcision available. You are doing a great service to the many unborn sons who are fortunate enough to have parents who do their research first. It turns out that our baby will be a girl after all, but the information that I learned when we didn't know will stick with us and prevent us from making a terrible mistake in the future should we be blessed with another child and it happens to be a boy.
I have shared this information with a friend at work who is expecting a boy. I hope she and her husband learn something from it.
[Apr 12 1996] I sincerely appreciate all the effort you must have put into assembling such important information. When I got pregnant, I knew from the start that I could not harm my child. My husband is equally adamant that circumcision was wrong for us to inflict on our baby. Your website has been useful in proving my husband and I with the rationale to support our decision. We are now more aware of how psychologically and physically harmful, and medically unnecessary circumcision is. I feel much more knowledgable about the issue: its history, its health implications, its affect on the psychology of the child. I now have more to say to people than "it so painful". I will continue to use this resource to encourage other parents-to-be to leave their little boys intact.
[May 04 1996, from a doctor:] Very thoughtful, well written. Reinforces what I have been trying to teach the residents for years. Nice job!
[June 02 1996] Just finished looking - aghast - at photos of the procedures involved in performing a circumcision and the file detailing - in ghastly color - a botched operation. Cannot forget them. My God, what we do to our flesh and blood whom we say we love! If that's the way we treat our loved ones, it doesn't surprise me how we commit atrocities on our enemies. Especially gruesome was the picture of the forceps being used to tear away the flesh from the head of the penis. I will think of this the next time I rip off the skin from a chicken breast prior to cooking, only the chicken is dead and cannot feel the pain. This is an outrage. If caring parents could be shown this procedure before it is committed on their sons, they might opt to abandon it. Enough said.
[June 05 1996] Excellent page on circumcision. We decided not to circumcise our son and instead to focus on self esteem and confidence as a method to countact 'teasing'. My argument is that my son can decide to have the surgery later in life if he really wants it....he cannot, however, decide to reverse a circumcision.
[June 28 1996] I wish to God that someone would have told my parents not to have me "cut". I would give anything to be natural. Keep up the good work of informing the ignorant about this brutal operation!
[June 30 1996] All of the scare tactics on Net info on Circumcision should be ignored this is all nonsense if you need it done - do it! you will not lose sensation and sex is not painful - you will walk funny for a few weeks and - no they will not cut off too much I think I look great and am very happy with my new and improved Penis. The downside is the painful needle in the shaft to freeze it for the cutting and after it will hurt for 48 hours, but nothing that a loving girlfreind and a bottle of Tylenol 3's won't fix! PS - yes its bigger! now that the head can come out and play... Happy Cutting!!!
[June 30 1996] I purchased Dr. Bigelow's book "The Joy of Uncircumcising" and have been attempting to uncircumcise myself for the last six months. Progress is slow but noticeable; I didn't realize how tight I was. Anyway, my question is regarding the skin condition Psoriasis. I am a sufferer of Psoriasis. It is not real bad but is persistent. I currently have it in my scalp and between my buttocks. I read that people often develop outbreaks in fat rolls, etc. I have also read of people having Psoriasis on their genitals. What do your experts think? Am I at risk of having a Psoriasis outbreak if I fully (re)develop foreskin? I still have quite a ways to go until I have near-full coverage but if I am at risk I may set my goals a little lower. Thank you for your reply.
CIRP response: You should consult a dermatologist.
[01 Aug 1996] Thanks for a great website. I refer a lot of people to the site.
One little suggestion, though. On your PlastiBell (read: torture and mutilation) page, where you mention the forceps widening the opening, you might consider mentioning that it's the tip of the foreskin that has the most sensitive nerves of the penis (and that the foreskin has half the nerves anyway). The image of a clamp on the most sensitive part should make readers wince earlier. Good.
Seeing stuff like this fills me with rage. My frenar band is gone forever.
[Aug 06 1996] I don't know where to begin, but for starters, you disguise this page as an answer page about sexuality, the penis, and it's functions, when it is actually a very very thinly veiled attempt to do what so many people on the net seem to do...convince others that circumcision is wrong, bad, whatever. I don't see any pages discussing the pros of circumcision, but then again, I never hear any complaints about it from those who are circumcised. So, why not just leave it alone. If you're not circumcised, fine. But I, like a majority of American males, am circumcised, and am very glad my parents made this choice. So stop telling me I am disfunctional and less than perfect, simply to make yourself and your point of view seem normal. Mankind has been practicing circumcision for thousands of years on a major scale, don't you think it may be just a bit arrogant to call all of those before us wrong, and yourself right? You insult the rest of us by trying to make yourself seem normal. No one is criticizing you for not being circumcised, as they shouldn't. So don't do the same to those of us who have been circumcised. And if you really want to justify the space taken up by this web site, show some facts about sexuality, reproduction, intercourse, men's health, NOT viewpoints about what "normal" is.
CIRP note: Contrary to the letter writer's assumption, the author of the Web page in question is a circumcised man.
[Aug 06 1996] You know, I'm really happy to see people with pages like yours. I was circumcised as an adult (age 23) and let me tell you, it made a significant difference in the quality of my sexual experience. There is just no way to explain to someone who was circumcised as an infant what an incredible feeling they are missing.
In my opinion, infant circumcision is a terrible act of mutilation and should be ended. If I could get my "foreskin" back, I most certainly would. Unfortunately, the techniques for doing so (as far as I've seen on the web pages devoted to this topic) don't seem to me a suitable technique since they mainly rely upon stretching the existing skin and are not truly a restoration. The skin that is lost in circumcision contains too many nerve endings that are gone forever once the cut has been made. It's unfortunate. I would undo it if I could.
[15 Aug 1996] Thank you! My son's first Dr. never told us how to take care of his penis but suggested we would have to retract it when he was a toddler. He retired and his partner lectured me that we should have had him circumcised as an infant & that now we would have to go to a urologist to have it done (he had bubble bath irritation). I never followed up on that. Later had another son, was again given no info. and have since switched pediatricians. So THANK YOU for your article. I was feeling bad about not retracting the boys foreskins - glad to know it's okay!
[13 Aug 1996]
I doubt that you will print this since I totally disagree with your position on circumcision. I was not circumcised at birth. As a child I was laughed at and outcast because I was different. As soon as I turned 21 and could sign the permission form, I was circumcised. I have never regretted it. I would like to address a few of the negative points brought up in yours and other articles.
You probably won't publish this, however, I thought you should hear from the other side. Most people who are happily circumcised won't take the time to express their feelings. I have now been circumcised for 26 years and have enjoyed every day of it as opposed to the 21 years I spent in misery.
CIRP note: As for point 2, it is the case for many men circumcised at birth that there is not enough movement of the shaft skin. Sometimes erection is difficult or even painful for them.
Circumcision (or not) is a very personal decision. This author makes the point well. Undoubtedly, learned attitudes and societal pressures will influence one's choice. However, it is a choice that we believe is properly and ethically made only by the man himself.
[18 Aug 1996] Excellent site!...
My sons are both intact. Why? Because I witnessed the procedure while pregnant with my first son ! I decided at that moment that I would not do that to my child - my own research afterwards convinced me further.
[18 Aug 1996] I just wanted to let you know that I found your information on the nature of the shaftskin and all the functions it serves to be very interesting. It shows how little we really know. Your presentation is very clear and concise. I myself was circumcised five years ago and am now in the process of restoring my "foreskin" and look forward to regaining some of the sensitivity which I lost.
[22 Aug 1996] THANKS!!! Thanks so much for making this information available. I have just joined the multitudes of net-surfers, and was elated upon finding this on the net. It has encouraged me to renew my dedication toward my restoration which a started abaout 8years ago. I have been sporatic in my efforts, and now I have a renewed fervor. I never really believed it could work. Now I think I have the proof in the photos available here. I need to see more restored foreskins. NEW SKIN CELLS??!!! I didn't know that was possible. I want to believe it. I guess time will tell; as long as I'm consistant. It just gets to be such a hassle. I like the PUD since you don't have to do anything except pull it out of your pants when you want to urinate. I don't hear much about that method. Is this due to the cost of the device, and the "inventor's" unwillingness to let go of his patent? I agree that he is being self serving, but it is a system that works well. I like using both.
[30 Aug 1996] Just wait until my husband gets home....will he be shocked! He was born in 1951 and my son was born in 1972. I was never told what I just read. I was only told that boys needed to be circumcised at birth because of personal hygiene. I only wish I could go back and change what was done to both my husband and son!
I will definitely pass on this information to any of my friends that have sons!
[13 Sep 1996] I would just like to congratgulate you on your work. These pages have been very helpful, I have shown them to two friends so far that have just had male babies and after seeing the information they are going to leave their babies intact unless medical reason come about. They only wish they were left intact as well.
[22 Sep 1996] When I first came across this web page I thought maybe it would be an unbiased information guide on the topic.As soon as I read the list of people under "Acknowledgement"... I knew exactly what type of information I would find.Turns out I was right!
I have introduced a number of friends to your web site and they agree with me,you people are "afraid" afraid to show the other side of this issue.I have collected hundreds of recent articles,letters and newspaper clippings explaining sexual and medical benefits of being circumcised.I am sure you are aware of most of them.
Being so extremely biased on any issue just alerts people that something is being covered up.Very true in this case.
Everyone has the right to express their own opinion about any topic, but you people have gone a bit too far.Simply put your a bunch of fanatics.
I guess if you people can't inform the Internet readers about the other side of this topic,then someone else will.I promise!!
CIRP note: While newspaper articles and columns are a useful way to track changing societal attitudes about circumcision, we do not consider them to be a reliable source of medical information.
We asked this gentleman to be more specific about his concerns. He declined.
[17 Nov 1996]
I am a Jewish Plastic Surgeon in Sydney, Australia. I have recently been researching FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) which as you may know has no religious basis - not in Islam or any other religion. It is practiced by Moslems Christians and some Jews in African countries and is purely cultural.
All of the arguments for and against FGM are also applicable to male circumcision. It is hard to understand why pain and permanent disfigurement and sexual functional impairment are inflicted in the name of Faith. Few thinking folk in the civilised western world would approve of female infibulation and yet male circumcision without medical indication continues almost unabated. The Covenant with Abraham as described in Genesis 17 does not describe the radical Brit Milah as practiced today. The original Briblical brit removed only the portion of the prepuce that extended beyond the glans. Denuding the glans (as yet not fully developed) on the 8th day of life is not a Commandment. I have heard no convincing argument from any Rabbinical authority. ...
G-d Bless you
[07 Jun 1997]
Thank you for making this information available to me.
Your page is an example of what the internet, and a University, should be about : an information resource where all may visit to find out what they need to know.
I am informed because I visited your pages - I am grateful and I am (spiritually) better off for the information.
[07 Jun 1997] Subject: Pediatricians ill-advised
Just wanted to write a quick note: When I was pregnant with my son I decided that I had done everything pre-natally to keep him healthy and unharmed, so why expose him to pain just because the obstetrician recommended it? Afterwards, the pediatrician recommended that upon bathing I push the foreskin back for proper cleansing. I disregarded that information. Unfortunately, a friend of mine who had adopted an intact Romanian boy called me concerned about her son's pussy discharge that had started to affect him. She was considering having him circumcised. I asked her if she was previously told to push the foreskin back upon bathing and she too, was told to do this by a different pediatrician. I advised her to stop and just wash his body with soap and water, not manipulating the foreskin at all.(The skin tears a little if it's pushed back which allows for infection). She followed my recommendation and since then has had no problems at all (this was 4 years ago..). No wonder children who were left intact originally can experience problems if the advise from pediatricians is followed by uninformed parents who are afraid to let the body do it's own thing. I haven't yet read all the information on your site but wanted to share this in case I can help prevent another unneccesary mutilation on an unsuspecting child.
CIRP note: Your parental instincts are correct. The foreskin should never be manipulated. It will take care of itself.
[10 Jun 1997]
Wow! What an amazing obsession! I see one of the groups refrenced herein is called "Victims of Circumcision." You want to see a "victim?" Try my friend, a burn victim with no hands or face. Anyone who identifies as Victim 'cause he's circumcised is in far more serious trouble than any piece of skin's gonna help.
It's quite touching to see how hard you're working for such a non-issue and how seriously you take the testimony of such dysfunctionals as the geek who remembers having a foreskin at one. It's rather cute. Keep up the good work, son.
[13 Jun 1997]
Hmmmm. Interesting site. Actually the feedback made more interesting reading than a lot of your information. Sorry, but I try to be honest. Is your site designed to be thought provoking? It seems to be, and that is good.
I believe than forced circumcision is inhumane, unless carried out for a medical reason. With reference to parents who insist on mutilating their children bodies forcibly, should we slice off bits of the parents bodies without their permission?
A finger here, a toe there, maybe a testicle or a nipple. Why not? You can still function almost normally with these items removed.
Anyway, I like my foreskin. It enhances sexual stimulation. Try to masturbate without using your foreskin. Try oral sex with your foreskin pulled back for the entire session. NOT VERY GOOD. Normal female penetrative sex is pretty good with or without your foreskin sliding back and forth. It seems that the vagina is quite sufficient to cause stimulation without the foreskin present.
Perhaps this is part of the religious thing. To curb 'perverted and unnatural sex' (like masturbation, oral, anal, homosexual), it was decided that circumcision would hopefully stop these practices, leaving only female penetrative sex as the viable option... Did it work? Like hell did it!
[13 Jun 1997]
my wife and I are from Egypt and are both circumcised. We feel that circumcision is see too critically. Neither my wife nor I feel no disadvantages of being circumcised.
Circumcision might be an important part of getting adult. Our daughter (16 years) asked for getting circumcised last year. Circumcision was perfomed in the traditional way in Egypt. Afterwards she said: I am pride now of being an adult women.
[14 Jun 1997]
My wife and I just learned that we are to become parents for the first time early in 1998. We have been trying for some time now. Whether the child is female or male, she or he will remain intact.
...until five years ago I remained blissfully ignorant of the evils of genital mutilation and did not particularly mind that I had been circumcised (in spite of tight erections, chafing, occasional bleeding at my scar, etc.). My commitment to intactivism is a direct result of what I discovered on the internet, especially the libraries at CIRP's site. I am grateful to the pioneers in this movement and my unborn child will thank you too.
Barely containing my joy,
[15 Jun 1997]
Enjoy your site. My sons are not circumcised even though I come from a Jewish background! I hate the "procedure". I have been a midwife for 20 years and do what I can to discourage this barbaric practice. Please check out our web page and note that we link to you.
Liberty, TN USA