Townsend Letter For Doctors and Patients (Port Townsend, Washington 98368-6541), Volume 166: Page 102, May 1997.
Thank you for publishing the letter of Rabbi Shechet and Dr. Levin.
The emotional sequelae produced in many adult males by infant circumcision are now well known. The phenomena have been described by Ritter and by Bigelow. Money et al. have described the loss of erotosexual function inherent in circumcision. 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.
Rabbi Shechet and Dr. Levin have furnished us with an excellent example of a compelling reason to abolish circumcision of non-consenting children.
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