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19th & 20th Century
History of MGM

20th Century Statistics    Ancient History    AAA & 1990s Summary   >Circumstitions    >Old Medical Journal Quotations   >CIRP Library
    This page will discuss the last 130 years when circumcision rates went from less than 5% in the late 19th Century to 90% in the 1970s to 60% today.

Thanks to Hugh Young for the list of "reasons" people give for cutting babies, reasons called "circumstitions."

 Jennifer Gardner's >website has many primary source >medical journal quotations. These give the documentation of the rise of MGM.

Before I was able to write this section, I found this summary written in response to an article in Time Magazine. It will sound a bit harsh to someone who has never heard of this history, but the more one learns of this sad story, the less inflammatory this account will sound. I have written a short summary of events in North Dakota during the last decade and some projected legal approaches: 1990s Summary

This is a reply by Gary Harryman to an article in,
Time Magazine:
"Good News -- AIDS Relief,"  4/10/2000.
He wants the press to see that AIDS is just the most recent
of a long history of scare tactics and tragic rationalizations
trotted out for cutting babies:

Dear Editor:   I'm not making this up. The following list is historically accurate and was compiled from a review of professional papers published in medical textbooks and medical journals - such as the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Pediatrics, Lancet, and journal your article quotes --The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).   

Back in the 1850's and 1860's Americans were assured in published papers written by the most respected medical doctors of the time, that amputating half of the skin from a boy's penis (serious surgery euphemistically called "circumcision") would cure masturbation, which doctors said caused paralysis, hip trouble, urinary incontinence, sloth, and spermatorrhea (ejaculation for any reason other than procreation).  

 In the 1870's American medical doctors insisted that circumcision would not only cure masturbation but also idiocy, moral laxity, headache, clubfoot, bladder inflammation, spinal curvature, lameness, clumsiness, hysteria, malnutrition, and epilepsy.   In the 1880's medical doctors declared that circumcision would still cure masturbation and also blindness, nervous tension, restlessness, irritability, facial tics, rectal prolapse, indigestion, heart disease, diabetes, deafness, and even crossed eyes.   

Then, in the 1890's American medical doctors announced that circumcision would cure masturbation, impotence, elephantiasis, gangrene, tuberculosis, eczema, excessive saliva, hypertrophied tonsils, and swollen feet.   In 1900 American medical doctors proclaimed that circumcision was still the best cure for masturbation and also for premature ejaculation, dyspepsia, hernia, nervous exhaustion, and diarrhea.   

In the decade after 1910 American medical doctors soberly affirmed that circumcision cured masturbation, dropsy, hydrocephalus, nocturnal pollutions (wet dreams), excessive sexual passions, and the compulsion to rape.   

In the 1920's American medical doctors writing in JAMA confidently pronounced that circumcision cured syphilis as well as masturbation. (In that same journal in 1927 America was assured that castrating all Negro men would protect the "virtue of White women.")   

In the 1930's American medical doctors certified that circumcision cured masturbation and promiscuity.   

In the 1940's American medical doctors authoritatively swore that circumcision cured masturbation and prevented venereal diseases and cancer of the tongue.   

In the 1950's American medical doctors still maintained that circumcision cured masturbation and priapism and asserted that it prevented cervical cancer.  

In the 1960's American medical doctors were positive that circumcision cured masturbation and painful intercourse and prevented smegma (that same white guck you saw in the corners of your eyes in this morning), penile malignancy, and prostate malignancy.   

Even in the 1970's American medical doctors still warranted in several prestigious medical journals that although masturbation didn't cause diseases, circumcision would prevent masturbation and sexual abnormalities as well as penile cancer, infections of the glans, urinary tract infections, and of course nightmares.   

By the early 1980's American medical doctors had grudgingly accepted that circumcision didn't prevent masturbation so they suspended their 130-year campaign against the "evils" of masturbation but still promised that circumcision prevented penile cancer, cervical cancer, urinary tract infections, and kidney failure.  

In the 1990's the American medical community was showing signs it had nearly come to it's senses when the American Academy of Pediatrics decided that circumcision was not necessary for good health or hygiene and only prevented a few very rare cases of penile cancer in elderly men and maybe a few urinary tract infections in infants that could easily be treated with a shot of antibiotic. But of course doctors should still offer the service to the parents of little boys.   

The shameful history of the list of pretexts for penis mutilation would be comical if the consequences weren't so tragic. The only thing circumcision doesn't seem to ever cure is the profitable compulsion to cut male babies. Now it's the year 2000 and doctors writing in the NEJM are excitedly hinting that they may be able to protect our boys from getting the terrible HIV virus that causes AIDS by circumcising. Doctors are back at it again selling genital mutilation of boys, and again claiming it's a miracle prophylactic against a disease. Just how stupid do they think American's are? The only people who have ever really benefited from circumcision are the American doctors who have treated the homegrown American foreskin as an annuity. It's always open season on little boy's pelts as American doctors perform more than 1.2 million unnecessary foreskin amputations annually - making neonatal circumcision the most frequently performed surgery in history. Does the word "quackery" apply here?   

American doctors have never recanted and apologized for the deceits of the hundreds of bogus circumcision claims over the last 150 years. Nor have they begged forgiveness from the millions of men whose sex lives have been diminished as a result of those fraudulent pseudo-scientific claims. They have never offered restitution or even compensation for the out-of-pocket costs of non-surgical restoration and Viagra.   

The 85% of the world that does not medically or ritually mutilate their children ask - "Will the American rationalization of their obsession with mutilating the genitals of innocent little boys never end?"  



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