|The use of the term "medical" for this
page is used loosely to refer both (1) to conditions that are
truly of concern to medical doctors and (2) to trumped up medical
excuses for mistreating the genitals of children. These excuses are not
acceptable when it comes to protecting females, but BOYS TOO deserve to
be spared the genital damage resulting from quackery parading as medical
therapy. For example:
Circumcision is not a trivial procedure. It always causes harm, and
the harm can be very serious, including death. Check out >circumcision
complications. The harm is physical and psychological as recent
research is discovering (though common sense could have easily
predicted). Those who claim no harm is done, have never had to prove the
point. Since no studies were done, circumcisers have blindly claimed
there is no harm. "I'm cut, and I'm OK," is often heard. What
does this mean? We hope it means he is so OK that he lets others make up
their own mind as to whether they want to live with a scaled-down penis.
Remember, this is a human rights issue, and many have claimed that the
reason to amputate the foreskin is to deliberately do physical and
psychological harm to the person in order that the he will be >spiritually
benefited. This is contrary to the
principles that govern this country.
Montagu, Ph.D, Anthropologist (1995): "I, as an anatomist
and a neuro-anatomist can tell you that that foreskin is very highly
innervated. And, when separated, that is a serious injury!"
Check out >Historical Medical
Quotes on Circumcision for reasons physicians have given in the
past for compromising a child's genital integrity.
>Video online of a
On this page:
Letter to Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp
during her campaign to understand and cut down on violence by children.
Research links birth trauma and later
suicide (North Dakota has one of the highest teen suicide rates in
Death from Circumcision and Penile Cancer
Penis or glans penis
amputation during circumcision.
Harvard research links early
childhood trauma with mental illness
The Foreskins-Cause-Aids Myth
The Foreskins-Cause-Cancer Myth
Complications and Maternal Rejection
1002 N 8th St.
Bismarck, ND 58501
Attorney General of North Dakota
State Capitol Building
Bismarck, ND 58505
Dear Attorney General Heitkamp:
In your efforts to get “upstream”
for the causes of violent children, I offer the following summary
ARCHIVES OF GENERAL PSYCHIATRY, “Birth
Complications Combined with Early Maternal Rejection at Age One Year
Predispose to Violent Crime at Age 18 Years,” Adrian Raine, DPhil;
Patricia Brennan, PhD; Sarnoff A. Mednik, PhD, Vol. 51. No. 12. Dec.
1994, pp. 984-988:
knowledge, this is the first study to show that birth complications in
combination with early child rejection predispose to violent crime. The
findings illustrate the critical importance of integrating biological
with social measures to fully understand how violence develops and also
suggest that prenatal, perinatal, and early postnatal health care
interventions could significantly reduce violence....While only 4.5% of
the subjects had both risk factors [rejection and complications], they
accounted for 18% of all violent crimes.”
The study found that baby boys who
suffered birth complications were more prone to commit murders, rapes
and armed robberies when they became adults. The birth complications
listed are: forceps extraction, breech delivery, umbilical cord prolapse,
preclempsia, and long birth duration. Anyone who has watched a routine
circumcision, where the infant is taken from the mother and subjected to
severe physical and mental pain, knows it is as traumatic as any of
Duane Voskuil, PhD
Copy: Senator Jim Yockim; Gladys
Cairns, Director, Child Protection Services; Rhonda Ketterling, Chair,
Birth Trauma and Suicide Linked
13 November 1998
The Associated Press
LONDON -- Male
infants who experience a traumatic birth may be more likely to commit
suicide by violent means as adults than other baby boys whose births
went smoothly, according to a new study.
Sweden who studied the birth records of men who killed themselves
violently found that they were roughly twice as likely to have been
exposed to birth-related trauma, such as an emergency Caesarean section
or forceps delivery.
however, voiced caution about the conclusions of the study of 645
babies, published today in this week's issue of the British Medical
Schmidt, chairman of the psychiatry department at Johns Hopkins
University's Bayview Medical Center, said the findings were
"interesting" but needed to be replicated by other researchers
with larger numbers of subjects and in different environments.
Dr. Bertil Jacobson and colleagues at Huddinge University Hospital,
theorize that the suicide risk is linked to pain. In committing suicide,
some people subconsciously want to recreate the painful sensation of
their birth, the study suggests.
But Dr. Louis
Appleby, a professor of psychiatry at England's Manchester University,
questioned whether birth complications are a valid indicator of infant
pain and whether babies can remember the experience, let alone recreate
it in adulthood.
between obstetric care and violent suicide is more likely to occur
through mental illness," Appleby wrote in an editorial in the
journal. "However, even an indirect link between ... trauma and
suicide may be important."
Jacobson studied the birth records of 242 people -- 175 men and 67 women
-- who were born between 1945 and 1980 and committed suicide by shooting
themselves or other violent means. He compared their records with those
of their 403 siblings born around the same time.
Exceed those from Penile Cancer
Gellis, M.D., in "Circumcision" (Am J Dis Child 1978;
132:1168-9), said, "It is an incontestable fact...there are more
deaths from circumcision [of children] each year than from cancer of the
penis [of old men]."
Penis or glans penis amputation during circumcision
Some medical journal references (compliled by John D.
Not so rare as many would have us believe..
1. Coskunfirat OK, Sayiklkan S,
Velidedeoglu H.. Glans and penile
amputation as a complication of circumcision (letter).. Ann Plast
GR Stoller ML, Jacobs MM and Kogan BA. Newborn penile
amputation during circumcision and successful reattachment. J
3. Hanash KA. Plastic
reconstruction of partially amputated penis
circumcision. Urology. 1976;18:291-293.
4. Izzidien AY. Succesful
replantation of a traumatically amputated
in a neonate. J Pediatr Surg. 1981;16:202-3.
5. Menahem S. Complications arising
from ritual circumcision:
and possible prevention.. Isr J Med Sci. 1981;17(1):45-8.
6. Neulander E, Walfisch S and
Kaneti J. Amputation Of The Distal
Glans During Ritual Circumcision - A Rare Complication (Case
BJ Urol. 1996;77:924-925.
7. Park JK, Min JK, Kim HJ.
Reimplantation of an amputated penis in
boys. J Urol. 2001;165:586-7.
8. Sherman J, Borer JG, Horowitz M,
Glassberg KI. Circumcision:
glanular reconstruction following traumatic amputation. J
9. Strimling BS. Partial
amputation of the glans penis during Mogen
circumcision. Pediatrics. 1996;97:906-7.
10. Van How RS. Re: circumcision:
successful glanular reconstruction
survival following traumatic amputation (Letter). J Urol.
McLean Researchers at Harvard
Document Brain Damage
Linked to Child Abuse and Neglect
December 14, 2000
-- Belmont, MA -- McLean Hospital researchers have identified four types
of brain abnormalities linked to child abuse and neglect, providing the
first comprehensive review about the multiple ways in which abuse can
damage the developing brain. In the Fall 2000 issue of Cerebrum, the
researchers also review evidence that suggests this early damage to the
developing brain may subsequently cause disorders like anxiety and
depression in adulthood.
shows that childhood maltreatment may produce changes in both brain
function and structure," says Martin Teicher, MD, PhD, director of
the Developmental Biopsychiatry Research Program at McLean, and author
of the paper. Although a baby is born with almost all the brain cells
(neurons) he will ever have, the brain continues to develop actively
throughout childhood and adolescence. "A child's interactions with
the outside environment causes connections to form between brain
cells," Teicher explains. "Then these connections are pruned
during puberty and adulthood. So whatever a child experiences, for good
or bad, helps determine how his brain is wired."
The McLean team
identifies four types of abnormalities caused by abuse and neglect.
"These changes are permanent," says Teicher. "This is not
something people can just get over and get on with their lives."
irritability: The limbic system is a network of brain cells sometimes
called the "emotional brain." It controls many of the most
fundamental emotions and drives important for survival. The McLean
researchers found evidence that abuse may cause disturbances in
electrical impulses as limbic nerve cells communicate, resulting in
seizures or significant abnormalities on an EEG, a diagnostic test that
measures brain waves. The researchers studied 253 adults who came to an
outpatient mental health clinic for psychiatric assessment. A little
more than half reported being physically and/or sexually abused as
children. The researchers developed a checklist (the Limbic System
Checklist-33 or LSCL-33) to determine how often the patients experienced
symptoms similar to those that occur in patients with temporal lobe
epilepsy. They found that patients who experienced abuse scored much
higher suggesting an underlying disturbance in the limbic system.
Follow-up studies of 115 children admitted to McLean were conducted to
measure EEG disturbances. Patients with a history of abuse were twice as
likely as non-abused patients to have an abnormal EEG. Interestingly,
all of the extra EEG abnormalities affected the left hemisphere of the
brain. EEG abnormalities were associated with more self-destructive
behavior and more aggression.
Arrested development of the left hemisphere: The brain is
divided into two hemispheres, with the left controlling language and the
right responsible for visual-spatial ability, perception and expression
of negative affect. In six separate studies and analyses, the smallest
involving 20 people and the largest involving 115, the researchers
reviewed medical records, conducted neuropsychological tests to measure
left- and right-brain abilities, examined the results of MRI scans to
provide pictures of the brain at work, and studied the results of
sophisticated EEG coherence tests, which provided information on brain
structure as well as function. These studies provide evidence of
deficient development of the left brain hemisphere in abused patients,
so that the right hemisphere may be more active than in healthy
individuals. The researchers speculate that the left hemisphere deficits
seen in abused patients may contribute to the development of depression
and increase the risk of memory impairments.
Deficient integration between the left and right
hemispheres: The corpus callosum is a major information pathway
connecting the two hemispheres of the brain. The researchers reviewed
MRI brain scans from 51 patients admitted to McLean's Child and
Adolescent Psychiatry Program, and compared them to 97 MRIs of healthy
children obtained from the National Institute of
Mental Health. In abused children, the corpus callosum
was smaller than in healthy children. After reviewing the medical
records, the researchers found that neglect was associated with a 24
percent to 42 percent reduction in the size of various regions of the
corpus callosum in boys, but sexual abuse had no effect. In girls,
sexual abuse was associated with an 18 percent to 30 percent smaller
size in the corpus callosum, but neglect had no effect. They also found
that abused patients shifted degree of activity between their two
hemispheres to a much greater extent than normal. They theorize that a
smaller corpus callosum leads to less integration of the hemispheres.
This in turn can result in dramatic shifts in mood or personality.
Increased vermal activity: The cerebellar vermis is a
part of the brain that is involved in emotion, attention and the
regulation of the limbic system. The McLean researchers used a new
functional MRI technique known as T2 relaxometry, which provides
information about blood flow to the brain during a resting state, to
measure vermal activity in both abused and healthy individuals.
Thirty-two adults participated, including 15 with a history of sexual or
intense verbal childhood trauma but no physical trauma. The higher a
participant's LSCL-33 score, the greater the degree of vermal activity
blood flow. The researchers theorize that the abused
patients had higher vermal activity in order to quell electrical
irritability within the limbic system. They hypothesize that the
cerebellar vermis helps to maintain emotional balance, but that trauma
may impair this ability.
After documenting these four types of brain
abnormalities, the McLean researchers examined animal studies to
determine how such damage might occur. Such studies show that neglect
and trauma increase production of cortisol and decrease production of
the thyroid hormone, which affect development of neurochemical and
neurotransmitter receptors in the hippocampus, amygdala and locus
coeruleus, parts of the brain that regulate fear and anxiety. Based on
these studies, the McLean team theorizes that the stress caused by child
abuse and neglect may also trigger the release of some hormones and
neurotransmitters while inhibiting others, in effect remolding the brain
so that the individual is "wired" to respond to a hostile
"We know that an animal exposed to stress and
neglect early in life develops a brain that is wired to experience fear,
anxiety and stress," says Teicher. "We think the same is true
McLean Hospital established the nation's first laboratory
dedicated to studying the role of biological factors in mental illness.
Today, the hospital is listed by the Institute for Scientific
Information as among the most commonly cited sources of publications on
neuroscience. McLean is the largest psychiatric teaching affiliate of
Harvard Medical School.
October 11, 2000
Judge Orders Tot's Circumcision
By Neil Sherman
Oct. 10  (HealthSCOUT) -- A New Jersey father today is fighting an
order by a judge that would force him to have his son circumcised.
months ago, Judge Paul Armstrong ordered that the 3-year-old undergo the
minor surgery -- scheduled for this Thursday at Robert Wood Johnson
Medical Center in New Brunswick. In doing so, the judge ruled in favor
of the boy's mother, agreeing with two medical reports that say the
surgery will correct the boy's repeated penile inflammations.
child had an infection on two separate occasions," says Ron Heymann,
the Mt. Freedom, N.J., attorney for the boy's mother, Jennifer Price.
"He was seen by a family physician on one occasion and another
doctor who is a specialist on the other. And both doctors concluded that
it was in the best interest of the little boy to have the surgery.
Better to do it now than wait."
Price, the boy's father in Raritan, N.J., is appealing, claiming the
judge missed opposing medical information. He claims the boy's doctor
said the boy had phimosis, a condition that clears up naturally.
happens when the foreskin is so tight that it cannot be easily pulled
back over the tip of the penis. At birth, the foreskin and tip of the
penis are joined together with separation of the two parts occurring
gradually during the first three to four years of life.
to Price, the baby has never had an infection, but was diagnosed with
balanitis, an inflammation of the end of the penis caused when the organ
is not kept clean. The condition is common among uncircumcised men and
boys [who are prematurely retracted].
correct the problem, Price says the baby's pediatrician
"recommended that we manually retract the foreskin forcibly to keep
the penis clean and healthy," Price explains. "The babysitter
did it one day, and it popped. From that day forward we had a
said his son is healthy and "not having a problem now. The
[circumcision] surgery is elective."
we know that circumcision is not necessary," Price argues.
"Ninety-seven percent of all males in Europe are not circumcised
while circumcision is performed on 87 percent of all males in this
country. That is, it was done until 1999, when the American Academy of
Pediatrician's (AAP) changed their position."
"that was a position created for newborns only," says Dr.
Craig Shoemaker, director of neonatology at MeritCare Children's
Hospital in Fargo, N.D., and a member of the AAP task force that created
the circumcision policy. "It essentially takes the position that
for healthy new born male infants circumcision is up to the
parents." [The AAP said it would produce a statement that was based
on medical evidence. This statement on the ETHICS of foreskin amputation
is a pronouncement out of the AAP's field of competence, is based on no
medical evidence and is wrong. No one has the right to mutilate another
for their own reasons. This is clearly seen in the state and national
newborns may have some medical benefits [like cutting off newborn
breasts to stop possible future breast cancer], but the scientific
evidence bolstering that view isn't enough to make the procedure
routine, says the AAP's March 1999 report. "In the case of
circumcision, in which there are potential benefits and risks, the
procedure is not essential to the child's current well-being, parents
should determine what is in the best interests of the child," the
report says [but if the parents don't do what is best, sometimes laws
must step in to protect the child].
conditions like phimosis or balanitis, "which is an infection of
the space between the foreskin of the foreskin itself, circumcision is
an accepted form of therapy, to prevent the infections from
reoccurring." The infections are "very painful,"
Shoemaker adds. [Surgery is only a standard of practice if
less invasive procedures are tried first, and with newborns, this never
is the case. ed.]
objective study in a first-world population.
AE, Hendry O, Clark E, Kippax S, Kaldor JM.
Circumcision and male-to-male sexual transmission of HIV.
AIDS 2001 Jun 15;15(9):1188-1189.
National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Sydney,
"Our finding that 17% of homosexual men with
newly acquired HIV infection reported insertive
unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) is an important means of HIV
transmission in this population. However, we found
no association between circumcision status and infection
by insertive UAI. In addition, mean who had
seroconverted despite no reported event of UAI
were also no more likely to be uncircumcised.
These data strongly suggest that the foreskin is not
the main source of HIV infection in homosexual
men who become infected by insertive UAI, and
that other sites, such as the distal urethra, must be
important in HIV infection
data showing that there is no difference in the
circumcision status of men infected by receptive or
insertive UAI, in a population with a circumcision
prevalence of approximately 75%, suggests that circumcision
is not strongly protective against HIV infection
in homosexual men. Larger studies, preferably of prospective
design, are needed to confirm the absence of a
relationship between circumcision and HIV infection
risk in gay men. In the meantime, educational messages
to homosexual men should continue to emphasize that
insertive anal sex is a high-risk activity for HIV
transmission whether or not the insertive partner is
of the Forskins-Cause-Penile-Cancer
HF, Morgenstern H, Mack T, Peters RK.
Risk factors for penile cancer: results of a
population-based case-control study in Los Angeles
County (United States).
Cancer Causes Control 2001 Apr;12(3):267-277.
interesting finding in our study is that phimosis
did not appear to increase the risk of carcinoma in situ (CIS). This
result is consistent with clinical observations that CIS is
commonly found on the penile shaft and patients who
have CIS are often circumcised. Among the six
CIS cases with phimosis, only one was specified on the
pathology report as occurring on the glans; the pathology
reports for the other five tumors did not specify
their locations on the penis.
has been established as a prophylactic
measure that reduces the risk of penile cancer [1,20
a reference to a Schoen opinion piece]. In
our study, circumcision appeared to be protective, but
this protective effect was present only for invasive
carcinoma and only when the circumcision was performed
during infancy....Thus, we would expect phimosis to confound
the effect of circumcision later in life but no the effect of
neonatal circumcision on the occurrence of penile
cancer. However, when we adjusted circumcision for
phimosis in this study, either by including it in the
logistic regression (analysis not shown) or by limiting
the analysis to men who never experienced phimosis
(Table 3), the odds ratios (OR) for circumcision after infancy
remained unchanged while the protective effect of infantile
circumcision essentially disappeared.
found no evidence that uncircumcised men are
particularly susceptible to clinical infections with
sexually transmitted diseases, such as HPV or herpes.
Circumcised cases in our study were more likely than
uncircumcised cases ro report a history of genital warts
(20.5% vx. 8.2%); and among controls there was little
difference in the history of warts by circumcision status
(5.9% vx 6.3%). These findings are consistent with those
of Aynaud et al. , who observed similar proportions
of HPV-associated lesions in circumcised and uncircumcised