[If you do not see a blue menu bar on the right, click here. You are at "The Quotes".]

1860"In cases of masturbation we must, I believe, break the habit by inducing such a condition of the parts as will cause too much local suffering to allow of the practice to be continued. For this purpose, if the prepuce is long, we may circumcise the male patient with present and probably with future advantages; the operation, too, should not be performed under chloroform, so that the pain experienced may be associated with the habit we wish to eradicate."

On An Injurious Habit Occasionally Met with in Infancy and Early Childhood, Athol A. W. Johnson. The Lancet, vol. 1 (7 April 1860): pp. 344-345.

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1871"I refer to masturbation as one of the effects of a long prepuce; not that this vice is entirely absent in those who have undergone circumcision, though I never saw an instance in a Jewish child of very tender years, except as the result of association with children whose covered glans have naturally impelled them to the habit."

M. J. Moses, The Value of Circumcision as a Hygienic and Theraputic Measure, NY Medical Journal, vol.14 (1871): pp.368-374.

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1887"Hip trouble is from falling down, an accident that children with tight foreskins are specially liable to, owing to the weakening of the muscles produced by the condition of the genitals."

Lewis L. Sayer, MD, "Circumcision for the Cure of Enuresis," Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 71887. pp.631-633.

"There can be no doubt of [masturbation's] injurous effect, and of the proneness to practice it on the part of children with defective brains. Circumcision should always be practiced. It may be necessary to make the genitals so sore by blistering fluids that pain results from attempts to rub the parts."

Angel Money. Treatment of Disease In Children.Philidelphia: P. Blakiston, 1887. p.421.

1888"A remedy for masturbation which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision. The operation should be performed without administering anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutory effect upon the mind, especially, if it is connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases."

John Harvey Kellog, creator of the Corn Flake, Treatment for Self-Abuse and Its Effects, Plain Facts for Old and Young," Burlington, Iowa: P. Segner & Co. 1888, p. 295.

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1891"Measures more radical than circumcision would, if public opinion permitted their adoption, be a true kindness to patients of both sexes."

Jonathan Hutchinson, On Circumcision as Preventative of Masturbation, Archives of Surgery, vol. 2 (1891): pp. 267-268.

1895"In all cases in which male children are suffering nerve tension, confirmed derangement of the digestive organs, restlessness, irritability, and other disturbances of the nervous system, even to chorea, convulsions, and paralysis, or where through nerve waste the nutritive facilities of the general system are below par and structural diseases are occurring, circumcision should be considered as among the lines of treatment to be pursued."

Charles E. Fisher, Circumcision, in A Hand-Book On the Diseases of Children and Their Homeopathic Treatment.. Chicago: Medical Century Co., 1895. p.875.

1895"In all cases of masturbation circumcision is undoubtedly the physician's closest friend and ally... To obtain the best results one must cut away enough skin and mucous membrane to rather put it on the stretch when erections come later. There must be no play in the skin after the wound has thoroughly healed, but it must fit tightly over the penis, for should there be any play the patient will be found to readily resume his practice, not begrudging the time and extra energy required to produce the orgasm. It is true, however, that the longer it takes to have an orgasm, the less frequently it will be attempted, consequently the greater the benefit gained... The younger the patient operated upon the more pronounced the benefit, though occasionally we find patients who were circumcised before puberty that require a resection of the skin, as it has grown loose and pliant after that epoch."

E.J.Spratling, Masturbation in the Adult, Medical Record, vol. 24. (1895): pp. 442-443.

1896"Local indications for circumcision: Hygienic, phimosis, paraphimosis, redundancy (where the prepuce more than covers the glans), adhesions, papillomata, ecaema (acute and chronic), oedema, chancre, chancroid, cicatrices, inflammatory thickening, elephantitis, naevus, epithelioma, gangrene, tuberculosis, prepupital calculi, hip-joint disease, hernia. Systematic indication: Onanism [masturbation], seminal emissions, enuresis [bed wetting], dysuria, retention, general nervousness, impotence, convulsions, hystero-epilepsy."

Editor, Medical Record, Circumscisus, Medical Record, vol. 49 (1896): p.430.

1897"The prepuce is an important factor in the production of phthisis [tuberculosis]. This can be proven by the immunity of the Jewish race from tubercular affections."

S. G. A. Brown, A Plea for Circumcision, Medical World, vol. 15 (1897): pp/124-125.

1898"Clarence B. was addicted to the secret vise practiced among boys. I performed an orificial operation, consisting of circumcision... He needed the rightful punishment of cutting pains after his illicit pleasures."

N. Bergman, Report of a Few Cases of Circumcision, Journal of Orificial Surgery, vol. 7 (1898): pp.249-251.

1899"Not infrequently marital unhappiness would be better relieved by circumcising the husband than by suing for divorce."

A. W. Taylor, Circumcision - Its Moral and Physical Necessities and Advantages, Medical Record, vol.56 (1899): p.174.

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1900"Finally, circumcision probably tends to increase the power of sexual control. The only physiological advantage which the prepuce can be supposed to confer is that of maintaining the penis in a condition susceptible to more acute sensation than would otherwise exist. It may increase the pleasure of intercourse and the impulse to it: but these are advantages which in the present state of society can well be spared. If in their loss increase in sexual control should result, one should be thankful."

Editor, Medical News. Our London Letter. Medical World,(1900).vol.77:pp.707-8

1900"It has been urged as an argument against the universal adoption of circumcision that the removal of the protective covering of the glans tends to dull the sensitivity of that exquisitly sensitive structure and thereby diminishes sexual appetite and the pleasurable effects of coitus. Granted that this be true, my answer is that, whatever may have been the case in days gone by, sensuality in our time needs neither whip nor spur, but would be all the better for a little more judicious use of curb and bearing-rein."

E. Harding Freeland, Circumcision as a Preventative of Syphilis and Other Disorders, The Lancet, vol. 2 (29 Dec. 1900): pp.1869-1871.

1901"Another advantage of circumcision... is the lessened liability to masturbation. A long foreskin is irritating per se, as it necessitates more manipulation of the parts in bathing... This leads the child to handle the parts, and as a rule, pleasurable sensations are elicited from the extreamly sensitive mucous membrane, with resultant manipulation and masturbation. The exposure of the glans penis following circumcision ... lessens the sensitiveness of the organ... It therefore lies with the physician, the family adviser in affairs of hygiene and medical, to urge its acceptance."

Ernest G. Mark, Circumcision, American Practitioner and News, vol. 31 (1901): p. 231.

1901"Frequent micturition [urination], loss of flesh, convulsions, phosphatic calculus, hernia, nervous exhuastion, dyspepsia, diarrhea, prolapse of rectum, balantis, acute phimosis and masturbation are all conditions induced by the constricted long prepuce, and all to be rapidly remidied by the simple operation of circumcision."

H. G. H. Naylor, A Plea for Early Circumcision, Pediatrics, vol. 12 (1901): p. 231

1902"I have repeatedly seen such cases as convulsions, contstant crying in infants, simulated hip joint diseases, backwardness in studies, enuresis, marasmus, muscular incoordination, paralysis, masturbation, neurasthenia, and even epilepsy, cured or greatly benefited by the proper performance of circumcision."

W.G.Steele, MD. "Importance of Circumcision." Medical World,Vol. 20 (1902): pp.518-519.

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1912"The little sufferer lay in his mother's lap. The dropsy... had taken the form of hydrocephalus... I then circumcised the child... The head diminished in size and in two weeks the condition of hydrocephalus had disappeared and the child was once more dismissed as cured."

E. H. Pratt, Circumcision, Orificial Surgery: Its Philosophy, Application and Technique. Edited by B. E. Dawson. Newark: Physicians Drug News Co. (1912). pp. 396-398.

1912"Circumcision promotes cleanliness, prevents disease, and by reducing oversensitiveness of the parts tends to relieve sexual irritability, thus correcting any tendancy which may exist to improper manipulations of the genital organs and the consequent acquirement of evil sexual habits, such as masturbation."

Lydston G. Frank, Sex Hygiene for the Male Chicago: Riverton Press, 1912.

1914"It is generally accepted that irritation derived from a tight prepuce may be followed by nervous phenomena, among these being convulsions and outbreaks resembling epilepsy. It is therefore not at all improbable that in many infants who die in convulsions, the real cause of death is a long or tight prepuce. The foreskin is a frequent factor in the causation of masturbation... Circumcision offers a diminished tendancy to masturbation, nocturnal pollutions, convulsions and other nervous results of local irritation. It is the moral duty of every physician to encourage circumcision in the young."

A.L. Wolbarst, MD. "Universal Circumcision as a Sanitary Measure." Journal of the American Medical Association, (1914) Vol.62. pp.92-97.

1915"Circumcision not only reduces the irritability of the child's penis, but also the so-called passion of which so many married men are so extreamly proud, to the detriment of their wives and their married life. Many youthful rapes could be prevented, many separations, and divorces also, and many an unhappy marriage improved if this unnatural passion was cut down by a timely circumcision."

L.W. Wuesthoff, MD. Benefits of Circumcision. Medical World, (1915) Vol.33. p.434.

1915"The prepuce is one of the great factors in causing masturbation in boys. Here is the dilema we are in: If we do not teach the growing boy to pull the prepuce back and cleanse the glans there is danger of smegma collecting and of adhesions and ulcerations forming, which in their turn will cause irritation likely to lead to masturbation. If we do teach the boy to pull the prepuce back and cleans his glans, that handling alone is sufficient gradually and almost without the boy's knowledge to initiate him into the habit of masturbation... Therefore, off with the prepuce!"

William J. Robinson, Circumcision and Masturbation, Medical World, vol.33 (1915): p.390.

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1917"Children often learn to masturbate involuntarily. The habit is sometimes formed by itching the privates. Often they are not kept clean and the filth produces intense itching. See that the private parts of both sexes are lept as clean as other parts of the body.

"Circumcison and Operation on Clitoris Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin in the male. Sometimes the hood of the clitoris of the female needs to be cut down or drawn back. Sometime the foreskin or the hood of the clitoris is so tight as to cause irritation and keep the passions excited and perhaps they are a cause for masturbation. When such is the case these operations should be performed. Parents should carefully looks after these condtions as they, instead of a depraved mind, are the causes of many immmoral practices.

"Every parent should see to it tha tthese operations are performed, if it is necessary, and it very frequently is. how often we see the little ones rubbing their private parts. Whenever a child is seen doing this the chances are that they are either unclean or need one of the above operations. Do not let the child become an involuntary masturbator through your neglect."

"The People's Home Library", A Library of Three Practical books by Published by R.C Barnum Company Copyright 1910-mine appears to be the update 1917 edition

1920"Circumcision is an excellent thing to do; it helps to prevent hernia due to straining, and later it helps in preventing masturbation. The ordinary schoolboy is not taught to keep himself clean, and if he is taught he thinks too much of the matter."

L. Solomons, MD. For and Against Circumcision. British Medical Journal, (June 5, 1920), p.768.

1928"Phimosis may be a predisposing cause of masturbation in some cases... Hemorrhage [severe bleeding] following circumcision at birth cannot be considered seriously as a contraindication. Meatal ulcer due to ammoniacal diapers in the circumcised is not a contraindication... Routine circumcision at birth is warranted."

Editor, Routine Circumcision at Birth?, Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 91 (1928): p.201.

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1935"I suggest that all male children should be circumcised. This is "against nature", but that is exactly the reason why it should be done. Nature intends that the adolescent male shall copulate as often and as promiscuously as possible, and to that end covers the sensitive glans so that it shall be ever ready to receive stimuli. Civilization, on the contrary, requires chastity, and the glans of the circumcised rapidly assumes a leathery texture less sensitive than skin. Thus the adolescent has his attention drawn to his penis much less often. I am convinced that masturbation is much less common in the circumcised. With these considerations in view it does not seem apt to argue that 'God knows best how to make little boys.'"

R.W. Cockshut. Circumcision. British Medical Journal, Vol.2 (1935): p.764.

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1941"[Routine Circumcision] does not necessitate handling of the penis by the child himself and therefore foes not focus the male's attention on his own genitals. Masturbation is considered less likely."

Alan F. Guttmacher, Should the Baby Be Circumcised?, Parents Magazine, vol.16 (1941): pp.26, 76-78.

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1965The following is taken from "The Universal Home Doctor", 1965 edition. R. Scott Stevenson, MD., editor. The rate of non-religious circumcision in the United States was highest in the 1960's, peaking at over 90% of all boys.

"The Most up-to-date, easy-to-understand, simple-to-use Family Health Guide ever to be published!"

"Circumcision. Circumcision is the operation of cutting off the foreskin of the penis. This is quite a simple operation in baby boys, without any danger attaching to it, and is practiced as a religious rite by Jews and Mohammedans. Among Europeans circumcision is usually done only when the foreskin is abnormally tight, and cannot be retracted over the glans of the penis. In the infant the operation is so slight that the child may run about as usual immediately afterwards. In the adult the operation is more serious and 48 hours in be will be required and restricted activity for several days thereafter."1.

1966The following is taken from "The Complete Home Medical Encyclopedia", 1966 edition. Written by Harold Thomas Hyman, MD.

Male Genital and Reproductive Organs:
Head (Glans penis). In the circumcised, the head of a penis is directly visable. In the uncircumcised, it is brought into view by retraction of the foreskin (prepuce). The coral-pink glans is roughly ellptical. It is perforated at its tip by the urethral orifice, below which is a delicate longitudinal membrane (frenum) that terminates in the foreskin or its remnant. Almost invariably, the frenum is the most highly sensitized erotic zone. A long, tight or inflamed prepuce may considerably blunt frenum sensitivity. A shortened frenum can interfere with satisfactory erection and intromission. The circumference of the glans is marked by a projecting rim that overhangs the recessed neck. In the groove between rim and neck, there may be retention of offensive secretion (smegma). Smegma retention is much more marked in the uncircumcised. As a result of retained smegma, the neck may become considerably sore and inflamed, preventing retraction of foreskin; interfering with urinary flow; and making intercourse painful (dyspareunia).2.

Male Genital and Reproductive Organs:
Prepuce. The male foreskin is a vestigial fold that loosely hoods the phallic head. It is advisedly removed by circumcision about a week to 10 days after birth. By circumcision, the glans is freed; smegma retention is prevented; frenum sensation is bettered; the incidence of malignacy of the penis is reduced to the vanishing point; and that of cervical cancer is markedly lessened. (See NEO-PLASMS and TUMORS).3.

Male Genital and Reproductive Organs: The Male Genital and Reproductive Apparatus in Disease. Tight foreskin (phimosis). Favor early circumcision to prevent accumulation of smegma and resultant inflammation (balantis; balanoposthitis). If this operation is delayed until adult life, [the] procedure [is] usually painful and incapacitating.4.

From Neoplasms and Tumors 7. The risk of cervical cancer is greatest is the woman who has had intercourse at an early age with an uncircumcised male whose penile hygiene was faulty (i.e., caked smegma beneath a tight foreskin). Thus the incidence of cervical cancer is least among nuns, virgins and the wives of men who have been circumcised shortly after birth. Factors of no seeming importance include the use of contraceptives; frequent douching; abortions; miscarriages; pregnancy; poor prenatal care; cervical lacerations; chronic cervicitis; onset and regularity of menses; syphilis; Talmudic prohibition of coitus for seven days after cessation of menses; etc. The relationship to trichomonas vaginalis remains to be demonstrated.
8. Cancer of the penis 'is almost unheard of in circumcised Jews.' 'The Jew, ritually circumcised on the eighth day of life, rarely develps penile cancer whereas the Moslem, circumcised between the third and fourteenth years, frequently sufferes from the affliction.' Relative to prostatic malignancy, Ravich (whose clientele was predominantly Jewish) encountered an incidence of but 1.3% among coreligionists as against 20% in non-Jewish patients.5.

The following is taken from "A Dictionary of Symptoms", by Dr. Joan Gomez, edited by Dr. Marvin J. Gersh, copyright 1967.

Circumcision The cutting off of the foreskin that covers the head of the penis. Done for religious reasons among the Hebrews, but not now considered absolutely necessary or desirable otherwise, unless there has been inflammation of the area or the urinary flow is obstructed. Normally the foreskin cannot be pulled back in a young baby because it has not developed fully; it is therefore better to leave it alone.32

The following are quotes from "Modern Home Medical Adviser", 1969 edition. Morris Fishbein, MD., editor.

"The speed of medical progress continues to be one of the marvels of our scientific century...Many new and brilliant young authors have kindly associated themselves with me in this work. I express appreciation to them."

Sex Hygiene: The Teaching of Sex to The Young Child

Within the first few days of life the genital organs of the baby should be carefully examined for evidence of defects or abnormalities. In case such defects are found they should be corrected when possible, as such peculiarities are often responsible for irritations or abnormal stimulations which may greatly complicate the sexual life of the child when he or she is older. The tissues of the infant are still highly plastic, and it frequently happens that corrections made early are surprisingly successful for this reason.

The boy baby should be carefully examined to see if he needs circumcision. If the foreskin can be completely and easily retracted most authorities think that circumcision should not be done, but when there is the least doubt about the matter, decision should be made in favor of the operation, which is a trivial one when done within the first week or two of life. (See What Happens During a Circumcision? and the Intact Care Agreement) Later it is somewhat more serious, but never dangerous when performed by a competent surgeon. ("Never Say Never"...See Circumcisions Gone Wrong)When the foreskin is tight or adherent there will accumulate under it secretions which will produce bad odors and cause pain and itching....[See link below: Smegma is Beneficial-- Not bad.]

The girl baby also should be carefully examined for abnormalities. In the washing of the female infant, care must be taken. Sometimes the hymen may be ruptured by rough handling. While it is true that the presence of an intact hymen is by no means proof of virginity, or the absence of it proof of sexual experience, a large percentage of people still believe that such is the case, and so care must be taken to prevent an accident which might later put the baby, grown to womanhood, in an embarrassing position. Washing the parts should be done in such a way that the friction will not cause erotic stimulation and in this way lead the child to the habit of playing with herself.

Crying babies, male and female, will nearly invariably hush when the genital organs are manipulated. This old, old trick of careless nurses and ignorant mothers, should never be practiced, as it may lead to masturbation. Masturbation is probably far less harmful than has been supposed. The routine care of a child should never be delegated to someone else when it is physically possible for the mother to see to it herself.6.

Sex Hygiene: The School Child

Frequently children will get into the habit of playing with or pulling at the genitals. Such children-- both boys and girls-- may be in need of a thorough examination by a competent physician. Not unlikely circumcision or other special corrective measure is needed. If there is no pathologic basis for the habit, the child should be taught that it is bad manners to behave in such a way and that an ugly habit may be formed. With help, rather than scolding, he may soon correct the ugly practice....Little boys and girls are occasionally found to have developed the practice of masturbation. Normal children of this age will rarely go into excess unless they are being stimulated by some older person....7.

Sex Hygiene: Abnormalities of Sexual Function: Masturbation

When children are kept busy with wholesome play, work and planning, and when they are loved and understood in matters such as these, a little masturbation may occur but will be speedily forgotten. Be sure the children are healthily tired when they go to bed. Be sure that there is no need of circumcision, or if there is that it is corrected. Be sure the organs are clean so that they will not be irritated by foul secretions. Be sure that tight underwear does not demand constant pulling at the clothing.8.

Sex Hygiene: The Hygiene of the Reproductive System: Cleanliness

The first principle in the hygiene of the reproductive system is cleanliness. By this we do not mean to imply that lack of cleanliness will often jeopardize the physical health of the individual. Actually there is more danger that meddlesome methods of attaining cleanliness will cause disease than that lack of cleanliness will cause it. This is particularly true in the case of the woman. [Webmaster's note: Funny that Dr. Fishbein says this, considering what he goes on to say in the next few paragraphs about cleaning the intact penis. He seems to be a little hypocritical in his views on female vs. male hygiene. In the 1990's, the creed of "intact" care is "leave it alone!" (and a gentle rinse under the foreskin with warm water once sexual maturity is reached.) Don't cut it, don't retract it, etc. The reproductive organs must be clean if they are to be held in high regard; they must be free of odor; they must be wholesome; they must not offend. They are exceedingly important to the welfare of the race, the self-respect of the individual, and the happiness of the family....

Washing of the external genitalia is extreamly important. The external organs need washing and not the internal. Much harm has been done by the excessive use of antiseptic or even cleansing douches. The normal vagina nearly always contains germs. These germs are not only harmless, but actually beneficial, because they prevent the growth of other germs which can cause trouble. If they are frequently washed away with cleansing douches or inhibited with antiseptics, abnormal conditions may develop in the vagina, and trouble may ensure. Further more, strong antiseptics frequently irritate the mucous membrane and make it more susceptible to invasion by other bacteria.

Sometimes, particularly in the male, it is impossible to hold down odors merely by washing the external genitalia. In some men the foreskin is so tight about the end of the penis that it cannot be retracted and the groove beneth it cleaned of the white secretion-- known as smegma-- which accumulates there. [Webmaster's second note: Women also have smegma.] This secretion is of an oily nature and easily becomes rancid, producing exceedingly bad odors and also irritation of the mucous membrane. ( See Smegma is Beneficial-- Not bad. ) At the time of birth every male child should be carefully examined to determine whether or not he is in need of circumcision which consists of removing the foreskin. When done in the early days of life the operation is a trivial one. (See What Happens During a Circumcision?) Later it is somewhat more serious, but never dangerous when performed by a competent surgeon. ("Never Say Never"...See Circumcisions Gone Wrong) Even those who are not in need of circumcision should retract the foreskin and clean the groove beneath it carefully at least once a day. (Again, see the Intact Care site above in addition to Natural Penis Easy to Clean) A child in need of circumcision is often made nervous by the irritation of the rancid secretions and will be constantly twisting, squirming, and pulling at himself. He may also develop the habit of masturbation as a result of the irritation which induces him to handle his penis.9.

Care and Feeding of the Child: Development of the Infant

If the baby is a male and has not been circumcised, the foreskin should be gently retracted and cleansed beneath. [Again, see the Intact Care Agreement for the proper care, along with Cleaning Inspections Not Required] Several months may pass before this retraction can be completely accomplished and force should never be used. It is easier to care for the penis of a newborn who has been circumcised, [Webmaster's note: except for the bandages and Vaseline/Neosporin, etc.] but even then, the small amount of foreskin left should also be retracted and the edge of the glans, or head of the penis, cleaned daily.10.

The following is from the 1969 "#1 Bestseller", "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, But Were Afraid to Ask", by David Reuben, MD.

Aphrodisiacs: Are there any other operations on the penis?

There is one in particular which has resisted all attempts at explaination. No one knows its origin, significance, or function. The technique of subincinsion has been practiced for hundreds if not thousands of years among Australian aborigines. At puberty a longitudinal incision is made along the base of the penis near the scrotum. It penetrates to the urethra and allows the contents to drain through the new opening....What is behind this mass mutilation?...The reason for this painful and disabling procedure remains a mystery.11.

Certainly nothing like this is ever done in the United States, is it?

Not as far as anyone knows. However, there are some cases where nature has done to men what aborigines do to themselves. In this condition, called "hypospadias," a child is born with a gaping hole or slit along the underside of the penis....Modern surgery undoes the damage....[Editor's Note: The slight possibilty of hypospadias is often given as a reason to circumcise a newborn.]12.

What about operations on a normal penis?

Although we don't usually think of it that way, the most commonly encountered form of sexual plastic surgery is circumcision of the penis. As everyone knows, the prepuce or foreskin, the cap-like covering of skin that fits over the end of the penis like an old-fashioned candle snuffer, is cut away. This leaves the head of the penis (or glans) exposed.... [See No Small Piece of Skin-- Living Tissue]

In those times [Biblical; approx. 2,000 B.C.] the penis was redone with a sharp stone as prescribed in Exodus, 4:25, "Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it at his feet and said, Surely a bloody husband are thou to me." The same implement, a sharp stone, is used today by most primative tribes; those who are more advanced use a broken piece of glass. Among the Jews, a ceremonial steel knife is wielded by a ritual surgeon, called a mohel, who restricts his practice to circumcisions. He operates on the squirming eight-day-old infant freehand-- something few modern surgeons would attempt. Modern medical circumcision is standardized and nearly automatic. The infant is strapped to a rack-- usually plastic-- [Editor's Note: The term is "Circumstraint".] and a bell-shaped device, also plastic, is slipped between penis and foreskin. [Editor's Note: ...after the forskin has been forcibly torn from the glans.] A loop of nylon thread is knotted around the groove at the base of the bell, constricting the prepuce. The surgeon runs the scalpel blade once around the penis and it's all over. The bell is left in place a day or two, the infant meanwhile urinating through an opening in the top of the bell. [Editor's Note: See previous link to "What Happens During a Circumcision?".] Aside from religious beliefs, the origin of this operation is unknown. There are obvious sexual advantages, but it is unlikely that they formed the original basis for this procedure.13.

What are the sexual advantages of circumcision?

Circumcision adds to sexual pleasure in many ways. First, a cheesy, bad-smelling substance called "smegma" accumulates between the prepuce and glans. The staggering odor of smegma is capable of cancelling the world's most powerful aphrodisiac. With the prepuce gone, there is no place for the smegma to accumulate. Second, the nerve supply of the prepuce is insignificant compared with that of the glans itself. With the head of the organ uncovered and in direct contact with the vagina, far more exquisite sensation is possible. Although the foreskin is designed to retract over the glans during intercourse, it is sometimes adherant and prevents total contact. [See this for more information.] Third, bacteria multiply rapidly in the smegma and infection of the head of the penis (or balantis) can occur. A red, immensely swollen organ banishes all thoughts of sex. Last, least common, and most terrifying, cancer of the penis occurs only among uncircumcised men. The treatment for penile cancer is amputation of the penis. And that is that.14. [See this for more, general information.]

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1971"There are no valid medical indications for circumcision in the neonatal period."

Committee On Fetus and Newborn. Standards and Recommendations for Hospital Care of Newborn Infants, 5th edition. Evanston, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics. (1971). p.110.

The following is from "The Stein and Day International Medical Encyclopedia", J.A.C. Brown, M.B., B.Chir., Revised by A.M. Hastin Bennett, M.A., F.R.C.S., copyright: 1971.

Circumcision: the foreskin of the penis is removed for two reasons, religious and medical. Religious: circumcision is a religious rite of great antiquity. It is found in many parts of the world, and was practiced among others by the ancient Egyptians, the Coptic branch of the Christian religion which copied it from the Egyptians, the primative Arabs and the Aztecs of South America; it is obligatory among Moslems, Jews and the aborigines of Australia. Its religious significance is not clear, but presumably it was both a form of sacrifice and a distinctive tribal mark. Female circumcision involving the removal of the larger part of the external genitals [Editor's Note: or, sometimes just the clitoral hood] is still practiced by a few primative peoples; unlike male circumcision, which is a trivial procedure medically, this is a cruel, barbaric and dangerous rite. Medical: the operation of circumcision is performed in infancy in cases where the foreskin is allegedly so tight as to interfere with urination. That this is mechanically so is doubtful, and some psychiatrists believe that even at this early age the operation may leave scars upon the mind as well as the body. There are other indications for the operation later in life, but although it is known that women married to uncircumcised men are more likely to develop cancer of the cervix (the neck of the womb) and that uncircumcised men are more likely to develop cancer of the prostate gland, these facts have not yet been taken as reasons for advocating large-scale circumcision.15.

The following is from "The Family Book of Preventative Medicine: How to Stay Well All the Time", copyright 1971.

The Genitourinary System: The Male Genital System ...Is circumcision necessary? This operation removes the skin fold called the foreskin or prepuce. It may be necessary if the fold covers the entire end of the penis (glans) and obstructs passage of urine, or is so tight that irritation results. Otherwise, circumcision is a matter of choice. Some groups have used it for a millennia. The Egyptians practiced circumcision before the Hebrews made it a part of their religious customs. Circumcision is safe and simple when performed in accordance with principles of modern aseptic surgery. It can be performed late in life but is best done when a boy is seven or eight days old and will experience no physical or emotional discomfort. Talk the matter over with your family physician or pediatrician.
Circumcision does not alter the sexual act or its enjoyment. Some believe that the greater freedom of married Jewish women from cancer of the womb is due to circumcision of their mates and resulting increased cleanliness of the penis. For the uncircumcised, healthy practice is to scrupulously wash foreskin and glans of the penis regularly, and especially before intercourse.16.

Routine CareThe genitals should be kept clean, free from infection. For this, an uncircumcised male can gently pull back the foreskin and wash off any secretions with soap and water as often as required to keep the penis clean....17.

The Question of Circumcision It is wise to consider ahead of time the question of circumcision if your baby turns out to be a boy. Circumcision consists in cutting off the "sleeve" of skin (foreskin) covering the penis, because this skin may encourage the collection of a cheeselike substance (smegma) that can cause irritation or infection. It is a simple procedure in little babies.
You may wish to have it done for religious reasons, or you may prefer to wait and see whether the doctor recommends it. If your doctor thinks it should be done, have it done early, as soon as he suggests; it will disturb you and the baby more if done later. Always have this minor operation performed by a qualified person-- that is, someone of whom your doctor approves.18.

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The following is from "Better Homes and Gardens New Baby Book", copyright 1979, 4th printing: January, 1982.
"Completely Revised for the '80's", "Developed by leading practicing obstetricians, pediatricians, child-development specialists and psychologists..."

Circumcision For religious or other reasons, you may wish to have your baby boy circumcised. In this minor operation, the foreskin, or movable fold at the end of the penis, is trimmed away. The operation usually is performed within three days of birth. Circumcision has been practiced for centuries, and the overwhelming majority of American male babies today are circumcised. But, religious strictures apart, circumcision's medical value is still questioned. The procedure is usually justified on several grounds: that circumcision helps to keep the penis clean and reduce the chance of infection; that it protects against cancer of the penis; that it lowers the risks of adult prostate cancer; and that women married to circumcised men have less cervical cancer than the general population. But, in 1971, a committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics, investigating circumcision, concluded there was "no valid medical indication for routine circumcision." Four years later, the committee reviewed the subject and found no reason to change its original conclusion. The 1975 report agreed that infection and penile cancer were lower among circumcised boys but said these advantages were outweighed by the risks of the surgery. Teaching boys to keep their penises clean was safer and just as effective a preventative, the committee reported. The pediatricians found no convincing evidence that circumcision in infancy protected against prostate or cervical cancer decades later. The committee said that circumcision should never be performed on premature babies, those with congenital defects, or those with known bleeding problems, and the committe advised that it be delayed until the boy was at least 12 hours old. The committee suggested that parents discuss the topic with the physician in advance so a thoughtful decision can be reached before delivery.19.

The following is from "The American Medical Association Family Medical Guide", copyright 1982., Editor-in-Chief: Jeffrey R.M. Kunz, MD.

Special problems of infants and children: Should I have my son circumcised?

Parents often feel that their male baby needs to be circumcised to prevent disease or because they cannot pull the foreskin back over the head of the penis. If you teach your son to wash daily and keep his uncircumcised penis clean, the presence of the foreskin should not cause any risk to health. An unretractable foreskin is quite normal in a very young baby, because at birth the foreskin is still joined to the tissues of the penis, and it is only gradually that the two separate-- at some time after the baby is six months old. By the time the boy is five, the foreskin should be fully retractable. It should not be forced back in order to speed up the process. In some cases, the foreskin remains fixed, and then circumcision will be necessary. The operation is straight-forward, and there are no significant risks involved. Fewer male babies are being circumcised routinely today than before. It is a matter of personal and, in some cases, religious preference.20.

Medical Disorders: Phimosis (tight foreskin) "Phimosis" is the technical term for a tightness of the foreskin that prevents it from being comfortably drawn back over the glans at the tip of the penis. The difficulty cannot be generally detected before an uncircumcised boy reaches the age of about five, because the foreskin is normally small and tight in the very young. Most commonly, phimosis is discovered in adolescence, when it may become extreamly painful or make it impossible for the boy to have an erection. What should be done? Never use force to pull back a tight foreskin. Force can damage the tissues. Consult your physician, who will probably recommend that the boy have a circumcision. This is a relatively minor operation. [Editor's note: "Relative" to what?] 21.

The following is taken from "The Complete Guide to Fertility, Pregnancy and Childbirth" by Dr. Niels H. Lauersen, copyright 1983.

Circumcision ...Before the twentieth century few non-Jewish American males were circumcised. The practice became increasingly popular as "medical" texts advocated circumcision as a deterrent to masturbation and a cure for feeblemindedness, alcoholism, and lunacy. Following World War II, responsible doctors encouraged circumcision for health reasons, primarily to promote cleanliness. Circumcision was also said to reduce the chances of cancer of the penis and cancer of the cervix among the wives of circumcised men. These beliefs are still firmly held by many American parents, even though the American Academy of Pediatrics has concluded that there is no medical indication for circumcision. Surveys show that circumcision is still believed by some parents to prevent masturbation or excessive crying. Other parents believe it is simply hospital policy to circumcise all newborn males. Parents often give their consent to the procedure without discussing the pros and cons with their obstetrician. Be sure before you sign a consent form for circumcision that you are giving your informed consent to the procedure. [See Circumcision Consent Form]22.

Why Circumcise? The only medical indication for circumcision is to correct phimosis, a condition in which the foreskin will not retract over the glans, the head of the penis. About 96 percent of newborns are born with phismosis but most children rapidly outgrow the condition. Only 2 percent of boys will have phimosis by the age of three. One cannot identify the child who will have permanant phimosis at birth, but a circumcision can be done later in life, if necessary.
A painful infection of the penis called balantis sometimes afflicts uncircumcised males. Balantis is caused when the smegma, the natural secretion that is found under the foreskin, becomes infected by bacteria. Balantis is more likely to occur if a man is careless about hygiene and the smegma is allowed to accumulate under the foreskin. It can usually be cured with antibiotics.23.

Is There a Connection Between the Uncircumcised Penis and Cancer of the Cervix? A recent study has shown no difference in cervical cancer rates between the wives of uncircumcised men and circumcised men. A woman who has numerous sexual partners and is sexually active at an early age is at highest risk for cervical cancer, whether her partners are circumcised or not.
Smegma was once believed to be a carcinogen, but this is probably a fallacy. Smegma is a protective coating that protects the head of the penis and is identical to the protective coating produced under the clitoral foreskin. How would we regard a doctor who suggested circumcision of the clitoris? [Editor's note: There are medical text books which show the procedure of "female circumcision" into the 1950's.] 24.

Is the Circumcised Penis Cleaner? Cleanliness is one of the standard arguments in favor of routine circumcision, since a boy who is not circumcised must be particularly careful to wash himself under the foreskin. Parents may also favor circumcision because it is easier to take care of the penis when the child is young. Good penile hygiene, however, can be taught at an early age, just as a child will learn to wash behind his ears or underneath his fingernails.25.

Making the Decision About Circumcision There is no clear medical indication for circumcision. Parents who are not bound by a religious determination must therefore seriously ask themselves whether their son should undergo a potentially painful surgical procedure or whether one should leave nature alone and perform surgery only in the few cases where it is indicated. Circumcision is a relatively safe procedure, but complications do occur, including hemorrhage and wound infection. The operation also subjects the newborn to pain and psychological trauma. The foreskin is not a particularly sensitive part of the body-- it contains relatively few pain fibers-- [Editor's note: But the most densly "packed" amount of pleasure receptors in the body,]-- but the operation is done without anesthesia to reduce risk of complications. Many babies cry or vomit during circumcision, although babies usually recover quickly.
For most parents, the decision to perform a nonritual circumcision will finally depend on family and social considerations. A man may want his son to be circumcised because he himself is circumcised. Or parents may feel that a boy should be circumcised if he is going to go to school with other boys who are circumcised, since children are sensitive about physical differences between themselves and their peers. Of course, if fewer boys are circumcised, children will grow up accepting the differences among their friends.[Addresses for support groups deleted.] 26.

The Circumcision Operation Surgery is usually performed on the second or third day after birth, once the baby's condition has stabalized. One advantage of doing the surgery early on is that the newborn seems to experience less pain, or at least less trauma, with the operation.
The pediatrician or obstetrician begins the procedure by placing a special clamp known as a Gomco clamp under the penis. This small clamp is squeezed tightly over the foreskin in a straight line to crush the skin and cut off the circulation in the prepuce. Once the clamp has been left in place for a couple of minutes, the foreskin is separated from the glans, along the straight line defined by the glans. [See earlier link "What Happens during a Circumcision?"] The wound is left open to the air, with Vaseline placed on it. It usually heals normally within a few days, but if anything suspicious occurs after the baby returns home, the wound must be looked at by a pediatrician. A serious infection is unlikely under sterile hospital conditions, but it does occasionally happen after a circumcision.27.

The following is taken from "The Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons Complete Home Medical Guide", copyright 1985.

Circumcision [By Phyllis Leppert, M.D.] From "Your Body and How it Works: Pregnancy and Birth". Circumcision is a minor surgical procedure in which the foreskin of the penis is removed. It is usually done before the baby leaves the hospital, but not until he is more than 2 days old. Couples in the Jewish faith may wish to have their sons circumcised according to tradition, in a ceremony performed on the eighth day of life. While the procedure is probably painful for the baby (no anesthesia is used), it does not take long and healing is quick. Circumcision became an almost routine procedure in this country during the years following World War II. It is, however, not medically necessary to have a son circumcised, nor is circumcision required by any law. The procedure does not prevent penile infection or penile cancer. Moreover, the rate of cervical cancer among the sexual partners of uncircumcised men is no higher than usual, provided that the men practice good hygiene.33.

[By Stephen Antwood, M.D.] From "Your Body and How it Works: Infancy and the Early Years". Pediatricians today do not recommend circumcision for any but religious reasons. However, if the infant has been circumcised, healing can be speeded by a gentle application of petroleum jelly to the penis when the diapers are changed.34.

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The following is taken from "Children First: What Our Society Must Do-- and is Not Doing-- For Our Children Today." by Penelope Leach, copyright 1994.

Children and Parents: Getting Started...Although a few post-industrial countries, such as Belgium and the Netherlands, have a continuing tradition of home births conducted by community midwives, and vocal minorities campaign for similar arrangements in other countries, hospital birth is the Western norm, and that does not only mean that women lose control of their deliveries but also that they are likely to be separated from their newborns. Many hospital administrators would hotly deny this: they pride themselves on their "rooming-in" arrangements. But rooming in only means that mother and baby share a room: they will seldom be allowed, let alone encouraged, to share a bed, and infants are often removed altogether so that their mothers "can get some rest." On a recent visit to a British maternity hospital, I saw one chart, under the heading "special remarks," a message in large red letters: "All nursing care at the bedside please; this mother does not wish baby removed." On a recent visit to an American maternity floor, I saw three newborn boys lying in a row on a counter in the nursing area, howling and bleeding. They had been taken from their mothers for circumcision and none had been returned fifteen minutes later.28.

Children as an Out-Group Seeing children as separate from ourselves is dangerous. If they are not part of us, they are not necessarily like us. If they are not like us, we do not have to assume that they have the same senses and sensibilities as the rest of us. We may chose to be kind to children-- our own and everyone else's-- but without the most basic layer of shared humanity it is not axiomatic that in our dealings with children we should "do as we would be done by" (or as we wish we had been done by). Much of the time we do not.
Baby boys, circumcised without anesthetic, shriek. Every adult male shudders to think of such a procedure. But parents are told "it doesn't really hurt them" and they believe it. Western people have always performed nonritual infant circumcision in that way and if it did really hurt, they wouldn't-- would they? 29.

The following is taken from "Better Homes and Gardens New Baby Book" by Mothers, Medical Reviewer: Donald W. Schiff, M.D., Past President of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, along with 10 other doctors under the heading of "Board of Advisors"., Copyright 1998.

The Circumcision Decision If you give birth to a son, should he be circumcised? Many doctors now hold that routine circumcision is unnecessary. Yet, because of religious beliefs or for other personal reasons, most parents still decide to have their baby boys circumcised. If you're uncertain, you should have a frank discussion of the pros and cons with your baby's pediatrician.
Without circumcision, the baby's foreskin with be tightly attached to the head of the penis during the first year. The foreskin naturally retracts in time. Eventually, your son will learn to clean the area under the foreskin with he bathes or showers. If you opt for circumcision, be assured that the operation is generally safe.
Ask your doctor about using a local anesthetic so your baby does not feel much pain. (Frequently, the surgery is performed without any anesthetic.)
After the circumcision, apply a little petroleum jelly to the incision each time you change the baby's diaper. It will keep the wound from sticking to the diaper as it heals.31.

Other quotes by noted physicians in the 1990's:

"My own preference, if I had the good fortune to have another son, would be to leave his little penis alone."

Benjamin Spock, MD., renowned pediatrician.

"Historians of the future will find it incredible that we mutilated babies by cutting off the end of their penises in the name of medicine. There are now serious concerns this routine procedure may actually deprive adult men of a vital part of their sexual sensitivity."

Dean Edell, MD.,- Radio and Television Medical Advisor

"In this case, the old dictum 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' seems to make good sense."

Eugene Robin, MD.,Stanford University Medical School.

"...In response to circumcision, the baby cries a helpless, panicky, breathless, high-pitched cry!...[or] lapses into a semi-coma. Both of these states...are abnormal in the newborn."

Justin Call, MD.,pediatrician and child psychiatrist.

"My feeling is that it is a traumatic experience and I am opposed to traumatizing the baby. I'm also opposed to inflicting an operation on an individual without his permission."

Howard Marchbanks, MD.,Family Practitioner.

"The risks of newborn circumcision are an underreported and ignored factor in this argument. Most often a poor surgical result is not recognized until years after the event."

James Snyder, MD.,past president of the Virginia Urologic Society.

"Whatever is done to stop the terrible practice of circumcision will be of tremendous importance. There is no rational medical reason to support it. It is high time that such a barbaric practice comes to an end."

Dr. Frederick Leboyer, author of Birth Without Violence: Negative Aspects of Routine Infant Circumcision

"Children will likely continue to be governed by the viewpoint of their parents, but a new era of human rights and children's rights brought a new variable into the equation. The physician who performs circumcisions may one day find himself subject to legislative action or even charged with sexual assult. A May 1994 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada placed the best interests of the child above parental rights. "In the 1990's, circumcision clearly can no longer be regarded as a routine procedure."

Canadian Medical Association Journal, 152:11 pp. 1873 et seq., 1 June 1995.

"...studies at the Center for Disease Control have not found circumcision to be either protective or a risk factor for AIDS or HIV infection. And other research shows that circumcision does not prevent penile cancer, a disease so rare more people die from circumcision complications than from cancer of the penis."

Circ. Info. Network 950814

The Virginia Urologists Association voted unanimously that routine neonatal circumcision is unnecessary.

"Research suggesting a pattern in the circumcision status of partners of women with cervical cancer is methodologically flawed, outdated, and has not been taken seriously in the medical community for decades."

The American Cancer Society

"Penile cancer rates in countries which do not practice circumcision are lower than those found in the United States. Fatalities caused by circumcision may approximate the mortality rate from penile cancer."

American Cancer Society letter to American Academy of Pediatrics.

"Scientists used to think that the wives of uncircumcised men were more likely to get cervical cancer, but research has disproved this."

Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care, 1992.

"The hygiene issue is hysterical to me. It goes something like this: 'This is dirty, so let's cut it off.' If indeed the foreskin is dirty, then the vagina is dirtier. If indeed an excuse is that the foreskin is dirty, then we have a better excuse to circumcise females. Soap and water is the solution. It's only we in America who cling to this out-moded belief-- we, squeaky-clean Americans, you know, who have sudsed the world and cleansed it with our products and our antibacterial jihad."

Dr. Dean Edell, MD., National radio host.

"When a child is subjected to intolerable, overwhelming pain, it conceptualizes mother as both participatory and responsible regardless of mother's intent. The perception of the infant of her culpability and willingness to have him harmed is indelibly emplaced. The consequences for impaired bonding are significant."

Rima Laibow, M.D. - Circumcision and its Relationship to Attachment Impairment, Syllabus of Abstracts Second International Symposium on Circumcision, April 30, 1991

"Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed."

Fetus and Newborn Committe, Canadian Pediatric Society, Canadian Medical Association Journal, vol. 154, no. 6 [March 15, 1996: pp. 769-780]

"Circumcision causes pain, trauma, and a permanant loss of protective and erogenous tissue... Removing normal, healthy, functioning tissue for no medical reason has ethical implications: circumcision violates the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 5) and the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 13)."

Leo Sorger, to American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology: Stop Circumcisions, Ob Gyn News, (1 Nov., 1994). p. 8.

"Circumcision is not a medical decision. Preventing an improbably future infection is a spurious indication. The standard of care is antibiotics, not amputation."

Eileen Marie Wayne, MD,Letters (Nothing to debate on circumcision), American Medical News, (27 July, 1998). P.27.

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