Foreskin art is the latest weapon against infant circumcision

Foreskin art is the latest weapon against infant circumcision June 6, 2019

BACK in 2015, a crowdfunding campaign was launched to finance research into the regeneration of foreskins for circumcised men – and more than $40,000 dollars were raised.

Photo courtesy of Vincenzo Aiello

Cash raised was also used to create a series of artworks by Vincenzo Aiello, above, titled “HuFo, The Missing Piece: Revealing the True Cost of Male Circumcision“.

Aiello, an opponent of infant male circumcision, is the founder of Foregen, a non-profit dedicated to biomedical research into foreskin regeneration. The Kickstarter campaign said:

HuFo [human foreskin] isn’t just about art, education and perspective, it’s about funding real world biomedical solutions for circumcised men.

And Foregen’s website says:

We understand the functional and sensory losses to the penis from circumcision, and the potential psychological damage to those on whom this surgery was performed.

Fortunately, scientific advances in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine now offer the possibility to regrow the specialized erogenous tissues of the foreskin.

Foregen’s goal is to heal the trauma from circumcision by applying these regenerative therapies.

Aiello and his admirable project came to my attention today when I read that his art exhibit is making its Philadelphia debut at Open Space Studio this week. Its aim is to raise awareness about a procedure that many take for granted, but that others find hugely concerning.

Aiello said:

Newborn circumcision is a trauma, and it’s ingrained in our psychology. There are obvious concerns and dangers to the infant. And remember, anything that is a danger to an infant is a danger to society.

Aiello’s nine artworks comprise silicone replicas of human foreskin draw inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man.


Gregory E Dean, chief of pediatric urology at St Christopher’s Hospital for Children, said:

It is a very heated topic. Very heated.

George Denniston, the Philadelphia-born, Penn medical school-educated founder of Doctors Opposing Circumcision (DOC), a national group against foreskin removal done for non-medical reasons, added:

I consider circumcision an epidemic of great harm that will stop when doctors stop performing this atrocity.

Mainstream pediatric urologists point out that circumcision is more common in the United States than other places, including the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, and Australia, as well as South America and parts of Asia. Yet even in the US, there is evidence that support of routine circumcision not based on religious or cultural practice — such as by Jews and Muslims — has declined.

The most recent study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that while rates have fluctuated with changes in medical advice, male newborn circumcision declined overall from 1979 to 2010 from about 65 percent to 58 percent. Regional rates vary, with the highest rates in the Midwest, followed by the Northeast, the South, and the West.

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ position, last updated in 2012, is that scientific literature shows potential health benefits to circumcision but that the decision should be left up to parents and doctors.

Among the benefits cited were lower risks of acquiring HIV, genital herpes, the human papilloma virus (HPV), and syphilis. The group also said research indicated that circumcision can lessen the risk of urinary tract infection in the first year of life and penile cancer over a male’s lifetime. It can also reduce the risk of cervical cancer for sexual partners.

Still, many parents decide against circumcision for their sons. One of them is Jennifer Holland, 40, of Williamstown, Gloucester County. As a Christian, Holland said:

The whole idea that God made us broken and we need to fix it – that didn’t sound right to me.

Holland, an engineer, said she looked into some of the research and didn’t find it compelling enough to perform a procedure on her infant, which she worried might cause him pain. Her son, now 7, has never had a urinary infection and hasn’t been teased by other boys for having a penis that looks different from theirs.

Just for reference, I think people make an assumption that the people who choose not to [circumcise] are granola-eating hippies. My child is fully vaccinated …

Two of the Philadelphia region’s leading pediatric urologists agree that while research does show potential health benefits to circumcision, most of those risks can be reduced or even eliminated through steps like practicing safe sex, good hygiene, and vaccinations against HPV.

Said T Ernesto Figueroa, pediatric urology division chief for Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children:

Neonatal circumcision does not need to be done to be healthy. Men can live perfectly healthy lives if they’re not circumcised as long as the foreskin is managed and they follow precautions.

Figueroa said he tries to give parents balanced information and respect their beliefs and preferences.

Meanwhile, at Open Space Studio opposition to non-consensual circumcision will be on display through the works of Aiello until June 14.

Aiello, 55, who considers neonatal circumcision a human-rights violation, said he was circumcised as an adult to deal with a health need.

Through my experience, I have realised this is a surgery that can only be done to adults who consent and only for medical reasons.

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  • Helen LIpson

    The need for “good hygiene” to protect an uncircumcised penis is something I’m heard before. And it may explain the origin or circumcision among Jews and Muslims, who may in turn have picked it up from the Sahel region of Africa, where it is still practiced. The drier the region you’re living in, the less chance that you can keep your schlong as clean as you’d like. So way back when, after generations of having to combat the effects of sand getting into the nooks and crannies, routine circumcision could have been introduced by those peoples as a preventive measure and, soon after, turned into a religious ritual. My theory, anyway.

  • Mark

    Female genitals are harder to clean than male genitals, and they get way more infections down there, but we wouldn’t cut parts off baby girls. Hygiene is about washing, not surgery.

    Three national medical organizations (Iceland, Sweden and Germany) have called for infant male circumcision to be *banned*, and two others (Denmark and the Netherlands) have said they’d support a ban if they didn’t think it would drive the practice underground.

    “Routine” circumcision *is* banned in public hospitals in Australia (almost all the men responsible for this policy will be circumcised themselves, as the male circumcision rate in Australia in 1950 was about 90%).

    If it weren’t a religious thing, elective circumcision of boys would have banned in lots of countries decades ago, same as it was for girls.

  • Freethinker

    There is a far more insidious reason for circumcision in the religious context. The monotheists are obsessed with controlling human sexuality. One of the ways they do that through is often speaking to the “evils” of masturbation and arousal. It is a lot more difficult to masturbate without foreskin. Additionally the ultra sensitive corona of the penile gland becomes desensitized as a result of rubbing against clothing which lowers arousal. So the religious dictates of both less masturbation and less arousal are taken care of via the genital mutilation of a new born infant who has no say in the matter. Outside of the perverted religious reasons the popularity of circumcision among American parents stems from a twisted sense of esthetics. Fathers who are circumcised want their sons to “look just like them” and not be different from other boys during the brief moments in the school or sport changing room when men can compare the look and size of their manhood. It is amazing that in this day and age we can rally against female genital mutilation also done for arousal and esthetic reasons but the male circumcisions is still regarded as no big deal and often encouraged. This barbaric and in most cases entirely non consensual ritual should be banned.

  • Freethinker

    You clearly know very little about FGM which can happen at any age from infancy to early adulthood depending on which barbaric culture is involved. And as to your assertion that an infant boy does not “remember” the circumcision then you know even less about the persistent subconscious memories of physical traumas.

  • Freethinker

    Women who are sexually involved with men who are uncircumcised, have a higher rate of cervical cancer.

    Source please.

    Unless that man is fastidious about penile hygiene, he is smelly and most women will forego oral sex with him, along with any sexual liaison.

    Given that billions more men are uncircumcized than those that are it is amazing that so many women appear to have no problem having sex with them.

    Infant circumcision is not remembered by the man and he is more pleasant to see if he is naked.

    Almost too much to unpack in that drivel of a sentence. How do you know the trauma of male circumcision is not ‘remembered’ by the male? Especially when a strange man rips the cut foreskin with his own mouth as is the practice among many Jew mohels during brit milah. The louder the child screams the more they are blessed.Educate yourself on early childhood traumas and their life long effect before you contnue to make a fool out of yourself.

    And as to the visual esthetics again personal experience of looking at penises Just because you have a preference of looking at and fellating mutilated penises do not make an assumption for all other majority of women and gay men.
    Assuming that Michaengelo’s David widely regarded as one of the finest sculptures of male physique in history must appear hideous to you.

  • rubaxter

    Yeah, this is the white male equivalent to “ALL Live Count” movements.

  • Mark

    I’m repeating myself, but female genitals are harder to clean than male genitals, and they get way more infections down there, but we wouldn’t cut parts off baby girls. Hygiene is about washing, not surgery.

  • Mark

    A 2003 paper in the Israeli Medical Association Journal discusses male circumcision and cervical cancer at length and says the following:
    “Although the dispute over the association of circumcision and cervical cancer in various populations is still ongoing [23,24], there seems to be no hard evidence that circumcision prevents its occurrence in Jewish women, and it is no longer considered to play a protective role.”

  • We believe everyone has the right to the genitalia they were born with:

  • Arthur F. Meincke

    The Covenant of Abraham… Always drawing blood from religious notions and cultural traditions. I say leave the matter up to the parents & medical doctors…

  • sweeks

    I’m surprised no one has referenced the Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project (“CAN-FAP”).
    (Best. Acronym. Ever.)

  • Stephen Moreton

    About 38% overall, and rising in Africa where it is being promoted by the WHO and others to combat the HIV epidemic. Also, who says Europeans are horrified that Americans circumcise? I’m European (at least until Brexshit happens) and am not bothered.

  • Stephen Moreton

    What about the right to preventive health care, even life? Like it or not circ does have health benefits, and infancy is the best time for the procedure. The debate should be about whether those benefits are enough to justify the procedure. In high-HIV settings the answer is a clear “yes”. Outside those settings the jury is out.

  • Stephen Moreton

    Infant brains cannot form long-term declarative memories. They really do not remember their circs (not a justification for infant circ, nor an excuse for not using anaesthesia, I hasten to add). That is just the neurological reality. There are other forms of memory they may be capable of, but there is no credible evidence for any adverse long-term psychological effect, subconscious or otherwise, stemming from infant circ.: However, belief in anti-circ propaganda about how wonderful foreskins are, and how terrible circumcision is, is bound to cause distress in those duped by this narrative. I can think of one suicide (Jonathon Conte) where there is clear evidence that this is what happened, and 2 others (Kevin Cagle & Alex Hardy) where I suspect anti-circ propaganda off the internet may have contributed.
    Your argument also presupposes that circ is “trauma”. With a local anaesthetic it is not traumatic.

  • WMccreery

    It’s vestigial get over it!! What’s next an appendix preservation organization!?

  • Stephen Moreton

    There is no evidence (that I know of) that cutting parts off baby girls would confer benefits. In contrast there is a huge body of evidence that medical circ of boys confers a wide range of benefits with no adverse effect: You can debate whether those benefits are enough to justify the procedure, and the answer may vary from country to country, but the analogy with cutting girls is a false one.

  • Stephen Moreton

    Only 3 large professional bodies have attempted anything like a risk/benefit analysis for infant circ outside of high-HIV settings – the AAP, the CDC and the Canadian Pediatric Soc. The first two concluded that benefits exceed the risks and the procedure should be available, although they stop short of recommending it be routine. The 3rd concluded that the risks & benefits were “closely balanced”. The bodies you list have not attempted any up-to-date scientific assessments (and that includes the Dutch, before you cite them). Their policy statements are not evidence-based, but ideology-based. The Dutch one was not even by a medical professional, but by a philosopher with no medical or scientific training.

  • Stephen Moreton

    “the most sensitive” part? Sensitive to what? Pain? Temperature? Pressure? Vibration? Stretch? The foreskin is NOT “the most sensitive” part across all sensation types, and certainly not the most sensitive with respect to erogenous sensation, which is the sensation type that matters. For that, the glans and underside of the shaft trump the foreskin.
    The foreskin makes scant difference as shown by all the best quality studies, including RCTs, systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
    Waiting until adulthood just means more dead people, more sick people and higher health care costs as adult circ comes with barriers that put men off (painful erections, greater risk of complications, cost, time off work, need for sexual abstinence …). One gets a much higher uptake with infant circ (fewer barriers), hence more males get the benefits. This is vital in high-HIV settings where infant circ is now being rolled out alongside adult. It will mean more circ’d males in future years, hence more infections averted.
    Men circ’d as adults know exactly what they are missing – very little. 1 case-control study,, 4 cohort studies and 3 RCTs (one on the females partners of these men) with sample sizes into the low thousands, all consistently show that circ has no adverse effect on sexual function or pleasure.

  • Stephen Moreton

    A LOT of research has been conducted since 2003. It is now consensus in the scientific community that circ is partially protective against oncogenic HPV (but not other strains). And most cervical cancers are caused by oncogenic HPV. I just wrote a long post on this topic, with sources, in response to “Freethinker” above but it went off to moderation. Wait and see if it appears.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    Prior to realizing that alcohol would damage an infant’s brain, we would give a sugar cube dipped in bourbon to an infant male before he had his circ.

  • Michael Butscher

    Even if circumcision may slightly reduce the risk of an AIDS infection, condoms are necessary for a reasonable safety nevertheless. But if using a condom the additional safety benefit of circumcision is neglectible.

  • Stephen Moreton

    Indeed. Foreskins are remarkably variable. Size (both inner & outer surfaces combined) ranges from 7 to 99 square cm (average 37, or 6 square inches, SD 15.5): , much more than the variation in penis size (flaccid length: 9.16 cm, SD 1.57; erect length: 13.12 cm, SD 1.66): Look at the difference in standard deviations – an order of magnitude difference!
    They are also hugely variable in the extent to which they cover the glans, and whether they retract spontaneously or not upon erection. As Darwin noted: “An organ, when rendered useless, may well be variable, for its variations cannot be checked by natural selection” (Origin of Species, chapter 13).

  • Stephen Moreton

    It more than slightly reduces it. The two most recent meta-analyses indicate about 70 or 72 % relative risk reduction in female to male HIV transmission: pubmed/25942703 & pubmed/29232046. That is fantastic!
    As for condoms, you will never get all men to use them, or use them consistently, or use them properly every time they do wear one, such is human nature. Circumcision provides back-up for those who fail to condomise for whatever reason.
    Besides, condoms are not fully effective. A Cochrane review found they were only about 80 % effective: pubmed/11869658. The most recent meta-analysis found 71-77 % effectiveness, slightly higher for male to female than vice versa: pubmed/26488070. So circumcision provides protection when condoms fail, as they sometimes do.
    Condoms and circumcision together are the way to go, especially in epidemic settings. To use an analogy think of seat belts and air bags. The first have to be put on each time one goes for a drive. The latter are there all the time. Neither provides total protection, but use them together and protection is maximised.

  • rationalobservations?

    The appendix is a useful organ and valuable part of the human digestive system. It is the storage point and regeneration centre for the “good bacteria” essential for healthy gut function and in more advanced nations the removal of an infected appendix is the last resort and worst option.

    Get better informed and get over your ignorance, McCreery!

  • Tenorbear2

    Were there any reasons to cut up children’s genitals thousands of years ago? What a totally irrelevant question to people about to have a baby now. There is only one reason to cut the genitals of male, female, or intersex babies and that is profit or the cutters. The garbage about cancer and hygiene is just garbage. It’s claimed on the basis of spurious studies and exaggerated claims and interpretations there of. Cutting up genitals is pure harm and doing it to helpless children is an act of abuse. If you can convince people to hand their baby over for it then you can probably get them to do all kinds of terrible things.

  • Kyle Chen

    That’s exactly what people are doing to female genital cutting. The idea is that if it’s left to doctors, it won’t be illegal. Good luck.

  • Sophotroph

    Not at all. That a lesser atrocity is being committed in no way detracts from its legitimacy as an issue.

    People are maimed without their consent routinely in what it supposed to be the most free nation on Earth. There is a problem with that.

  • Sophotroph

    I’m sorry, but you don’t have one.

    You lack the ability to have an opinion, let alone the right to one.

  • Sophotroph

    There’s still time!

  • Stephen Moreton

    They are not maimed, they are circumcised. Huge difference.

  • Raging Bee

    Gee, I wonder why that is…maybe because no one is trying to have everyone’s appendix removed at birth, with no medical justification?

  • Raging Bee

    Circumcision, without clear and present medical necessity, IS maiming.

  • Raging Bee

    You don’t get to dictate how other people’s body parts are supposed to feel, or whether they should or should not miss them.

  • Raging Bee

    The important word there is “PARTIALLY protective.” As in, nowhere near protective enough to justify it as a routine procedure for newborn boys. As in, there are far more effective protective measures available, so circumcision is not necessary.

  • Raging Bee

    Wow, still no answer to my question about your competence or qualifications. Your silence speaks volumes.

    You’re nothing but a char- latan.

  • Raging Bee

    Moreton’s claims have been roundly and repeatedly debunked on numerous other forums, by people with actual degrees and experience in the relevant fields. He’s only here to pretend there are pro-circ arguments and a serious consensus for it — which are proven false whenever people respond to him.

  • Raging Bee

    The foreskin is NOT “the most sensitive” part across all sensation types…

    People with foreskins strongly disagree with you. And they have credibility, while you don’t.

  • Stephen Moreton

    What I want them to say is irrelevant, it is what they actually say that matters. And they actually do say what I cite them as saying, as you can quickly verify once you get better internet access. Just copy the pubmed numbers into a search engine.

    As I explain in detail here: leaving the decision until adulthood just means more dead people, more sick people and higher health care costs. Besides, if we applied your “logic” to vaccines, and waited until adulthood (as some circ opponents propose), we’d still have smallpox.

    “No ethics allows the forcible and irreversible maiming of an unwilling individual.” So I am not allowed to defend myself, if violently attacked, lest the attacker is maimed? In any case, your statement is totally irrelevant as this discussion is about male circumcision, not maiming.

  • Stephen Moreton

    In your dreams. And who are those people with “degrees and experience in the relevant fields”? Can you name some please? The great majority of my opponents, and that includes those here, quickly show themselves to be ignorant of the subject matter, scientifically illiterate, and completely duped by intactivist propaganda they have uncritically copied off the internet. It is rare indeed to encounter anyone in forum-world with relevant background in this area.

  • Stephen Moreton

    You really need to learn about the fallacy of false equivalence:

  • Stephen Moreton

    “still no answer to my question about your competence or qualifications”. Steady on, I have only just got home from work, and your post is only a few hours old! Do you think I have nothing better to do than feed internet trolls? Anyway, I have now addressed the issue of quals etc. in a post higher up this thread. Now please tell us what your qualifications are.

  • Raging Bee

    I don’t need to state my qualifications, because I’m not the one recommending damaging surgery for non-consenting babies.

  • Stephen Moreton

    We vaccinate infants who cannot consent. Minor cosmetic procedures, like removal of birth marks and moles, and straightening of squint teeth (and removal of healthy teeth to that end) are also carried out on children. It surprises me that removal of an unimportant, pathology-prone piece of skin should cause so much hysteria. As for “mutilation”, you are committing at least two logical fallacies with that one: and

    I have addressed your query about qualifications etc. in two posts above. Now address mine – what are your qualifications?

  • Raging Bee

    You are denying well-documented facts, and are therefore dismissed for lack of credibility.

  • Raging Bee

    I do not claim expertise in any branch of medicine…

    Your lack of qualification, combined with your repeatedly stated disdain for the interests of actual human patients, leave you utterly unqualified to recommend ANY medical procedure to ANYONE.

  • Raging Bee

    Invalid comparison: a) vaccination does not involve PERMANENT injury; and b) vaccination is proven to have far wider beneficial effects than circumcision.

  • Raging Bee

    Men who have, and have not, been circumcised, strongly disagree with your allegations. Their word is more credible than yours.

  • Raging Bee

    It is certainly unimportant, more trouble than it is worth…

    You don’t get to decide that for anyone but yourself. That’s not how REAL doctors work. Once again, your disdain for basic medical ethics and actual patient needs proves you utterly incompetent and unqualified to participate in medical decisions.

  • Raging Bee

    …I have only just got home from work…

    What work, exactly?

  • Stephen Moreton

    What “well-documented facts”? Name a few.

  • Stephen Moreton

    I’m just going by the evidence. Risk/benefit analyses and cost/benefit analyses keep on finding that the foreskin really is unimportant and more trouble than it is worth, especially in high-HIV settings, where it is now consensus that it is better for sexually active males not to have a foreskin.

  • Stephen Moreton

    Research chemist. And you?

  • Raging Bee

    I don’t have time now, but later I can cite at least a few blogs where you, and your fellow circumfetishist Brian Morris, get your asses handed to you by experts far more qualified than you.

  • Stephen Moreton

    As I am not recommending any medical procedure to anyone you are attacking a straw man. I am merely debunking pseudoscientific arguments. I leave recommendations about circ to the WHO, CDC, UNAIDS, PEPFAR, Gates Foundation, Marie Stopes, AAP, …

  • Raging Bee

    Oh, and none of those cites will be new to you — I’ve pointed this out to you SEVERAL times before, and you continue to ignore and dismiss all information — including people describing their own symptoms, feelings and experiences — that doesn’t support your dishonest, emotion-driven agenda.

  • Stephen Moreton

    Nor am I, but that does not stop you demanding to know them. Now what are your qualifications?

  • Raging Bee

    Yes, you are, liar. And you don’t even have the guts to own your own words.

  • Stephen Moreton

    Double fail. Medical circumcision does not cause permanent injury either, and vaccines are specific, typically covering only one or a few (as in MMR) diseases. Circumcision is broad spectrum, covering a wide range of conditions, from dermatological to infective to cancerous and, unlike vaccines, it does not wear off.

  • Stephen Moreton

    The great majority of circ’d men are happy with their status, and when one looks at those done as adults, and thus able to compare, the satisfaction rate is >98 % as shown in large scale cohort and RCT studies with sample sizes reaching the thousands. In short, the great majority of men who actually have experience of both states, do agree that circ has no adverse effect on sexual function or pleasure, and foreskins are not important. Get over it.

  • Raging Bee

    Excuse me, liar, but circumcision is, BY DEFINITION, the removal of a body-part that cannot grow back or be re-attached; therefore, BY DEFINITION, it is a permanent injury.

    Your flat denial of obvious facts once again shows you to be a charlatan and a fraud.

  • Raging Bee

    Your cite was flagged by my employer’s nanny-ware as a “known security risk.” So why don’t you describe exactly why my comparison is invalid, from the standpoint of medical ethics?

  • Stephen Moreton

    My “agenda” as you call it, is strictly science-based. You are the one getting all emotional.

  • Stephen Moreton

    Ah, blogs. Not peer-reviewed scientific papers then.

  • Stephen Moreton

    Show me where I actively recommend anyone to get circumcised, or have a son circumcised.

  • Stephen Moreton

    There is temporary injury which swiftly heals up. But we are talking PERMANENT injury here. From an on-line dictionary, injury = harm, hurt, wounding, damage, pain, suffering, impairment, affliction, disablement, incapacity, disability, disfigurement. As circ is none of these, it does not constitute PERMANENT injury.

    I note you are resorting to crude name-calling now. Can’t you manage anything better? Peer-reviewed scientific papers, that have withstood criticism (so don’t bother me with Sorrels, Bronselaer, etc.) and been replicated by independent researchers the world over. You know, the sort of thing I have filled the site with, and on which I base my arguments.

  • Raging Bee

    No such papers override basic rules of medical ethics, nor do they justify your repeated disregard for the interests of actual patients.

  • Raging Bee

    “Great majority” =/= “all.” And a doctor who is treating a patient is required to address THE PATIENT HIMSELF, not a statistic about what other people think.

    And again, none of that justifies the indiscriminate mutilation of BABIES who are too young to articulate what THEY’RE happy with.

  • Raging Bee

    Can’t YOU manage anything better than repeated denial of obvious facts?

  • Raging Bee

    So, no actual contact with patients, no understanding of their conditions or needs, and no responsibility for the consequences of any procedure you might recommend for them. And thus no standing to recommend any medical procedure for anyone. Got it.

  • Raging Bee

    Foreskins are remarkably variable.

    Which means it makes no sense to advocate one procedure indiscriminately for all babies with foreskins.

  • Raging Bee

    Medically justified or not, circumcision, like all other forms of surgery, is ALL of those things. Once again, you prove yourself to be a blatant effing liar.

  • Raging Bee

    Yeah, I’m being “emotional” by citing basic principles of right and wrong. And your disregard for right and wrong makes you “rational,” right? I’ve heard that rubbish from all manner of self-serving amoral pond-scum.

  • Raging Bee

    The great majority of circ’d men are happy with their status…

    So why not wait till they grow up and THEN let them choose their “status” for themselves?

  • Mglass

    Hi Stephen,

    Thank you for your detailed reply, and the links that you have supplied to Circfacts, (and their links to other sources of information.)

    When it comes to academic articles on circumcision, whether for or against, they are fought over with a ferocity that is amazing to behold. Critics with an axe to grind on both sides of the debate are like bloodhounds in their criticisms of the others’ papers, so the criticisms need to be read with some caution. Charges of cultural bias come from both sides, so I am wary about apportioning blame or praise on that score.

    You have criticised the Dutch and Nordic policies as not being evidence based, saying that the Dutch policy was the work of Gert van Dijk, a philosopher. Be that as it may, the policy is still the policy of the medical establishment in the Netherlands.

    Adding up the number of references is one way of checking the quality of a piece of research, but I would guess that the quality of the references would carry more weight than the mere number of citations.

    I value your contributions because they are always interesting and worth reading. However, when people disagree passionately, as they do about circumcision, the situation may be like the blind men and the elephant.

  • Raging Bee

    There is temporary injury which swiftly heals up.

    Yeah, and the stump of your arm heals after the arm is cut off. That doesn’t mean such amputation isn’t “harm.”

    Do you know ANYTHING about surgery?

  • Raging Bee

    There’s nothing at all “false” about that analogy, and you know it. Both procedures involve the removal/destruction of healthy tissue from a non-consenting person, therefore both violate the same basic principle of medical ethics, therefore both are wrong for the same reason, and you can’t condone one without condoning the other.

  • Stephen Moreton

    More mere assertion, followed by abuse. No scientific papers, just emotional opinion.

  • Stephen Moreton

    What “obvious facts”? You have yet to come up with any. Just assertions and opinions. On I back up my arguments with peer-reviewed science. It is telling that you have yet to cite a single scientific paper in this thread. Not one.

  • Raging Bee

    “Millions?” Please. Your wild, testerical exaggerations and phony “savior” complex only further damage your credibility.

  • Paul Douglas

    Filipinos too, are big on circumcision.

  • You can make a case for removing toes in order to prevent diseases. Females have a 1 in 8 chance of breast cancer in their lives, but we aren’t removing the breast buds as infants. Look close at those studies you are referring to; there are many methodological flaws. I’ve been looking at this issue since my first born son who’s nearly 14. The American Circumcision documentary gives a great synopsis of the stuff I’ve been studying over that time.

  • Stephen Moreton

    In sub-Saharan Africa:

    If full coverage had been achieved (it wasn’t) then male circumcision (MC) could have averted 2 million new HIV cases and prevented 0.3 million deaths in the ten years starting 2006, and a further 3.7 million cases and 2.7 million deaths in the following ten years: pubmed/16822094

    80% coverage in 13 high-priority countries by 2015, requiring 20.34 million MCs, and sustained thereafter by an additional 8.42 MCs, could have averted 3.36 million new HIV infections by 2025, and saved $16.51 billion in health care costs: pubmed/22140367

    In practice the target has not been achieved owing to practical and logistical constraints. Even so, the 15 million MCs achieved by 2018, and the on-going program, will prevent half a million HIV infections in Africa by 2030:

    It has been estimated that the cultural practice of MC in Africa & Asia has already prevented some 8 million HIV infections: pubmed/10752725

    Epidemiologist Elizabeth Pisani, who specialises in HIV, has commented that delay in implementing MC may have already cost the lives of millions:

    Emmanuel Njeuhmeli, MD, MPH, MBA, senior biomedical prevention advisor and co-chair PEPFAR Male Circumcision Technical Working Group (I hope these qualifications are good enough for you) gave a presentation in 2014 about implementing infant MC in Africa: One only has to get to the 3rd slide to see what a difference 80 % MC coverage would have made had that coverage been there since 1990. 4 million fewer HIV cases. And that is just for S. Africa. How many tens of millions more if extrapolated to the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, or to the world?

    It is difficult to get more than about 60 % coverage with adult MC, but one can get 80 or even 90 % + coverage with infant MC, as there are fewer barriers. See citations here: That means tens or hundreds of millions more circumcised males in decades to come, and hence millions more infections directly averted, and many millions more indirectly as fewer infected individuals means fewer people to pass infections on. Extrapolate this to the end of the century and the numbers of infections averted, and lives saved, could easily be in the tens of millions.

    How many millions of Africans are you prepared to condemn to misery and death in the name of bodily autonomy? And is this really consistent with medical ethics?

  • Raging Bee

    You’ve told so many obvious verifiable lies that nothing you say is credible anymore.

  • Raging Bee

    In other words, you’re citing your own opinions, as expressed in both your own contributions and your editing and vetting of others’ submissions.

  • Raging Bee

    Also, UTIs are treatable, not life-threatening, and don’t cause permanent damage. There’s no good reason to cause permanent injury just to prevent STIs.

  • Raging Bee

    Many “anti-Onanist” loonies, including RJ Kellogg, explicitly advocated routine circumcision of baby boys for the purpose of reducing sexual pleasure. Moreton knows this, which is what makes his denial of this LONG-KNOWN AND INTENDED effect all the more disgraceful.

  • Raging Bee

    The “circumcision to stop masturbation” myth is just that. A myth. It never got beyond a few Victorian quacks.

    Documented history and policy proves you’re lying.

  • Freethinker

    Indeed but this far predates Kellog in the US. In fact the the first whities to infest America namely the Puritans and Pilgrims where full proponents of genital mutilation to both control the evil urges and to appease their sky Daddy based on some drivel from Romans 4.

  • Stephen Moreton

    You have yet to point to a single, specific, example of any fact I have got wrong.

  • Stephen Moreton

    How do you treat a UTI that is antibiotic resistant, as increasingly they are? pubmed/26980184

    UTIs were responsible for about 20% of infant deaths prior to the advent of antibiotics: pubmed/15831830

    UTIs cause permanent renal damage: pubmed/28681079 & pubmed/27455161. They can also lead to sepsis and meningitis, both of which can cause permanent damage, and death: pubmed/25677994

    Circ is NOT “permanent injury” as already explained.

    Once again you get your facts all wrong, and I get mine right, and back them up with peer-reviewed science. I note you have not cited a single scientific paper yet during in this thread. What’s wrong? Not got any?

  • Stephen Moreton

    It is now consensus that circ reduces female to male HIV transmission:

    The virus gains entry though the inside lining of the foreskin, take that away and that route of entry is denied. It can still find other ways in (e.g. through the urethra) but it is made much harder: pubmed/22581866

  • Raging Bee

    Yet another blatant, easily verifiable lie.

  • Mglass

    The “Right to genital integrity” is a powerful and persuasive statement, but not everyone will agree with it. Even when right might be clearly on one side, that does not mean that the arguments against that position are all invalid and that all who argue that way are rogues or charlatans or liars.

    If you fight hard for what you believe in that could help to change things for the better. However, I believe in treating people with respect, even if I I have differences with them. Treating people with respect doesn’t imply agreement, but it helps to keep things calm.

  • Stephen Moreton

    In heterosexual transmission, female to male accounts for about a third of cases, male to female two thirds: pubmed/19179227. A third is hardly “pretty low” and, by preventing this, circ breaks the cycle female to male to another female to another male …

    Where circ is being rolled out in Africa, HIV incidence is starting to fall, and is doing so faster in men than women, as it protects men directly. Even so there is also evidence of a fall in women too, as their males partners are less likely to be infected. In short, circ is working: pubmed/30020940,, pubmed/27404186, pubmed/24019763.
    Note how I cite scientific papers to back up what I say. I have yet to see you cite any. Not a single one. What’s the matter? Not got any?

  • Raging Bee

    You can cite as many papers as you want, but you’ve still proven yourself to be a liar, and several of your cites have been found NOT to support the arguments you’re making. Also, your assertions have been credibly disputed by other experts with demonstrated credentials more relevant than yours. You have no credibility.

  • Raging Bee

    You didn’t answer my question.

  • Stephen Moreton

    I can cite as many papers as I want and you will not change your mind, such is the nature of bigotry.

    You keep calling me a “liar” but have yet to provide a single example, with evidence, of a “fact” I have got wrong.

    Give me an example of a citation I give that does not say what I claim it does.

    My assertions on circumcision have no more been “credibly disputed” by “experts” with more relevant credentials, than my debunkings of young earth creationism elsewhere have been “credibly disputed” by “experts” with more relevant credentials. A pertinent comparison as one time when I debunked a creationist “geology” video a creationist with a geology degree tried to pull rank on me. One of the things that has struck me about this debate, aside from the fact that most intactivists are NOT relevantly credentialed ( ), is that on those few occasions when they are, even non-relevantly credentialed people can still spot some of their mistakes, they are often that egregious: I do not need to be an expert tailor, knowing warp from weft, the correct seam allowance for an armscye, and the right interfacing for a collar, to see that the emperor is naked.

    Throughout this entire thread your posts have consisted of insults and dogmatic assertions. You accuse me of having no relevant credentials even though I never claimed I did, and you refuse to reveal yours’. I cite scientific papers, you cite none. By any objective criterion, I am taking an evidence-based position, and you are just a time-wasting troll. Feeding you any further on an old thread being viewed by few people is a waste of my precious time. Good bye.

  • Mglass

    Which one?

  • John Adkison

    You can do a study for removing ANY part of the body and find preventative benefits. Where are you going to draw the line?

  • Daniel Ros

    Medical Reasons Debunked: HIV African RTCs

    Common sense MD HIV fallacy in Africa
    Dr. Dean Edell discusses the misleading and unsound arguments in the current drive to circumcise Africa.

    Studies of AIDS used to justify MGM in Africa used mainly to justify American MGM
    “Numerous serious flaws in these RCTs included: inadequate equipoise, researcher and participant expectation bias, selection bias, inadequate blinding, problematic randomization, lead-time bias, attrition bias/participants lost to follow-up, early termination, and failure to control for non-sexual transmission of HIV, all of which most probably exaggerated treatment effects.” Source:

    Scientist denounces flawed studies used used by CDC to promote circumcision
    Professor Gregory Boyle denounces the Sub-Saharan African randomised clinical trials on male circumcision and HIV transmission which are currently being used by the CDC to promote circumcision (genital cutting) of North American infants and children.

    What’s wrong with the Sub-Saharan African trials: “Sub-Saharan African randomised clinical trials into male circumcision and HIV transmission: Methodological, ethical and legal concerns” by Gregory J Boyle and George Hill

  • Daniel Ros

    Medical Reasons Debunked: HIV Common Sense

    If circumcision reduces the risk of STI/HIV transmission, then why do Europe, Japan and Australia have very low cut rates and STI/HIV rates compared to the US with our high cut rate?

    Let it be clear:
    The idea that circumcision prevents male heterosexual HIV transmission is a belief; a belief that cannot be scientifically demonstrated. A “decrease” in HIV transmission can be “observed” in three hopelessly flawed, heavily skewed “studies” that fail to correlate with real world empirical evidence. That this “decrease” was indeed caused by circumcision, howgever, is a far-fetched belief that “researchers” have yet to substantiate. “Researchers” are trying to frame their cherished beliefs and traditions in “research,” and that’s not science.

    Even **IF** there was a protective effect, why circumcise a male twelve to twenty years before sexual contact? Why not let a male who is of age make this choice?

    As for STDs, genital cutting is not effective in the real world, regardless of how certain pro-cutting researchers have tried to make it look that way:

    Recommendation of Circumcision for HIV Prevention is Biased

    FOR medical procedures to be advisable, they must be proven safe and effective.

  • Daniel Ros


  • Daniel Ros

    I would love to circ you every day for a few years. How much do you think would be left? Just enough

  • Daniel Ros

    Everything you say about this is a verifiable lie.

    No one is taking you seriously.

    Believe me your lust for screaming babies will be a thing of the past in the near future.

    You see parents can see through your ulterior fetish.



    CUT CUT CUT CUT!!!!!

    You yell like a crazy talking to your own voices.

  • Daniel Ros

    sure buddy and cutting out an eye ball has no effect on eye sight. My study that showed you still read the A on the opposite wall PROVED you still see and therefore are just fine with one eye that your parents removed cause it was the in thing and doctors have no capacity for critical thinking and ethics.

    The funny thing is you think you are swaying people to your side. I think they just might show up by your side, like I would LOVE TO, but not on your side. Do you recognize the difference?

  • Daniel Ros

    Your are NOT using evidence or science. You started with a Dalhmer like lust for children with ripped apart genitals.

    You found other bottom feeders like Brian Morris and other weirdos who would do unspeakable disgusting horrible things to children who can’t fight back.

    Then you searched out information that supported your fetish.

    IF you were unbiased and ethical you would easily see our side.

    There are weirdos trying their hardest to harm kids sexually and there are those trying to stop there. Thats the two kind of people in the world.

    ONE of them should be removed from the planet forever.

  • Daniel Ros

    this guy doesn’t have legit science. its a gaggle of high functioning circumfetish pedophiles that write biased unscientific garbage that gets published due to the 2 billion dollars profit the industry makes just to chop it off not to mention the back end of selling stolen cannibalized children’s genital tissue to face creams for rich white women, skin graphing and research.

    Talk to the issue don’t chase his fake science.

  • Daniel Ros

    And the HIV epidemic is growing in Africa because of a FAILED ridiculous genital mutilation fetish. Wait till African men find out the facts of your lies.

  • Daniel Ros

    I could prove it is harm. I could cut parts off you and you tell me if you feel harmed. Great way to expand your horizons.

  • Daniel Ros

    great website. makes these circ pedos look like the loons they are

  • Daniel Ros

    Your ego is fantastical. You have no idea how 99% of people perceive you. No one is falling for your third grade logic. You could drive a truck through those holes. I’d like to put a hole in you myself.

  • Daniel Ros

    your back up violates basic common sense. Everything you say is a life. Whats the real reason you want kids to be tortured and knife molested?

  • Daniel Ros

    I have already shared real science with you, your interest is not in non biased facts. Your interest is children’s genitals.

  • Daniel Ros

    cutting parts off needlessly is cutting parts off needlessly. the false analogy is simple and common sense, which you dont have because you have another motive. the same can be argued about cutting off an arm. the reasons the same the logic the same the science the same. if you cut off arms I can promise you there will be a study that proves no arms means less tennis elbow. that the extent of your argument.

  • Daniel Ros

    soooo your argument is not the actual similarity between the two ideas but some arbitrary unrelated difference? How about you address the similarities which is actually the debate?

  • Daniel Ros

    Well the apple is not like the orange because the seed was purchased in Arizona and the orange seed was purchased in Nevada so you can’t compare the fact that they are both round fruits. Derp derp your logic isn’t logic

  • Daniel Ros

    if its good for children its good for all children. if its not its not and it certainly is not

  • Kyle Stevens

    Ridiculous. Almost every study done on circumcision takes place in sub-Saharan Africa, because the methodology would not be ethical in the US. They take two groups of men, circumscribe one, let them go and see who gets HIV later. However, circumcised men cannot have sex for six weeks after the procedure, because erections are too painful then. Second, the circumcised men must return to the clinics for post-op care, so they are exposed to more information regarding safe sex.

    The analogy is also ridiculous. Airbags do not impair your ability to drive, while many men have reported significant, life-altering changes with circumcision.

  • Stephen Moreton

    There are literally thousands of research papers on every aspect of male circumcision (I have about 2000 of them on my computer). They come from every continent except Antarctica. It is just false to say “almost every study” on the topic comes from Africa. In fact a lot are now coming out of China, a non-circumcising culture. There has been some emphasis on Africa in connection with HIV and other STIs, but this is due to the HIV epidemic there, and also to the generally high rates of STIs which make it easier to study the effects of interventions like circumcision – one does not need such an impractically large sample size, or study duration, to achieve statistical significance. And your assertion about ethics is just nonsense.

    Both your arguments about the methodology have been debunked. See &

    Barring rare cases in which it has been botched (easily outnumbered by cases of devastating diseases that would have been prevented had the man been circumcised) circumcision has no negative effects on sexual function. Anecdotal stories to the contrary can be matched by anecdotal stories about how wonderful circumcision is. Besides, some of these negative stories are now known to be fabrications: (the David J Bernstein hoax, and accompanying admissions). You might as well cite anecdotal stories of vaccine harm (as anti-vaxxers do) as evidence that vaccines cause “significant, life-altering changes”. In properly conducted, controlled studies, sexual dysfunctions occur at the same, or lower, rate in circumcised males as in non-circumcised ones. All the best-quality studies find this over and over again. Replication is an important part of science, and high-quality studies (RCTs, systematic reviews and meta-analyses) trump anecdotes every time.