Genital Integrity Awareness Week 2014 Badge


Cast your vote for the Genital Integrity Awareness Week 2014 Badge!
Buttons will be given to all GIAW attendees and supporters.

Polls will be open January 1st in the far upper left corner of SavingSons.org

Learn more about GIAW at GenitalIntegrityAwarenessWeek.org 


Poll Results:



Pick up your GIAW 2014 button and more goodies when you sponsor this year's event!

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'Tis the Season to Save a Baby...


☃ In years past we have loved hearing from families across the globe who have found Saving Our Sons and had their lives positively impacted in one fashion or another. It has been a blessing to correspond with many of you, work in unison together with others around the globe in an genital autonomy effort, and we always look forward to hearing from you at this time of the year.

 If you would like to write this season, we would love to 'meet' your family and hear of the ways in which SOS has intersected with your life. ❤

We invite you to write to:

Saving Our Sons
P.O. Box 1302
VA Beach, VA 23451 

❄ Have a blessed holiday season. ❄

~~~~

Dear Sweet Boy, Please Forgive Me

By Jessica Grindstaff © 2013



Dear Sweet Boy,

I had you inside my belly for 37 weeks and 5 days. I loved you since the moment I found out about you. I may have been young, but since the beginning, I've always wanted you, and you have been my everything. I tried to eat healthy. I felt your kicks and your turns. You sometimes refused to let me sleep. I talked to you daily and let you know how much I loved you. I even read to you while you were inside. I made sure to gather everything you needed. I kept up with your development through online resources to see what was happening with you every single week.

But there is one thing I failed to do... and that is to research something that would forever change your life and mine. I will never be done telling you how sorry I am. I want you to know that it was the worst mistake of my life.

You see, I was 18 years old, and your dad was 19. He was circumcised as a baby, and at the time, I thought it was a normal thing to do and I didn't question it. I just thought it was normal...

I was wrong.

I was in labor for 17 hours and pushed for two and a half. I ended up having a c-section. I fell asleep from exhaustion and I completely missed your birth. I met you about 30 minutes later. You were the most gorgeous baby. I loved you so much. I nursed you - I had been looking forward to this my whole pregnancy. I was so excited to be able to give my child what was best for him. I was able to breastfeed you about three times before the doctor asked if we wanted them to circumcise you. I immediately said yes. I'm so ashamed of how quick I was to say yes and not ask any questions. Young and dumb, I was. The doctor told us that it was a "fast, easy procedure" - that we had nothing to worry about. And I believed him.

We asked if your daddy could be in the room with you. And so he was there and he watched the entire circumcision surgery while I was sitting in my hospital room. I was thinking about you the whole time...

And then I heard your loud wailing from down the hall.

It hurt my heart that you were in so much pain. And yet, I still thought it was necessary at the time. The doctor didn't tell me that it wasn't.

What had I done? I hurt my baby...

When they brought you back to me you looked so sad. It just didn't click in my mind exactly what had happened. You were different, but they told me you "did great." It was the line that they give to the masses of ignorant parents who will believe everything a doctor tells them. That used to be me. Never again. I was told you only cried because you were unwrapped. That was a big fat lie. When I saw your penis while changing your diaper - (wow) - I cringed. It made me feel so bad. It hurt me to see you in so much pain. It was bloody. It looked so unnatural. Because it truly was unnatural.

I tried to care for this wound, and it still adhered. We took you to the doctor and he forcibly pulled it so far back... yet again you wailed in pain and I just sat there and let him do it. I wanted to break down and cry. Since then, your skin has torn on its own when I have tried to change you. The look in your eyes when that happened - there are no words for it. The pain I felt inside my own heart was unbearable. I tried not to cry every single time. I started noticing how I was not okay with all of this. I've hated diaper changes because I have to see with my own eyes what I did to you each time. I struggle with myself every day. I hate myself for this decision. I remember every time I change your diaper, when I give you a bath, and when you run around naked. I try to ignore the thoughts, but I still remember. And I will never forget the way you cried that first day from down the hall...

Son, I'm extremely sorry. There are not enough 'sorrys' in the world. All I am hoping is that you do not grow up to hate me... but, honestly, I would understand if you do. Months after, I became friends with someone on Facebook named Amy. She always shared links and pictures of circumcision. I thought it was kind of silly and dumb at first, but I saw her posts every single time. And then, one day, she posted a picture of an infant crying. I don't quite remember what it said, but it got to me. And I cried. That was the moment when I reflected nonstop on what had happened to you. I cried harder and harder and held you close. I felt betrayed. I thought doctors always told patients the truth - the whole truth. I was so angry that no one told me the many reasons not to circumcise - and the many reasons to keep you intact.

Only one person suggested not circumcising before you were born - and I never bring this up because it makes me feel guilty that I ignored the suggestion. It was your grandma who told me not to do it. I told her it was 'normal' here to circumcise. And that should have tipped me off right from the beginning - only in the United States do people routinely circumcise newborn baby boys. Why didn't I listen to her?

After you were circumcised, you never nursed again.

I was only able to breastfeed you those three times in the first hours of your life. Over 75% of newborn babies don't readily nurse after circumcision surgery. Many will once again breastfeed as they heal and recover from this trauma. But you were one of the 75%, and you would never again go back to breastfeeding. It hurt, so bad. It still does. I see a breastfeeding mom and think about what it would have been like... How jealous I am. All because I made you go through a painful, unnecessary surgery unwillingly. And son, I deeply regret it.

I love you with all my heart, and what you have lived through will not be in vain. I now fight for other little boys and their genital autonomy. I have saved a handful from having the same done to them. I will never stop fighting for babies who do not have a choice of their own. And Amy? She will forever be a part of my life. I will always love her for what she has done for us. To me, she is a hero. She is my hero.

I'm telling you this so you will know what happened to you. I love you, I've loved you, and I will always love you. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me one day for something I did, of which I had no knowledge on... because I cannot forgive myself.

Love,
Mom ❤


Hear from additional parents with circumcision regret and those who are keeping future sons intact:
I Circumcised My Son: Healing From Regret


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Genital Autonomy Pumpkin Patch



Have a carved or decorated pumpkin this fall that you're using to spread the message of genital autonomy for all? We'd love to see your creation! Send to SavingSons@gmail.com and we'll include it in the gallery of spooky goodness here. All submissions will receive a set of "Holiday Info Cards" (view front/back here) for sharing through the coming Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. Provide your mailing address when sending in your pumpkin photo if you'd like to receive the intact info cards.

See more related images in the Halloween Advocacy album at SOS here.

Carved by Laura of Intact Virginia

Carved by Sarah of Intact Maryland

Pumpkin painted by Erin of Intact Rhode Island

Both babies born perfect - no need to carve!
By Ashley at The Heady Housewife

Public chalking by Shannon of Intact Hawaii

Created by Kelly of Intact New York

Carved by Lindsey of Intact NoVa

Pumpkin entry from 2012 contest
painter unknown (drop us an email if it is you!)


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Circumcision Tool Kits for Educators



✰ Circumcision Tool Kits for Educators ✰
Fundraiser

Over the past eight years advocates and educators working alongside Saving Our Sons have hosted numerous expo event booths across North America in an effort to educate new and expecting parents and birth/baby professionals on the realities of circumcision, and the benefits of keeping children intact. One powerful set of tools we have found to be monumentally beneficial in these educational efforts is the circumcision kit. When parents are able to see and hold circumcision instruments in their hands, to know first hand how they work, and to imagine their own baby restrained in the circumstraint, a powerful shift in perspective takes place.

As these educational efforts have continued to be duplicated among Intact Chapters across the U.S., Canada and abroad, we have found that there is a dire need to have 2 full circumcision tool kits that can be passed around between leaders for various expos, events, demonstrations, and educational opportunities in the classroom. We were generously gifted with a circumstraint and materials for use in teaching by the late Van Lewis and his family, and yet we've regularly had to turn people away from borrowing these materials simply because they were already in use. It is our goal with this fundraiser to achieve the funding for two full kits that can be checked out by advocates for any event, in any location, with genital autonomy awareness and education as its foundation.

You can view several of the past events we have been a part of at the Events & Expos Page, and we encourage you to also become involved in local advocacy in whatever fashion fits your unique style. Raising the rate of genital autonomy for all is an important mission, and one that each of us can play a life-changing role in.



Circumcision Tool Kit Needs:
(underlined items are still needed)

2 Circumstraints - one circumstraint graciously funded by Linda with Intact New York; one circumstraint generously given by SavingGreys Martingale Collars with Intact Michigan

2 Circumstraint Posey Restraining Strap sets - $25 each = 50 = one set of straps funded by Linda of Intact New York; one set funded by David B. 

2 Gomco Clamps - $9 each = 18

2 Plastibells - Donated by Rob in New York

2 Mogen Clamps - $12 each = 24

2 Brit Milah Shields - $15 each = 30

2 Retractable scalpels for circumcision - Donated by Rob in New York 

2 Surgical scissors for circumcision - Funded by Alison in Florida 

2 Circumcision probes - $19

2 Hemostat locking clamps for circumcision - $6 each = 12

2 5-piece sets of Life/form glans/foreskin baby models (to demonstrate how infant genital cutting happens in person - this is very impacting in classes/workshops/expos) = $120 = funded in part by Jennifer C.

6 books to accompany the kits as examples at expos (2 sets) = $126

2 custom containers with packing, plus shipping costs for transit between educators and events (30 x 24 x 6) = $140 = 1/2 funded by Permian Basin CPR of Stanton, TX

To sponsor the cost of one item from the above list, or to give in any amount that you are able, please follow the instructions below or use the donate button provided. We will list donors by first name only to maintain privacy for individuals, and link to business sponsors when this information is available. If you are giving toward one item in particular, or wish to be thanked/linked-to in a specific manner, please include a note with your gift or email SavingSons@gmail.com

THANK YOU for making this powerful, educational effort a reality.


If you prefer to give without PayPal taking out 5%, you may mail to the address below or do so in the following manner:

1) Go to PayPal.com
2) Click the "Send Money" "To Friends/Family"
3) Enter SavingSons@gmail.com
4) Put in the amount you wish to give
5) Enter a note that this is "For Tool Kit"


If you work in a medical establishment and have one of the above items to donate in leu of funding, please email SavingSons@gmail.com Or mail to:

Saving Our Sons
P.O. Box 1302 
Virginia Beach, VA 23451


Educational Tool Kit Sponsors:


Individuals:

Janice

Robert

Elise

Kenza

Alexis

Linda

Corey

Elizabeth

Ashley

Alison

Melvin

Marigrace

Danelle

Lo

Amie

Lindsey


Amount Remaining to Fully Fund:
$444
updated 10.17.16



The circumstraint and tools used in the upcoming film, American Circumcision, are courtesy of Saving Our Sons and those who have donated toward these circumcision tool kits for education. If you are a film maker or educator in need of materials for pro-intact awareness raising purposes, email SavingSons@gmail.com

THANK YOU
for helping us fund these kits!



American Circumcision is a film by Brendon Marotta and is not directly associated with Saving Our Sons.

Marching Forward: Telling My Son About Circumcision

By Danielle LeRoy © 2013


I am a part of a group of parents. We don't want to be grouped together, but we love each other. We don't want to have to comfort each other, but we do. We don't want to feel the way we feel...but we do. We are mothers and fathers with circumcised sons. We are parents that unknowingly made a decision that was never ours to make. We also speak out against routine infant circumcision and we do it because we know the horror. We know the pain it causes. We know the pain that it causes because the boys we love the most survived it.

From the moment that I discovered the truth about circumcision I knew I would have to tell my boys that I chose it for them. I knew I would have to apologize and explain it to them. For almost 2 years it lived in the back of my mind. My oldest son is almost 6 and is reading and absorbing everything. He started reading my intact info cards and sounded out “penis” and I knew the day was quickly approaching.

March 2013 I was planning our first visit to Washington D.C. for Genital Integrity Awareness Week. I booked the hotel and put aside money for gas and food. I requested time off from work. I was fund raising for the event night and day! I was eating, sleeping and breathing activism. Then one day, while in discussion with other Intact Network Directors I realized -- C was going to come with me and see the signs that pictured babies being circumcised and he may overhear conversations about the dangers of circumcision. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I had to tell him.

For three days I was on egg shells. What do I say? What words do I use? Do I tell him everything? C is a kind person, he is very empathetic and feels everything very deeply. It is fair to say that he is his mother's son. I knew that once I told him, he would share in my own heart ache.

I couldn't let this consume me any longer. One night, as I finished up some work, I took a deep breath and dove in. I recorded the conversation so that I could refer back to it. I knew his words would be important to me and to our story. What follows is a portion of this recording.

Deep Breath 

“Hey, C, come here... I want to talk to you about something. So, [Deep Breath] you know we are going to Washington D.C. in a couple of weeks?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Do you remember what I said about why we are going?”

“No.”

“Ok, well that is what I want to explain to you.”

Can I make this upbeat? No. I can't but I am going to try! 

Deep Breath.
Deep Breath.

“My friends and I give
0.out those little cards, and I wear these bracelets, and I wear my shirts to the gym and we write those messages on my car.”

Deep Breath.
Deep Breath.

“We talk to people about... to moms that have boys. We talk to them about something called... [*sob*] ...we talk to moms about something called circumcision.”

There I said it. Circumcision. I spit it out like sour milk.

“About work?” His little face was so confused.

“No. It is something...it is something that in the past that doctors have told moms was good for their babies. Doctors sometimes said that it was good. But now I have done all this reading, and all this learning. And I found out that...I found out that the doctors were wrong. It is NOT good for babies.”

“It is NOT good for babies?! What is it?” His eyes were strained, this look of concern was so obvious. 

“It is a surgery that some babies have...[*sob* DEEP BREATH] It is a surgery that some babies have that...when you are born you are born with some skin on the top of your penis, that is called foreskin. It is there to protect the end of your penis. They take that off, in this surgery, when you are really little.”

I have no idea what words to use. How much is too much? Is this too much? Should I end this conversation? Am I ready? Is HE ready to hear this? What have I done?

He still looks so confused. His big, blue eyes are so wide, I can see him thinking it all through.

“When you were born I asked the doctor if I should do it and he said that I should...[*sob*] So you had that surgery and so did your little brother. I didn't know that it wasn't good for babies. I had no idea. The doctor told me that it was right. And then after your brother was born I started doing more reading and I made a lot of new friends on Facebook. People started talking to me about it and I learned that it is not better for babies and it is not right.”

“Then why did they take the skin off my penis?” He looks horrified and I can see the fear in the strain of his face.

“A lot of doctors do it to make money. So, they told lies to make some moms believe that it was good. And the doctor that told me to do it, he lied to me and I never should've done that. But I believed the doctor because I thought he was right.”

“But he wasn't right.”

“No, he wasn't and I am so SO sorry.”

“It's okay.”

“So now -- now I know better and I know that we shouldn't do this to our babies. That is why I talk to people about it. That is why I write on my car, that is why I wear these bracelets, so that people will talk about it. So that people will know that when the doctors say that they SHOULD do it...I just want other moms to know that it is okay to NOT do it so that they don't feel like I feel sometimes. I feel sad sometimes that you are missing a part of your penis that might help you. I am very sorry that I listened to the doctor and didn't learn about it first.” 

“It's okay. The doctors shouldn't be telling lies like that.”

“No they shouldn't.”

“The doctors - we need to call them and tell them not to tell any more lies. They don't need to cut off foreskin anymore. And that is why we are going to Washington D.C.!” My little activist. There is a wrong and he wants to make it right. I told you he was his mother's son!

“That is right, we are going to talk to everyone that we can and we are going to tell them the truth. We are going to give them all the right information so that they won't do this to their babies. And we are going to go together.”

“Because that is what you have to do when you know what the truth is, you have to always tell the truth!”

“That is right! I am telling you this because while we are there you might see pictures of babies being circumcised, you might hear people talking about it and how bad it is for babies. I didn't want you to see it and be confused and not know what it was about. When we are there, if you see something that upsets you, you can just tell me and we will talk about it, okay?”

“You don't want to take off babies' penis skins! I am going to tell everybody that those doctors lied to you. Every single people - I am going to tell them!”

“If you ever have questions, I will answer them for you. You are such a smart boy, you know that? And you are so sweet and kind. You know that?”

“I know that because you always tell me that I am those things. I know that some doctors don't tell lies, but we should tell the other ones to not tell lies, like taking off penis skin. You can't cut that off because that is a part of our body. Wait... are we borned with that foreskin?”

“Yes.”

“Then we have to need it?”

“Yes. You are absolutely right. More moms should listen to their hearts, because I have learned that if it feels wrong, it probably IS wrong.”

“Why did those doctors tell you that lie? To take my penis skin off in a surgery?”

“They told me it was going to be good for you. That when you grow up you would be happy that it was done.”

This conversation went on loop for another few minuets, and I apologized many more times. It was his way of processing the whole thing, it made no sense to him and talking about it over and over was his way of putting it all together.

For the first few days after our talk, circumcision was brought up a lot. He said that he was going to tell everyone -- and he did! We go to our local YMCA regularly and he told his little friends there about foreskin and circumcision. He brought it up at home multiple times. I thought it would never end, but I knew it was his way of processing things, so I answered all of his questions honestly, no matter how many times he asked them.

Genital Integrity Awareness Week started and we were going to Washington D.C.! I was so excited to finally meet so many people that I have worked with on Facebook for the past couple of years! My boys were excited to make new friends, and C in particular was excited to advocate for babies. We spent 4 full days in D.C.


On our second day there I was at a DrMomma table with info cards and books on it. There was also a circumstraint and circumcision tools on it. I watched C approach the table and go straight to the tools. He touched each one. He was holding a scalpel and looked up at me.

“What are these things Mom?”

 I wasn't expecting this either. I took a deep breath, “That is a scalpel.” 

He put his hand on the velcro of the circumstraint. “What is this thing?”

My mind jumped to the day he was born. I saw his little 10lb body strapped to that board. I remembered his deep baby cry. His chest heaving. I have never been more sorry a day in my life. “That is the board they put the baby on to do a circumcision.”

“The doctor put me on one of these?” He was so casual.

“Yes.” If we weren't surrounded by hundreds of people I would have started crying. I could barely breathe. I guess saying it was done and seeing the circumstraint were two different things. Seeing that velcro in his little hand was overwhelming.

He picked up the gomco clamp. “Which one of these did the doctor use to cut off my foreskin?”

“I'm not sure honey, they didn't tell me.” I don't want to know.

He moved over to the restoration devices on the Saving Our Sons table. He asked how each one worked and I took them apart and explained to him how he could, when he is older if he wants to, restore his foreskin. I explained to him that a lot of men do it and if he wanted to when he was older we could talk about it and find one that worked for him. Once he seemed satisfied he went back to playing with his friends.


On our 3rd day in D.C. was the big march to the White House! I was so excited -- we had over 100 people in the march and lots of kids! I had never done anything like this before, but I was ready! People around us were chanting, “His Body! His Choice!” and C asked me what they meant, so I explained the phrase to him. He asked if he could say it too, I told him that he could say anything he felt like saying, so he started quietly chanting, “Circumcision is not your decision!” He looked up at me and asked if that was okay to say. I said, “Of course it is, if that is what you feel!” Tears stung my eyes. This beautiful boy with all his courage was speaking out against circumcision on his own. He knew as much as I knew. He wears the scar of my own ignorance, the ignorance of our society, and is speaking out. Something that grown men often can't even do -- he is doing it. My brave, strong, beautiful boy! 

We marched on and I was so full of pride, for him, for me, and for my friends around us. A man walked up to me and said, “You should be ashamed of yourself - having your kids out here!” C looked right at him, sign in hand, and said, “I am circumcised and I am angry!” The man turned around and walked away, no doubt he did not expect my 5 year old to speak up for himself! I could no longer hold back, tears fell from my eyes. He is circumcised and he is angry. He is circumcised and I am angry. This is why we are here, this is why we march. I march every day. Not to the White House, but I march.


I can honestly say that I am glad I talked about circumcision with my son. The weight of the conversation was lifted from my heart. I can now say, there is nothing I am withholding from him. It was hard. Looking into his big blue eyes and telling him that I made a choice for him that was not mine to make. That I took something from him. That I put him in harm's way. That I had a hand in some of his pain.

I love my son's honesty. I love his forgiveness. I love that he sees me as a hero, for him and for other babies. One of his friends asked him what his mommy did for work and he folded his arms over his chest and said, “She saves babies from circumcision!”

I don't save babies alone anymore, my boys and I do it together! We go carding, and they each have their own child size, “His Body, His Choice” bracelets. Since GIAW in D.C. we have done three large, formal events with Saving Our Sons in my city, and each time C is excited to tell parents attending the baby expos the truth about circumcision.

At one event an expectant mother left our table promising to keep her son intact and I was so happy I was crying! I had never changed someone's mind in person like that! C ran up to me and asked what was wrong and I said, “I am crying because the lady that just left has a baby boy growing in her belly and she is not going to circumcise him!” I was holding his sleeping brother at the time, but C wrapped him arms around me and said, “We saved a baby, Mom!” Yeah, we did baby. I couldn't save you, but you and me -- we are going to save many, many babies! ❤

Pick up a set of your own info cards to spread the word near you, get involved locally, or support one of many events and maternity expos in need of funding to take place across the nation and abroad. 


Related Reading: 

I Circumcised My Son: Healing From Regret (collection of parents' stories)

Keeping Future Sons Intact (public page)

Functions of the Foreskin

Foreskin Restoration Resources

Also by LeRoy: 

Circumcision: My Story

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Circumcision to prevent penile cancer?

By Jeff Graw, Intact Colorado

Estimated genital cancers in the U.S. (Vulvar and Penile Cancer rates) from Cancer.gov and Cancer.org

Why do we always hear that circumcision reduces your chances of getting penile cancer, but no one ever recommends female circumcision to reduce the chances of vulvar cancer? Three times more women will get (external) genital cancers, and three times more women will die from these this year compared to men. [1-2]

Pro-circumcision fanatic, Edgar Schoen, would like us to believe that penile cancer would drop significantly if all boys were circumcised, and that if no one was circumcised, the penile cancer rate would double. [3] Even if this were true, women would still be almost twice as likely as men to get cancer in the external genitalia. Female circumcision, then, would be more effective at reducing cancer rates than male circumcision is.

Schoen also states that the statistics from Israel prove the benefits; the penile cancer rate there is 0.1 per 100,000 compared to 1.0 per 100,000 in Denmark. We must always be careful with these kinds of statistics because they can be misleading. Consider just one factor: penile cancer incidence versus age distribution. Only 10.5% of Israel’s population is over 65 years old [4], whereas 18% of Denmark’s population is over 65 [5], and most penile cancer occurs in men over 65 [6]. This one factor alone cuts the 10x benefit of circumcision in half. [7]

Another group of researchers published that intact men (in the same demographic) were 3.2 times more likely to have penile cancer. [8] However when we consider that circumcision removes about half of the skin on the penis [9-10], we see that the benefit is only slightly greater than the amount of tissue removed. The benefit provided by circumcision is further reduced if phimosis is properly diagnosed and treated. Phimosis is diagnosed in adults, not children [11]; it is a condition where the foreskin does not retract to allow proper hygiene; it affects about 1% of intact men [12]. Phimosis is easily treatable; treatment costs are low, and most of the time surgical intervention is unnecessary. [13-15] Another group of researchers suggests that phimosis increases the risk of penile cancer by a factor of 16. [16] When phimosis is factored out, intact men are actually half as likely to have invasive penile cancer as circumcised men, as acknowledged by the American Academy of Pediatrics:
In fact, in men with an intact prepuce and no phimosis, there is a decreased risk of invasive penile cancer (OR: 0.5). [This] suggests that the benefit of circumcision is conferred by reducing the risk of phimosis. [17]
Considering that phimosis is easily treated, circumcision actually increases the risk of penile cancer.

Can this result be correct? Possibly; keep in mind that the foreskin has immunological capabilities, and so is able to fight disease. [18] So the endless discussions and studies by Schoen and others are meaningless distractions from the final result. Circumcision is then an invasive surgical alternative to simple hygiene. Despite the obvious conclusion, the AAP still makes the following statement about circumcision and penile cancer reduction:
It is difficult to establish how many male circumcisions it would take to prevent a case of penile cancer, and at what cost economically and physically. One study with good evidence estimates that based on having to do 909 circumcisions to prevent 1 penile cancer event, 2 complications would be expected for every penile cancer event avoided. However, another study with fair evidence estimates that more than 322 000 newborn circumcisions are required to prevent 1 penile cancer event per year. This would translate into 644 complications per cancer event, by using the most favorable rate of complications, including rare but significant complications. The clinical value of the modest risk reduction from circumcision for a rare cancer is difficult to measure against the potential for complications from the procedure. In addition, these findings are likely to decrease with increasing rates of HPV vaccination in the United States. [17]
The American Cancer Society has been an outspoken opponent of infant circumcision in the prevention of both penile and cervical cancers, claiming that circumcision is not a “valid or effective measure to prevent such cancers.” [19] The ACS believes that the incidence of penile and cervical cancers can be significantly reduced without cutting off body parts. Not smoking and good hygiene are big factors in prevention, but the ACS also believes that vaccines against HPV should also be used. [20]

Two types of HPV (types 16 and 18) are responsible for 70% of all cervical cancers and nearly half of all vaginal, vulvar, and penile cancers. [21] How effective are the HPV vaccines? “The trials demonstrated nearly 100% vaccine efficacy in preventing cervical precancers, vulvar and vaginal precancers, and genital warts in women caused by the vaccine types, as well as 90% vaccine efficacy in preventing genital warts and 75% vaccine efficacy in preventing anal precancers in men.” [22] The same benefits should be observed for penile cancer, but because penile cancers are not seen until old age, the results are not yet fully known. Circumcision is 19th century medicine; today we have better solutions than cutting our genitals.

References

[1] http://www.cancer.org/cancer/penilecancer/detailedguide/penile-cancer-key-statistics
[2] http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/vulvar/HealthProfessional/page1
[3] http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/105/3/e36.full
[4] https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/is.html
[5] https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/da.html
[6] http://menshealth.about.com/od/cancer/a/cancer_penis.-0FR.htm
[7] http://circumcisionthepainfuldilemma.wordpress.com/table-of-contents/chapter-14/ See discussion comparing prostatic cancer between Sweden and Israel.
[8] http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/85/1/19.abstract?ijkey=f732b0a0f58a9a7c8809c7dd65f6cd5bde299db5&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha
[9] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ceht-3xu84I
[10] http://www.foreskin.org/3zones-c.htm
[11] http://www.cirp.org/library/general/oster/
[12] http://www.freemd.com/phimosis/
[13] https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/7009/1/js05033.pdf Caution should be exercised in reading this; their diagnosis of phimosis in boys is now outdated. Nevertheless, the treatment results show a very high success rate.
[14] http://www.freemd.com/balanitis/overview.htm This is the treatment for actual adult phimosis caused by various infections.
[15] http://www.phimocure.net/ This is treatment for actual adult phimosis caused by a physical narrowing of the foreskin end.
[16] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11405332
[17] http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/3/e756.full.pdf+html
[18] http://www.gr8birth.com/circumcision.html
[19] http://www.cirp.org/library/statements/letters/1996-02_ACS/
[20] http://www.cancer.org/cancer/penilecancer/detailedguide/penile-cancer-prevention
[21] http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/HPV#r7
[22] http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv-vaccine-hcp.htm


Read more from Graw:

HIV in the Circumcised U.S. up to 500% Higher than Intact Nations 

Void of Empathy: Medical Professionals Joke About Circumcision


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Circumcision From the Perspective of Protecting Children

By Eran Sadeh © 2013
More from Sadeh at his website, Gonnen.org (Protect the Child)


My name is Eran Sadeh. I am Israeli. I am Jewish.

I was born 43 years ago in Tel Aviv, a healthy baby with a perfect body. 8 days after I was born one man held my tiny legs down while another man cut a part of my penis off with a knife.

I was in pain, I screamed, I bled. It’s over. But the part that was cut off from my penis is forever gone.

36 years later my son was born. Two days before his planned circumcision, while searching online for recommendations on the doctor-mohel we chose, I stumbled upon the following paragraph from The Guide for the Perplexed by Maimonides, the great Jewish philosopher:
As regards circumcision, I think that one of its objects is to limit sexual intercourse, and to weaken the organ of generation as far as possible, and thus cause man to be moderate. Some people believe that circumcision is to remove a defect in man’s formation; but every one can easily reply: How can products of nature be deficient so as to require external completion, especially as the use of the foreskin to that organ is evident. The bodily injury caused to that organ is exactly that which is desired; This is, as I believe, the best reason for the commandment concerning circumcision.
I was shocked. I realized that the Jewish motivation for circumcision was diminishing sexual pleasure, the same motivation as the one behind female genital cutting.

I was so amazed by this text, so I went on to read every piece of information I could find about the part that was cut off from my penis. The more I read and understood the anatomy and functions of the foreskin, the more it became impossible to escape the painful and enraging realization that my body was violated, that my penis was damaged and diminished in its capacity to sense pleasure, and that I will never be able to experience and enjoy sex as nature intended it.

The amputation of the foreskin removes a highly erogenous tissue the size of an index card on a male adult. A man who is missing that covering tissue of the penile shaft, feels less pleasure, because he does not have the thousands of nerve endings that went with the tissue that was amputated. The foreskin serves as a protective sleeve that slides up and down the penile shaft, reduces friction and stimulates the specialized nerve endings and the head of the penis and so it makes for more comfortable and pleasurable sex for both partners.

I found reports showing that in Israel alone hundreds of baby boys are rushed every year to emergency rooms and operating rooms to treat complications following the amputation of the foreskin.

I learned that studies show that the pain suffered by the baby during circumcision is traumatic and adversely affects his reactions to pain later in life, and I read testimonies by mothers about the screaming of their boys during the healing period, when the open circumcision wound comes in contact with urine.

Thanks to all the information that was revealed to me that day, my wife and I also decided to leave our son intact, so I called the doctor-mohel and cancelled the scheduled circumcision.

As you can see, circumcision is nothing but a euphemism for forcibly amputating a healthy body part of a helpless child, causing irreversible bodily damage and pain and putting the child at risk. All this in the name of religion and tradition.

This will not do in a country that protects children’s human rights, especially the right to bodily integrity and the right to equal protection by the law.

A note to doctors: you have no business performing religiously motivated circumcisions. It is a violation of the first rule of your code of ethics, which is: Do No Harm. A forcible amputation of a healthy body part of a non-consenting minor without medical indication is an assault that causes bodily damage and this bodily damage gives rise to both a criminal liability and a civil liability, which cannot be waived. A consent by the parents to circumcision is invalid, because parents cannot authorize an amputation of a healthy body part of their child without medical necessity. Doctors, you are not cutting machines. Your professional obligation is to heal and treat a patient. If the child before you is healthy, whether a boy or a girl, you do not cut anything from his or her body.

Postponing circumcision to an age when a person can legally consent to amputate a part of his penis is the only legal and ethical way out of this conflict of rights. My body – My choice. This solution does limit the freedom of religion. But it is only temporary. If, however, you forcibly amputate the foreskin of a child when he is a minor and cannot give consent, you trump his right to bodily integrity for ever.

I am happy to be a part of a global movement to eradicate forced circumcision of minors. All over the world, men like myself who are hurt by the amputation of their foreskin, are speaking up and letting their voices be heard.

Mothers and fathers – learn about the advantages of a normal intact penis, learn about the disadvantages of a cut penis, and join the 80% of the sane world where parents welcome their sons to life without violating their bodily integrity, without hurting them, and without putting them at risk.


The images (above, below) are from a press conference held in Berlin on September 12th 2012 by the Deutche Kinderhilfe, a German children’s aid organization, under the title: Circumcision from the perspective of protecting children. 



You can view my statement here:


Find further resources by and for Jews on the subject of circumcision at the Judaism & Brit Milah resource page.



Healthy Newborn Dies Post Circumcision Hemorrhage



Jayvas Carson
Coeur d'Alene Pediatrics (CDA)

• Jayvas was born naturally on November 15th 2008, a very healthy baby boy. He was full term.

• On 11-28-2008 he was circumcised by Dr. Beth Martin of Coeur d'Alene Pediatrics. While in the office he bled excessively. It took about fifteen minutes of constant pressure to the sight to get Jayvas to stop bleeding. He was sent home from the doctor's office with instruction to have his blood checked the following week as it was a Friday. Dr. Beth Martin thought he may have a bleeding disorder because of the excessive bleeding, but did not think it needed to be checked until the following week.

• When home and beginning to change his diaper, about an hour and half after leaving doctor's office, he was again bleeding.

• Jayvas was taken to Kootenai emergency room, where he saw Dr. Henry Amon Jr. When Jayvas arrived his diaper was full of blood. Dr. Amon examined Jayvas and said that it is normal for babies to bleed after they have been circumcised. He said there was nothing he could do - that Jayvas was not 'bleeding enough.' He was told about the visit with Dr. Martin and that she thought Jayvas may have a bleeding disorder. He ordered for Jayvas' blood to be drawn. While at the hospital, Jayvas filled two diapers with blood. Dr. Amon saw the diapers and again said it was normal. Jayvas was sent home after Dr. Amon said that there was nothing that could be done and that it was completely normal.

• Jayvas was taken home where he continued to bleed.

• He was rushed backed back to the emergency room a couple hours later, with blood soaked through his diaper and onto his clothes. He was lethargic and very pale. Jayvas was examined by Dr. Jeffrey Zurosky. Dr. Zurosky immediately put SurgiSeal on the circumcision site. The bleeding stopped immediately. Dr. Zurosky contacted Dr. Neff from CDA pediatrics to find out what treatment he would like done with Jayvas. Dr. Terrence Neff said to give Jayvas a vitamin K shot and ordered more blood tests to be done and wanted to see Jayvas the following morning. Dr. Neff said that Jayvas did not need a blood transfusion.


• The following morning, Saturday, Jayvas was seen by Dr. Terrence Neff at CDA Pediatrics. He said that Jayvas lost over 30 percent of his blood. He was still waiting for the results of the blood tests. He again said Jayvas did not need a blood transfusion, and that he would replace the blood volume on his own. He said he wanted Jayvas to take an iron supplement, and that he would recheck him on Monday.

• Jayvas did not bleed anymore following the SurgiSeal application.

• Jayvas was seen again by Dr. Terrence Neff on Monday. At this appointment Dr. Neff rechecked Jayvas' blood and said that Jayvas lost over 40% of his blood. Dr. Neff said that Jayvas lost a lot of blood, but again said that Jayvas did not need a blood transfusion. He said that babies are miraculous creatures and he would replace the blood in no time. He said that Jayvas was fine and would not need to be rechecked until his next well baby exam. Jayvas was still pale at this time. Dr. Neff repeated that it was normal for the blood he lost with circumcision, but that he would replace the blood on his own.

• Jayvas' blood tests came back. Jayvas did not have any kind of bleeding disorders, yet he bled excessively from the circumcision that was performed by Dr. Beth Martin of Coeur d'Alene Pediatrics.

• On Christmas night Jayvas began coughing a little bit. He also had a very small amount of blood under his nose and in his mouth. It was thought to come from his nose.

• Jayvas was seen by Dr. Terrence Neff on the 26th of December for the cough. Dr. Neff admitted Jayvas to Kootenai Hospital for pneumonia.

• When Jayvas arrived at the hospital he was breathing just over 100 breaths a minute. It was ordered for him to be put on oxygen and they started antibiotics for the pneumonia. His breathing rate immediately slowed when he was given oxygen. He stayed on the oxygen until the 29th. He was taken off the antibiotics after it was discovered Jayvas did not have bacterial pneumonia. When Jayvas' blood was checked, his blood count was still low. Jayvas stayed at the hospital until the 30th of December when Dr. Neff discharged him. Dr. Neff said there was nothing more they could do and that Jayvas would continue to get better at home. Jayvas still had a cough and a low blood count.

• The evening Jayvas was discharged he began taking longer pauses in his breathing followed by a few fast breaths. Jayvas was taken back to Kootenai hospital. While on the way, CDA Pediatrics was called to see if he could be brought back to the pediatrics unit without going through emergency. Dr. Beth Martin advised that Jayvas was fine. She said Jayvas just got out of the hospital - he had to be okay after just being released. She said that it probably seems worse than it really is from parents being paranoid from the hospital stay. She said that she would see Jayvas at the office if he was still having problems in the morning.

• Jayvas was taken to see Dr. Beth Martin at CDA Pediatrics on December 31st. She examined Jayvas and said he was doing good. Jayvas was still breathing fast with longer pauses. He was also making grunting noises while breathing. Dr. Martin agreed to monitor Jayvas' oxygen stats for twenty minutes. During this time Dr. Martin was never in the room, she had the nurse come in a couple times to read the monitor. The nurse noted that Jayvas was making "funny" noises while breathing. Jayvas' oxygen readings ranged from the mid-eighties to the mid-nineties. Dr. Martin came back into the room after twenty minutes. Dr. Martin said that his oxygen saturation was fine and that he was doing good. She said Jayvas did not need to be seen until his next well baby exam. Dr. Martin then agreed that she would check Jayvas' weight, but if he had not lost any weight that there would be nothing she could do. Jayvas had not lost any weight since at the hospital, nor had he gained any. Dr. Martin said there was nothing more she could do and that Jayvas was doing well.

• About an hour after leaving Dr. Martin's office Jayvas began making even more grunting noises and was breathing even faster. Jayvas was taken to see Dr. Terrence Neff at CDA pediatrics. While bringing Jayvas into the office blood was noticed in his mouth. Jayvas was brought in emergently without an appointment. Dr. Neff saw Jayvas. Dr. Neff saw the blood in Jayvas' mouth. Dr. Neff noted that Jayvas was breathing ninety breaths per minute. Dr. Neff noted that Jayvas was making grunting noises while breathing. Dr. Neff said Jayvas was back to the same condition as he was when he was admitted to Kootenai Hospital. Dr. Neff said he did not know what was wrong with Jayvas. Dr. Neff went and made a phone call and came back to the room, saying he did not know what was wrong with Jayvas. Dr. Neff said that he wanted Jayvas to be admitted and seen by a specialist in Spokane at Sacred Heart Children's Hospital. Dr. Neff said to drive Jayvas to the hospital. When asked about having Jayvas transported by ambulance Dr. Neff said it was not necessary, that he would be fine if he was driven there in a private car. When asked about the blood present, he could not explain where it came from or why he would have blood in his mouth. Dr. Neff was asked again if he was sure it was okay for Jayvas to be driven by private car to Spokane in the condition that Jayvas was in. Dr. Terrence Neff of Coeur d'Alene Pediatrics chuckled and again said yes, 'as long as you don't stop for burgers and shakes along the way' Jayvas will be fine.

• Jayvas was transported by private car to Spokane, WA from Coeur d'Alene, ID on December 31st, 2008. This was one of the worst winters, with record breaking amounts of snow for the Coeur d'Alene/Spokane area. While in route to Sacred Heart, Jayvas went into full cardiac arrest. Jayvas was taken to the closest emergency room. When Jayvas arrived there he was not breathing and had no pulse. The emergency doctors worked on Jayvas for over 20 minutes before getting his heart to begin beating again. Jayvas was placed on full life support and transported to Sacred Heart Children's Hospital.

 • Jayvas arrived at Sacred Heart Children's Hospital on December 31st 2008. The doctors there said that Jayvas was very sick because of the loss of oxygen during the cardiac arrest. Jayvas was given a blood transfusion at sacred heart. Jayvas never replenished the blood he had lost from circumcision. He had a few tests done and it was confirmed that Jayvas was completely brain dead from the loss of oxygen during the cardiac arrest. Jayvas continued to go into cardiac arrest at Sacred Heart. The doctors said they would no longer perform CPR because of the damage that had been done from the initial cardiac arrest. Jayvas' body quit for the last time on January 1st 2009.

 • Dr. Neff has said that he considered Jayvas to be stable when he saw him. Jayvas was breathing at 90 breaths a minute, grunting noises, oxygen saturation in the low 90s, with blood noted and visible in his mouth from no obvious source, pale in color, and had a low hemoglobin count when Dr. Neff saw him. Dr. Neff was asked if he could go back and do anything differently knowing now that Jayvas went into cardiac arrest while in transport in a private car via his instruction, would he do anything differently? Dr. Neff said even knowing the outcome he would not have changed a single thing that was done when he saw Jayvas. He still would have advised to drive Jayvas in a private car.


Source: Public sharing on 5.23.13 on CraigsList at: http://spokane.craigslist.org/vnn/3825460019.html

This little one's story was flagged by readers and removed from CraigsList on 6.20.13  It is shared here so that his suffering and loss are not in vain. Please, research thoroughly before your son's arrival.

Related reading and resources at Death From Circumcision

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To the (Happily) Circumcised American Man

By Ethan Wright © 2013



Dear Sir:

If you are like me, you were circumcised at birth by a medical professional, in a hospital or a clinic of some kind. Your parents made the decision to have your foreskin amputated, and the doctor (or, perhaps, the nurse) performed the procedure without asking any questions, and without providing your parents with any information about what circumcision truly entailed. Of course, you don't remember any of this, because you were just a baby at the time. Your brain was too raw, and your memory-making faculties were not yet sharply defined. Nevertheless, the fact remains that you grew up not with the penis you were born with, but with a sculpted, man-made one -- the only unnatural thing on your otherwise un-altered body.

When you first learned of your own circumcision, you were somewhat confused, but came to accept it through the indifferent attitudes of those around you. You considered it an oddity, but believed that your parents would never have done something to you unless it was an indisputably good thing. You remained unsure of precisely what the foreskin was, because no one ever bothered to explain it you; indeed, most of the people you looked up to were unsure of it themselves. You resisted the urge to question the the procedure, and to ask why it was done to you, because you believed that whatever the reasons were, they must have been good ones. You never suspected that your native country, which you had been taught was in many ways an ideal society, would ever have allowed anyone to hurt you - especially when you were an innocent, defenseless newborn.

The unfortunate truth is that you were circumcised for the painfully simple reason that you were born in the United States of America, and that genital cutting has been a cultural norm here. There is no other 'reason,' just as there is no 'reason' why so many children around the world are unfairly condemned to death by starvation before they reach the age of ten. Go anywhere else in the so-called 'developed' world, and you will see that the vast majority of men are intact (never having been circumcised). Our country is unique in its promotion of this bizarre surgery. We don't see it as mutilation, for the same reason that the men and women of Sierra Leone don't feel that they are mutilated: we are used to it. It's hard to imagine, at first, that something so evil could have become acceptable to us through ubiquity alone, but one needs merely to take a retrospective glance at the horrors of the slave trade, or the atrocities of the Holocaust, to understand that ubiquity is sometimes all it takes to normalize the outlandish, to trivialize the inhumane.

As I stated above, the USA stands alone among 'developed' nations in its obsession with the compulsory amputation of the prepuces of its infant males. The benefits of the practice are hugely overblown, to the extent that many are simply invented out of thin air. The undeniable (yet heavily obscured) truth is that, whatever its supposed long-term benefits may be, circumcision constitutes a dramatic and irreversible alteration - nay, an inhibition - of a man's sexuality, achieved through the removal of a highly specialized, multi-purpose organ which has been carefully honed through millions of years of evolution to make sex as facile and as pleasurable as possible.

Allow me to take a guess at what you are thinking in this moment: "But the point of circumcision THESE days isn't to inhibit male sexuality! We do it for a number of valid reasons. We do it because it makes the penis cleaner. We do it because it lowers the risk of contracting and transmitting STIs when boys become sexually active. And we do it for aesthetic reasons - the circumcised penis is far more pleasing to the eye." I make the claim that all of this is pure and utter bunk from top to bottom, and none of these so-called 'reasons' is what really motivates the procedure. The true historical explanation for why this practice persists is far more pernicious than any of the backwards, vanilla justifications we have created for it.

The United States began its tradition of male circumcision with the explicit and unabashed intention of punishing the male organ, and suppressing our natural inclination to release sexual energy through masturbation. The practice persists because men and women who were wronged are more likely to trivialize what happened to them, and to inflict it on their own children. Whatever conscious justifications the modern parent may have for cutting their baby boy are a distraction from the true, historical purpose of it: to crush his sexuality, to obfuscate his manhood, to kill his spirit and virility forever. If this were not the true intent of the original proponents of circumcision, it never would have caught on, because it is the one thing that circumcision DOES achieve with an astoundingly high rate of success.

Another thought you might have: "But I was circumcised, and I don't feel I was sexually damaged." I'm sorry to be the one to inform you of this, but you were damaged, undeniably and irreversibly. You were damaged because healthy tissue was ripped and sliced away from your penis for no medical reason. You were damaged because your foreskin, which contains the majority of highly specialized, fine-touch nerve endings in your penis, was amputated, and as a result, you will never know what it would have felt like to have your whole body intact. You were damaged because you will never experience the ease of masturbation that comes with having a highly sensitive, motile tube of skin capable of massaging your entire sexual organ at once. You were damaged because you were taken from your mother's arms, strapped down on a table, and violated on the most intimate and sensitive part of your entire body, before you were able to speak, walk, or even see properly.

Luckily, the human body has an astounding way of compensating for all this damage, both mentally and physically. It is capable of clotting up the wound so you don't bleed to death. It is capable of relocating sexual pleasure so that you CAN still achieve orgasm. It is capable of growing new skin so that you don't hurt yourself during masturbation. And it is capable of suppressing painful memories that would haunt you forever if you were to remember them. But you can't regain what you lost, and that fact will never go away. It will remain true till the day you die, and you'll only ever get one life. This is your only chance to get a taste of what it means to be alive. Your reality is cruel and devastating: a whole human body is something you were simply not allowed to have in your short time on Earth, because you were born in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong sexual organs.

If you choose to face this reality, life is soon going to become nearly unbearable. As the days, weeks, and months go by, you will feel overwhelmed with painful emotions, including denial, anger, sadness, resentment, embarrassment, and disbelief. You may feel the need to confront your parents about what they did to you, and your parents may not want to hear it. Be prepared for all of this. Be prepared to spend some time mourning for what was taken from you, something beyond a piece of flesh; a piece of your humanity was stolen, and you can never get it back. This is as brutal as it gets. Don't let anyone tell you it isn't. Don't allow anybody to tell you that you were not violated. They are wrong, and you are right. If you believe in your pain, and allow yourself to experience it fully, you will find your way back to sanity. Keep sharing your feelings with everybody, including those who ridicule you. Don't be afraid of the backlash. It will get better.

If you choose to deny what I have written here, I beg you to reconsider if you ever are lucky enough to have a baby boy of your own. He will depend on you like no one else in the world ever will, and it is your duty to protect him from harm, even if his own government callously refuses to grant him that protection. You have a responsibility as a man, and as a human being, to question the society you live in, and to decide for yourself what is acceptable and what is reprehensible.

More Men Speak on Infant Genital Cutting


Infant Circumcision
Video by physician for educational purposes.




Georgetown University Lecture on Circumcision
Dr. Ryan McAllister



The Whole Story on Circumcision
Dr. Christopher Guest



Circumcision Research
Doctoral student and scientist, Ben Selfridge




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* Real Photos Below *
May not be suitable for the workplace.


















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Top Right: Circumcised by Plastibell
Bottom Right: Circumcised by Gomco

 

No national health organization in the world recommends routine infant circumcision.
A sampling of what is highlighted in circumcision policy statements:


Informational materials may be obtained at Etsy.

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