Dr. Oz and the Strangling Foreskin

It appears that Dr. Mehmet Oz would truly benefit from a nice, sit-down, man-to-man, physician-to-physican chat with Dr. Martin Winckler on all things foreskin. The two men appear worlds apart when it comes to their view of the foreskin -- Oz pointing out how "nasty" he sees the foreskin becoming, how much "cleaning" it needs, and if that's not enough to make you run to the nearest surgeon to have yours removed -- you may just have to anyway, because, according to Oz, it could strangle your penis! "And that's an emergency," he adds.

Winckler takes a much more foreskin-friendly approach to the human genitals. He recognizes the normalcy of the foreskin - after all, all mammals on earth are born with a foreskin (the 'clitoral hood' on female mammals). Winckler reminds us the foreskin is an effective, self-sustaining organ that serves to protect and preserve the penis (or clitoris). The majority of men and women in the world keep their foreskin for a lifetime, and never have a single issue with it. The foreskin needs no 'cleaning' - no special care. Rinse on occasion with warm water when in the shower or bath after puberty. That's it. In fact, when Oz's recommendations are taken to heart, and parents view their son's foreskin as dirty and in need of cleaning, THAT, Winckler says, is when problems arise.

What about phimosis? This fictitious, scary thing that Oz warns men of -- when the foreskin actually tries to strangle the life right out of your penis? Winckler calmly reminds us that (1) phimosis is usually a faulty diagnosis by an unknowledgable person, especially when it is proposed before a young man goes through puberty and (2) if the foreskin does become tightly trapped above the ridge of the glans (usually due to improper care), the best thing to do is (again) calmly cool down the penis (with cool water or cooler air) so that blood leaves the penis (it 'deflates'), and the foreskin can be gently pulled back over the glans. Problem solved. No ER visit to Oz necessary.

To avoid these issues altogether? Oz tells parents time and again they can cut that foreskin right off - get rid of it - it's "a parent's choice" after all... Yes, it's the most sensitive part of the body, bar none. Yes, it houses half of the erogenous tissue on the penis and plays an important role in sexual function. Yes, it is the only organ that protects the important glans... but what you don't ever know you are missing, you won't ever miss. Right? And besides "babies don't feel pain the same way adults do," says Oz in his book, YOU! Having a Baby. Anyone who has witnessed infant circumcision knows just how true, or rather untrue, that statement is.

Winckler suggests we instead learn proper intact care: i.e. keep your hands OFF the foreskin if it belongs to anyone other than you. Do not touch it. Leave it alone. Stop all the "cleaning" that Oz tells parents they must do, and you simply will not have the issues that arise only in a forcibly retracting, foreskin-meddling, North American culture.

For more from Dr. Winckler, see his excellent interview: "Hands Off My Foreskin! On the Care of Baby Boys."

Respond with research-based commentary on Oprah's hosted article: "Dr. Oz on Men's Health: Benefits and Risks of Circumcision."



  1. Dr Oz is a Turk, and Turkey is a country with variable devotion to Islam in all respects but one: the Islamic requirement that all men be circumcised before they start puberty is rigorously adhered to.

    Dr Winckler, like many Frenchmen, has a German name. Excepting Moslems and some Jews, French males are NOT circumcised.

    Both men seemingly talk a scientific line, but in fact both men are products of their respective cultures. Americans are blind to the way Dr Oz's view of the human penis is shaped by his culture, because Turkey and the USA share a common view on how the penis should look and function.

    The goal of intactivism over the next 30-50 years, is to shift the American mindset from alignment with Turkey to alignment with France and nearly all of nonMoslem Europe. There are urban Turkish families with little engagement with Islam (they are spearheading the recent protests in that country). Such families are ripe for intactivism.

  2. Why do people allow circumcision to prevail; here are their reasons and my solutions.


    Thank you

  3. Dr's should never ask the mother if the infant is to be butchered, because, she doesn't have one!

    1. While I agree that physicians should *never* ask if we want our baby's genitals amputated (be they girls or boys), women do have a prepuce, a 'foreskin' - the clitoral hood - and most of these mothers who are asked in the U.S. have theirs intact as well. Maybe grant their sons the same dignity of a complete body that they were given?

  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_zkKciuIpA This is a powerful video about circumcision with strong arguments against the practice. It was responsible for changing my mind about the process.

  5. Ignorance kills...
    have you seen the cases where babies are chopped "a bit too much" and they decide to thread him as a girl because people will make fun of his INCOMPLETE PENIS...

    well, my point is the c- procedure is completely unnecesary and HARMS millions of baby boys every year
    it is promoted by
    a) Men who dont have one because their equally ignorant parents "decided" so
    b) Ignorant doctors
    c) Stupid mothers (i'm a woman, i would never do that to my kid ) who think it is aestethic
    d) the people around the above
    e) jews / muslims

    i mean i read (online of course) an ignorant comment that went "if god gave his son for you, at least give your foreskin"
    it was clearly someone who has never even read the bible (i'm not religious, but it's a fun book to read)

    Even Jesus was AGAINST CIRCUMSICION (he didnt said that, he was more like "there shall be no difference between circumsided and non circ men")

    But can you imagine saying that in the middle of Jewish culture, and being Jew himself;
    if Jesus ever existed, he was a radical (hence his cruxifiction)

  6. Oh, I can't stand Dr. Oz.....this just makes his credibility a solid zero.


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