Most Read of 2015

We've had a power-packed year at Saving Our Sons throughout 2015! With over 100 expos and events, reaching thousands of people in 27 U.S. States, Canada, and Australia, the number of babies saved this year has been greater than any other, and the ripple effect is powerful. We are seeing a shift toward an intact nation once again! If you'd like to become involved in local leadership, and have a passion for research-based advocacy and gentle education, find your Chapter, and email to become involved. If you have a heart for supporting SOS and the work we do every day to advance genital autonomy for all, please join in our efforts:

Here at the SOS home page, these are the top 10 most read items of the year. Thank you for planting seeds, and saving babies and the adults they become. See you in 2016!

10. Neonatal Circumcision [A Video for Healthcare Professionals] -

9. Frail and Broken: Painful Memories of My Son's Circumcision -

8. If this Stained Circumstraint Could Talk -

7. Cameron Diaz on Circumcision -

6. Intact or Circumcised: A Significant Difference in the Adult Penis -

5. The Plastibell Lie -

4. Painful Sex: How 8 Months of Foreskin Restoration Makes it Better! -

3. Fine Touch Pressure Thresholds of the Human Penis -

2. Should I Circumcise? The pros and cons of infant circumcision -

1. U.S. Hospital Circumcision Rates by State -


Twice Circumcised, Twice Hurt: Regrets surrounding my son's multiple circumcision attempts

By Katie Richards © 2015

Artwork by Shaky Leone. Find more from Leone at:

My son was born perfect. I was 20 years old, and I asked my mom about circumcision. She said, matter of factly, "Everyone does it." The next day nurses took my son to be circumcised, and he was gone much longer than I expected.

When he came back, I could tell that something was very wrong. He had burst blood vessels on his face from screaming. I held him and cried. I went to change his diaper, and it was soaked in blood. I was terrified. I called the nurse back into the room, and she nonchalantly told me that he "was a bleeder" and they'd had to cauterize his penis for it to stop.

I held him again and cried -- immediately regretting my decision.

The healing process was hard. At times it looked like the head of his penis was going to fall off of his body. It was the color of liver. A nurse friend told me honestly, "I have never seen anything like that in my life."

Once he was 15 months old, I knew his body had not healed 'correctly.' There was an abundance of loose skin around the shaft, directly under the glans (head). I took him to a pediatrician who referred us to a pediatric urologist at children's hospital. The urologist scheduled a 'simple revision' surgery for the following month. He said my son would have 6 stitches and the healing would be easy.

Fast forward to the surgery: I was called back to a little room that had two chairs and a box of tissues sitting on a table. I was petrified. Luckily my son was stable, but the revision turned into a complete penile reconstruction.

They initially planned to remove the loose skin around the glans only. However, the previous circumcision was botched so badly that at the base of my son's penis, his remaining skin was far too tight. Because of this, doctors had to graft the skin from the glans/shaft of the penis onto the base. My 16 month old ended up with 40+ stitches in his penis by the end of surgery. The base of his penis split during the process, and had to heal from the inside out. The cost of this surgery ended up being approximately $11,000. All this money to repair a botched surgery that was unnecessary from the beginning.

In our photo below, we were laying in the bed during his recovery. They wanted us gone within an hour, but I demanded to stay in a private room until I could get him to calm down. He is 7 years old now, and very much has Asperger's syndrome. I have tried to ask if he has any sensation in his penis, but he doesn't really understand the question...

As a regret parent myself, I'm begging readers to research the benefits of keeping your son intact.

Additional stories from parents whose sons were circumcised:


Genital Autonomy Filter for Profile Photos: Awareness Raising in Social Media

After countless requests for an easy overlay filter for profile photos on Facebook, the collaborative efforts of several leaders have resulted in an easy-to-use "Twibbon" to show support of genital autonomy.

The idea surfaced when Leanna Kirch had the idea of raising awareness of genital autonomy in this fashion after seeing pride event filters. Kirch says, "Something clicked in my mind; this could be a great way to get [intact] information out there, even to those who may not agree or accept the information. When I posted my own profile picture with the overlay, several people were very excited and wanted one as well. They thought it was great and wanted to take part in it."

Kirch had used the International Genital Autonomy Symbol (signed into the public domain for free use by all advocates), paired with the site so that curious onlookers would have some place to go for more. The requests started rolling in to Saving Our Sons from people wanting an overlay of their own, and the demand was tough to keep up with.

Rally photos courtesy of Intact Michigan

We altered the overlay slightly - in both blue and red filters - so that it would fit well over any profile image - light or dark in background. Anthony Webster, Director of Intact Massachusetts, (above) volunteered to add the filter for anyone who desired to have one of their own, but the requests were coming into SOS by the hundreds (too many for any one person to handle). Instead, he found a quick and easy way that anyone can make a genital autonomy Twibbon (Facebook profile photo overlay) for their own profile, and has shared these with the community at large:

Blue Filter GA Symbol - 

Red Filter GA Symbol -

Deep Blue SOS Symbol -

White SOS Symbol -

Deep Blue SOS Up & Down:

White SOS Up & Down:

SOS 'Sunflower' light background top banner:
(use if your profile photo has a light background)

SOS 'Sunflower' dark background top banner:
(use if your profile photo has a dark background)


Genital Integrity Awareness Week (white):

Genital Integrity Awareness Week 2017 (colored):

Worldwide Week of Genital Autonomy (white):

Worldwide Week of Genital Autonomy (2016, colored):

Intact Pride (rainbow):


ACOG: Stop Cutting Babies! (white):

ACOG: Stop Cutting Babies! (2016, colored):

"With the strength of social media, showing your support for genital autonomy couldn’t be easier than with the help of a Twibbon," says Webster. "It only takes a second and a few clicks. It’s a great conversation starter that will open doors for you to help enlighten others."

With his creation, Webster paved the way for every advocate to take part in Kirch's desire for the GA filter. She writes, "I really hope the genital autonomy overlays will help to spread the message, and maybe even be a big contributing factor in the fight to end routine infant circumcision. As more and more people decide to use the overlay, it shows increased support for the cause, and hopefully information will spread rapidly."

State #i2 Filters






New York:





Email to request your state be added, or for any specific filter requests.

Photo from Melanie at Intact New Hampshire

 Photo from Angela at Intact Kentucky

SOS 'Sunflower' Filter (light background)
Photo from Danelle at Intact Virginia

Photo from Nancy at Intact Kentucky

Photo from Missy at Intact Michigan

Photo from Sarah at Intact Idaho

Photo from Brian at Intact Connecticut

Photo from Missy at Intact Michigan


10 Circumcision Myths: Let's Get the Facts Straight

By Joel Edwards for Organic Lifestyle Magazine
Full Text

In an effort to sell you medical services that are not needed, hospitals have continued a practice that was adopted as a preventative measure against masturbation. Instead of abandoning the practice once Americans became more sexually liberated, doctors and nurses have begun spreading a number of falsehoods and half-truths in order to justify the amputation a fully functioning organ immediately upon birth. Yes the foreskin is an organ, it has known immunological, sexual and protective functions.

Read about the realities of these 10 myths at Organic Lifestyle Magazine:

*Easier to Clean [Intact Care Resource Page]
*Prevents HIV [HIV Resource Page]
*Prevents Cancer [Penile Cancer facts]
*Babies Don’t Feel [Effectiveness of Anesthesia]
*Women Find it More Attractive [Intact Celebs]
*Prevents Urinary Tract Infections [UTI Resource Page]
*Doesn’t Affect Your Sex Life [Many ways it does]
*Useless Piece of Skin [It's not 'just skin']
*FGM is Different and/or Worse [All genital cutting harms]
*Phimosis is a Common Affliction that Must be Corrected with Circumcision [Phony Phimosis Diagnosis]

Happy Holidays!

☃ In years past we have loved hearing from families 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, to work in unison together in a genital autonomy effort, and we always look forward to hearing from you.

If you are sending greetings at this time of year, 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
Virginia Beach, VA 23451 

We will write back. :)

❄ Have a blessed holiday season. ❄


Tiffany's Story: Circumcision and its Impact on My Son

By Tiffany Becker © 2015

I am a regret mom.

I allowed my doctor to torture my son so that he could make a profit, and I will never forgive myself.

I 'researched' circumcision when I was pregnant. I saw the claims that it was cleaner, prevented urinary tract infections (UTIs) and cancer, and I believed them. I thought, "I don't know any men who are intact. I don't know any men that get UTIs or have penile cancer, so this must work. And doctors take an oath to do no harm so if my doctor is this adamant that it's necessary, it must be..."

My mom has been a nurse for 40 years and has assisted on dozens of circumcision surgeries. She says it's necessary and isn't so bad. My husband wants to prevent cancer/UTIs and doesn't want our son teased in the locker room. My babysitter wouldn't watch him if he was intact because she's heard it's 'dirty,' and there are zero other daycare openings for newborns in our area.

My gut said no but everyone and everything else said yes.

My son was born and we had to stay more than 24 hours because he was born at 10 pm. When he was almost 24 hours old my husband asked when they would circumcise him, and they said not until right before we were discharged. I asked why. No one gave me an answer and my stomach churned.

The next day as they were preparing our discharge paperwork, my doctor came to get my son. I felt panic and looked around the room to tell my husband I couldn't do it, but he was gone to eat lunch.

My doctor told me again how necessary it was to do, and I reluctantly let him take my son away.

When he was brought back he was an entirely different baby. The light in his eyes was gone. 15 minutes later they came in to say that they forgot to weigh him while he was naked so I needed to undress him and remove his diaper so they could weigh him now. I did and the gauze came off, too. It was a horrific sight. His penis was purple, swollen, raw and bleeding. It was bleeding so much. I was already crying and at that point it turned into sobbing. I was devastated at what I had allowed them to do to my baby.

He was screaming an awful, distressed scream. In fact, the word 'scream' doesn't even describe the noise coming out of my son's mouth. It was a sound of pure agony.

The nurse said all the blood was normal. I asked what I could do to help him and she said nothing. NOTHING! This was insanity. Horror. Surely I was just having a nightmare. I am a good mom. I am a crunchy, gentle attachment parent. I breastfeed, I don't allow my children to cry unnecessarily. I protect my children. I spend every moment possible with my children. I put them before my needs. Always. Surely I couldn't have signed papers and let them do this to my baby.

He stopped breastfeeding.

He was agitated.

His sleep was restless and broken.

They sent us home with my son in shock and distress and told us we could do nothing to help him. 18 hours later he still wasn't breastfeeding. He hadn't peed or pooped, and he was now so jaundiced. We ended up in the emergency room. The nurse looked at me like I was crazy, said he was fine and asked, "Do you really want me to call the doctor in for this?"

My newborn baby hadn't eaten, peed or pooped in 18 hours and she acted like I was crazy for being so concerned. I was shocked and disgusted. I knew we had made the wrong decision and nobody would help my child.

A few weeks later the daycare lady who had told me she wouldn't watch an intact baby boy called me to say she was closing her daycare.

A year later I found out that nursing school had not taught my mom, a practicing nurse for 40 years, anything about the intact penis and its care. She had no idea that the foreskin was fused to the head of the penis at birth. I had to find reputable resources just for her to believe me.

Then I found Saving Our Sons and my world came crashing down.

I found that the reasons my doctor and husband said I needed to circumcise my son were all lies.

How had I let this happen? How was I bullied into not protecting my brand new son? Everything I knew, except my gut, said this was the right thing to do -- and I found out that every last shred of that information was wrong.

Fast forwarding to a few days ago:  I ripped a TINY piece of my nail off the nail bed. It is raw, swollen and so, so excruciating every time the tiniest thing touches it. The foreskin is fused to the glans (head) of the penis the same way my fingernail was fused to my finger. This pain is a tiny fraction of what my son experienced. I bumped my finger on the corner of the counter and nearly blacked out. Yet I was instructed to pull the remaining skin back from my son's circumcised penis and scrub poop and urine off his raw wound. Oh. My. God. I nearly can't handle this pain and it doesn't begin to compare to what my brand new baby experienced.


I signed the papers and handed him over. I  know I can't take this back. I will feel guilty for the rest of my life. Hands down, this was the worst mistake I have made as a parent. This will never happen to another of my children, and I hope I can help prevent it from happening to other children.

I wish someone had told me the truth. I wish someone had educated me beyond the lies that I found and was fed. I wish someone had done more to help me save my son.

Read more from parents who circumcised their son and will be keeping future sons intact:

Know an expecting family? Always speak up. Here is one good resource list to share: 

If you'd like to get materials into the hands of your friends/family, but don't feel comfortable doing so yourself, we will mail a small anonymous Expecting Pack filled with information directly to them, and connect them with local leaders who can further answer questions or dialog. You may also include a personalized note if you wish. Find details at: There are also breastfeeding packs with intact information for mothers who plan to nurse their babies; and full info packs to use as lending resources with clients (or those who'd watch videos and read full articles).


Much of today's scientific literature 'untrue' says Lancet Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Richard Horton

Editor's Preface

This observation is one that applies to a fair amount of 'research' that has been twisted to support unnecessary and detrimental genital cutting - especially HIV studies conducted in Africa and the resulting push to circumcise "as a vaccine against AIDS."

By F. William Engdahl
for NSNBC International:

A shocking admission by the editor of the world’s most respected medical journal, The Lancet, has been virtually ignored by the mainstream media. Dr. Richard Horton, Editor-in-chief of The Lancet recently published a statement declaring that a shocking amount of published research is unreliable at best, if not completely false, as in, fraudulent.

Horton declared, “Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”

To state the point in other words, Horton states bluntly that major pharmaceutical companies falsify or manipulate tests on the health, safety and effectiveness of their various drugs by taking samples too small to be statistically meaningful or hiring test labs or scientists where the lab or scientist has blatant conflicts of interest such as pleasing the drug company to get further grants. At least half of all such tests are worthless or worse he claims. As the drugs have a major effect on the health of millions of consumers, the manipulation amounts to criminal dereliction and malfeasance. 

The drug industry-sponsored studies Horton refers to develop commercial drugs or vaccines to supposedly help people, used to train medical staff, to educate medical students and more.

Horton wrote his shocking comments after attending a symposium on the reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research at the Wellcome Trust in London. He noted the confidentiality or “Chatham House” rules where attendees are forbidden to name names: “’A lot of what is published is incorrect.’ I’m not allowed to say who made this remark because we were asked to observe Chatham House rules. We were also asked not to take photographs of slides.”

Other voices 

Dr. Marcia Angell is a physician and was longtime Editor-in-Chief of the New England Medical Journal (NEMJ), considered to be another one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals in the world. Angell stated, “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine.”

Harvey Marcovitch, who has studied and written about the corruption of medical tests and publication in medical journals, writes, “studies showing positive outcomes for a drug or device under consideration are more likely to be published than ‘negative’ studies; editors are partly to blame for this but so are commercial sponsors, whose methodologically well-conducted studies with unfavorable results tended not to see the light of day…”

At the University of British Columbia’s Neural Dynamics Research Group in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Dr Lucija Tomljenovic obtained documents that showed that, “vaccine manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and health authorities have known about multiple dangers associated with vaccines but chose to withhold them from the public. This is scientific fraud, and their complicity suggests that this practice continues to this day.”

Lancet’s Dr. Horton concludes, “Those who have the power to act seem to think somebody else should act first. And every positive action (eg, funding well-powered replications) has a counter-argument (science will become less creative). The good news is that science is beginning to take some of its worst failings very seriously. The bad news is that nobody is ready to take the first step to clean up the system.

Corruption of the medical industry worldwide is a huge issue, perhaps more dangerous than the threat of all wars combined. Do we have such hypnosis and blind faith in our doctors simply because of their white coats that we believe they are infallible? And, in turn, do they have such blind faith in the medical journals recommending a given new wonder medicine or vaccine that they rush to give the drugs or vaccines without considering these deeper issues?

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

U.S. Hospital Circumcision Rates By State

The above map, created by Jonathon Conte of the Bay Area Intactivists, and Danelle Day, of Saving Our Sons, depicts the varying rates of infant circumcision state-by-state in the U.S. today. Rates are from 2009-2010 hospital statistics obtained at, where readers can find references to original statistic sources.

The state with the highest rate of forced infant circumcision during the 2009-2010 year was West Virginia (86%) followed closely by Michigan and Kentucky (both 85%). The state with the lowest rate of infant circumcision during the same period was Nevada (11%) followed by Washington (14%).

Medicaid continues to use tax dollars to fund unnecessary infant circumcision in the majority of states each year. If you live in a Medicaid-funded state, please get involved in letter-writing efforts to encourage Medicaid to stop channeling money into this destructive practice. No matter your location, we encourage you to get involved in local awareness-raising efforts in whatever manner fits your personal style. Speak up and connect with others doing the same.

State / Circumcision Rate 

* Indicates a state where Medicaid covers infant circumcision

Alabama* - No Data 
Alaska* - No Data 
Arizona - 20% 
Arkansas* - 67% 
California - 22% 

Colorado - 65% 
Connecticut* - 71% 
Delaware* - No Data 
Florida - 34% 
Georgia* - 72% 

Hawaii* - 79% 
Idaho - No Data 
Illinois* - 64% 
Indiana* - 82% 
Iowa* - 82% 

Kansas* - 75% 
Kentucky* - 85% 
Louisiana - 42% 
Maine - 68% 
Maryland* - 72% 

Massachusetts* - 66% 
Michigan* - 85% 
Minnesota - 62% 
Mississippi - No Data 
Missouri - 76% 

Montana - 50% 
Nebraska* - 83% 
Nevada - 11% 
New Hampshire* - 76% 
New Jersey* - 66% 

New Mexico* - 49% 
New York* - 59% 
North Carolina - 52% 
North Dakota - No Data 
Ohio* - 84% 

Oklahoma* - 76% 
Oregon - 20% 
Pennsylvania* - 80% 
Rhode Island* - 76% 
South Carolina - 81% 

South Dakota* - 77% 
Tennessee* - 76% 
Texas* - 50% 
Utah - 39% 
Vermont* - 65% 

Virginia* - 74% 
Washington - 14% 
Washington DC* - No Data 
West Virginia* - 86% 
Wisconsin* - 82% 
Wyoming* - 77% 


Circumcision: Please Don't Fail Your Son

By Chelsea (last name withheld at author's request) © 2015

I am in tears as I write this. It is going to be one of the hardest things I have ever done, but I think it is necessary.

Nearly 7 years and 2 months ago I was sitting in a bed listening to the music of the hospital. The humming of the blood pressure monitor, the tweeting of the machines, and the shuffles of nurses' feet. I was terrified and excited. I would soon be bringing my first child into this world. I would finally get to hold my sweet precious baby boy, kiss his little toes, stroke his perfect face, and change his diapers.

I labored without medication for hours. I finally caved and got an epidural to ease the pain as I was transitioning. Not much longer I thought. Who will he look like? I wonder if he will have any hair! So many thoughts raced through my head.

"It's time to push! Your baby is coming!"

No more terrifying words had ever been spoken to me. I pushed and pushed and once I had passed his shoulders, I reached down and pulled my perfect, beautiful, sweet 7lb 7oz boy to my chest just after 1:00am. I held onto him and knew in that moment that I was changed forever.

This tiny little human who I had grown inside my body meant more to me now than anything else in this world. They cleaned him, weighed him, I nursed him, and stared at his precious face in awe.

Then they took him from me.

They told me he would be fine. They said it was best. It's cleaner, it looks better, it's just what everyone does. He won't feel it.

These were just a fraction of the things people, including my own family, had told me that played on repeat in my head - they lied.

After what seemed like forever they brought my baby back to me so that I could nurse him. I sat up in my bed anxious to hold him and take in his sweet smell again. "He slept right through it," the nurse said - she lied.

When she handed him to me my heart dropped. He didn't have the same sweet expression on his face anymore. No, now he was red -- he looked exhausted and sad. What did they do to him? What did I do to him?

I tried to nurse him but he couldn't. He had fought too hard. He was too tired. So I went to change his tiny newborn diaper for the very first time and nothing could have ever prepared me for what followed.

As soon as I opened the little Pampers Swaddler he let out the most horrific scream I've ever heard. I will never forget it. The sound of excruciating pain. Then tears began to stream down my face as I looked at the bloody stump and open wound that was now my baby's penis.

I removed the saturated gauze and placed it in the little pool of blood inside the diaper, and as he screamed in pain I cleaned him the best I could, replaced some new Vaseline laden gauze, and a white diaper that would soon be as crimson as the last. I wrapped him in my arms and I wept. "I'm so sorry," I cried.

But they told me this is normal. They said it would be better this way. They lied to me.

He hadn't slept through the slicing and the crushing, he had gone into shock and passed out from the pain because there is no amount of safe anesthetic that can be used on a baby to numb the pain, but they didn't tell me this.

It's cleaner this way, right? They lied to me again. How could I think that an open bloody wound in a urine and feces filled diaper could possibly be cleaner?

It looks better. How did they know what my boy would want his penis to look like? This wasn't their decision. It wasn't MY decision. That wasn't my body. What right did I have to let them mutilate my son?!

They took him from the safety of my arms and strapped his arms and legs to a board. He cried. He cried because it was cold, he cried because he needed me, he cried as they forced a blunt metal tool into his body to destroy the tissue that held his foreskin to the glans much like a fingernail is attached to a finger, he cried when they crushed his foreskin, and he cried when they began slicing at his body until he finally passed out. He cried for me and I wasn't there. He needed me and I slept. He bled out and I had been the one to hand them the knife.

I didn't do my research, I just trusted what everyone told me. They were wrong.

In less than 12 hours after I brought my perfect baby into this world, I had failed him. I failed my son.

Please don't fail yours.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Research circumcision:

Additional stories from parents who are keeping future sons intact:

Speak Truth

Genital mutilation doesn't happen to just women.
Don't men and women deserve equal justice under law?
Speak truth to power.

-Michael Dulin

Also by Dulin:

Stop using the Latin word for Genital Mutilation

Genital Mutilation Doesn't Only Happen to Women

i will not assume

Speak Truth

Circumcised? Get over it!

Men Speak


Penile Probing for Circumcision

To perform male genital cutting (circumcision) on a baby boy or child, the prepuce (foreskin), which is tightly adhered to the glans (head) of the penis for protection, must be probed, separated, and sliced from the glans. This step is necessary for the amputation of the healthy, functioning organ removed in male circumcision. It occurs in a manner similar to the way we would need to probe, separate and slice fingernails from the fingers if they were 'routinely circumcised' from the body.

MEN SPEAK on forced male genital cutting:


Cosmopolitan Magazine Shows a Little Foreskin Love

Included in the Oct 2015 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine is this brief blurb about 'pleasing' the intact and non-intact man. It is more accurate than a lot of other mags we've seen as of late. 

A couple notes:

1) It is *INTACT* (not 'uncircumcised' - just as we are not 'undead' - we all arrive into this world with intact genitals. That is the norm, the baseline). Here's hoping in future issues, Cosmo will take note and call it like it is.

2) The frenulum, unfortunately, is damaged in many cases of genital cutting. As a result, even this part of the genitals has been impaired on many circumcised men, at a time in life they were yet able to defend themselves.


Canadian Paediatric Society Position Statement on Circumcision

As of today, the Canadian Paediatric Society issued a new policy statement on circumcision. Some aspects closely echo the 2012 AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) statement, with flawed myths included (HPV, cancer, UTI, STI, HIV), but highlights a few of the many hazards of genital cutting, and clearly states that the CPS "does not recommend routine circumcision of every newborn boy." 

Full Statement: 

CPS Site for Parents:

Many of the responses issued to the AAP in 2012 are applicable here as well. You'll find them linked in a list at the bottom of this page:


Circumcised? Get Over It!

No matter where we turn, no matter the many ways we are impacted by what was done to us, we are continuously told to 'get over it!'

Male genital mutilation is real. And culture's response to it is often sexist and ignorant.

- Michael Dulin

Also by Dulin:

Stop using the Latin word for Genital Mutilation

Genital Mutilation Doesn't Only Happen to Women

i will not assume

Speak Truth

Circumcised? Get over it!

Men Speak


Circumcision: Why your feelings don’t matter

By Jennifer Moose © 2013

Long after the days of newborn care have passed and your son is a man, living his own life, loving his own lovers and contemplating his own upbringing, he will still have the penis you may or may not have chosen to have circumcised.

If you DID have him circumcised as an infant/child and he has the luck of turning out 'fine,' it is very likely that he will still experience problems from his circumcision without ever knowing that they are caused by you having made that choice about his body. Some of the long-term complications associated with circumcision include: erectile dysfunction, desensitization/keratinization, premature ejaculation, painful intercourse due to the immobility of the skin on the penis and/or hair on the penile shaft, tight erections and the list goes on.

If he’s lucky enough to discover foreskin restoration, he may be able to bring back some of what was taken from him as a baby, but he will never have the complete function he was born with and he may be well into his 40s or 50s before he discovers that being kept intact could have spared him from many years of suffering.

If you thought you were doing him a favor to shelter him from something inane and subjective like social discomfort, or even made what you felt was an 'educated decision' based on risks/benefits, those were YOUR feelings, YOUR fears, and YOUR misconceptions driving the decision. They are not his reality.

How will HE feel if he discovers that your feelings about his penis caused the problems he is having?

How will HE feel if he knows that you could have kept him intact and let him decide whether or not having full genitals was right for him?

Why are your feelings more important than HIS reality?  The answer is: They are not.

If your son remains intact, there is good news: he can still choose any form of genital modification (including circumcision) for himself if he wishes. By waiting until he is a consenting adult, he will have less damage, better pain control options, and will understand what is happening to his body. He will be able to communicate his needs, and take care of his wound and quite importantly, take ownership of any bad or undesirable outcomes, should they occur.

Circumcision is a gamble with your son’s penis, your son’s life and your relationship with your son.

Equal weight cannot be given to the benefits argument and his human right to bodily autonomy. If you want to model respect and autonomy for your child, start now and keep him intact. Stand up for his rights when others may flounder. Protect his body -- his one sole possession -- and preserve it for him until he can assume control over it when he is able. That is your charge as a parent and why your feelings truly don’t matter.

Related Reading: 

The Ethics of Infant Male Circumcision by Brian Earp:

Circumcision Ethics and Economics, Psychology Today: 

Circumcision vs. Intact Outcome Statistics:

Foreskin Restoration Resources:

Andy Richter, Jeff Goldblum on Circumcision with Conan

Graphic courtesy of Intact Kansas

Andy Richter:

I'm circumcised because I was born at a time when there was just no question about it…With my son, as I told the doctor, 'He was born perfect, why change him?' [Andy turns towards Jeff Goldblum] So what I'm saying is, you've mutilated your child.

Jeff Goldblum: 

I know the argument… I think you're probably right, also.

Full clip:

Circumcision Regret: Working Through and Rising Above Mistakes Made

By M. Merritt © 2015

I am a mother to three beautiful boys. When I was pregnant with my first son, I researched everything. Well, almost everything. The one topic I ignored was circumcision. Looking back, I wonder why more websites do not touch on the subject. For example, if a new or expecting mama is researching breastfeeding, there should be information pertaining to how much pain impacts feeding for a newborn, but not many sites focus on this,  for fear of upsetting their readers.

In my research, I didn’t look to any specific websites, I just did a lot of Googling. At the time, I was an aide at a local hospital in a U.S. city where circumcision was common, and proper intact care was almost unknown. My job was to watch over the patient who suffered from Alzheimer’s and dementia to make sure they stayed in their beds and did not injure themselves. I witnessed many sponge baths. Many of the men were circumcised, but there were a few who were intact. I can remember one intact patient that was in a comatose-like state. He was unable to care for himself, so he relied heavily on the nursing staff to keep his body clean. At the time, he appeared to have a fungal infection in and around his penis. Every single nurse/doctor/nurses aide who cared for him remarked about his intact genitals. They would say that he was 'dirty' or that it was his own fault that he had infections because he was not circumcised. Because of experiences like these, mixed with the fact that nearly every other male I knew was circumcised, my husband and I decided to have our first son circumcised.

After a somewhat traumatic, induced labor and delivery, a couple doctors came in to my hospital room to ask me why I wanted to have the elective surgery performed on my baby. I feel like it didn’t really matter what I said, because after giving them my reasons, they simply nodded and were on their way. Looking back, I wish those two or three doctors had given me some information about what was going to happen to my son. If they had given me some facts or statistics, maybe I wouldn’t have allowed my baby to be cut...

Fast forward to when my baby was brought back into my room after being circumcised. The doctor (who was also my OB/GYN at the time) made a crude remark about having to use the bigger clamp on him. She said this with a huge grin and a giggle. At the time, I didn’t know what to feel. Was that supposed to make me feel proud? I don’t remember much from that day except that my baby was very unhappy. He did not latch well (if at all) after being cut, but breastfeeding was one of the things I was very adamant on. My baby boy seemed to not know what to do and when he did latch on, he would frantically suck until I began to bleed. It was awful. I would beg the nurses to help me latch him on correctly every hour, and they all said he was latching fine. They got very annoyed with me after a couple hours of this. I cried and cried, telling them I know something was wrong. Looking back, I have NO idea how I did not connect the dots. My baby boy was in pain!

When my son turned 3 weeks old, it was the first time I was able to finally latch him on properly. Up until then, I was pumping around the clock. Our first three weeks as a mother/child dyad were spent pumping, bottle feeding, and being very stressed out. All I wanted in the world was to cuddle and nurse my precious baby boy. My son was clearly upset most of the day and night post-circumcision, and still, I did not understand why.

After he healed (as best one could be after such a horrible surgery), breastfeeding got easier. Once he hit three months, I started 'liking' some parenting pages on Facebook. At first, I just 'liked' random pages, (still being new to the world of Facebook) and it was then that I was first introduced to a group of people who called themselves intactivists. I’m not sure who any of these particular people were at the time, but their comments and posts were absolutely terrifying to me. I witnessed attacking and name-calling, and after viewing many horrible photos posted for shock value, I dismissed the credibility of intactivists in general. From that moment on, I hid or clicked away from any and all information about circumcision. I went on like that, in a state of cognitive dissonance, until about a month later.

I began researching when it would be a wise time to start my baby on solid foods, and came across, and eventually found the Peaceful Parenting Facebook page, too. Once there I noticed that a lot of the posts dealt with the topic of circumcision as well. The only difference was that the information was presented in a gentle, research-based way. The posts were factual and informative. I even noticed that the readers and commenters had a more approachable style with their words. I began to wonder if maybe I had been wrong all along…

I am not sure exactly which post I read that day, but I do know that the words in it were what ultimately got me to the point of wanting to learn about circumcision. Nothing I read made me feel threatened, or scared. It was straight facts and science-based information. I think I sat at my computer for hours that day researching circumcision for the first time. That was the day I had another label to add to my name: regret mom. From that moment, my eyes were opened, I regretted having my son circumcised with my whole heart.

I eventually needed to take a couple steps back, because it was all too painful for me at the time. I wronged my son, and the guilt from that seemed as though it might swallow me whole. One day I was reading the comments of a post about circumcision over at Peaceful Parenting, and I came across a comment from a mother exactly like myself. She found herself consumed with guilt and shame, and did not know where to turn. Someone responded to her, and her words encouraged me to keep on going. She told this mama that there are other people liker her, and that there were things she could do to help herself heal. Because of those words of encouragement, I was able to move forward.

Here is a list of the things I have done/am doing to help with the guilt that comes along with being a regret mama:

1) Apologize to your baby.

It sounded silly at first to me, but doing it felt great. I let out a good cry, and I believe it really helped start the healing.

2) Plan to apologize to your son when he is old enough to understand and process the apology.

This is a huge one. My son is just about 6 years old, and I know the time is quickly approaching. I have decided to wait to speak to him about it, because he is a very sensitive and emotional being. I need to wait until the right time. When that time is here, I will make sure my son knows how sorry I am. I will prepare myself for all the emotions he may have. Sometimes I wonder if he will be angry at me. I know my little boy, and I know how big his heart is. I am sure he will offer up his forgiveness, but it may take him a while. And that is okay. Anything he feels is the right feeling. After all, it was he who had almost half of his penis mindlessly cut off for no good reason at all. He deserves to be angry. But, no matter what, he WILL know that he is a hero to his younger brothers and the countless other baby boys we've been able to 'save' from routine infant circumcision as the result of this experience. It is my hope that he knows I understand how big a deal circumcision is. I will make sure to always be accepting of any feelings he may have regarding what was done to him.

3) Write.

This is something else I struggle with, but writing down my feelings about such a traumatic time has been therapeutic for me. It forces me to really face my fears and look the practice of male genital mutilation right in the eyes.

One thing I suggest to all the regret parents reading this is to never force yourself. Take your time and treat yourself gently. You deserve that, and pushing yourself too hard can actually be counter productive in your journey to healing.

4) Get the word out!

At first, I did not think I was capable to something like this because I am a very introverted person, but I had this nagging feeling that something had to be done, and I was perfectly capable of doing it! It is hard at first, but there are gentle ways to inform expecting mamas, raise awareness and take part in public education. For the most part, people welcome genital autonomy information happily when it is presented in a way that meets them where they are at. Today, I am Co-Director of Intact Rhode Island, our state chapter of Saving Our Sons, and take part in numerous educational expos, demonstrations and events each year.

5) Keep ALL future sons intact.

For me, this was a no brainer. After all the pain my son dealt with, there was no way I could put another child through such a barbaric procedure. My eldest son suffered, and still does suffer, in so many ways because of being circumcised. No child deserves to deal with that. I went on to have two more sons after my first, and keeping them intact has helped me on such a deep level.

Someday, when all of my sons are curious as to why their big brother looks different, I will tell them the truth. I will apologize to them as well. I wonder if they will be upset with me for allowing someone to hurt their brother. I will prepare myself for anger, which ever direction it may come from. Ultimately, I will tell my younger two sons that their big brother is a hero. He and his daddy are their heroes. They both survived male genital mutilation, and lived to save other boys from it. Someday I will make sure they realize how amazingly brave and strong their big brother is. And their daddy, he is the bravest of them all. Admitting he was violated as a baby was not easy for him, and because of his strength, two of his sons will never know that pain in childhood, or that loss in adulthood. That is a hero! ♥

If you're a regret parent, like myself and so many others, who are raising both circumcised and intact sons, you can connect with me at Keeping Future Sons Intact, or in the private KFSI group:

Further experiences from parents with circumcised sons who are keeping future sons (and grandsons) intact:

Regret parents welcome and respected in the following groups:

Saving Our Sons Community

Intact: Healthy, Happy, Whole

Peaceful Intact Education

Raising Boys


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