CIN (Circumcision Information Network) 1:22

Journal  Circumcision Information Network, Volume 1, Issue 22. Thursday, 8 December 1994.

Richard Angell

This weekly bulletin is a project of CIN, the Circumcision Information Network (formerly CIN CompuBulletin). The purpose of this weekly bulletin is to educate the public about and to protect children and other non-consenting persons from genital mutilation. Readers are encouraged to copy and redistribute it, and to contribute written material.
--Rich Angell, Editor.

At the beginning of the show, Susan Powter was holding a baby girl and said
that they were going to discuss unnecessary procedures that are done to
babies behind closed doors in hospitals.  

She and guest speaker Dr. Jay Gordon, pediatrician, talked about how babies
should never be taken away from their mother, how many intrusive, unnecessary
procedures are inflicted on infants--like sticking things in the eyes, the
nostrils, the rectum, etc. (such as were done to the featured infant).
Parents have a right to keep their infants in sight and to decline any

Then Susan brought up the topic of circumcision.  A pregnant mother named
"Olga" (who had a foreign accent) lamented that when her first son was born
he was left intact, but later developed an infection and a foreskin that
stuck together.  They were then advised to have him circumcised, which was
very painful.  Should this next baby be circumcised?

Dr. Gordon said that nothing should be cut away from a baby's body, whether
it be a foreskin or the left ear lobe.  Furthermore, the reason that the boy
developed problems with his foreskin was because it was prematurely retracted
(by the parents or misguided doctor).  It should have been left alone.

Susan then jumped in and said that circumcision is a very important issue
these days and that the purpose of the foreskin is to cover and protect the

Not only that, said Dr. Gordon, but it secretes chemicals, which protect the
penis from infection.  The studies which suggest that circumcision prevents
disease have all been disproved and most were done by doctors who had an "axe
to grind" and were searching for a reason to continue the operation, which
brings in a couple of hundred dollars for a few minutes of work.  Also,
regardless of what anyone says to the contrary, circumcision is very painful.

Finally, Susan chimed in, that when her first son was born, the doctor asked
if she wanted him circumcised.  "I'll make a bet with you," she told him,"you
put your penis on the table, we'll put his penis on the table, and we'll both
cut."  Her boys are intact.

At 10:00 PST, KQED (88.5FM) there was an hour-long debate on male
circumcision.  The guest speakers were Marilyn Milos (founder and director of
NOCIRC), Dr. Edgar Schoen (NOCIRC's nemesis) Dr. Thomas Ritter (author of Say
No to Circumcision!) and an ob.gyn. named Dr. Jan Herr (spelling assumed) who
took a "pro-choice" stand for parents.

Dr. Schoen spouted off about this study and that study "proving" the
validation of circumcision as a health measure, but between Marilyn and Dr.
Ritter, and especially with some of the calls coming in, he was soundly

One caller from Berkeley called in to say how special and functional his
foreskin is.  Two other men called in to say what miserable lives they've had
due to botched circumcisions.  (One of those two men suggested that Dr.
Schoen get a job with the tobacco industry with his slick it's-good-for
you-and-isn't-dangerous stand.)  One woman called to say how traumatized her
baby was by circumcision and what a mistake she'd made.  No studies could
convince her otherwise.

One gay man from San Francisco challenged Schoen "Have you ever had sex with
other men?  Well, I have, and the difference between circumcised and intact
is profound!"  One woman called in to say that sex with circumcised men was
painful.  Then there was the Jewish mother (and later a father) who claimed
that their kids were unaffected...

All in all, it was a terrific, educative debate, and it was rebroadcast at
22:00 that night.

SOFIE is a newsletter published to bring awareness to the fact that sexual
abuse of children is also perpetrated by females.  The editor has been very
sensitive to the pain that circumcised men in our culture feel around the
mutilation of their genitals when they were innocent children.  In the July
1995 issue, SOFIE will explore genital mutilation of both sexes.  They invite
your personal story of how genital mutilation has adversely affected you.
 There is a 5 June 1995 deadline for submitting your story to SOFIE, PO Box
2794, Renton, WA 98056.  Thanks to Tim Hammond.

Photographs of the adult male foreskin by John A. Erickon can now be ordered,
for adults only.  These photographs were exhibited at the Third International
Symposium on Circumcision at the University of Maryland, 22-25 May 1994.
 Order includes the Three Zones of Penile Skin, five photographs showing the
foreskin at various stages of retraction, with lines drawn where the foreskin
begins on the shaft and at the mucocutaneous junction to show the amount of
total penile skin--more than half--that is foreskin.  Brief Text.  These are,
according to NOCIRC Founder and Director Marilyn Milos, RN, "Photographs that
show exactly what we are trying to protect."  The 33 4" x 6" color closeup
photos are $30 postpaid first class (air) anywhere.  Original exhibit size
(8" x 12") are available by special order.  John A. Erickson, 1664 Beach
Blvd., #216, Dept. GA, Biloxi, MS 39531-5351.

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