Step 1: Demystifying the Intact Penis
A large portion of Americans are unaware of what a healthy, whole, intact penis looks like. Click on the link below to see the difference between intact and circumcised. The foreskin is meant to cover the glans (head of the penis) to help keep it sensitive to touch, just as the clitoral hood is meant to cover the clitoris to keep it sensitive to touch. When exposed, as you will see in the pictures, the glans becomes keratinized (calloused) and loses sensitivity.
Step 2: Watch a Circumcision
You would not want to have a medically unnecessary procedure performed on your newborn baby without understanding exactly what was going to happen to him. This video is important to watch. (If it's hard for you to watch, imagine how hard it is for a newborn to go through.) No matter what kind of pain management is used during a circumcision, your baby will still feel pain. This is not a "little snip." It is a significant loss of purposeful skin.
Step 3: Know the Risks
All surgeries come with risks and the possibility of complications. Circumcision complications are not unusual. Some complications show themselves during or soon after the surgery; other complications aren't evident until years later.
Step 4: Watch "An Elephant in the Hospital"
This presentation, "An Elephant in the Hospital," was recorded by Dr. McAllister at Georgetown University.
What is infant circumcision? Why is the practice common in U.S. hospitals and not in other countries? What does it remove and how does that affect the child? Does scientific data suggest that circumcision has benefits? What are the potential complications? How does it affect sexuality? Is it a medical procedure or a social surgery? If it's unnecessary surgery, what about contemporary bioethics principles? Through both a review of scientific literature and a discussion of the human cost of the procedure, this presentation explores these questions from the perspectives of the child, the adult survivor, the parent, and the practitioner.
Step 5: Read a Doctor's Point of View
Why do so many American doctors encourage circumcision?
Circumcision is a lucrative business. It is a relatively quick amputation with a relatively high price tag. It's easy and consistent income.
American doctors are educated in American hospitals. The tradition of circumcision is so ingrained in our society, most doctors are not educated on the many important and pleasurable functions of foreskin. Doctors are not immune to cultural conditioning. While many American doctors push circumcision on patients, more and more American doctors are beginning to speak out against circumcision.
Step 6: Read a Mother's Regret Story
There are too many stories of mothers' regrets to count, each one heartbreaking for mother and son. Here are a few of those stories.