Are you looking for an engaging way to educate your community about circumcision? Consider presenting Dr. McAllister’s respected “An Elephant in the Hospital” at childbirth education classes, doula educational events, professional birth worker conferences, college classes with related content (e.g., gender studies, anthropology, and sexual psychology), or any other gathering of people wanting to learn more about this issue.


A huge thank you to Dr. Ryan McAllister, who is on the research faculty at Georgetown University in biophysics, and a member of Your Whole Baby’s Board of Directors, for making his presentation, “An Elephant in the Hospital,” available for use in presentations.

"An Elephant in the Hospital," was recorded by Dr. McAllister at University of Oregon. Dr. McAllister gives his blessing on the editing and use of this presentation for educational outreach.

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.

The slideshow available for download is an updated version from the one shown in Dr. McAllister’s presentation. You are welcome to rename the presentation, use all or some of the slides, and/or edit them as necessary to fit your intended audience.

The more you know going into your presentation, the more confident you will feel. Below we have provided resources on the anatomy of the foreskin, risks and complications of circumcision, history of the practice, intact penis care, medical concerns, and psychology for you to read/watch before your presentation. Simultaneously, you don’t have to have all of the answers on hand! No one does. A simple, “I’m not sure, let me look into that for you,” is a perfectly acceptable answer to any question you don’t know the answer to.

Note: These resources may not be appropriate for viewing around small children or at work, due to nudity and sexual explicit content.


“Functions of the Foreskin” video, 19 minutes 20 seconds.

Anatomy & Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function, 8th Edition (Saladin). This A&P textbook has a very good description of penile anatomy and the impact of circumcision (8th edition only).  

Specifically on the impact of circumcision on sexual intercourse: 

Sex As Nature Intended It, free on PDF and HTML, by Kristen O’Hara.


Circumcision: The Whole Story, by Dr. Christopher Guest.

American Circumcision, documentary available on Netflix and Vimeo.

Marked in Your Flesh: Circumcision from Ancient Judea to Modern America, Leonard B. Glick.

 Medical Concerns

Doctors Opposing Circumcision, medical association and nonprofit organization.


The AAP report on circumcision: Bad science + bad ethics = bad medicine

Boys and Girls Alike, Aeon, by Brian Earp.

The Ethics of Neonatal Circumcision, Gillian Longley, RN, BSN, MSS


Circumcision, The Hidden Trauma, Ron Goldman, Ph.D.

Male Circumcision: Pain, Trauma and Psychosexual Sequelae,” Gregory Boyle.


  • Know your content by reviewing the above material and other reputable sources

  • Practice your presentation several times all the way through

  • Have notes but do not read from them

  • Be aware of and practice having engaging (not distracting) body language

More resources for public speaking:

Talking Points & Common Questions Re: Circumcision

Simple and Effective Public Speaking Tips

5 Public Speaking Tips from TEDxPortland Speaker

Are you going to put on a presentation in your area? Let us know how it goes!