Circumcision and Human Behavior

The emotional and behavioral effects of circumcision.



Psychologists now recognize that male circumcision affects emotions and behavior. This article discusses the impact of male circumcision on human behavior.


Medical doctors adopted male circumcision from religious practice into medical practice in England in the 1860s and in the United States in the 1870s. No thought was given to the possible behavioral effects of painful operations that excise important protective erogenous tissue from the male phallus. For example, Gairdner (1949) and Wright (1967), both critics of male neonatal non-therapeutic circumcision, made no mention of any behavioral effects of neonatal circumcision.1,2

The awakening

Other doctors, however, were beginning to express concern about the behavioral effects of male circumcision.

Levy (1945) studied the behavioral effects of various operations, including circumcision, on young children.3_He found that children who had undergone operations experienced an increase in anxiety and various fears, including night terrors, fear of physicians, nurses, and strange men. The oldest age group exhibited greater hostility and aggression. Levy compared their behavior to that of soldiers who suffered from what was then called “combat neurosis,” and now recognized as_post-traumatic stress disorder.

Anna Freud (1952) pointed out that operations on the genitals, such as circumcision, would cause “castration anxiety.”4_Cansever (1965) tested Turkish boys before and after circumcision.5_Cansever reported severe disturbances in functioning, including regression in behavior, and withdrawal of the ego as protection against outside threats. Cansever also observed various anxieties, including castration anxiety. Richards_et al._(1976) noticed certain studies that indicated behavior change and called for further study.6_Foley (1966) noticed that circumcised men are more likely to be biased in favor of circumcision.7_Moreover, he said that circumcised men are more likely to engage in “problem-masturbation” but non-circumcised men were equally unlikely to engage in “problem-masturbation.” Grimes (1978) (another critic of non-therapeutic neonatal circumcision), apparently unaware of the research described above, sounded an alarm:

“In contrast to the sometimes dramatic somatic responses of the neonate to operation without anesthesia, the psychological consequences of this trauma are conjectural. Psychoanalyst Erik Erickson has described the first of eight stages of man as the development of basic trust versus basic mistrust. For the baby to be plucked from his bed, strapped in a spread eagle position, and doused with chilling antiseptic is perhaps consistent with other new-found discomforts of extrauterine existence. The application of crushing clamps and excision of penile tissue, however, probably do little to engender a trusting, congenial, relationship with the infant’s new surroundings.”8

Behavior during unanesthetized circumcision

Gunnar et al._(1981) studied the relationship of system cortisol levels to behavioral state. Gunnar_et al._report that, as system cortisol rises, infants increase wakefulness and crying.9_Malone et al. (1985) report that infants show little change in behavior due to limb restraint (of the type used for circumcision).10_Porter et al. (1986) report that newborn infants who are undergoing unanesthetized cirumcision emit cries of extreme urgency.11_The studies, carried out with the aid of computer spectrographic analysis, show that infants who have been circumcised vocalize their anguish with higher pitch, fewer harmonics and shorter cries. The most invasive procedures produced the most urgent cries, as judged by observers. Porter et al. (1988) report that vagal tone decreases as the pitch of the cry increases.12_Gunnar et al. (1988) report that infants decrease distressed behavior when given a non-nutritive pacifier, although system cortisol does not decrease.13

Behavior immediately after unanesthetized circumcision

Studies show that circumcision affects the sleep of newborn boys. Emde et al.(1971) studied the sleep of boys who had had a non-therapeutic circumcision with the Plastibel® device.14_Emde et that non-therapeutic circumcision “was usually followed by prolonged nonrapid eye movement (NREM) sleep.” The authors considered this type of sleep “to be consistent with a theory of conservation-withdrawal in response to stressful stimulation.” Anders & Chalemian (1974) studied the sleep of boys who had had a non-therapeutic circumcision with a circumcision clamp. They report significant increases in wakefulness after circumcision.15

Marshall et al._(1979) studied newborn infant behavior using the Brazelton Neonatal Behavior Assessment Scale.16_The study shows that infants change their behavior for at least 22 hours after circumcision. In a second study, Marshall et al. (1982) showed that circumcised infants kept their eyes closed during feeding or did not feed at all. Marshall et al. considered that mother-infant interaction and bonding was disrupted by the stress of circumcision.17

Numerous observers report that circumcision inteferes with the normal feeding behavior of circumcised boys. La Leche League leaders (1981) suggest that circumcision should be delayed for a time.18_Marshall et al. (1982) found that circumcision interfered with normal feeding behavior.17_Howard et al. (1994) report that “babies feed less frequently and are less available for interaction after circumcision.”19_Howard_et al._report that some newly circumcised babies are unable to suckle at the breast and require formula supplementation. Lee (2000) also comments on the difficulty with feeding that circumcised boys exhibit.20_Breastfeeding provides the best nutrition for infants and is of key importance in giving an infant a good start in life with optimum mother-infant bonding, health, and well-being,21_so non-therapeutic infant circumcision should not be allowed to interfere with breastfeeding.

Behavior at vaccination

Hepper (1996) surveys and reports research that indicates memory commences to function in the fetus at about the 23rd week of gestation.22_ Infant memory continues to function through the birth experience and afterward. Anand & Hickey (1987) firmly established that newborn infants have fully functioning pain pathways.23_ When an infant is subjected to a painful and traumatic experience all the necessary factors are present to create post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Boyle_et al._(2002) describe the etiology of PTSD:

“A traumatic experience is defined in DSM-IV as the direct consequence of experiencing or witnessing of serious injury or threat to physical integrity that produces intense fear, helplessness or (in the case of children) agitation. The significant [circumcision] pain and distress described earlier is consistent with this definition. Moreover, the disturbance (e.g., physiological arousal, avoidant behaviour) qualifies for a diagnosis of acute stress disorder if it lasts at least two days or even a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) if it lasts more than a month. Circumcision without anaesthesia constitutes a severely traumatic event in a child’s life.”24

PTSD is a normal response to an abnormal and terrifying experience. One would, therefore, expect to find PTSD in circumcised boys.

Taddio_et al._(1995) compared the behavior of circumcised boys with the behavior of girls at the age of 4 to 6 months when vaccination with DPT occurred. Taddio_et al._report that circumcised boys demonstrate a much greater response to the pain of the vaccination than do girls.25_In a second study, Taddio_et al._(1997) compared the behavior of circumcisied boys with the behavior of non-circumcised boys at vaccination.26_Similarly, the circumcised boys demonstrated a greater response to the pain of vaccination than did the non-circumcised boys. Taddio commented:

“It is, therefore, possible that the greater vaccination response in the infants circumcised without anaesthesia may represent an infant analogue of a_post-traumatic stress disorder_triggered by a traumatic and painful event and re-experienced under similar circumstances of pain during vaccination.”26_Taddio_et al._suggested that the pain of circumcision “may have long-lasting effects on future infant behaviour.”26

Circumcision of boys is nearly universal in the Philippine Islands for cultural reasons. Ramos & Boyle (2001) studied the psychological effects of circumcision in Philippine boys. They report a high incidence of PTSD in these boys. Sixty-nine percent of boys who had been circumcised by the traditional “tuli” Philippine ritual circumcision and 51 percent of boys who had been medically circumcised satisfied the DSM-IV criteria for PTSD.27

Behavior in later life

There is increasing evidence that male circumcision influences the behavior of adult males. Menage reports PTSD after genital surgery.28_ More specific to male circumcision, Rhinehart reports finding PTSD in adult males in his clinical practice in which the stressor was neonatal circumcision. 29_Rhinehart lists symptoms of:

  • a sense of personal powerlessness

  • fears of being overpowered and victimized by others

  • lack of trust in others and life

  • a sense of vulnerability to violent attack by others

  • guardedness in relationships

  • reluctance to be in relationships with women

  • defensiveness

  • diminished sense of maleness

  • feeling damaged, especially in the presence of surgical complications such as skin tags, penile curvature due to uneven foreskin removal, partial ablation of edges of the glans and so on

  • sense of reduced penile size, a part cut off or amputated

  • low self-esteem

  • shame about not “measuring up”

  • anger and violence toward women

  • irrational rage reactions

  • addictions and dependencies

  • difficulties in establishing intimate relationships

  • emotional numbing

  • need for more intensity in sexual experience

  • sexual callousness

  • decreased tenderness in intimacy

  • decreased ability to communicate

  • feelings of not being understood29

Van der Kolk (1989) reports that persons who have been traumatized have a compulsion to repeat the trauma and to find new victims on which to re-enact the trauma they suffered.30_This may apply with full force to victims of circumcision. The circumcision of an infant is a way to reenact the trauma of circumcision.31_The compulsion to circumcise isvery strong and has resulted in unlawful batteries and abductions to circumcise an unwilling victim.32-36

There is some evidence that adverse experiences in the perinatal period (from the 28th week of gestation through the first seven days of extra-uterine life) cause self-destructive behavior in adult life.37-40_Circumcised males may tend to be more self-destructive, but more research is needed to verify the effect traumatic non-therapeutic circumcision has on self-destructive behavior.

The condition of the male phallus impacts a male’s feeling of well-being. A phallus diminished by the loss of the erogenous foreskin to circumcision necessarily adversely affects one’s feelings about one’s self, resulting in uncomfortable feelings of low self-esteem. There is, therefore,a strong tendency to deny that any loss occurred. Minimization of the loss is a common defense mechanism; ridicule of the subjectis another. Persons who have lost body parts must grieve their loss.41_Failure to grieve and accept the loss puts one in permanent denial of loss.42_Many men who have been circumcised do not want non-circumcised males, including their own sons,around to remind them of their irreversible loss. For these emotional reasons, as Foley (1966) observed, there tends to be a strong irrational bias in favor of universal circumcision among circumcised males.7_Many fathers who were victims of neonatal circumcision, for the reasons described above,adamantly insist that any male offspring be circumcised.24_This phenomenon has come to be called “the adamant father syndrome.” Circumcision, therefore is a repeating cycle of trauma in which circumcised infant males grow up to be adult circumcisers.31

Behavior of circumcised medical doctors

Medical doctors in Australia, Canada, and the United States practiced circumcision in the twentieth century, so these nations have a heavy proportion of circumcised men, some of whom become medical doctors. These circumcised male doctors share the same bias in favor of male circumcision as do other circumcised males.7,31,43_Male doctors who were circumcised as infants are more likely to recommend circumcision of infants to parents.44

The Australian Paediatric Association recommended non-circumcision—genital integrity—in 1971;45_thereafter, the incidence of circumcision among Australia’s newborn plummeted.46_At the present time, in regard to genital integrity status, Australia is, in effect, two nations, one of which has mostly circumcised men and the other that has mostly intact men. The dividing point is the year 1978, because the incidence of genital integrity among newborn boys rose above 50 percent in that year.46_The ever-increasing percentage of genitally intact younger men in the population is causing increasing anxiety and distress among some older circumcised males. There now is a peculiar phenomenon happening in Australia, where one sees middle-aged men desperately trying to restore Australia’s medical practice back to that which prevailed before 1971. This is, of course, an attempt to defend their culture-of-origin and is carried out for the emotional reasons described here, although, as Goldman reports, pseudo-scientific reasons are advanced.31

Behavior of circumcised medical authors

The high proportion of circumcised males in the medical community create a distorted, biased medical literature.47 _Goldman (1999) writes:

“One reason that flawed studies arepublished is that science is affected by cultural values. A principal method of preserving cultural values is to disguise them as truths that are based on scientific research. This ‘research’ can then be used to support questionable and harmful cultural values such as circumcision. This explains the claimed medical ‘benefits’ of circumcision.”31

Hill (2007) writes:

“The medical literature on circumcision is voluminous and contentious. Circumcised doctors create papers that overstate benefits and minimize harms and risks. When these doctors publish such claims, other doctors come forward to refute them….The result is an unending debate driven by the emotional compulsion of circumcised men.”43

Female doctors from a circumcising culture of origin have been known to contribute pro-circumcision pieces.

Boyle & Hill (2012) said:

“MC changes human and sexual behaviour. Most doctors favouring MC are circumcised themselves . Circumcision status ‘plays a huge role in whether doctors are in support of circumcisions or not’. Circumcised doctors often defend circumcision by producing flawed papers that minimise or dismiss the harm and exaggerate alleged benefits .487

“Invariably, when biased opinions promoting MC are published by doctors trying to justify their own psychosexual wounding, uncircumcised doctors (who mostly see no need for amputating anatomically normal healthy erogenous tissue) are quick to refute such overstated claims. We fully expect that this distortion of the medical literature will continue until non-therapeutic male circumcision is prohibited by law and most circumcised male doctors have passed from the scene.”47

Most American medical editors are circumcised men. They share the pro-circumcision bias of other circumcised men. They tend to select papers for publication that conform to their bias.48 The literature, therefore, is filled with pro-circumcision papers written by circumcised doctors.48 The behavior of these circumcised doctors has served for a century to prolong the practice of a nineteenth century surgical operation that has no medical indication and is injurious to infants and children.

Behavior of medical societies

Medical societies in the English-speaking nations have a high proportion of male members (fellows) who are circumcised.The societies that represent medical specialities that practice circumcision have found themselves unable to adequately address the problem of circumcision and to repudiate this harmful, outmoded practice.

Goldman (2004) writes:

“Although medical committee members highly value rationality, a rational and objective evaluation of an emotional and controversial topic like circumcision can be difficult. It is suggested that the potential psychological and social factors surrounding the practice of circumcision could affect the values and attitudes of circumcision policy committee members, the attitude toward evaluating the circumcision literature, and the publishing of circumcision literature itself. If the members are polarized, the process of negotiating to arrive at a consensus statement could introduce additional psychosocial factors that could affect the final policy.”49

Dr. Goldman published the two articles cited here in the United Kingdom and Canada, not the United States. This may be a testimony to the bias and censorship present in the medical literature of the United States.


All of the behavioral changes described in this paper are negative, unfavorable, or maleficial in nature. No positive, favorable, or beneficial behavioral changes have been found.

The English-speaking nations have a high proportion of circumcised males and, therefore, a high proportion of psychically-wounded males. A society containing so many psychically-wounded males cannot be as healthy as it should be. The United States has clung to circumcision even after Australia and Canada have rejected circumcision of infants. Consequently, the United States has the highest proportion of circumcised males to intact males and the greatest injury to society.

The best way to stop the cycle of trauma is to stop circumcising infants.31,42_ Non-traumatized intact infants usually do not grow up to become circumcisers, so the cycle of trauma would end.


1. Gairdner D. The fate of the foreskin: a study of circumcision. Br Med J_1949;2:1433-7. [Full Text]

2. Wright JE. Non-therapeutic circumcision. _Med J Aust_1967;1:1083-6. [Full Text]

3. Levy D. Psychic trauma of operations in children: and a note on combat neurosis. _Am J Dis Child_1945; 69: 7-25. [Full Text]

4. Freud A. The role of bodily illness in the mental life of children. _Psychoanalytic Study of the Child_ 1952; 7: 69-81.[Full Text]

5. Cansever G. Psychological effects of circumcision. _Brit J Med Psychol_ 1965;38:321-31. [Full Text]

6. Richards MPM, Bernal, JF, Brackbill Y. Early behavioral differences: gender or circumcision? _Dev Psychobiol_ 1976;9(1):89-95. [Full Text]

7. Foley JM. The unkindest cut of all. _Fact_ 1966;3(4):2-9. [Full Text]

8. Grimes DA. Routine circumcision of the newborn: a reappraisal. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1978;130(2):125-29. [Full Text]

9. Gunnar MR, Fisch RO, Korsvik S, Donhowe JM. The effects of circumcision on serum cortisol and behavior. Psychoneuroendocrinology 1981; 6(3):269-75. [Full Text]

10. Malone SM, Gunnar MR, Fisch RO. Adrenocortical and behavioral responses to limb restraint in human neonates. Dev Psychobiol 1985;18:435-46. [Abstract]

11. Porter FL, Miller RH, and Marshal RE. Neonatal pain cries: effect of circumcision on acoustic features and perceived urgency. Child Dev 1986;57:790-802. [Abstract]

12. Porter, FL, Porges SW, Marshall RE. Newborn pain cries and vagal tone: parallel changes in response to circumcision. Child Dev 1988;59:495-505. [Abstract]

13. Gunnar MR, Connors J, Isensee, Wall L. Adrenocortical activity and behavioral distress in human newborns. Dev Psychobiol 1988;21(4):297-310. [Abstract]

14. Emde RN, Harmon RJ, Metcalf D, et al. Stress and neonatal sleep. Psychosom Med 1971;33(6):491-7. [Full Text]

15. Anders TF, Chalemian RJ. The effects of circumcision on sleep-wake states in human neonates. Psychosom Med 1974;36(2):174-9. [Full Text]

16. Marshall RE, Stratton WC, Moore JA, et al. Circumcision I: effects upon newborn behavior. Infant Behavior and Development 1980;3:1-14. [Full Text]

17. Marshall RE, Porter FL, Rogers AG, et al. Circumcision: II effects upon mother-infant interaction. Early Hum Dev 1982; 7(4):367-74. [Full Text]

18. Anonymous.The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, 3rd ed. Franklin Park, IL: La Leche League International, 1981: 92-93. (ISBN 0-912500-10-7) [Text Extract]

19. Howard CR, Howard FM, and Weitzman ML. Acetaminophen analgesia in neonatal circumcision: the effect on pain. Pediatrics 1994;93(4):641-46. [Full Text]

20. Lee N. Circumcision and breastfeeding. J Hum Lact 2000;16(4):295. [Full Text]

21. Section on Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding and the use of human milk. Pediatrics 2005;115(2):496-506. [Full Text]

22. Hepper PG, Fetal memory: Does it What does it do? Acta Pædiatr (Stockholm) 1996; Suppl 416:16-20. [Full Text]

23. Anand KJS, Hickey PR. Pain and its effects in the human neonate and fetus. New Engl J Med 1987;317(21):1321-9. [Full Text]

24. Boyle GJ, Goldman R, Svoboda JS, Fernandez E. Male circumcision: pain, trauma and psychosexual sequelae. J Health Psychol 2002;7(3):329-43. [Full Text]

25. Taddio A, Goldbach M, Ipp E, et al. Effect of neonatal circumcision on pain responses during vaccination in boys. Lancet 1995;345:291-2. [Full Text]

26. Taddio A, Katz J, Ilersich AL, Koren G. Effect of neonatal circumcision on pain response during subsequent routine vaccination. Lancet 1997;349(9052):599-603. [Full Text]

27. Ramos S, Boyle GJ. Ritual and medical circumcision among Filipino boys: evidence of post-traumatic stress disorder. In: Denniston GC, Hodges FM, Milos MF (eds) Understanding circumcision: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to a Multi-Dimensional Problem. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2001: pp. 253-70.

28. Menage J. Post-traumatic stress disorder in women who have undergone obstetric and/or gynaecological procedures. J Reprod Infant Psychol 1993;11:221-28. [Abstract]

29. Rhinehart J. Neonatal circumcision reconsidered. Transactional Analysis J 1999;29(3):215-21. [Full Text]

30. van der Kolk BA. The compulsion to repeat the trauma: re-enactment, revictimization, and masochism. Psychiatr Clin North Am 1989;12(2):389-411. [Full Text]

31. Goldman R. The psychological impact of circumcision. BJU Int 1999;83 Suppl. 1:93-103. [Full Text]

32. Anonymous. Man killed for not going to circumcision school. SAPA, South Africa, Monday, 27 June 2005. [Full Text]

33. Anonymous. Man forcibly circumcised as crowd watches. The Nation, Nairobi, Kenya, 23 August 2002. [Full Text]

34. Vusi Mona. A bit mundane and a little more light. [opinion] City Press, South Africa, 13 July 2002. [Full Text]

35. Anonymous. ‘Spy’ cut up about initiations. African Eye News Service, 27 August 2002. [Full Text]

36. Anonymous. Take boys home, parents urged. South African Press Association (SAPA), 3 July 2002. [Full Text]

37. Salk L, Lipsitt LP, Sturner WQ, et al. Relationship of maternal and perinatal conditions to eventual adolescent suicide. Lancet 1985;i:624-7. [Abstract]

38. Jacobson B, Eklund G, Hamberger L, et al. Perinatal origin of adult self-destructive behavior. Acta Psychiatr Scand 1987;76(4):364-71. [Abstract]

39. van der Kolk BA, Perry JC, Herman JL. Childhood origins of self-destructive behavior. Am J Psychiatry 1991; 148;1665-71. [Abstract]

40. Jacobson B, Bygdeman M. Obstetric care and proneness of offspring to suicide. BMJ 1998; 317:1346-49. [Full Text]

41. Maguire P, Parks CM. Coping with loss: surgery and loss of body parts. BMJ 1998;316(7137):1086-8. [Full Text]

42. Denniston GC. An Epidemic of Circumcision. Third International Symposium on Circumision, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, May 22-25, 1994. [Full Text]

43. Hill G. The case against circumcision. J Mens Health Gend 2007;4(3):318-23. [Full Text PDF]

44. LeBourdais E. Circumcision no longer a “routine” surgical procedure. Can Med Assoc J 1995;152(11):1873-6. [Full Text]

45. Belmaine SP. Circumcision. Med J Aust 1971;1:1148. [Full Text]

46. Young H. Circumcision in Australia. [Full Text]

47. Boyle GJ, Hill G.Circumcision-generated emotions bias medical literature._BJU Int_2012;109:e11. doi:10.1111/j.1464-410X.2012.10917.x [Full Text]

48. Fleiss PM. An analysis of bias regarding circumcision in American medical literature.In: Denniston GC, Hodges FM, Milos MF. (eds)_Male and Female Circumcision: Medical, Legal, and Ethical Consideratons in Pediatric Practice._ New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 1999: pp. 379-402. [Abstract]

49. Goldman R. Circumcision policy: a psychosocial perpective. Paediatr Child Health 2004;9(9):630-3. [Full Text]

Additional Reading

Miller A. Appendix:_The Untouched Key: Tracing Childhood Trauma in Creativity and Destructiveness. Anchor Books (Doubleday) New York, 1991.

Goldman R. Circumcision: The Hidden Trauma. Boston: Vanguard Publications, 1997.

Fleiss P, Hodges FM._What your Doctor May Not_Tell You About Circumcision. New York: Warner Books, 2002.

Ritter TJ, Denniston GC. Doctors Re-examine Circumcision. Seattle: Third Millennium Publishing Company, 2002.


Comments RSS
    • Forensicgirl

      There is nothing to debate here-infant circumcision is a human rights violation and a violation of the medical oath to “first do no harm”. The medical “benefits” have been disproven or are not applicable until adulthood and the people perpetuating the practice are biased-either they are circumcised themselves or they make money off the procedure. Also being opposed to genital cutting on girls but not boys is massively hypocritical.

  1. Anonymous

    Human Behavior — Animal and Human behavior are closely related. When viewed as an animal, and as part of the animal kingdom, some surprising conclusions are reached when the question is asked, “Why do we do the things we do?” Circumcise an animal and I’m sure you will see significant changes in the behavior. There is a book that closely follows along with the topic of human behavior, “Dominance & Delusion,” by M.A. Curtis. It goes into much more depth on the topic.

  2. Anonymous

    Thank You! — The American Psychological Community has long overlooked this issue. We have lacked courage and demonstrated an unwillingness to look inward to determine how our defenses color our attitudes with regard to circumcision. We need to address this issue head on, uncomfortable as it may be. We have countenanced this abuse for far too long.

    • George Hill

      There are three things going on:

      1. The males in the American Psychological Association are drawn from the general population and they mostly would be circumcised, so many would suffer from the abnormal behavior described here, which they would view as normal.
      2. Circumcision is so pervasive in America that the abnormal behavior of circumcised males is viewed as “normal”.
      3. If they wrote any papers, the circumcised authors most likely would defend circumcision. See the Goldman paper at citation no. 31.

  3. Anonymous

    Circumcision has NO effect on sexually transmitted diseases at all.The ONLY protection against STDs is a condom.(That is a medical fact, but common sense alone should tell you that).There is no medical association in the world that says circumcision is necessary.The so-called “studies” done on circumcision related to STDs have been proven INVALID. The studies were done in Uganda (Africa), first of all, where the lifestyle is much different than that in the United States. Secondly, this study was done on adults who all began as uncircumcised–half of them were then circumcised for the study; the uncircumcised males in the study were told they could have sex, while the circumcised males were advised NOT to have sex. It’s pretty difficult to get STDs when you’re not having sex, right? Lastly, the study was stopped halfway through because they realized that there were too many other factors contributing to the results.Read the facts here: here:

    • iconbuster

      Actually, A higher incidence of HIV has been found among circumcised males as compared with non-circumcised males in numerous sub-Saharan nations, however, this paper is not about HIV. It is about the effect of male circumcision on non-sexual human behavior.

      Circumcision also affects sexual behavior but that is outside the scope of this paper.

  4. Anonymous

    The HIV deception — The HIV argument is another deception to compound all the deceptions that went before. MGM appears to reduce F->M HIV transmission by about 60%. That’s it. That’s the sum total of the “argument” being put forth to justify it. What is missing from this argument?Clearly what is missing is its impact on M->F transmission. There is compelling empirical and clinical evidence that MGM increases M->F transmission rates by more than enough to have a net effect of increasing overall transmission rates. This is due to increased vaginal abrasion, which compromises the very effective HIV barrier presented by intact vaginal epithelium. USA has the highest divorce rate, the highest HIV rate and the second-highest MGM rate in the industrialized world. Is this a coincidence? I doubt it.Furthermore, it turns out that FGM has a similar effect on female receptivity to HIV as MGM has on male receptivity. is probably indicative of the similarity of the tissue-type and extent of loss caused by both types of atrocities.Finally it should be pointed out that our so-called professional medical organizations have a long history of such deceptive pronouncements wrt MGM, which has been promoted as a “remedy” for everything from masturbatory insanity to clubfoot to doctor-caused problems like forcible foreskin retraction leading to phimosis and UTI’s. As each of these bogus arguments has fallen a new one is found. This pattern can be readily seen to reflect their enormous fear of being exposed for the child abusers and marriage wreckers that they are.

  5. Thank you for a very enlightening article. I am in complete agreement with your understanding that the abusee goes on to become the abuser. I believe there is another option though, and that is that the abusee resolves his trauma in therapy. Below is the story of my late friend Mark, who was in healing from his circumcision trauma (described by him as “castration anxiety”) and took the opposite stand.

    “MARK’S STORY: Below is the relevant part of the magazine article we had been discussing, which was published by Personality Magazine:

    Mark said: “I think it is terribly important that people should know about the pain and trauma experienced by a baby during circumcision. I was born into a family who circumcise their infant sons for traditional reasons and, until fairly recently, I never questioned the practice.

    “However, throughout my childhood I had a ‘waking nightmare’ that I never understood. I would see myself lying helplessly, gazing up at a group of smiling monsters who were standing around me and staring down at me. I was completely at their mercy and I knew they were going to torture me – but I never found out how.

    “Then some years ago, while I was undergoing psychotherapy, I began to spontaneously relive the nightmare in its real context. The ‘monsters’ turned out to be the male members of my family. They were holding my penis and were about to cut it and I started to actually relive some of the pain, shock and, worst of all, the terrible sense of betrayal of my circumcision.

    “I was having psychotherapy because of sexual problems which made it almost impossible for me to have a relationship with a woman, but I never guessed where the problems had originated. After reliving the trauma of my circumcision I had my first successful relationship with a woman.

    “What horrifies me more than anything is that my well-meaning and smiling relatives had no idea of the pain they caused me or of the scars it would leave on my mind. I don’t have a son, but if I ever do have one he will not be circumcised. I have promised never to do to a son of mine what was done to me.”

    Mark is one of a growing number of people who are questioning the practice of circumcision.

    (PERSONALITY, South Africa, October 14, 1987, p. 36)

  6. Forensicgirl

    Thank you for this excellent and well-researched paper. There does need to be more research on this issue-for example, is there a link between circumcision and sexual assault? What about circumcision and animal cruelty? Clearly all three are linked by a lack of empathy and a lack of respect for others.

    If an infant is supposed to be learning to trust his caregivers in the early stages of life, it is logical that circumcision would violate that trust and therefore have long-reaching effects, as you have explored here.

  7. George Hill

    One would reasonably think that there might be a link between circumcision and sexual assault and animal cruelty but it has not been researched and no evidence exists as far as I am aware, so it is not included in this document.

  8. James Loewen

    Thank you for this excellent, well-researched article George Hill. I have it bookmarked and will be referring to it often.

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