Other Writing by John A. Erickson

Printed in the May/June 1990 issue of The Baby Connection News Journal.

Infant Circumcision:

Foreskin Amputation by Force

Why does so much information about circumcision miss the point?

The foreskin is a uniquely specialized, uniquely sensitive, uniquely functional organ of touch. No other part of the body does what a foreskin does or feels the way a foreskin feels. When you cut off a baby's foreskin, you are cutting off one of his means of perceiving, experiencing, sharing, and enjoying his existence. When you cut off a baby's foreskin, you are literally censoring his life -- you are, in fact, killing part of that baby.

The vast majority of males who are given the choice value their wholeness -- even beyond price -- and keep their foreskins intact, for the same reason they keep their other organs of perception intact. When you circumcise a baby, you are cutting off a part of his penis that you can cut off only because the person you're cutting it off of can't protect himself because he is a baby. In other words, when you circumcise a baby, you are, in effect, cutting his foreskin off by force.

Many males circumcised as babies see themselves as harmed by that amputation -- regardless of the reason they were circumcised -- just as they would see themselves as harmed if any other healthy, sensitive, normally functioning part of their bodies had been cut off.

The endlessly debated "health benefits" of circumcision are therefore a false issue and would not justify depriving a baby of his foreskin even if they were real.

(If someone restrains you -- at any age -- against your will, ignores your screams, and -- with or without an anesthetic -- cuts, tears, crushes, or burns living flesh from your genitals without your consent -- consent not one person in a hundred with the choice is, would be, or ever has been willing to give -- how are you benefitted?)

(By thinking -- or pretending to think -- you've been benefitted?)

If the experts parents trust to give them the facts about circumcision aren't aware of the considerations outlined above, why aren't they? If they are aware of those considerations, why do they remain silent?

John A. Erickson