Male Circumcision in the USA: A Human Rights Primer

From the writing:

“Despite the obviously irrational cruelty of circumcision, the profit incentive in American medical practice is unlikely to allow science or human rights principles to interrupt the highly lucrative American circumcision industry. It is now time for European medical associations loudly to condemn the North American medical community for participating in and profiting from what is by any standard a senseless and barbaric sexual mutilation of innocent children.”

–Fleiss PM. MD, MPH. Circumcision. Lancet 1995;345:927 [1]

“Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity.”

–George Bernard Shaw

“What is done to children, they will do to society.”

–Karl Menninger, MD


The American medical establishment has promoted male circumcision as a preventative measure for an astonishing array of pathologies, ranging from masturbatory insanity, moral laxity, aesthetics and hygiene, to headache, tuberculosis, rheumatism, hydrocephalus, epilepsy, paralysis, alcoholism, near-sightedness, rectal prolapse, hernia, gout, clubfoot, urinary tract infections, phimosis, cancer of the penis, cancer of the cervix, syphillis and AIDS. [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] But the only rationale which has clear, well established scientific support is the one originally and openly used by the medical establishment when medical circumcision was introduced as a “public health” measure in the Victorian era. That is, to punish and control the sexuality of male children. Victorian doctors knew something that modern medicine has chosen to ignore: the foreskin is at the heart of male sexuality.

A typical western medical circumcision results in the loss of approximately 1/2 of the total surface area of the penis and between 50 and 80% or more of its erogenous sexual nerves, [8, 9, 10] including:

  • The Taylor “ridged band” [sometimes called the "frenar band"], the primary erogenous zone of the male body. This unique, highly specialized and exquisitely sensitive structure is equipped with soft ridges designed by nature to stimulate the female’s inner labia and G-spot during intercourse.
  • The frenulum, the highly erogenous V-shaped tethering structure on the underside of the head of the penis.
  • Between 10,000 and 20,000 specialized erotogenic nerve endings of several types, which can feel slight variations in pressure and stretching, subtle changes in temperature, and fine gradations in texture.
  • Thousands of coiled fine-touch receptors called Meissner’s corpuscles, which are also found in the fingertips.

Also lost are:

  • The foreskin’s gliding action, the non-abrasive gliding of the shaft of the penis within its own sheath, which facilitates smooth, comfortable and pleasurable intercourse for both partners.
  • The “subpreputual wetness” which protects the mucosa of the glans (and inner foreskin), and which contains immunoglobulin antibodies and antibacterial and antiviral proteins such as the pathogen-killing enzyme lysozyme, a potent HIV killer which is also found in tears and mothers’ milk.
  • Estrogen receptors, the purpose of which is not fully understood.
  • The foreskin’s apocrine glands, which produce pheromones.
  • The protection and lubrication of the erogenous surface of the penis, which is designed by nature to be an internal organ like the vagina. Natural sex involves contact between two internal organs. [11]

In essence, medical male genital mutilation (MGM) is the pathologization and treatment of the “disease” of male sexuality. [12]

Full essay and downloadable PDF version available here:

2 thoughts on “Male Circumcision in the USA: A Human Rights Primer

  1. Pingback: Mental Disorders 101

  2. The Fleiss’s article in Lancet (although already 15 years old) should be mailed to the anatomy teachers at all American medical schools.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>