The ‘pure’ and the punished. A deconstruction of circumcision.


PseudoscienceThis weeks feature on Pseudoscience is The ‘Pure’ and the punished. A deconstruction of circumcision. By Jeff Holiday.

Among the plethora of hotly debated topics in biology, one that has some of the farthest reaching effects is also commonly avoided: circumcision. It is estimated that, as of this writing, 1 in every 3 males on the planet are circumcised. To my recolle Continue reading

Genital Autonomy Conference 2014


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Have you registered for the 2014 Genital Autonomy Conference in Boulder, Colorado? I’ll be speaking about the Scandinavian progress on Saturday and I would to see you – yes you! – in the audience.

- Lena

On Circumcision: Own it, mark it, brand your thing


M. Thomas FrederiksenM. Thomas Frederiksen has graciously agreed to share his story and a poem about it with Just a Snip‘s readers…

As a two day old neonate, I was strapped into a circumstraint, to have my genitals ritually mutilated. This was done by and at the insistence of a doctor. He used me as a thing, a means to his own ends—what ever they may have been. I have feelings abo Continue reading

Circumcision: Denmarks most Prominent Muslim says no


(Activate the cc button for sub-titles in English)

The Danish circumcision debate is moving forward at a fast pace. A recent representative poll shows that a vast majority of the population is in favour of legislation. The idea is to impose an age restriction on circumcision which would allow the adult to make the decision for himself at age 18+.

Only 12% of the populations oppose legisl Continue reading

Danish Minister of Children and Equality Open for Debate on Circumcision


Early March, Manu Sareen, Danish Minister for Children, Gender Equality, Integration and Social Affairs opened for a debate of circumcision of healthy boys. It happened on the direct radio show Call the Government, when a curious listener raised concerns about why healthy boys are not protected from circumcision, just as well as girls are.

Skærmbillede 2014-03-17 kl. 22.23.51Having learned more about circumcision of boys during the past year, I admit to have become aware that the matter may not be as clear cut, as I have previously thought. That is why I have changed my stance, because it does harm many men’s sexuality and does have some physical consequences. Even though it’s wrapped in a religious context we have to dare to take this debate about circumcision as well…. I fully respect other people’s religiousness, but that does not mean that I in any way accept that one can do anything in the name of religion. That makes this debate immensely difficult, but one has to dare to take it.

His party Radikale Venstre, a social liberal party, has passed a resolution to ban circumcision of healthy boys. However the members of parliament are not obliged to work actively for the parties resolutions and have negleted to do so up until now.

Listen to the show here (in Danish) at 28 min.

Inspired by other great Danish voices for children’s genital integrity and autonomy Intact Denmark has worked hard for the past year to make a Danish age restriction on circumcision of healthy boys a reality. Being the founder and chairwoman of the organisation, I am personally very proud of the results we have achieved so far.

Anti-circumcision thank you note


NOT-letter

N. sent me this beautiful note in response to reading my piece An Insight into the Danish Circumcision Debate, which Continue reading

Circumcision of boys is mutilation


In Denmark the debate about circumcision of boys is raging. It has reached the headlines of national news papers as well as the opinion pages in the local ones.

Politicians, commentators, medical experts and children’s rights advocates are debating the issue. In 2013 circumcision without medical indication reached the Danish media more than 200 times. Less than one month into 2014 it looks as though that number may quadruple at the very least during the year to come.

If all goes according to plan, Denmark is less than a year from a total ban on circumcision of healthy boys. Intactivist are working for an 18 year age limit for elective genital surgery.

Support Intact Denmark’s work – donate here. Every little bit helps.

1597118_10202827902075973_1920636240_oOn 22nd January 2014 Dahir Jama Roobleh posted in local Danish paper Fyens Stiftstidende “Circumcision is not mutilation, Lena Nyhus, Chairwoman of Intact Denmark, an organisation which fights to ban circumcision in Denmark. Dear Lena, you must respect and accept our action, which is performed by Jews and Muslims. Do not interfere with our faith!”

Circumcision is mutilation

Dear Dahir Jama Roobleh

“Do not interfere with circumcision of boys, it’s a religious act performed by Jews and Muslims”,  you wrote to on 22nd January 2014.

I do not mind explaining why Intact Denmark – Against Circumcision of Children and I would not even consider abandoning the issue. We are an organisation founded by people with Jewish, Muslim and Christian backgrounds. Some of faith, some not. We are all of the opinion that the child has a right to it’s own body, a right to protection against mutilation, a right to a personal choice of religion and in particular the right to choose whether that religion should include saying goodbye to their most sensitive body parts.

Parents do not hold ownership rights to their children, they have the obligation to care for them. That does not give them the right to cut functioning parts of their children’s genitals.

Chairwoman Lena Nyhus - Intact DenmarkYou may not know it, but this Tuesday (21st January 2014) the Danish National Board of Health ended a hearing on “Guidelines to Circumcision of Boys), in that context the Danish Medical Association, the Danish College of Medical Practitioners, the National Council for Children, the Danish Family Planning Association, Children’s Welfare and a number of other super talented professionals have taken a stance on circumcision of boys in addition to Intact Denmark, naturally.

In common for all the answers to the hearing I have had a chance to see is the opinion htat circumcision of boys without medical indication is mutilation. As simple as that. An opinion shared with 85% of the Danish population. We must have legislation to protect the children now.

Join Intact Denmark and support the organisations efforts. Press here.

Allow me to explain why:

Children are persons in their own right. They have rights. They have the right to their own bodies. They have a right to their own religious beliefs. Those rights are strictly personal and every bit as inalienable as your personal rights and mine. That means that I may not amputate part of your healthy body. That means that I may not force my personal cultual, religious and aesthetic preferences on you. It also means that you may not do that to your children.

The religious freedom is personal. It does not include the right to carve your religion into the body of another human being. Not even if this human being is your own child.

Of course the adult man who understands consequences and riscs should be able to choose circumcision if he wishes to say goodbye to half of the sensitivity of his penis. Of course he should be able to choose to mark his religion or culture on his body. That is his choice. His free right. His human right.

The basis of our life in a democracy is the respect for each persons human rights. That is why I interfere in the question of circumcision of boys. That is why the members of Intact Denmark have entrusted me with the position of Chairwoman.

Omskæring ér lemlæstelseI will not stop until boys are protected from unnecessary surgery to their genitals, just as girls are under the current legislation.

Thank you for raising the issue in Fyens Stiftsstidende Dahir Jama Roobleh, without your effort I might not have had the chance to inform the papers readers about this issue. I suggest that we arrange a debate, during which we can talk it through thoroughly. What do you say?

In conclusion may I suggest that you try a thought experiment? Imagine a religion which demands that fingers, toes or ears are cut off the children. Would you accept that the neighbours children came to school without their left ring finger (it has fewer funtions than the foreskin by far) or perhaps without an ear? Where would you draw the line?

I claim that you and I would agree on that issue, just as I assume we will, when it comes to circumcision of girls. One does not cut healthy children!

Circumcision without medical indication is mutilation


Circumcision without medical indication is mutilation. The message from the Danish Society of Family Physicians is unmistakable: electory surgery on non-consenting minors must end.

Skærmbillede 2014-01-18 kl. 14.47.03The statement has been put forward in connection with a hearing by the Danish National Board of Health about guidelines regarding circumcision of minors.

The full wording is: “The National Board of Health has sent Guidelines Regarding Circumcision of Boys into hearing. DSAM (Danish Society of Family Physicians) has debated the issue and agreed that circumcision may only be performed when medical indication is present. Circumcision in the absence of a medical indication is mutilation.”

The stance against circumcision from DSAM is the latest in a series of clear statements from respected Danish and Scandinavian organisations.

Soon the Danish National Parliament will have no option than to ban genital mutilation of healthy boys. Adults who understands the consequences and risks regarding the procedure should of course be allowed the freedom to decide for them whether or not they want the procedure.

My Circumcised Life: Memories of Routine Infant Circumcision (RIC)


I was raised in a family that didn’t know how to talk about sex, or our bodies. My parents even used made up words to talk about bathroom behaviors and body parts. Though I was raised in this kind of family, I still had questions, but I had to learn not to ask them. I was very small when I started asking my mom about it. Of course nobody had ever mentioned it, but I knew that I had been “CUT” down there. I actually believed at the time that the doctor had carved the groove behind my glans (what I now know as the sulcus)…I wasn’t sure what had been done, but I knew it had been an act of cutting. I knew I had been hurt. I learned later that I was missing something.bigstock-Depressed-Man-Sitting-On-Top-O-48751034

I was in college when I had my first intact partner; it was then that I discovered what, exactly, was taken from me Continue reading

Question: Circumcised or intact penis?


Found on Facebook, the author has chosen to remain anonymous, but we post it with his permission. This was his answer to the question “Are you circumcised or intact and how do you feel about it?”

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Intact.

I am not going to lie. I am posting here because this subject is so sensitive to me. Friends who know me, especially those who have seen me in the buff, wonder Continue reading

Educating strangers about intactivism succesfully – a ‘how to’ story


1278980_10151661541866717_1740012055_o“I am an activist against circumcision and an educator on the issue. I have many things to tell you about those myths you just told me that will blow your mind and I’m sure that if you hear me out, you will completely change your mind about having your next son circumcised. Could I have your phone number so that I can call you after our appointments?”.

Kelley Heitzman’s brilliant take on intactivism. There’s a lot to learn about how to approach cirumcision education here.

I went to a doctor appointment this morning and usually I keep to myself and don’t chat with people unless they directly speak to me.

A woman walked in moaning and groaning, huffing and puffing as she plopped down on Continue reading

Anatomy of the penis: Penile and Foreskin Neurology


Uploaded to YouTube on 3 Oct 2011by Bonobo3D

Ken McGrath, Senior Lecturer in Pathology at the Faculty of Health, Auckland University of Technology and Mem Continue reading

An Open Letter to the Author of ‘How Circumcision Broke the Internet’


Reblogged from The Good Men Project with permission from Brian Earp – visit the site, it’s highly readable and an enormously important initiative.

September 23, 2013 by

circumcision photo by miss pupik

Brian D. Earp believes circumcision is worth talking about. And he would like Mr. Stern and the editors of Slate magazine to know why.

Dear Mr. Stern,

I recently read your article, “How Circumcision Broke the Internet” for Slate magazine [republished as “‘Intactivists’ Against Circumcision” in Canada’s National Post]. I understand your concern about overheated rhetoric in public debates as well as the misuse of science to support untenable positions. As a scientist and ethicist who studies circumcision profes Continue reading

A man’s point of view on circumcision


Eddy Cameron

A man’s point of view on circumcision.

I truly envy you Ladies. You’re Federally protected from female genital mutilation (FGM) in the United States, I am not. You have all your bits, I do not. I wonder what it feels like to be able to feel everything while I struggled to feel anything.

And yet, you can sit there, typing, with a straight face, extolling the benefits of male genital mutilation.

Remember that these are only words, and my words at that. They cannot harm Continue reading

Another Danish Party Adopts Stance Against Non-therapeutic Circumcision


VU logo

Yet another Danish political party has adopted stance against circumcision of healthy boys. Venstres Ungdom which is a liberal right-wing youth party has just voted on the issue 30 minutes ago. Venstres Ungdom is not in parliament but resolutions passed there can sometimes be used to vet the mother party’s stance on certain issues.

(Venstres Ungdom translates to the Youth of the Left for historical reasons but is a right-wing party)

Every circumcision is botched


Steven Svoboda, Founder of Attorneys for the Rights of the Child explains why every circumcision in his opinion is botched and tells why he got into intactivism decades ago.

Is money an incentive for genital cutting?


Is money an incentive for genital cutting? A new study by health care economists Erin Johnson and M. Marit Rehavi suggests that money plays a very big role when doctors decide which health care measures to offer patients.

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On the uglyness of trolls and what to do about them


Since becoming an intactivist I find myself encountering a particular breed of human being, which I’ve never met or even heard about before. In lack of a better word I’ll call them trolls, but I expect that some of them … Continue reading

Photo Credit: aesop via Compfight cc

A defense of the foreskin


By Mikael Aktor
Originally published in the Danish daily INFORMATION and on INTACT DENMARK 10th July 2013 and to

If accidents or disease reduce the bodily functions of a child, we do whatever we can to remedy the damage. Why then inflict such a loss on healthy children ourselves?

June 27 was a sad day for Danish boys. On this day the minister of health, Astrid Krag, rejected legislation against boy circumcision on the basis of a newly delivered report from the Health Council. But the report and Krag’s arguments only relate to a very narrow health perspective, they do not deal with the equally important human rights aspects.

I am a member of an association – Intact Denmark, Association Against Child Circumcision – which has as it’s goal to restrict circumcision to persons who themselves express the wish to have it done and who have reached the age of consent. The arguments for this view among the members of the association vary but my own is quite Continue reading

Strong documentary on circumcision


Mischief: Circumcise Me? A documentary on circumcision. Exploring the hows and whys of circumcision, medical pros and cons. Sexual consequences. And finally coming to a conclusion: Should this baby boy be cut – not?