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.

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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.

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

AAP meets strong criticism for lack of ethics and flawed medical practice


by Lena Nyhus

“Cultural Bias in the AAP’s 2012 Technical Report and Policy Statement on Male Circumcision”

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38 high-ranking medical doctors and professors from 17 western countries outside of the US strongly criticise the AAP stance on male circumcision in new medical article published in AAPs own journal Pediatrics (imagine that going through peer review). Danish medical Professor Morten Frisch is lead author on the paper..

I’m sure you’re eager to read the new article, but although they have promised to make the entire thing free to all readers, Pediatrics have only opened for the abstract. However, I got my hands on the whole thing. Read it here Continue reading

Study on sexual dysfunction in circumcised men and their partners


Text from Bonobo3D – maker of the video

“Morten Frisch, an MD, PhD and Doctor of Medicine, a professor of sexual health epidemiology at Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen and at Aalborg University in Denmark discusses his 2011 study on sexual function difficulties in circumcised men and their female partners. He also gives an account of the difficulties that researchers may face when their study results are not in favor of male circumcision.

Frisch et al’s study, which showed an excess of orgasm difficulties in circumcised Continue reading

Circumcised radio host: ‘It’s pure torture’ (Full translation)


By Kjeld Koplev, Radio Host / Journalist
(Full translation of article published in Danish daily Politiken 07/18/2012)
Translated and published by Lena Nyhus / IQvixen with permission from the author

Kjeld KoplevPhotographer: Miriam Dalsgaard

Kjeld Koplev
Photographer: Miriam Dalsgaard

Circumcision is an interference into the sex life of the Jewish man and should be stopped immediately.

The signature Anders Jerichouw (AJ) writes in the editorial of Politiken 07/15/2012 that circumcision of Jewish boys is the family’s way of passing on love.

I find that it is pure torture! Cocksure, AJ claims that the circumcision causes no harm. I say, that the torture I was exposed to when a Rabbi cut off my foreskin without anaesthesia   – and without medical experience or training – inflicted lifelong psychological trauma on me.

The Rabbi who yielded the knife also inflicted a castration anxiety that has stayed with me ever since.

I cannot in any way see that circumcision has the least to do with love. Continue reading

Can you give me back my foreskin? (Full translation)


Open letter to Bent Lexner, Chief Rabbi of Denmark

By Leo Milgrom
(Milgroms translation of his original piece published in Danish daily Politiken ‘Kan du give mig min forhud tilbage?‘ 07/28/2012 and first covered by this blog here.)

March 1980: a man drives into a neighborhood south of Copenhagen. He stops in front of a terraced house, walks up the stairs to the first floor and into the bedroom where he proceeds to greet the people present. He recites a number of verses – and then he cuts of my foreskin and takes it with him.

32 years later I have grown up to write to you, Bent Lexner, because you are Chief Rabbi and in charge of Jewish circumcisions in Denmark. Questions have piled up Continue reading

WANTED! Danish atheist photographer


457 unique visitors from 22 countries in just 6 days . My blog is taking off flying. By I’m far from satisfied. I want to bring attention to atheism and anti-genital mutilation. And I want you to help me. There’s no money in it for either of us. All I can promise you is that your name will be exposed together with the pictures. 60% of my users are Danish and at the moment my site is growing by a rate of +200% every day. Maybe this could be a good deal for you as well as good cause.

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‘Can You Give Me Back My Foreskin?’ Leo Milgrom asked…


by Lena Nyhus / iQvixen

‘Can you give me back my foreskin?’ Temp Teacher and former member of the Danish Mosaic Community Leo Milgrom asked Chief Rabbi Bent Lexner in an open letter published in Politiken 07/28/2012.

Read more here (Article in Danish: Kan du give mig min forhud tilbage?)

In an insightful piece Milgrom shared his thoughts on the Jewish culture that had fostered a tradition of circumcision citing scripture on several occasions to expose some of the many commandments that the Jewish community of today have already abandoned.

A modern human being must be able to explore and discuss the culture, traditions and rituals which it is part of, but unfortunately some parts of the Jewish community seem unable to partake in such a debate, he claims. Surely, the time has come to question and abandon and ancient and cruel ritual that leaves children traumatised.

Chief Rabbi has circumcised more than 1.000 infant boys over the years according to his own records and he is the religious head of the Jewish community in Denmark. In that capacity Milgrom asks for answers on behalf of himself and perhaps to the benefit of some of the other boys Lexner circumcised over the years.

The intimate bond of trust between parents and child is irreversible severed during circumcision, substituting family with religion. Later in life, when the boy becomes a man, yet again the circumcision inhibits intimacy between the man and his sexual partner. Between them will always be a third party; religion.

Milgrom’s mother cried during the circumcision, his father nearly fainted, they have confided to him. His question to the Chief Rabbi is ‘Why didn’t the circumciser stop to ask what was the matter?… Did he at any time think: I wonder what this little boy thinks about what I’m doing to him? Do these contemplations not even enter your minds?’

To my knowledge Milgrom’s questions, as I have described them here, remain unanswered. Cheif Rabbi of Denmark Bent Lexner never replied.