Home > Sex, Lies & Feminism > Chapter 2

The Black Ribbon Campaign

Empowering Men:

fighting feminist lies


Sex, Lies & Feminism by Peter Zohrab

Chapter 2: Circumcision


Home Page Articles about Issues 1000 links
alt.mens-rights FAQ Sex, Lies & Feminism Quotations
Male-Friendly Lawyers, Psychologists & Paralegals Email us ! Site-map





1999 Version

Circumcision is an unnecessary procedure, from a medical point of view, which can never be fully reversed. It can lead to complications, and these are at least as common as the few medical conditions it is said to prevent.

It can be painful to the infant if carried out without anaesthetics -- and if anaesthetics are used they may cause complications. It is a violation of a child's human rights to deny him an intact body for no compelling reason without his prior agreement.

It involves just as much mutilation of sexually sensitive tissue as female circumcision does, and male circumcision is more widespread in the world than its female counterpart. Like female circumcision, male circumcision is often practised for religious and cultural reasons. Yet it is female circumcision that gets most of the publicity in the Western media. Circumcision is genital mutilation, and should be campaigned against by all those who are opposed to female circumcision.


2002 Version


As defined by the US National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NOCIRC), circumcision is the surgical removal (cutting off) of the fold of skin that normally covers the glans (head) of the penis.

This chapter is concerned solely with neonatal circumcision – i.e., the removal of the foreskin of infant boys – because here the parents are making a decision on behalf of someone who is too young to make an informed decision himself. Once an adult, a man should presumably be able to decide for himself whether to be circumcised provided his choice has not already been preempted by his parents! Abortionists use the word "choice" to allow women to kill their unborn children and here we are only talking about allowing a male infant the choice as to whether he is to lose part of his own anatomy in a painful operation.

According to NOCIRC, doctors in the English-speaking countries started circumcising babies in the mid-1800s "to prevent masturbaition," which some doctors claimed caused many diseases, including epilepsy, tuberculosis and insanity. Doctors have given other reasons since then, but all of them, including the claim that circumcision prevents cancer of the penis, cancer of the cervix and venereal diseases, have been disproven according to NOCIRC.

Male circumcision is more widespread in the world than its female counterpart. Like female circumcision, male circumcision is often practised for religious and cultural reasons. Yet it is female circumcision that gets most of the publicity in the western media. Feminists are up in arms, but only over Female Genital Mutilation (FGM); when asked about Male Genital Mutilation (MGM), they generally scoff ("it's just a little piece of skin") or yawn and dismiss it as "not a women's issue." Their attitude is a Men's Issue in itself. Male circumcision is genital mutilation, and should be campaigned against by all who oppose female circumcision.


The Case For Circumcision

According to Dr Brian Morris, there are good reasons both for and against circumcision, but he comes down heavily in favour of the practice.

I would like to raise two general issues before discussing his arguments in detail:

  1. As some of his arguments have to do with the benefits of circumcision to women, they are irrelevant. After all, how many arguments are there about women's health issues that have to do with their effect on men? None!

  2. His arguments imply circumcision is the natural or normal treatment of infant boys, and his concern is whether to abolish an established practice.

    An anti-circumcisionist might prefer to start from a tabula rasa (blank slate) and ask why one would want to perpetuate a practice which, like animal sacrifice, arose out of myth and superstition. We should look at the matter through more objective eyes, and require this surgical procedure to justify itself.

Here, then, are Dr. Morris' points, together with my comments on them:

One major disadvantage of the foreskin is that it creates an unhealthy environment between it and the penis, where dead cells, secretions, urine and bacteria proliferate, and infection can and does arise – even if the area is regularly cleaned. But the same could be said of the hymen, yet any physician who would dare suggest routinely removing the hymen at birth would risk losing their license.

Another is that the foreskin keeps the skin of the penis beneath it thin and moist (compared to the same area of skin on a circumcised penis), and this presents a weaker barrier against infection. But the intact penis is also more sensitive to erotic stimulation.

Another problem is that the foreskin increases the surface area of skin, and thus increases the likelihood of infection penetrating it. This same point could be used to suggest surgically shortening all penises to a uniform and medically determined "optimum" length. But how many men, not to mention women, would agree to that? Moreover, the relatively loose foreskin is more likely than the circumcised penis to become damaged during sexual intercourse – allowing infection to enter the bloodstream. Sure, and the same might be said of the labia minora but western cultures refer to any cutting of the female genitalia as mutilation.

Having the operation later in life gives the patient the opportunity to worry about it in anticipation, he says. But at least that allows the individual to choose. Choice for uncircumcised males! Having the operation later also increases the likelihood of there being a visible scar. Again, it is (or should be) a male's choice to have it done or not to have it done – once he is old enough to understand the implications.

He says that no negative psychological side-effects of circumcision have been demonstrated and that the pain of the operation can be avoided by using anaesthetics. NOCIRC, NOHARMM and other anti-circumcision groups, however, cite studies indicating circumcised men tend to be more aggressive than intact men, which can contribute to antisocial behavior.

He also complains that the "smegma" – the film of dead skin cells, bacteria, etc. under the foreskin – gives off an odour which some find offensive. The genitals of women of all ages have smegma as well, yet nobody suggests cutting away the labia to prevent it, although some people find that smell offensive, too.

There are sometimes physical problems, including infections, which would be prevented or alleviated by circumcision. These are usually caused by parents who tear the foreskin while trying to clean the infant penis. Education can remedy that. The foreskin can become caught in the zipper of the fly of a boy's trousers. And children sometimes get their fingers caught in a door but we don't amputate their fingers to prevent that. Elderly men in nursing homes – especially if they have Alzheimer's Syndrome – are sometimes easier to look after if they are circumcised. Sure, and lobotomized patients are easier to look after, too. This argument is inhumane and callous.

Dr. Morris says that in 1982 it was reported that 95% of UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections) in boys aged 5 days to 8 months were in uncircumcised infants. However, this only affects about 3 in 100,000 boys, so it is not a significant factor which would need to be taken into account. Penile cancer occurs almost exclusively in uncircumcised men in the USA. However, the incidence is much lower than the rate of breast cancer among women. By this logic, we should also remove breast tissue from baby girls, as a preventative measure!

Studies have shown women prefer the sight and smell of the circumcised penis – especially for the purposes of fellatio (0ral sex). By this logic, if most men prefer the sight and feel of surgically augmented breasts, then we should force all women to get breast implants. Again, it is irrelevant and offensive to use the desires of women as an argument for a compulsory surgical procedure on boys, in violation of their civil rights.

There are apparently indications that uncircumcised males are at greater risk of suffering from sexual dysfunction. I assume that Dr. Morris is referring here to "premature" ejakulation. However, I have also heard of men who have been rendered so insensitive by involuntary neonatal circumcision that they astound their sexual partners by chatting during the sex act. So it appears circumcision can do such disproportionate harm to males' sexual sensitivity that any possible benefits to women' likelihood of reaching orgasm are counterbalanced.

Dr. Morris states that only a small proportion of boys suffer ill effects from the operation of circumcision itself – citing a study by Wiswell:

Wiswell looked at the complication rates of having or not having it performed in a study of 136,000 boys born in US army hospitals between 1980 and 1985. 100,000 were circumcised and 193 (0.19%) had complications, with no deaths, but of the 36,000 who were not circumcised the complication rate was 0.24% and there were 2 deaths.

This is not conclusive because there is no mention of controls for such other factors as socioeconomic group. It is perfectly possible the circumcised group came from higher socioeconomic categories and were therefore less likely to develop complications anyway.

He criticises the organisation NOCIRC for comparing male circumcision with female circumcision. Dr. Morris claims female circumcision is analogous to removing the entire penis. In fact, however, even removing the clitoris (which is only one form of female circumcision) still allows a woman to reproduce, while removing a man's penis would prevent him from reproducing naturally. The foreskin contains most of the nerve endings of the penis; hence the clitoris and foreskin perform very similar functions: stimulation.

Dr. Morris further asserts "uncircumcised men have twice the incidence of prostate cancer compared with circumcised." However, it may be just that in the USA the same ethnic groups get their sons circumcised as have a low incidence of prostate cancer. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that "the NHSLS in the USA saw greatest rates among whites and the better educated." Blacks are known to have a higher incidence of prostate cancer than whites in the USA, and this is said to be related to the amount of testosterone in the blod, which is higher in Blacks than in Whites or Asians.

"A number of studies have documented higher rates of cervical cancer in women who have had one or more male sexual partners who were uncircumcised," he states. I think it would be ludicrous to allow a women's health issue dictate our approach to a men's any more than we should allow a men's health issue to dictate our approach to women's.

There are indications circumcision reduces the risk of contracting AIDS when no condom is used during sexual intercourse. However, such "indications" carry little weight in a medical climate which encourages the use of condoms as the only safe way of having sex. I expect that some types of female circumcision would also reduce the risk of contracting AIDS, but Feminists would never agree to that being implemented as a preventative measure !

Dr. Morris admits circumcision does have some risks, such as excessive bleeding, infection, the possible need for subsequent surgery, dorsal penile nerve block and death. But he does not consider any of these to be either serious or common.



The issue of how great the various risks and benefits of circumcision are is obviously still somewhat contentious. However, no single one of these risks or benefits to the male involved seems very great in itself. That being so, the human rights issue should be paramount. In other words, the male should have the choice whether to proceed with this irreversible operation – which means it should not be done until he reaches at least his teenage years.

It is worth noting this operation is not fully reversible. The foreskin may be restored in its role as a covering for the glans. However, the nerve endings cannot be replaced.

Since my stance here is a philosophical one, it might be possible to argue religious reasons should override these human rights considerations, where the parents are Jews or Moslems. I do not feel strongly on this point – either way.


See also: The Issue of Circumcision & Circumcision Resources




Chapter 1: Feminist Narcicissism & Political Power

Chapter 2: Circumcision

Chapter 3: Rape

Chapter 4: The Domestic Violence Lie

Chapter 5: False Accusations & the Child-Abuse Lie

Chapter 6: The "Male Justice System" Lie

Chapter 7: Employment Issues

Chapter 9: Lies, Damned Lies & UN Statistics

Chapter 10: The "Equality" Lie

Chapter 11: The Right of Choice & Abortion

Chapter 12: Sexist Language

Chapter 13: Indoctucation & the Media-University Complex

Chapter 14: The Frontman Fallacy

Appendix: Historical Manifestations of Feminism





Peter Douglas Zohrab

Latest Update

24 March 2018