“Intactivists” and their Methods

During the past decade or so there have been several campaigns by those people who oppose circumcision (so-called “intactivists“) to spread misinformation and lies, and frighten prospective parents into not circumcising their infant sons.

Especially during the past few years or so the methods and overall tone have become that of actively bullying and threatening people who dare speak up in favor of the procedure, e.g. by labelling them as child molesters, “circumfetishists” etc. The targets of these hate campaigns include parents and medical practitioners like pediatricians.

In addition they are also trying to indoctrinate men who have been circumcised by telling them that they have been “mutilated” and that their sex lives have been ruined because the circumcised penis is “less sensitive” .  They have particularly targeted vulnerable men, who may be psychologically fragile, in this way causing additional and unnecessary mental anguish. In fact it is their stated aim to make men distressed because it draws them into the movement, as well as scaring parents into not circumcising their sons. They have even set a target: 600,000 miserable, angry U.S. men (for link see here). This is not only completely bogus from a medical point of view, but also very dangerous from a psychological one. The man in the link was driven to suicide because of this.

The tactics have become so bad that several pediatricians have said enough, and have started their own online campaign to alert people to this behavior and fight back. One such site is
CircumcisionChoice.com

Some useful reminders from that site to keep in mind:

 

 

Views from Others

In a blog article posted last year, the case was argued for circumcision, and why it is a good thing.  A very interesting comment regarding the popular inactivist myth that circumcision ruins a man’s sex life because the circumcision somehow lessens the sensitivity of the penis states that:

“Nerve Ending Hypothesis:

There is a popular hypothesis that because the foreskin has 10,000 to 20,000 nerve endings, any removal of it must affect sensitivity. It makes sense and it’s worth investigating. Unfortunately, it’s that investigation aspect that many in the anti-circumcision crowd don’t like; for many, the hypothesis is conclusive. Occasionally, though, they may point to a study or two they incidentally find – so long as it supports their beliefs, of course. These studies (which are usually actually just subjective surveys) sometimes indicate decreased sensitivity in circumcised men. Other times, they show just the opposite. (The anti-circumcision crowd ignores those.) Mostly, though, they show statistically insignificant differences. Moreover, the better studies and meta-analyses out there show the same wash. Since science operates on bodies of evidence rather than individual studies – if you can’t repeat your data, it’s bullshit – the correct conclusion here is that not only is there no body of evidence that circumcision decreases sensitivity, but there is actually an active body of evidence which shows it has no effect.”

NB. See the section Sensitivity for a debunking of the 10,000 to 20,000 nerves myth.