Does Circumcision Cause Psychological Damage?

Dr. Janet Menage writes on Norm UK:

Circumcision is a euphemism for genital reduction surgery or genital mutilation, performed by medically-licensed or unqualified practitioners for various reasons. It is important to define it honestly, for that is how the mind interprets it, with or without superimposed denials, explanations and intellectualisations.

Many circumcisions are performed on children, who, by definition are not able to give informed consent of the kind available to adults. They are vulnerable to coercion and manipulation and generally have little say in what happens to their bodies medically & surgically. They are not usually allowed to say no to medical procedures because it is deemed that parents & doctors “know best”. However, it is unlikely that any child, asked if they would like a person with a knife to cut off part of their penis, would agree to such an action. This would be a normal psychological reaction to the threat of attack and is overruled at some psychological cost.

When one’s own natural tendency to protect oneself is rendered ineffective, one loses a sense of one’s own power over one’s destiny & survival, and a feeling of helplessness ensues. This occurs in situations of rape, torture and sexual abuse. In a situation where a person feels he or she cannot escape physical attack, the mind will “escape” by a process of “dissociation” — it is as if the mind leaves the body temporarily, so that the body can endure the attack, but the mind does not have to. On returning to the body, the mind may then be subject to unconscious repetitions of the traumatic memories in flashbacks or nightmares. These recurring images may be triggered by any situation which reminds the sufferer of the original traumatic event; a child who has been subjected to a painful surgical procedure in hospital may develop a phobia of hospitals or doctors or people in white coats. The child, or later the adult he grows into, may sweat, have palpitations, feel breathless, nauseated, panicky or dizzy at the thought of the trauma situation and try to avoid it happening again. This may lead to difficulty when medical attention is genuinely needed for a subsequent illness.

Read More: Norm UK

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  • Synapse

    Fact: A kid that is too young to remember even having a foreskin can't miss it. A baby a few days old doesn't know what's up, he is no where near developed enough to have any longterm anything, and if the circumcision is done right he won't even notice it. Just more anti-circ bs from adults with sexual issues who fetishize something as being the only problem in their life.

    • Hadrian999

      they serve no rational purpose,
      i say it's time to let go of our old ritual mutilation of our children for YVHV

    • JustinTime

      you stated “Fact: A kid that is too young to remember even having a foreskin can't miss it”
      This is true for ANY and ALL events babies have, so this FACT does not “prove” anything.
      The focus of this thread is to ponder answers to the question, “CIrcumcision is done for what purpose?”
      Who gains?
      Take your hands off me

    • Soso

      Fact: If a doctor had came at me to do a circumcision as an adult I would have unloaded a pistol in his face. Its not a sexual issue to know you were mutilated. dickweed.

    • Andrew

      Wrong. When the brain is developing, during infancy and childhood, is precisely when a flood of cortisol caused by pain and terror (i.e. trauma) can do the most long lasting damage. Adults have a much easier time getting over things that happen to them. Missing the foreskin has little to do with it, as anyone who reads the article can tell.

    • iamadream

      hey buddy, you better check your facts. my circumcision has literally & figuratively scarred me for life. at that stage in life the brain is undergoing rapid development. you don't think a trauma a trauma like that leaves a lasting impression? whether consciously or not, the trauma remains! how do you feel about female circumcision? is it okay to lop off those parts? why not save your daughter the trauma of surgery in her later life & get her those breast implants now, so she doesn't have to “remember”? dipshit!

      • Gemmarama

        a friend of mine spent part of his childhood in bahrain as his dad was stationed there for his job. he was taken into hospital for an operation and the doctors took it upon themselves to whip off his foreskin without asking (he was about 7 at the time) while he was there. they thought they were “doing his parents a favour”, apparently. i know he would certainly claim it has scarred him for life…

    • jordan681

      This can go for anything you do to a kid. This excuse works easily for male infant circumcision because we're used to people defend it for this or that reason. (It prevents x disease, it's cleaner, etc.)

      But would this work for a baby girl? I mean think about it. You could cut off a baby girl's labia and still leave her clitoris intact. She won't know and probably won't remember. But would circumcising a girl as a baby make the act any “better?”

      What if it's “done right?” With all the right utensils? In a clean environment? By a trained professional? With pain killers? (even though she won't remember?)

      Would THAT make female circumcision better?

      And here's what I can't understand; people who are against male infant circumcision are always being accused by those who are in favor of it as being “foreskin fetishists.” While moments later, they'll be defending circumcision “because girls like it better.” I've heard people in favor of circumcision actually say that they think the circumcised penis is “sexier.” Oh, but WE'RE the “fetishists.”

      What about people against female circumcision? Dare you say that they are “labia fetishists?” Why does that only work for people against male circumcision?

      Before people go off on me for comparing male and female circumcision, I'd like to state a few facts: Female circumcision, even the worst kind, called infibulation (where they cut out the labia and clitoris and sow up the vulva to leave a small whole) could not elliminate orgasm. I have the studies that show that the claim that “female circumcision elliminates orgasm” are simply not true. Not all female circumcision is infibulation, in fact that is the rarest kind of FGM. In Malaysia, the cut is minimal, and the women there don't have any trouble orgasming or having children. Girls are often circumcised as babies and they don't remember. Are people against FGM “fetishizing” in THESE cases? If you want to see a Malaysian woman's blog about her daughter's circumcision complete with pictures, google “light of my love.” If you've seen a male infant circumcision, it can barely even compare; what happens in these pictures is more akin to the “little snip” proponents of male infant circumcision talk about. Not even a 10th of the bloody mess male circumcision is. Before telling me “don't compare or trivialize,” go watch one of these first, and THEN tell me. Don't compare what you've never seen.

      And I'm not trying to “trivialize” or “belittle” FGM. But this is precisely what happens with MGM. My point is, it's ALL wrong. “Severity” isn't the issue, it's the principle of taking a small child and cutting off his or her genital in whole or in part that is wrong. Genital mutilation by any other name would still be genital mutilation. It is a violation of basic human rights regardless of sex. The time has come for REAL equality. Equal rights for BOTH sexes, not just one.

    • Laura

      Synapse says 'a kid that is too young to remember even having a foreskin can't miss it' Utter rubbish Synapse, no one walks around in a bubble with no knowledge of what other people's bodies are like. If what you say was true then those Nigerian girls who are cut at 8 days old have no problems because they have no memory of a normal vulva. Apart from any psychological issues of knowing your parents took away a joyful part of your vulva/penis, what about the affect of pain on a baby's body? We KNOW that he feels pain more acutely even than an older child and that it leaves a neural scar which means he's always more sensitive to pain in that area. Read the science and stop peddling offensive myths to justify the unjustifiable.http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/News/2009/Features/WTX054083.htm

    • TLCTugger

      Wow, so if I rape you in the anus it will be cool so long as I use a lubed condom to do the job right and drug you so you don't remember it? Nonsense. About a third of infant circumcisions have distinct unintended adverse cosmetic and functional outcomes, often not manifesting until puberty.

      Most of the world is intact. No national medical association on earth (not even Israel's) endorses routine circumcision. There is no rational reason the choice about his cosmetic penis reduction can't wait until he is old enough to weigh in.

      Foreskin is the best part. Foreskin feels REALLY good. HIS body, HIS decision.

    • Mrrestorer

      I may not remember it but I'll *never* forget it.

      Your comments are ignorant at best, offensive at worst.

    • iambetterthenthat

      So I guess that any men with photographic memory is a liar then, in remembering this, boy I guess you do know your facts then, RIGHT. GET OVER YOUR SELF AND DO REAL RESEARCH.

    • Keep Boys Whole

      So is it fine not to hug a baby because he won’t remember it? We know that babies who do not get enough physical attention do develop psychological issues. Amputating the most sensitive part of his body is sure to cause psychological damage. Sorry, the “don’t remember it” argument is bull. If a woman is given ruffies and raped, she’ll be fine because she won’t remember it? No, both drugged rape and circumcision cause psychological damage, remembered or not.

  • Big Bill Haywood

    The way in which circumcision “harms people psychologically” described by the author of this article can also apply to other scary things children are subjected too. How about getting a tooth yanked out when your 7 or having your tonsils removed during childhood against your will? Dr. Menage makes sense but, she can't only apply this psychological and emotional damage resulting from things which occur out of your control while also against your will to circumcision exclusively. Her theory makes sense but, you can't pin it exclusively to circumcision

    • E.B. Wolf

      It's not a common practice to remove perfectly healthy teeth or tonsils. Circumcision is exclusive because it is a religious and cultural practice that serves no proven medical benefit.

      • tonyviner

        From what I understand cleanliness is an issue, but of course that differs on a case by case basis.

        • E.B. Wolf

          I've never had a problem with hygiene. I think that was just a belated rationale to justify continuing the practice.

          You're probably right on the case by case statement. But I'd wager that Funky Junk is more of an issue with bathing habits than foreskin.

          • tonyviner

            The way I've had it explained is that it is somehow a problem to roll back the skin and give it a proper wipe. Why this is, though, I do not know. Maybe it is just propaganda to keep us in line.

          • TheNiallist

            That explanation makes no sense – unless the foreskin is restrictively tight. It is on some guys, but the majority of men have absolutely no problem rolling it back for a wash. And even the tighties manage to get it clean down there.

            So yeah, that's just propaganda.

        • iamadream

          hey man, gals tend to have hygiene issues down there. we don't go lopping their lips off so the crevasse can get more air flow. if you bathe, hygiene will not be an issue!

    • GINYC

      Seriously F*CK anyone who says it's ok to cut off the best part of a baby's penis. SNAP OUT OF IT YOU FOOL

      • SA Resored

        I was too young to ever remember having a foreskin, but I found out that I did – when I saw a friend who did and he told me mine had been cut off. I was 5.

        I'VE MISSED IT SINCE THEN, AND I'M 44 NOW! Get the message?

  • A Bad Joke

    I'd rather have my foreskin.

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  • tonyviner

    It certainly doesn't help when you are born prematurely and have to wait until you are 10 years old. I am scarred for life, and I think it fucked up my endurance. I don't know if this is true, but I think that's the reason it's small. At least that is what I say.

    • Duder

      Look into restoring

  • GregRN

    Well, I can tell you that i was circumcised and although i do not remember it I imagine that it did hurt, it must have, it couldn't walk for 11-12 months afterwards.

  • http://www.RestoringForeskin.org Restoring Tally

    I was circumcised at birth and I don't like it. I am restoring my foreskin. The difference is amazing. Both me and my girlfriend enjoy my restored foreskin. We do not need to use lube like we did and she does not get sore from sex.

    Having lived both ways, circucmised and with a foreskin, it makes me sad to think that I spent most of my life without part of my sex organ. My parents had no right to remove part of my sex organ. My body, my choice.

  • Spacehoax

    Not getting my son circumcised or immunized are the only medical decisions I made for my 10 month old that I feel confidant about. If I had know he wouldn't have had the vit k shot or that goop put in his eyes or his blood taken from his foot or the umbilical cord cut so soon either.

  • SlammoFandango

    All I know is when my son was soaking in the bathtub at about age 4, he saw me naked and looked down into the water and said, “Dad, I'm so glad you didn't have the tip of my penis cut off.”

  • hotstuff

    YES it Does , júst Look at israelites and semites and afrikans who do that !

    It is a habit of Child raper cultures and those usualy are extremely warmongering and rapists , or Did the crime statistics tell a different tale ?

    Circumcision is a Fundamental And Blasfemic Crime Against GOD and Creation !

    Also the Enormous Damage is being done to Children Befor Age of Four Years , That is Undiscovered Territory by Human sciences And a Very Diffucult Layer to Reach to Help the by circumcision created complexes of Evil And war !
    The devil , anti Life And anti Love , anti GOD complexes are in Those Age Layers!
    Babies are Mass raped and abused , tortured to create Such Evil Filth Damages !
    Those Crimes against Life It Self Makes Them Hate All Presence of Any Other Living Being And Makes Them Hate Love And Affection !

    This curses Them to be Always “empty , Cold and Alone , Hostile and rejecting !
    Living in feelings of hate and fears of psychopatic Dimensions , Whole Alone !
    It creates a core of hating and fearing even the Creator and Creation !
    Circumcision is one of the weapons to create Such Soulles slaves and obedient creatures!

    They do circumcise Because they are , israelites knowingly and purposly , against GOD , And Thát is a way of stealing ans enslave Souls ( they “own ” You from then )!
    It is a part of their Brainwash and conquercrimes !
    Of All they are the Most Dangerous Around Children !

    NÈVER trust people who are circumcised with Your Family Or Children , if afrikans , islamics or especial jews are at schools , get rid of them or Take Your Children away !

    Israelites DO RAPE DRUG AND TORTURE Children at Kindergartens and elementaries , specific at campweeks and schooltrips !

    The used heroin,ghb,lad,Reproductioninhibitors , Muscletraumainductors , scopolamine ( to cross examnie Children and extort Parents , Families with the results , Also Politicians Who Happen to Have Children ARE in Extreme Danger by these extorsioncrimes) ..And Some other Filth and farmaceutics You Can Find in MOST Children Right NOW And For the Next Years !

    Also alcohol and tobacco is Forced ON the Children , AND ALL Alcohol , drug and rape Related Problems and Crimes are Coming from those Bestialities With Children at Campweeks by israelites !

    And Much , Much More !

    Isarelites ór jews are usually collaborating with foreigners in the drugparts and prostituting the Children !
    In the Western World they collaborate with islamics ,afrikans,asians, morokans!
    In the isamic World they collaborate with afrikans , asians , and Maby Wite people , And So on !
    Israelites Are even prostituting the Children en Masse to foreigners in between the lessons , in bright daylight , it even is normal for them to have the children of the foreigners getting the hired Childwhores from in between the classes !

    The rape ,drugging and torture Crimes Mostly at Campweeks and schooltrips that are organised every year!
    These Crimes are organised by the higher ranking jews from with in governments and officialduties , Politics And Industry , religions ( More than 10.000 Baby And Children raping and torturing rabbis are Already Arrested), local leaders and mayors…

    If some jew is of ANY importance et all in societies , they ALWAY did rape , drug and often Murder Children , Because from a Certain point of rise in jewculture they have to kill multiple Children as token of loyality to the group !
    It Should Be a Duty of Law to ALWAYS ASK ANY semite , afrikan or jew if they ever raped or druuged or killed Children when they are in Office !
    Law Does NOT , Because they hold All Lawsystems hostage for decades now!
    ALL Judges of jewish Origine RAPED Children , and a lot Did kill One or More Also !
    ALSO the female ones !

    In Holland 1500 People And 1500 Children a Year Did Dissapear With Out a Trace !
    In the USA 890.000 People of Whom 400.000 Children Dissapeared With Out a Trace !

    israelites from with in governments , services and Politics are Responsible For That !

    So YES circumcision is One of the basic Problems in the Behaviour of cultures , And the israelites Do NOT even belong in israel Or Any Western Nation , Because they are in Origine asian Man eaters ,(Man eating , An Other Base of the evil behaviours) , and came 10 to 13.000 years ago to the Western Hemisfere with the retreating Ice Age , eating , robbing , raping, murdering and slaying their way through Our Civilisations We Already Are Forgotten We Had !

    Those times are in Mythology Known as the deluge , the Ragnarok , the Götterdammerung , the End of Times , A Tidewave of Evil , Filth , Decay , Violence and Hate Came and wiped Us out as We Were !

    Creation ceased to Exist !

    So YEAH , circumcision COUNTS !

  • Mrrestorer

    I may not remember it but I’ll *never* forget it.

    Your comments are ignorant at best, offensive at worst.

  • iambetterthenthat

    So I guess that any men with photographic memory is a liar then, in remembering this, boy I guess you do know your facts then, RIGHT. GET OVER YOUR SELF AND DO REAL RESEARCH.

  • Bhornbuckle75

    Yeah, this was always one of those things I never understood, and probably never will. To suggest that its “healthier” to cut off a foreskin, seems rediculous, and insulting to a person’s intelect. For the Religious, it suggests that God is a fool, who doesnt know how to design a Penis. For the Atheist it suggests that Darwin was wrong and apparently Evolution makes horrible mistakes (even more so considering that the penis, and the testicles are two areas of the body that are SPECIFICALLY designed FOR evolution…meening that without them, there would be no survival of anything, be it fittest or not) They are two of the most protected parts ot the body (there is a reason it hurts like hell when we get kicked in our nads….that is evolutions way of saying “Hey Jack-ass….Protect this part…its important!) To imagine that Evolution would add something completely unnecessary, and actually DAMAGING to the one area of the body, most important to passing on genetic information is pretty rediculous. As far as me….I got it done as a baby, so…I suppose I dont know what I am missing. It doesn bother me enough to want to go through……whatever the Hell process you have to to go through to get it back ( I know its done, but I’m having a bit of problem even visualizing HOW! LOL) But at the same time….any male child I might have in the future will not have it done….AND if I could go back in time…yeah Id probably stop it from happening to me, too. I’m just glad that I dont know what Im missing! As far as the whole psychological damage, aspect….I honestly have no Idea. I dont think that feeling like you are an outcast is much of a problem in America, since so many men have it done….But as far as if it can leave psychological scars…..that I honestly do not know. Im sure that it doesnt do anything POSITIVE to the child’s mind though!

  • Bhornbuckle75

    Yeah, this was always one of those things I never understood, and probably never will. To suggest that its “healthier” to cut off a foreskin, seems rediculous, and insulting to a person’s intelect. For the Religious, it suggests that God is a fool, who doesnt know how to design a Penis. For the Atheist it suggests that Darwin was wrong and apparently Evolution makes horrible mistakes (even more so considering that the penis, and the testicles are two areas of the body that are SPECIFICALLY designed FOR evolution…meening that without them, there would be no survival of anything, be it fittest or not) They are two of the most protected parts ot the body (there is a reason it hurts like hell when we get kicked in our nads….that is evolutions way of saying “Hey Jack-ass….Protect this part…its important!) To imagine that Evolution would add something completely unnecessary, and actually DAMAGING to the one area of the body, most important to passing on genetic information is pretty rediculous. As far as me….I got it done as a baby, so…I suppose I dont know what I am missing. It doesn bother me enough to want to go through……whatever the Hell process you have to to go through to get it back ( I know its done, but I’m having a bit of problem even visualizing HOW! LOL) But at the same time….any male child I might have in the future will not have it done….AND if I could go back in time…yeah Id probably stop it from happening to me, too. I’m just glad that I dont know what Im missing! As far as the whole psychological damage, aspect….I honestly have no Idea. I dont think that feeling like you are an outcast is much of a problem in America, since so many men have it done….But as far as if it can leave psychological scars…..that I honestly do not know. Im sure that it doesnt do anything POSITIVE to the child’s mind though!

  • man.

    sounds like a dude who has a lot of bun around the wiener.

  • man.

    sounds like a dude who has a lot of bun around the wiener.

  • Keep Boys Whole

    So is it fine not to hug a baby because he won’t remember it? We know that babies who do not get enough physical attention do develop psychological issues. Amputating the most sensitive part of his body is sure to cause psychological damage. Sorry, the “don’t remember it” argument is bull. If a woman is given ruffies and raped, she’ll be fine because she won’t remember it? No, both drugged rape and circumcision cause psychological damage, remembered or not.