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Jun-16-2013 15:27printcomments

Wall St. Journal Publishes Circumcision Debate

Ronald Goldman, Ph.D. says some circumcised men and clinicians report psychological harm, including "anger toward parents and others, sexual anxieties, reduced emotional expression and empathy, low self-esteem and avoidance of intimacy."

Dr. Ronald Goldman and Dr. Ronald Gray
Dr. Ronald Goldman and Dr. Ronald Gray

(BOSTON) - The Wall St. Journal today published a debate on male infant circumcision between Ronald Goldman, Ph.D., executive director of the Circumcision Resource Center in Boston, and Ronald Gray, a circumcision advocate and researcher.  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324798904578531063301112102.html?mod=WSJ_JRHealthCare_3_3_MIDDLE#articleTabs%3Darticle

Goldman, the author of Circumcision: The Hidden Trauma, noted that most of the world rejects circumcision "as harmful genital surgery, like removing other natural, healthy, functioning body parts." Other countries see us as having a cultural bias in favor of circumcision. The U.S. is only country in the world where non-religious circumcision of infants is common.

Goldman described circumcision as "painful and traumatic," leading to behavioral changes, and having dozens of risks, including death. According to Goldman, "Circumcision removes over a third of the erogenous tissue on the penile shaft, including several kinds of specialized nerves. The adult foreskin, a double-layer movable sleeve of about 12 square inches, enhances sexual pleasure and facilitates intercourse." Circumcision diminishes the sexual experience for males and females.

Some circumcised men and clinicians report psychological harm, said Goldman, including "anger toward parents and others, sexual anxieties, reduced emotional expression and empathy, low self-esteem and avoidance of intimacy." Goldman stated that other circumcised men may seem satisfied because they don’t know what they’re missing.

Other potential harms have not been studied. They include possible connections between circumcision trauma and autism and ADHD, both three or four times more common in boys, male infant mortality, and brain changes. Goldman noted that researchers avoid these studies because they tend to look for benefits of circumcision. Being circumcised has been shown to contribute to the bias of doctors and possibly researchers.

About CRC

The Circumcision Resource Center is a nonprofit educational organization with the purpose of informing the public and professionals about the practice of male circumcision. Its mission is to raise awareness and facilitate healing. Since 1991, the Center has been a valuable source of male circumcision information for parents and children's advocates; childbirth educators and allied professionals; medical, mental health, and academic people; Jews; and others. Dr. Goldman has participated in over 200 media interviews with local and national radio and television shows, newspapers, and periodicals. He also gives lectures and seminars on circumcision and counsels parents and circumcised men.

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