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 V.20 No.52 | December 29 - January 4, 2012 


Just Say No to Male Circumcision

Dear Alibi,

In the USA, all girls under 18 are protected by federal law from cultural, religious and unnecessary genital surgery of ANY kind. Yet boys in the USA have been and are regularly strapped down while their penis is mutilated! Boys are not given the same protection as girls, and there is no acceptable rationale for distinguishing between unnecessary female and male genital surgery.

Circumcision is medically unnecessary the overwhelming majority of the time, risky, painful and unethical. No scientifically based, respectable medical society in the world recommends routine male circumcision. The foreskin is not a birth defect. It is a normal, functional and almost always healthy sexual tissue with which all boys are born. The majority, estimated to be between 70 percent and 90 percent, of the world's men are NOT circumcised. Fortunately, the rate of this barbaric procedure is falling and is estimated to be between 30 percent and 50 percent of male infants being circumcised in the USA today.

Male circumcision has been and is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the USA, bringing in an estimated $1 billion each year. There is also a multimillion-dollar-a-year pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry that buys baby foreskins for “research.” PROFIT MOTIVE?

Any type of genital mutilation, male or female, involves the surgical removal of healthy, protective, erogenous and nerve-laden tissue. While an adult can freely consent to such surgical procedures, a minor cannot, and it is a violation of a basic human right to intact genitals.

Justifications of improved hygiene and disease prevention are not logical: Eyes without eyelids are not cleaner nor protected, neither are the gums and mouth without the lips intact. Removing a young female's breast tissue to prevent breast cancer later in life or removal of perfectly healthy teeth as preventative measure to reduce cavities in childhood would both be consider unethical.

Scientifically known functions of the male foreskin are: protection of the glans, immunological defense, erogenous sensitivity, coverage during erection and a gliding mechanism in sexual activities.

Scientifically known ways that circumcision harms: denudes the glans, desensitizes the penis, loss of sufficient penile skin to accommodate comfortable erections, disfiguration/scarring of the penis, disrupts circulation of blood and lymph, vulnerability to bacterial infections, possible hemorrhaging, disrupts mother-infant bonding due to bombardment of neural pathways with unbearable pain, several DEATHS occur each year due to complications of circumcision.

I encourage all readers to educate themselves and tell others so we can end this tragic practice.

Zack Kear

Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via email to They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter. Word count limit for letters is 300 words.

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