Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dr. Oz on Circumcision

I don't generally watch the Dr. Oz Show. I used to like him very much, when he was on Oprah, but the new show is a little much for me. I think it's a great thing he does, educating people about their bodies and how they can be healthier. I think an informed patient is a safer, healthier patient.

I tuned in today to the Dr. Oz Show to see what he was going to say about the proposed San Fransisco Circumcision ban. The measure, which requires 7,000 signatures to make it on to the ballot next November, would make it a misdemeanor to "circumcise, excise, cut, or mutilate" the genitals of all minors, and does not make exceptions for religious reasons.

On the show today, circumcision was brought up in the context of this bill during a segment (that I gather is a recurring one) called "The Pulse," which addresses the "hottest health news" with a panel of experts to weigh in with their opinions along with Dr. Oz. He introduced the three other doctors: a Psychiatrist, an OB/GYN, and a Pediatrician. Then, he started by saying, "Here's the deal: circumcision reduces the liklihood of receiving and transmitting sexually transmitted illnesses during unprotected sex." He proceeded to bring a woman wearing a turtleneck onto the stage, had her pull the neck up over her head, effectively turning her into an intact penis. He then dumped a jar of large paper confetti on her to illustrate "bacteria, viruses, other issues that might get into a penis," showing that some of it gets trapped under the pretend foreskin. After that, Dr. Oz pulled a thread out of the turtleneck which removed the top portion of the neck of the shirt, effectively "circumcising" her and exposing all of the "issues" that the prepuce trapped inside. VoilĂ ! All is well in the world when we circumcise.


The experts weighed in on what they thought about the issue (I will summarize). The Pediatrician said it's a personal choice people have to make for their own family, but that we don't want to propagate disease, that's the most important thing, and finally that kids want to look like their dads. The Psychiatrist said that parents need to make those choices, but we don't want to give a false sense of security about circumcised penises. The OB/GYN said that with respect to how it affects women, it's an issue for them because they'll have to make these decisions for their children, it's a sexual health issue because of exposure to disease, and it's a cosmetic issue. The segment ended as they all seemed to agree that the decision was a personal one and should not be interfered with by the government.

They brought up a few main points: circumcising to prevent spread of disease, circumcising so the child will "look like Dad," and circumcising for cosmetic purposes.

Disease Prevention

First, and this was the one that was emphasized over and over on the Dr. Oz show today: prevention of infection by and transmission of sexually transmitted infections. From Birth Sense: "The World Health Organization, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that circumcision provides minimal protection and does not eliminate the need to use a condom to prevent transmission of HIV." Some studies have shown a decrease in STDs and HIV in uncircumcised men, but not all studies have supported that circumcision decreases STD transmission.

One of the problems with these studies (particularly the ones focused on infection with HIV) is that they've been done on populations that aren't directly comparable to the general American public. For instance, one widely-publicized study on HIV transmission was done on African men in developing countries. The study looked at men who were circumcised as adults as a measure to protect against HIV infection and transmission, and it found there was a decrease in infection, but with a 40% failure rate. Even if the studies were statistically sound, which they were not, the failure rate is much too high to support the use of circumcision to prevent STDs. For comparison, the failure rate of a male condom is 3-14%, and in those instances, infection is merely possible, not guaranteed.

Other studies, however, have shown the exact opposite: that HIV infection in adult African men was greater in those who were circumcised (purportedly because of a decrease in condom usage among this population, since they thought they were "protected" by being circumcised). It's not scientifically sound to compare two populations that are not alike (adult men from developing countries and infant males in developed countries). Even if circumcision of adult men in developing countries prevents the spread of STDs, that's not sufficient evidence for routine circumcision of infant males in developed countries.

Let's assume for a moment, that circumcision does, in fact, prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Then, logically we could conclude that populations with the highest percentage of circumcised men would have the lowest incidence of STDs, right? Wrong. As Peaceful parenting points out, the United States has the highest circumcision rate and also the highest incidence of STDs (including HIV) of any Western nation. "Developed nations where 98-99% of their boys/men remain intact have the lowest rates of STDs (including HIV). If circumcision "protected" against diseases,... we would not see these figures to such an extreme and obvious degree."

Frankly, I think the key here is that we're talking about unprotected sex...which no one should be having unless: 1. They're in a committed relationship with 2. someone they trust and are 3. alright with getting pregnant. Everyone else should be using condoms when they have sex. Every single time.

Condoms prevent the spread of HIV and other STDs, as well as being faithful to one partner or abstaining from sex. Circumcision does not.

Looking Like Dad

I have to say, this is one reason I've never understood for circumcising babies. Infant and little boy penises don't look like adult man penises, no matter if they have a foreskin or not, because they're not sexually mature. So why would we perform non-medically-indicated surgery on babies to make them "look like Dad"? By the time their genitals have the potential to look like their fathers', they're probably not going to be seeing each other naked.

I imagine that the moment when an intact child realizes he looks "different" from his dad isn't that big of a deal. The son asks "Why?" and the father says, "Because I'm circumcised and you're not. We kept you whole." Then, the moment is over. What's the big deal about having "matching" genitals? We don't surgically alter baby girls' labia to match their Moms'!

Furthermore, we all look different from each other in lots of ways. In my mind, there's no reason to subject newborns to unnecessary surgery in order to ensure that they look more like their fathers...but just in the pants.

Cosmetic Reasons

Routine infant circumcision is pretty much a uniquely American thing. In the United States last year, the circumcision rate dropped to 33%, down from 56% in 2006. If you're worried your kid is going to be made fun of in gym class (I was never naked in gym class, and I'm sure they're even more strict about it nowadays) know that he'll be in the minority if you get him circumcised. He'll be even more in the minority if you ever travel out of this country, even to Canada. There are millions of sexual partners of uncut men worldwide who can attest to the fact that there's absolutely nothing off-putting or sexually unattractive about a penis that hasn't been through cosmetic surgery.

You can be arrested for tattooing your children. Experts question whether teens are too young to undergo cosmetic surgery for a crooked nose or ears that stick out. So why are our newborn infants old enough to have perfectly functioning body parts amputated for cosmetic reasons? And more importantly, how can they give consent?

Obviously, they can't. We wouldn't give a brand new baby a rhinoplasty ("nose job") simply because we thought maybe some day someone might make fun of her, or a future romantic partner wouldn't find her as desirable. If the reason we're circumcising our babies is because it's prettier that way, why not let our sons decide what they think of their own penises when they are old enough to elect to have the surgery and then consent to it without a parent's signature.

Conclusions

I am obviously anti-circumcision for many reasons, not just those I've outlined here. My husband and I chose to leave our son whole.

I think The Dr. Oz Show did a poor job of providing the American people with accurate facts on routine infant circumcision. I believe that, since Dr. Oz is an influential person and a medical professional, he has an obligation to provide people with the most accurate and balanced information available, regardless of his personal opinion on the subject. This is especially true when he's advocating for a medical procedure that is not recommended by the Centers for Disease Control or the American Academy of Pediatrics. In fact, no medical organization in the world recommends routine infant circumcision.

We now know that babies do feel pain that is unrelieved by simply giving them sugar water. (Surprising, I know, but now we have research to prove it!) Anesthetic is not required to be used for infant circumcision surgery, and that's wrong. A 2006 study revealed that of programs that taught administration of topical or local anesthetic for circumcision surgery, only 84% used anesthetic "frequently or always" when the procedure was conducted.

We can do better by our sons, and I think we're beginning to. Americans are obviously starting to come around to realize how unnecessary this procedure really is, as evidenced by the sharp decrease in circumcision rates over the past few years. Many Jewish families are opting for a Brit Shalom (Covenant of Peace) in lieu of the traditional Brit Milah (Covenant of Circumcision), since they feel circumcision is unnecessary. Here, read a Jewish father's letter to his son about their Covenant of Peace.

What I've written here is in no way meant to blame or look down upon those who have chosen to circumcise their sons. I know several families who have multiple sons, the older of whom are circumcised, and the youngest of whom were left intact. This perfectly illustrates where I think (and hope) we're moving with circumcision: we thought it was alright, but now we know it's not.

Maya Angelou once said, "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, you do better." I know we're all doing the best we can. But now we know better. Let's do better.


For more information on circumcision in general, check out Code Name: Mama's series on researching circumcision: Part One, about the functions of the foreskin, Part Two about the circumcision procedure itself, and Part Three, about common concerns/myths about circumcision. For more resources about Judiaism and circumcision, visit Peaceful Parenting.

60 comments:

  1. Dr. Oz's parents came from Turkey where circumcision is an almost universal practice. Dr. Oz almost certainly is himself a victim of circumcision.

    We know that many circumcised men have an emotional need to justify their personal mutilation and loss of sexual skin. Circumcised medical doctors are not immune from emotional issues caused by circumcision. We see this at the AAP constantly.

    Dr. Oz is using pseudo-medical science to present a one-sided picture in favor of circumcision. I am aware that several people have provided Dr. Ox with correct information, which he has chosen to ignore.

    I suggest that everyone ignore what ever Dr. Oz says about circumcision.

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  2. Well written post! Dr. Oz gets a lot right. Unfortunately, he does not get how wrong infant circumcision is. I am sure part of the reason is his culture: a Turkish man who is most likely circumcised. There is no medical reason to circumcise an infant that cannot wait until the boy is sexually active. As for the cosmetic reasons - Huh? Everyone is outraged if a child is given a tattoo, but cutting the boy's sex organ is OK?

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  3. I am disgusted that these "experts" continue to teach lies to the public, who so often rely on the "experts" instead of doing their own research. No wonder routine infant circumcision continues to be so popular.

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  4. I watch Dr. Oz often. I was very angry yesterday, seeing the comments that Dr. Oz chose to make, and the arguments for circumcision. The one doctor completely glossed over the issue of whether or not it's better for the woman, in fact, she said "no". Oh yeah? Says who? Many women say that an intact penis feels better, and slides smoother, and also, the partner can go slower and last longer. Okay, thank a lot OZ for your unbiased (NOT!), unbalanced presentation.

    I am SO glad that I never had my son mutilated. All of my friends did, however. They all circumcised their sons. I think that it's a sign of an uninformed parent, which does not bode well for the future choices which the parent will make as the child grows. I'm really fed up with Dr. Oz.

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  5. Incredibly well put. Thank you.

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  6. While I agree that the ban is wrong and every family needs to decide what is best for them (including considering religious beliefs) I absolutely DETEST people using their credentials to circulate faulty information. As far as I'm concerned it is medical malpractice. All of those doctors have the ability and responsibility to conduct better research before speaking as experts on such a topic.

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  7. Circumcision works for me and my son, don't care what comments you make. I am glad we did it!

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  8. I find that Dr. Oz is biased on most of his topics - and often going against accepted medical practices. He either is out of date or promoting something not yet proven. Too erratic for me!

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  9. One cannot expect anything different from a person who comes from a culture that literally has made a fetish of the act of circumcision.

    But to have that same person claim to be a medical professional, one should expect him to BE more professional and not use dubious medical claims to promote infant genital mutilation.

    But, alas, he is indicative of most in the medical industry--promote the unethical to ensure the cash flow--and to hell with the well being of their patients (victims?).

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  10. "Circumcision works for me and my son, don't care what comments you make. I am glad we did it!"

    The paramount question is WHY you are glad to have damaged him sexually for no proven or rational reason?

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  11. It looks like he's neither a urologist or pediatrician. He's a cardiologist, which means he is in absolutely no position to be giving any advice on the normal, healthy development of the human penis. What's more, he's Turkish, where circumcision is an important rite of passage to his culture. Can we say "conflict of interest?"

    This "doctor" does little else but promote bias and myth. That turtleneck "example" also works for female circumcision. Little is talked about the inner and outer labia, not to mention the long moist tube that is the vagina that can "trap bacteria and disease." I guess being "bacteria and disease free" is only important in boys, but not in girls... And he doesn't talk about showers... do they not shower in Turkey? Apparently not...

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  12. "Circumcision works for me and my son, don't care what comments you make. I am glad we did it!"

    Here is the bottom line question when people talk about "parental choice": How was it ever a parent's "choice" to begin with?

    In order for a doctor to perform surgery on a person, there needs to have been established a medical indication. Doctors can't just be removing body parts "just because."

    When a doctor makes a mistake and performs the wrong surgery on a patient, he can be sued for malpractice.

    If he knowingly deceives a patient into paying for a procedure he doesn't need, then he is committing medical fraud.

    The million dollar question is, if there is no medical indication to circumcise a healthy newborn, how on earth can he be performing circumcisions, let alone give parents any kind of "choice?"

    Most other operations, appendectomies, gall-bladder removals, etc., are medically indicated. They require immediate action and a parent most definitely has to make a choice.

    But the foreskin isn't a medical problem. It is not a birth defect, it is not a genetic anomaly, it is not a deformity. The foreskin is normal, healthy tissue that every male child is born with.

    So then, how is it that doctors are performing non-medical surgery in non-consenting individuals?

    How is it that parents feel entitled to this "choice," when doctors shouldn't even be performing circumcisions in healthy newborns?

    Sooner or later male infant circumcision is going to be exposed for the hoax it is, and parents and American men are going to have to realize that they've been had by opportunistic charlatans.

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  13. Something to think about; for better or for worse, female circumcision is also often seen as a "religious tradition" by those who practice it. It is also seen as a god-given "parental choice." When defending the double-standard of strong support for male circumcision in the name of "religious freedom" and "parental choice," but complete opposition of female circumcision because it's "genital mutilation," activists often cite how much "worse" female circumcision is, citing THE WORST kind of female circumcision (there are varying degrees).

    Male circumcision is often compared to "infibulation," where a woman's inner and outer labia are removed, along with the clitoris, and the opening is sewn shut so that it heals into a small hole for menstruation, otherwise known as a "pharaonic circumcision." But little is mentioned that there are quite a few variations of female circumcision, and that only about 15% of FGM cases comprise of infibulation globally; the rest is not so "severe." Not all female circumcision happens to adolescent girls in the bush, by amateurs using rusty blades or broken glass shards. A common alibi used to defend male circumcision, but oppose female circumcision is that "boys are circumcised at an age when they don't remember, they are circumcised in the hospital, and by trained professionals." But nothing at all is mentioned about Muslim circumcision, which takes place between the ages of 7 and 13 years old approximately. And nothing is mentioned about female circumcision in Malaysia and Indonesia, where it is performed on baby girls by a trained professional at a hospital. Here too, baby girls "won't remember."

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  14. But we digress when we begin talking about "severity" and whether or not the children remember; when an action is reprehensible, does it really matter that a child cannot remember the act? Why does "not remembering" work for boys, but not for girls? Isn't "severity" a matter of opinion? Because I believe that male infant circumcision is quite severe, in and of itself. Inclusively, there are forms of female circumcision that are far less severe. This May, the AAP advocated a so-called "ritual nick," which doesn't remove anything at all, but we as a nation have decided that not even a "ritual nick" will be allowed, and there will be no exception for religious reasons.

    The question is then this: Jewish groups argue that a ban on male infant circumcision violates their "freedom of religion" and "parental choice." But if this is about "religion" and parental prerogative, then why aren't they up in arms about the fact that there is a federal ban on female circumcision, no matter how "less severe" it is, and with no religious exception? If we are going to defend "freedom of religion" and/or "parental choice," shouldn't this be done across the board? Or are some people's "religious freedoms" or "parental choices" more important than others? Where do we draw the line?

    The conversation will always inevitably be shifted to the "severity" of female circumcision, and the "intentions." (Female circumcision is often intended to decrease a woman's sexuality... this is not news, since those were the "intentions" of those who began the practice of male circumcision in the US. In fact, the US practiced female circumcision up until the 1970s, and insurance companies such as Blue Shield covered them. Incidentally, studies show that not even infibulation can elliminate a woman's ability to orgasm. This is all hyperbole to downplay male circumcision, while blowing female circumcision out of proportion.)

    But the bottom line is this: Either parents have "religious freedom" and "parental choice" to do WHATEVER they want to their children's genitals, no matter what sex, or they do not. Concessions for one religious group, for one sex is biggotted, racist, and sexist.

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  15. @Joseph: I agree with you that FGM and MGM are equally terrible things to do to innocent children, no matter what their age, and that the laws and opinions on circumcision are sexist and one-sided. I appreciate your passion!

    I would like to point out, to your first comment, that nothing was said on the show about using condoms to prevent the spread of disease. Since when is routine surgery on infants the preferred method over a cheap, painless, reversible (removable) piece of latex?

    As a reminder to everyone, let's all please refrain from personal attacks and generalizations/insults about large groups of people, as it detracts from the discussion rather than augmenting it. Thank you!

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  16. "Circumcision works for me and my son, don't care what comments you make. I am glad we did it!"
    You may be, but will HE, when he is old enough to use it?

    Dr Oz's demonstration is about as scientific as the demonstration that ink sinks into chalk proving something or other about toothpaste.

    And many scientific studies have shown NO protection of circumcision against STDs.

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  17. SO well written! Thank you! Dr Oz is a total joke.

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  18. As for boys wanting to look lilke their fathers, intact boys all constantly nag their circumcised fathers to have part of their willlies cut off, so they can look like them, yeah right.

    It's the fathers who are insecure about their sons having more in the penis department than them.

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  19. Amy, great article but I have a few things to add:

    The studies about circumcision and STDs simply do not stand up to scientific scrutiny. They have claimed a 60% protective effect and that does not show in the real world results. The Polio vaccine has similar efficacy but how many cases of polio have you heard of lately? How many AIDS cases? It just doesn't work!

    You said you found a 2006 study that found 84% of infants recieved analgesia/anestetics. I also found a study that found just the opposite. Only 16% recieved analgesics/anestetics! That is a horrifyingly low number and amounts to abuse. I once found a discussion site for doctors and what I found there seemed to confirm the 16% statistic. The primary reason they didn't provide analgesic/anesthetics? They required too much time!

    Prior to the 1990's, there was no place for parents to learn about this but the internet has changed all that and it's showing in the plummeting circumcision rate. People are not using their computers just for playing games.

    .

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  20. @Anonymous (the most recent one): Thanks for your additions!

    I was trying to indicate that the STD/circumcision studies aren't accurate while saying that even if we assume that they ARE, that's still not a good enough evidence to promote routine infant circumcision with no medical indication.

    Similarly, even if 84% of babies DID receive anesthesia, that's not enough. NO ONE should have to undergo surgery without anesthesia.

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  21. Amy,

    Great post. I saw the show too and was incredibly frustrated by it. So much misinformation! It's all been said now, and I really just feel sad that so many people are going to be misled by one man - when so many of us are trying to educate people and will never reach that amount of people.

    agh!

    Anyways, the positive thing is that this movement of people who are against circumcision is growing and becoming more visible - and that means it IS going to be harder for people like Dr. Oz to just say outright lies and get away with it.

    So thank you for taking the time to write about what you saw, and explaining to your readers the problem with what he did on his show.

    That is really important!

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  22. The whole FGM VS MGM argument is a nothing but a distraction..an evil is not made acceptable by simply finding another evil one believes is worse than the original one.

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  23. VERY well articulated, thoughtful, factual and compassionate. Thank you so much for this post Amy!! Cynthia www.bloomchildbirth.com

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  24. My thinking is that even if they do recieve some sort of anesthesia, it continues to hurt during the healing period. I've had surgery, and it continued to hurt for awhile. I was able to endure it because I knew the reason. How can you explain to a newborn that their genitals hurt because something unneeded was done to them? People who get cosmetic surgery are given painkillers. Babies are given vaseline.

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  25. Yeah, I used to like Dr. Oz until I saw this. Thank you for writing this!

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  26. FABULOUS post, very well said. I'm flabbergasted by the "look like daddy" reasoning for circumcision. As you said, by the time son and father have any chance of *actually* looking similarly, they likely won't be comparing penises anymore. My 2.5yr old (uncut) son has taken showers with his (cut) father many times, has never mentioned anything about noticing any difference. No one would EVER consider putting their infant under a knife to make any other superficial changes to look more like mom or dad, I do not understand why it's acceptable in this case.

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  27. Great post! I always love finding another informed parent. I can't wait to read more of your writing. I disagree with circumcision on all levels but to me, the most important reason to ban it, is that removal of a person's gentalia (male or female) without their consent is a denial of their rights as a human to genital integrity.
    I don't see any difference between FGM and MGM and RIC. They all are a violation of human rights and surgery on a minor that cannot consent.

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  28. I sent an email to the show. It doesn't surprise me that a circ'ed MD would want to encourage parents to do it. There is tremendous money in circing and doctors have a great incentive to push it when they can. It is saddening that he has so many viewers that will buy anything that he is selling.

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  29. After seeing this, I am even more convinced that DR Oz is a Tool.

    I have an intact son and a Circumcised husband, My son does not notice any difference other than "daddy is much bigger than him" Cosmetic reasons needs to go to hell, it is the lamest most shallow excuse to cut off part of your sons penis. Cosmetic reasons is heartless, and cruel. I get if you are misinformed and think there are benefits.. but eww cosmetic, so he looks like daddy? eww. my son has a different nose than his father, should we get him plastic surgery so he looks the same?

    I am so sick of the std excuse, they did one study, and it was flawed, not to mention that once a boy is sexually active he most likely is retractable, so here is a novel idea, shower and pull back and clean. obviously a non retractable toddler or preschooler is not having sex, at least we hope. They also make these great things, called condoms, generally if you are having sex and are not married and don't want to knock the girl up and contract a desease, they do a lovely job at preventing those things.

    Overall this was so biased and nothing factual was said. VERY sad. I am so glad the #'s are going down, parents these days are researching before they harm their sons, and that makes me happy.

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  30. What else can we expect from Dr Mainstream bought-and-paid-for Oz? All the comments are great, I have nothing else to add except that my father, husband, and son are all uncircumcised, and none has experienced any problems. DUH, WHY would boys be born with something that needs to be cut off? Logic here, Dr OZ!

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  31. The Wizard called Oz is a fake and a fraud.

    The Bottom Line

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons ... shall not be
    violated ..."
    Constitution of the United States of America, 4th Amendment

    "... part of what our core Constitution -- constitutional values promote is
    the notion that individuals are protected in their privacy and their bodily
    integrity ..."
    -Barack Obama
    21 April 2010
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/04/21/any-decisions-are-made

    The bottom line on this issue is that according to long-established US law
    based in British Common Law and the US Constitution, and international law
    based in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, and earlier and
    later law, all human beings have the unalienable human right to bodily -
    including genital - integrity. In other words, it is no one's right to chop
    off or out ANY of your healthy, living body parts without your fully
    informed, adult, written consent. The same is true for every human being on
    the planet, including especially infants and children. Most of us were
    taught this basic ethical and legal principle of complete respect for other
    people's bodies before we were allowed to enter kindergarten. It is not
    rocket science.

    People who amputate healthy, living body parts from infants, other children
    and other non-consenting persons are committing obvious, blatant, criminal
    acts, no matter what excuses or "reasons" they give - or refuse to give -
    for doing so, be they "medical", "scientific", "religious", "cultural",
    "ethnic", "tribal", "aesthetic", perverted, sadistic or otherwise.

    Amputating other people’s healthy, living body parts is a crime against
    humanity, "human vivisection", the same crime against humanity that licensed
    German doctors were convicted at Nuremburg after World War II of committing
    - and jailed for committing - against Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and others
    during the war.

    Jews more than anyone else on the planet should understand that violating
    people's unalienable human rights to bodily integrity and making light
    of such violations - circumcising kills Jewish and other children frequently
    in the USA and other clueless countries around the world - is not in the
    best interest of Jews or anyone else.

    What counts is not the adult mutilator's pathetic excuses for their
    unethical, unconscionable, illegal, inhuman, diabolical mutilations. What
    counts is their intended victims' human rights to be free from them, and
    whether the rest of us have the nerve to protect and defend their human
    rights and their person, their physical body. It's theirs. No one else's.

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  32. Adult mutilators and mutilationists do not respect human rights, obviously,
    but that does not mean that human rights do not exist. The mutilators and
    mutilationists cannot obliterate human rights as they do human sex organs,
    try as they may. Human rights are un-obliteratable. That's what
    "unalienable" means. They cannot be taken away, cannot be stolen and
    destroyed as sex organs can. All the mutilators can do is violate
    unalienable human rights, and violate them they do, freely, rampantly,
    criminally, in several grossly and disgustingly barbaric places around the
    world, including the USA, the only country in the entire WORLD where the
    medical profession mutilates the sex organs of the majority of male babies,
    or did until 2009 when the rate fell to 32.5%. Finally, people in all walks
    of life and from every religious and ethnic group in the world are waking up
    to the horrendous reality that we have been unnecessarily, unjustifiably,
    grievously mutilating, damaging, crippling, and sometimes killing our own
    children, for nothing. We now are refusing to do it any more or to allow
    others to, no matter what their inhuman excuses are.

    The mutilators will be held accountable for their horrific, heinous, hideous
    crimes of torture, mayhem and mutilation, no matter in whose or what's name
    they commit them. "Medical science" will not protect them. "God" will not
    protect them. "Culture" and "religion" and "aesthetics" will not protect
    them. Ignorance on the subject is rapidly disappearing and soon will no
    longer protect them. Only JAIL will protect them from the mighty and
    righteous wrath, delayed though it may be, of their millions of sexually
    mutilated victims, time-bombs, each and every one, fused, ready to ignite
    and explode.

    Obliterate circumcising, not sex organs.

    How did otherwise intelligent human beings ever get so
    hyper-self-stupidified about their own and other people's sex organs?

    Having mutilated genitals makes it impossible to experience sex normally so
    I guess that goes part of the way toward explaining how people can be so
    stupid about circumcision/genital mutilation as to advocate or actually pick
    up knives and cut babies' perfect sex organs (what sex the child happens to
    have been born is 100% irrelevant, of course), but not, I think, the whole
    distance. There has to be an ungodly dose of voluntary denial mixed in with
    the involuntary genital/sexual mutilation to make someone as psychopathic on
    the subject of sex and human rights and babies' real needs as the people
    who do the evil crime with their own hands. Protect babies from ALL the
    mutilating and mutilationist psychopaths! Like the one dissected in this
    wonderful video:

    http://bit.ly/aZW3GU

    Cut circumcising, not foreskins!

    http://mgmbill.org
    http://sfmgmbill.org

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  33. I strongly suspect that the show's producers force the participants to
    limit the boundaries of debate beforehand to "it's a parent's choice",
    regardless of the pros and cons. I think this is why they all
    re-iterate this statement, to avoid divisiveness, which I presume
    would be bad for ratings because it would offend some viewers.

    I watched "TheDoctors" speak of circumcision (link: bit.ly/ex9FJR)and
    they all said the same thing ("it's a parent's choice") as though
    repeating a holy mantra, even if they were opposed to circumcision.

    This prevents questions like "why should a parent have the right to
    mutilate their child's genitals?" from being raised and avoids real
    discussion of the brutal reality of circ. In the context of a bill to
    ban circ, this makes for inadequate debate.

    ReplyDelete
  34. By the way, I would have never allowed a boy to go near me with out a condom circ'd or intact, when I was in high school or college before I married my husband.. (not that there were all that many partners lol)

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  35. Somehow OZ the cardiologist knows more about the anatomy, development, and function of the normal male genitals than do the specialist committees assembled by the world's health bodies? NOT ONE national medical association on earth (not even Israel's) endorses routine circumcision.

    The turtleneck demo proves OZ knows nothing about the function of the foreskin. It doesn't terminate past the head. It's a continuous slinky sleeve of pleasure-receptive skin that doubles back and in his example would be attached below the neck. Cutting it leaves TWO raw edges that would be sutred together (unless the victim is an infant, in which case they are usually left to heal to each other haphazardly).

    And he doesn't bother explaining WHY he believes his confetti salad of cooties doesn't stick to the newly exposed mucosa; it's because those surfaces dry out and callous in response to the lack of protection, just like eyeballs would without eyelids, just like female genitalia would if stripped of all but the essentials. OZ also fails to note that the normal adult foreskin is easily rolled back so the head can be cleaned, and that the child's foreskin is fused to the glans precisely so the cooties can't get in.

    His obstetrician friend adds nothing intelligent to the mix, and why should she? She represents the OB/GYNs, who do 70% of the circumcisions in the US. WHY are they doing surgery on babies? They're not pediatricians. Their patient is the mother? Why? Because they got there first, and that baby's foreskin is like a coupon for $200 hanging off the child just waiting to be stolen.

    Just Google "circumcision damage" to see all the evidence OZ won't acknowledge about how infant circumcision harms.

    HIS body, HIS decision.

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  36. I very much agree with Deniz, "I strongly suspect that the show's producers force the participants to limit the boundaries of debate beforehand to "it's a parent's choice", regardless of the pros and cons."

    The homogenized flavour of the discussion whether it comes from Oz, or "the Doctors" TV shows feels like a decision has come down from the producers to maintain the status quo, pro-circumcision stance, "Up to the parents to decide." It felt that way when Oprah had a discussion about FGM and pre-empted any possible discussion a

    At one time we might have heard even an attempt to appear balanced, allowing the idea that there are those opposed to circumcision, but the panel of experts were well rehearsed, no chance of anyone to dispute the celebrity "experts."

    I was reminded recently that all of these so called TV "doctors" all have products to push, books etc.

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  37. There is something obviously very sick in the minds and heart of doctors wanting to chop tens of thousands of sensory receptors off of millions of other males’ perfectly normal perfectly healthy penises.
    Not to “scare” at all, but I would comment calmly that the day will come (and sooner than we expect) when victims of involuntary, non therapeutic circumcision will be filing lawsuits against physicians and medical institutions and even their own parents just as often and just as effectively as the victims of sexually predatory priests have taken actions (and won judgements $$$) against the Roman Catholic Church.
    Any excuse (medical or health reasons) come up with by people trying to make money out of circumcision of baby boys is false. The lies and misinformation we have had to listen to over the years as the circumcisers invented more and more reasons to carry on their illicit harvest of children’s foreskins.
    As soon as one benefit is disproved, they invent another one to take its place.
    Routine circumcision is unheard of among the civilisations of continental Europe, Great Britain, South America, and non Muslim Asia. Most Europeans-including European doctors-are shocked to learn that routine circumcision goes on in America. Most refuse to believe that such a thing is possible in a civilised, Western Country.
    Fleiss: The fact that there are tens of thousands of sensory nerves in the normal foreskin explains why foreskin amputation is so excruciatingly painful and why modern medicine has repeatedly failed to develop a technique of local anaesthesia that is completely safe and effective.
    The message should be very clear: Any procedure that causes that amount of pain to an innocent newborn babe is clearly a mistake. A baby’s agonising and frenzied screams of pain are the only way he has to tell us to leave his penis alone and that he needs his foreskin to enjoy life as a complete male.
    The principles of medical ethics require that we protect our babies from pain and trauma. If it is illegal to subject laboratory animals to painful experiences, what does it say about society that would provide greater legal protection to lab rats than to its own children?

    In investigating the deaths of babies killed by circumcision, one must realise that the litigious malpractice mileau existing here makes acurate reporting of such deaths very unlikely. It would take great courage and honesty on the part of a circumciser to report a circumcision death when the circumciser knows that the surgery has been deemed unnecessary by every Medical organisation in the world with a policy about it, and that he may be sued for malpractice.
    A stunning relevation about circumcision deaths came from the celebrated Pedriatrician Dr Sydney S Gellis who revealed that
    "It is an incontestable fact at this point that there are more deaths each year from complications of circumcision than from cancer of the penis."
    Explaining how circumcision deaths are covered up , Dr Gellis states:
    "A number of deaths from circumcision are signed out as deaths due to sepsis(blood poisoning)"
    Circumcision deaths are also disguised as deaths due to "complications of anesthesia" without mentioning in the death charts that the baby had been anesthetised for no other reason than for unnecessar routine circumcision.
    Circumcised males have been robbed of a normal body part. They have also been robbed of a normal level of sexual sensation. Just as a person whose lips were amputated could never really appreciate the sensation that lips can convey, so a circumcised male can never understand what his genitally intact friends experience. This helps explain why some circumcised males like Dr Oz defend circumcision so vehemently. They have no idea what was taken from them and are psychologically unprepared to deal with their loss.

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  38. Dr. Oz is another two bit tv doctor who relies on century old practice and doesnt listen to medical evidence. He may be horrified to know that the circumcision rates in the US have fallen to 33%. He needs to get a clue. If he wishes to explain how my dad, my son and I are intact and never had a problem let him contact me. And if his answer is good genetics, my reply is I was adopted.
    Sincerely,
    Terry Difazio

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  39. Where is consideration for the thoughts and feelings of the baby boy? That baby will be the one to live with the consequences of having lost half of his penile skin, 20,000 pleasure giving nerves, and the exquisite feelings of having a foreskin glide back and forth over his corona during sexual activity. Does a parent really have a moral right to deprive his son of that? Does not morality supersede even the law?

    How does one explain acceptance to a circumcised man who cannot reconcile his loss? The psychiatrist failed to address this very real situation of men who mourn the losses of their foreskins for life. Does anyone doubt this? I would dare you to attend a meeting of one of the various NORM chapters around the world where such topics are discussed by the victims. They can be located through www.norm.org. While you're at it, take a good look at www.noharmm.org.

    In addition, research the prevalence of foreskin restoration and its results. Google "foreskin restoration." It is estimated that the number of men involved in personal foreskin restoration is well into six figures. The movement is now 25 years old and has produced numerous websites, blogs, newsgroups and an entire industry which manufactures equipment to facilitate stretching of the penile skin.

    Personal testimonies of circumcised men who have successfully restored their foreskins overwhelming conclude that sexual gratification and satisfaction are much higher with foreskins than without. Restoration work can take years to complete. The driving force behind such an undertaking comes from the initial results discovered within the first month of foreskin coverage when several layers of no longer needed tissue are shed from the glans. Those layers were nature's defense (callusing) against the unnatural exposure of delicate mucosa which is designed to remain sensitive for sexual activity. Once the man knows he's experiencing something far greater than he could even have known in his exposed state, he'll do whatever he can to finish the job he started.

    Dr Oz has never known the pleasure of having his own foreskin. As a victim himself, and without ever having examined his own loss (denial), he is no different from any other victim of childhood sexual molestation. Evidence nearly always shows that such victims mature into perpetrators, and that is why he so vigorously endorses the practice. Until he admits his own loss and addresses it for what it really is, he will undoubtedly continue to find satisfaction in encouraging the victimization of other males.

    This hideous practice needs to be abolished by law. The damage is far beyond what is seen in the physical realm. addition to the permanent psychological damage done to the victims, we are permitting parents to carry out mutilation rites on their sons. If they cannot legally tattoo them, why are we permitting them to maim their most private parts? Even dogs are protected by law against tail docking! Do we not find more value in our sons than in our dogs?

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  40. American routine infant circumcision is a silent sexual train wreck we are only beginning to understand.

    Some adult men and women have unhappy or boring sex lives, because he's circumcised. There are young men whose sexual style is little more than date rape, because circ has so desensitised their penises that they cannot ejaculate by having intercourse in a civilised way. Some middle aged men suffer from ED and PE because they are circumcised. Some circed men have inappropriate partnersex because they cannot obtain release via masturbation. When a man is intact, a woman can perform 100% safe sex with him, called the handjob, She does not need to disrobe. The extra nerve endings intact men have can make them less reluctant to use condoms. I suspect that the sexual part of women's minds have evolved so as to enjoy playing with the loose moving penis skin.

    The Grand Old Lady of American female sexuality, Betty Dodson, has written at some length about how she came to discover that she enjoyed intact intercourse a lot more. I have exchanged Email with women who have confided in me that they climax easily with an intact partner, and not at all with a cut one. Two of these women never married baby boomers, because every man around their age is circumcised.

    There is hope. The internet does not (yet) censor graphic images of the penis. Internet plus broadband has made it possible for women to explore explicit images of the intact penis, in the privacy of their home offices. More and more American women have discovered that they are not put off by the penis As Nature Intended it to Be.

    Mother Nature deserves the benefit of the doubt.

    ReplyDelete
  41. You are right. Dr Oz, along with many other USA doctors, simply does not get an important sexual point that is obvious to more and more American and Canadian women.

    The only people really qualified to compare cut and uncut are gay men, and women free spirits who have had extensive experience with both kinds of penises. Most North Americans who qualify and are willing to post about it, have come down in favour of intact. Ladies, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    ReplyDelete
  42. The comments about intact sex being far superior to cut sex is affirmed by the O'Hara study which asked women experienced in both to rate them..they OVERWHELMINGLY preferred the normal, intact variety (85%) in ALL aspects.

    http://www.cirp.org/library/anatomy/ohara/

    ReplyDelete
  43. First of all, I am willing to bet that the majority of you have never witnessed a circumcision performed by a physician in a hospital. You are envisioning screaming babies being mutilated. I've seen circumcisions, the skin is numbed and many babies even sleep through the procedure.

    It does reduce the risk of STD's, whether or not you want to believe it. My best friend works as a Disease Prevention Specialist and she works to prevent the spread of STD's. She lives in a huge city and is swamped with cases. The fact is, the majority of men/boys carrying STD's that live longer outside the body, such as chlamydia, gon. and hep C (not really HIV though) are uncircumcised. Now, obviously anyone can have unprotected sex and pass on a disease, so this shouldn't be the ONLY reason you circumcise your son, in my opinion.

    And finally, I don't watch Dr. Oz. But he is a physician and spent at LEAST 10 years in school training, and probably spent a few more years specializing. I am guessing the majority of people commenting on here do not even have a Master's degree. So to call him a fraud, and other names, is unbelievable to me. Of course he is bias, he isn't God. He gave you the facts the best he could, the way he sees them, and you would do the exact same thing if you had a show. You would present the facts against circumcision, even if facts showing that it's a good idea appeared.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Oh, lord that tired old "it reduces STD's.

    I am sorry, but circumcisers are living in some fantasy land concocted by them and supported by dubious studies contradicted by empirical evidence in the real world.

    It might be wise to check out the US & European rates of all conditions circumcision claims to eliminate, cure, or reduce--intact Europe has the same or LOWER rates of all of than the circumcising US.. This is called failure to fulfill prediction and eliminates the claims as scientifically valid.

    In fact, there is not a single VALID excuse for circumcision..find me any one that actually is found in the real world.

    Of course Oz is a fraud--a doctor is supposed to keep current and to critically analyze the recent information--he has completely failed to do this--so, if not a fraud, at least incompetent.

    His job is to provide all valid evidence, not just cherry-picked questionable evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thanks for writing about the Dr. Oz segement - I was extremely disappointed listening to his 'experts'completely fail to address the issues which you and many of the posters have mentioned here.
    Having been circumscised at birth and in the process of 'restoration' I can attest to the loss of what I and generations of American men and women never knew. My wife and I both enjoy a much more satisfying sexual relationship with the increase in skin, which a foreskin naturally provides. The increased sensitivity is amazing.

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  46. Wow, that's really making me mad. And it kills me that people will see these "experts" on TV and believe them. Grr. That turtleneck example is ridiculous. Why not throw sticky stuff against the outside and claim the foreskin protects from that? It's all just showiness and not fact, which is that foreskins serve a purpose and there's no reason to remove them routinely. I'll be another voice saying that an intact penis (my husband's) functions better sexually than a circumcised one.

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  47. I wish I had known before I had my baby. I did it because my husband was adamant about it since his brother had an infection as a toddler which they blamed on not being circumcised, like my husband was. At least my baby was given anaesthesia. But now I feel like I've altered two lives: his and his future wife's. Sometimes I hate sex because of how raw I feel during and afterward, even with lubricant. I thought it was my fault, but now I wonder if it isn't. Thank you for getting the word out there!

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  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  49. p.s. Whether or not circumcision helps stop STDs, the best way to end them is through monogamy! Why don't we encourage that instead?

    ReplyDelete
  50. We don't encourage monogamy because this does not fill the coffers of the medical industry in the US.

    ReplyDelete
  51. "I did it because my husband was adamant about it since his brother had an infection as a toddler which they blamed on not being circumcised."

    The chances are it was not an infection, but simply the normal sequence of the separation process.

    IF indeed an infection, it was likely caused by the parents or doctors stupidly retracting the foreskin prematurely.
    In intact countries where ignorance of the foreskin is not prevalent, they find that only 6 in 100,00 are ever circumcised, and even most of these can be treated medically and not by amputation.

    BTW, your soreness and rawness is NOT your fault..it has been shown that the reason for this is circumcision.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Francesca, here is an article that might explain circumcised sex to you.

    http://mensightmagazine.com/Articles/Northrup/lovecirc.htm

    Guest Article

    HOW MALE CIRCUMCISION MAY BE AFFECTING YOUR LOVE LIFE
    By Dr. Christine Northrup © 2004

    ReplyDelete
  53. I am a mother of 3 children, 2 of which are boys. When I found out I was having a son the question of circumcision was a big one for me. I had never thought of it before then. So I asked my husband who was circumcised as a baby as is traditionally done around where I am from. He was pro circumcision 100% As a circumcised man he wanted his son(s) to be as well. I don't know if it will help them from getting std's or not. Hopefully they will always use protection but in both of our families and the majority of the people we have talked to about it do circumcise their boys. As far as the physical education situation at our school we did take showers and yes we were naked. My husband did also. So yes the boys who are not will be different.
    The one person I knew who was not circumcised was my grandfather. As a grown man in his late 50's or early 60's had a medical situation (I'm not sure exactly what it was) that caused him to have to have to be circumcised at his late age. He was in a lot of pain and many times told my husband that he wished it was done when he was a baby.

    With all this being said, I do believe it is a parental choice.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Parental choice? WHY? It is not their penis and not their body.

    BTW, circumcision has NO proven benefit, but PROVEN harm and risks.

    Unnecessarily harming infants and their body qualifies as a gross violation of their most basic human right.

    Lemming behavior does not justify harming infants

    Unwarranted paranoia over a slight chance of something adverse ever occurring does not justify damaging an infant's penis.The damage done has a 100% chance of occurring.

    I will wait for a rational reason why this should be a parent's choice.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Excellent post and I agree with every single thing you said. :)

    I would like to add something about the "look like daddy" argument. What if the father of your child is circ'ed and then something happens? He dies, or you divorce? And then you remarry a man who is intact while your child is still very young, and who participates in potty training, bathing, etc, and who is followed to the bathroom by the child as a preschoolers are wont to do? Would your son then be distraught if his penis was cut and his stepdad's was not?

    I know that sounds like a silly game of "what if" but that is my situation. My ex agreed we would not have our son circ'ed, and then on the way to the hospital to deliver he tried to convince me to change my mind using the "I want him to look like me, he will feel weird if he doesn't" crap. I didn't fall for it. And then he left us when our son was only a couple months old. I have a new husband now, and he is intact. My son has visitation with his biological father as well now, and I know that they sometimes have showered together. Never once has my inquisitive son who is just enthralled by his penis ever asked any of us why he looks different from biodad, or why biodad and stepdad look different. They have different features everywhere else...I suppose he is not surprised or bothered that their penises look different.

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  56. BTW, I'd like to add that my husband was never teased in school for his penis being natural because boys would rather do almost anything besides admit they looked at another guy's genitals. Or maybe their parents taught them to be decent human beings and not make fun of people for their bodies. Also because *gasp* there were other guys in school who were intact! True, they were a minority, but they were there.

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  57. "True, they were a minority, but they were there."

    According to the CDC, the circumcision rate has dropped to 32%, so now the cut men are the minority.

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  58. Dr. Oz talked about a few years ago on Oprah, touting it as lowering the transmission of STD's, more hygienic, etc. I wrote to him (something I never do!) to ask why - even though he constantly reminds people that the body is a machine, with each part having a specific purpose for our health - he would promote circumcision. I never heard back, of course. Here's the Oprah link:
    http://www.oprah.com/health/Dr-Oz-Answers-Mens-Health-Questions/3

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  59. "First of all, I am willing to bet that the majority of you have never witnessed a circumcision performed by a physician in a hospital. You are envisioning screaming babies being mutilated. I've seen circumcisions, the skin is numbed and many babies even sleep through the procedure."
    REPLY. Not using local anesthetic is still common in many USA hospitals. This should be criminal.


    "It does reduce the risk of STD's, whether or not you want to believe it. My best friend works as a Disease Prevention Specialist and she works to prevent the spread of STD's. She lives in a huge city and is swamped with cases. The fact is, the majority of men/boys carrying STD's that live longer outside the body, such as chlamydia, gon. and hep C (not really HIV though) are uncircumcised."
    REPLY. Rampant STDs is a primarily a problem in the USA underclass. Many underclass men are intact, either because they are Latino or because Medicaid would not pay for routine circ in the place and time they were born. Middle and upper class men have much lower rates of STDs, not because they are circumcised but because they are more likely to use condoms and frequent a healthier sort of women.


    "Dr. Oz is a physician and spent at LEAST 10 years in school training, and probably spent a few more years specializing."
    REPLY. Oz trained in cardiology, not urology, pediatrics, or STDs. American doctors are sadly ignorant about many sexual issues. The vast majority of USA doctors are circumcised, or married to circumcised men. Hence they do not understand the intact penis.


    "I am guessing the majority of people commenting on here do not even have a Master's degree."
    REPLY. Sorry, but I have a Ph.D.

    "He gave you the facts the best he could, the way he sees them, and you would do the exact same thing if you had a show."
    REPLY. If I had a show and spouted my opinions, I would accept the fact that those who strongly disagreed with me would comment accordingly on the blog for my show. Oz has the right to speak his mind, and we have the right to dissent vigorously.

    "You would present the facts against circumcision, even if facts showing that it's a good idea appeared."
    REPLY. That is less than fair.

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  60. Some comments above have been ladies revealing that they prefer intimacy with an intact man. Thank you very very much for revealing this. In my opinion, such revelations are the most powerful intactivist statements there are. I have yet to encounter a single circ advocate who challenges women who reveal this.

    When it comes to serious health issues, circumcision does not "prevent" anything; it is only claimed that it improves the odds. All those health problems can be prevented by daily showers, condoms, and best of all, confining sex to faithful marriage. It's corny, but it works. If you live right, having foreskin will not be a problem. Do we really want to alter the most sexual parts of a man's body in order to let him get away with murder in the bedroom??

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