Understanding the psychological harm of male circumcision

Workshop date; Tuesday 17th October 2017.
Location; Keele University, Staffordshire.

This workshop is designed to explore the psychological harm experienced by men who have been circumcised, either as a baby, child or adult. This damage is often trivialised and goes unrecognised by health care professionals, family and friends, and sometimes by the individual himself. Click here to register for this event.

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Letters from the archives of 15 Square

Using letters and emails received over the last 20 years David Smith presents testimony from men sent to the charity NORM-UK now known as 15 Square. His presentation concentrates on the psychological aspects of the harm caused by the non-therapeutic circumcision of male children.

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Non-therapeutic circumcision in the Netherlands

Gert van Dijk describes the current ethical position of the KNMG (Royal Dutch Medical Association) on non-therapeutic male circumcision. The Netherland’s policy is currently one of “active deterrence”. If the policy were to be reviewed the position might well change to a total ban.

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Health related and sexual consequences of non-therapeutic male circumcision in childhood

This video was recorded at the World Association for Sexual Health Congress in Prague on the 29th of May 2017. Dr Morten Frisch is from Denmark and has been researching this subject in the Danish population.

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World Association for Sexual Health

Four presentations on four different aspects of male genital cutting were well received at the WAS Congress in Prague. The subjects covered were:

  • “Health related and sexual consequences of non-therapeutic male circumcision in childhood” by Morten Frisch from Denmark;
  • “Non-therapeutic circumcision the position of the Royal Dutch Medical Association” by Gert van Dijk from the Netherlands;
  • “Gender, genital alteration and beliefs about bodily harm” by Brian Earp from the USA;
  • “A summary of the voices of damaged men from the records of 15 Square” by David Smith from the UK.


The session was chaired by Tiina Vilponen from the Sexpo Foundation from Finland. Before and after the session we were on the stand with the Sexpo team and a lot of interest, concern and surprise in the the topic of male genital cutting was shown by Sexologists from an enormous range of countries.


From L to R: Brian Earp, David Smith, Tiina Vilponen, Gert van Dijk and Morten Frisch.
Prague 29th May 2017

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HIV prevention and circumcision?

Reports on the BBC World Service (15/02/2017) and Africa Health describe a study published in the Lancet concerning the initiative to educate religious leaders to encourage the uptake of male circumcision as an HIV prevention measure. If you have questions about the HIV prevention benefits attributed to male circumcision by some trial studies in Africa then the presentation given by Michel Garenne from the Pasteur Institute in the video below is a good place to start looking for answers.

The video was recorded at the Genital Autonomy and Intaktiv e. V. conference in Frankfurt, May 2015.

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G.A. trustee board gets stronger

The years since GA started, in 2008, have seen a growing appreciation of the suffering and injustice endured by children as a rssult of genital cutting and modification. The board of G.A. is very grateful that Clare Chambers has decided to support our work and join our trustee board.

Clare Chambers is University Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, where she is also a Fellow of Jesus College.  She is the author of Sex, Culture, and Justice: The Limits of Choice (Penn State University Press, 2008) and, with Phil Parvin, Teach Yourself Political Philosophy: A Complete Introduction (Hodder, 2012). She has also written numerous articles and chapters on feminist and liberal political philosophy. Her next book, Against Marriage: An Egalitarian Defence of the Marriage-Free State, will be published by Oxford University Press in 2017.

“Children everywhere should be protected against unnecessary genital cutting and modification. I have long been committed to this cause and I was deeply moved by the dedication of those I met at the 2016 Symposium at Keele University. I am delighted to be joining the Board of Genital Autonomy and look forward to supporting their vital work.”

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UN committee against torture

Thanks to StopIGM.org for alerting us to this encouraging news from the United Nations.

The UN-Committee against Torture (CAT) started an investigation of Intersex Genital Mutilations (IGM) in both the USA and Australia under Art. 16 of the Convention (“inhuman treatment” falling under the prohibition of torture). The Committee has formally asked the U.S. and Australia to provide statistics on IGM and to “indicate which criminal or civil remedies are available for people who have undergone involuntary sterilisation or unnecessary and irreversible medical or surgical treatment”.

Both State parties have now to explain themselves to the Committee in written reports due in 2017. Thereafter the Committee will review both states in Geneva. Considering that both the U.S. and Australia are major IGM perpetrators allowing and directly funding the mutilations, intersex advocates are again expecting stern reprimands for both states (see UN-Reprimands for IGM).

The Committee is acting on NGO reports submitted by intersex advocacy organisations
InterACT and OII Australia substantiating the ongoing practice in both countries.

 

Links to the NGO reports and the full questions by the Committee on Intersex and IGM within their “List of Issues” to both states on the StopIGM.org blog.

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