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Exploring the risk of removing parts of your child's body

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Guest: Georganne Chapin 

What is...
What is conscious conception

Georganne Chapin is Intact America’s founding executive director. Ms. Chapin holds a BA in anthropology from Barnard College, an MPhil in sociomedical sciences from Columbia University, and a JD from Pace University School of Law.  She is a leader in the fight for ethical, cost-effective and high quality health care. Her Circumcision Debate article, published in Hudson Valley Parent magazine, highlights her dedication to the intactivist cause. 

Intact America’s Vision statement says:

Intact America envisions a world where children are free from medically unnecessary surgeries carried out on them without their consent in the name of culture, religion, profit, parental preference, or false benefit.

The genital cutting of any child in the absence of life-threatening or seriously health-threatening pathology violates not only that child’s body, but also his/her/their autonomy over their own sexual future. This position is immutable.  No parent or guardian has the right to waive a child’s right to be protected from any type of tortious interference, or physical or sexual assault, with regard to genital cutting. The right that governs is that of the child.


Intact America website

Foreskin Facts PDF

Intact Care Guide

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What are the most common reason parents choose to circumcise?

Religious or cultural reasons. Here are some beliefs that may guide a parent to circumcise their may lower the risks of; UTI's, STD's, cancer of the penis, foreskin infections, embarrassment with sexual partners. ​

Please comment below with other reasons you may have heard.

What are the risks?

Bleeding, infections, urinary retention, unable to breastfeed, trauma held in the body, PTSD, loss of sensitivity, dryness and cracking of penis tip,  curvature of the penis.....

Click here for extensive list

Function of the foreskin

An essential continuation of the shaft skin, the outer foreskin protects the glans penis, retains sexual fluids, and maintains sensitivity so it is ever-ready to respond to stimuli. It acts as a roller-gliding bearing to mitigate friction and prevent painful intercourse.

Trauma held in the body

Some studies link involuntary male circumcision with a range of negative emotions and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some circumcised men have described their current feelings in the language of violation, torture, mutilation and sexual assault.

Loss of sensitivity

It is shown that the foreskin is more sensitive than the uncircumcised glans mucosa, which means that after circumcision genital sensitivity is lost.

Beauty products

Foreskin fibroblasts are also used in beauty products and to help treat burn victims, help cover diabetic ulcers, and much more! 

Caring for an intact penis

"If intact, do not retract. Only clean what is seen" 

Intact Care Guide

Processing the decision and/or the trauma

  • Accepting the situation

  • Holding space for the big emotions "I feel heaviness in my chest "

  • Labelling the emotion "I am grieving"

  • Be with everything that arise "I recognise I feel sadness and anger and that is ok, I am healing"

  • Somatic movement and breathing to dance with what is present

  • Write everything down

One on One support

My Reflections

Up until becoming pregnant I hadn't even thought about my views on circumcision. My first sexual partner had had one and I though it was just how a penis was. It was until I heard the jokes from his friends about him no foreskin. I had to do some research, it made no sense to me but I was to afraid to ask him or anyone for that matter. So, when I really sat and thought about it I was very surprised to observe my disconnect to my feelings towards it, then I sat a little longer wondering why this seemed so normal and acceptable when I was disgusted by female mutilation! 

I realised in that moment, I had been brainwashed. I was raised to believe it was ok to cut away a very sensitive and functional part of a child's body, without questions.

I talk about this with others and many people reacted the same as me, ‘it’s normal for many’, some people fought back and some people heartbroken.

This conversation is powerful 

It was not my intention to fill anyone with shame or guilt, we are sovereign beings with the right to choose.

If you made this decision for your son, and it hurts you deep inside to face the emotion arising, just know repair is a powerful thing and when we hold space for the emotions and memories and let down our guard we can heal wounds and strengthen relationships.

If you are all for circumcision but are curious to hear what we will talk about with the deepest belief that circumcision is always the best choice, I hope you can hold space for our views which is by no means an attack on your beliefs or/ and actions.

Thank you for taking the journey, 

How to prepare for a healthy and conscious conception
commo reasons
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