San Fran to Ban Circumcision?

Ban a Bris?BY: Regina Bresler

Despite female circumcision being widely regarded as cruel and unnecessary, as Jews and citizens of the western world, male circumcision has spent the better part of a century as the status quo. Well, seems like tides are shifting according to a study done by SDI Health claiming that as of 2009, only 32.5 percent of boys were cut, down from 56 percent in 2006. While these numbers don’t include procedures outside hospitals (like most Jewish ritual circumcisions) or those not reimbursed by insurance, groups like view this as a small victory in their campaign to ban the procedure on men under the age of 18.

We spoke to Lloyd Schofield, the man behind the campaign to get the SF bay area bris-free. Half-way done on his mission of 7,138 signatures by April 26, Mr.Schofield aims to let voters decide whether the covenant is an outmoded form of mutilation, or an issue of spirituality, and preventative health.

“We come at this from the point of view of the child, whether Muslim, Jewish, or Christian the child is certainly not experiencing any spiritual uplifting. If you’re doing it in the hospital there are no religious implications.  If someone feels this is something they want to do for spiritual reasons, or otherwise, they should be able to choose for themselves. Their body, their decision.” Schofield says, “The basis of Judaism is the ability to talk about everything, yet this topic is avoided.”

While there is still much debate within the medical community concerning the benefits of circumcision to reproductive and sexual health, Mr. Schofield’s organization feels that the public has been misled. “With programs like Operation Abraham, who knows what motives are but the end result seems disastrous for Africa. The Bill Gates Foundation, U.S. government, all those initial proponents are back-peddling. It’s a shame more wasn’t done to actually prevent and educate on the issue of AIDS and the proper sterilization of surgical equipment and syringes.”

Claiming that the procedure was first pushed due to a belief that jerking off was less difficult and risky sans schmuck, Schofield stands firmly on the premise that this is not a lifestyle issue. As a woman, I’ve grown accustomed to a certain aerodynamic design afforded by the boys of the bris, but this isn’t about personal aesthetics. You’re even welcome to restore to factory settings, if it tickles your fancy. Contrary to popular belief, most men seem to shy away from discussing the cut of their birthday suits, be it turtle or v-neck. But now that the future of circumcision might end up in the hands of the voters, we want to know how you feel about what you’ve got in hand.

Is Schofield a jerk?

[poll id=”2″]

What do you think?

About The Author

Regina Bresler is a Brooklyn, NY native who spends her days running feral through the internet, and her nights talking to strangers. She probably knows more about the not-so-hidden lives of celebrities then you do. Please don't hold it against her.

27 Responses

  1. Greg

    “You’re even welcome to restore to factory settings, if it tickles your fancy.”

    Yes. It only takes several years of constant stretching whereas an adult circumcision takes all of thirty minutes.

  2. linda Massie

    It may come as a surprise to a lot of people in San francisco that most European women have never seen a circumcised penis? This is quite simply child sex abuse as has been recognied elsewhere, cutting off parts of babies genitals for no reason, killing and maiming. All genital mutialtion of children is an outrage lets hope San Francisco votes for the children.

  3. Ron Low

    In the US and Israel 3% of good Jews do not circumcise. Cutting him at birth takes away HIS religious freedom to be THAT kind of good Jew.

    Including a religious exemption in the ban would never pass constitutional muster. You can’t FAIL to protect someone from harm just because of his parents’ faith. Just ask a JW, LDS, Christian Scientist, Snake Handler, or Muslim.

    Foreskin feels REALLY good. HIS body, HIS decision.

  4. Alfred C. Schram

    Circumcision is the surgical excision of a normal, functioning, healthy tissue from a non-consenting individual, for no immediate medical reason. The surgical procedure is usually performed without anesthetic, while the baby is restrained on a board, until it stops crying while falling into shock. No parent fully informed of the lack of necessity and of the short and long term traumatic effects of circumcision would ever allow his/her baby boy to be subjected to it.

  5. Restoring Tally

    I was circumcised shortly after birth and it was not done for religious reasons. I resent that a healthy part of my body was removed. I would have preferred to remain intact, with all my body parts. I am restoring my foreskin and the difference is amazing. Having a foreskin, even a restored one, is much better for me and my wife.

  6. Regina B.

    Tally- I’d love to know what made you decide to go for restoration? While I understand your preference to stay intact, none of my partners have ever expressed a desire for anything other then what they were working with (cut or not), so the results of this poll have been surprising.

  7. Dan

    I was circumcised when I was a baby and I also resent that. A while back I had looked on the internet to see what I was missing and it was very upsetting to me to find out the sexual damage circumcision does. So I wanted to get back at least what I could and am currently restoring. A restored foeskin isn’t nearly as good as a natural foreskin because the most pleasurable parts were cut off, but a restored foreskin is a lot better than no foreskin. Since I started restoring I’m a lot more sensitive. Just like if you put a bandaid around a finger under the banaid will become a lot more sensitive.

    Most males circumcised as a baby have no idea what they are missing, or they are in denial about what they are missing. If you ask a male who was circumcised as a baby how many sq. inches of penile skin they’re missing, how many nerve endings they are missing and what type of nerve endings most circumcised males will have no idea and most refuse to believe they are missing anything valuable and that they’ve been sexually damaged. I’ve heard estimates that hundreds of thousands of males have restored or are restoring. Most males won’t restore though because they won’t accept it that they were sexually damaged, or it wouldn’t be worth all the time it takes to restore. Restoring is very time consuming and for most it takes many years to totally restore.

  8. Restoring Tally

    Regina, I had a tight circumcision. When erect, my skin was taut. I thought that was normal because it was all I knew. I had no idea what an intact penis looked like or how it worked. I was totally ignorant about the normal male genitalia.

    After I reached my 40s I noticed that I was enjoying sex less. By the time I hit 50, I had very little sexual pleasure from intercourse. Masturbation was fine, though. When researching for my prostate surgery, I learned about some of the effects of circumcision, e.g., gradual loss of sensitivity by keratinization of the mucosal tissue of the penis. I also learned about foreskin restoration and the anatomy of the intact penis. As a cut guy I never knew about the gliding action, let alone that the natural penis had mobile skin. I had nothing more to lose and everything to gain, so I started restoring my foreskin.

    I started restoring and within 4 months my wife noticed the difference. After 6 months of restoring we stopped needing to use lube during intercourse. My wife also stopped being sore after intercourse. The gliding action of the foreskin made a big difference in her comfort and pleasure. She went from only clitoral orgasms to having occassional vaginal orgasms.
    Having enough skin to cover my glans allowed me to regain the natural sensitivity of the mucosal tissue. The regained sensitivity and the gliding action allowed me, for the first time in my life, to have whole body orgasms. My orgasms are still not on par with my wife’s, but they are much closer than ever before. I am not yet done restoring and I expect things to continue to improve.

  9. Dr. Ron

    The infant penis belongs to the boy, not his parents.
    He has to live with the results of amputative surgery (circumcision).
    It is his decision to keep the foreskin he is born with, or to cut if off.
    Parents have the obligation to do what they think is best for their son, but they do not have the right to cut off part of their infant son’s penis to satisfy their personal religious beliefs. Parental rights end when they seek to have unnecessary amputative surgery performed on a perfectly healthy infant. There is no other body part that parents can have cut off their child without there being an immediate medical necessity. Why is the foreskin a “disposable” part?

  10. Peter

    I decided to make my Bris at the age of 32. Makes no difference at all in my sexual life and my wife has no complains either. I share the opinion that it should be everybodies own decision to make it or not. But I have absolutely no bad experience regarding my nerves.

  11. Puck

    I should be verey much mistaken if US law wouldn’t consider that a newborn child is under the control of their parent/guardian and that it is there decision, not his, to make.

  12. Puck

    Had to LOL at the inherent ignorance of this statement “It’s a shame more wasn’t done to actually prevent and educate on the issue of AIDS and the proper sterilization of surgical equipment and syringes.”

    I know, way shocking right, what with all those cutting edge schools and hospitals that Africa is so famous for.
    Understanding of anything outside your own narrow, white, middle-class neighbourhood fail.

  13. Dr. Ron

    @Puck: By your logic, that the child is under the control of the parent/guardian and that it is their decision, I suppose you would support female circum-cision if the parent/guardian wants to do that also. Do you see no limits to the so-called rights of parents to inflict unnecessary amputations on their children? If you say the law does not allow female circumcision, my response is, then why is male circumcision allowed? And thus the need for the SF law to outlaw male circ.

  14. George

    The “circumcised” fifteen percent of the world’s population isn’t the status quo. This isn’t a “hands of the voters” issue, its a civil rights issue. Men have the right to choose for themselves as adults and not to fall under the cycle of abuse that “circumcision”, a euphemism for genital mutilation, is regardless of tradition or imaginary benefits. Why hasn’t Obama signed an executive order banning this barbaric nonsense like that hypocrite Clinton did for females before skipping off to a bris? The only arguments in favour of cutting baby boys are sounded from the ones with the scars. Denying the fact that this is rape is telling baby boys they don’t exist. They aren’t objects, they are people with rights. Our deaths and damages are no less important than those of females.

  15. Regina

    George- I did not claim it was the status quo on a global scale, but amongst Jews and those living in the western hemisphere. There are arguments that go beyond that of cultural/religious beliefs. Lowest on the totem is the spread of HPV, which is a major cause of cervical cancer. While I don’t disagree with your assertion that people should retain their personal rights to their bodies, I think that sounding the rape alarm is a bit over the top. I don’t see why the CDC and WHO would make claims towards the spread of a practice with no benefits. This will be left in the hands of the public, one that is filled with plenty of men, cut and not, to decide. You’re right though on one count: I don’t want to be told what to do with my body either.

  16. Dan

    The U.S. is the only country in the western hemisphere where circumcision is the status quo. The U.S. is the only country in the world where it is common to circumcise baby boys for non-religious reasons. Could it be that the U.S. is the only country in the world that is right about circumcising baby boys for non-religious reasons?, I don’t think so.

    Circumcising baby boys for non-religious reasons also used to be common in Great Britain, Canada, and Austrailia. But it’s not common in those countries any more. Now in Great Britain the infant male circumcision rate is less than 1% not counting Muslims, in Canada the infant male circumcision rate has fallen to well below 10%, and in Austrailia where near 100% of baby boys used to be circumcised only around 10% are circumcised now and it is illegal to circumcise baby boys at public hospitals in Austrailia now.

    In the Netherlands the main medical organizations state that circumcising baby boys is a violation of children’s rights. I think they certainly are right about that.

  17. Ron Low

    Hi Regina,
    >> the spread of HPV <<

    Estimates of US infant deaths due to infant circumcision range to upwards of 200 per year, most recently 117 per year. At 117 deaths per year infant circumcision is 27 times deadlier per patient than the Gardasil vaccine (even assuming *every* person who died after getting it died from it).

  18. Ron Low

    Hi Regina,
    ^^ I don’t see why the CDC and WHO would make claims towards the spread of a practice with no benefits. ^^

    Me neither. The Dutch Medical Association 2010 policy says infant circumcision should be illegal, and that doctors should aggressively talk parents out of it due to “absence of medical benefits and danger of complications.”

  19. George

    Regina-it seems that your definition of rape is defined by the penetrative insertion of an object into the anus or vagina of one. Rape is an act of violence, not sex, and its not “over the top” when the person to who its being done does not consent. “Circumcision” is another form of rape which involves inserting a probe to break the synechia, like that of the fingernail, of tissue from the glans. You might be surprised to learn that many Jews in Russia and Scandinavia are in fact intact, and guess what? They are still Jewish because “circumcision” has nothing to do with being Jewish. It wasn’t good enough for Moses. The CDC and WHO are made up primarily of “circumcised” men who have a need to validate their scars with ineffective and flawed African (not European) studies. HPV/HIV is not just a man’s responsibility, and its no less prevalent in the creases and folds of labia/vagina. What fancy operation are we going to do to women to save them from themselves and their unsuspecting “circumcised” partners who can still spread HPV? Your arguments are ones I’ve heard before, and they are just as tired. But its good that we agree on the one thing, one’s body, one’s rights.

  20. Regina

    Thank you for assuming Im for circumcision, despite the fact that I’ve repeatedly stated that I don’t feel strongly enough on the matter to choose a side. Also, yes, I am aware that many Jews in Russia aren’t circumcised. Seeing that a good portion of the ones in those numbers are members of my own family.

    Rather then attack someone who has given the issue some press, go make your voice heard at the polls and on the petitions.

  21. George

    I’m used to anyone who makes the HPV/HIV claim being in favour. As a man who has been raped by a quack, with a knife and dollar signs in his eyes, who forged my mother’s signature on a consent form to remove 60% of my penile skin system that would have ensured my full range of sexual sensation and choice, what else could you expect? You could take the side against because none of us are free until we all are. Congratulations are in order for your lucky relatives. Unfortunately, I don’t live in San Francisco, I’ve signed more petitions than I have cheques, and written hundreds of letters. As long as I have a rape scar, I won’t stop exposing the lie of “circumcision”.

  22. Noa

    Now see the greeks found circumcision immoral and later, the Romans would follow in their footsteps. Now of course they had NO problem having slaves, abandoning babies with birth defects to die, throwing humans in arenas to witness their deaths as a game, genocide… circumcision has been “the issue” for all enemies of jews throughout history. The fact that this man is jewish, changes nothing. So was jesus and I don’t think we can say today, retroactively, that Jesus really helped things out for jews.
    So another self hating jew that has been put on the front of the scene as a poster child. Kapos exist and it seems they have given themselves the word (I mean the link) to vote on this survey.
    Long live jewish circumcised peen.

  23. Andrina

    Circumcision is against Jews because it denies Jewish boys their rights to their full range of sexual pleasure that God intended. It is a symbol of slavery, and that should be enough for Jews to adopt Brit Shalom instead. Circumcision is cyclical self hatred and the result of an overactive imagination.

  24. Survey Programmer

    We welcome more participation by Jewish and Muslim men.

    Canadians Launch Online Circumcision Harm Survey
    June 7, 2011

    An international online Survey of Circumcision Harm was launched recently through a grassroots collaboration of Canadian and U.S. volunteers. will allow men around the world with access to a computer to document the adverse effects of childhood genital cutting on their health and well-being and to upload photos of their harm. Statistical results from the survey will be publicly viewable at no charge, with specialized filtered reports available to anyone for a nominal fee.

    According to the Canadian website, the project was launched “because the medical community has never investigated the long-term adverse physical, sexual, emotional or psychological consequences of infant/childhood circumcision on the health of adult men… due, in part, to many men with such harm not being comfortable enough to speak with others about these issues, or not being given a safe venue in which to document these adverse consequences.”

    The Survey Programmer expressed hope that documenting such consequences and making the results publicly accessible “will provide a starting point for dialogue about the long-term adverse consequences of male genital cutting… that will be investigated by medical communities and taken seriously by the wider societies where customs of male childhood genital cutting occur.” The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete.

  25. George

    Roughly sixty percent of Jewish men in Scandinavia and Russia are intact and are still quite Jewish proving that being Jewish has nothing to do with penile skinning. Its time to put the knives away and stop the cycle of abuse that “circumcision” is.

  26. George

    Thanks for the information Survey Programmer. I just completed the survey and hope you can open the eyes of enough to stop this nonsense.


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