Some Statements From

Whose Body, Whose Rights?

By Lawrence Dillon and Tim Hammond

A Social Issue Video Documentary from Dillonwood Productions


"I'm sobbing. The baby's screaming. The doctor's cutting. There's blood everywhere. And the doctor looked into my face and said, 'There's no medical reason for doing this.' And that ... literally changed the course of my life." Marilyn Milos, RN, Founder/Director, NOCIRC

"Information on the history of circumcision in the United States is very scanty, and that is why I set about doing my research, and I have to this date amassed approximately 3,000 articles, all of them detailing the history of circumcision in the United States. In this country there is a common thread running throughout circumcision advocacy. It turns out that whatever disease is the focus of national attention, in whatever given time period, the circumcision advocates will use that disease as an excuse for circumcision ... In the 1940s, when venereal disease was the focus of national attention, the circumcision advocates said that circumcision would prevent and cure venereal disease. In the 1950s and 60s, when cancer was the great fear of the American public, naturally, circumcision was used as a cure and a preventative of cancer. In the late 1980s and the 1990s, when AIDS and HIV have become a tremendous problem, the circumcision advocates have advocated circumcision as a way to reduce the risks." Frederick Hodges, Historian

"Almost all of today's medical literature advocating circumcision has been generated by a small but vocal group of non-intact males. Could these obsessive efforts to scientifically prove foreskin pathology also be an unconscious effort to rationalize their own mutilation or to validate cultural beliefs? What is the psychology of a circumciser?" Narrator

"Are these physicians acting as modern day witch doctors? I don't know that they took an oath to serve as agents of a social custom, and yet that's exactly what they're doing when they perform medically unnecessary operations on unconsenting children. When fathers consent to the surgery for their sons, they perhaps unconsciously are more concerned about their own genital integrity ... This is a very serious ethical problem for physicians because how can they be removing a part of the body about which they know nothing? ... The [intact] penis ... during sexual intercourse can glide in and out of its own erotogenic self. This not only increases the pleasure for the male but decreases the abrasion and loss of lubrication for the female ... When you're missing 12 to 15 square inches of exquisitely designed, highly complex and very nerve-laden tissue from your penis, it has to effect the pleasure dynamic and the function of the penis." Steve Scott, NOCIRC of Utah

"[F]oreskin is very highly innervated and when separated, that is a serious injury." Ashley Montagu, PhD

"Recent preliminary research into foreskin structure finds it [the foreskin] to be more densely nerve laden than any other part of the penis." Narrator

"[T]here have been no major studies, no large-scale studies, no really analytic studies that I know anything about, to prove what the consequences might be, later in life, from infant circumcision." David Chamberlain, PhD, Association for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health

"In almost all cultures where female mutilation occurs, male mutilation is also widespread." Narrator

"When they're told that ... approximately 60 percent of the boys born here are circumcised, they're shocked, because Europeans generally consider male mutilation in the same category as female genital mutilation, an attack by some superstitious individual with a knife on the genitals of young children." James DeMeo, PhD, cultural anthropologist

"[B]ecause he's not familiar with the orgasm that he [would have been] able to have with a foreskin, what he has is normal [to him]." Hanny Lightfoot-Klein, American Board of Sexology

"This is probably the last imprint I made on this planet as a whole human being." Duane Jorde, NOHARMM and NORM of Hawaii, NOHARMM rally, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Washington, D.C., May 1994, just before tearing up and burning his birth certificate imprinted with his baby foot prints.

"What we're doing, it's not radical at all. It's common sense. It's sanity." Betty Katz Sperlich, RN., conscientious objector to circumcision

And statements by:

Dean Edell, MD, radio and TV host
Morris Sorrells, MD, pediatrician
Stewart Blandon, medical student, Stanford University
Paul Fleiss, MD, pediatrician
James Prescott, PhD, developmental neuropsychologist
Mimi Ramsey, RN, Ethiopian-born FGM survivor
Tim Hammond, coordinator, harm documentation survey
Charles Bonner, attorney
Norm Cohen, harm documentation respondent
Participants in a NORM foreskin restoration support group meeting
Barry Ellsworth, filmmaker
Moshe Rothenberg, C.S.W.
Wayne Hampton, harm documentation respondent
Ralph Ginzburg, publisher
Participants in an alternative bris support group meeting
Miriam Pollack, Jewish educator
Participants in an alternative bris
Jim Bigelow, PhD, psychologist
Joseph Victor Sieger, musician
Roy Pardi, multi-media artist
Brian Berman, sculptor
Keith Hennessy, performance artist
Patrician Worth, RN
Mary-Rose Booker, RN
Carole Alley, RN
Ann Down, RN
And others