Time to stop male genital mutilation in the UK?

One of the issues raised at The First National Conference for Men and Boys in Brighton & Hove last month was the issue of male circumcision which was highlighted by both NORM UK and Men Do Complain.

According to The Guardian’s “Lay Scientist”, Martin Robbins, “infant male circumcision is genital mutilation” and “men should have the right to choose circumcision, not have the choice forced upon them”.

To read the full article click here now or read an abridge version of Robbins’ article below:

Infant circumcision involves performing surgery without consent to permanently alter an individual’s genitals. In many cases this is done without good medical justification, for example to force the infant to conform to the expectations of a particular religion.

The practice became popular in the United States as a 19th century tool to stop boys masturbating. Female circumcision is ultimately a brutal means of oppressing women’s sexuality, and male circumcision was intended to achieve the same.

Just as we call sex without consent ‘rape’, circumcision without consent or reasonable justification should be called ‘mutilation’.

If you’re still not convinced, try this thought experiment. Imagine waking up tomorrow morning to find yourself tied to your bed and rendered mute, your naked genitals exposed to the harsh glare of hospital lights.

Your parents have decided that some skin should be hacked from your penis; perhaps so you can be forced into their religion, perhaps because they don’t trust you to clean yourself in the shower, or perhaps simply because they think your penis should look more like your father’s.

If you don’t like the thought of this happening to you, if this offends your belief in self-determination or the rights you have over what happens to your body, then how can you justify this practice being inflicted on infants?

Infant circumcision without medical justification should be called what it is – genital mutilation. Deliberately inflicting injury on a baby in order to enforce their conformity with a religion, or to satisfy their parents’ views on what a penis should look like, is a sick act.

It has no place in a modern society. Infant circumcision – regardless of gender – should be stopped.


Glen Poole is UK co-ordinator for International Men's Day, Director at the consultancy Helping Men and news editor of insideMAN magazine. Follow him on twitter @HelpingMen or find out more about his work at www.helpingmen.co.uk.

Posted in NEWS
10 comments on “Time to stop male genital mutilation in the UK?
  1. Peter Leckie says:

    Thanks Glen. I intend to raise this vital issue when the opportunity arises – a great post!

  2. […] more information on circumcision click here now to read our post “Time to stop male genital mutilation in the uk?” Like this:LikeBe […]

  3. […] Did you know it’s possible for men who were circumcised to restore their foreskin? Find out how with the experts NORM-UK by clicking here. And if you want to read more about Male Genital Mutilation we recommend reading this article – click here. […]

  4. […] Is it time to stop male genital mutilation? […]

  5. […] You may also be interested to read about an excellent post from The Guardian – Infant Male Circumcision Is Genital Mutilation – click here now if you are. […]

  6. […] of our previous blogs on this post – time to stop male genital mutiliation in the UK – CLICK HERE NOW. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  7. Having been circumcised as an infant and regretting it all my life,I would want no other baby boy to be subject to such unconsented mutilating deprivation unless medically necessary,and then with the minimum foreskin removed.
    Circumcision is disfiguring,its status embarassing and the sensory loss enormous.Parents should never choose to mutilate a helpless and much loved baby son.Leave him intact;he could well thank you .It should be illegal,with boys
    protected as well as girls.

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