Understanding Circumcision: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to a Multi-Dimensional Problem

Reviewed Publisher: 
New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. 404 pages. ISBN: 0306467011.
Reviewed Title: 
Understanding Circumcision: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to a Multi-Dimensional Problem (2001)

This edited collection contains the principal papers of the excellent 6th International Symposium on Genital Integrity, held in December 2000 in Sydney, Australia. Because these papers are so unusual in content I have decided to list the chapters for you rather than risk generalizing and possibly obscuring any of them. Here they are.

1. Ending the Forced Genital Cutting of Children and the Violation of their Human Rights: Ethical, Psychological and Legal Considerations by Gregory J. Boyle, Ph.D.

2. Jewish Circumcision: An Enigma in Historical Perspective by Leonard B. Glick, M.D., Ph.D.

3. The Compulsion to Circumcise is Constant: The Reasons Keep Changing by Michael Katz, M.D.

4. Male Circumcision in South Korea: History, Statistics and the Role of Doctors in Creating a Circumcision Rate of Over 100% by Myung-Geol Pang, Ph.D., Sae Chul Kirn, M.D., Ph.D. and DaiSik Kim, Ph.D.

5. Attitudes of Egyptian Intellectuals Towards Genital Integrity For All by Seham Abd el Salam Mohamed, M.A., M.D.

6. Sunna Gudnin: An Alternative Ritual to Infibulation in Merka Somalia by Pia Grassivaro Gallo, Ph.D., Lydia Rabuffetti, and Franco Viviani, Ph.D.

7. The Struggle Against Female Genital Mutilation/Female Circumcision: The European Experience by Els Leye.

8. A Review of Circumcision in New Zealand: 'I never liked doing them and I was pleased to give them up' by Ken McGrath, V.R.D., M.Sc., L.I.Biol. and Hugh Young.

9. Circumcision of Boys in Sweden: Proposal for Government Regulation by Yngve Hofvander, M.D.

10. "A Source of Serious Mischief:" The Demonization of the Foreskin and the Rise of Preventive Circumcision in Australia by Robert Darby, Ph.D.

11. The Frenular Delta: A New Preputial Structure by Ken McGrath, V.R.D., M.Sc., L.I.Biol.

12. Physical, Sexual, and Psychological Effects of Male Infant Circumcision: An Exploratory Survey by Gillian A. Bensley and Gregory J. Boyle, M.Ed., M.A., Ph.D.

13. Neonatal Circumcision: Its Long-Term Harmful Effects by Tracey Gemmell and Gregory J. Boyle, M.Ed., M.A., Ph.D.

14. Ritual and Medical Circumcision among Filipino Boys: Evidence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by Samuel Ramos and Gregory J. Boyle, M.Ed., M.A., Ph.D.

15. Assaulted and Mutilated: A Personal Account of Circumcision Trauma by Shane E. Peterson.

16. Doctors, Be Warned: Circumcise Today, and You Could Be Sued Tomorrow by J. Neville Turner, LL.B.

17. The Limits of the Law: Comparative Analysis of Legal and Extralegal Methods to Control Child Body Mutilation Practices by J. Steven Svoboda, J.D.

18. Circumcision as a Component of the Normative Abuse of Children: Introducing the Proclamation for Transforming the Lives of Children by John W. Travis, M.D., M.P.H.

Where else in the world could you find such a distinguished gathering of experts so passionate about genital integrity and so successful in Grafting a truly multidisciplinary approach to a multidimensional problem? Some of you will find it a reflection of the times that six of these articles (including my own) were authored by attorneys and six by physicians.

Publication Date: 
03/2002