Letter: Male mutilation

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The Independent Culture
Sir: American Gregg Sneirson (letter, 30 September) asks if he's missed something in the circumcision debate. Apparently, he's missed a great deal.

In the US and Britain, over 95 per cent of circumcisions hold no cultural relevance. Parental fears about social conformity are the reason that 60 per cent of boys in the US are circumcised at birth. In Britain, 7 per cent of boys are mutilated due to over-prescription of circumcision for conditions treatable without surgery.

Sneirson contends that, "When the circumcised themselves begin to lobby against the practice it will be time to take the issue seriously." Circumcised men in the US have been lobbying against the practice since the 1980s. Tens of thousands of us have awakened to the physical, sexual and psychological consequences of our circumcisions. Thousands are pursuing foreskin restoration methods to regain their genital integrity.

That letters from Jewish and Muslim men opposing circumcision may not have appeared in The Independent does not mean that these men do not exist. In the US they have publicly opposed circumcision. An organisation of Jews opposing circumcision even exists in Israel, where they have petitioned a high court to ban the practice as a human rights violation.

TIM HAMMOND

Executive Director

National Organization to Halt the Abuse and Routine Mutilation of Males

San Francisco, California

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