Letters to the Editor

Readers show ‘defensive and uninformed perspectives’ on circumcision

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Dear Editor,

I am a supporter of the RSA and commend your ongoing campaign against genital mutilation. Recently, I read RSA president Meredith Doig’s article on Rationale, titled Rationalists and circumcision (2 April 2023).

Meredith shared some feedback she had received from readers of her RSA Daily email newsletter. Some of the quotes caused me a combination of astonishment and disgust, leaving me concerned that many of the commenters completely misunderstood the issue and were from a cohort of older men that were ignorant about foreskin.  

I appreciate that Meredith in her RSA Daily stated that, as a woman, she was seeking the experiences of circumcised men. But that seems to have been to the exclusion of both younger men and intact males. 

This is a broader problem with the issue – that is, the consistent and often deliberate avoidance by individuals and organisations to acknowledge or detail the function, benefit and experience of foreskin. The vast majority of circumcised men have no experience of foreskin and, therefore, no special perspective on it.   

This is a primary reason why circumcision is performed pre-memory – to avoid boys and men ever experiencing the function and feeling of foreskin and therefore truly knowing the loss. It is rare for adult men to request to be circumcised.

Denying a...

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