Home / Jewish Life / Jewish Circumcision Critics to Present at Boulder “Genital Autonomy” Conference

Jewish Circumcision Critics to Present at Boulder “Genital Autonomy” Conference

GA14bannerV3r1eBoulder Colorado—The 13th International Symposium on Genital Autonomy and Children’s Rights, “Whole Bodies, Whole Selves: Activating Social Change,” will be hosted at the University of Colorado—Boulder on July 24-26, 2014The Symposium focuses on interdisciplinary dialogue about the often controversial topic of genital cutting practices of male, female, and intersex children, and on strategies for protecting children from unnecessary genital alteration.

The Symposium features speakers from around the world, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Israel, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, and Liberia. Included are experts in health care law, bioethics, midwifery, pediatrics, psychiatry, psychology, sociology, anthropology, religion, intersex advocacy, foreskin restoration, and children’s rights.

Several conference presenters are Jewish; some will be speaking specifically about the problems inherent in Jewish ritual circumcision. Jewish presenters include:

  • Psychologist Ronald Goldman, who will be speaking about the psychology of circumcision;
  • Award-winning journalist Jennifer Margulis will be speaking about the business of circumcision in connection with her recent book The Business of Baby (Scribner 2013);
  • Berkeley, California novelist Lisa Braver Moss will be speaking about non-circumcising families in the Jewish community;
  • Social activist Eran Sedah will be speaking (via Skype) about the anti-circumcision movement in Israel;
  • Psychiatrist Richard Schwartzman will be speaking about unconscious cruelty—the emotions behind genital cutting;
  • Writer/publisher Rebecca Wald will be speaking about the Beyond the Bris website;
  • Documentary filmmaker Francelle Wax will be screening an excerpt from her forthcoming film.

These Symposia have taken place every other year since 1989, alternating between the United States and a location abroad. They are an important forum for advancing knowledge and thought on these issues, and for connecting people in the Genital Autonomy Movement from all over the world.

The 13th International Symposium on Genital Autonomy and Children’s Rights is sponsored by The National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (USA), Intact America (USA), Genital Autonomy (UK and Australia), and the Sexpo Foundation (Finland). It is locally organized by NOCIRC of Colorado.

For more information please contact Rebecca Wald, rwald@beyondthebris.com.

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They call me "NewsHound Too," because I'm sniffing out stories all over the Boulder area. My buddies know me as "Rocky." I love Jewish holidays because the food is GREAT, especially the brisket. Well all the food. I was adopted from the Humane Society of Boulder Valley and have many friends there also looking for homes.

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4 comments

  1. Also see Megan Quinn’s article in the Daily Camera about the conference: Families, Scholars Examine Religious, Cultural Reasons for Circumcision
    -Ed.

  2. I have a hypothesis, that if it can be proven, will show that circumcision is actually bad for the human race, as a cultural practice.

    The science of psychology, knows the existence of many neurotransmitters, the important thing about neurotransmitters is, they are deeply implicated in terms of behaviour.

    A good example for this is, people who are bipolar, basically they live on something like a dopamine/serotonin seesaw.

    My hypothesis concerns one particular neurotransmitter, that being, oxytocin. This is a remarkable neurotransmitter, because it's effect, is different for males and females. Basically if you get a room full of females and spray oxytocin in the air, the females all start being nicer to each other. Do the same thing to a room full of males and the reaction is different, the males start competing more. And we know from an amazing discovery, concerning male prairie voles, that certain voles have a mutation that means they produce less oxytocin, the astonishing thing is, the males that have the mutation, are polygamous, whereas the males without the mutation, have more oxytocin, which makes them more monogamous!

    When a mammalian baby is suckling, the nerves in the mother's nipple, cause her brain's limbic system, to excrete more oxytocin into her brain's cerebral fluid, this affects her behaviour. My hypothesis is, the around 20,000 nerves that are excised during circumcision, connect to the limbic system in roughly the same area as the nerves of the female nipple.

    My hypothesis is, that the circumcised male brain, produces slightly less oxytocin and thus causes slightly different behaviours, to the male brain that connects to a foreskin. This can't be seen in the individual, but can be seen in national demographics, gun owner ship in Canada, is almost as high as in the USA, but gun crime in the USA is far higher. Source – Michael Moore's film 'Bowling for Columbine'. The majority of males are circumcised in the USA and not in Canada.

    • Peter do you have any updates or corollary reports? This type of study is fundamental in proving the harm of circumcision, many are currently wondering if such a study has even been done, and why not. Please respond if you get the opportunity.

  3. I've attended these symposia; in Seattle, near Manchester UK, and in Berkeley. People used to ask me if the attendees at such an even are anti-Semites. So I got over the awkwardness of the question and started asking for a literal show of hands: "Who here is from a Jewish family?"

    About 20% of anti-circumcision activists are Jews. This has held true at protests on the US Capitol grounds, demonstrations at medical conferences, and marching contingents in parades, among other events. This is about 10 times as many Jews as you would expect if Jews were only as likely as a member of the general population to be working to end forced circumcision.

    The movement to protect all children equally from non-therapeutic non-consensual cutting on their healthy bodies is about human rights, not religion.