Lessons of Circumcision & Effective Communication

Circumcision is offered as an option to virtually every mother of a male child born in an American hospital. This parental decision can have unrecognized immediate and long-term consequences on the health of the child and parent.  The lessons of circumcision are many; they remind us of our core values and are applicable to other areas of life. These lessons involve the powerful impact of early infant experience, cultural values, the limitations of science, intellect vs. instinct, and how to make important childcare decisions.

It is essential that health care providers have accurate, current circumcision information and communicate it appropriately and effectively.  It is also important for prospective parents to be able to communicate with their partners effectively.  Because circumcision is an emotional topic, health care providers and parents need not only the facts but also the skills to talk about it in a sensitive way.  The second presentation in Part II of our Intact Boy series.
This session is 90 minutes in length.Cost: $7.50

Certificate of Completion: $7.50 (completion of post-session questionnaire required).

Continuing Education Units are available for some professional groups. To view a listing of CEU opportunities, click here.

Infant Response, Long-Term Psychological Effects, and Why Circumcision Continues

Cultural and medical views of newborn infants have changed drastically over the years.   This session, the first lecture in Part II of our Intact Boy series, is led by Ronald Goldman, Ph.D.  Dr. Goldman provides an introductory overview of the research on newborn infant sensory response, movement, expression, learning, and pain response and infant response to circumcision.  The lecture addresses the following questions:
  • How does being circumcised feel to the newborn infant? Does the newborn infant feel “discomfort” or extreme pain?
  • Does it matter how circumcision feels to the newborn infant? Can newborn infants remember their experience?
  • Is an infant too young to experience trauma?
  • Are there any examples of events around birth that have a long-term effect on adult
    behavior?
  • Can memory of birth be documented?

Dr. Goldman applied the clinical definition of trauma to circumcision to find symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in circumcised men. This new perspective offers clues that could explain certain male feelings, attitudes, and behaviors.  This session concludes with an exploration of the psychosocial factors that perpetuate circumcision.  In an examination of individual and institutional resistance to change, learn how cultural, emotional, behavioral, and psychological factors affect attitudes and behaviors about circumcision and related matters.  Various anxieties, beliefs, and values impede change – see how we can ignore or deny what is literally in front of our eyes.

Circumcision: Surgical Methods and Complications

Parents are largely unfamiliar with the realities of how a foreskin is actually cut away. The common myths that circumcision is “quick and safe,” ”just a little snip” or that the baby doesn’t experience any pain are false representations of the procedure. In fact, circumcision involves multiple tissue-damaging steps to remove the foreskin. Moreover, the circumcision devices used on the small penis of a newborn are relatively imprecise – which may lead to specific complications beyond the usual surgical risks of bleeding and infection. This course, led by Gillian Longley RN, BSN, MSS, provides participants with an in depth understanding of what is really involved with a circumcision and what the baby undergoing a circumcision may experience, during and after the procedure.

The presentation begins with an exploration of infant pain, and circumcision pain relief measures, including the facts that not all doctors use anesthesia for circumcision, that no method of local anesthesia has been shown to completely eliminate the pain of circumcision, and that babies do remember the pain of circumcision. The three main techniques of infant circumcision are explained step by step with still photo illustrations.  The range of complications which may result are illustrated and explained, including the often-ignored longer term harms that may occur due to loss of the foreskin’s protective and sexual functions, which may not manifest until years later.

The course closes with a brief look at the potentially harmful effects of circumcision on breastfeeding and mother-child bonding, which is covered in greater depth in a later class in this series.

This presentation is 90 minutes in length.

Cost: $7.50

Certificate of Completion: $7.50 (completion of post-session questionnaire required).

Continuing Education Units are available for some professional groups. To view a listing of CEU opportunities, click here.

 

* Warning: This program is liberally illustrated with photographs and diagrams of adult and infant penises, as well as graphic images of the circumcision procedure. These images are intended for educational purposes only, but some viewers may find them offensive or disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.

 

Select One…

 

Ronald Goldman, Ph.D.

Ronald Goldman, Ph.D. (psychology), is a researcher, educator, writer, and Executive Director of the Circumcision Resource Center in Boston, a nonprofit educational organization. His work includes the first intensive exploration of the unacknowledged psychological and social aspects of this uniquely American cultural practice. Dr. Goldman is internationally known for his work on circumcision and is the author of various publications including two books, Circumcision: The Hidden Trauma and Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective. The first book, with a foreword by renowned anthropologist Ashley Montagu, is endorsed by dozens of professionals in mental health, medicine, and social science. His book addressing Jewish concerns is endorsed by five rabbis among others. Other writing has appeared in newspapers, parenting publications, Jewish periodicals, and medical journals. Dr. Goldman has participated in over 200 media interviews with radio and television shows, newspapers, wire services, and periodicals, and has been consulted by Time and Newsweek. His presentations on circumcision and its effects are offered independently to professionals, universities, expectant parents, men, and the Jewish community. He also provides counseling for those making the circumcision decision and men who have issues connected with their circumcision. He is a member of the Advisory Council to the International Symposia on Circumcision and participates in exhibits at professional conferences and public expositions.

Ron’s Websites:
Circumcision Resource Center
Jewish Circumcision Resource Center

Ronald’s Presentations:
The Intact Boy
Part II: the Psychology of Circumcision

Infant Response, Long-Term Psychological Effects, and Why Circumcision Continues
Cultural and medical views of newborn infants have changed drastically over the years.   This session, led by Ronald Goldman, Ph.D., will provide an overview of the research on newborn infant sensory response, movement, expression, learning, and pain response and a review of infant response to circumcision.  We will address the following questions:
  • How does being circumcised feel to the newborn infant? Does the newborn infant feel “discomfort” or extreme pain?
  • Does it matter how circumcision feels to the newborn infant? Can newborn infants remember their experience?
  • Is an infant too young to experience trauma?
  • Are there any examples of events around birth that have a long-term effect on adult
    behavior?
  • Can memory of birth be documented?

Dr. Goldman applied the clinical definition of trauma to circumcision to find symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in circumcised men. This new perspective offers clues that could explain certain male feelings, attitudes, and behaviors.  This session will conclude with an exploration of the psychosocial factors that perpetuate circumcision.  In an examination of individual and institutional resistance to change, learn how cultural, emotional, behavioral, and psychological factors affect attitudes and behaviors about circumcision and related matters.  Various anxieties, beliefs, and values impede change – see how we can ignore or deny what is literally in front of our eyes.

This session is 90 minutes in length.

Cost: $7.50

Certificate of Completion: $7.50 (completion of post-session questionnaire required).

Continuing Education Units are available for some professional groups. To view a listing of CEU opportunities, click here.

 

Lessons of Circumcision & Effective Communication
Circumcision is offered as an option to virtually every mother of a male child born in an American hospital. This parental decision can have unrecognized immediate and long-term consequences on the health of the child and parent.  The lessons of circumcision are many; they remind us of our core values and are applicable to other areas of life. These lessons involve the powerful impact of early infant experience, cultural values, the limitations of science, intellect vs. instinct, and how to make important childcare decisions.

It is essential that health care providers have accurate, current circumcision information and communicate it appropriately and effectively.  It is also important for prospective parents to be able to communicate with their partners effectively.  Because circumcision is an emotional topic, health care providers and parents need not only the facts but also the skills to talk about it in a sensitive way.
This session is 90 minutes in length. 

Cost: $7.50

Certificate of Completion: $7.50 (completion of post-session questionnaire required).

Continuing Education Units are available for some professional groups. To view a listing of CEU opportunities, click here.