Book: Circumcision, What It Does
In Memory of Sexually mutilated Child )
You can order Circumcision, What It Does (ISBN 0-9616792-3-9) online from
from Amazon bookstore. It is also available for US$8.45
(US Funds only) from the publsiher: C. Olson, POB 100-X, Santa Cruz, CA 95063-0100.
This, and other books on circumcision
are also available online from Amazon.
You can contact the publisher at
ClayOlson@aol.com if you have any
Online Review of "Circumcision, What it Does"
"Circumcision is an embarrassing subject. To talk openly about it is
taboo. We know it by association with religion, but otherwise only
through jokes and urban legends. Most people don't know much about it,
and parents don't think about it until they have to. The great majority
of American men are circumcised--but why? Shouldn't we know more? Indeed,
there is a lesson here--a fascinating, yet deeply disturbing one--for
those willing to discover it....
"Boyd deals frankly and openly with the denial, fear, pain, anger,
myths and ignorance surrounding circumcision."
--Geoffrey T. Falk, (c) 1996,
Circumcision Information and Resource Pages
Did You Know?... (Factlist about circumcision from the book)
Circumcision: What It Does can help you educate yourself on an issue of vital importance
to the health and well-being of our children--and to our sexual
fulfillment as adults.
- That medical circumcision started out in the 1800s as a way to
- That circumcision decreases sexual sensitivity and dries up a man's
- That infant circumcision is painful, done without anesthesia, and the
most common surgery in the United States?
- That the United States is the only country to circumcise most of its
baby boys for "medical" reasons?
- That the U.S. circumcision rate has dropped from 90% to 58%, and to
less than 50% in California?
- That in some cultures, girls are circumcised, too?
- That infant circumcision is a human rights violation under
- That Jewish circumcision originally removed only the tip of the
foreskin, and that anti-Semitism made it more severe?
- That there is a support group for Jews who don't circumcise?
- That the main reason parents circumcise is not health or religion, but
to make the boy look like Dad or other boys?
- That impotence, loss of penis, and death can--and do--result from
- That infant circumcision brings U.S. doctors $100,000,000 to
$200,000,000 a year?
What readers & reviewers are saying about the book
Circumcision: What It Does
"Thank you for this contribution to male awakening."
"What a jewel of a book."
"Excellent--the right mixture of personal, scientific, and political."
--Jed Diamond, author, The Warrior's Journey Home: Healing Men's
Addictions, Healing the Planet
"A highly useful, supportive resource book for men who have been
adversely affected by their circumcision. [It] should be very helpful in
reestablishing lost feelings of autonomy."
--Hanny Lightfoot Klein, author, Prisoners of Ritual: An Odyssey into
Female Genital Mutilation in Africa
"Persuasively debunks every argument in defense of circumcision, offering
insights into the historical, cultural and medical evolution of the
practice. [The author] displays particular sensitivity to issues of
religion, health, sexuality and parental and infant rights. If you're
trying to make a decision about circumcision or want to know more about
it, read this book."
--Sexuality Library / Good Vibrations, San Francisco
"I really enjoyed your book. I was circumcised after my marriage
twenty-four years ago and I have had wildly fluctuating thoughts over the
wisdom of my action."
"Terrific...Thank you for writing your wonderful book."
--John A. Erickson, Gulf Coast Infant Circumcision Information Center
"I checked 'yes' on the hospital form that asked if I wanted my boy to be
circumcised. I never gave a second thought about it until I read this
book, reluctantly at first. I don't think I wanted to face the reality of
what I had allowed the hospital to do to my baby. This is not a book to
be tossed aside. I wish it had been written sooner."
--The Family Tree
"I never thought about my circumcised state. It was normal for me. You've
made me conscious about a mutilation I did not want, but was unable to
"A powerful argument against 'genital mutilation.' Debunks as well as
raises health concerns, and discusses cultural and religious issues."
--Big Books from Small Presses
"As a social activist and cultural healer, [the author] addresses this
sensitive topic with clarity and feeling. I particularly benefited by
reading his Principles of Inter-Tribal Criticism."
--Family Vision Quest
"I was extremely impressed. You have undertaken a challenging subject
without the self-righteousness and judgmental overtones that often
accompany such undertakings. It's a thoroughly researched and compelling
piece of work and a sensitive handling [of] the issue of anti-Semitism.
Expressed with fervor but in no way a diatribe...a well-balanced
historical, cultural, and emotional overview."
--Ed Duvin, former editor, animalines
"Highly readable, soul-searching consciousness-raiser directed toward
sexual fulfillment, with no gory photos. A free-thinker's must-have!"
"If God has created us in His image, then why should we try to improve on
this by mutilating that image?"
"Sets forth the medical, historical, and anthropological background of
the most common surgery performed in the United States, and argues
persuasively for an end to this practice."
--Childbirth Graphics 1991
"Heartfelt thanks. Our first grandchild is soon to be born and we are
concerned that, if a boy, he not become yet another victim."
"Thank you for your book! So many years I felt I was alone in my anger at
being genitally mutilated. I felt that I was projecting onto my penis
some other unresolved psychological problem. I have been alone with my
grief. Unlike victims of sexual abuse, incest, sexism, etc., our culture
has not yet entitled us to our grief and anger. Thank you for creating
this space for me."
"I thought I would need a psychologist, but now I think perhaps forming a
discussion or support group, along with organizing political action,
would be more appropriate."
"I was horrified at the terrible, hidden realities surrounding a part of
our society that I had never thought about one way or another."
"Like people who, in order to eat their meat in peace, don't want to know
about battery [factory-farmed] chicken, I'm not sure if I like being
"I was shocked at how close to my own experience all of the quotes were
in Appendix E."
"I loved [the book] and hated it. It stirred up feelings and memories of
my nephew's bris [circumcision ceremony]. As his godmother, it was
necessary for me to partake. All my life, I accepted Jewish and
non-Jewish male circumcision. My eyes opened with my heart when I saw my
innocent nephew's pain. Your book has spoken out how I felt. Thank you."
"A lot of thanks for the book."
"I very much enjoyed your book. I am uncircumcised, and I didn't really
realize the advantages of it for a long time. My wife was the one who
most helped me realize what's special in matters sexual about a
foreskin--her first husband was circumcised, so she understood the
"Although your book made me quite depressed for a while, I think you have
done a tremendous service to mankind by bringing this matter into the
open. When I think about it, as I did after reading your book, I feel a
sense of outrage that this was done to me, and a great regret that--for
no reason--I have been denied the opportunity of the full expression of
my sexuality. Incidentally, everything in Appendix E is true. With
heartfelt thanks for all you have done and are doing."
"[The book] has quite 'blown me away' and I have nothing but the highest
praise for it."
"Helpful and well written. At age 30 I was cut [circumcised] upon the
advice of a physician to eliminate a very minor irritation on my glans.
What happened was a disaster which will haunt me the rest of my life."
"...a most important resource in my teaching and counseling about
"Thank you for your intelligent and courageous book. It was such a
pleasure to read such an eloquently and clearly stated discussion of the
"I have wanted this book all my life! As an uncut [uncircumcised] man, it
has given me the support I have needed since I was 12 years old; with it,
I could have avoided so much doubt and pain."
"Thank you very much for writing the book. As a psychotherapist, I found
your emphasis on the feelings associated with circumcision very helpful."
"Until I picked up your book, I didn't realize there were others, so many
of them, who felt as strongly as I do."
"Heartfelt thanks for bringing to print [this] issue. I had been told in
Medical School that babies didn't really suffer during circumcision.
After I heard the screams of [a] child and watched him turn purple, I
knew I'd been lied to."
"I have generally spoken against circumcision when asked about it
professionally and I periodically have tried to order a book on the
subject to think more deeply about the issue. Your book fills the bill."
"...a book ahead of its time."
A RECENT SERIES OF EMAIL FORWARDED TO THE AUTHOR:
Subject: Kudos to You
Billy: these are from a friend of mine who happens to live with an
acquaintance of yours in Sacramento. Casey and I have only talked about
circ a couple of times and it has NEVER been a "cause" of hers (before).
Keep it up (the good work, I mean!).
Date: Tue, 06 Feb 96 17:05:00 PST
I am furious. Someone just announced their infant's circumcision
tomorrow. I jumped up and almost started shouting--Don't do it, don't do
it. He'll have nightmares for years, etc, etc. The general consensus was
that it's too late (can't break an appointment!) and he'll get over it,
etc. And it would be better now than later. Aaagh. At least I got my 2
cents in. The grandfather is paying for it. I never backed down. The last
thing I said was DON'T DO IT!
Date: Wed, 07 Feb 96 14:20:00 PST
I got Billy Ray Boyd's book on circumcision from my roommate. The
circumcision was scheduled for today. When I saw the student assist (the
dad) come in at noon, I figured it was too late. But he said it wasn't
done yet--it was this afternoon. I assumed it was a done deal, that he
and his family weren't interested at this point, but I offered him the
book anyway. Someone just dropped by to tell me that he called his
girlfriend and read her parts from the book, and they cancelled the
appointment. It would have been at 1:30 I think. I am sitting here
stunned. And deliriously happy.
My head is swimming. We did it!!!
Just wanted to pass on the good news! One more baby intact!!
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