The genital integrity movement regards genital cutting of children as a human rights issue.[1] [2] It asserts the principle that every human has a right to a whole and intact body and that, where minors are concerned, "the unnecessary removal of a functioning body organ in the name of tradition, custom or any other non-disease related cause should never be acceptable to the health profession." It asserts that such interventions are violations of individual bodily rights and "a breach of fundamental medical ethics principles".[1] Proponents oppose genital modification and mutilation of children, including routine infant circumcision and female genital cutting. Several anti-circumcision organizations also oppose the sexual-reassignment surgery of infants with ambiguous genitalia.[3][4][5][6]

Overview Edit

This viewpoint contrasts with circumcision advocates, including Muslim, Jewish and tribal practitioners, and the advocates of sex reassignment for children with ambiguous genitals.

Some Genital Integrity advocates oppose these procedures as unnecessary, harmful and unethical [7]; others want the procedures prohibited.[5] Current laws in many countries, and laws in several U.S. states, prohibit the genital modification and mutilation of female minors, with some exceptions based on medical need. Those advocating Genital Integrity assert that laws against genital modification and mutilation of minors should apply equally to males, females, and also to involuntary sex reassignment. Genital Integrity does not imply bias against persons having any particular genital status, and those who agree with Genital Integrity accept the right of individuals to make informed choices about their bodies.

The Genital Integrity Ribbon was created by the "National Organization to Halt the Abuse and Routine Mutilation of Males" (NOHARMM).[8] The pink ribbon symbolizes girls and blue symbolizes boys. The ribbon as a whole can symbolize intersexed people.

Background information Edit

The development of the Internet helped the Genital Integrity movement to spread its message. Those opposed to circumcision began creating websites in the mid-1990s, and this process has continued. This period also saw the formation of Genital Integrity organizations in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and South Africa. One prominent U.S. organization is NOCIRC, founded by Marilyn Milos, R.N., in 1986. The organization's stated objective is to secure the birthright of male, female, and intersex children and babies to keep their sex organs intact. Protest rallies have been held in the USA and other areas. Eight international symposia on Genital Integrity have been held around the world. The 8th was held in Padua, Italy, in September, 2004.

Although no membership figures are available, Genital Integrity organizations entered the 21st century reporting a continued growth in strength. The worldwide impact of the movement is unknown.


Main article: Circumcision and law

Boyle et al. suggest that "As we enter the 21st Century, appropriate legal action must be taken to safeguard the physical genital integrity of male children."[9]


The National Organisation of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NOCIRC)[6] has organised a series of International Symposia in cooperation with local Genital Integrity organisations since 1989.[10] They were

  1. 1989 Anaheim, California (on Circumcision)
  2. 1991 San Francisco, California (on Circumcision)
  3. 1994 Maryland (on Circumcision)
  4. 1996 Lausanne, Switzerland (on Sexual Mutilations)
  5. 1998 Oxford, England (on Genital Mutilation)
  6. 2000 Sydney, Australia (on Genital Integrity)
  7. 2002 Washington, DC (on Genital Integrity)
  8. 2004 Padova, Italy (on Human Rights and Modern Society: Advancing Human Dignity and the Legal Right to Bodily Integrity in the 21st Century)
  9. 2006 Seattle, Washington (on Circumcision, Genital Integrity, and Human Rights)
  10. 2008 planned for Keele, UK (on Circumcision, Genital Integrity and Human Rights)

The proceedings of several of these symposia have been published in book form.


The Association for Genital Integrity (AGI) advocates genital integrity in Canada. AGI reports that the genital integrity rate among newborns in Canada has increased to 91 percent.

United Kingdom Edit

NORM-UK promotes genital integrity in the United Kingdom.[3]

United States Edit

The National Organization of Circumcision Resource Information Centers (NOCIRC), the International Coalition for Genital Integrity, and Stop Infant Circumcision Society launched the First Genital Integrity Awareness Week in Washington, D.C. during the first week of April, Child Abuse Prevention Month. The 12th Annual Demonstration/March Against Infant Circumcision took place during March 29 - April 3, 2005.[11]. From 2004 to 2007, the organization sent a proposed bill to the US Congress and 15 state legislatures to extend the prohibition on genital modification and mutilation of minors to include male and intersex children.[5] The proposed bill has not been endorsed by any member of Congress.[12]

The Bay Area iNtactivists Group (BANG) in the San Francisco region takes part in baby fairs, the Solano Stroll, Gay Pride marches and other events. An interview broadcast on Outlook TV in April 2006 emphasises genital integrity for boy, girl and intersexed babies.[13]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Hammond T. A preliminary poll of men circumcised in infancy or childhood. BJU Int. 1999 Jan;83 Suppl 1:85-92
  2. Doctors Opposing Circumcision Genital Integrity Policy Statement [1]
  3. Students for Genital Integrity: fighting for the rights of all sexes
  4. ICGI - Genital Integrity
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 U.S. MGM Bill
  6. 6.0 6.1 National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers
  7. Medical ethics and the circumcision of children
  8. [2]
  9. Boyle GJ, Svoboda JS, Price CP, Turner JN. Circumcision of Healthy Boys: Criminal Assault? J Law Med 2000; 7: 301
  10. International Symposia on Circumcision, Sexual Mutilations, and Genital Integrity
  11. Awareness Celebrations
  12. US MGM Bill Status
  13. Outlook Video (Gay TV) Apr '06, 2/5 - Ntactivist Group, forego circumcision

External links Edit

Genital Integrity organisations Edit

Criticism of Genital Integrity / anti-circumcision organisations Edit

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