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Circumcision Exposed
Rethinking a Medical and
Cultural Tradition

The P.U.D.  new low pricing!
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TVS - The Victims Speak

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Active in the San Francisco Bay Area during the late 1980s, TVS was founded by Billy Ray Boyd and some friends as a group of "men, friends, and loved ones hurt by circumcision in various ways and degrees" who sought to bring their voice to the circumcision debate through creative non-violent action. The group was specifically designed for those ready to act or to support action or wishing to organize or host workshops.

Billy Ray Boyd went on to author the 1990 book Circumcision: What it Does (Taterhill Press/San Francisco), which examined circumcision in terms of body ownership, personal choice, human rights, and social justice. The book inspired Tim Hammond to co-found the National Organization of Restoring Men (NORM) and to found the National Organization to Halt the Abuse and Routine Mutilation of Males (NOHARMM).

The revised edition of Boyd's book (released Spring 1998 by The Crossing Press) is:

Billy Boyd.jpg (2 KB)
Billy Ray Boyd

Circumcision Exposed.jpg (26 KB)

Circumcision Exposed:
Rethinking a Medical and
Cultural Tradition

Comments from reviewers and readers

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See also: What Are MEN Saying About Infant Circumcision?

Circumcision Exposed:
Rethinking a Medical and Cultural Tradition

Reviewer Comments

"I was deeply moved by [your book]. It deepened and tenderly expanded my awareness of what men are going through. Thank you for writing it."

Daphne Rose Kingma, author, The Men We Never Knew and other books


"...contains important and valuable information, and is written from a compassionate and respectful stance for everyone involved in this complex and difficult issue."

Margaret A. Somerville, AM, FRSC
Gale Professor of Law;
Professor, Faculty of Medicine
McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law


"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 more about it, read this book."

Sexuality Library / Good Vibrations, San Francisco


"I owe my political awakening on the subject of male sexual mutilation to Billy Ray Boyd's insightful book. Circumcision Exposed: Rethinking a Medical and Cultural Tradition is a manifesto upon which the National Organization to Halt the Abuse and Routine Mutilation of Males (NOHARMM) was founded. Anyone who believes that the imposition of circumcision on the bodies of unconsenting children is beneficial, or even benign, should read this book."

Tim Hammond, NOHARMM Founder


"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


"The book is a provocative one and deserves a wide readership. There is no way one could come away from it and look at the issue of circumcision in the same way."

A university professor using this book in a course on "Spirituality for Men"


"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


"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


"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


"Highly readable, soul-searching consciousness-raiser directed toward sexual fulfillment, with no gory photos. A free-thinker's must-have!"



"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

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Reader Comments

"Thank you for this contribution to male awakening."

"Absolutely outstanding work. I never expected to find so much in such a small book. Great research, great sensitivity."

"A 'must' for all leaders in this movement!"

"My housemate borrowed [your book] and gave it to one of her co-workers, and a baby was saved from the knife today! Couldn't have done it without your book!"

"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."

"Thank you for writing your book.…I have a hospital-born 7-year old son that would not have been circumcised if I had known the facts.…I also have a 20-month-old home-birthed son and thanks to you and our midwife, we were given information on the truth of this horrible, painful surgery."

"If God has created us in His image, then why should we try to improve on this by mutilating that image?"

"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 stop."

"Heartfelt thanks. Our first grandchild is soon to be born and we are concerned that, if a boy, he not become yet another victim."

"What a jewel of a book."

"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 circumcision-conscious."

"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 difference."

"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."

"I was shocked at how close to my own experience all of the quotes were [of men victimized by circumcision]."

"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 [the list of quotes from men victimized by circumcision] is true. With heartfelt thanks for all you have done and are doing."

"A powerful argument against 'genital mutilation.' Debunks as well as raises health concerns, and discusses cultural and religious issues."

"[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 circumcision."

"Thank you for your intelligent and courageous book. It was such a pleasure to read such an eloquently and clearly stated discussion of the issues."

"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."

"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."

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Money not only talks, it silences. Here's what one sympathetic but intimidated (and surprisingly frank) business wrote when asked to include information on this book in packets they distribute to expectant parents:

"While [this book] offers valuable information and an apparently cogent argument against circumcision, we feel that the health care professionals who distribute our kits will have a hard time endorsing Mr. Boyd's point of view. We cannot risk offending their professional opinions or their religious beliefs, and therefore, cannot accept your promotional literature for inclusion in our kit."


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