Touchpoints - Mothering Forums
The Case Against Circumcision > Touchpoints
MelissaEvans's Avatar MelissaEvans 02:46 PM 09-19-2003
I'm not sure if this should be here or in the Books/Media forum...

I bought Touchpoints by T. Barry Brazzleton (sp?) and was reading through it. It starts pretty well, the doctor says he's an advocate for the baby. Then I got to a little part on circ and about lost it. He asks the father directly about circ if it's a boy, and admits it's an emotional thing for the dad. So... he's a baby advocate unless the father is insecure about his penis, then it's ok to inflict great amounts of pain and chop of part of the baby's genitals for no good reason. *grumble* Should I bother continuing to read this? Anyone read it?

Sara29's Avatar Sara29 05:24 PM 09-19-2003
I can't read books that support circ in any way.I don't feel it should be allowed as a *choice* for parents regardless of why they may want to cut up their boys(or girls).It just makes me soooo mad.

I had gotten this one that showed development of the human from the moment of conception.Wanted to show it to dd.It was a really cool book with great in utero pictures. Then at the end it showed 2 hands holding up a little baby boy-that had been circumcised. Yuck. There was a picture of a normal penis,but seeing the circed one as the last picture just ruined it for me. Maybe I will get it again and start getting indepth with teaching dd about this stupid practice of genital mutilation. I like the kitzinger books.Just got the one: Tough Questions-Talking straight withyour kids about the real world.Dated though at 1991 and nothing on circ in the index.
Not sure were Sears is on circ,but I usually like his books.

elelvee's Avatar elelvee 06:06 PM 09-19-2003
You should both write a letter to the publisher and to the author. Get especially mad about the "circumcised instantaneously" picture. There's a reference book, a really huge encyclopedia of human anatomy, and the penis depicted in it is circumcised. The main author is a professor who teaches medical illustration! I would've told the writers, if I'd been the editor, "Revise this section, or I'll 'revise' the entire book."

Since I can't remember the title any more, I'll do this:
Look up "Intactivism" on The books are under "Prejudice (against the intact penis)" and "Remarkable Silence (about the foreskin)".

I heard about It's Perfectly Normal but didn't read it. Since they said the cut penis was normal somebody could e-mail the intactivists. (My email bounced when I tried.)
I know they have their own address, but I always link from the c-web site.
Sara29's Avatar Sara29 06:24 PM 09-19-2003
You know I thought of doing that...letting the author know how disappointed I was to see that last picture.I don't remember the title,so I will have to look for it.
I wrote Sheila Kitzinger this am to let her know how happy I was to read her comments on circumcision.As well as to thank her for her books on pregnancy/birthing,since I credit her information in helping me to make the choice to birth both my kids at home.

Xenogenesis's Avatar Xenogenesis 09:22 AM 09-20-2003
Dear Melissa,

To delete your duplicate thread, send a private message to Cynthia Mosher indicating which one. Hope That Helps.

alissakae's Avatar alissakae 11:42 AM 09-21-2003
I went to a conference for my job, where T. Berry Brazelton and his sidekick, Joshua Sparrow were featured speakers. Their session was great, they spoke about being responsive to babies and had great footage showing how aware even newborns are. So, I went out and bought Touchpoints. I was also disappointed in the treatment of circ - but I suspect Dr. Sparrow is Jewish and that may have some influence. I was very unhappy about his section on breastfeeding - it was full of old wives' tales such as "the nipples need to be toughened" (not a direct quote, but that's sort of the gist of it). I've been meaning to write a letter about this, and after seeing your post I'm finally really going to do it. I'm an IBCLC so that should help my credibility with the breastfeeding information, and I hope they will listen on the circ issue too. Why don't you ALL write? Maybe the next edition of the book will be better!

Sara, I love Dr. Sears' books, and Dr. Sears (he's right up there with Frankly Speaking). And you will be happy to know that he is firmly anti-circ (of COURSE). Check out what he says about this topic on his website
Teresa's Avatar Teresa 02:26 PM 09-21-2003
Well, I have to say I differ a bit on Sears.
First, I'm very, very angry that he's now pimping for the imitation-breastmilk industry.
Second, his books--which I think are more widely read than his website--are pretty indifferent when it comes to circumcision.
I bought one for a friend and her was-Jewish, now-UU husband and he said that what he read in The Baby Book seemed decidedly neutral.
Maybe (hopefully!) the newer editions are better?
Ilaria's Avatar Ilaria 06:50 PM 09-21-2003
pimping for the imitation-breastmilk industry.
Really!? How?

I also found his books pretty neutral, but was upset to find out that he does (or has in the past) perform circumcisions.
I wonder if his sons are cut. :

His website is better!

I just sent him this email:

Dear Dr Sears,
do you and your sons perform circumcisions?

Teresa's Avatar Teresa 09:15 PM 09-21-2003
He recommends certain IBs in 'infomercials' in Walmart and other similar venues.
alissakae's Avatar alissakae 01:03 AM 09-22-2003
I am just sick about Dr. Sears pitching that! I was aware of his activities with Pump Mate, and even got a sample of this product sent to me. But it supports breastfeeding for women who have to be separated from their babies, so I'm fine with it ... but this DHA thing is upsetting. I feel terrible that he has sold out.

oh, you can see pump mate at
Xenogenesis's Avatar Xenogenesis 05:29 AM 09-22-2003
Sears got me 99% of the way here towards Attachment Parenting. The rest I figured out myself.
alissakae's Avatar alissakae 02:03 AM 09-27-2003
I appreciate that Dr. Sears supports cosleeping and babywearing, and he has good information on these topics. Just today I received a well-child checkup form for a child enrolled in the program I work for. It had a note that the parent had "sleep concerns" and under recommendations the doctor had written "Ferber for sleep." SO, I sent some sleep information from Dr. Sears and a recommendation to check out Dr. Sears book on sleep from our library .

Yesterday I did a home visit with a family who has a newborn (part of my job is to make sure everyone is doing ok after birth and provide information or referrals if needed). I always ask if the baby was circumcised, and yesterday the mom said "oh, no". Yeah! I love days like that.
asherah's Avatar asherah 05:04 PM 09-28-2003
I think our culture is still so uninformed about circ it is hard to find books that are strongly anti-circ.

I think that you have to read ANY book, whether it is Sears, Brazleton or whoever.. with a strong critical analysis.

And you don't have to swallow any book whole. You can use what feels right to you and reject what doesn't.

I think that finding a pro-circ perspective like that is a warning light that maybe you won't agree with everything in that book. But it doesn't mean everything in the book is worthless, kwim?