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Another thread got me thinking about this: I often wonder why intactivists are focusing our efforts on pregnant women and new moms. At this point, it's too late for most of the little boys. It's usually too late to change a woman's thinking when she has only 4 months before she delivers. And as for discussing it among new moms, well, you're likely to make a lot of people defensive. I mean, it's great that NOCIRC got an ad in <i>American Baby</i>, but by the time most people receive <i>AB</i>, they've already left the hospital. So, why aren't we targeting college students? I believe a campaign aimed at college students could bring about a sharp decline in circ rates in the next decade. College students are an ideal target audience because:<br>
-They are questioning the values of their parents and religions<br>
-They are interested in sex and taboos<br>
-We can approach it as a human rights issue as opposed to a medical issue<br>
-They are just learning about FGM and are shocked<br>
-They are looking for a cause to attach themselves to<br>
-They are not pregnant yet, so they can approach the issue without<br>
being emotionally invested in it<br>
-They are not married yet (usually), so they can form their views on circ<br>
independently--they don't have to ignore it because they are married to<br>
a circumcised person or a person who follows a circumcising religion.<br>
-They are open to other cultures. Some of them actually study abroad,<br>
and have experience with intact guys, but don't make the connection.<br><br>
What do you all think?
 

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Actually, I think it'd be a great idea! I work for a University and we have "tabling" where student groups are allowed to have a table in a specific central location with signs and flyers and a lot of quite controversial topics get "tabled" about. As a general rule, I agree, college students are quite ready to get behind a cause with lots of enthusiasm!
 

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Actually, I've had alot of luck with high-school-aged kids.<br><br>
They are horrified when they learn about MGM.
 

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That IS a great idea. I know that the people that I talk to that haven't had children yet are so much more open minded than those who already DO have children (on a whole, there are exceptions of course)
 

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I think it's great, I have a friend (she's actually on MDC) that writes poems and such for her classes (she's a college student) about circing, bfing ect. She says she gets lots of great responses.
 

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I too think its a good idea. Actually, a lot of the teenagers and college students (at least around here) already have decided to not circ. But I do agree-these are the people we need to be talking to. Granted, I dont think that talking to moms to be or new moms or even moms with <insert age> year olds is something we should stop either though. I would have been quite happy to have gotten some info on it when I was 18 and preggo with my first. I know several women who I have convinced to not do it while they were preggo or even post partum. And I think that even if a woman has a 12 year old and probably wont be having anymore kids, its still good to try and convince them-because you never know, they could end up having another one, or, more likely, pass the info on to people who will be having kids.
 

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Teenagers are very receptive to our message I think...they crave the knowledge and haven't yet closed their minds to different ideas.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Yeah, teenagers haven't usually been brainwashed yet & are willing to be rebellious, especially if it's something that makes the grups look stupid. Cutting off pieces of genitals pretty much falls into that category. My dd hasn't had to do a lot of convincing to get her friends to agree.
 

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This past Spring, another intactivist RN and I got a chance to talk to several hundred students in an undergrad Marriage and Family Relations class at a University here in Colorado. We decided to embed the circ info in the context of attachment parenting (since they had studied about attachment), rather than hit it as a single issue. We showed a video by Suzanne Arms called Bonded Beginnings which covered all the topics of attachment parenting (gentle birth, home birth, co-sleeping, breast feeding, non-circing, baby-wearing). We then showed Intact Facts, specifically on circumcision (history, lack of medical necessity, foreskin sexual function, how the procedure is done) - there were audible gasps at the circumcision visuals.<br><br>
The teacher had them write reaction papers to the class. The greatest interest and most questions was on the breastfeeding segment. There were negative reactions to the more "extreme" aspects of AP (esp. the co-sleeping, and extended BF). Some said their eyes were really opened about circumcision and wanted references for further information. Several of the few men in the class said that there was no way they weren't going to circumcise their own sons. Some said we were "very biased", others were really grateful for the presentation.<br><br>
I definitely agree that we have to educate people before they get to the point of being pregnant (although you still can influence people then), way before they get set ideas about it in their minds, or have a partner to have to fight with over it. I'm just offering up our experience to suggest that care might need to be taken to keep the audience as receptive as possible.<br><br>
I think it's very important to set the stage for receptivity by acknowledging the strong feelings that a discussion of circumcision may arouse, and that everyone comes from a different background depending on whether they have had circumcised brothers, boyfriends, or sons, or are circumcised themselves, and by encouraging them to keep an open mind when learning things about circumcision that they may never have heard before, and that they may have to take some time to process the feelings that come up. I also am realizing that circumcised men need to hear about restoration as a way to soften the blow of the info they are getting about what they're missing and to defuse their defensiveness, otherwise they may be left only feeling inadequate and hopeless.<br><br>
I think there are a lot of classes where this topic may come up: gender studies, human sexuality, health, psychology. I've had a chance myself to present on circumcision, however briefly in several classes I've taken: a bioethics class, human rights class (political science), and a social psychology class. I think it would be a great thing for more people to contact highschool and college teachers to offer to speak - guest speakers are often very welcome.<br><br>
Gillian
 

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If you're not a college student yourself, what are the best ways to reach this demographic? They usually have bulletin boards, right? And campus newspapers (presumably with email addresses of regular contributers included)? All we'd need is one or two active intactivists at colleges to get an 'outreach' started there. I know there's a group, "<a href="http://www.studentsforgenitalintegrity.org/" target="_blank">Students for Genital Integrity</a>" involved in this area.<br><br>
What about high school students? Could we get into trouble handing out literature near high schools? What about creating a informative website specifically for teens...with basic, age-appropriate information, ideas/examples of speeches, debate, reports, and other ways to encorporate the message into schoolwork? Maybe some colorful, funky, cool pro-intact items, like t-shirts and stickers, especially for a younger audience? Raffles? Contests? Bakesales? Everybody loves free stuff...<br><br>
Circumcision is about penises...penises are genitalia...genitalia relates to sex...sex is a topic sure to grab the interest of young adults. I could also see handing out literature that mentions the sexual functions of the foreskin as a lightening rod for controversy and community/media involvement. A source of publicity?<br><br>
Jen
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>glongley</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6474064"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think it's very important to set the stage for receptivity by acknowledging the strong feelings that a discussion of circumcision may arouse</div>
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I would love to do that, were it possible for strong feelings to be expressed in the first place.
 

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I think those "What does this index card have to do with your penis" cards would be good at a booth.
 

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That is one of the reasons why i LOVE that Playboy, and Men health have printed articles..and of course Howad stern<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I talk about circ in a sexual context to unmarried/childless friends and never fail to convince them. Once they are married to a specific penis, though, it gets harder.
 

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I agree with you, however....<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">It's usually too late to change a woman's thinking when she has only 4 months before she delivers.</td>
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I totally disagree with this. I think many of us here changed our thinking, I know I did- and it was from posts first on my expecting club on a mainstream site... Then the debate board there. I found MDC just briefly and then rediscovered MDC after my son way born<br><br>
We also know that some pregnant women and mothers have a girl the first time around.... so these parenting magazines may reach them... as well as parents who regreted circumcising or are open minded about new information.<br><br>
And again, reaching doctors and changing medical policies and practices is useful.<br><br>
Luckily we are a diverse and talented group. I'm sure we all have areas that we are more passionate about and the group of us can reach all of these groups!<br><br>
Jessica
 
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