Did you know foreskin contains thousands of nerve endings and creates pleasure for him and his partner? It has a purpose! That's why he's born with it, and females have one, too!
Your Whole Body 101 was formed to unite college students and college-aged people who speak up for human rights and speak out against all forms of forced genital cutting. This includes male genital mutilation (MGM), female genital mutilation (FGM), and intersex genital mutilation (IGM, commonly known as "sex reassignment" surgery on intersex children).
Until now, advocates for these three issues have worked separately, often not wanting to be associated with one another. This is unfortunate because each advocacy group directly deals with the same issue: the forced cutting of a person's genitals to conform to a particular society's concept of aesthetics, health, and normality. Banded together, all advocates against MGM, FGM, and IGM would provide a more powerful voice than their current scattered state. Genital cutting is a human issue, not a gender issue.
Discussion of genital cutting is considered taboo in many countries. In the United States and other countries with high circumcision rates, conversation surrounding the ethics of MGM can be exceptionally offensive to some. Even though there is a surprisingly high number of men who are unhappy they were cut without their consent, their voices go largely unheard. It is often considered "unmanly" for a male to speak out about the violation that was done to his body. Many men suffer in silence because of the reaction they may get from society.
In addition, American hospitals are providing inadequate information to parents on the potential side effects, especially the mental health issues that can arise from such a devastating and unnecessary body alteration. This lack of true knowledge from medical professionals, combined with the shaming of victims, causes the vicious cycle to continue.
With your help, we can fight to stop all genital cutting both at home and worldwide. As college-aged members of society, you are poised at the perfect position to become educated on all forms of genital cutting and help this sad tradition come to a long overdue end. As you will read and learn through our organization, all genital cutting is unnecessary with no significant health benefits. Think about it: as an adult would you alter your genitalia for supposed minuscule health benefits, cultural reasons, or to look like someone else? Probably not! So why do we force this upon infants and others who cannot defend themselves and cannot consent to the removal of a healthy, functional body part? It is time for our world to respect bodily autonomy, and it is up to our generation to see this change through.
To connect with student advocates, check out the YWB101 Facebook Group! Group membership is moderated, and is for college students and/or college-aged students (18-25) only.
What is Genital Integrity?
Your Whole Body 101 believes that genital autonomy is an inalienable human right, and that every individual has the right to be free from unwanted genital surgeries. We stand for genital integrity, which means that we strive to protect a human's right to their whole body by calling for the abolition of all types of forced genital cutting.
In nearly every case of forced genital cutting – male, female, and intersex – a child or adolescent is forced by an adult to endure an alteration of their body. In each case, there are no medical justifications for the permanent modification of a child's healthy genitals. Even intersex babies born with "ambiguous genitalia" are not unhealthy; they merely do not conform to cultural definitions of male or female genital norms.
What is most important to understand about genital integrity is that all forms of forced genital cutting are variations of abuse based on gender, not genitals. Whether it is a female "circumcised to be fit to marry," a male "circumcised to look like his father," or an intersex child cosmetically "fixed" to meet the expectations of what is "male" or "female," forced genital cutting aims to make nature, and in particular children, fit into a gendered paradigm.
Forced genital cutting marks children, and the adults they become, with shame and indignity because they are made to feel badly about their natural body and the genitals they had at birth. Forced genital cutting destroys an individual’s right to choose what is best for their body on the very "private parts" we hold so dear. Furthermore, routine procedures such as circumcision cause injury and unnecessary medical expenses that contribute to the profits of corporate medicine, not to the well-being of the patient. And did you know? Many male infants’ foreskins are sold to cosmetic companies for use in facial creams!
The primary goals of advocating for genital integrity are protecting our human rights and advocating for those who feel they have been violated. The genital integrity movement may someday enable us as humans to see ourselves better, and to see how certain perceptions of "male" and "female” directly lead to forced genital cutting.
Students for Genital Integrity
In September of 2002, San Francisco State University became the first college campus to launch a student organization specifically focused on ending all forms of forced genital mutilations. Since its inception, other students around the United States have launched student groups that unite these three advocate voices – anti-FGM, anti-MGM, and anti-IGM – into one very progressive human rights movement. Students for Genital Integrity began this work, and Your Whole Body 101 hopes to build on that foundation.