Adamant father syndrome

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Adamant father syndrome is the term used to describe the behavior manifested by many circumcised men when they become fathers. The "adamant father" typically insists that any son born be circumcised even though there is no medical reason for it and it is contrary to current medical advice.[1] [2]

According to Brown & Brown (1987)[3] and Rediger & Muller (2013),[4] the circumcision status of the father is the most important determining factor in whether a boy is circumcised after birth.

Other closely connected circumcised males who are not the father may exhibit similar behavior.

The compulsion to repeat the traumɑ

The leading reason for adamant father syndrome is the compulsion to repeat the trauma.

Goldman (1999) reports that circumcision is trauma and that trauma tends to repeat itself:

The behavioural re-enactment of the trauma is a compulsion for some trauma victims. Circumcision of infants may be regarded as an example of re-enacting the trauma of one's own circumcision. A survey of randomly selected primary care physicians showed that circumcision was more often supported by doctors who were older, male and circumcised.[5]

To illustrate the compulsion to repeat the trauma, Denniston (2000) tells the story of the intern who was in the hospital nursery circumcising newborn boys in the middle of the nightː

For instance, a medical colleague informed me that, a few years ago, the night nurse on duty in an American hospital telephoned a senior resident in the middle of the night. She said to him in alarm, “You had better come down to the nursery right now. One of the interns is circumcising babies.” When he arrived on the floor, he found the intern circumcising a newborn infant. The resident said, “Don’t you think that, before you perform circumcisions, you had better get some training? Aren’t you concerned that you might be removing too much skin?” The intern looked at him, and replied, “No more than they took off me!” Sadly this young man had failed to recover from his own trauma. Like many victims, he did not realise that, since the trauma of circumcision should not have been inflicted on him, he certainly should not be inflicting circumcision on other human beinɡ.[6]

Hill (2012) commented:

The best way to stop the cycle of trauma is to stop circumcising infants. Non-traumatized intact infants usually do not grow up to become circumcisers, so the cycle of trauma would end.[2]

Denial of loss

Denial of loss is a second reason that some fathers adamantly insist that any son be circumcised. This reason is not incompatible with the first reason and may coexist in the same individual.

Persons who have suffered the loss of a body part must grieve their loss.[7] Failure to grieve one's loss may leave one permanently stuck in the first stage of grief which is denial of loss. Men who have failed to grieve the loss of their foreskin and its functions may not want an intact boy with a foreskin around to remind them of what they have lost, so such an individual may adamantly insist that any son be circumcised.

It is very difficult for a father in denial of loss to protect a son from circumcision. One father exclaimed, "What was so difficult in leaving my son intact was not that my son would feel different in a locker room, but that I would feel different from him. I would then have to accept that I'm an amputee from the wars of a past generation."

Prolongation of an outmoded, harmful, surgical amputation

Adamant father syndrome is credited with keeping an outmoded, medically-unnecessary, non-therapeutic surgical procedure alive. For example, in Australia, the medical authorities announced in 1971 that circumcision is not necessary and should not be performed,[8] however, in 2018, Circumcision Information Australia reported that four percent of Australian boys are still being circumcised, apparently because their fathers are circumcised. The drop in circumcision incidence was credited to fewer fathers being circumcised.[9]

See also

External links

References

  1. REFbook Bigelow, Jim (1992): Chapter 10, Psychological Factors Related to Infant Circumcision, in: The Joy of Uncircumcising!. George C. Denniston,Frederick Mansfield Hodges,Marilyn Fayre Milos (ed.). pp. 89-112. Hourglass Book Publishing, Inc. ISBN 0-934061-22-X. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  2. a b REFweb Hill, George (2012). Circumcision & Human Behavior. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  3. REFjournal Brown, Mark S. / Brown, Cheryl A.. Circumcision Decision: Prominence of Social Concerns. Pediatrics. August 1987; 80(2): 215-219. PMID. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  4. REFjournal Rediger, Chris / Muller, Andries J.. Parents' rationale for male circumcision. Can Fam Physician. February 2013; 59(2): e110-e115. PMID. PMC. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  5. REFjournal Goldman, Ronald. The psychological impact of circumcision. BJU Int. 1999; 83 Suppl 1: 93-103. PMID. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  6. REFbook Denniston, George C. (2000): Tyranny of the Victims: An Analysis of Circumcision Advocacy, in: Male and Female Circumcisionː Medical, Legal, and Ethical Considerations in Pediatric Practice. pp. 221-40. Springer. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  7. REFjournal Maguire, Peter / Parkes, Colin Murray. Coping With Loss: Surgery and Loss of Body Parts. BMJ. 4 April 1998; 316(7137): 1086-08. PMID. PMC. DOI. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  8. REFjournal Belmaine, SP. Circumcision. Medical Journal of Australia. 22 May 1971; 1: 1148. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  9. REFweb (2018). Foreskins rule! Australians rush to abandon circumcision, Circumcision Information Australia. Retrieved 6 November 2019.