Edgar J. Schoen
|Edgar J. Schoen|
|Colleagues & Benefactors:|
|Daniel T. Halperin|
Brian J. Morris
Jake H. Waskett
Thomas E. Wiswell
Edgar J. Schoen (1925 – 2016) was a circumcised American Physician and worked as a Clinical Professor in Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. Schoen had a humorous poem about circumcision published in 1986. This may have contributed to his being appointed as chairman of the new AAP task force on circumcision.
In 1987, Schoen was appointed head of the Task Force on Circumcision by the American Academy of Pediatrics, where he pushed for "routine" (meaning without medical indication), non-therapeutic infant circumcision, but the neonatologists on Schoen's committee wouldn't go for it. According to Schoen, not performing circumcision would be "taking us back to nineteenth-century medicine on the eve of the 21st century," and that circumcision will prevent "dermatological problems". Schoen associates with the Gilgal Society.
Schoen was the chair of the 1989 AAP task force on circumcision, which studied available data to consider recommending circumcision to parents. Schoen seized on very poor articles with methodological flaws by fellow circumfetisher Thomas E. Wiswell to advocate circumcision. The task force concluded that "Newborn circumcision has potential medical benefits and advantages as well as disadvantages and risks". (Potential means to exist in possibility but not in actuality, so a potential benefit is not a real benefit.) This was despite their own admission that evidence linking circumcision to prevention of any diseases was inconclusive, with the sole exception of penile cancer (which they noted was mainly caused by unhealthy lifestyles). Given Schoen's history of circumcision advocacy and his position as task force chair, he may have influenced the committee significantly. While the statement spoke glowingly of circumcision, it made no formal recommendation for circumcision, perhaps on advice of counsel.
The 1989 AAP circumcision statement was not well received. Professor Ronald Poland, M. D., another member of the AAP task force, rejected Schoen's advocacy of non-therapeutic circumcision and published his own paper in which he argued against circumcision.
In 1999, the AAP revised their circumcision policy statement. Their newer statement was more conservative about circumcision's potential benefits, saying that they did not outweigh the procedure's own risks, and recommended leaving the decision to parents based on their cultural traditions, in addition to the medical factors.
Schoen's advocacy of circumcision had been thoroughly rejected prior to his death.
Schoen appeared in Penn & Teller's show, "Bullshit" for their circumcision episode. Penn reported that Schoen said circumcised penises smell and look better. Schoen later recited some poetry reflective of his belief that the circumcised penis is a thing of beauty:
|“||Schoen's Poetry |
It's a great work of art like the statue of Venus if you're wearing a hat on the head of your penis.
NOTE: The "hat" presumably referring to the visible glans.
Schoen has been noted sending emails to and from the Circlist email list. Circlist is a website and discussion group for men who sexually fantasize about performing and receiving circumcisions, often on small children.
Schoen is also listed as approving content for a Gilgal Society brochure. Groups such as the Gilgal Society openly admit to a morbid fascination with circumcision to the point of sado-masochistic fetish. These groups advertise that doctors are among their members. There are those on the Internet who discuss the erotic stimulation they experience by watching other males being circumcised, swap fiction and about it, and trade in videotapes of actual circumcisions.
Schoen's office was in the Julia Morgan building on Broadway that houses Kaiser Permanente's genetics department in San Fransico. Only a few yards from the home office of Daniel Halperin, assistant professor of anthropology at UCSF's Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPDS).
It’s like apple pie. It’s part of being American.
– Schoen (J Weekly)
Schoen died in his sleep, at the age of 91 on August 23 of 2016, surrounded by his family.
UCSF On-line Campus Directory: People Search. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
- Schoen EG. Ode to the Circumcised Male. Am J Dis Child. 1986; 141: 128. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
- American Journal of Diseases in Children, Vol 141: 128. February 1987
- Slack G. The Case For Circumcision. Express Online. 19 May 2000; Retrieved 3 October 2019.
AAP 1989. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
- Poland RL. The question of routine neonatal circumcision. N Engl J Med. 1990; 322: 1312-1315. PMID. DOI. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
- Hill G, Geisheker JV. Edgar Schoen does not represent the North American view of male circumcision. Arch Dis Child. January 2006; 91(1): 92. PMID. PMC. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
- (25 May 2011).
Penn & Teller on Circumcision, kunavu, YouTube. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
- kunavu. (2001, May 25). Penn & Teller on circumcision part 2.
- Schoen, E. (2006, April 22). My recent circ pubs [Online Forum Comment]. Retrieved from http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/MCIRC/message/16 Archive
- Ben Winkie. (2005, June) International Circumsexual Symposium, Washington, D.C.
- Thomas A (2005):
Case histories and experiences of circumcision, in: Circumcision: An Ethomedical Study. Vernon Quaintance (ed.). Edition: 4. London, England: The Gilgal Society. P. 191.
Note: EMS-EN 0304-2
- Morris BJ (2007): Sex and circumcision: What every woman needs to know. Vernon Quaintance (ed.). London, England: Gilgal Society.
- Price CP (1999):
Male Non-therapeutic circumcision: The Legal and Ethical Issues, in: Male and Female Circumcision - Medical, Legal, and Ethical Considerations in Pediatric Practice. Denniston GC, Hodges FM, Milos MF (ed.). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. Pp. 425-454.
Note: Web version
- Pine. (2011-5-5). Both sides of the debate: Two Jewish doctors offer opinions on circumcision. J Weekly.