Sunday, March 13, 2011

Do Pro-Circumcision Propagandists suffer from a Form of Stokholm Syndrome?

There is much evidence that infant circumcision is a traumatic and painful experience causing loss and deprivation, yet we find some or even many males that have been circumcised endlessly and obsessively promoting infant circumcision.  Why is this so?

One explanation may be a form of Stokholm Syndrome (SS). SS refers to a paradoxical psychological phenomenon wherein hostages express adulation and have positive feelings towards their captors that appear irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, essentially mistaking a lack of abuse from their captors as an act of kindness (Wikipedia).  The captors often feel traumatised by their experience and yet identify with their traumatisers, particularly if they survive unharmed or even experince a form of kindness or even attachment.  In a sense they feel that their traumtisers have spared them death and given them life.  The key psychological ingredients are helplessness, severity of trauma and intensity of emotional involvement.

In the case of infant circumcision, the baby is totally helpless, the circumcison is traumatic and painful, and hopefully in most cases the infant ends up experiencing an intense loving close relationship with the caregivers that made the choice to traumatise them.  The circumcised then not only attach to their parents but identify with their parents customs & practices, and then defend them even though they were severely harmed and deprived by the experience.  Trauma resides in the primitive areas of the brain, predominantly the Limbic system, one expression of this trauma memory is anxiety, which can become an obsession looking for a cause.  Hence the endless pro-circumcision propaganda.!!!! Though in many cases with a deeper understanding and awareness of the cause of the trauma, circumcision trauma's may turn into an obsession to end routine infant circumcision, a cause for good and ending harm, instead of pro-circ's need to forever perpetuate it.


  1. The Stockholm Syndrome would certainly account for the vehemence with which many men approach this subject.

    In the case of mohels and doctors, there is also the reputation: If they have done this for a number of years, it is hard to stop. They would have to apologize to every child that they operated on and would also open themselves to lawsuits for not following known appropriate medical practices.

    In the case of mohels and doctors who write articles and books about circumcision, it seems that a lot of them also suffer from Stockholm's, since they are absolute in their belief while have very flimsy religious and scientific reasoning to go with it.

  2. Oe may also speak of a collective and transgenerational M√ľnchhausen syndrome, which seems more accurate to me:

    "Circumcision, genocide and Munchausen syndrome":