The Circumcision Decision

This episode may be hard for some people to listen to, but we feel it's important to talk about it because so many families share with us that they struggle with making the decision of whether or not to circumcise their children. Brendon Marotta, creator of the documentary American Circumcision, joined us to tackle this subject.

Brendon Marotta is a filmmaker, author, podcaster, public speaker, and father. His last film, American Circumcision, won multiple awards and played on Netflix. He is the author of The Intactivist GuidebookThe Haunting of Bob Cratchit, and Children’s Justice. He has spoken at Yale University, the International Conference on Men’s Issues, the International Symposium on Genital Autonomy and Children’s Right’s, and the Association for Pre and Perinatal Psychology. Brendon hosts a regular podcast called The Brendon Marotta Show. He currently lives with his family in Austin, TX.


00:00 Introduction and Disclaimer
03:01 The Disproportionate Impact of Circumcision
04:27 Personal Experiences and Challenging Conversations
05:24 Uncomfortable Feelings and Cultural Norms
06:19 Questioning Cultural and Societal Beliefs
07:33 Changing Landscape and Statistics
08:28 The Shift from Norm to Choice
09:24 The Price Tag and Parental Decision-Making
10:22 Welcoming Conversations and Making a Difference
11:18 The Influence of Cultural and Social Factors
12:16 The Need for Greater Accountability
13:42 Cultural Practices and Double Standards
15:09 Understanding the Harm of Circumcision
18:01 Different Sensations and Types of Orgasms
19:23 The Importance of Informed Consent
20:24 Questioning Societal Values and Beliefs
22:46 Cultural Myths and Unexamined Beliefs
24:13 Reevaluating Religious and Cultural Practices
25:24 Scientific Evidence and Informed Decision-Making
26:19 The Creation of Gender and Cultural Imperialism
27:41 Courage, Cultural Blowback, and Double Standards
30:39 The Need for Accountability and Ethical Standards
31:07 Exploring the Ethical Arguments Against Male Circumcision
31:58 The Influence of Cultural Programming on Circumcision Perspectives
32:55 Shifting Perspectives: Seeing Circumcision as Something That Happened
33:56 The Importance of Uncomfortable Conversations and Conflict Resolution
34:26 Parenting Decisions: Considering Values and Bodily Autonomy
37:36 Proper Care for Intact Genitals: Simple and Natural

See Brendon’s work here.
See Brendon’s credits on IMDB here.
Follow Brendon on social media here.


Brendon Marotta, filmmaker and author, discusses the topic of circumcision and the need for education and awareness. He shares his personal journey of discovering the harms of circumcision and his passion for advocating against it. The conversation explores the cultural and societal factors that contribute to the continuation of circumcision, as well as the physical and psychological impacts it has on individuals. The importance of informed consent and questioning societal norms is emphasized. The conversation also touches on the comparison between male and female genital cutting and the need for greater accountability and change in medical practices. The conversation explores the ethical arguments against male circumcision and the importance of bodily autonomy. It highlights the cultural programming and societal norms that influence people's perspectives on circumcision. The discussion emphasizes the need for men to shift their perspective and see circumcision as something that happened to them, not as an immutable part of their identity. It also touches on the importance of uncomfortable conversations and conflict resolution in relationships. The conversation concludes with advice for parents who are deciding whether or not to circumcise their child.


  • Circumcision is a topic that requires education and awareness, as it impacts every person in America in some way.
  • There is a disproportionate lack of public conversation about circumcision, despite its personal and societal implications.
  • Circumcision removes 50% of the shaft skin of the penis, the highest density nerve endings, and is often done without anesthesia, causing lasting changes in behavior and sexuality.
  • Circumcision is an irreversible and painful procedure that should be approached with informed consent and consideration of the physical and psychological impacts.
  • There is a need for greater accountability and change in medical practices surrounding circumcision, as well as a reevaluation of cultural and societal norms.
  • The comparison between male and female genital cutting highlights the need for consistent ethical standards and the recognition of individual autonomy and bodily integrity. Male circumcision raises ethical questions and challenges the concept of bodily autonomy.
  • Cultural programming and societal norms influence people's perspectives on circumcision.
  • Men need to shift their perspective and see circumcision as something that happened to them, not as an immutable part of their identity.
  • Uncomfortable conversations and conflict resolution are important skills to develop in relationships.
  • Parents should consider their values and the impact of their decisions on their child's bodily autonomy.
  • Proper care for intact genitals is simple and does not require any special procedures.

    Please feel free to reach out to us with any recommendations for show episode ideas. If you'd like to be a guest, email us with some information about yourself and what type of podcast you'd like to record together. Thank you for all of your support and don't forget to follow and review our podcast, Birth, Baby!
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Intro and Outro music by Longing for Orpheus. You can find them on Spotify!
The Circumcision Decision
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