Anthony Losquadro And Ashley James
- Who are the Blood-stained Men
- The history of circumcision
- Effects of circumcision
- Stages of foreskin restoration
- What Intaction does
- How to properly clean a baby’s intact genital
In this episode, Anthony Losquadro shares with us the history of circumcision and which countries have the highest rate of circumcised men. He also shares with us the effects of circumcision on men. Lastly, he shares how parents should clean a baby boy’s intact genital.
[0:00] Intro: Hello, true health seeker and welcome to another episode of Learn True Health podcast. I know a lot of moms and dads listen to this show, a lot of grandparents too and some future parents listen to this show as well so this really applies to everyone. Even if you don’t have male genitals I think you will still really get a lot out of this episode. It was mind-blowing to me the things that I learned from Anthony about foreskin and about circumcision. Something that we should all know especially if you’re going to be a mom of a future boy. It’s really worth knowing this information. Please, share today’s episode with your friends and your family members especially those who are pregnant or expecting or who are planning to have children. This episode is going to be that ripple. We throw that stone in the pond and watch the ripple and watch how far that ripple goes and how many lives it can help. So, I’m so excited that you’re listening to this episode and you’re sharing it so that we can get this information out there.
Now, if you’ve been a listener for a while, you know that recently I launched something I’ve been working on for a while. I launched the Learn True Health Home Kitchen, which is a membership where we teach you. We make all kinds of videos, teach you how to cook whole foods, really healthy healing foods. The focus is on using food as medicine, using food to heal the body. Well, one of our members, Emily, just shared the other day in the Learn True Health Facebook group and by the way if you’re not in the Facebook group already you are welcome to join us. It’s a very supportive community. Just go to Facebook and search Learn True Health.
Emily shared her testimonial and it was so good I wanted to share it with you. She says, “I have to share. I joined the Learn True Health Home Kitchen five days ago and have successfully gone from meat three times a day to only after 5:00 PM. My kids are eating actual vegetables less cheese sticks. My daughter’s poo has, for the first time in years, been a normal consistency. I don’t plan on going fully without animal products, but this resource and community that Ashley and Naomi have put together has helped me get a grip on my fridge and put me back in control of what goes in and out of it.” She says that her husband is now back to fasting like he used to before and that since she cut out processed cereal for the last five days that she noticed that her headaches have gone away. She says that her fridge is full of whole foods, lots of plants and that for the first time in this mother’s life she says, “I am not the only one eating those vegetables in the fridge.
So, she’s really excited that all her kids are eating the vegetables. She says she loves the bowls module and the resources that we share. She thanks us and she says that she’s also cut way back on her coffee intake. She noticed that she has so much more energy, that she’s not drinking coffee throughout the day and she’s actually getting to sleep better at night. So, she’s very excited and she wanted to share her experience.
We’ve had others already share since we launched it about two weeks ago that their experience in the memberships has been really positive. The whole resource, Learn True Health Home Kitchen, is for everyone. You don’t have to give up meat to be part of it. We’re teaching you how to cook more vegetables, how to cook more plants, how to get more healing foods into your diet. The point of it is that wherever you are on the spectrum whether you want to eat meat at every meal or whether you want to eat no meat at all or anywhere in between, you’re going to use the videos to learn how to use food as medicine.
Naomi and I choose to eat a whole food plant-based diet. We choose not to eat meat anymore and we’re noticing that’s really healing for our bodies. I respect that everyone’s at a different part in their journey, but if you listen to your body, you can dial in your diet for you. Maybe that means eating more fruit, more vegetables, more whole foods, less processed foods, less sugar, less oil, less highly processed foods and more real food. That’s what we’re teaching you. We also teach how to cook food very quickly that’s very healthy, how to save you a ton of money eating really healthy and how to be able to cook food that is super delicious, saves you money, saves you time for the whole family including picky husbands and children.
So, if you love to learn any kind of resources to heal your body in your kitchen and help your family eat healthy, then come join the Learn True Health Home Kitchen. You can get a free tour. There’s a video that gives you a tour. Just go to LearnTrueHealth.com/homekitchen. That’s LearnTrueHealth.com/homekitchen and use the coupon code LTH for the big listener discount. Thank you so much for being a listener. I really hope to see you in the Learn True Health Home Kitchen because we are adding new recipes every week. It’s just growing and growing and it’s so much fun to see people expanding their palate and healing their body with food.
Thank you so much for sharing today’s episode. Thank you so much for being a listener. Enjoy today’s episode and enjoy the rest of your day.
Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 408.
[0:06:08] Ashley James: I am so excited for today’s guest and for this topic. I’m really passionate about this topic and we’ve never covered it on the show after over 400 episodes with all kinds of topics. When Anthony reached out to me, my husband actually saw the email first and he got really excited because the two of us are very passionate about this. It isn’t talked about enough in the society. So, I love that Anthony that you are an advocate, that you are giving a voice to the children who don’t have a voice. So, thank you so much for coming on the show today and talking about something that I didn’t even think about until I was actually pregnant. I didn’t even think about it.
We were in San Diego, right around the Convention Center, there was a bunch of men protesting. We were driving by and life has it that we have the right kind of timing in life. So, the red light came and we were right there at the red light, the very first car. There’s a bunch of men standing there holding signs with babies on it. I couldn’t really understand what they were protesting. They were wearing white boxer shorts and white shirts with a big red dot on their crotch. The sign says something like, “I was never given a choice.”
We sat there and we were scratching our heads going, “What are they talking about?” Then finally it hit us. They were protesting circumcision. They were spreading awareness about the choice. The ability to choose whether to be circumcised or not. Well, we kept driving when the light turned green but this sparked a conversation between my husband and I. It began our dive into looking at circumcision and the pros and cons because up until then I thought circumcision was of incredibly positive thing. I mean, don’t all men get circumcised because isn’t the foreskin dirty and nasty and we shouldn’t have it. Haven’t men done this for thousands of years? Isn’t it in the Bible?
Well, lo and behold. We started looking deeper and deeper. We saw that babies die in the United States from circumcision. That it actually causes a lot of damage. My husband ended up discovering that some issues that he’s had his entire life that he didn’t realize that they were actually caused by his circumcision. He said it was okay for me to share this because he said if even one man learned something from his experience or even when parent learned something from his experience, then he would be really happy.
So, when we saw your email that you wanted to come on the show and share your information, oh man I was so excited. So, welcome to the show.
[0:09:13] Anthony Losquadro: Ashley, thanks for having me on the show. You really started off at a great introduction. The group that you saw was a group known as the Blood-stained Men. They travel around the country raising awareness on this issue that like what you said, a lot of people never have given any thought.
[0:09:31] Ashley James: Right. Well, at the time we were pregnant, we knew we were probably but we didn’t know that we were pregnant with our son. So, by the time we were ready to give birth we were 100% sure that circumcision was off the table. We had seen the information and we came to a very educated decision that the healthiest thing for our son was to allow him to be intact. What was really interesting is in talking to our doctors about this because we had several of them, I’m kind of an overachiever in that sense. We had midwives and naturopaths and OBGYNs that we all were working with. All of them started to share these really interesting statistics that blew my mind. That it’s actually becoming more and more common for parents not to circumcise.
My husband’s concern would be that if our son was the only one not circumcised in the locker room he’d be embarrassed or something because his would look different. Well, first of all men, don’t go around staring at each other in the locker room, but he was worried that maybe our son would wonder why he looked different. Then all the doctors were sharing with us that in certain areas of the United States, it’s almost half of men. It’s something like 40 something percent of men are not circumcised. So, it’s becoming more and more common, which is good because parents are waking up to this information.
I’m really curious though, Anthony, what happened in your life that made you want to become an advocate around this? Now, your website is intaction.org. Of course, links to everything that you do is going to be the show so today’s podcast at LearnTrueHealth.com. Tell us your story. What happened that made you want to become the founder and director of Intaction and that you wanted to give children a voice and help raise awareness around the importance of an intact body?
[0:11:34] Anthony Losquadro: Well, Ashley, there’s a number of things that have impacted my life that kind of put me on the path that I’m on. When I first started, this issues I became aware of it when I was a very young boy. I was maybe seven or eight years old and I went to Florence, Italy. I saw all of these sculptures and statues by Michelangelo for instance. First of all, I saw these statues they’re all naked. So, I thought that was pretty crazy. The male statues, the male figures all had intact penises. I started to wonder what happened to them or why were they different from me? Why were they different from us? Something didn’t seem to add up to me. That’s when the first earliest days I started to recognize it something was being done.
Growing up I always noticed on my body there was a scar on my penis that everybody had circumcised has a scar. It’s from the device they used to crush the foreskin. I could never recall anything happening to me but why was my body this way and why wasn’t anybody talking about it? So, later on in life as I began to research this issue and information became more available over the internet, I started to have a better understanding. The thing they say once you start learning about circumcision, the more you learn the more shocked you become.
[0:13:14] Ashley James: It’s so true. I’m shocked that female babies are circumcised because that is brutal. I guess in our society we accept male circumcision as normal but female circumcision is barbaric. Well, they’re actually both incredibly barbaric.
[0:13:34] Anthony Losquadro: Yeah. That’s right. All of the issues that surround male genital cutting are the same when it comes to female genital cutting or female genital mutilation, whatever you want to call it or female circumcision. The word circumcision, first of all, it’s just a euphemism to really cover up what they’re actually doing. What we’re doing when we say we’re going to circumcise is we’re cutting genitals. We are cutting normal healthy body parts whether it’s off of a boy or whether it’s off of a girl. I don’t like to get into a debate who’s got it worse. Do little girls have it worse than little boys or vice versa? Deaths occur in both sides, complications occur in both sides, pain and trauma occur in both sides.
So, I don’t like to say that one has a greater standing on the issue than the other. It’s human genital cutting. We need to stop cutting babies altogether and young children altogether.
[0:14:41] Ashley James: So, you started to look into it. You started to question it. What happened in your life though that made you become the founder and director of Intaction? What clicked for you? Is there a story there?
[0:14:56] Anthony Losquadro: I felt that I had a lot of experience in the business world and I can apply some of this to create change in America and to help educate Americans about why we need to re-examine this issue, but really the seminal moment for myself and for many others in the intactivist movement and we like to call ourselves intactivists, which is just a conjugation of intact activists so promoting intact bodies. In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics came out with a statement that seemed to reverse where their previous stance was and they seemed to encourage circumcision despite much lobbying on side of intactivists for them not to do this. It was almost preordained.
When they decided to change the policy. They claimed they were going to study all the literature. They were going to do a comprehensive investigation on this, but I know they pre-baked the cake. They knew what the decision was going to be before they even started it. I know this because I have thousands and thousands of their emails, which I was able to obtain. I can see the deliberations between the committee members. They were going to go to a positive pro-circumcision policy statement way before 2012. They started this in 2009. They issued their statement in 2012.
This incensed many intactivists like myself. The American Academy of Pediatrics, first and foremost people have to understand, they are not an organization that promotes the interest of children first. They are a doctors’ trade association. They are there. It’s all about the money, unfortunately, like many things in this country and many things in the world. I hate to say and it’s a bit of a cliché but it is all about the money. Because if you look in their policy statement in 2012, one of the things they were very outspoken on is that insurance payments must continue for infant circumcisions. So, this is a big moneymaker for hospitals and for the doctors that do them.
So, this incensed many people. It incensed me. I felt like if innocent babies. Our children, have this goliath against them, who’s going to speak for them? Who’s going to help educate the parents to be able to stand up to all this pressure? I could tell you. When my own son was born they kept pestering us, “Are you going to cut them?” “No.” You’re going to circumcise him? Let’s circumcise. They pressure, the doctors pressure parents to do it. So, I felt the need that I need an organization to get like-minded people together to work together, help educate people so they could stand up to this pressure. The next generation of children, the next generation of Americans can have healthy intact bodies the way nature designed us to be.
[0:18:10] Ashley James: You let me know that in the US, over a 100 babies die every year due to complications of circumcision and it was part of a 2010 journal study. That’s unacceptable. That’s just the United States alone, right? Can you imagine worldwide, how many children die from an elective procedure that does not need to happen? Now, let’s talk about the pros and cons so people understand because I’m sure that those that are listening, this is like the first time they’ve ever heard that circumcision is not a great option. What are the pros of having a circumcision? Right and what are the cons? Lay it out for us.
[0:18:59] Anthony Losquadro: Pros, it’s oftentimes a religious or cultural custom that parents feel obligated to get or parents may have anxiety that they feel if they don’t get this done their children may have health issues later on in life. So, this anxiety may compel them to do this or throw reason and logic out the window. So, medically pros there are none. I’ll read you a statement, a policy statement from many many doctors representing over 20 international medical institutions mostly in Europe but all over the world. What they said is, “Circumcision fails to meet the commonly accepted criteria or the justification of preventive medical procedures in children. It has no compelling health benefit, it causes pain and it could have serious long-term consequences and it also conflicts the Hippocratic Oath of “First, do no harm.”
So, these are medical institution representing thousands and thousands of doctors that have said this. So, I want people to understand if they think there are health benefits and they may have read things in the news media or the press or maybe they read something online about it’s going to prevent this or it’s going to prevent that. If they were to get past that, first of all, you can’t believe everything you read in the news because reporters often get it wrong and they tend to uphold the status quo. But if they were to dig down into the studies like we have and looked at this stuff, they would realize that there’s nothing there. People in Europe have stayed intact. They’re intact now, they were intact 100 years ago and they were intact 1000 years ago. They’ve had no health issues related to having intact genitals. So, why is this provoking anxiety in Americans? Because Americans have been sold this bill of goods from American doctors, the American medical system, that goes back over 100 years in America.
[0:21:22] Ashley James: Can you walk us through the history of circumcision?
[0:21:26] Anthony Losquadro: It’s a bizarre history and I’d love to. Circumcision was uncommon in America up until around the 1890s. What happened back then is it was the Victorian age. It was an era of where they tried to have greater attention to morals and morality. America became obsessed with stopping masturbation. They thought masturbation was the root of so many mental and physical ills. That they had to take all resources and all actions necessary to try to restrain this behavior. First, doctors thought that they could circumcise men to get them to stop, but then they quickly realized that was a hard sell. Right? Because an adult knows how good that feels and they’re not cutting parts off their body especially on their genitals.
So then doctors then reasoned well Plan B let’s do it to babies and then we will just have to convince the parents that it’s going to be better for them. We had doctors of the time. Now, you’re going to recognize this name, John Harvey Kellogg. He was the inventor of Kellogg’s cornflakes. He thought masturbation was a serious issue. He was a celebrity doctor of his day. He wrote books. He ran a medical institution. He was one of those figures from back then that convinced parents that circumcision needed to be done.
Then we had another guy who’s by the name of Dr. Lewis Sayre. He was a doctor in New York City. He claimed that circumcision prevented all kinds of things. He claimed it cured epilepsy, mental illness and hernias. He said genital irritations and masturbation are deemed to be the causes of these issues. Lewis Sayre went on to become the president of the American Medical Association. So, this is what we had going against us. This is how it started in America. As time went on and as more and more babies became born in hospitals, actually around 1940 was the break-even point where more babies were born in hospitals as opposed to being born at home.
Doctors took over the birth process. Oftentimes, babies were circumcised without parents even having to be able to consent to it.
[0:24:08] Ashley James: Oh my gosh.
[0:24:09] Anthony Losquadro: Right. I mean back then the father couldn’t even be in the delivery room. So, they took over the birth process. Also, medical insurance became more commonplace. So, doctors could get paid to do it. Going into the late 40s and into the 1950s circumcision rates really started climbing. They probably peaked right around 1970. That’s kind of the history of circumcision in America. There’s some other things. There’s elements of racism and xenophobia. There’s always panic over illness and disease, which some in the medical industry are always happy to exploit. That’s what drove the rates up so high in America. It happened here for the most part. Europe never experienced this maybe with the exception of England.
[0:25:06] Ashley James: I’m confused. How did racism and xenophobia drive circumcision?
[0:25:11] Anthony Losquadro: Well, there was a doctor back in 1894. His name is Dr. Peter Raymond Eno. He said that circumcision of Negroes was a remedy in preventing their predisposition to raping people. When it comes to xenophobia you had the great immigration waves of the 1920s. People from Southern Europe and Eastern Europe, upper-class white Americans were looking to differentiate themselves from the dirty unclean masses coming in. Circumcision became part of that. If you were able to circumcise your child that meant you could afford a hospital birth.
[0:25:55] Ashley James: Oh, they spun it. The media spun it so that it was a status symbol.
[0:26:02] Anthony Losquadro: It became a status symbol. Just like formula-feeding, that became the modern thing to do. If you had the money you could afford formula. You formula-fed your baby as opposed to breastfeeding. That’s for the peasants out in the countryside. We don’t do that.
[0:26:18] Ashley James: Meanwhile, they were damaging their children. They’re damaging their children’s health and they’re damaging their children’s bodies not knowing that it was the so-called peasants that probably their children were healthier as a result of being breastfed and intact. So, what about circumcision around the world? Is America kind of an oddity? Is this the country that has the most circumcision? What about around the world?
[0:26:48] Anthony Losquadro: In the current day with some isolated pockets if you take out people of the Muslim faith and the Judaic faith, you take them out, 99% of the men in the world are intact. So, there are some pockets here and there like for instance in the Philippines, they practice circumcision even though they’re Catholic. South Korea practiced circumcision. They still do, although it’s starting to back off. That was American influence from the Korean War when American medics were providing free health care, they kind of spread it there. Places that were doing it like for instance Australia and the UK had high circumcision rates also up until about World War II. Then as their national health services took over, they decided they’re not paying for this anymore. They cut it out of their insurance and rates plummeted, whim. Again, circumcision rates in England are very very low, Australia very very low.
[0:27:50] Ashley James: I’m from Canada and growing up I knew people who were and who were not. I had discussions actually with my friends’ moms about it because I thought it was kind of interesting. They said that they had the choice. That in the hospital it was not pressured. The pressure wasn’t put upon them but that they could choose. They could elect to have it or not to have it because Canada being a one-payer medical system. So, the government doesn’t want to pay for something it doesn’t have to, luckily. It’s still a common practice there because the United States influences these other countries. Interesting though, in the latest statistics, does the United States have the highest rates of circumcision compared to all other countries?
[0:28:51] Anthony Losquadro: I would say amongst developed countries, you have different countries in Africa that circumcise depending on their tribe and the culture. Again, the Muslim world almost universally circumcise as boys. So, you mention Canada. Also in 2015, the Canadian pediatric society came out. They do not recommend circumcision policy statement.
[0:29:19] Ashley James: Interesting.
[0:29:20] Anthony Losquadro: Yeah. They’re distancing themselves even further from their past.
[0:29:23] Ashley James: Well, it’s interesting that the Canadian pediatric society is saying don’t do it and the American pediatric society, or whatever the American version, is saying to do it. It’s always look at the money. Look at the money. That’s very sad that the pediatricians in the United States are going after the money and not after the health of the child.
[0:29:50] Anthony Losquadro: Yeah. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement, it’s vague and it’s conflicting. There are parts of it that seems to say that it recommends it. Then other parts they say, “Well, it’s not a recommendation but we’ll leave it up to the parents.” So, they kind of vaguely word it. So, it’s kind of like reading tea leaves. You can interpret into what you want. They do say that if parents want it, insurance should pay for it.
[0:30:23] Ashley James: Let’s talk about foreskin. What purpose does foreskin have? What does it do for the body? Again, we’ve grown up thinking foreskin is something you could throw into the trash the second you’re born. Like God created us as these amazing beings and His image, but definitely the second you’re born you should cut off this little extra piece that he accidentally left on you if you’re a boy. It’s just kind of crazy to think that God made a mistake when he created us so you should cut off this little part. So, what purpose does foreskin serve?
[0:31:02] Anthony Losquadro: It serves a lot of purpose. It’s a wonderful anatomical adaptation that males are born with. Incidentally, women also have foreskin in the form of the clitoral hood, but the male foreskin has what we call the four powers. That is pleasure, protection, lubrication and connection. The foreskin offers 20,000 specialized nerve endings known as Meissner’s corpuscles that are fine touch neural sensors. The foreskin protects the end of the penis. It keeps it covered and it keeps the skin moist and supple underneath. It provides its own lubrication. It’s better overall. Guys that are intact say they have a terrific overall experience because of what they’re sensing through their foreskin and with their partner. Nature doesn’t make mistakes. It put this on our body for a reason. The skin slides back and forth. That’s where most of the sensitivity is.
The head of the penis is relatively insensitive. It may come to a shock for some people. I’ll even give – for the guys out there that are listening to this, they can try this. The head of the penis can’t feel hot and cold. A lot of people may not realize. It doesn’t have heat and cold receptors. You could prove this to yourself if you were to go into a guy, not you personally, but if you were to go into a shower with an ice cube. You put warm or hot water on just the head of your penis without getting anything else, not the shaft area, just the head. You put an ice cube on and you go back and forth. You can’t feel any difference. You can feel the pressure, but a guy can’t feel hot and cold.
Most of the sensation, all the different types of nerve receptors are in the foreskin. There’s a structure in the foreskin. People always ask me, “Well, you’re cut so how do you know?” I know because I can study anatomy and I can study histological studies by researchers like Taylor. They studied the foreskin and they found the structure, Taylor found the structure, in the foreskin called the ridged band. That’s like this wrinkled section of skin that goes around the foreskin. That’s where all those Meissner’s corpuscles reside in.
The studies Taylor did, he found that that rich band and the frenulum band underneath, the frenulum band is that piece of skin. It’s almost like a rubber band. It helps the foreskin go back forward when it’s not in use. Those are the most sensitive parts of the penis. Those are all cut off during circumcision. So the most sensitive part of a guy that’s been circumcised, cut is around the circumcision scar of the penis. That’s what he’s got left. That’s where the nerve endings stop. It’s called neurotmesis. Its death of the nerve endings there. That’s where they can feel.
[0:34:14] Ashley James: So, the argument is that doesn’t having a foreskin mean you have a really dirty penis that is more prone to infection? Doesn’t not having a foreskin make it easier to keep a penis clean?
[0:34:32] Anthony Losquadro: I always like to say a joke when somebody tells me that. I think guys that say that, they have an over-exaggerated sense of how well-endowed they are. They think that their penis is so big it might take an hour to clean it. I mean, seriously, if you take a shower once in a while or a bath or maybe some guys just use baby wipes, I don’t know. It’s not that hard to keep it clean. Once you clean it it stays clean for quite a while. I have other parts on my body, which we don’t have to get into, they get a lot more dirtier a lot quicker. All right.
Anyhow, we expect guys to brush their teeth. So, if they can brush their teeth they can’t wash their foreskin, which takes like two swipes in the shower. It’s not a big deal.
[0:35:28] Ashley James: I know. It’s a funny argument for, “Well, we should remove the skin because clearly you won’t be able to keep it clean.” It’s just so weird.
[0:35:35] Anthony Losquadro: I mean, yeah. Maybe if your life goal was to be homeless or something where you had no access to taking a bath, maybe then you should be circumcised. By then your teeth are probably falling out and who knows what other problems you have. So, I think the hygiene is just a red herring. It’s laundry list persuasion. Laundry list persuasion is when somebody’s trying to convince you of something and they throw so many different things at you that individually they have no merit behind them but they hope that the sum of all of zeroes adds up to something.
[0:36:22] Ashley James: Sounds like a pediatrician trying to make a profit, make a boat payment or something. So you said there’s four powers of the foreskin. One being pleasure. We just talked about that. That by removing foreskin. You’re removing 20,000 nerve endings and most of the sensation of a penis we’re basically removing the ability to fully feel. That’s really really sad. I imagine that’s something very similar to happens to female children when there’s female circumcision. That many of their, if not most of the nerve endings, are removed. Again, both situations I feel are barbaric. So, we’re removing the ability to fully feel and have pleasure, which we know in today’s age it’s 2020. We know that having fully feeling pleasure with our partner is not sinful. It’s beautiful. It helps to create a wonderful intimate loving relationship. It’s part of that. It’s part of a healthy relationship with our partner.
So, that’s pleasure has been severely stunted. Now, protection is the next one. How is protection removed when we remove the foreskin?
[0:37:43] Anthony Losquadro: Well, the foreskin keeps, it’s like the eyelid protects the eye. The foreskin is a cover over the end of the penis that keeps it protected, it keeps the skin underneath moist and supple. There is also some antibacterial properties that the foreskin contains. There are cells called Langerhans cells. They emit a substance that is antibacterial. Again, that’s nature kind of programming this all into the mix there.
[0:38:16] Ashley James: Wow. So, we’re removing part of the immune system that protects the penis?
[0:38:23] Anthony Losquadro: Unfortunately, yeah. Langerhans cells in the foreskin that have an immune function. They’re like sentries. They’re early alert sentries. If an invader, a pathogen comes in and presents itself to that area that it alerts the immune system to respond.
[0:38:40] Ashley James: Oh my gosh. Are there any studies or any data where we’re seeing that men who are intact with their foreskin have less occurrences of UTIs or penile cancer or any kind of infections versus those who have had their foreskin removed?
[0:39:02] Anthony Losquadro: I think when we look at European studies, we don’t see any difference intact men and men that have been cut. When you’ve been circumcised that mucosa tissue becomes keratinized and dried out. So that thick layer, that thick leathery skin that forms it’s more like skin on the rest of your body instead of being sensitive mucosa tissue. That forms a more denser barrier to infections perhaps. The foreskin in it of itself, we don’t see much difference. I don’t think that men that are intact have lower rates of STDs, but I don’t think they have higher rates either.
[0:39:45] Ashley James: Okay. So, that’s not even a point for anyone to bring up because I know that some doctors say that those who are circumcised have slightly less chance of getting HIV. Has that come up for in your research?
[0:40:03] Anthony Losquadro: It comes up all the time because the press has hyped it and the researchers that did the studies have hyped it. Yeah. Those studies, there’s only three of them that were done. There was one done in Rakai, Uganda; Kisumu, Kenya and Orange Farm, South Africa. There’s only three studies. These things have gone on and on since they were done around 2009-2010. They’re highly highly disputed by a number of academics and a number of doctors. You have to understand, these researchers who did this, they got millions and millions and millions of dollars for themselves and the institutions they work for in terms of grants from the Gates Foundation and from US government. Back then, this is before the advent really of antiretroviral drugs that is really bringing HIV under control. Before that they didn’t have that. They gave them all this money to do something. They concocted these studies. If you read their press releases they’ll say they’re gold-standard studies.
When you look into their data and you look into their methodology it’s so flawed that the only reason why they got away with this is most people don’t understand it and I’ll give you an example. In one mistake, take one study so let’s say the study participants were 3000 men. So, you have 1500 that we’re going to be intact and you had 1500 that were going to be circumcised. Well, first of all you have to convince 1500 men to get circumcised, right? Because you have to tell them upfront they’re going to have a benefit. What are you going to them if the study showed no benefit? “Sorry, we took your foreskin off for no reason.” So, you take these circumcised men. Now, the intact man they said okay go back home and live your life and do whatever. Then the circumcised men they couldn’t have sex for the first month, two months, three months maybe even because they’re healing.
Then the study is supposed to go say a year and a half. I don’t have the original time frame of the study but they stopped the study short. They stopped the study like after six months. So, the guy had surgery they were only exposed for a very short period of time. What makes these studies so fraudulent is that all three studies they stopped. They cut them. They stopped the study in half the amount of time it was supposed to be. They claimed it was due to ethical reasons that they had to offer circumcision to the intact group before they caught HIV.
[0:42:48] Ashley James: Oh my gosh. That is so – I can’t believe it.
[0:42:55] Anthony Losquadro: They pre-baked the outcome of the study. Then what they did is they press release, big press releases. “Circumcision we reduced it by 60%. Wow, isn’t that amazing? The millions of dollars you gave us wasn’t that so well spent.” They don’t even tell you the 60% number is actually an absolute reduction from 2% to 1.2%, but they couldn’t say that because that’s not a great press release. So they say, “We reduced it by 50% – 60%. It’s amazing. It’s like a vaccine. We should be doing this. Give us more money. We need to set up clinics to do it now.” Unfortunately, these poor Africans are being pressured into doing this and it still goes on to this day. The US government continues to fund these programs. They actually pay people in the community to go out and be like recruiters to get men to come to the clinics to get circumcised. They’ll set up soccer teams. You can’t participate on the soccer team unless you get circumcised.
Now, they just realize that the botched rate is like becoming off the chart. Many young African babies are being botched for life from this program. So, now they may even be moving away from doing it to the babies. All this stuff’s going on in Africa. There are some groups, intactivists in Africa, that are starting to get organized and fight back against this. If American parents are thinking that’s a reason to circumcise their son they really need to learn more about this.
[0:44:39] Ashley James: Well, just wear a condom. If you’re worried about HIV wear a condom. Only have intimacy with your partner after you’ve both been tested. I mean, just take precautions. Take a few steps but don’t cut off your son’s half of his genital because you think it might prevent him from catching HIV one day. That’s planning for bad parenting right there.
[0:45:08] Anthony Losquadro: It’s sad. If somebody is in a high-risk group then they should take antiretroviral drugs like PrEP. That will give them much much more protection than circumcision ever possibly could.
[0:45:22] Ashley James: Wow. Okay. So, you look into the studies and you see that it’s totally botched studies and just made-up exacerbated numbers so they can make money. It’s all about the money. It’s really really sad.
[0:45:39] Anthony Losquadro: If you’re a professor in an academic institution, your career is based on how many grants you can bring into that institution. Professors and these academics need to constantly be publishing and they constantly need to be trying to get grants. They found a nice juicy target with circumcising Africans.
[0:46:03] Ashley James: This is just sick and sad. All right. So, by removing foreskin we remove pleasure, 20,000 nerve endings, most of the sensation of the penis. We are removing the protection. There is a whole immune system that we are removing. Talk about lubrication. I never knew. So, it’s actually a like a mucosa like you said it’s almost like an eyelid where it’s like a kind of mucosa tissue?
[0:46:34] Anthony Losquadro: It’s a mucosa tissue. It’s naturally moist. The technical name is exudate. There’s a liquid that kind of leaks out from the skin and it provides zone emollients and moisture to both the head of the penis and to the foreskin itself to keep the skin moist and supple.
[0:46:57] Ashley James: And clean. Isn’t that also kind of like a self-cleaning mechanism like females have?
[0:47:05] Anthony Losquadro: Well, it sheds dead skin cells and the individual has to clean it. Just like all parts of your skin, you’re constantly shedding skin cells. If you don’t wash it for a long time, many many days maybe as long as a week, you would produce a substance, again I use you figuratively I don’t mean you personally. I’m from New York and that’s just the way I talk. Everybody’s a you.
[0:47:37] Ashley James: Yeah. A you.
[0:47:40] Anthony Losquadro: It would produce a substance called smegma, which is the thing everybody jokes about. That’s the emollients and the substances after they go rancid if you’ve never washed it for a very long period of time. That could get a little gross, but hey, you don’t brush your teeth you’re going to get gingivitis and your teeth will fall out too. So, it’s just a normal function of the body, which is a very easy thing to clean.
[0:48:07] Ashley James: All right. So, it keeps it moist and lubricated. So, removing that makes the skin, like you said, it becomes scar tissue, becomes hard and dense almost like leather. That’s just wrong. Okay, connection. You talk about connection. Why does removing the foreskin remove connection?
[0:48:29] Anthony Losquadro: Well, this is kind of an intangible part of having this anatomical function, a feature. It’s being connected with your partner, intact body to intact body. All that sensation. You’re both connected that way. It’s the way nature intended us to be. Circumcision interferes with that. Somebody said, “You can’t change form without changing function.” This is the way the penis was designed to function and go together with the vagina. This is the way everything works together. That’s the connection that two people can have.
[0:49:15] Ashley James: I wonder, I mean this would be kind of an interesting study to look at the numbers, but I wonder if men who are circumcised have higher rates of rape or violence or just there’s something missing. There’s something missing from their body and from their experience and maybe they’re unable to get over that frustration of not having what their bodies meant to have. I just wonder if there’s a, I don’t want to say correlation, but just statistically if men who are intact or more at peace with their body than men who aren’t?
[0:49:57] Anthony Losquadro: Well, I’m not a psychologist so just speaking on a speculative basis. I think when you look at sexual abusers or predators, I think one of the things that’s in their background is they were in turn abused in their past and they were repeating that. When you take a baby or you take a young child and you cut off part of their body, you tell them that you don’t respect their body, their integrity, their autonomy. We’re in this “me too” era now. One of the questions that comes up is how do we expect young men or men in general to respect a woman’s body, to respect a woman’s space and a woman’s dignity when they themselves weren’t respected or their own bodies were altered. Their genitals no less. In a sense really, although it’s not an intentional abuse, it’s a form of abuse. It’s happened to them.
[0:51:05] Ashley James: If you were to take that exact same statement though and talk about a female genital mutilation, if you were to say that, we would say 100%, every listener would say, “Yeah. Female genital mutilation is abuse.” It is barbaric and it’s abusive. I don’t care if it’s part of someone’s culture. Things got to change. So, we need to look that yeah, if that same procedure is happening to a boy, to a girl it’s just the same. You’re doing it to a newborn baby. It’s eight-pound baby. We’re cutting, we’re mutilating their genitals. What are we thinking? What are we doing? We need to start questioning the status quo because if we just go through the baby mill of going to a hospital and just doing what everything our doctor wants us to do, they’re doing a lot of for-profit stuff to our newborn babies that are not helping them. Removing part of their genitals is one of them.
So, we need to, as parents, ask questions and stand up for ourselves and demand more from our society, demand a better look at what we’re doing to newborn babies. I just think this is just crazy.
[0:52:40] Anthony Losquadro: It is. It’s insane.
[0:52:42] Ashley James: You talk about botched jobs. This is where it gets kind of sad, really sad. But I was just reading on Facebook. I was just reading actually a friend of a friend was posting about how she’s a great mom and she regrets so heavily. She regrets the day that she circumcised her son. They botched it. He will never have use of his penis. That blew my mind. He’s like five years old. They botched it to the point where he’ll never be able to have sex. I couldn’t believe that that that actually happens right now, in this day and age, here in the United States. So, can you tell us a bit about statistics and the risks that go into having a circumcision?
[0:53:42] Anthony Losquadro: There unfortunately happens more often than people realize. Often times it gets swept under the carpet. The parents that are party, they’ve been also victims of this because what happened to their son. They want to kind of put it onto the carpet. The hospitals, they’ll just pay off some malpractice settlement deal in court just to make it go away, but it happens quite frequently. I can tell you, there was a study done in Utah using the all claims database, which is an insurance database. If you do study off the all claims database that’s considered one of the best sources of data. Researchers there found an 11.5% serious complication rate from circumcision. If you’re a pediatric urologist, the biggest job you have is repairing circumcision complications.
[0:54:42] Ashley James: 11.5% of boys, of baby boys, newborn baby boys have some form of complication. What do these complications look like? I mean, disfigurement. Are they actually slicing off, accidentally slicing off half the penis? What is the complication?
[0:55:04] Anthony Losquadro: Complications run the gamut. It could be excessive hemorrhaging or bleeding during the procedure. It could be removal of too much skin. It could be misapplication of the circumcision clamp that causes gouges or actually amputates some or all of the penis because obviously a baby is so small. If the doctor is off even a millimeter or so with this clamping device which crushes the foreskin. He can crush not only the foreskin but part of the penis.
[0:55:37] Ashley James: So, 20,000 nerve endings are being crushed in a newborn baby?
[0:55:41] Anthony Losquadro: Yeah. Yeah. They’re removing the whole foreskin. So, these complications can also be infection. There could be complications that develop later on in life called meatal stenosis. Stenosis is a medical term meaning narrowing of a particular part. What happens is the urethra, which is the part that you urinate through, because of the scar tissue can tend to increase with time. You can have difficulty having urination baby or the male or the older male, mature male can have. They have to go in and kind of roto-rooter that out somehow.
So, not only did the baby have to go through all this pain and trauma to begin with, now he’s got to have to go through corrections and revisions and sutures. He’s not going to have a penis that looked like the one that nature gave them. He’s going to have one that doctors had to do reconstructive surgery on. You’re talking as much as like over 100,000 botchers a year. Botchers complications a varying degree. There’s a case going on in New York right now that I was initially consulted on. One doctor did severe damage to babies’, two different babies, penises using a type of circumcision clamp called a Mogen clamp, which is still widely in use. This has the highest malpractice rate of all the circumcision devices yet hospitals continue to use it. This doctor botched two babies in a row, severe that part of the head of their penis is missing.
There was a baby down in Georgia where they amputated the whole entire penis with that device and they didn’t tell the mother. Get this. The doctor wrapped the baby up and said, “Okay. Take him home.” The mother took the baby home. This was a baby of color so I guess they felt that they could take advantage of this situation, maybe she wouldn’t realize it. The bleeding wouldn’t stop. The mother took the baby to the emergency room and part of the penis was missing. The doctors put it in their refrigerator.
[0:58:09] Ashley James: What?
[0:58:12] Anthony Losquadro: So, this is one of the most egregious cases of current history. This was Stacey Willis. You can google it. This was highly reported. She ended up with a huge insurance judgment, huge court judgment. But money is never going to replace what this child has to go through, what kind of life is he going to have with his genitals missing.
[0:58:40] Ashley James: Yeah. I keep coming back to compare it to a woman. We wouldn’t do this to a woman. Why are we doing this to men? Both men and women should have equal rights when it comes to choosing. They should be able to choose. I’m so happy you’re doing the work you’re doing because these babies, these newborn babies, do not have a voice. The parents are being pressured because the doctors and the hospitals want to make money. That is sick and wrong. I know more and more parents are waking up and learning about this. So, I’m happy you’re doing the work you’re doing to allow people to know.
My husband gave me permission right before this interview. I think it’s a sensitive topic. I told him I’ll tell the story without mentioning him. He said, “No, it’s okay.” Because he said it would kind of be weird if I told the story with saying a friend of mine. He goes, “It’s fine. You could tell them my story.” So, he has had issues his whole life. He’s 51 now. He has had issues his whole life and not known that it was because his foreskin was removed. Then about five or six years ago, I discovered medium.com. I think it was kind of newish or new to me. So, we were looking at medium.com as a place for me to write some health articles. My husband was looking over my shoulder and we’re both looking at the computer screen. He says, “Check this website out. It’s really cool. Medium.com. It’s a place where you can go and publish articles.”
So, I went to it and of course the first thing I click on is the health section. I’m like, “Let’s look to see what the top health article is.” We click on it and the top article was not only about circumcision but about regrowing your foreskin. I thought it was a joke because that just sounds like, “What do you mean regrowing? Why would you even? Why would you want foreskin? Wasn’t it a good thing to have it removed?” So, we click on it and start reading. It was a very detailed article about how men, when you have your foreskin removed, you’ve lost the 20,000 nerve endings. You’ve lost pretty much all the sensation, but you’ve also lost this protection. Always having the organ, the head of the penis, touching things like touching your underwear, just touching stuff all the time is making it less and less sensitive. It’s sort of desensitizing it.
Part of the function of the foreskin is to protect it so it doesn’t become desensitized. Even though you said most of the nerve endings are in the foreskin, but still there’s something that happens when the head is constantly touching things. So, it says that by regrowing your foreskin you can regain some of that. It kind of happened right around the same time that we saw those men who were protesting in San Diego. That helped us look into it further and look into the negatives of having your foreskin removed. He kind of got angry. He said, “I was never asked.” He started to process the emotions about it. It was really interesting to watch him talk about it and process it. He was so upset that he never had a choice and he’s had this lifelong problem with having it removed. It’s affected the quality of his life. Not our relationship because he’s done a lot of emotional work, but in his past, his past marriage, it caused a lot of stress. He ended up internalizing it and he ended up feeling shame and guilt. He ended up feeling less than and insufficient as a person.
So, having your foreskin removed can severely affect, because I’ve seen it happen in him, can severely affect your identity and who you are as a person. I thought that was really interesting. So, he did a lot of therapeutic work around it. He’s really wonderful. His process has been wonderful. He ended up going through with this device that you can actually regrow or try to grow some more foreskin basically. So he’s got partially the way there and it significantly changed having regrown some. He’ll never have those nerve endings like you said but he actually did, he did grow some with this device that you wear that kind of stretches the skin and protects the penis. He noticed a really big difference in the sensation and in his problem. His problem started to become a less of a problem. The function, the functionality of it. So, I thought that was really interesting. Have you looked at the movement to regrow foreskin?
[1:04:20] Anthony Losquadro: Yeah. I mean, that’s admirable that your husband was first of all able to acknowledge that there was an issue and then respond to it in a positive manner. There are many men that are doing foreskin restorations. It’s the term that it’s called. There are a number of devices available online that can assist guys who want to do this. Foreskin restoration is the means of or the process of placing gentle tension on the skin of the penis to make the skin grow back again. One of the amazing things about skin is if you put tension on it like as if a lady is pregnant, she’s going to get more skin around her belly to accommodate that growing baby inside.
So, the same thing happens. Doctors or surgeons will call that skin expansion. When they have to do reconstructive surgery they will also do that. So, it’s a proven process as crazy as it sounds. It is a proven process. Men can regrow their foreskin. It does take time, it does take patience and it does take perseverance, but it can be done. Guys have done it. There’s also stages of restoration. For some guys just doing a little bit so they can get a little more slack sliding skin when they have an erection instead of for a man that had a circumcision and too much skin was removed so when he has in erections it’s like an overt taut, overblown balloon. It’s very uncomfortable. By regrowing some of the skin you can regain some of that, remove some of the tension on the skin during erection and it can have more comfortable sex.
So, for some guys that’s enough. Then some guys want to continue all the way because they want the head of the penis covered all the time. They want more sliding skin. I think psychologically, they want to kind of take back what was taken from them. So, even though they don’t have all the nerve endings at least – some guys that do this successfully, doctors can’t even tell that they were circumcised before. That’s how authentic-looking it is. They grow the skin too back. It hugs the head of the penis just like an intact guy and it would fool anybody. But that’s a longer process to do that. So, there’s a range, a whole host of devices and extent that somebody wants to purchase. People or guys may pursue foreskin restoration, but it is done. I think, from what I read online, more and more guys are getting into it. It’s fortunate that these things were developed because there are millions and millions of cut men out there that are having issues. This is something that can help them.
[1:07:18] Ashley James: Right. Well, I mean it doesn’t give them back the tens of thousands of nerves. It doesn’t give them back the mucosa protection. It doesn’t give them back everything, but it does give them back something. My husband has grown about 25% of it back. He had a huge, I mean it just really made a big difference for him. He just wore this device on and off for the last few years. I was really happy to see that it made such a difference for him but not only for him in performing in the bedroom. It wasn’t even about that, although that increased for him. It was actually I noticed something in him all the time. That something about having it feeling intact, feeling more intact like you said it was about reclaiming what was taken.
So, it really, it affected him outside of the bedroom. It gave him a sense of completion. I mean you’d have to talk to him but it was just absolutely there is a shift that happened for him when he started to do foreskin restoration. This shouldn’t have to be. Foreskin restoration shouldn’t even have to exist because we shouldn’t be taking it away from men in the first place or women. Circumcision is harmful and barbaric. It is killing babies both female and male causing things like excessive bleeding, lifetime disfigurement. I mean that is just sick and wrong. The fact that over 100,000 babies in the United States have these complications. That’s incredible. It’s being swept under the rug because it’s all about the profits.
So, we have to look where the money is look, look where the money’s going and look at the actual information and make up our minds. Anthony, tell us about your organization. Tell us what is it you guys do besides getting on podcasts and sharing this information, what does the organization do?
[1:09:33] Anthony Losquadro: What we do is educational advocacy. We need to get all of this information that we found and that we’ve become excited about learning and try to impart that information and that knowledge and that excitement into other people. So, what interaction, one of the biggest things we do is we do public events where we have a mobile unit and we have exhibits. We have an exhibit on the bizarre history of American circumcision that we discussed and we touched on and how it got started in America with Kellogg and Sayre and all these people. We have these public exhibits out like that. We have in a 3D diorama that’s interactive that people can see what doctors actually do to babies in a hospital when they circumcise them and they put the baby in this contraption that the babies spread-eagle in. It’s really like baby waterboarding. They have the baby’s arms and legs tied down spread-eagle. Then we show them the clamps that are used. All the various equipment identical as if it was happening in a hospital procedure room. So, we have exhibits like that.
We have all kinds of literature that we give out. Some literature for parents of intact children that they can give to their son. It’s age-appropriate. We do it actually as like a comic strip. It helps give young men that are intact confidence about their own natural body. That they have all these natural advantages and features that guys that are cut don’t have and that their parents were really – they should be thankful to their parents for keeping them intact. So, we have this type of literature that we give out.
The biggest thing we do is we talk to people face-to-face. We just don’t sit behind computers and social media. We like to get out into the public and talk to people face-to-face, listen to their questions. I consider it like a big ongoing focus group. We hear about all these different stories. We hear from people from all walks of life, all different types of religions and faiths and cultures and what they do in their home country or what happened to them in America. We hear all these different stories. We have a great interactions with the public. Most of the time it’s very rewarding in what people come and tell us. People could thank us for being out there or glad somebody’s doing this. They support us. They give us donations. They help fund.
We run a vehicle so we have to pay gas and insurance and all those kind of things. We have to print our materials. We’re all volunteers. I’m a volunteer. I’m an unpaid volunteer. Even though I’m the founder and director this isn’t a business for me. This is a passion. Passion that I want to help the next generation of people. All of the directors on our board, same situation. They want to protect the next generation of children so what happened to them doesn’t happen to someone else. So we get all this. We know that we’re saving thousands of kids and they’ll never know who we are and we’ll never know who they are. It’s happening. Circumcision rates are dropping and we’re just out there spreading the word.
[1:13:09] Ashley James: The next time you see the, what did you call those men that protest that travel around the world or travel around the United States protesting?
[1:13:16] Anthony Losquadro: They are the blood-stained men. They’re a great group.
[1:13:19] Ashley James: The next time you see the blood-stained men, tell them that back in 2014, it was either early 2015 or late 2014, in San Diego. I could still see him in my mind holding that sign. So, just thank them for me. It sparked this conversation. That’s actually another reason why my husband wanted to do foreskin restoration. When we decided to not circumcise our son, which was a very easy choice to make to not circumcise once we spent only a short time looking at this information. It just made so much sense to let a baby keep all the body parts it was born with. One of the reasons why he wanted to do foreskin restoration was so that by the time our son was old enough to ask questions, he wouldn’t say, “Why do I look different from you? Why do we look so different? So, I thought that was interesting.”
My husband asked his mom, our son’s grandmother, “Why did you get me circumcised?” She said, “It was so that you would look the same as your father.” I thought that was really interesting. I mean back then, like you said, they took the babies away. There was not really a choice back then, but now we do. Now we can advocate and we do have a choice now. So, for those who choose to not circumcise their children and if the husbands are worried that they look so much different because they’re cut and they’re circumcised and their son isn’t, the foreskin restoration might be an avenue for them so that they end up both looking the same. If that was a cause for concern. So, it’s going in on the other direction.
I’d like you to thank those men for me for sparking this whole path for our family. I can’t imagine the amount of guilt that I’d feel as a mother if I had circumcised. I can’t imagine the guilt that parents feel who circumcised and then discovered all this information afterward. It’s so hard as a parent. I mean I’m constantly struggling with the guilt of you try to do something like oh they act up and you put them in a timeout or you yell or something and then you’re like, “Did I do that right? Am I a good parent?” We’re constantly questioning whether we’re doing things right or not. I just want to say to all the parents that did circumcise, you are doing the best you can with all the resources you have. You did the best. You could with all the resources you had at the time. This isn’t about guilt and this isn’t about shaming you are guilting you. Hopefully though, you can take this information and move forward with it. Your future children or your grandchildren or your nieces and nephews and cousins and hopefully you can help spread this information and help protect future babies.
Anthony, how did you deal with the guilt after you learned about it? Did you not circumcise? Did you know all this information before you had your children?
[1:16:38] Anthony Losquadro: Yeah. Absolutely. My son is intact. I had the fortunate opportunity of having this information ahead of time and knowing about people that great intactivists like a lady by the name of Marilyn Milos from California, who is an early early pioneering advocate on this issue. So, what we find is that just people, parents whether it’s myself, anybody, they just need a little bit of information, just a shred just to get them thinking about it. Once you do that, they realize, “Why would I cut off part of my son’s body? It’s the most insane thing.” That’s all they need. Just like you saw the blood-stained man in San Diego. You just needed that a little bit of a push to say, “Hey, what’s going on here?” Then you realize, “Hey, there’s no reason to be doing this.” That’s all we need to do. If any of your listeners, anybody out there, if you’re having a baby, you know someone’s having a baby or a friend, family member just say, “Hey, you should look into the circumcision issue.” That way when they’re in that delivery room or wherever they’re having their baby, they’ll have the information, they’ll have the knowledge and they’ll be able to resist the pressure if it’s from doctors or they’ll just know more. If you know more you can do better.
[1:17:56] Ashley James: If you know more you can do better. Now, when our son was a newborn I realized quickly that I had no idea how to keep his penis clean being a woman, first of all, but my husband didn’t know how to keep it clean because he didn’t have a foreskin. So, the two of us were like worried like how do you keep this thing clean? Instead of me telling the listeners, is there any advice you’d like to give or let people know how can you help a baby, who is intact, who has not been circumcised, how do you keep a baby boy clean? Because we have to obviously change diapers like 12 times a day. So, how do you keep it clean? How do you make sure – you don’t pull the skin back. You don’t like wash it. How do you keep it clean?
[1:18:51] Anthony Losquadro: This is a really important thing. I’m glad you brought it up because we almost missed it. You don’t do anything. That’s the most important thing to remember. You just wipe the outside with a baby wipe or whatever you’re using. Do not by any means pull back the foreskin. Do not allow any caregivers or doctors or nurses to pull it back because on a young infant or a young child, if that is pulled back it will tear the skin underneath. There is a sealed membrane under there. Nature sealed it up so nothing can get in there. If somebody pulls it back it’s going to tear, it’s going to bleed and it’s going to be causation of scar tissue potentially and then later on in life that guy may get a condition known as phimosis, which is a foreskin that doesn’t retract because the scar tissue is not stretchy, it’s not flexible.
So, the thing to do with the baby is nothing. You don’t pull it back. You just leave it alone. You clean the outside. That’s all that it needs.
[1:20:04] Ashley James: I remember finding an article. I remember lying in bed, exhausted. Having given birth and just thinking, “How am I going to clean this? What do I do? How do I change a diaper?” I found this great article explaining exactly step-by-step what to do, what not to do. It said, treat it like it’s a finger. Clean it like it’s a finger. Obviously, you’re not going to pull the cuticle back and pull your skin off your finger to clean it. You don’t want to harm the cuticle of the finger. You just wash it or just clean it. That’s it. Then leave it alone.
So, I remember having to tell, like at one point we had a babysitter. I had to tell her because she didn’t know that either. So, yeah. Not only do you need to know this but you have to actually tell everyone that’s going to change your son’s diaper to not pull it back because I think the instinct is well we’re supposed to clean this part but you actually would be incredibly damaging the organ as if you were peeling the skin off of a finger. It would be very very damaging. So, it’s actually easier to take care of then than a circumcised baby. It’s easier to take care of. You just wipe it and that’s it, just leave it alone. There’s no chance of a botched or anything like from circumcision. So, it’s actually less maintenance. There’s no concern.
I remember when our son was maybe six months old he said it hurt. Oh no, he was a little bit older because he was able to talk. Let’s see. Maybe he was a year old. He expressed that it hurt to pee and I looked at his penis and it was red. So, we got him in a warm salt bath because I talked with a midwife about it who also had a son who was not cut. She said, “Yeah. That can happen sometimes. There can be a little bit of a irritation or maybe a little bit of a beginning of an infection.” So, I got him in a warm saltwater bath once and that’s all he needed and then it went away. I’ve heard that it could happen. Have you heard of this? When a young boy, if it gets irritated or infected, have you heard about doing a salt bath?
[1:22:37] Anthony Losquadro: You could treat it that way. It could be two things. It could be bacterial or it could be yeast or it could just be irritation. So, if it’s a yeast type infection just some antifungal cream would clear it up. If it is a true UTI, then an antibiotic would be given by a pediatrician. It could be that. It’s uncommon, but it can happen. It can happen with cut boys too. It’s just one of the things who stay on wet diapers and they’re constantly going. So, we try to stay on top of it and keep them clean, but sometimes the yeast, the bacteria wins.
[1:23:20] Ashley James: Right. Right. So, just like you said it could happen with a cut boy just like with a not cut boy. I guess there’s fear there for parents who have never been around an uncircumcised penis. That they’re doing it wrong or that there’s a more of a chance that it could become infected. So, you’re saying just keep it clean. You don’t need to pull the foreskin back and you’re good. Those are the two things to know.
[1:23:44] Anthony Losquadro: Yeah. You absolutely don’t want to pull it back. That’s called forced retraction. The only one who should be pulling it back would be the boy when he matures and becomes a certain age where he’s going to naturally notice that, “Hey look, it goes back.” That may happen at five years old. It may happen at eight years old. It may happen during puberty. Everybody’s different, but it will naturally start to retract on its own.
[1:24:07] Ashley James: It’s his right and it’s his body to choose when he does that. That’s between him and himself. No one else.
[1:24:17] Anthony Losquadro: Yeah. Yeah. One day he’ll just notice, “Hey. It goes back.” Then he’ll just normally wash it when he bathes. He can pull it back himself and wash it and then everything will be fine. But before that it’s like a sealed up unit. There’s a membrane in there that’s all sealed. Keeps all the dirt and everything out of there.
[1:24:35] Ashley James: That’s cool. So, we don’t have to worry about it as parents because by the time it comes back, he’s old enough to do it himself. We got to tell him like, “Hey, once it comes back you got to clean it.”
[1:24:47] Anthony Losquadro: Right.
[1:24:48] Ashley James: Yeah. Okay. Is there anything else that we haven’t touched on that you really love to make sure you cover?
[1:24:55] Anthony Losquadro: No. I think we had a good discussion here.
[1:25:06] Ashley James: We got it all? Okay. Awesome.
[1:25:17] Anthony Losquadro: I’m going to say your last name again. I’m going to write this down this time. I’ll edit this part out. Is it Losquadro?
[1:25:18] Ashley James: Losquadro. Okay. Anthony Losquadro, it has been such a pleasure having you on the show today. I feel like we covered a really important topic. The fact that you’re spreading this information, educating parents is wonderful. I really encourage listeners to donate if they can, to spread your information, to go to your website intaction.org. That’s intaction.org. Check out everything that Anthony’s doing. Can they follow you? Are you big on social media? How do people stay connected or learn more?
[1:25:59] Anthony Losquadro: We’re on Facebook, we’re on Twitter and we have a pretty good YouTube channel and that’s growing. We’re getting more and more into YouTube videos. So, become a subscriber to our YouTube channel. Come to our website. Join up as a member, get on our mailing list. We don’t spam you. We won’t spam you. We don’t send a lot of emails out, but you keep up to date what’s going on with us, what’s going on with the issues. We have good resources available there.
[1:26:30] Ashley James: Awesome. Thank you so much, Anthony, for coming on the show today and spreading this information. Hopefully we’ve touched some lives and there’ll be babies born with their skin intact and they’ll keep it intact and they will never know that maybe this conversation is what helped spark that. But it’ll be wonderful to know that there’s a ripple going out right now. A ripple that is going to affect thousands and thousands of future boys to be able to live a full life with all their body parts.
[1:27:02] Anthony Losquadro: Ashley, it’s a great feeling. As we like to say, “It’s foreskin for the win.”
[1:27:07] Ashley James: “Foreskin for the win.”
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