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Published April 4, 2017 Updated May 27, 2020


​​James Loewen’s obsession began when he was seven years old. In his backyard he and a friend were comparing their genitals. Little James noticed that his friend’s penis looked different from his own. Loewen recalled, "I thought with great shock that the head of his penis had been cut off.” His friend explained that his glans was covered by his foreskin. It was at this point that James began to realize that he had been born with a foreskin, and it had been removed (via circumcision.) “The recognition of what he was saying was one of the more profound shocks of my childhood, perhaps even of my whole life." [1]

Loewen had horrific night terrors as a child, but it isn't clear whether his nighttime suffering predated his circumcision awareness. [2] When James confronted his mother about his circumcision, she refused to discuss it. As a teenager he read articles about botched circumcisions. Years later Loewen learned that his uncircumcised father had authorized the procedure. When confronted, his father refused to apologize. [3] Consequently Loewen has carried a great deal of anger throughout his adult life. “I never felt like a virgin, I had already been despoiled and was well aware of it from the age of seven years old… I was raped. Surgically raped at two days old.” [4]

In 1993 after reading a book about attempts at foreskin restoration, he contacted leaders of anti-circumcision groups, including Marilyn Milos of NOCIRC. Later that year he drove 950 miles (1,500 km) to San Francisco to photograph a demonstration against circumcision. [5] Loewen has been active in the anti-circumcision movement ever since.

In his early forties Loewen looked up the doctor who had circumcised him back in 1964. The pediatrician had recently died, so Loewen could get no satisfaction from confronting him. Loewen blames the doctor for his lifelong "terror, anxiety and heartache". [6] (Irrespective of Loewen's feelings, the practice was in the medical mainstream for western Canadian. According to one source, in 1971 more than two-thirds of all boys in nearby Alberta were snipped.) [7]

He considers the uncircumcised penis to be far more attractive than the circumcised penis, which he has described as “the skinned, scarred, and depleted version that has the look of something missing.” He hates the very word “circumcision” and wants others to refer to it by the derogatory misnomer “genital mutilation.” Sadly, Loewen is disgusted and horrified by the appearance of his own organ.

Loewen holds particular malice toward happily circumcised men who don’t share his feelings of loathing and disgust. In response to an article about the 2016 AAP Conference anti-circumcision protest, one reader commented “I love my circumcised penis.” Loewen sneeringly asked, “What do you like best about having a scarred, less functional penis than what nature provided?” [8]

Tomorrow: An ambush interview outside the AAP conference

[1] Zocia Bielski; "Should circumcision be outlawed? 'Intactivists' think so"; Globe and Mail; January 31, 2011

[2] James Loewen; comment in Intactivism Uncensored Facebook group; May 15, 2020. "Yes, many have spoken of these night terrors, circumcision related nightmares. I had horrific night terrors as a child."

[3] James Loewen, comment on Jonathon Conte Facebook post; October 5, 2012 (

[4] James Loewen Facebook post; February 2017

[5] Intactivist of the Month: James Loewen; Intact America; July 2012

[6] James Loewen Facebook post; February 26, 2019

[8] David-Elijah Nahmod; "Intactivists remember Conte, try to deliver petitions to AAP"; Bay Area Reporter; October 26, 2016


April 3, 2017 - Part 2: A Seething Anger April 4, 2017 - Part 3: Young James learns that he is circumcised April 5, 2017 - Part 4: Loewen attacks a renowned child advocate April 6, 2017 - Part 5: The ambush journalist gets ambushed

April 7, 2017 - Part 6: Lies, Lies, Lies ... Yeah! April 8, 2017 - Part 7: Conclusion September 23, 2017: The Irate Man accuses Circumcision Choice of dishonest tactics September 24, 2017: Update: The Irate Man's continuing dishonesty


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