Marilyn Milos, Regarded as ‘The Mother of the Intactivist Movement,’ Merges Her Organization, Genital Autonomy-America, with Intact America, the Nation’s Largest Professional Anti-Circumcision Advocacy Group
Says Milos: “It’s an auspicious time to join forces and further public awareness of the direct correlation between circumcision solicitation in hospitals and the high rate of medically unnecessary circumcision in the United States.”
(Tarrytown, New York—October 30, 2021) Georganne Chapin, MPhil, JD, founding executive director of Intact America, and Marilyn Milos, RN, founding executive director of Genital Autonomy-America, announced today that their two organizations have officially merged. Ms. Milos will continue her intactivist work at Intact America, the largest national, professional advocacy group that is changing the way America thinks about circumcision.
The newly merged entity, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, will retain the name Intact America. Ms. Milos will sit on Intact America’s Board of Directors and continue her intactivist work as Intact America’s clinical consultant.
“It’s a tremendous honor that Marilyn Milos and the Board of Directors of GA-America have entrusted their organization’s mission and vision to us,” said Ms. Chapin. “Thanks to her work, male genital cutting emerged from the shadows and became a human rights issue. I and many other intactivists consider Marilyn to be the mother of our movement.”
The Evolution of Organized Intactivism
It was a watershed event in intactivism when, in 1985, Marilyn Milos launched the National Organization of Circumcision Resource Centers (NOCIRC). (The organization was renamed Genital Autonomy-America [GA-America] in 2016.) The group was the first clearinghouse of circumcision information for doctors, nurses, parents, and the public. Over the years, NOCIRC succeeded in raising awareness among tens of thousands of people that male child genital cutting (circumcision) is physically painful and traumatic to a baby, medically unnecessary, and amputates the most erogenous part of the adult male genitalia.
Under Ms. Milos’ leadership, NOCIRC gained attention for organizing biennial International Symposia on Circumcision, beginning in 1989. Experts in medicine, academia, ethics, law, and other disciplines flocked to the symposia, whose proceedings were published and shared worldwide. These highly influential publications advanced the field of male and female genital cutting research and shed new light on the ill effects of routine male circumcision.
A Next Step for Intactivism
Although Ms. Milos broke the taboo about speaking publicly about circumcision, more work was needed to strategically change America’s systemic circumcision culture. In 2008, Ms. Milos and other leading intactivists helped to form Intact America, a professional advocacy group funded by philanthropist Dean Pisani and managed by the experienced health care executive and attorney Georganne Chapin. Intact America’s work includes conducting national research and generating public awareness by mounting campaigns against routine male child genital cutting and forced foreskin retraction of intact boys.
Ms. Chapin noted, “We’re shifting the public’s perception of circumcision. In our most recent opinion poll, conducted this year, we found that more than 22.5% of respondents favor keeping boys intact, up from 16.8% in 2019. That’s an increase of 25% in just two years. We’re making big progress.”
Ms. Milos said the merger comes at an auspicious time. “I’ve worked relentlessly to save baby boys from the horror of routine circumcision and help adults and families to overcome the physical and psychological consequences of unnecessary circumcisions,” Ms. Milos said. “Now, it’s time for me to step back from the day-to-day responsibility of running GA-America. Since it was founded, Intact America has taken intactivism to the next level. I feel that the movement’s future success could not be in better hands.”
About Intact America
Intact America is the largest national advocacy group working to end involuntary child genital cutting in America and to ensure healthy sexual futures for all people. It does this by challenging social and sexual norms and empowering supporters and volunteers through advocacy and education. To learn more about the issues involved in the current conversation about newborn male circumcision, visit IntactAmerica.org and CircumcisionDebate.org, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.