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Jake H. Waskett/Editorial

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Jake is still at it ... trying to convince people that his personal preference for the genitally mutilated penis should be embraced by everyone. He cites studies and argues points, but then you learn that his REAL interest is not in facts, but in his life-long fascination for genital cutting, and for the permanently exposed glans.

If Jake gets off on these things, fine, but why try to convince other people to share his childhood fantasy? Might it be a lack of self-confidence and a craving for the approval and support from others? After all, it was a childhood fantasy that turned him on to genital cutting ... NOT any studies.


Case Study

Understanding Jake requires understanding of several common and several bizarre psychological phenomenon. The common ones are projection and cognitive dissonance. The bizarre ones are Apotemnophilia, Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), and Acrotomophilia.

Cognitive dissonance (free thought paradigm)

The person holding the belief must have committed himself to it; that is, for the sake of his belief, he must have taken some important action that is difficult to undo. In general, the more important such actions are, and the more difficult they are to undo, the greater is the individual's commitment to the belief. [1]

This Phenomena has been widely documented. When an important decision is made people evaluate there end result higher then they would have if they did not make the decision.

Using the free choice paradigm and an MRI, Sharot and colleagues have shown that after making a choice, activity in the striatum changes to reflect the new evaluation of the choice object, increasing if the object was chosen and decreasing if it was rejected. [2] Follow-up studies have largely confirmed these results. [3] [4] In other words people are actually programed to think this way.

In a different type of experiment conducted by Jack Brehm [5] , 225 female students rated a series of common appliances and were then allowed to choose one of two appliances to take home as a gift. A second round of ratings showed that the participants increased their ratings of the item they chose, and lowered their ratings of the rejected item. This can be explained in terms of cognitive dissonance. When making a difficult decision, there are always aspects of the rejected choice that one finds appealing and these features are dissonant with choosing something else.

Dissonance is aroused whenever individuals voluntarily engage in an unpleasant activity to achieve some desired goal. Dissonance can be reduced by exaggerating the desirability of the goal. Aronson & Mills [6] had individuals undergo a severe or mild "initiation" in order to become a member of a group. In the severe-initiation condition, the individuals engaged in an embarrassing activity. The group turned out to be very dull and boring. The individuals in the severe-initiation condition evaluated the group as more interesting than the individuals in the mild-initiation condition.

Similarly the authors of the “ikea effect” state:

Our research shows that labor enhances affection for its results. When people construct products themselves, from bookshelves to Build-a-Bears, they come to overvalue their (often poorly made) creations.We call this phenomenon the IKEA effect, in honor of the wildly successful Swedish manufacturer whose products typically arrive with some assembly required. retrieved. 3/5/11

Cognitive dissonance as it applies to Jake

In the case of Jake. Jake spent many years wishing he had been circumcised he did tons of research on circumcision, and then he purchased and received a circumcision, and then there was the healing process. All these elaborate efforts and rituals add to the invested interest which must be defended. The more time spent on the product you are building, the research spent on an action you are about to perform, the more time in invest in such a matter, the more irreversible the decision, the more you over inflate the value of your end choice. And consequently the more you become predisposed to stronger feelings of cognitive dissonance. People like Jake will most likely experience permanent and strong feelings of cognitive dissonance. Jake is an extreme in all these categories.

After getting circumcised Jake is quoted:

But finally I has what I wanted and now I love my dick

In another post Jake said

I find it difficult to believe that I would regret something that I've regretted *not* having done since age 5!

--Yahoo Circlist. Message #26333, 2003 July 30th

Here is Jakes free choice paradigm right here. He wanted to be circumcised and he had already made up his decision about the results before experiencing them. This is the very definition of the free thought paradigm. He had spent a life time embellishing his goal of being circumcised.

Dissonance is aroused when people are confronted with information that is inconsistent with their beliefs. If the dissonance is not reduced by changing one's belief, the dissonance can result in misperception or rejection or refutation of the information, seeking support from others who share the beliefs, and attempting to persuade others to restore consonance. [7]

In another post Jake said

I'm in favour of informing the public, parents especially

----Yahoo RoundHeadsUK. Message #2, 2006 Mar 10th

Hence his conquest to restore consonance begins.

The individual believer must have social support. It is unlikely that one isolated believer could withstand the kind of disconfirming evidence that has been specified. If, however, the believer is a member of a group of convinced persons who can support one another, the belief may be maintained and the believers may attempt to proselyte or persuade nonmembers that the belief is correct. [8]

In another post Jake said

I will never forget the feeling of not being alone, being among like-minded people. Circlist for me has always been a place to have intelligent, thoughtful discussion about circumcision, and a place to talk to like-minded individuals

Google Circlist. Message #**, 2005 Ma7 24th 12:06pm

Circlist is a pro circumcision web site, here Jake has found the social support necessary to grow his ideas.


Psychological projection or projection bias is a psychological defense mechanism where a person unconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, such as to other people. Thus, projection involves imagining or projecting the belief that others have those feelings. [9]

Projection as it applies to Jake

His personal fantasy is to have been circumcised as an infant.

Jake says:

I think that failing to circumcise a boy at infant actually denies him a choice. Because it is so difficult to get circumcised as an adult

Which doesn't make much sense since he got to chose the type of cut he wanted.

Jake says:

The scar line is about half way down my shaft when flaccid

Yahoo Circlist. Message #26279, 2003 July 27th 4:00am

He projects this preference on other people by promoting circumcision.

In another post Jake said

I'm in favour of informing the public, parents especially... I would personally choose to circumcise a son (and hopefully I will one day adopt)

-Yahoo RoundHeadsUK. Message #2, 2006 Mar 10th

Adopting because Jake is a homosexual.

Here he is showing his projection of his his own preference for circumcision on to others.

Jake's Rationalizations of his Projections

He also uses flawed Internet surveys and study's to rationalize his projection. [10] [11] [12] Some of these anonymous internet surveys and study's conclude that intact men desired circumcision and that circumcised men where content. However, only one study he uses was actually published in a peer reviewed journal, and it found that people where incorrect about their own circumcision status at an alarming rate. [13] This makes the results of self reporting scrupulous. Furthermore Intact men are typically made to feel outcast in a majority circumcised U.S. Since humans value conformity so much [14] this effect, if it exists, will exist no longer because the majority of children born today in the U.S. are left intact. [15] Also, younger people tend to value conformity more then adults, so an internet surveys geared toward younger people will yield results infavor of conformity.

Therefore It is irrational to project a preference for circumcision onto infant children based on such information.

Jake goes further to supply study's of adult men who underwent circumcision, some study participants reported an improvement, [16] Another study was from Africa where sexual practices have absolutely no resemblance of sexual practices in the U.S. [17] In any event it is flawed to use such study's to rationalize a projection because as i discussed above in the section on cognitive dissonance, human animals are programed to over state the value of their end decision while simultaneously rationalizing the effort it took to get irreversibly circumcised as an adult.

Jake goes on to use another study of self assessment in determining the sensitivity of the foreskin. [18] But as discussed earlier people are not even able to determine their own circumcision status much less the five components of the foreskin and their sensitivity.

In any event Jake has combed the internet for what ever information, flawed or not, he required in order to rationalize his projections.


Jake may also suffer from these disorders

Apotemnophilia is a neurological disorder in which otherwise sane and rational individuals express a strong and specific desire for the amputation of a healthy limb or limbs. [19] There is often a sexual interest in becoming an amputee. [20]

One of his piers said “Some of us who do get erotic and sexual gratification out of not only the finished product, but also the procedure itself.” The “finished product” is the sexual interest in becoming an amputee and the “procedure it self” is akin to the Ikea effect that was previously discussed.

Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID)

Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), formerly known as Amputee Identity Disorder, is a neurological and psychological disorder that makes sufferers feel they would be happier living as an amputee. It is typically accompanied by the desire to amputate one or more healthy limbs to achieve that end. [21]


Acrotomophilia , refers to a paraphilia in which an individual expresses strong sexual interest in amputees. [22]


  1. Festinger, L. (1957) Cognitive dissonance. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.
  2. Van Veen, V., Krug, M.K., Schooler, J.W., & Carter, C.S. (2009). Neural activity predicts attitude change in cognitive dissonance. Nature Neuroscience, 12(11), 1469–1474.
  3. Izuma, K., Matsumoto, M., Murayama, K., Samejima, K., Sadato, N., & Matsumoto, K. (2010). Neural correlates of cognitive dissonance and choice-induced preference change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A., 107(51), 22014-22019.
  4. Qin, J., Kimel, S., Kitayama, S., Wang, X., Yang, X., & Han, S. (2011). How choice modifies preference: Neural correlates of choice justification Neuroimage, 55(1), 240–246.
  5. Brehm, J. (1956). Post-decision changes in desirability of alternatives. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 52(3), 384–389.
  6. Aronson & Mills Aronson, E. & Mills, J. (1956). The effect of severity of initiation on liking for a group. Journal of (7)Abnormal and Social Psychology, 59, 177–181.
  7. Festinger, L. (1957) Cognitive dissonance. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.
  8. Festinger, L. (1957) Cognitive dissonance. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.
  9. Wade, Tavris "Psychology" Sixth Edition Prentice Hall 2000
  10. Edwards R. Definitive penis size survey results [online]. 1998 [cited 2004 Sep 26]. Available at:
  11. JackinWorld 5th anniversary survey [online]. 1996-2004 [cited 2004 Sep 26]. Available at:
  12. Badger J. How do men and women feel about circumcision? [online]. 2001 [cited 2004 Sep 26]. Available at:
  13. Schlossberger NM, Turner RA, Irwin CE Jr. Early adolescent knowledge and attitudes about circumcision: methods and implications for research. J Adolesc Health 1992 Jun; 13(4): 293-7
  14. Asch, S. E. (1955). "Opinions and social pressure". Scientific American 193: 31–35. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican1155-31.
  15. RONI CARYN RABIN. Steep Drop Seen in Circumcisions in U.S. New York Times. August 16, 2010 retrieved 3/6/11
  16. Masood S, et al. Penile sensitivity and sexual satisfaction after circumcision: are we informing men correctly? Urol Int. 2005;75(1):62-6.
  17. Krieger JN, et al. Adult male circumcision: effects on sexual function and sexual satisfaction in Kisumu, Kenya. J Sex Med. 2008 Nov;5(11):2610-2
  18. Ref: Schober JM, et al. Self-ratings of genital anatomy, sexual sensitivity and function in men using the 'Self-Assessment of Genital Anatomy and Sexual Function, Male' questionnaire. BJU Int. 2009 Apr;103(8):1096-103. Epub 2009 Feb 24.
  19. Everaerd,W. (1983). A Case of Apotemnophilia: A Handicap as Sexual Preference. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 37 285–293.
  20. Brang,G. (2008). Apotemnophilia: A Neurological Disorder. Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology, 19 1305–1306.
  21. Large MM (October 2007). "Body identity disorder". Psychol Med 37 (10): 1513; author reply 1513–4.
  22. Solvang, P. (2007). The amputee body desired: Beauty destabilized? Disability re-valued? Sex and Disability, 25, 51–64.

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