June 18, 2010

What is going on at Cornell University?

I apologize in advance if my writing and language in this post is all over the place, you'll have to excuse me because I don't think I've ever found out about something that has disgusted and pissed me off as much as this story has. I'm so mad, I sort of feel like I need to vomit. (*Trigger warning for child sexual abuse survivors*) 

"A pediatric urologist at Cornell University-Dix Poppas-has been operating on little girls with what he judges to be oversized clitorises, cutting away important clitoral tissues, and then stitching the glans to what remains of the shaft. 

There's lots to be outraged about here: there's nothing wrong with these girls and their healthy, functional-if-larger-than-average clitorises; there's no need to operate on these girls; and surgically altering a girl's clitoris because it's "too big" has been found to do lasting physical and psychological harm. But what's most outrageous is how Poppas performs his follow-up examinations, which involve Poppas stimulating the girls’ clitorises with vibrators while the girls, aged six and older, are conscious.

At annual visits after the surgery, while a parent watches, Poppas touches the daughter’s surgically shortened clitoris with a cotton-tip applicator and/or with a “vibratory device,” and the girl is asked to report to Poppas how strongly she feels him touching her clitoris. Using the vibrator, he also touches her on her inner thigh, her labia minora, and the introitus of her vagina, asking her to report, on a scale of 0 (no sensation) to 5 (maximum), how strongly she feels the touch. Poppas has indicated that ideally he seeks to conduct annual exams with these girls. "

What the actual fuck!? I just can not fathom how this is even going on. How was this passed by Cornell's medical board? I don't even know where to start. First off, who the hell are Poppas and his team of (all male, might I add) surgeons to decide what a "normal" looking clitoris is? News flash: there is no such thing as a "normal" looking clitoris. They come in all different shapes and sizes, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Women are already insanely critical of their bodies and are always struggling to meet society's made-up female beauty standards (as LaMesha touched on in her post below), and by stating that there is one certain way that a clitoris should look they are just perpetuating this obsession with perfection, making women believe that everything about them needs to be perfect- even their vagina's. But these are just children we are talking about here, infants even. If when they are older and can make their own decisions they decide that they want to go through with a procedure like this to shorten their clitorises then fine. But nobody should be making that decision for them when they are too young to understand or consent to it themselves. The fact that these girls are being seen as sex objects from the moment they get out of the womb is disgusting. Nobody should be looking at and judging their genitals in this way. 

And then there are his "follow-up examinations", are you kidding me!? A grown man routinely touching a girl as young as six's (or in some cases even younger) clitoris with a vibrator and asking her when she feels something...hello Cornell University, that is child sexual abuse and molestation. Poppas (I refuse to put a Dr. before his name) is a pedophile and a monster, who was somehow allowed permission to live this fucked up dream of his. I can't understand how the parents are just agreeing to this and even sitting back and watching as this sick man performs these disturbing "examinations" on their daughters. If I ever had a daughter and some doctor even proposed the idea of doing this to her, I think I would soon be in jail for assault. But the sad thing is that most parents don't act that way, when it comes to their children, it seems like parents are so afraid of something going wrong with them that they will just automatically believe and go along with whatever the doctor says to do...because, well, he's the doctor. Which I guess is a sad thing, but I still don't get how a parent could watch as those "follow-up examinations" occurred, I think anybody with a brain and a moral conscious would know that those procedures are beyond wrong. But I guess not...?

There's another disturbing reason this surgery is being performed: people seem to believe that girls with large clitorises are more likely to identify as lesbians when they grow up. Which is quite obviously a completely ridiculous statement. Carving up a girls clitoris does nothing to change her sexual orientation, and besides, what is so damn wrong with being a lesbian anyway? Why are parents and doctors and so on so afraid of giving birth to a gay child that they would instead put them through all of this physical and psychological harm?

Last thing, why has this not been in the news? Why does nobody even know that this grotesque act is being performed right here in New York? The news channels haven't even covered this story once yet, even with numerous people sending it in to them. I wouldn't be surprised if that was because Cornell University payed news channels a big chunk of money to keep this swept under the carpets so that their school doesn't get a bad reputation. But fuck that, it's bullshit that everybody knew when Michael Jackson died, and news channels talked about it for days on end, but nobody knows about Cornell University legally performing female genital mutilation and child molestation. America, your standards are all fucked up. And I am just so extremely sad for the innocent young girls who had to go through these traumatic events, and I just hope that they can still live normal lives even after remembering the cruel things that happened to them as infants and young children.

Do something, Call Dr. Poppas at (212) 746-5337
Tell him EXACTLY what you think of his "research". 

Email or call Cornell University's research provost and tell him to end the practicing of female genital mutilation and child molestation at his school.
Kent Fuchs
(607) 255-2364 


  1. this just adds to my ever-rising mountain hate of humanity. you've gotta be kidding me. only in america would someone jack off kids for completely aesthetic purposes.

  2. im so disgusted I can't even think of a decent comment for this right now....but thanks for trying to bring this to some peoples attention....fuck that's grotesque >:(

  3. Advocates for Informed Choice is a non-profit organization advocating for the legal and human rights of children with intersex conditions or differences of sex develoment, like the ones in this story. We work in collaboration with bioethicists, doctors, parents, affected adults, and many others. If you are interested in taking action to help protect these children, and to be sure that possible human rights violations are investigated, please join our Facebook page at http://ow.ly/20wTY or sign up for our Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/aiclegal.