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Film star wants the foreskin to be with you

Added: (Mon Jun 18 2007)

Pressbox (Press Release) - ---BEGINS---
16 June 2007

Film star wants the foreskin to be with you

As part of National Men's Health Week and to coincide with Fathers' Day, Film, TV and stage star Alan Cumming as announced that he is to become a patron of NORM-UK, the registered charity concerned with education about the male foreskin and circumcision.

"Our foreskins aren't a mistake" said the star of X-Men 2, Spy Kids and Goldeneye, a humanitarian and activist who wants the world to understand the importance of this most under-appreciated body part, "Circumcision is genital mutilation, so why is it condoned and encouraged? I support NORM-UK's efforts to educate and illuminate. May the foreskin be with us and remain with us all!"

Referring to a recent study published in the British Journal of Urology, NORM-UK vice-chairman Dr Peter Ball said, "The foreskin contains the five most sensitive parts of the penis, and we are honoured that Alan recognises the importance of NORM-UK's work. We are all concerned that men and parents are being pushed into unnecessary surgery without understanding the full consequences."

Dr Ball went on to express his concern at the recent push to use male circumcision as a weapon against the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa, "Reports are already coming through that some men are seeing circumcision as an alternative to condom use", he said, "this strategy will make the problem worse, not better, and permanently leaving men with less sensitive genitals is a serious side effect that must not be ignored".

Alan joins art critic Brian Sewell as a patron of the charity, which also helps treat men and boys with tight foreskins.

For further information contact
NORM-UK http://www.norm-uk.org
NORM-UK, David Smith tel 01785 814044, media@norm-uk.org
Alan Cumming, bianca.bianconi@pmkhbh.com
Alan Cumming, office@alancumming.com, tel 001 212 629 8497

Two photographs of Alan Cumming, one colour and one black and white, are available from NORM-UK for free use with this story. They must be credited to 'Francis Hills Photography'. Please contact NORM-UK if you need a different format or a higher resolution.

* Dr Ball is retired GP from Tunbridge Wells who has had articles about circumcision published in "The Urologist" and "The Practitioner". He is a member of the Association of Broadcasting Doctors.
* The study indicating that the five most sensitive parts of the penis are on the foreskin was published in the April 2007 edition of the British Journal of Urology and is available at - [http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/pdf/sorrells_2007.pdf]
* A report featuring a man using circumcision as an excuse to abandon condoms appeared in the Ugandan monitor [http://tinyurl.com/ytehf6]
* A peer-reviewed article "Circumcision for HIV Prevention: Failure to Fully Account for Behavioral Risk Compensation" is published at [http://tinyurl.com/2xcd3m]
* In "The law & ethics of male circumcision - Guidance for Doctors, BMA, 2006" the British Medical Association (BMA) says, "It is essential that doctors perform male circumcision only where this is demonstrably in the best interests of the child." [http://www.bma.org.uk/ap.nsf/Content/malecircumcision2006]
* In May 2002 a study in the Journal of Urology reported that circumcision appears to result in worsened erectile function, decreased penile sensitivity and that 38% of men circumcised as adults reported harm to sexual function.[http://www.lwwonline.com/article.asp?J=162]
* In 2001 Sweden outlawed circumcision of boys under 18 years except where medically indicated or specially licensed. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/1572483.stm]

* NORM-UK was founded in 1995 and gained charity status in 1998. The registered charity number is 1072831.
* NORM-UK is presently funded entirely by personal donations, is run by one full time member of staff and an army of determined volunteers.
* The charity provides a range of medical literature about the foreskin for everyone from young men to parents, midwives and surgeons.
* Members of the organisation can attend regular support meetings where they have free access to sympathetic doctors.
* The website at www.norm-uk.org provides a wealth of information and has been verified as compliant with the Health on the Net (HON) code of medical ethics since 2003.
* In 2003 Dr John Warren won the Oyster award for health, sponsored by Camelot and the Sun, for his work with NORM-UK.
* Since 1995 NORM-UK has received over 5000 letters and emails from men unhappy about their circumcision.
* NORM-UK is a member of the Men's Health Forum (MHF), the Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children (ATLC), and the International Coalition for Genital Integrity (ICGI).

* Alan Cumming has thrilled audiences around the world not only with his incredible talent, but also his openness and passion both as an artist and a humanitarian.
* Trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Alan worked extensively in the Scottish theatre before making his West End debut in 1988 in 'The Conquest of the South Pole' at the Royal Court, which earned him huge acclaim and the first of four Olivier award nominations - he won in 1991 for his tour de force 'Accidental Death of An Anarchist' at the Royal National Theatre.
* His Hamlet at the Donmar Warehouse catapulted him into the ranks of the great actors of his generation, especially when he immediately followed it wiith Sam Mendes' production of 'Cabaret', which, when it transferred to Broadway earned him the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics' Circle, Theatre World, NY Press, FANY and New York Public Advocate's Awards. He has not lost his theatre roots though, recently storming the West End in Martin Sherman's 'Bent' and in 2007 playing Dionysus for the National Theatre of Scotland.
* His 1992 award winning feature film debut was opposite Sandrine Bonnaire and Bruno Ganz in 'Prague', and he made several European films before his US breakthrough in Pat O'Connor's 'Circle of Friends', followed closely by 'Goldeneye' and 'Emma'. Hollywood beckoned and his first US shot movie was the hugely popular 'Romy and Michele's High School Reunion'. Since then he has mixed commercial successes like Robert Rodriguez's 'Spy Kids' trilogy and his legendary Nightcrawler in 'X2:X Men United' with films as diverse as Julie Taymor's 'Titus' opposite Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange and Stanley Kubrick's final film 'Eyes Wide Shut'.
* In 2007 he won an Independent Spirit award for producing Ali Selim's 'Sweet Land' in which he also starred. Most recently he directed and starred in the gothic comedy 'Suffering Man's Charity'.
* As an activist and humanitarian Alan has spoken out against inequality and prejudice, and has done much to promote sexual education and to support gay youth issues. His many accolades for this work include two Human Rights Campaign awards, the GLAAD Media Vito Russo award, and he is very proud of the honorary doctorate he received in 2006 from the University of Abertay, Dundee, (practically his home town) and for being named an Icon of Scotland in 2005.
* He has published a novel, 'Tommy's Tale', written introductions to books on topics as diverse as Andy Warhol and AIDS in America, and contributed to magazines such as Interview, Marie-Claire and Modern Painters.
* He lives in New York with his husband, Grant, whom he married in a civil ceremony in London in January 2007.

Organised by the Mens' Health Forum and backed by over 30 other organisations, National Men's Health Week, the annual event organised by the Men's Health Forum to raise awareness of ' and tackle ' the issues affecting the health of men in England and Wales, runs from 11th-17th June. The aim is to develop effective ways of reaching men with long-term health conditions and encourage them to get the necessary health advice and treatment.

Submitted by:Richard Duncker
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