History Of Circumcision

Wondering about the history of circumcision? There is no signal history for this procedure. Many different cultures practice circumcision around the world for very different reasons.

Circumcision is the removal of some or all the foreskin from the penis. In many cultures, it has religious significance but it also done for medical purposes. Many feel that circumcision lowers the risk of infection of the sexual organs. Others that are opposed to circumcision feel it has no medical advantage and is a violation of human rights.

The history of medical circumcision. Medical infant circumcision became accepted in the Untied States, Australia and English-speaking parts of Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and the Untied Kingdom around the 1900s. The main supported hypotheses for this action is supported for the germ theory of disease, which views the human body as a vessel for many dangerous germs. Under this theory the penis became dirty by association. Modern medicine has basically disproved this theory, which is a basis for many circumcision critics. Although statistics aren’t well kept many historians believe that in 1933, 32% of newborn males where circumcised for medical reasons. By 1970 they believe it was 91%. Because of the recent controversy over the medical purposes of circumcisions the numbers in 2005 where down to 56%.

The history of ritual/religious circumcision is extensive because each culture has it’s own beliefs that it is based on. Also since many of these beliefs are from very far back in history the origins are not well known. Jewish law states that circumcision is mandatory for all Jewish-born males and for non-circumcised Jewish male converts. It is usually done on the eighth day of life in a ceremony unless there is a threat to the life of the child by doing so. In Islam not all followers practice ritual circumcision because it is mentioned in some text but not in the Qur’an. In 1442 the Roman Catholic Church formally condemned ritual circumcision but today has a neutral stance. Many modern Christians do not practice circumcision as a religious ceremony but for it’s medical purposes. Some Christian churches in South Africa oppose circumcision because they view it as a pagan ritual. Other Christians still practice it because of its historical references in the Bible.

The history of circumcision is very detailed and has its roots in many different cultures. With the recent controversy over circumcision many parents feel a need to visit the procedures history before agreeing to have their newborn sons circumcised.

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