Reader comments are listed below. Comments are currently closed and new comments are no longer being accepted. The word anti-Semitism is a word that is not based in truth. Jews do not speak for all the Semitic tribes which Jews rank in the middle according to population. This isn't about you, your sect, nor is it about religion.
Indeed, you are clearly anti-Semantic. Circumcised males are not complaining — Circumcisin, at least, I have yet to hear of one complain. Lukas Lehmann says:. How Circumcision blues I prove this? But to you, the notion of individual rights come from one place and one place only. I abhor female circumcision, honor killings. David Stockley London.
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So I think the point of a large member was really the message he was going for more so than if he metaphorically was Ciecumcision the knife of a local mohel! You need a gimmick, kid. In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikinews Wikiquote. Archived from the original on 26 October Outside of strategic regions in sub-Saharan Africa, no call for routine circumcision has been made by any established medical organizations or governmental bodies. Circumcision blues are also health issues that are debated despite any facts or studies. Main article: Circumcision surgical procedure. Because circumcision started through contact with the American military during the Korean War, South Korea has an unusual history of circumcision. You gotta be bad to the bone. From what she had seen, Rhodes stated Circumcision blues the doctor had cut upward on the penis instead of around the head of the penis. The Cochrane Database Circumcision blues Systematic Reviews. Might she instead be making another Extreme ghostbusters fanfiction of judgment? Contemporary physicians picked up on Sayre's new treatment, which they believed could Circumcision blues or cure a wide-ranging array of medical problems and social ills. The Scientific World Journal. According to the chair of hlues medicine at Vanderbilt University, Dr.
Altering his natural body would be a loss to women the world over.
- Altering his natural body would be a loss to women the world over.
- Adam R.
- Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin from the human penis.
- A circumcision that is too loose may not leave the glans completely uncovered - it will, in other words, be a partial circumcision.
- The prevalence of circumcision is the percentage of males in a given population who have been circumcised.
It is sad to see someone as able, and as obviously caring, as Giles Fraser making such absurd statements about circumcision Comment , 18 July.
He talks about circumcision as a "statement of identity" and about it "marking me out as belonging". Not long ago girls in China were "marked out as belonging" by having their feet bound, while in other parts of the world girls are "marked out as belonging" by having their genitalia mutilated in various ways.
Are these practices to be considered OK because they have been going on a long time and are supported in their communities? It may be politically impossible to enact or enforce laws banning circumcision on religious grounds but let us not pretend that barbaric practices like this are acceptable just because they are well-established.
It is also deeply troubling to see Fraser defending the indefensible because it is done by a group with which he feels moved to identify. A great deal of the evil in the world escapes condemnation for exactly this reason: too many Jews feel unable to condemn violence committed by the Israeli state and too many Muslims fail to condemn al-Qaida because of a wilful moral blindness.
If they ultimately reject Islam or Judaism, either as faiths or identities, they are left with an irrational physical mark that cannot be reversed. I write as an agnostic secularist, so suspect my views will carry little weight with devout Jews or Muslims, but in a wider sense they, like some of the Christian denominations, predominantly the Roman Catholic church, should not try to pre-empt the future convictions of their children before they are sufficiently mature to reach their own conclusions.
Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion considers the imposition of religious belief on children one of the main objections to theism. The solution for Jews and Muslims therefore seems obvious: wait until your child is able to make his own decision about circumcision and abide by it. Arthur Massey Bristol. Like many, he finds it difficult to envision a new post-Holocaust view of Jewish identity.
The legal argument in favour of a ban is robust. The removal of a foreskin is clearly an assault and it is an accepted tenet of law throughout the world that the newborn and young are incapable of informed consent.
Jewish argument in favour of circumcision is wreathed in sentiment and outdated notions of identity. If my novel Grosse Fugue is about anything, it's about the redefinition of identity in the light of what befell my people. No amount of religious indifference or even conversion provided immunity from murder. Increased observance since the Holocaust is merely a strand of denial, pretending that it never happened so that all that went before can continue unchallenged.
The defence of circumcision has to be seen in that light. Will the ban be overturned? Angela Merkel has promised legislation, based no doubt on her spurious notion that performance of the rite is a right. But that doesn't alter the fact the judgment was humane and legally correct. And it doesn't destroy the argument that no amount of hanging on to arcane superstitions can obviate debate about what the Holocaust actually means today.
Hopefully, a new sense of identity will soon begin to take shape, one that acknowledges the universality of the slaughter and the moral obligations that flow from that. When that happens, we Jews can perhaps focus on our shared heritage of justice, freedom of thought, the search for knowledge and the quest for personal liberty. Ian Phillips London. By the same token, the MMR vaccination routinely given to all babies in the UK counts as a similar infringement, as the babies in question have not given consent to being inflicted with the pain of an injection.
If the state wishes to supersede the rights of parents in deciding what's best for their children, we may as well put all our babies into care at birth.
Surely children's rights are entrusted to parents until they are mature enough to think for themselves. Religious practices can bind individuals to society and state.
The state would be foolish to try to alienate such a dynamic force for social cohesion. Despite your claim that female "circumcision" is in a place apart, nothing you put forward justifies that claim. Circumcision for both sexes is "cultural" and signifies belonging: except mutilation of boys is a monotheistic tradition and mutilation of girls isn't. No amount of moral relativism or ethical squirming will get you out of that dilemma.
Richard Gilyead Saffron Walden, Essex. How odd. With turbans, veils, kippahs and crosses, you can understand it — they make a visible identity statement. But circumcision? What does Rev Fraser do? Take it out every now and then to show whom he belongs with? Lynne Reid Banks Shepperton. If I shared his primitive superstition, I would marvel at his arrogant rejection of his god's anatomical design work.
Roger Nall Worcester. There have been five or six infant deaths from haemorrhage and infection linked to male circumcision since September , three of which went to inquest and were named by other newspapers, and one of which contributed to the suspension of a doctor. None of these deaths has been covered by the Guardian. If we're going to question issues of prejudice around the area of male circumcision, I think your newspaper has a case to answer.
In covering the Birmingham dentist's offer to remove a small area of nerve-rich female skin albeit without reporting his words, "something very, very superficial because I'm not going to cut the clitoris" in April, you didn't miss the chance to point out that female circumcision is " potentially fatal ' ".
But actual fatalities following excision of a larger area of nerve-rich male skin don't matter? How about we stop talking about antisemitism and Islamophobia, and begin a discussion about misandry? Laura MacDonald London.
Firstly, he says that circumcision is part of one's identity. This is fine when applied to an adult choosing to be circumcised, but we should not impose identity upon a child who cannot choose.
He criticises the whole idea of prioritising choice by saying the idea "concede s to the moral language of capitalism". This argument is absurd, and could be used to try to defend anything that someone wrongly believed should be done to children. He goes on to say that to abandon circumcision would be to give Hitler a posthumous victory, again because he sees circumcision as part of Jewish identity. This really is nonsense: the Nazis committed genocide, they did not stop people imposing an unnecessary medical procedure on children.
And if one's identity really is dependent on circumcision, then one can undergo the procedure as an adult. Circumcision is an irreversible mutilation. It should not be imposed on those who cannot consent to it, unless there is a medical need.
Richard Mountford Hildenborough, Kent. No child should ever be subjected to physical abuse for any reason. That statement goes without saying in civilised communities. Circumcision male or female is child abuse; unless the procedure is medically indicated and carried out by a competent qualified medical practitioner.
The practice of male or female circumcision for traditional or religious reasons has no legitimacy and is ethically and morally wrong. Female circumcision, in theory, is the removal of the clitoral hood foreskin without damage to the clitoris.
In reality the clitoris is damaged or destroyed and in many instances is deliberately destroyed in some cultures. Historically, these procedures were carried out in primitive settings, by tribal elders using a sharp stone. Mutilation of the clitoris was common. It is carried out to this day in numerous Muslim countries mainly in Africa even in hospital settings for religious reasons.
The same happens to male victims in Africa when the sharp stone used to perform this ritual in tribal areas, or the scalpel of a surgeon in a modern hospital, slips and cuts off the tip or the whole glans of the penis. In some Jewish communities including in the US the person trained in the practice of circumcision a mohel sucks the male baby's penis after the foreskin has been cut and removed. To me this is not only a deliberate wounding of a child but also sexual abuse.
There is no justification for allowing these practices to continue on religious or cultural grounds in any country. No one has the right to damage a child. Doug Scorgie London. Humans crave rituals of identity, whether religious or cultural and they should be respected, however irrational they seem to many of us.
But we should not impose ritual mutilation on those too young to give consent. Article 19 of the convention on the rights of the child commits states to protect children from physical and mental violence and injury. Let those, like Giles, who want to be circumcised for whatever reason consent to it.
Postpone the ritual to adulthood or at least an age when the individual understands what is happening and why. When I worked In Mozambique, 30 years ago, the government had an intelligent policy regarding circumcision traditionally done at about 16 years of age.
Health workers would provide hygienic, safer circumcision in hospital for free and the circumcised would donate blood to the hospital. Gabrielle Palmer Cambridge. Germany has the rule of law, a robust judiciary and a strong constitution with a commitment to human rights. Given the tenor of your comments one would be forgiven for thinking that no country would be suitable for this discussion.
The examples you give are disingenuous: the Swiss and French authorities arguably have a broader political aim than assimilation and there is a clear risk that the fear or distrust of otherness is influencing those policies.
However, neither of your examples minarets and veils is in the same category as mutilating a child for historic or religious reasons. Liberal civil society, if founded on the rule of law and universal human rights from birth, must be careful not to indulge too readily cultural relativism when faced with particular customs. One cannot believe you would adopt this stance if, for example, the Scientologists or other more recent religious or quasi-religious orders, introduced the practice.
You rightly put quotation marks around the female equivalent but that is because the two acts are so very different in detail and extent. What, however, they have in common is mutilation. You may say that that word is loaded but so is "circumcision" outwith the context of a medical procedure.
Giles Fraser condemns elsewhere in your paper the Cologne court's attitude, and liberal secular sensibilities generally, as placing undue emphasis on personal autonomy. Perversely he does so in a piece where he regrets not circumcising his son.
I repeat the point above: at what point does history alone justify the legality of these acts as one person's self-expression on another? David Stockley London. Topics Religion. Reuse this content.
Since then they have amended their policy statements several times, with the current recommendation being that the benefits outweigh the risks, but they do not recommend it routinely. The Scientific World Journal. Views Read View source View history. However, the judge allowed Banks 30 days to gather his documents and file an amendment lawsuit. Retrieved 30 November
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The maximum possible amount of inner foreskin has been removed along with the whole of the outer foreskin plus a considerable portion of shaft skin.
This tightens the residual shaft skin so that the sulcus is held fully open. In extreme cases a child's penis could appear to be shortened but the skin will stretch to permit a full erection. Much of the of inner foreskin has been retained, folded back on itself to face outwards and assume the role of shaft skin. The outer foreskin has been removed along with some shaft skin, but not enough to place the residue under tension.
Thus some surplus skin will bunch up in the sulcus. The outer foreskin has been removed as has a considerable amount of shaft skin. This tightens the residual shaft skin so that the sulcus is fully exposed. In extreme cases a child's flaccid penis may appear to be shortened. Proponents of the high style often assert that the exposed inner foreskin is for them a particularly erogenous zone, leading them to the conclusion that the high style is more sensitive than the low.
Only men who have been recircumcised can have experienced both states and they are few in number. Thus the gathering of scientifically reliable data on this issue is difficult; too small a sample and only subjective, narrative reports to work with.
Some micro-anatomical investigations have been conducted to determine the precise distribution of nerve endings within the penis and it is clear that the nerve endings responsible for sexual sensation, termed Genital Corpuscles, are confined to the penile glans and shaft.
Halata and Munger, ; Halata and Spaethe, , Cox et al , In extreme cases excessive skin removal can cause the penis to retract into the body cavity. Even so, the skin will in due course stretch and full-size erections will normally be possible, and post-puberty the penis will outgrow the problem.
Nevertheless the fact remains thet this is a botched circumcision, and very occasionally skin grafts are needed. The figure below shows how a tight circumcision should be done. Left, a properly performed "tight" infant circumcision. There is no surplus mobile skin on the shaft but neither is the skin under tension.
The coronal sulcus is completely exposed. As the boy grows up he will find that the skin is stretched tight with erections, but does not constrict them. Below, three looser styles. All four circumcisions were done by different doctors using different techniques and all are examples of well-done circumcisions. Photographs by D. Too high?
While many people favour retaining a lot of inner foreskin, this can sometimes cause problems. The inner skin is very thin and stretchable and if there happens to be a lot of post-operative swelling it can permanently stretch the skin, leaving it loose and puffy right.
This has no effect on penile function, but is can appear unsightly. This an extremely sensitive area, but the nerves are not in the frenulum, they reside in the glans below it. The sensitivity remains after removal of the frenulum. There are two caveats here.
One is that a particularly thick or restrictive frenulum may prevent adequate stimulation. The other is that a thick scar from frenulum removal may have the same effect. When a 'low and tight' circumcision is done the remaining skin can be trimmed to a 'V' which will fit the space where the frenulum was.
This gives smooth skin over the sensitive area and optimal sensitivity. Note also that, when circumcision takes place in infancy, it is difficult to predict the outcome as regards the frenulum. In the newborn, it is not well developed. Even if it is retained, it may fail to develop further after circumcision.
Male circumcision provides only indirect HIV protection for heterosexual women. Human papillomavirus HPV is the most commonly transmitted sexually transmitted infection , affecting both men and women. While most infections are asymptomatic and are cleared by the immune system , some types of the virus cause genital warts , and other types, if untreated, cause various forms of cancer, including cervical cancer , and penile cancer.
Genital warts and cervical cancer are the two most common problems resulting from HPV. Circumcision is associated with a reduced prevalence of oncogenic types of HPV infection, meaning that a randomly selected circumcised man is less likely to be found infected with cancer-causing types of HPV than an uncircumcised man. Although genital warts are caused by a type of HPV, there is no statistically significant relationship between being circumcised and the presence of genital warts.
Studies evaluating the effect of circumcision on the rates of other sexually transmitted infections have generally, found it to be protective.
A meta-analysis found that circumcision was associated with lower rates of syphilis , chancroid and possibly genital herpes. Phimosis is the inability to retract the foreskin over the glans penis.
An inflammation of the glans penis and foreskin is called balanoposthitis, and the condition affecting the glans alone is called balanitis. Yeasts, especially Candida albicans , are the most common penile infection and are rarely identified in samples taken from circumcised males. A UTI affects parts of the urinary system including the urethra, bladder, and kidneys. There is about a one percent risk of UTIs in boys under two years of age, and the majority of incidents occur in the first year of life.
There is good but not ideal evidence that circumcision of babies reduces the incidence of UTIs in boys under two years of age, and there is fair evidence that the reduction in incidence is by a factor of 3—10 times circumcisions prevents one UTI.
There is a plausible biological explanation for the reduction in UTI risk after circumcision. The orifice through which urine passes at the tip of the penis the urinary meatus hosts more urinary system disease-causing bacteria in uncircumcised boys than in circumcised boys, especially in those under six months of age.
As these bacteria are a risk factor for UTIs, circumcision may reduce the risk of UTIs through a decrease in the bacterial population. Circumcision has a protective effect against the risks of penile cancer in men, and cervical cancer in the female sexual partners of heterosexual men. Penile cancer is rare, with about 1 new case per , people per year in developed countries, and higher incidence rates per , in sub-Saharan Africa for example: 1.
Penile cancer development can be detected in the carcinoma in situ CIS cancerous precursor stage and at the more advanced invasive squamous cell carcinoma stage. Important risk factors for penile cancer include phimosis and HPV infection, both of which are mitigated by circumcision. This can be inferred from study results that show uncircumcised men with no history of phimosis are equally likely to have penile cancer as circumcised men.
There is some evidence that circumcision is associated with lower risk of prostate cancer. A meta-analysis found a reduced risk of prostate cancer associated with circumcision in black men.
A systematic review found consistent evidence that male circumcision prior to heterosexual contact was associated with a decreased risk of cervical cancer, cervical dysplasia , HSV-2, chlamydia, and syphilis among women. The evidence was less consistent in regards to the potential association of circumcision with women's risk of HPV and HIV. Neonatal circumcision is generally safe when done by an experienced practitioner.
Effective pain management should be used. The highest quality evidence indicates that circumcision does not decrease the sensitivity of the penis, harm sexual function or reduce sexual satisfaction. However, the study found that the existing evidence is not very good. Behavioral effects have been observed following infant circumcision including changes in sleep patterns, irritability, changes in feeding, and parental bonding.
Circumcision is one of the world's most widely performed procedures. Prevalence is near-universal in the Middle East and Central Asia. The rates of routine neonatal circumcision over time have varied significantly by country. In the United States, hospital discharge surveys estimated rates at One possible reason may have been a British Medical Journal article which stated that there was no medical reason for the general circumcision of babies.
Medical organizations can affect the neonatal circumcision rate of a country by influencing whether the costs of the procedure are borne by the parents or are covered by insurance or a national health care system. Policies that require the costs to be paid by the parents yield lower neonatal circumcision rates. The decline in the rates in the UK is one example; another is that in the United States, the individual states where insurance or Medicaid covers the costs have higher rates.
Changes to policy are driven by the results of new research, and moderated by the politics, demographics, and culture of the communities. Circumcision is the world's oldest planned surgical procedure, suggested by anatomist and hyperdiffusionist historian Grafton Elliot Smith to be over 15, years old, pre-dating recorded history. There is no firm consensus as to how it came to be practiced worldwide.
One theory is that it began in one geographic area and spread from there; another is that several different cultural groups began its practice independently. In his work History of Circumcision , physician Peter Charles Remondino suggested that it began as a less severe form of emasculating a captured enemy: penectomy or castration would likely have been fatal, while some form of circumcision would permanently mark the defeated yet leave him alive to serve as a slave.
The history of the migration and evolution of the practice of circumcision is followed mainly through the cultures and peoples in two separate regions. In the lands south and east of the Mediterranean, starting with Sudan and Ethiopia, the procedure was practiced by the ancient Egyptians and the Semites , and then by the Jews and Muslims, with whom the practice travelled to and was adopted by the Bantu Africans.
In Oceania, circumcision is practiced by the Australian Aborigines and Polynesians. Evidence suggests that circumcision was practiced in the Arabian Peninsula by the 4th millennium BCE, when the Sumerians and the Semites moved into the area that is modern-day Iraq. Circumcision was done by the Egyptians possibly for hygienic reasons, but also was part of their obsession with purity and was associated with spiritual and intellectual development.
No well-accepted theory explains the significance of circumcision to the Egyptians, but it appears to have been endowed with great honor and importance as a rite of passage into adulthood, performed in a public ceremony emphasizing the continuation of family generations and fertility. It may have been a mark of distinction for the elite: the Egyptian Book of the Dead describes the sun god Ra as having circumcised himself. Though secular scholars consider the story to be literary and not historical,  circumcision features prominently in the Hebrew Bible.
The narrative in Genesis chapter 17 describes the circumcision of Abraham and his relatives and slaves. In the same chapter, Abraham's descendants are commanded to circumcise their sons on the eighth day of life as part of a covenant with God.
In addition to proposing that circumcision was taken up by the Israelites purely as a religious mandate, scholars have suggested that Judaism's patriarchs and their followers adopted circumcision to make penile hygiene easier in hot, sandy climates; as a rite of passage into adulthood; or as a form of blood sacrifice. The Greeks abhorred circumcision, making life for circumcised Jews living among the Greeks and later the Romans very difficult.
Antiochus Epiphanes outlawed circumcision, as did Hadrian , which helped cause the Bar Kokhba revolt. During this period in history, Jewish circumcision called for the removal of only a part of the prepuce, and some Hellenized Jews attempted to look uncircumcised by stretching the extant parts of their foreskins.
This was considered by the Jewish leaders to be a serious problem, and during the 2nd century CE they changed the requirements of Jewish circumcision to call for the complete removal of the foreskin,  emphasizing the Jewish view of circumcision as intended to be not just the fulfillment of a Biblical commandment but also an essential and permanent mark of membership in a people.
A narrative in the Christian Gospel of Luke makes a brief mention of the circumcision of Jesus , but the subject of physical circumcision itself is not part of the received teachings of Jesus.
Paul the Apostle reinterpreted circumcision as a spiritual concept, arguing the physical one to be unnecessary for Gentile converts to Christianity. The teaching that physical circumcision was unnecessary for membership in a divine covenant was instrumental in the separation of Christianity from Judaism.
Although it is not explicitly mentioned in the Quran early 7th century CE , circumcision is considered essential to Islam, and it is nearly universally performed among Muslims.
Genghis Khan and the following Yuan Emperors in China forbade Islamic practices such as halal butchering and circumcision. The practice of circumcision is thought to have been brought to the Bantu-speaking tribes of Africa by either the Jews after one of their many expulsions from European countries, or by Muslim Moors escaping after the conquest of Spain. These people moved south and formed what is known today as the Bantu. Bantu tribes were observed to be upholding what was described as Jewish law, including circumcision, in the 16th century.
Circumcision and elements of Jewish dietary restrictions are still found among Bantu tribes. Circumcision is practiced by some groups amongst Australian Aboriginal peoples, Polynesians , and Native Americans. Little information is available about the origins and history of circumcision among these peoples, compared to circumcision in the Middle East. For Aboriginal Australians and Polynesians, circumcision likely started as a blood sacrifice and a test of bravery and became an initiation rite with attendant instruction in manhood in more recent centuries.
Often seashells were used to remove the foreskin, and the bleeding was stopped with eucalyptus smoke. Christopher Columbus reported circumcision being practiced by Native Americans. It probably started among South American tribes as a blood sacrifice or ritual mutilation to test bravery and endurance, and its use later evolved into a rite of initiation.
Circumcision did not become a common medical procedure in the Anglophone world until the late 19th century. In , Sayre began using circumcision as a purported cure for several cases of young boys diagnosed with paralysis or significant motor problems. He thought the procedure ameliorated such problems based on a "reflex neurosis" theory of disease, which held that excessive stimulation of the genitals was a disturbance to the equilibrium of the nervous system and a cause of systemic problems.
Sayre published works on the subject and promoted it energetically in speeches. Contemporary physicians picked up on Sayre's new treatment, which they believed could prevent or cure a wide-ranging array of medical problems and social ills.
By the turn of the century infant circumcision was near universally recommended in America and Great Britain. After the end of World War II , Britain implemented a National Health Service , and so looked to ensure that each medical procedure covered by the new system was cost-effective and the procedure for non-medical reasons was not covered by the national healthcare system. Douglas Gairdner 's article "The Fate of the Foreskin" argued that the evidence available at that time showed that the risks outweighed the known benefits.
In the s, national medical associations in Australia and Canada issued recommendations against routine infant circumcision, leading to drops in the rates of both of those countries. The United States made similar statements in the s, but stopped short of recommending against it, simply stating that it has no medical benefit.
Since then they have amended their policy statements several times, with the current recommendation being that the benefits outweigh the risks, but they do not recommend it routinely. An association between circumcision and reduced heterosexual HIV infection rates was suggested in In some cultures, males are generally required to be circumcised shortly after birth, during childhood or around puberty as part of a rite of passage.
Circumcision is commonly practiced in the Jewish and Islamic faiths. The basis for its observance is found in the Torah of the Hebrew Bible, in Genesis chapter 17, in which a covenant of circumcision is made with Abraham and his descendants. Jewish circumcision is part of the brit milah ritual, to be performed by a specialist ritual circumciser, a mohel , on the eighth day of a newborn son's life, with certain exceptions for poor health.
Jewish law requires that the circumcision leaves the glans bare when the penis is flaccid. Converts to Conservative and Orthodox Judaism must also be circumcised; those who are already circumcised undergo a symbolic circumcision ritual. Circumcision is not required by Judaism for one to be considered Jewish, but some adherents foresee serious negative spiritual consequences if it is neglected. According to traditional Jewish law, in the absence of an adult free Jewish male expert, a woman, a slave, or a child who has the required skills is also authorized to perform the circumcision, provided that they are Jewish.
This ceremony of brit shalom is not officially approved of by the Reform or Reconstructionist rabbinical organizations, who make the recommendation that male infants should be circumcised, though the issue of converts remains controversial   and circumcision of converts is not mandatory in either movement.
Although there is some debate within Islam over whether it is a religious requirement, circumcision called khitan is practiced nearly universally by Muslim males. Islam bases its practice of circumcision on the Genesis 17 narrative, the same Biblical chapter referred to by Jews.
The procedure is not explicitly mentioned in the Quran, however, it is a tradition established by Islam's prophet Muhammad directly following Abraham , and so its practice is considered a sunnah prophet's tradition and is very important in Islam. For Muslims, circumcision is also a matter of cleanliness, purification and control over one's baser self nafs.
There is no agreement across the many Islamic communities about the age at which circumcision should be performed. It may be done from soon after birth up to about age 15; most often it is performed at around six to seven years of age. The timing can correspond with the boy's completion of his recitation of the whole Quran, with a coming-of-age event such as taking on the responsibility of daily prayer or betrothal. Circumcision may be celebrated with an associated family or community event.
Circumcision is recommended for, but is not required of, converts to Islam. The New Testament chapter Acts 15 records that Christianity did not require circumcision.
In the Catholic Church banned the practice of religious circumcision in the 11th Council of Florence  and currently maintains a neutral position on the practice of non-religious circumcision. Certain African cultural groups, such as the Yoruba and the Igbo of Nigeria, customarily circumcise their infant sons. The procedure is also practiced by some cultural groups or individual family lines in the Sudan, Zaire, Uganda and in southern Africa.
For some of these groups, circumcision appears to be purely cultural, done with no particular religious significance or intention to distinguish members of a group.
For others, circumcision might be done for purification, or it may be interpreted as a mark of subjugation. Among these groups, even when circumcision is done for reasons of tradition, it is often done in hospitals. It is also used for distinguished age groups. This is usually done after every fifteen years where a new "age set" are formed. The new members are to undergo initiation at the same time. Whenever new age groups are initiated, they will become novice warriors and replace the previous group.
The new initiates will be given a unique name that will be an important marker of the history of the Maasai. No anesthesia is used, and initiates have to endure the pain or be called flinchers. In doing so, young boys will announce to their family members when they are ready for circumcision by singing. The sacrifice is the blood spilt during the initiation procedure. Young boys will be considered an "outsiders" unless they undergo circumcision. Some Australian Aborigines use circumcision as a test of bravery and self-control as a part of a rite of passage into manhood, which results in full societal and ceremonial membership.
It may be accompanied by body scarification and the removal of teeth, and may be followed later by penile subincision. Circumcision is one of many trials and ceremonies required before a youth is considered to have become knowledgeable enough to maintain and pass on the cultural traditions. During these trials, the maturing youth bonds in solidarity with the men. Circumcision is also strongly associated with a man's family, and it is part of the process required to prepare a man to take a wife and produce his own family.
In the Philippines, circumcision known as "tuli" is sometimes viewed as a rite of passage. The practice date back to the arrival of Islam in Pressure to be circumcised is in the language: the Tagalog word for 'uncircumcised', is supot means 'coward'. A circumcised eight or ten year-old is no longer considered a boy and is given more adult roles in the family and society. There is a long-running and vigorous debate over ethical concerns regarding circumcision, particularly neonatal circumcision for reasons other than intended direct medical benefit.
There are three parties involved in the decision to circumcise a minor: the minor as the patient, the parents or other guardians and the physician. The physician is bound under the ethical principles of beneficence promoting well-being and non-maleficence "first, do no harm" , and so is charged with the responsibility to promote the best interests of the patient while minimizing unnecessary harms.
Those involved must weigh the factors of what is in the best interest of the minor against the potential harms of the procedure. With a newborn involved, the decision is made more complex due to the principles of respect for autonomy and consent, as a newborn cannot understand or engage in a logical discussion of his own values and best interests. Ethicists and legal theorists also state that it is questionable for parents to make a decision for the child that precludes the child from making a different decision for himself later.
Such a question can be raised for the decision by the parents either to circumcise or not to circumcise the child.
Generally, circumcision on a minor is not ethically controversial or legally questionable when there is a clear and pressing medical indication for which it is the accepted best practice to resolve. Where circumcision is the chosen intervention, the physician has an ethical responsibility to ensure the procedure is performed competently and safely to minimize potential harms. Throughout society, circumcision is often considered for reasons other than medical need.
Public health advocates of circumcision consider it to have a net benefit, and therefore feel that increasing the circumcision rate is an ethical imperative. They recommend performing the procedure during the neonatal period when it is less expensive and has a lower risk of complications.
Pinto writes "sober proponents and detractors of circumcision agree that there is no overwhelming medical evidence to support either side. Parents are assumed to have the child's best interests in mind. Ethically, it is imperative that the medical practitioner inform the parents about the benefits and risks of the procedure and obtain informed consent before performing it.
Practically, however, many parents come to a decision about circumcising the child before he is born, and a discussion of the benefits and risks of the procedure with a physician has not been shown to have a significant effect on the decision. Some parents request to have their newborn or older child circumcised for non-therapeutic reasons, such as the parents' desires to adhere to family tradition, cultural norms or religious beliefs. In considering such a request, the physician may consider in addition to any potential medical benefits and harms such non-medical factors in determining the child's best interests and may ethically perform the procedure.
Equally, without a clear medical benefit relative to the potential harms, a physician may take the ethical position that non-medical factors do not contribute enough as benefits to outweigh the potential harms and refuse to perform the procedure. Medical organization such as the British Medical Association state that their member physicians are not obliged to perform the procedure in such situations.
In the International NGO Council on Violence against Children identified non-therapeutic circumcision of infants and boys as being among harmful practices that constitute violence against children and violate their rights. The cost-effectiveness of circumcision has been studied to determine whether a policy of circumcising all newborns or a policy of promoting and providing inexpensive or free access to circumcision for all adult men who choose it would result in lower overall societal healthcare costs.
The overall cost-effectiveness of neonatal circumcision has also been studied in the United States, which has a different cost setting from Africa in areas such as public health infrastructure, availability of medications, and medical technology and the willingness to use it. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about male circumcision. For female circumcision, see Female genital mutilation. Removal of the foreskin from the human penis. A circumcision performed in Central Asia, c.
Main article: Circumcision surgical procedure. Main article: Circumcision and HIV. Main article: Prevalence of circumcision.
Main article: History of circumcision. See also: Religious male circumcision. Main article: Brit milah. Main article: Khitan circumcision. Main article: Tuli rite. Main article: Ethics of circumcision. See also: Circumcision controversies and Circumcision and law. Rudolph's Pediatrics, 22nd Edition. McGraw-Hill Companies, Incorporated. Archived from the original on 18 January Archived from the original on World Health Organization.
Archived PDF from the original on Illustrated Textbook of Paediatrics, Fourth edition. Although routine neonatal circumcision is still common in some Western countries such as the USA, the arguments generally used to justify on medical grounds have been discredited and no national or international medical association currently advocates routine neonatal circumcision.
McGraw Hill Professional. In Bolnick, David A. Surgical Guide to Circumcision. London: Springer. Outside of strategic regions in sub-Saharan Africa, no call for routine circumcision has been made by any established medical organizations or governmental bodies.
Pediatric Clinics of North America. Cambridge University Press. World Journal of Urology. Siegfried, Nandi ed. March Current Opinion in Urology. BJU International. J Am Osteopath Assoc. The Lancet Global Health. BMC Urol. Sadeghi-Nejad et al. Doyle et al.
Couples often ask about circumcision. Here are some facts to help you decide. Circumcision is cutting away part of the foreskin, the skin that covers the glans, or head, of the penis. It is usually done before the baby leaves the hospital. Your obstetrician and pediatrician can offer you information about the risks and benefits of this procedure.
Parents usually make their choice in accordance with their religion, culture or tradition. The baby will be securely held during the procedure.
Anesthesia use is specific to individual physicians. Talk to your obstetrician or pediatrician prior to the procedure concerning anesthesia options.
The circumcision is usually done by the obstetrician. The most common method of circumcision involves clamping the foreskin and using a thin probe to free up the normal adhesions and tissue connections between the foreskin and the head of the penis. A device is placed over the head of the penis for protection, and the foreskin is clamped and cut away. Any surgery carries risks. Although rare, bleeding, infection, and injury to the penis can occur.
The area that was cut may be sore for several days before it heals. Ointment and gauze may be placed over the area to protect it from rubbing against the diaper. If you opt not to circumcise your newborn son, you should wash the outside of the penis with soap and water.
No attempt should be made to retract pull back the foreskin, which may not be completely retractable until the child is three years old, or even older. This is normal. Your son should be taught to wash his penis, including the area beneath the foreskin once it has begun to retract. You should encourage this in the same way you would other routines, such as brushing his teeth.