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Nowhere else will you find as comprehensive a source of information on circumcision
Male circumcision is one of the oldest known surgical procedures. It has been widely practiced as a religious rite since ancient times. An essential initiatory rite of Judaism and the Coptic branch of the Christian Church, male circumcision is also an obligation for Muslims, signifying cleanliness and purification. It has been, and often still is, a traditional practice of societies around the globe.

European cave paintings approximately 15,000 years old appear to show circumcised penises, but not the act of circumcision itself. Even older Australian cave art has been interpreted as indicating a circumcision site. However, the earliest direct evidence of the practice comes from ancient Egypt in the form of pictures and texts dating from 4,500 - 5,000 years ago. Egyptian circumcision had a religious significance; only circumcised men could perform some religious rites and study certain mysteries, but is seems to have been common among the general population.

More recently circumcision has also been carried out for its health and cleanliness benefits. In the English speaking countries circumcision became very popular for these reasons; it has now become routine in Korea and is gaining in popularity in China. There are large-scale circumcision projects to combat the AIDS epidemic in those parts of Africa where circumcision is not traditional. Worldwide, approximately one in three men are circumcised. This makes male circumcision the most commonly performed surgical procedure on the planet.
Latest news about circumcision from around the world.
Take time to explore the many interesting and educational areas of this web site. It contains a wide variety of information including personal experiences, medical facts, statistics, historical and anthropological information and recent medical news. Your needs may be immediate - considering circumcison for yourself or your son - or academic, or just general interest. As the buttons on the left show, all these aspects are covered. The site is updated frequently and we acknowledge the support from our worldwide network of correspondents in making this possible.

MISSION STATEMENT
Circlist is an information site, not an advocacy site. We totally respect that some people are opposed to circumcision. However, as an information site we will always correct false statements and alt-news which might discourage men from having a procedure which could benefit them or make circumcised men feel bad about their status.



What is male circumcision? male symbol (10949 bytes)
At birth, boys usually have a sleeve of skin that covers the end of the penis. This is called the foreskin or prepuce. During circumcision the foreskin is removed so that the knob of the penis (the glans), includinng the opening through which the boy urinates (the urethral meatus) is exposed. If circumcision is performed during infancy or childhood, it only takes a few minutes.

For Jewish families, a specially trained religious person called a Mohel does the circumcision as part of a ceremony called a Bris, held on the eighth day of life. Circumcision is also routinely performed on the sons of those of the Islamic faith, typically when a boy is between 5 and 10 years of age. In the United States non-religious circumcision is usually done by a doctor in the first few days of life; other countries also perform the procedure for non-religious reasons as a matter of social custom.

Circumcision can be performed on men and boys of all ages, using a wide variety of devices specially designed to make the task quick and accurate.



What is female circumcision?
gold female symbol (2864 bytes)
The term female circumcision properly refers to a surgical procedure (also known as hoodectomy) in which the hood over the clitoris (the clitoral prepuce) is either removed or slit - and nothing more. It is performed in some Muslim countries by tradition. In the west it is done either for medical reasons or (often in conjunction with labioplasty - reduction of the inner lips) for cosmetic reasons and to enhance sexual pleasure.

However, the term is often incorrectly applied to drastic ritual procedures carried out in parts of North Africa which remove the entire clitoris. In parts of Somalia and Sudan this is combined with infibulation the labia to prevent intercourse. Such operations are properly termed Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

It must be clearly understood that the owner, editor, artist and volunteer helpers who administer this web site are totally opposed to all forms of Female Genital Mutilation.



What’s new ?

The 6 most recent changes to the website, not including the news page:
Date added Item (click the link to access directly)
8th Dec. 2019 Updates to our Circumcision in Art page. A lovely, tender beach scene of two children by Australian Arthur Murch (1902-1989) in our Modern Art section, and a rather eccentric sculpture illustrating Dante's Commedia Divina by fellow Aussie John Winch in our Quirky section.
19th Nov 2019 Another new story - a young man who always wears his foreskin retracted but is considering having that state made permanent and irreversible. Read it here. (Scroll up for the other two recent entries listed below.)
3rd Nov 2019 A Sydney man describes growing up circumcised in Sydney after it had ceased to be routine. It seems it was still favoured sexually by both boys and girls. Read his story here.
8th Oct 2019At age 11 an English schoolboy converted to Islam and was circumcised when his mother married a Muslim man. Read his story in our Preferences and Experiences page. (Scroll up two from the latest entry.)
18th Aug 2019 Major restructuring of our Reviews page. It is now separated into 3 sections - Novels, Movies and Photobooks. Three new additions to the Photobooks section. Thanks to regular contributot JH for two of these.
22nd July 2019 New addition, Polynesia, to our Rites and Practices page. Polynesia, earthly paradise for Gaugin and Robert Louis Stevenson, favourite holiday destination for many, has circumcision as a very important part of its culture.



15 million circumcisions per year, each taking about 20 minutes, means that approximately 500 males are being circumcised right now.



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