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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 it 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.

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 most recent changes to the website, not including the news page:
Date added Item (click the link to access directly)
19th Sept 2023 A US man was not circumcised at birth since he was premature. However, he later suffered multiple infections and eventiually got circumcised during his military service. Read his story in our Preferences and Experiences page.
4th Aug 2023 A bisexual Melbourne man is persuaded by his German/Turkish father-in-law to get himself and his three sons circumcised - in Germany! Read his story in our Preferences and Experiences page.
13th May 2023 A new link in our Recommended Websites - Newborn Circumcision - a very comprehensive help site for parents considering circumcision for their newborn son. Also a new device - the weeBELL in our Instruments and Techniques page.
4th Apr 2023 A couple of new pictures in our Art page. Leonardo's 'Madonna of the Carnation' in the Renaissance section appears, remarkably, to show a circumcised baby Jesus. In the Modern section is a tender lithograph by David Hockney of his lover Gregory Evans. Also a new addition to our Recommended Websites - Giddy, which has a very matter of fact view of circumcision, and lots of other good stuff.
20th Feb 2023 Reader Peter D. has responded the message on our Ireland page asking for more information. Read his amusing story (quite different from the previous one from Paul). Go to the page and scroll down to Personal testimonies. This has inspired another Irish reader, James H, who was circumcised last month, to add another brief contribution (Feb. 23).
7th Feb 2023 A British man who has diabetes is considering getting circumcised to avoid the problems that can be caused by sugar in the urine. Read his story in our Preferences and Experiences page. Maybe we'll see an update if he does get snipped.
19th Jan 2023 A shy Asian/Indian girl didn't find sex very interesting until she went to the USA to pursue a higher degree and encountered American boys. A very welcome female contribution to our Preferences and Experiences page.

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

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