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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.

Since the late 19th century 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.
Today parents are carefully weighing the pros and cons of circumcision before choosing what is best for their son. Many are asking questions such as:
What are the medical benefits?
What will happen if my son isn't circumcised?
Is it painful?
Can it be done after infancy?
Furthermore, and especially in the light of recent medical discoveries, many adult males who did not benefit from infant circumcision are considering having this procedure performed despite it being more complex to do post-puberty. Naturally they too want to know more about it.

Take time to explore the many interesting and educational areas of this web site. It is updated frequently on the basis of messages from corrrespondents around the globe. The result is a wide variety of information including personal opinions, medical facts, statistics and recent medical news.

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 in which the hood over the female's clitoris (the clitoral prepuce) is removed - 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)
20th Mar 2019 New addition to our Quirky Circumcision art page - circumcised Mercury now, and in Budapest of all places! Also, ongoing incremental updates to our Instruments and Techniques page - I shall only flag major ones here but if your interests lie in this area do check it out from time to time.
9th Feb 2019 New contribution to our Readers' Images section in our Illustrated Penile Anatomy page. Italian reader Davide sends some intriguing pictures of his infant circumcision. Also an upgrade to our Singapore page.
4th Feb 2019 Major revision of our Circumcision in Art page. It is now separated from our History page and in due course will have a separate menu listing om the left. New additions from different historical periods and a new sub-page on Quirky Depictions of circumcision has been added. Circumcised, Cupid?? Circumcised Adam??
14th Jan 2019Updates to our Instruments and Techniques page. Two new techniques - Dorsal Slit and Laser Circumcision, two new instruments - Rapideclamp and ZSR Anastomat, new operating techniqure for the Shang Ring and other minor updates.
13th Jan 2019 A new addition to our Readers' Images section on our Illustrated Penile Anatomy page. Reader JTT wonders how his circumcision was done - it has a brownish scar but the scar line is definitely not Gomco.
11th Dec 2018 New additions to our Preferences and Experience page. A fun photo in the Women's section, and a young Australian man tells how he was circumcised twice - and then had his frenulum removed. (Click the 'newest' link to go to this story).

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

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