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?
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?
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:
||Item (click the link to access directly)|
|14th Jun 2018||New page on West Africa added to our Rites and Practices section. Circumcision in infancy or childhood is well-nigh universal there.
|5th Jun 2018
||Brand new page on South Africa in our Rites and Practices section. Medical and ritual circumcision in the time of AIDS. |
|7th May 2018||
Two new additions to the Surveys page. A compilation of teenager' views, made by regular contributor JH, using data from the Teen Hut site, and a 1992 refereed journal paper on the knowledge and opinions of 11-14 year old American boys. (The latter has been sitting in the to-do list for a while!)
|23rd Apr 2018||Substantial new page on Kenya. Read all about the Maasai, Kikuyu and Luo peoples. More African pages are planned - we have been lacking in coverage of the African continent, where humanity and circumcision originated. |
|19th Apr 2018||
New additions to the Preferences and Experiences page. A link to English columnist Giles Coren's circumcision decision when his son was born, and a new US story of a man who passed as circumcised from age 5 through adulthoood - and then eventually did get done. |
|10th Feb 2018||
Major revision to our
Finland page. Yet more legal issues, and a teenager suggests that circumcision might be more common there than we had thought. |
15 million circumcisions per year, each taking about 20 minutes, means that approximately 500 males are being circumcised right now.