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3 Bumps

Why did people begin to circumcise infants?

What is the history? Why?


Asked by 1northwestmom at 1:38 PM on Jun. 6, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 17 (3,670 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (23)
  • Circumcision is not "healthier".

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:55 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • Yep, it was started as a way to separate the Israelite men from non-Israelite men on a physical level. It was a mark of their faith in their God. However it was adopted by Christianity and society as a whole in an effort to keep infections down. We do have to remember that through the Middle ages and even the Victorian age bathing was something that was rare. Queen Victoria was quoted as saying she bathed once a month whether she needed it or not... So think about what the "rabble" were doing if the royalty was only bathing once a month... Today's research both backs and rejects the practice, and some people continue to practice for religious reasons... It started as a "mark of God" and today is simply the norm.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 2:16 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • "Why does it piss people off if someone's child'd foreskin is removed or not???"

    Actually, the hostility usually comes from the anti-circumcision side. They are really the ones that attack the opposite choice, whether those who choose to circumcise usually don't care what others choose to do. Personally, being an observant Jew, it was a given, both my boys had a bris. I also happen to believe that, religion aside, it's a very positive parental decisions and that the benefits do outweigh the risks. However, not everyone has to agree with that perception and if someone chooses not to circumcise their boys, that's perfectly ok. I have absolutely no issues with either choice, but I do have a lot of issues with people coming up to me telling me my boys are "mutilated" and "damaged"and that I have no respect for their individuality and rights and they'll grow up to hate my guts.


    Answer by momto2boys973 at 3:47 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • Anon, and all of those who voted down MommaWoods up there, I hate to break it to you, but yes, it has been proven to be healthier!

    Getting circumcised will result in:
    • Having to go through a very minor surgical procedure that carries with it small risks.
    • Much lower risk of urinary tract infections.
    • Much lower chance of acquiring HIV, the AIDS virus, heterosexually.
    • Virtually complete elimination of the risk of invasive penile cancer.
    • Slightly lower risk of prostate cancer.
    • Much lower risk of cervical cancer and Chlamydia (and thus infertility and other problems) in the female sexual partner.

    I can provide numbers if you wish, but overall it's healthier. It's not risk free, but obviously, neither is skipping it...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 2:22 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • As far as I know it was a practice instituted by the Jews in response to Gods command. It would be hard to prove who actually started the practice.

    Answer by quinnmommy at 1:40 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • I honestly do not know how/why it started.

    I will say this though. I personally believe it is religious/cultural based. My religion/culture (and my husband's) does not circumcise (Hindu/Sikh/Hindustani). The only people I know personally who have circumcised have done so for religious reasons.

    Answer by pixie_trix at 1:45 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • You are naive to think that people don't circ their boys because they think it is more sanitary. That is absolutely part of why they made their decision. What we have learned is that uncut boys can be just as clean and healthy.  People have been taught all their lives one thing, getting the word out is difficult.


    Answer by ochsamom at 2:19 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • There are numbers on both sides. What I do not understand is the hostility on both sides. Where does the anger come from? Make informed thoughtful decisions for your child and I will do the same. What we want is the same, happy and healthy children. Why does it piss people off if someone's child'd foreskin is removed or not???

    Answer by ochsamom at 2:37 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • Since you're asking this in the Religious section, I'll give you a religious answer. Circumcision appears in the book of Genesis as the way G-d made a covenant with Abraham and his descendants. To be precise, you can find it in Genesis 17:9-14, where the commandment to circumcise every male child on the 8th day is given.
    Muslims also practice circumcision because they're also descendants of Abraham through Ishmael. In Christianity there are differing views with some thinking that since Jesus was circumcised, it's the appropriate thing to do and others beliving that since Jesus abolished the OT laws, that it's not necessary.


    Answer by momto2boys973 at 3:43 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • ain article: History of male circumcision
    The origination of male circumcision is not known with certainty. It has been variously proposed that it began as a religious sacrifice, as a rite of passage marking a boy's entrance into adulthood, as a form of sympathetic magic to ensure virility or fertility, as a means of enhancing sexual pleasure, as an aid to hygiene where regular bathing was impractical, as a means of marking those of higher social status, as a means of humiliating enemies and slaves by symbolic castration, as a means of differentiating a circumcising group from their non-circumcising neighbors, as a means of discouraging masturbation or other socially proscribed sexual behaviors, as a means of removing "excess" pleasure, as a means of increasing a man's attractiveness to women, as a demonstration of one's ability to endure pain, or as a male counterpart to menstruation or the breaking of the hymen, or to copy

    Answer by ochsamom at 2:11 PM on Jun. 6, 2011