Circumcision  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In males, the act of excising or amputating the foreskin or prepuce from the penis. In females, the act of excising tissue from the vulva of the female.

History

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, as a means of suppressing or enhancing sexual pleasure, as an aid to hygiene where regular bathing was impractical, as a means of marking those of lower or higher social status, 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, to remove "excess" pleasure, to increase a man's attractiveness to women, as a symbolic castration, 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 the rare natural occurrence of a missing foreskin of an important leader and simple disgust of smegma. It has been suggested that the custom of circumcision gave advantages to tribes that practiced it and thus led to its spread regardless of whether the people understood this. It is possible that circumcision arose independently in different cultures for different reasons. Biblical circumcision was an expression that a man had chosen to live his life for God and could control his own body.

See also

In fiction




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Circumcision" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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