Circumcision is a common medical procedure where the foreskin of the penis is removed. The practice has been carried out by various cultures around the world for centuries. While it is a routine medical procedure in some countries, in others, it is associated with religious and cultural practices.
In this article, we will take a look at the countries where circumcision is performed, the reasons behind the practice, and the controversy surrounding it.
The Origins of Circumcision
The origins of circumcision are difficult to trace, but the practice is believed to have begun around 15,000 years ago. Some researchers suggest that circumcision began as a form of initiation into manhood, while others believe it was meant to serve as a rite of purification.
The practice is widely associated with the Jewish and Muslim faiths, where it is considered a requirement. It is also a common practice among African ethnic groups, where it is often done as a part of traditional cultural practices.
The Prevalence of Circumcision Globally
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately one-third of males globally are circumcised. The prevalence of circumcision varies widely from one country to another, with some countries having a high prevalence while others have none at all.
Below are some of the countries where circumcision is most prevalent:
|Country||Prevalence of Circumcision|
It is worth noting that the prevalence of circumcision is often tied to cultural and religious practices. For example, circumcision is a common practice among Jews and Muslims, while it is less prevalent among other religious groups.
The United States
In the United States, circumcision has been a routine medical procedure for many years. It is estimated that approximately 81% of males in the United States are circumcised. The practice is not associated with any particular religious or cultural practices, and it is often performed shortly after birth.
There is some controversy surrounding circumcision in the United States. Some argue that the procedure is medically unnecessary and can lead to complications, while others argue that it provides health benefits such as reducing the risk of sexually transmitted infections.
Circumcision is a common practice among Jews in Israel, where it is considered a religious requirement. Approximately 73% of males in Israel are circumcised, and the procedure is often performed within the first few days of life.
In addition to religious reasons, circumcision in Israel is also thought to have health benefits. Studies have shown that circumcision can reduce the risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections, and some studies have suggested that it may also reduce the risk of certain cancers.
In South Korea, circumcision is believed to have begun as a result of American military influence after the Korean War. It is estimated that approximately 60% of males in South Korea are circumcised, and the procedure is often performed during adolescence or early adulthood.
Circumcision in South Korea is not associated with any particular religious or cultural practices, and it is often performed for cosmetic reasons or to reduce the risk of infections.
The Reasons for Circumcision
The reasons for circumcision vary from one country to another, but it is often associated with cultural, religious or medical practices. Below are some of the most common reasons for circumcision:
- Religious reasons: Circumcision is a requirement for Jews and Muslims, and it is often performed as a part of religious practices.
- Cultural reasons: Circumcision is a part of many traditional cultural practices and is often performed as a part of initiation ceremonies or to mark the transition into adulthood.
- Medical reasons: Circumcision is sometimes performed for medical reasons, such as to treat conditions like phimosis, balanitis, and penile cancer. It can also reduce the risk of certain sexually transmitted infections.
- Aesthetic reasons: Some men opt for circumcision for cosmetic reasons, believing that it enhances the appearance of their penis.
The Controversy Surrounding Circumcision
There is some controversy surrounding circumcision, with arguments both for and against the practice. Those in favor of circumcision argue that it provides health benefits, while those against it argue that it is a violation of human rights.
Below are some of the main arguments for and against circumcision:
Arguments in Favor of Circumcision
- Circumcision can reduce the risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections.
- Circumcision can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
- Circumcision is a part of religious and cultural practices in many countries.
- Circumcision is a routine medical procedure in many countries.
Arguments Against Circumcision
- Circumcision is a violation of human rights.
- The procedure is often performed on infants who cannot consent to the procedure.
- The procedure can lead to complications such as infection or bleeding.
- Circumcision can result in a loss of sensitivity in the penis.
Despite the controversy surrounding circumcision, it remains a common practice in many countries around the world.
Circumcision is a practice that has been performed for thousands of years. It is associated with religious, cultural, medical, and aesthetic reasons. While it is a routine medical procedure in some countries, there is controversy surrounding it in others.
It is important to understand the reasons behind circumcision and the controversies surrounding it, especially for those who are considering the procedure.
Frequently Asked Questions about Circumcision
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about circumcision:
- Is circumcision painful? Yes, the procedure can be painful. However, anesthesia is often used to reduce pain during the procedure.
- What are the risks of circumcision? The risks of circumcision include bleeding, infection, and loss of sensitivity in the penis.
- Is circumcision necessary? Circumcision is not medically necessary, but it is often performed for cultural, religious or medical reasons.
- What is the best age to perform circumcision? The ideal age for circumcision is a matter of debate. It can be performed on infants, children, or adults.
- Can circumcision reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections? Yes, studies have shown that circumcision can reduce the risk of acquiring certain sexually transmitted infections.
- World Health Organization. (2010). Male circumcision: Global trends and determinants of prevalence, safety and acceptability.
- Alanis, M. C., & Lucidi, R. S. (2004). Neonatal circumcision: a review of the world’s oldest and most controversial operation. Obstetrical & gynecological survey, 59(5), 379-395.
- Morris, B. J., Bailis, S. A., Wiswell, T. E., & Halperin, D. T. (2014). Male circumcision. The American journal of bioethics, 14(2), 54-58.