Re: Origin of circumcision

David N. Barnett (
Sat, 18 Nov 1995 19:34:03 GMT wrote:

>Here's a comment that I came across in another newsgroup (whose name I
>am keeping secret, in order to protect it from the foolishness that
>has been haunting sci.anthropology):
>"Male circumcision is quite common among most groups whose tribal origins
>can be traced to dry desert environments. Australian Aborigines, various
>African tribes, most Middle Eastern tribes (including Jews and Muslims) all
>practice circumcision. The foreskin can be problematic in dry environments
>with inadequate supplies of water for cleaning - hence this practice in those
>Now there's a basis for doing some *real* research.

Also, sand can get in there and be quite an irritant. During WWII,
British Army troops serving in the African deserts occasionally had to
endure field circumcisions to relieve chronic irritation.