Re: Male Virginity EXPLANATION

Geoffrey Graham (
23 Oct 1995 01:48:02 GMT

Mr. Nakis,

I'm sorry to say that I do not have a list of world cultures known to have
practiced circumcision, however I do know somthing about its practice in
certain parts of the ancient Near East.

The ancient Egyptians practiced circumcision from at least as far back as
the Old Kingdom. All priests were required to be circumcised as a
prerequisite to ritual purity. I believe the Egyptians circumcised boys
around puberty. Representations of children usually show them with
forskins intact, but representations of adults, where nude, are almost
always circumcised. The scholars also always comment on mummies that
were not circumcised, because they are rare. One of the royal mummies
wasn't, as I recall and this has caused some debate. Some would like to
say that is evidence that the royal family was very inbread and had
developed hemophilia like the British royal family had in the 19th
century. That's all beside the point, however.

(Slight diversion off the topic here but... They also probably circumcised
girls, which is a whole other story and a very heated topic even today, as
most modern Egyptian villagers till practice the removal of the clitoris
from girls when they are about 13 years old. The literature is pretty
silent about the practice in ancient times, however the Greeks observed
its practice during the Hellenistic era, and it probably was a
continuation of the Pharaonic traditions. There are plenty of mummified
femal bodies to examine, however, I know of no study on the subject.
Maybe someone out there does. If you do, I would be interested in hearing
about it. Please e-mail me (as well as posting to this thread) with any
responses on this topic. My e-address is below.)

In the New Kingdom when the Egyptians fought battles with foreigners, the
custom developed that soldiers cut the phalluses off of the men that they
had killed in order to present them as evidence of their kills and
subsequent payment of an appropriate share of the booty. In the victory
reliefs of the Ramesside period in the Theban area temples, such as
Karnak, Luxor, and Medinet Habu, one can see the counting of the phalluses
portrayed. This method also helped in taking the count of the death toll.

The Egyptians, however, refused to practice this type of castration on
individuals who were circumcised. The reason was possibly tied to
religion, or that if they brought circumcised penises, then how would it
be known whether the penis was that of a foreigner or an Egyptian? When
they fought peoples who practiced circumcision they counted right hands of
the dead instead. I'm not sure why the right hands weren't suspect too,
though. Or maybe the original custom had been to cut off the hands, but
that in cases when the foreigners had the same color of skin as the
Egyptians, then the uncircumcised pesis was a better indicator of
foreignness. I'm not sure which came first (the chicken or the egg) but
if somebody remembers this stuff better than I do, please put your two
cents in. (There is someone I know whom I could ask about this, and I'll
try to do so and get back to the thread with what I learn.)

The peoples who presented this problem, of being circumcised were, if I
recall correctly, the Libyans of the Western desert and certain
Syro-Palestinians like the Jews. I can't remember if the Nubians were
circumcised or not. I'm sure someone out there is bound to correct me if I
am mistaken on any of this. Like I said before, I will try to check up on
the facts and get back to the thread. All of this is off the top of my
memory, so I can't guaranty it is absolutely accurate, but I believe it is
pretty close to what we know about it.

Yours, Geof
Michael Nakis (
: In <4698e7$> (David Stites) writes:

: >I think it is a two part problem.
: >1) Is there such a thing as a male hymen?
: > That should be easy enough to answer. I believe circumcision is
: >primarily a practice of Jews and those who worship a jewish god
: >(Christians). There should be thousands, if not millions, of peoples
: >in the world who would have stories about male bleeding if it is a
: >widespread phenomenon.

: It is indeed a very easy thing to answer. I will do it in two steps.
: Step number one, it is an undeniable fact that there exists a tiny little
: piece of skin which carries out the precarious, seemingly unnecessary,
: and therefore highly suspicious task of holding the foreskin tied to the
: underside of the tip of the penis. Now, you may have some reservations
: as to exactly what the function of this little piece of skin is; you may
: not be so sure that it is a virgin hymen. Which brings me to the second
: step: If it is not a hymen, then how do you explain the bleeding? You
: might say, €well, I guess I fucked so hard that I ripped my dick€, but no
: matter how you choose to look at it, the fact remains the same: there is
: something there which gets torn on the first, or one of the first, sexual
: intercourses, and causes bleeding. If this rupture occurs to a
: sufficiently large number of men to preclude €accidents€, then as far as
: biology is concerned, it is by definition an incident of €defloration€,
: that is, loss of virginity. (Well, ok, I guess it is obvious that I am
: extending the definition here so as to cover males.)

: Besides, there probably *ARE* millions of men all over the world who have
: such stories; they just do not tell anybody. I hope you agree that this
: is a very delicate subject for both men and women, and it is unlikely to
: be carried very far outside an intimate relationship. I have been told
: by ex-girlfriends of mine of this bleeding occurring to at least two
: other guys, but I am sure those guys would have never told me so
: personally, or, worse yet, admitted so in public! It is also a very
: difficult subject to try to make a scientific statement out of; the
: danger of ridicule is too high, as the theory would certainly be
: vehemently objected by the established €traditional macho male€ academia.


: So, it is like a big huge common secret, known to large numbers of the
: population, yet admitted by nobody. This very thread in this very
: newsgroup invites everyone (both men and women who have evidenced it) to
: come out of the closet.

: As far as how widespread a phenomenon it is, I have to repeat that the
: biological function of the male virgin hymen does not seem to be as
: well-developed as its female counterpart, and therefore rupture of the
: hymen is not GUARANTEED to happen during the sexual life of an
: uncircumcised male. It will only happen if woman happens to be
: especially €narrow€ AND copulation is insisted upon despite the
: difficulty and the pain for both partners.

: >2) If 1 is true was circimcision inviented to hide this?
: > I am reminded of the man who asked his wife why she cut the end
: >of the ham off before she cooked it. She said that she didn't know, that
: >was just the way her mother had done it. A few days later the man asked
: >his mother-in-law why she cut the end of the ham off before she cooked
: >it. She said she didn't know, that was the way HER mother had done it.
: >A few weeks later he asked the grandmother if she knew the answer to
: >his question and she smiled and said that it was the only way she
: >could fit it into the pan she had at the time.
: > How much of what we do is done by rote without knowing the why of
: >it? In your case, how are we to know the reasoning behind something
: >that was started thousands of years ago? Without the ability to travel,
: >or at least look, back in time we can never know the answer to some
: >questions. I think this is one of them.
: >
: >Just my opinion,
: >
: >David Stites
: >
: >Don't tread on me

: Well, very nice paradigm, but you should have guessed my answer:
: Millions of archaeologists and anthropologists as well as other
: scientists all over the world strongly disagree with you, David.
: Theories, in any science, physics included, are created by people who
: meticulously collect all possible evidence, however minuscule that may
: be, and then do nothing but educated guesswork.

: Perhaps there exists no *hard* evidence anymore as to why some crazy Jews
: decided to start mutilating the genitals of their male infants a few
: thousand years ago. (And I do not want to hear anyone suggesting that
: they started it because their God told them so.) But if we could say for
: sure that other completely separate cultures have been practicing similar
: forms of genital mutilation, then this does in fact constitute a piece of
: evidence which can be put in use to make the point that circumcision is
: not just someone€s crazy idea, and there is a certain degree of PURPOSE
: behind it.

: I do not know whether the "Roots" series can be trusted on the matter,
: but I can remember one of the episodes suggesting that circumcision was
: actually practiced by African tribes as part of an initiation ceremony
: for young boys who were about to become adults. I hope you agree that
: there could be no correlation between the cultures of African tribes and
: the Judeochristians; if what "Roots" depicted is in fact correct, then
: those cultures must have invented the ritual separately.

: There are other pieces of information that are relevant to my point. For
: example, we know for a fact that various cultures throughout history have
: practiced artificially induced defloration on females, and specifically
: on virgin girls who were about to be married, by means of wooden or stone
: phalluses, or even whole Priapus-style statues. The only difference is
: that in those cultures the ritual was a well known custom, and not
: something that was kept secret. Since virginity was considered by those
: cultures as undesirable, it is reasonable to suggest that if there is
: indeed such a thing as male virginity, then artificial defloration of
: males would have also been desirable by them. For reasons of
: preservation of male ego, however, the ritual of artificial defloration
: of males may have been disguised in such a way as to obliterate any
: evidence of the fact that virginity is actually applicable to males.
: Circumcising young boys on the eight day of their life kind of guarantees
: that nobody will ever see an intact male hymen in the entire culture.

: Hope that is enough,
: Michael Nakis.

: PS