Male Circumcision - the Origins

Robin Stuart (
Mon, 30 Sep 1996 13:26:27 +0200

The Origins of the Practice of Routine Male Circumcision

The anthropological discussion so far, on congenital abnormalities
of the penis, as a cause for the ancient ritual of circumcision,
involves only the rare cases of phimosis which hinder procreation.

When we study Beauge M.D,'s statistics : (almost 10% for phimosis)
and reports on masturbation,
we realise that this argument is null and void.

It is further disproven by Dr. Med. Schoeberlein (1) who studied
3,000 young men and discovered 8.8% had a phimosis.

Neither of these statistics include the frenulum breve,
infections, or a number of other foreskin complaints
which may also be resolved by circumcision.

A re-evaluation of these congenital
phenomena is available under

The significance of this information is discussed under

Probably the simplest abstract I could give is that I find it
helpful to consider the question "What is the origin of
the practice?" in three parts

1) Why was the original operation performed?
2) Why was the measure introduced?
3) Why did the practice continue and sometimes spread?

My main interest is
no. 2) Why was this introduced as a general measure?

The human mind in the late Stone Age, was certainly very
different to ours, however their bodies were similar. The
possibility is that men in those days also had some sort
of unpleasant subjective experience with these congenital
conditions. Such men could have had the personal conviction
(or deluded fanaticism), to introduce this measure, in order
to prevent similar experiences happening to any other
member of their family.

Robin Stuart