Chapter 1

THE HISTORY OF CIRCUMCISION

A curious behavior has existed among people from the early beginnings of human existence. Many people have felt a desire to draw blood from, cause severe pain to, and alter the appearance of various parts of the human body — frequently the bodies of their children — in particular the male genital organ.

The penis is normally formed with skin extending over and protecting the more delicate glans. This skin is commonly known as the “foreskin.” The procedure of amputating this skin is known as “circumcision.” The word is derived from Latin terms which literally mean “cutting in a circle” because a circular piece of foreskin is most commonly cut off.

Who were the first people to practice circumcision?  When were the first foreskins cut off? How was it done originally? What was the age and status of the individuals who first relinquished their foreskins? And, most importantly … why? No definite answers are known. Most history that covers a practice as ancient as this is based on conjecture and speculation. It is almost certain, however, that foreskin amputation is the oldest type of surgery.

The first written account of circumcision appears in the Bible, with the Hebrew patriarch Abraham’s “covenant” with God. This took place approximately 1713 B.C. 1 Other artifacts predate the Old Testament account by many centuries. Drawings on walls of ancient Egyptian tombs and temples date back to approximately 2400 to 2600 B.C. 2 Other historians have given these same relics estimated ages ranging from 3503 to 3335 and 1300 to 1280 B C. 4   Egyptian mummies estimated as old as 6,000 years also have shown evidence of circumcision. 3

Some historians have speculated that circumcision has been practiced for more than 5,000 years among the native tribes of the West Coast of Africa. 3

Very likely, circumcision dates back as far as the stone age. According to one writer

” … from the stone knives used for the operation … (circumcision is) a custom reaching back into ‘hoary antiquity5.'”

Speculation also abounds as to which people originated the practice. It is known that circumcision has been practiced among peoples of Semitic origins specifically the ancient Egyptians, Hebrews, Babylonians, Assyrians, and Moslems, as well as many tribes in Africa, Australia, the South Sea Islands, and sporadically among the Indian tribes of North and South America.

Groups who have practiced circumcision are a minority both throughout history and today. Circumcision is presently practiced by approximately one seventh of the world’s population. Most people leave the penis intact. However, attention is usually given to what a culture does rather than does not do.

It is impossible to determine with which group the practice originated. A plausible speculation is that circumcision originated with the common stock from which the Semitic peoples have sprung. 6

It is not known whether the practice originated with one group of people and was later copied by others, or if it developed independently among a number of different groups. The fact that different types of phallic mutilation were practiced among different peoples, and that different groups have offered widely divergent reasons for the practice suggests that it very likely had more than one origin.

Very rarely has circumcision been performed on adults. Almost never has it been the personal choice of the individual. Adult circumcision was largely confined to converts to religions such as Islam or Judaism, and to slaves and conquered warriors7. Most peoples performed circumcisions on their sons, most commonly during adolescence between the ages of 11 and 17. Usually this was a part of an adolescent initiation rite in which young boys “became men.” Many tribes, especially in Africa, have observed what anthropologists call “bush time” in which the young boys are taken away from their homes and village for a number of months and undergo rigorous training to be hunters and warriors.’

Only a very few groups have performed circumcision on younger children8,9.”  With the exception of Judaism, and the medical profession in 20th century America, infant circumcision has been rare. 10, 11

Many other types of mutilation of the penis, other than amputation of the prepuce, have been practiced. Historians have often included these under the broader definition of “circumcision.”

The simplest ritual was a gashing of the prepuce, without removing any skin. This type of “circumcision” has been attributed to the peoples of the South Sea islands and to a few native tribes in Mexico and South America. This variation may have stemmed from an earlier practice of amputation of the prepuce. It is also possible that foreskin amputation itself was derived from an earlier ritual of gashing the foreskin12.”

Among the Massai and the Kikuyu in Africa, the males are “half circumcised” the lower part of the foreskin not being cut away at all, but hanging atrophied for the rest of the owner’s life. 13

The more bizarre practice of subincision, the slitting of the entire underside of the penis through to the urethra, was performed by Australian and New Guinea aborigine tribes. This took place during an initiation rite, usually preceded by a conventional circumcision a few weeks before. 14, 15, 16

The Hottentot tribe of Africa did not practice circumcision, but practiced partial castration, removing one testicle of their infant males. Speculations as to the motivation for this practice range from “making the young men better runners” 17 to “preventing the birth of twins” 18 in a tribe which routinely killed the smaller of twins. 18

A few groups practiced perforation of the glans, following foreskin amputation. A metal rod with a small ball at each end was worn in the glans, some believing this to be a sexual stimulant. 19 Other groups inserted a similar device, a wooden peg, or infibulated the foreskin over the glans, as a male chastity device. 20

The most extreme practice of all involved stripping of the skin from the navel to the anus, including the skin of the penis and scrotum of a young bridegroom. This occurred among the Yesidis in Vilajat Assir in Yemen.

“The one being circumcised may not cry out nor wail or he would be despised and forsaken by his bride, who witnesses the procedure. Hot oil is put on the wound. People often die of the consequences, many leave the tribe.” 21

A few peoples have practiced a “mock circumcision ceremony.” The Nive, of a South Pacific island, perform a ceremony in which the operator performs a mimic operation on his own finger. When a Hindoo joins a sect of Paira of Mahadev Mohammedans in Mysore, a betal leaf is substituted for the foreskin and cut off. 22 A ritual such as this suggests that at one time actual circumcision was performed by the people, which was later abandoned with the ritual remaining.

One historian comments:

“Circumcision by amputation of the prepuce appears, with comparatively few exceptions, to be confined to the Semitic races and to those who have come under their influence.” 23

Egyptian relief

ANCIENT EGYPTIAN RELIEF SHOWING CIRCUMCISION ~after Chabas) From Bryk, Felix, Sex & Circumcision, A Study of Phallic Worship and Mutilation in Men and Women, Brandon House, North Hollywood, CA. (©) 1967, p. 307.

The Reasons for Circumcision

Many explanations have been offered for foreskin amputation and other types of phallic mutilation. Groups who practice it often do not know the true reason. When asked they will frequently offer another reason much considerably changed from the original motivation. Varying peoples appear to have had different reasons for practicing circumcision. Some explanations are interrelated. Therefore, scholars are challenged to find the original motivations for the practice. However, some are more plausible than others. Twelve of the most commonly given reasons are:

Hygiene:

When American people think about the supposed reasons for circumcision, this explanation usually first comes to mind. Frequently the casual observation has been made that most peoples who have practiced foreskin amputation have lived in lands with hot climates, in either tropical or desert environments. Some historians have offered the speculation that circumcision was therefore desired for cleanliness. Some groups who have practiced the rite believe it is necessary for hygienic purposes.

However, most scholars refute the idea that cleanliness was ever the original motivation for the practice. According to Fekix Bryk:

” … One must have a pretty poor knowledge of the mentality of primitive man, to think seriously for one moment that hygienic motives moved him to introduce and make obligatory a general preventive measure … it contradicts primitive psychology.” 24  “An uncommonly large number of peoples that practice circumcision show, on the contrary very little passion for cleanliness, and it is hardly to be assumed that they make an exception of the masculine organ in particular. There must be another psychic motive that induced them to undertake the operation.” 25

The fact that many groups practiced simple gashing of rather than amputation of the foreskin, and that foreskin amputation may have been preceded by an earlier practice of foreskin bleeding supports the idea that cleanliness had nothing to do with its origins. The other variations of phallic mutilations described can in no way be indicated to offer any hygienic value. Additionally, many groups which practiced foreskin amputation also practiced female genital mutilation, which is certainly not necessary as a hygienic measure, although some also believe that female circumcision confers cleanliness to women.

There is no evidence that people living in lands with colder climates had more opportunities to bathe. Historical accounts of people in snowy climates often cite the common practice of wearing the same outfit of clothing throughout the entire winter, never undressing or bathing until spring. Frequently running water was scarce, heating supplies limited, and regular bathing was an unobtainable luxury in colder climates. Perhaps one may perspire less in a colder environment. On the other hand, people in warmer lands often could more readily bathe in nearby bodies of water, which could not be so easily accomplished in freezing temperatures.

However, most primitive peoples in warmer climates usually wore little or no clothing. Therefore, the penis was more readily on view. Perhaps this is why people in warmer lands were more likely to cut or amputate the foreskin. People in colder climates, out of necessity wore more clothing, and the penis was always out of view. This may be the reason that such people did not practice phallic mutilation.

Foreskin amputation “for cleanliness purposes” is clearly a superficial, “after the fact” explanation, made by people who are unaware of its more complex origins.

Cosmetic Value:

Was phallic mutilation a practice similar to ear piercing, body tattooing, scarification, or plates in the lips? Were foreskins originally amputated because people believed that penises looked better that way?

Curiously, in the historical literature, little mention has been made of circumcision being a “cosmetic” measure. Like cleanliness, this too appears to be a superficial, secondary explanation of the practice, rather than a primary motivation.

One author writes:

“While (other deformations) serve the purpose of imparting to the organ in question a specific ornamentation by means of lip plug, earring, etc. that is to enrich the organ artificially, this point of view of the esthetic in the treatment of the masculine sexual organ is, with few exceptions, absolutely unfounded. It is not a question of embellishment, but of injury, that is applied to it.” 26

The fact that foreskin gashing rather than amputation was practiced among many peoples also refutes the idea of cosmetic value. Also, female circumcision was practiced among many of the same peoples and most versions of the female counterpart have little obvious effect on the outward appearance of the female genitals. It appears that the blood and pain caused by the operation was more important to its meaning than the change in appearance of the organ.

Tribal Identity or Mark of Adulthood:

Was the circumcised penis a “membership badge” signifying “belonging” to one’s group? Since circumcision was commonly a part of adolescent initiation rites, the circumcised penis did become a “mark of adulthood” obviously since only children had penises with foreskins.

Considerable social value has surrounded the perpetuation of foreskin amputation. Since the procedure was obviously quite painful, societal pressure was necessary to motivate the young boys to cooperate with the ritual. Refusal to have it done became indicative of cowardice. The social ostracism would have been a greater trauma and punishment than the initial pain of the operation.

According to one author, describing an African tribe:

“Whoever does not have himself circumcised is considered a boy all his life, and not only by the men, but also by the women, who despise and ridicule him as one. He is regarded as civilly dead, … incurs the loss of all honors, may not witness any assemblage, and no one takes his advice … and finally, one who is uncircumcised may not marry.” 27

Frequently, circumcision did become a means of tribal identification among many peoples. Speculation has been made that it served to identify one’s own during battle, perhaps originating from the barbaric custom of amputating the genitals of slain or even living enemies conquered in battle as victory “trophies” … the type of penis being a means of identifying the victim as an enemy or of one’s own tribe. However, when tribes living in close geographical proximity all practiced foreskin amputation, the circumcised penis’ value in “tribal identity” was weakened.

It appears that tribal identity was not the primary motivation for circumcision, although it did serve that purpose in some instances.

A Means of Diminishing Sexual Desires:

Some have believed that amputation of the foreskin was intended to weaken the sexual organ and counteract excessive lust.

Philo, an ancient writer, saw in circumcision:

” … the excision of the passions which bind the mind. For since among all passions, that of intercourse between man and woman is greatest, the lawgivers have commanded that the instrument, which serves this intercourse, be mutilated, pointing out, that these powerful passions must be bridled, and thinking that not only this, but all passions would be controlled through this one … “

Other writers have accused the foreskin of causing masturbation, bed-wetting, involuntary erection, “psycho/pathological reactions” and “wicked moral crimes!” 29

Evidence does exist that intact men do have greater sexual sensation due to the greater sensitivity of the protected glans, and that the foreskin is an erogenous zone in itself. Whether enhanced sexuality is considered beneficial or evil, and dulled sexuality undesirable or “morally beneficial” depends on prevalent cultural attitudes which constantly change. Our society is in the painful process of growing away from the Victorian prudishness of the previous century, towards general acceptance and enjoyment of sexuality. (More will be covered in future chapters about how circumcision as a modern medical fad finds its roots in the masturbation phobia of the Victorian era.) Hopefully our current trend towards greater acceptance of sexuality will accompany the trend of leaving our infant sons intact.

Enhancement of Sexuality:

In direct contradiction to the above, many groups connected foreskin gashing or amputation with phallic worship, believing that the procedure enhanced sexuality. Some believed that coitus was impossible with the prepuce intact. Circumcision as part of an adolescent initiation rite conferred not only adult status, but was meant to be an introduction into sexual life.

When the penis has its foreskin, the only time that the glans is normally exposed is during erection. One theory is that men originally retracted the foreskin as an erotic measure, to give the penis a look of being erect, and later, for the same reason, decided to cut off the foreskin, to give the penis a “permanently erect look.” 30

Sometimes the young intact male may have a tight frenulum, the band of skin between the inner lining of the prepuce and the glans, which is sometimes called a sign of virginity.” Occasionally this can be a hindrance to coitus, at least during his first attempts. This may have been the basis for the belief that coitus without circumcision was impossible or dangerous, and thus may have been a motivation for foreskin amputation. Similarly, girls occasionally have tight hymens, in rare cases necessitating surgical intervention to clip the hymen before she can have intercourse. Some people have practiced routine hymenotomy for reasons similar to those given for circumcision.

Mutilation of men and women

From Bryk, Felix, Sex & Circumcision, A Study of Phallic Worship and Mutilation in Men and Women, Brandon House, North Hollywood, CA. (©) 1967, p. 70.

Fertility:

The concept of circumcision enhancing sexuality or as a necessary prerequisite to adulthood and sexual life links directly with the idea that circumcision increased or was necessary for fertility. The procedure was frequently part of primitive fertility rites.

Even with today’s scientific knowledge, the process of conception and childbearing is awe-inspiring. It is little wonder that desire for many offspring and elements of magic and sacrifice centered around fertility rituals played a predominant role in the lives of primitive peoples.

In this perspective, circumcision served as a method of “dedicating the genital organ to the gods.” The prepuce was, in effect, sacrificed to the gods to insure numerous offspring. The foreskin is the only part of the male organ which can easily be cut off, yet allow the individual to procreate. In some instances the amputated prepuce took on magical elements, becoming a charm that the individual carried with him at all times to ensure fertility. 31  Among one African tribe the same knife that was used for circumcision was subsequently used for severing the umbilical cords of the man’s children. 32

Some believed that the foreskin was, if not a hindrance to copulation, an obstacle to procreation. Failing to understand the nature of the foreskin which becomes drawn back, fully exposing the glans during erection and copulation, some believed that the semen “became lost in the folds of the foreskin. ” 33, 34

Of course if circumcision truly did grant fertility and if the foreskin truly was a hindrance to conception, the human race would have long ago ceased to be. Humans existed for eons prior to the innovation of foreskin amputation. It can be easily noted that entire populations throughout the world, including most parts of Asia and Europe reproduce regularly although circumcision is not practiced. If the prepuce were indeed a hindrance to fertility, it would be a convenient birth control device today, but this certainly is not the case.

A Mark of Subjugation for Conquered Enemies and Slaves:

It is doubtful that this was ever an original motive for circumcision but some foreskins have been cut off for the above reason.

Some have suggested that circumcision was a means of identification of slaves.  Possibly it replaced earlier, more dangerous practices of amputating an extremity of or castrating of slaves. Or perhaps, since slaves were a marketable commodity, circumcision was performed supposedly to increase their fertility. Some have speculated that the Jews, who were at one time slaves of the Egyptians, adopted circumcision for this reason.36

The suggestion has been offered that circumcision was a mark of subjugation inflicted upon conquered warriors by their victors, in lieu of punishment by death. There are some true accounts of this. In other cases, however, there may be some confusion in terminology as to exactly what was being cut off of conquered warriors. Among many tribes the phalluses of conquered warriors were amputated and brought home as “trophies.” Old Testament accounts describe warriors collecting the foreskins of their conquered enemies. Others speculate that it was amputated phalluses, not foreskins that were actually collected.

A Mark of Purity:

In direct contrast to circumcision being a mark of subjugation and humiliation, some considered foreskin amputation to be a holy act, and a means of purification. In ancient Egypt circumcision was at one time limited to the priesthood and was done in addition to the shaving of all body hair. Not only foreskins, but hair was considered unclean. 37

Philo suggested that circumcision was “purifying” in that it likened the glans of the penis to the heart in appearance. This is hardly plausible, for the concept of a “Valentine” heart shape is a modern concept, not anything like a real, physiological heart. Also the concept of “love” or “purity” originating in the organ which circulates blood, does not appear to be prevalent among primitive peoples. This is a peculiarly Western idea.

Another writer comments:
      “It was not the heart that was to be imitated,…but rather the phallus [erect penis].” 38
 

A Test of Endurance:

In primitive societies circumcision was frequently a part of adolescent initiation rites. Perhaps it was simply one more of a number of types of torture which the young boys had to endure in their initiations. Excruciation, torture, and subjection were part of their declaration of manhood. 39 Frequently this accompanied practices such as cutting other areas of the skin, knocking out teeth, piercing of the ear or nose. 40

The question is raised: was the pain inflicted the original motivation for circumcision? Or was the prepuce being bled or amputated for other reasons, but since it also happened to be painful became consequently connected with the element of torture?

Circumcision of infants and young children appears to be a later adaptation of earlier practiced adolescent circumcision.  Did the peoples involved have the desire to torture infants and small children? Did they amputate the prepuces of infants and young children because they were less able to resist? Or did they operate on the premise that infants and young children do not feel pain?

Symbolic Castration:

The circumcision of adolescent boys, and other torments that accompanied initiation ceremonies have been explained as punitive, hostile acts on the part of fathers towards their young sons. Symbolic castration motives have been suggested, circumcision being a means of squelching potential incestuous desires of the young men by the fathers who were hostile towards their sons’ developing sexuality. 41

This theory has plausibility in tribes in which older men married young girls and marriage for men was delayed until quite late in life. It was not their own mothers that the young boys desired, but the young wives of the older men.

Some have suggested that circumcision derived from earlier practices of actual castration. Castration can result in profuse bleeding, has had a high mortality rate, prevents continuation of the lineage, making it generally impractical. Hence circumcision, being less dangerous and damaging, was substituted.

Documented studies have linked castration anxieties and motivations to circumcision. One Turkish doctor studied a number of Turkish children undergoing ritual circumcision who manifested definite castration anxieties. 42

In another study, maternal-infant sleeping arrangements of various primitive societies were analyzed in conjunction with whether or not the young boys were circumcised in adolescence. The rates of circumcision were considerably higher in groups in which the mother and baby slept together and the father slept separately (64%), than in groups where the mother, father, and baby slept together (20%), or the mother and father slept together, but baby slept separately (22%). 43 (The presumption here is that circumcision of the infant was motivated by the father feeling jealous or “replaced” by the child if he must sleep separately from his wife.)

Menstrual Envy:

One of the most curious and fascinating theories is that subincision and possibly circumcision developed because men are envious of the female and her sexual organs. Females have a natural process of bleeding from their genitals which begins during adolescence, marks the end of childhood and initiation into womanhood, and is directly linked with fertility. In some cases men have ritually bled their penises in an attempt to simulate menstruation. The subincision operation of splitting the urethra was apparently an attempt to make the penis look like a vulva. 44

Peoples who have practiced subincision rite, primarily tribes in New Guinea and Australia, use parallel names for menstrual bleeding and the bleeding from the subincision wound. When the penis is periodically incised, the term for the operation translates as “men’s menstruation.” 45

Instruments

Fig. 32.CIRCUMCISION INSTRUMENTS OF THE TURKS AND JEWS Fig. 31. Split Slab of Wood. Fig. 32. Split Reed. Fig. 33. Perforated Plate Through Which the Foreskin Is Drawn. Fig. 34. Barzel of the Jews: the Foreskin Is Drawn Through the Slit. From Bryk, Felix, Sex & Circumcision, A Study of Phallic Worship and Mutilation in Men and Women, Brandon House, North Hollywood, CA. (©) 1967, p. 244.

Myths tell of such things as an ancient totemic bird that threw a boomerang which circumcised the male tribal ancestor and cut the vulva of his wives so that they bled, causing their monthly menstrual periods. Among some tribes, menstruation was considered a punishment for women for inventing circumcision. 45

Relatively few groups have formal initiation rites for young women. Perhaps this is because nature bestows “initiation” on them through menstruation and childbearing. Male envy of the female reproductive process applies to birth as well as to menstruation. Giving birth is definitely a “test of endurance” that introduces the woman into womanhood and motherhood. Some societies practice “couvade,” a ritual in which the father goes through a mimic labor and delivery while the mother actually gives birth. Frequently the men imagine birth to be much more difficult than it is in reality. In similar fashion, possibly out of the same motives of envy, in today’s society, birth has been taken out of the control of women and is dominated by the male oriented medical profession.

Sacrifice:

The elements of sacrifice and magic were definitely involved in the ancient practice of circumcision. This relates to what has been previously discussed concerning circumcision supposedly increasing fertility and the rite being connected with phallic worship.

Throughout history circumcision has always been connected with religious ritual. Giving up one’s foreskin has been presented as giving up a part of one’s body to the gods. Circumcision appears to be a milder form of more drastic types of sacrifice.

E.M. Loeb presents an in-depth study tracing the ancient origins of circumcision and relating it to other primitive sacrificial customs of finger sacrifice, cannibalism, human sacrifice, and bleeding of the body. 46

Cannibalism was not normally based on need for food. Instead it had sacrificial, magical, or revenge motivations. Human sacrifice interconnects with cannibalism in that sacrifices of humans were intended to be food offerings to gods. Frequently sacrifice was made of conquered enemies and slaves, but child sacrifice also took place. 47

The blood involved in all types of sacrifice has always been an extremely important facet of the ritual. Blood confers life, therefore numerous religious rituals, both primitive and modern, are centered around blood or the concept of blood. (For example Communion or Mass among Christians, and Koshering of meats by Jews.) In primitive rituals, sometimes the priests smeared themselves with blood, or temple doors and statues were smeared with blood. Sometimes wounds were made all over the bodies of children amidst great solemnities perhaps to insure a bountiful harvest or consecrate the child to the gods. 48, 49

Elaborate rituals surrounding the treatment of the amputated foreskin, such as burying it, burning it, preserving and keeping it, or hiding it in a totem tree, support the magical, sacrificial nature of the act. 50, 51, 52

The previously discussed “mock” circumcision ceremony carried out by some groups, suggests the religious and sacrificial nature of the procedure. Similarly, the fact that the Jews proceed with the circumcision ceremony and draw blood from the penile skin of a baby born without a foreskin, illustrates the religious significance of the ritual in and of itself.

Some have suggested that the Jewish practice of infant circumcision was preceded by earlier rites of infant sacrifice. 50  However, this theory does not appear plausible because most historians agree that circumcision of infants was a relatively late acquisition of all peoples, preceded by earlier adolescent circumcision. 51

Loeb concludes that neither was human sacrifice the cause of circumcision nor circumcision the cause of human sacrifice, but both related to each other and stemmed from cannibalism. In his opinion, circumcision developed when victims could not be found for sacrifice, so a part of the body was offered instead. Some peoples chopped off fingers, or bled parts of the body, while others amputated the foreskin. 52

Egyptian Circumcision

Fig. 27. EGYPTIAN CIRCUMCISION (ancient relief) From Bryk, Felix, Sex & Circumcision, A Study of Phallic Worship and Mutilation in Men and Women, Brandon House, North Hollywood, CA. (©) 1967, Fig. 27, p. 238.

Conclusion:

It is doubtful that purposes of hygiene or cosmetic value were original motivations for amputating the prepuce. The practice may have arisen out of ancient sacrificial rituals which relate directly to fertility, which in turn relate to its being part of an adolescent initiation rite which prepared the boy for adulthood and sexual functioning. The operation, being painful, was viewed as a test of endurance, although it is questionable that this was its primary purpose. Some connect this with a ritual torture which relates to castration wishes on the part of fathers toward their sons. This in turn suggests circumcision to be a procedure which diminishes the sexuality of adolescent boys. Some groups circumcised slaves and conquered warriors, perhaps as a substitute for castration. Among other groups it was a mark of the ruling or priestly class and was considered an act of purity. Individual groups have bled and mutilated the phallus out of a wish to copy female menstruation. Circumcision also imparted a mark of tribal identity on the group although it is doubtful that this was the primary motivation for the procedure. Circumcision consists of amputating the prepuce, but the term also extends to other variations of phallic mutilation such as subincision and gashing of the foreskin. Circumcision began as an adolescent initiation rite and much later was changed in some groups to a procedure that was done to babies and small children.

References:

  1. Genesis 17: 10 – 12
  2. Wrana, Phoebe “Circumcision” Historical Review, p. 385.
  3. Schneider, T. History of Medicine, “Circumcision and ‘Uncircumcision’ S.A. Medical Journal, March 27, 1976, p. 556.
  4. Remondino, P.C., M.D. History of Circumcision Ams Press Inc., N.Y. c. 1974 (original edition, F.A. Davis Co., c. 1891) p. 22 – 23.
  5. James, Theodore “A Causerie on Circumcision, Congenital and Acquired” S.A. Medical Journal, February 6, 1971, Vol. 45, p. 151.
  6. Loeb, E.M. The Blood Sacrifice Complex American Anthropological Association; Memoirs, 30, p. 15.
  7. Bryk, Felix Sex & Circumcision; A Study of Phallic Worship and Mutilation in Men and Women Brandon House, North Hollywood, CA., c. 1967, p. 80
  8. Ibid.; p. 80, 59, 73, 74, 155.
  9. Wrana, p. 388 – 389
  10. Bryk, p. 91, 263.
  11. Remondino, p. 46 – 47.
  12. Bryk, p.264.
  13. Ibid., p. 65.
  14. Ibid., p. 90,128.
  15. Remondino, p. 56.
  16. Bettelheim, Bruno “Symbolic Wounds” Reader in Comparative Religion Lessa, William A., & Vogt, Evon Z., editors. Harper & Row, New York, 2nd Ed., c. 1965, p. 237 – 238.
  17. Remondino, p. 60.
  18. Bryk, p. 123 – 124.
  19. Ibid., p. 134, 211 – 212.
  20. Ibid., p. 227 – 228.
  21. Ibid., p. 137.
  22. Wrana, p. 390.
  23. Ibid., p. 389.
  24. Bryk., p. 100.
  25. Ibid., p. 140.
  26. Ibid., p. 170.
  27. Ibid., p. 84.
  28. Ibid., p. 94.
  29. Ibid., p. 102 – 103.
  30. Ibid., p. 198.
  31. Ibid., p. 143.
  32. Ibid., p. 43.
  33. Ibid., p. 93.
  34. Ibid., p. 104.
  35. Remondino, p. 29 – 30.
  36. Burger, Robert, M.D.; Guthrie, Thomas H., M.D. “Why Circumcision?” Pædiatrics, Sept. 1974, Vol. 54, p. 362.
  37. Remondino, preface.
  38. Bryk, p. 104.
  39. Ibid., p. 98.
  40. Ibid., p. 141 – 142.
  41. Ibid., p. 151.
  42. Ozturk, Orhan M. “Ritual Circumcision and Castration Anxiety”
    Psychiatry, Vol. 36, February 1973, p. 49 – 60.
  43. Kitihara, Michio, Fil. Dr. “A Cross-cultural Test of the Freudian Theory of Circumcision” International Journal of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Vol. 5, 1976, p. 541.
  44. Bettelheim, p. 231.
  45. Ibid., p. 238.
  46. Loeb, p. 3.
  47. Ibid., p. 6, 9.
  48. Bryk, p. 114.
  49. Ibid., p. 140.
  50. Ibid., p. 112.
  51. Ibid., p. 119.
  52. Loeb, p. 23.

Informational Resources

http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/02/the-troubled-history-of-the-foreskin/
http://miscellaneous-pics.blogspot.com/2011/08/dogon-circumcision-cave-painting.html
http://mosaicscience.com/story/troubled-history-foreskin
http://www.amazon.com/Kilimanjaro-Its-People-Wachagga-Together/dp/1138010898
http://www.circumstitions.com/1941.html (Parents Magazine article.)
http://www.cirp.org/library/cultural/aldeeb1/
http://www.cirp.org/library/history/
http://www.cirp.org/library/history/dunsmuir1/ (good pictures)
http://www.cirp.org/library/history/peron2/
http://www.cracked.com/article_19520_5-insane-ways-fear-masturbation-shaped-modern-world_p2.html
http://www.gnosticliberationfront.com/ancient_origins_of_jewish_ritual_circumcision.htm
http://www.historyofcircumcision.net/
http://www.historyofcircumcision.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=54
http://www.historyofcircumcision.net/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=63
http://www.icgi.org/medicalization/#Page_1 (excellent resource/slideshow)
http://www.nocirc.org/symposia/second/larue.html (good pictures – maybe useful)
https://www.academia.edu/2095572/Abraham_and_circumcision_the_conundrum_of_the_two_Alliances_Genesis_15_and_Genesis_17_updated_10.16.2015_
https://www.academia.edu/9899840/The_riddle_of_the_sands_Circumcision_history_and_myth
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=424466477707381&set=p.424466477707381&type=1&theater (different mutilations)
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=521790717978087&set=np.1442069536812199.100003234886098&type=1
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152979568538716&set=p.10152979568538716&type=1&theater
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153263692193083&set=p.10153263692193083&type=1&theater