• Possibly in many places, but almost certainly once at least in the desert areas of the Middle East. Soldiers serving in desert warfare reported that it was not uncommon to need emergency circumcision because of infections caused by trapped sand under the foreskin. So it may well have been a practical custom for a group living in desert with very limited washing facilities. Subsequently it became a tribal marker, and persisted in circumstances where its original function had disappeared.
  • First recorded instance is in Genesis 17:9-14. You can call it "genital mutilation" if you want, but anything that reduces transmissibility of AIDS by 30% shouldn't be stigmatized, say I. P.S. Women are generally in favor of it, too, for various reasons of their own.
  • I think the other answers address the question, but I object to your use of this term for circumcision. Male circumcision is a trivial procedure compared to female genital mutilation. While I would choose neither, I would far prefer to have a flap of skin surgically removed under sterile conditions, than to have my relatives gouge out my clitoris with a piece of broken glass when I become old enough to enjoy sex. Men can enjoy sex after "mutilation", most women can't. I realize I'm going out on a limb here with the "recap" people -- but there is a world of difference here, most people have no idea how FGM is conducted.
  • "The oldest documentary evidence for circumcision comes from Egypt. Tomb artwork from the Sixth Dynasty (2345 - 2181 BC) shows men with circumcised penises, and one relief from this period shows the rite being performed on a standing adult male. The Egyptian hieroglyph for "penis" depicts either a circumcised or an erect organ. The examination of Egyptian mummies has found both circumcised and uncircumcised men. Circumcision was common, although not universal, among ancient Semitic peoples. The Book of Jeremiah, written in the sixth century BC, lists the Egyptians, Jews, Edomites, Ammonites, and Moabites as circumcising people. Herodotus, writing in the fifth century BC, would add the Colchians, Ethiopians, Phoenicians, and Syrians to that list." Male Genital Mutilation (Circumcision)in the US: "But in the United States, where Christianity is the main religion, the majority of newborn baby boys are routinely circumcised after birth. The practice, however, has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with social convention. The American custom has its roots in Victorian Britain. At the turn of the 20th century, doctors began to promote circumcision as a way to prevent masturbation. By 1940, up to 50 per cent of British men were circumcised. The practice lost ground in the 1950s after circumcision was declared "medically untenable." Today less than three per cent of British men are circumcised. But in the United States, the British practice was enthusiastically embraced. Circumcision was practised widely until the early 1970s." The practice in the United States began as a method to prevent masturbation, and was widely accepted. It has since been defended under other arguments.
  • There is a historical record in the Bible of an entire village that was wiped out because they were attacked three days after the men were circumcised; they weren't in any shape to fight. My own sons were circumcised and though they objected at the time they didn't show much distress before it healed. Pardon me if I offended you, but I care more about saving tens or hundreds of thousands of black men and women in Africa more than I care about offending Americans using outdated information--and the medical opinions of the AMA, APA, AO&GA, and BMA are now outdated, because this information came to the surface within the last six months and in several African countries. In the USA it may well be "an unnecessary medical procedure." And I make no religious case for it, since I'm not Jewish or Muslim. But I do have a friend in Africa who's told me countless times of people he knew wasting away and dying in their thirties from a disease that can be prevented almost two thirds of the time by a simple surgical procedure.
  • this child sex abuse began thousands of years ago, 2 prevent masturbation. mothers and occasionaly fathers do it because they want 2 ruin their sons's lives.
  • The oldest records of circumcision are from Egypt, and it is also that area that has the highest rates of Female circumcision. Other cultures have adopted this practice, and some only circ males, while others circ both males/females. The reasons would most likely be based on religions that are no longer in practice.
  • Read your bible, Abraham was the first circumsied person. He was a older individual, Ouch! It also was a jewish custom to be identified as belonging to God. Like Baptism is a symbol of a person that has accepted Jesus in his heart. It is also for hygene, God knows.
  • According to the bible. The practice was to show who was and wasn't part of God's family. So that when woman were to be married, they were expected to check if the man was part of God's chosen people. This was during the Old Testament times and it was a command from God. During the New Testament times aka NOW. We are told that the circumcision is of the heart. Which means that we are to be pealed back and exposed so that God can remake us to be more like Him and to do His work in their world.

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