Social Question

saint's avatar

What were the ancients trying to accomplish with circumcision?

Asked by saint (3975points) September 19th, 2011

It is an old custom/ritual- thousands of years old. Somebody thought that it was important for some reason. What is that reason?
Since I am circumcised, I assume I benefited in some really big way from the procedure. I am not Jewish, but I figure Jews probably know. Give it up please.
Is this a social question, or a general question. I figure its not a meta question.

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4 Answers

ddude1116's avatar

Oddly enough, I met a guy adamantly protesting circumcision a few months ago who explained most of this to me and a few others. I don’t remember it in its entirety, and would really rather not look it up, but this is what I remember from it.

It was considered a rite of passage to Judaism. The reasons for such were: Cleanliness since harmful bacteria could not be caught in a foreskin if there were none, aiding the flow of semen, the skin, once removed, resembled a heart, to make the man more at one with himself, and that it made the penis more sensitive to pleasure. When this was devised, though, it was mostly wrong. The foreskin serves a purpose for men and for women, for it is meant to aid intercourse. Without the foreskin, the head of the penis pulls against the sides of the vagina and prevents the lubricative fluid from doing as it should, causing chafing. The purpose of the foreskin is simply to prevent that, however, it isn’t anything liberal amounts of lubricant cannot solve. Unfortunately, it seems circumcision does more to hinder than to aid, especially today, for it adds little sexually, makes an already vulnerable organ more vulnerable and, with modern sanitation, cleanliness should no longer be the huge concern.

Today, though, religions and doctors have ultimately debunked circumcision except for highly orthodox sects of Judaism and Islam, entirely for the sake of being orthodox because it isn’t necessary. Today, it’s necessary for cosmetics. The skin of a baby is used in many lotions and facial creams for anti aging. Child’s skin is able to hold more moisture, and transfers it to skin better than other chemicals. That’s rarely advertised, though, since it isn’t the most pleasant of things.

EDIT: I forgot to mention, the increased sensitivity also inhibits masturbation, and is widely used to prevent such vile acts. While circumcision lowers the risk of certain STDs and penile cancer, botched procedures are always extreme and result in some highly unpleasant circumstances such as irreparable damage, often resulting in amputation, or death.

atch's avatar

There is a higher risk of infection with foreskin.

syz's avatar

It’s like a secret handshake. It means you’re “like us”, in the club.

downtide's avatar

Better hygeine in a world without soap. Nearly all the Jewish laws have their roots in health & safety practises, and nearly all are obsolete in the modern world.

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