Experts have been unable to understand the origin of the practice of routine male circumcision. Most of the literature shows no awareness of phimosis - its frequency - or the sexual and erectile problems which can be cured by circumcision. If routine circumcision had been introduced for this most obvious reason of eliminating difficult foreskins; then the importance of an alternative modern method, suitable to our culture's attitudes in this day and age, would be clear.

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THE EUROPEAN QUESTION

The first records I can find describe how our cultural forefathers the Greeks and the Romans practiced infibulation (creating an artificial phimosis e.g. by binding the end of the foreskin together) (57). The Christian message from St. Paul advises us that "The true circumcision is of the heart" (58), thus confirming the culturally acceptable Roman attitude that an anatomical circumcision was not necessary. Diderot writing in 1779 shows how phimosis often led to gangrene etc. before being operated.

All the known facts indicate that in Europe, at least one man in ten has been slightly but fundamentally anatomically inhibited, for the last few thousand years!

It appears that these men would have had little information about their conditions, and even less possibility of skilled treatment. "Circumcision was not common in Europe or North America (except among Jews) until the 1870s and became widespread at the turn of the century" (59).

When one individual male is limited or frustrated in the intimate relationship with his own body, this has an effect on his intimate relationships with others. This underlying influence magnifies tendencies of a similar nature and undermines healthy qualities. Seen individually, this wouldn't have had any exceptional effect on an adaptable community - but it is when experiences repeat that they establish themselves personally, and culturally.

How much influence could such a genital disposition actually have had, if it occurred (unrecognised or untreated) at a frequency of one in ten, over a period of 2,000 years or a hundred generations? Could this (for example) be expected to encourage anxiety patterns and inhibitions in the relating behaviour of the culture?

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