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.


To get a general background on the subject ... Some of the most interesting and unbiased literature on the ancient enigma of routine circumcision, is found in the religious encyclopaedias: Hasting's Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics (1910) gives a detailed introduction (about an hours reading time); compare this with Eliade's Encyclopedia of Religion (1987) for a modern perspective on the subject. (around 10 mins reading)

To get the deepest background education, Bryk's book "Circumcision in Man and Woman" (1931) is a generally recognised, enjoyable and a very thorough source book.

Phimosis Through the Ages gives a Summary and Index to all anthropological studies discussing phimosis.

Incidentally, to appreciate the sparsity of literature on circumcision, Eliade's Encyclopedia of Religion (1987) comment that Bryk's book "is the only anthropological survey of the topic." (78) - (Jensen also wrote a book which is thoroughly boring not very informative, illogical, but has nice maps - !)