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.


German Original Text
English Translation

Introduction to Text

Ploss emphasised over and over again with biblical references and undeniable logic that fertility was the reason for the practice among the Jews (and an awareness of fertility would be expected among such an advanced literate people). And here, with respect to the Jews, he would agree that they had an " erroneous over estimation of its effect on fertility."

However with respect to natural peoples he suggests a mixture of general ideas including fertility. He emphasises the wish to correct nature and create a normal adult appearance, he mentions "causing difficulties during sexual activity", "an obstacle to coitus" and "the enjoyment of sex"

It is difficult to define when Ploss stops talking about the Jews and goes on to natural peoples Please read his full text yourself rather than any interpretations. (German Original) Following are what I consider the important extracts from Plosses theory


Plosses central theory

Ploss discusses and refutes the hygienic and purification theories among the Jews. "they held the idea that during coitus the circumcised condition made fertilisation more successful, then it is written in the Bible: "through circumcision God gave him the prospect of plentiful descendants." .... There must be another psychological motive which moved them to adopt the operation."

Paragraph 3
The purpose and intention of this operation lies, in my opinion, in the endeavour to correct nature. To help her with her supposed "mistakes" and to bring about a state on the sexual organ which one considers to be normal in adults. Such a state clearly never occurs of its own accord when left to nature among small children, and still does not develop spontaneously very often during puberty. On the other hand, it is not at all uncommon for such states to continue until adulthood causing difficulties during sexual activity. They wanted to eliminate phimosis, because they considered a man with such a defect was less able to have children.

In order to understand this it must be pointed out which process of change usually, if not always, occurs in the penis up until the time when procreation is possible. Among new born children, the foreskin covering the glans is always so formed that it is only with difficulty or force that it can be retracted over the glans. After a period of time in relationship to the development of the entire member, (the penis), the foreskin becomes a lot more elastic around its opening, so that later, in fact when the penis is in the erect state, in the majority of cases the foreskin folds back automatically.

It is thus quite normal for a new born child to possess a phimosis i.e. an elongation of the foreskin combined with a narrowness of the opening, such that the retraction of this behind the corona of the glans (which is profitable for a man in order to ejaculate when performing coitus); is not possible.

If everywhere and without any question (even among the insufficiently and inadequately observant natural peoples); the fact had been noticed that not uncommonly youths, as they develop to adulthood, may begin to carry the glans naked (because the prepuce retracts automatically and remains behind the corona); and in addition among men, the glans is still only abnormally covered by the foreskin during an erection; therefore the foreskin covering the glans appears to be an abnormal state of affairs, which one must quite routinely take counter measures against and correct in good time.

Paragraph 4
With this, I conclude that the original predisposition towards circumcision was the operational preparation for the sexual function of the man. One considers the child's foreskin, which has to some extent remained covering the glans, since earliest childhood regardless of everything, the persisting narrow condition of the phimosis; as being more or less an obstacle to coitus, which one must correct with a surgical operation.

It is for this reason, that most primitive peoples incise or ablate the foreskin, once the age of puberty, (when the maturity for the enjoyment of sex) has been reached: with this one decisive act they wanted to make the boy completely mature and normal in the sexual sense.

It is thus, an act which is conducted, whereby one takes the young person in as an equal among the group of mature, marryable men; and at the same time one combines this act with certain ceremonies, symbolic of this initiation; by which, with respect to the pain (that this forthcoming operation causes to the very sensitive male sexual organ), one wishes to develop a form of test on the masculine fortitude.

This singular operation which prepares for sexual adulthood, is practised by the Jews and Muslims among others, at quite an early age; here one believes it is necessary to fight against this natural state of incompleteness as soon as the child is born.

They want even the child to be assured the possibility of numerous offspring and not leave it to chance, if the phimosis which had been noticed on him, (which could perhaps hinder procreation); will resolve naturally by itself or if it will remain in the future. Thus it becomes regarded as a work which is pleasing to God: then it was held in itself by the Jews for highly worthwhile to have numerous offspring."

and then Ploss continues discussing the Jews with the emphasis on fertility - please read his full text yourself rather than any interpretations. - (German Original)