Circumcision / Male Genital Mutilation

Circumcision, often referred to as male genital mutilation, is a surgical procedure involving the removal of the foreskin that covers the head of the penis. It is a practice that has been performed for various cultural, religious, and medical reasons across different parts of the world for centuries. The terms "circumcision" and "male genital mutilation" are often used interchangeably but may carry different connotations based on cultural and ethical perspectives. This description will provide an overview of circumcision and the debate surrounding male genital mutilation.


Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin, the loose fold of skin that covers the glans (head) of the penis. The procedure is typically performed in a medical setting, such as a hospital or clinic, and can be done for various reasons, including:

  • Religious and Cultural Traditions: Circumcision is an essential practice in many religious traditions, including Judaism and Islam, where it symbolizes a covenant with God. It is also a common cultural practice in some communities.
  • Medical Reasons: Circumcision may be recommended for medical reasons, such as addressing phimosis (a condition where the foreskin is too tight to retract), recurrent urinary tract infections, or certain cases of penile cancer.
  • Hygiene and Prevention: Some people choose circumcision for hygiene and preventive reasons, as it may reduce the risk of certain infections, like urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases. However, the evidence on this is mixed and often debated.

Male Genital Mutilation:

The term "male genital mutilation" is often used to highlight the ethical and human rights concerns related to non-consensual circumcision. Critics argue that performing circumcision on infants or individuals without their explicit consent infringes upon their bodily autonomy and violates human rights.