Chapter 3: ANTHROPOLOGY
Among a number of the higher mammals, foreskin conditions occur
with considerable frequency. The
evolutionary relevance of foreskin conditions is discussed: Why
have these hindrances to reproduction not been deselected?
The central file discusses The
Origins of the Practice of Routine Male Circumcision.
The relevant anthropological and texts are collected under Anthropological
Studies. Modern writers never mention phimosis. Phimosis was
last discussed by Ploss (1876) and Bryk (1931).
it was far too great a rarity to be
considered as originating factor. However in 1931 there
were no statistical studies. I discuss all the presently available statistical
reports. These show that, even in the non-erect state, at least 8% of men suffer phimosis.
Added to this , the practice originated among the hunting peoples. Hunting peoples lived in small tribal groups. Small groups are renowned for erratic fluctuations in the statistics. This is why reliable statistics must be taken from groups of 1,000s. With statistics from a group of 15, a fluctuation between 1% and 90% is no suprise. I suggest
the first routine steps were taken during periods of high statistical frequency.
Ploss was misinterpreted. He claimed phimosis to be the origin of routine male circumcision, (he did not claim fertility to be of relevance apart from among the Jews).
Lets reconsider - some forms of phimosis are merely irritating others
are painful, some typically result in inflammations and disease,
some cause problems by urination, others during masturbation; some
previous to intercourse, others during it, and still others for
several days after intercourse.
In pre-literate times it would not have been possible to start
understanding and classifying all these problematic conditions.
I suggest routine circumcision was originally introduced
as an all cure: at a time of high frequency, as a practical and simple solution to and prevention
of, a number of confusing and chaotic problems.
A further section examines the various reasons why among some
peoples the practice became established - the oldest living surgical
tradition - and thus heralded the beginnings of the surgical practice
in Western medicine.
If routine circumcision had initially been introduced for this
most obvious reason of eliminating difficult foreskins; it would
clarify the importance of a modern alternative form of prevention.