Worldwide Prevalence of Circumcision

Prevalence of circumcision throughout the world. Very little rhyme or reason—Bangladesh and South Korea but nowhere else in those areas? Former Yugoslavia but nowhere else in Europe? Why certain parts of Africa but not others, and why the US but not the UK? I don’t get it.





  • Mark

    Former Yugoslavia probably because of the heavy Muslim population. Definitely that for Bangladesh. South Korea is probably western colonial influence.

  • Giuliano

    US but not UK => Large Jewish communities in US

  • Alan

    Jews account for less than 2% population in USA. Less than a half percent in UK. Shouldn’t impact either.

  • Becky

    Circumcision became the norm in the US for a variety of reasons, none of which were religious. Now, it is mainly perpetuated by cultural reasons. It is considered normal.

    • Lea Maric

      The breakup of Yugoslavia, according to Milica Z. Bookman, “was extremely violent, producing some two million refugees, over 100,000 killed, and evidence of gang rape, impaling, dismemberment and forced circumcision.”[83]

      The US Department of State reported that Muslim and Mujahedin irregular troops “had routinely performed crude, disfiguring, nonmedical circumcisions on Bosnian Serb soldiers.” One 18-year-old Bosnian Serb soldier “was so brutally circumcised that eventually the entire organ required amputation.”[84]

  • Cyril

    Several factors impact those results. Probably most heavily religion, but also public health policies, which have a tendency to be fairly idiosyncratic.

  • Tom

    I’ll never understand why it’s considered normal to cut off the skin around the end of a penis. I like mine and I’d be annoyed if someone had taken it from me as a baby!

  • Peter

    Circumcision desensitizes the male and I would suggest that this translates to emotional desensitization too. Way to keep a population eager to resort to violence instead of communication, dialogue and compassion. I consider circumcision horrific and think any parent who willfully puts his or her son (or daughter) through this at the age of just a few days should be punished by law.

  • Umm

    ^that comment right there was in no way backed by any science. That’s your opinion and is a offensive position to be in.

  • Snippity snip snip

    An Open Response to Kris Fickes:

    Dude. You had a hack cut you. I have never experienced anything even remotely close to what you have described, nor even heard anything of the sort. It’s mutilation if you go for the discount moil operating out of the back of a van who uses a wet nap from a rib joint to wash his instruments. Your experience is not widely shared, and although you have my sincere sympathy, you are espousing extremely strong opinions from an individual anomalous occurrence.

    I do believe “insidious violence” or something akin to that happened to you. My circumcised dick has never needed lubrication, and I have way, way WAY more feeling on the head of my prick than the palm of my hand.

    Just another lesson in retaining competent and professional experts I suppose.

    • You have no idea who cut Kris Fickes. Since no baby gets a choice about who cuts him (and parents of babies in hospitals don’t get a choice either), your comment is irrelevant. What you don’t know is the “symphony of sensation” that was stolen with your foreskin.

      Genital cutting is certainly not a “snip”, let alone a “snippety snip snip”.
      * With a Gomco, Winkelman or Mogen Clamp, or a traditional barzel, it’s sliced – and a Mogen may slice more than just the foreskin, which has led to successful claims worth millions and the Mogen company going out of business.
      * With a Plastibell or PrePex it’s crushed and allowed to die (14/15 men circumcised with a PrePex complained of pain, and the smell of rotting foreskin was also an issue).
      * With an Accu-circ it’s chopped.
      Here is a nurse’s video of her first genital cutting, and she thinks she did well:

  • Marie

    Sure there’s rhyme and reason to be found in this!
    Bangladesh: 90% Muslim population, while neighboring countries are mostly Buddhist (i.e. Myanmar) or Hindu (India).
    South Korea: Circumcision has gained high cultural acceptance with a rate around 60% after the US trusteeship (1940s) and US involvement in the Korean war (1950s). (See: Pang, M. & Kim, D. (2002). Extraordinarily high rates of male circumcision in South Korea. History and underlying causes.)
    Former Yugoslawia: As Mark pointed out, the Muslim population here is higher compared to the rest of Europe. Note that the 20-80% category covers a big span, so the rate might actually be a lot lower than in let’s say the US, which fits the same category.
    UK and US: In the 1950s circumcision stopped being covered by public health services (See: Gairdner, D. (1949). The Fate of the Foreskin.). Before that it was a “thing” in the UK as well. Note that the rate of circumcision is falling in the US, likely due to a shift towards Latino influences. Which might mean that the strong cultural acceptance of circumcision in the US was first due to WASP and later Jewish immigration.
    Africa: The countries in the WHO map with low prevalence of circumcision are Namibia and bordering countries. This is speculative: It might represent the influence of German values, as Namibia used to be a German colony. Circumcision is not popular in German culture. Not sure about Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia, however they were British colonies once, so who knows.

  • The Hindu

    As Muslims and Hindus fought each other back in the day, a captured boy/man would be stripped naked to see if he was circumcised or not. Circumcised = Muslim. Uncircumcised = Hindu. Release, convert, or kill accordingly.

  • Fioravante

    very proud and thankful for being circumcised

    • If you knew what you are missing, you’d be mad as hell.

  • Carliam

    where cave circumcised? where babies male or female born circumcised?
    what was big momma natures thoughts on this ?

  • Carliam

    sorry cave men

Home Archive