Understanding Circumcision

A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to a Multi-Dimensional Problem

  • George C. Denniston
  • Frederick Mansfield Hodges
  • Marilyn Fayre Milos

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Leonard B. Glick
    Pages 19-54
  3. Michael Katz
    Pages 55-59
  4. Myung-Geol Pang, Sae Chul Kim, DaiSik Kim
    Pages 61-81
  5. Pia Grassivaro Gallo, Lydia Rabuffetti, Franco Viviani
    Pages 99-111
  6. Ken McGrath, Hugh Young
    Pages 129-146
  7. Yngve Hofvander
    Pages 147-151
  8. Robert Darby
    Pages 153-197
  9. Ken McGrath
    Pages 199-206
  10. Gillian A. Bensley, Gregory J. Boyle
    Pages 207-239
  11. Tracey Gemmell, Gregory J. Boyle
    Pages 241-252
  12. Samuel Ramos, Gregory J. Boyle
    Pages 253-270
  13. Shane E. Peterson
    Pages 271-289
  14. J. Neville Turner
    Pages 291-296
  15. J. Steven Svoboda
    Pages 297-365
  16. Back Matter
    Pages 377-404

About this book


Every year, in the United States and the third world combined, 13.3 million boys and 2 million girls are circumcised. Whether because of perceived medical, cultural, or religious necessity, most of these parents feel they have no alternative but to allow their children to undergo this surgery. Sparking intense debate, the circumcision of children is a highly controversial and complex phenomenon that touches a variety of sociological areas, such as religious beliefs, identity issues, medical conceptualizations, fear, and superstition. The contributors to this volume comprise an international panel of experts in the fields of medicine, psychology, law, ethics, sociology, anthropology, history, theology, and politics. In 18 chapters they discuss the history of circumcision; document the physical and psychological consequences of circumcision; present the latest anatomical discoveries about the male prepuce; analyze the role of circumcision in various traditions; reveal the medical industry's investment in the practice; describe current legislative efforts to protect children from circumcision; and outline effective, culturally sensitive methods that are being implemented today to safeguard the human rights of at-risk children.
For its insights into this troubling aspect of culture, Understanding Circumcision: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to a Multi-Dimensional Problem is a critically important contribution to the growing body of literature on this subject.


ethics human rights psychology sociology surgery

Editors and affiliations

  • George C. Denniston
    • 1
  • Frederick Mansfield Hodges
    • 2
  • Marilyn Fayre Milos
    • 3
  1. 1.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Yale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource CentersSan AnselmoUSA

Bibliographic information