How common is circumcision? : A guide to Circumcision

Circumcision is more widely performed in Muslim countries, Africa, some parts of South East Asia and the US. However, it is much less frequent in the UK.

Those cases of circumcision in the UK occur within the Jewish and Muslim communities. They are performed on infants and young boys as a statement of their commitment to their religion and are also a sign of inclusion in that religion.

But an increasing number of people within these religions are questioning the purpose of circumcision and whether it is still a valid aspect of their religion. However, this has caused many arguments within Judaism or Islam with many followers strongly in favour of circumcision compared to those who are not.

Circumcision carried out on adults is usually for medical reasons; treating conditions such as balanitis xerotica obliterans and paraphimosis.

The number of boys undergoing circumcision for medical reasons has fallen over the years to around 10,000 a year.

(Source: NHS Choices: Expert View, Circumcision: 21.10.2009)


But in spite of this drop in numbers, circumcision is still performed on children which are discussed further in the next section.


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