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Male Circumcision, Male Issues, Female Circumcision, Female Issues

Circumcision is the practice of surgically removing parts of a person's genitalia, usually involving skin covering the clitoris or glans of the penis. This surgery is most commonly performed on children: either newborn infants or adolescents. The practices, meanings, and implications attached to this activity vary greatly by region, religion, and gender. Because the implications and types of procedures differ immensely across gender lines, it is important to consider male and female circumcision separately. However, great controversy surrounds the practice of circumcision of both genders. The controversies center on the health implications, effects on sexuality, natural states of bodies, social acceptance, religious rites, and proper treatment of children. These issues become especially compelling in the context of globalization, secularization, and competing views of health.

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Marriage and Family EncyclopediaFamily & Marriage Traditions