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Old 09-16-2013, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Korean Circumcision

I read another thread about circumcision, and remembered it's higher prevalence in SK, so was curious about it's history there. Reading the above was very surprising. For the record, I'm against infant circumcision for religious or 'health' reasons (unless of course it's a rare medical case where it has to be removed) since I think it's a form of mild form of mutilation and thus a human rights violation.

What stands out about circumcision in South Korea, of course, is not principally the rapid rise in popularity (as the article says) but the fact it's mostly boys or young men who get it done. And some of the reasons for doing it are rather strange. It seems like they were swayed by American propaganda during the Korea War and the occupation. It is similar to the rise of Christianity in South Korea, even though circumcision has never been a Christian thing.

It just got me thinking...the vast majority of Korean men seem rather ignorant on the subject. For instance as the article says, they believe that almost all men in the world are 'cut' while most are not. It got me wondering, if they're in the dark about this, how insular they are in general/about the rest of the world. Is there just something weird/strange about Korean culture?

 
Old 09-17-2013, 12:36 AM
 
Location: Czech Republic
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I am surprised to know that in Asia, only Philippines and South Korea practise Male Circumcision. I always thought it's practised everywhere in the world.
 
Old 09-17-2013, 01:21 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermosaa View Post
I am surprised to know that in Asia, only Philippines and South Korea practise Male Circumcision. I always thought it's practised everywhere in the world.
Interesting...yes the Philippines actually has a similar 'rite of passage' and in contrast to most countries where circumcision is performed among the majority circumcision is often performed on boys about 12 years old. Kind of like a rite of passage into manhood. I find it funny 'being macho' is one of the reasons why many do it. Maybe that belief is also common there, that most of the world does it, that's why you believe that to be the case.

In Australia circumcision was between Europe and the US in prevalence. For people born in 1986 it's at about 33%, it peaked at about 60% but was never as big as in the US. In most of the world, including Asia, circumcision has never been a common practice. In Asia it's mostly Muslim countries aside from the two obvious exceptions.
 
Old 09-17-2013, 01:46 AM
 
Location: Czech Republic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Interesting...yes the Philippines actually has a similar 'rite of passage' and in contrast to most countries where circumcision is performed among the majority circumcision is often performed on boys about 12 years old. Kind of like a rite of passage into manhood. I find it funny 'being macho' is one of the reasons why many do it. Maybe that belief is also common there, that most of the world does it, that's why you believe that to be the case.

In Australia circumcision was between Europe and the US in prevalence. For people born in 1986 it's at about 33%, it peaked at about 60% but was never as big as in the US. In most of the world, including Asia, circumcision has never been a common practice. In Asia it's mostly Muslim countries aside from the two obvious exceptions.
Yes it's like a passage into manhood and males who are not circumcised are often humiliated... seen as gross.
 
Old 09-17-2013, 01:50 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermosaa View Post
Yes it's like a passage into manhood and males who are not circumcised are often humiliated... seen as gross.
I've heard the same in the US. In school we never showered together or saw each other's private parts, so that wouldn't have been an issue, although most of us would have been uncut. Someone said that he, as a circumcised American male, was surprised that in Europe the men (who were mostly uncut) didn't make fun of him. He suggested jealousy could be partly to blame.
 
Old 09-17-2013, 06:41 AM
 
Location: In the heights
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It is sort of weird. South Korea, and to a lesser extent the US, Australia and Canada, are the only developed countries that have a high prevalence of circumcision. For the most part, circumcision has become only prevalent in some developing countries.
 
Old 09-17-2013, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OyCrumbler View Post
It is sort of weird. South Korea, and to a lesser extent the US, Australia and Canada, are the only developed countries that have a high prevalence of circumcision. For the most part, circumcision has become only prevalent in some developing countries.
In Canada and Australia it was never as high as the US. Today in those countries it's 10-15%. It probably peaked in the 60s and 70s at 60% or so.
 
Old 09-17-2013, 10:57 AM
 
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Some reports indicate that male circumcision was unheard of in Korea before 1945. It's likely that it began from western influence, particularly the United States. Some claims indicate that circumcision is somewhat declining in S. Korea is likely to increase declining due to greater access to information. As I understand, Christianity is rather high as a preferred religion in S. Korea. The same can be said for the US.

Historically, I think it's fair to say that a good part of the increase in the practice of circumcision in the US, probably stems back to it being a common practice among Jewish and Muslims who did so for religious reasons. In the US, medical practioners added various supposed medical benefits to justify and promote circumcision, although today, a lot of those unsupported notions are pretty well outdated, such as claims that it would promote better cleanliness, somehow prevent problems like VD, and reduce the nasty urge to play with the trouser trout which could lead to insanity, or worse, start growing hair on the palms of your hand. Even the military got into promoting the practice of circumcision so the boys overseas won't come home with a case of the clap.

In the US, there is said to be a decline in the rate of circumcision today most likely because old views about the uncut tallywhacker don't really hold as much weight anymore. I could be wrong, but I think today, circumcision of newborn males is becoming more optional rather than a default practice, but it's still very common. Evidently the AMA doesn't promote it anymore.

BMC Public Health | Full text | Decline in male circumcision in South Korea

Extraordinarily high rates of male circumcision in South Korea: history and underlying causes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History...e_circumcision

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History...ion_since_1950
 
Old 09-17-2013, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Alameda, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
As I understand, Christianity is rather high as a preferred religion in S. Korea. The same can be said for the US.
If I remember my numbers correctly, non-religious is about 50%, while Buddhism is less and Christianity is third. Not highly preferred.
 
Old 09-17-2013, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Yes, you're right NB. Religion is the minority reason in SK I think, and it was never the reason in the United States or any Christian country. It's on the decline everywhere in the developed world except maybe SK, although I wouldn't be surprised if attitudes change as SK becomes more global.
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