Many moons ago, I promised a posting on circumcision in Germany. It’s taken quite some time to do all the research I needed to for this post. For some reason, asking guys to just drop trou doesn’t go over well so I had to do some less official researching. You know, like visiting the local sauna. And checking out Wikipedia’s statistics, which have led me to make the very scientific observation that not many boys/men in Germany are cut. It’s not quite the numbers the above photo would have you believe, but in comparison to the US, a circumcised boy/man in Germany is as rare as an albino rhino.
The exact statistic I found cited on Wikipedia is 11% in Germany compared to 52% in the US, a discrepancy which I find phenomenal (which is also not the stats available in this WHO report, which has the US at 75% cut, compared to just 6% in the UK, so this is clearly not an Anglo-Saxon trend, nor is it something easily put into numbers, I guess). The only countries with greater prevalence are predominantly Muslim or Jewish countries, thanks to religious rituals which include parading a 4-year-old boy through the streets in a white suit and funky headdress or sprinkling a newborn with holy water and reciting Torah verses while the whole family looks on, respectively. Nothing says religious devotion like snipping your most sensitive part, I suppose.
Thank fuck the Diva was born a girl. I’m not religious and I really don’t I think I could’ve made that decision for her “health” if she had been born a him. Because from all my informal research, it sounds like that 11% in Germany are either doing it out of devotion or for health reasons. Of all the Mamas of boys that I asked, only one had her son snipped, and that when he was five and after a number of serious infections. Poor little footballer couldn’t walk for over a week.
This is a very different attitude than the one I encountered in the US, where, when I asked other Mamas of boys, the general statement was, “I didn’t want him to look funny.” So it seems circumcision over there is more on par with plastic surgery.
What’s all this say about cultural differences? Frankly, I have no idea. I’d like to make some sweeping generalization about penis health and societal mentality but I’m totally unqualified to do so, so I’ll leave it up to you all in the comments section.
On a related note, a tip for my male readers: discussing circumcision preferences over drinks is not the best way to pick up a girl in a bar. Some poor sap in Denmark found that out the hard way last month and I’m still cringing at the convo. Some things are just better left undiscussed.