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Circumcision knife, Europe, 1775-1785

Circumcision – the removal of the foreskin of the penis – is practised across the world often for cultural and religious reasons. In some countries it is also promoted for reasons of hygiene and health. In Britain, circumcision is mainly carried out in connection with religious practices. In the United States it remains the most common surgical operation and well over fifty per cent of the male population are circumcised.

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Glossary: circumcision

Surgical removal of the foreskin around the penis. Usually for religious or ethical reasons, but may also be done for medical reasons.

Glossary: circumcision knife

A knife used to perform circumcision.