anth 111 assign. 4

anth 111 assign. 4 - Exploring Bodily Modifications in the...

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Exploring Bodily Modifications in the form of Circumcision Alissa Chanin ANTH 111 Amy Groleau 27 November 2007
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Abstract: The paper reviews the anthropology on body modifications in the manifestation of circumcision both male and female. Ritual body modification behaviors are traditional and reflect the history, spiritualism, and beliefs of a society. They are culturally and psychologically embedded in profound, elemental experiences especially connected to healing, spirituality, and social orderliness. Bodily Mutilation is not specific to one culture, or one variety. The custom of physical modification as a form of religious sanction or as punishment for unforgivable deeds or gender is not uncommon. Then taking these bodily modifications and understanding the values of a culture through such permanent customs and relating them to the other common practices, and distinguishing between severe and simple rites. Ritual body modification behaviors are traditional and reflect the history, spiritualism, and beliefs of a society. They are culturally embedded in profound, elemental experiences especially connected to healing, spirituality, and social orderliness. There are various forms of bodily modifications as a traditional fixture in many cultures. Bodily Modification is not specific to one culture, nor one variety. Rather the custom of physical modification as a form of religious passage or as punishment for unforgivable deeds or gender is not uncommon. Males circumcision is defined as the removal of some or all of the foreskin (prepuce) from the penis,” while female circumcision is the “excision or tissue removal of any part of the female genitalia for cultural, religious or other non-medical reasons.” Circumcision, both male and female is one such physical modification that is both widely practiced as well as widely debated. However, circumcision should be viewed contextually. It is for all purposes a case study in how beliefs and rituals, regardless of how extreme or permanent they may be, can thrive in both our society as well as cultures far removed from our own. The practice of circumcision is found in sub-Saharan and North Africa, the Muslim Middle East, Judaism, aboriginal Australia, the Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia. Jewish circumcision celebrates sexuality and marks the first physical experience of a young boy (CIRP 2001). In Africa, circumcision represents common symbolic themes such as the enhancement of masculine virility and fertility, opposition between men and women, preparation for marriage
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and adult sexuality, and the hardening of boys for warfare (Lugemwa 2007). Female circumcision may be performed for hygienic and aesthetic reasons or the most common reason, to preserve girls’ virginities for marriage (Myers 2003). However, in some parts of Africa female circumcision is a form of punishment for sexual exploration or merely as a means of gender discrimination. Circumcision has proven to be an important dynamic concerning social order. Early
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anth 111 assign. 4 - Exploring Bodily Modifications in the...

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