I wouldn't say so much. Circumcision seems to have been a sanitary rule, as well as many other rules from the oldest ages. It was supposed to prevent STD, or to avoid "cultivation" of bacteries in a moist environment. Today, because cleanliness and sanitary rules are well known and mostly followed, such practices have remained stuck to religious reasons.
This is the same reason why adultery was forbidden, why unmarried sex was forbidden, why adultery was forbidden. Sexually transmittable diseases were quite "popular" by then, and limiting sexual practices to one person was quite an effective way to stop spreading them.
Still in religious rules, why do you think muslims do not eat pork? Today it is a religious rule, when it was "established" it was because in those regions it was too hot, and pigs had developed a number of diseases that were transmitted to humans.
As for the expression "male genital mutilation", do not be so "terrorist", and do not compare it to "FEMALE genital mutilation":
The circumcision is usually done when the child is very young, supposedly for sanitary reasons, a simple cut that almost never has consequences, and their ability to have sexual pleasure remains unchanged.
Ah!! and in little new-born babies, it does not hurt
. And before puberty, the pain is so little that in many cases, before 4 or 5 years old, not even anesthesia is applied.
The "clitoris ablation" is a wild agressive practice to young girls who are developping (or have just developped) sexually, that hurts the hell of hells, that usually results in infectious processes that cause a significative number of deaths, for the sole purpose of making women "clean". What does it mean? that they will not try to experience "other sexuall pleasures out of the marriage" because those little women become UNABLE TO
FEEL ANY KIND OF
PLEASURE with sex (OK, actually they can feel something if they have a sensible man with them, female body is quite more sexually sensible than the male one, but reducing what can be quantificated as 90% of their sensibility).
Circumcision has not prooved to increase or improve anything, but does not become a source of problems.
Clitoris ablation is a wild bestial torture from which girls will NEVER recover, from which they loose the totality of their genital organs and sensibility, from which many young girls cannot survive, adn from which most of them drag psycologic sequels for their whole life.
It was not the best for a comparison.
[Edited 2003-11-04 00:35:13]