Circumcision is the norm in America but not in Europe for a few reasons. It has been common across the Islamic world but discouraged by Russian Orthodox Christians since the middle ages.

At the start of the 19th century circumcision was not widespread but as the Victorian age got underway in Britain and the US population expanded, sexual attitudes carne under attack across Protestant Europe and America, mainly as part of a wider movement of austerity, modesty, healthy body, healthy mind etc in fast-developing social orders.

Masturbation was always a big taboo in puritanical circles and revivalism was gaining traction in the US and the UK so temperance and celibacy were in vogue. Industrialization and urbanization lent an urgency to social chance and keeping populations moral and physically fit in challenging conditions was front page news.

The medical profession grew rapidly during this time, in part church funded and church directed. Wanking was linked to lax attitudes to sex and depraved thoughts already but by the mid 1800s masturbation is called unhealthy by the doctors, publicly stating  it contributed to many physical and mental illnesses.

Church says chop the foreskin so men are less into sex and unclean actions. Medics say chop the foreskin to reduce STDs and epilepsy etc. The pressure is stressful. By the late 19th century circumcision is the norm in the US and UK/Northern Europe. It never got popular in the rest of Europe i.e. Catholic countries as the Catholic Church had ruled against it centuries before.

Circumcision fell out of favour in the UK and Europe as religious attitudes swung back the other way and, most importantly, by the mid 20th century the UK and all the Prostestant European countries had gotten free nationalized health care. The US stayed as religious, puritan in key places and there was no free healthcare.

So while the European countries did the science, figured out circumcision wasn’t medically worth the cost to the universal healthcare systems, in the US attitudes didn’t change. Europe fell in love with the foreskin again and the snip fell off the map. America chose to stick with circumcision and embrace the tradition of the exposed helmet.

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