Circumcision and Paranoia

Remembering a book I’d read about male circumcision by an American Jewish doctor whose name I foolishly forget and can’t find, it struck me that the answer to why Americans are so panicky, might lie there.

30-50 years ago, apparently a vast majority – some 80% – of American boy babies were circumcised – at 8 days, in hospital, without anaesthetic, without their parents there. Such early trauma, I thought, might well account for some of the easy paranoia over strangers and their foreign ideas. The Perceived threat and consequent anxiety seem to obtain not only within the ‘political classes’ but to prevail generally, emerging both at times of external crisis – Cuba Crisis, etc. – and over something like the Health bill – ‘Euro…’; ‘Socialism…’. The Tea Party seems the embodiment of such paranoia.

In the US, circumcision is going down, but not very fast.
Within Jewry, it tends to be a celebration, which must help, but all the same Israel’s supporters do tend to be pretty paranoid, finding anti-semitism whenever even Israel’s friends criticise Israel – which results of course in more criticism.

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