At the heart of my curiosity, is the somewhat light-hearted question of - how many men would voluntarily butcher their penis? Whilst I know that the reasoning for circumcision is due to hygeine concerns, it just strikes myself as very odd that, once upon a time, one man - or a group of men - decided "let's cut our penises, and all the penises of our social group". Herodotus refers to the Egyptian Priesthood also being circumcised - and I'm under the impression that in Mesopotamia there was some practice - so it's not as if it was a strictly Jewish practice. Does life in the desert make it such an utter necessity that those with a foreskin pray for circumcision? Or does it perhaps have other roots? A particular curiosity is whether the practice may have arisen in matriarchal societies - if the Middle East ever had any - as the idea of cutting bits off men's willies seems such a feminine idea. I'm curious - what are the actual origins of circumcision? Or is there little really known about the origins of the practice.