Incidence and Distribution of Genital Cutting Worldwide
Male       Female       Intersex

Where Males Are and Are Not Intact

Virtually all: Chinese, Japanese, North Koreans, Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians, Burmese, Thais
Hindus, Sikh, Parsee and Christian Indians
Zulus, Shona, certain other African nations
most Melanesian and some Western Polynesian (Rennell, Bellona) peoples,

The great majority of: Europeans
men of the former Soviet Union
Central and South Americans
New Zealand Maori
Younger men of Britain and the Commonwealth, especially New Zealand and Australia

About half of: Malaysians (Hindu and Christian Tamils, Chinese and Orang Asli)

A significant minority of:
Americans, especially younger, Hispanic, and in the South West
Bangladeshis (20% are Hindu)
About 500,000,000 Muslims
More than 100,000,000 USAmericans
About 25,000,000 Filipinos
Some tens of millions of older men of Britain
and the Commonwealth
Some tens of millions of African tribesmen
About 14,000,000 South Koreans
7,000,000 Jews
Some hundreds of thousands of Central and Eastern Polynesians
(Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga, Niue, Tokelau)
and Melanesians (Fiji, Vanuatu, parts of Solomon Islands and small parts of PNG)
Some thousands of aboriginal Australians,
mainly in the north and west

MGM map reduced - click for full size
Click on the map for a larger image.

Of necessity, this map generalises. In South Africa, for example, whites of British extraction (but not Afrikaners) circumcised "medically" until recently, Xhosa circumcise tribally and Zulus had stopped circumcising but have recently resumed. Even in Israel (barely visible even on the larger map), surprisingly many parents leave their sons intact.

In January 2018, Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir of the Progressive Party, which is in the government coalition, presented a Bill to allow the genital cutting of boys only where it is necessary to protect their health. It was strongly opposed by Muslim and Jewish organisations.

On June 25, 2012, the District Court of Cologne ruled that circumcision of boys is a bodily injury, and doctors doing it could be punished.  On July 19, 2012, the Bundestag resolved to pass a law allowing religious infant male genital cutting.
On June 13, 2012, the Centre Party justice policy spokeswoman Jenny Klinge said the practice of ritually circumcising infant boys is outdated, dangerous, and should be banned.)
The Netherlands

Circumsision is not yet legally questioned, but on April 26, 2010, the KNMG (Royal Dutch Medical Association) issued a policy urging its members not to perform it.

South Africa
On June 19, 2006 the South African President assented to the Children's Act, which outlaws male genital cutting except for religious and medical purposes, or with the consent of a child over 16. (This has not seriously impeded non-therapeutic circumcision.)
On June 1, 2001, the Swedish Parliament passed a law restricting circumcision to licenced practitioners, except for religious circumcision in the first two months of life. The law comes into effect on October 1 and will be reviewed in four years.
Late in 1999, the Juridic Ombudsman of the Finnish Parliament, Riitta-Leena Paunio, noted that infant circumcision is not recommended without a medical reason and recommended that children should be consulted and should give their permission. She said the Finnish Parliament should weigh up the parents' religious rights over their children against the obligation of society to protect its children from ritualistic operations without immediate benefit to them.

This decision is believed to be the first of its kind in any country.

As an immediate result, the consent of both parents is now required.

Incidence and Distribution of Female Genital Cutting Worldwide

FGC map reduced - click for full size
Click on the map for a larger image.

(FGC is outlawed in countries marked with blue crosshatching but is still prevalent at the rate shown in the underlying shade of pink.)

FGC is outlawed in the USA, but for a month in 2010, the American Academy of Pediatrics policy suggested doctors be allowed to perform a "ritual nick" to prevent worse. The policy was withdrawn after a storm of protest.

One striking conclusion from these two maps is that wherever Female Genital Cutting is prevalent, male circumcision is also (though the reverse is of course not the case).

People who object that there is no comparison between FGC and MGC should see the list of comparisons.

Status of Intersex Worldwide

Status of intersex - map
Click on the map for a larger image.

In most of the world, intersexed people are unrecognised and genital assignment surgery of intersexed babies is unregulated. The United Nations has not officially recognised Intersex people nor condemned gender-assignment surgery. It is mentioned erratically, if at all, at meetings of Human Rights bodies.

Germany: An indeterminate sex, "X" is recognised, but this has not proved to be the boon that it has been touted, because it opens the door for Intersexed people to be regarded as having a "disorder" that must be "corrected".

India: Intersex babies may be consigned to the class of hijra ("eunuchs") which also includes transgender, transsexual and castrated people. While recognised, they are a low caste who survive by singing univited at weddings, and by prostitution.

Australia: The Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Bill 2013 provides protection against discrimination on the basis of intersex status. The State Goverment of Victoria has (July 2021) issued a position paper, "(i) Am Equal", setting out rights for people with Variations in Sex Characteristics, including "deferrable medical interventions modifying a person’s sex characteristics without personal consent" and "an oversight panel to ensure compliance with the prohibition".

California, USA: August 2018, the State Legislature passed a resolution demanding the medical community halt nonconsensual medical procedures that try to cosmetically "normalize" variations in intersex children's sex characteristics.

Chile:  January 2017, Ministry of Health opposes “unnecessary ‘normalization’ treatments of intersex children” that include “irreversible genital surgeries until they are of a sufficient age to make decisions about their bodies.”

Colombia: Sex assignment surgery (intersex genital mutilation, IGM) is banned

Greece: July 2022, Sex assignment surgery age-restricted to 15 and over with the person's consent.

Iowa, USA: Bill introduced March 2019 to outlaw intersex surgery on minors

Malta:  In April 2015, outlawed medical practitioners or other professionals from conducting any involuntary or coerced surgical intervention on minors with intersex variations.

Nepal: A 2007 case, Pant v. Nepal resulted in Writ No. 917 in 2011, mandating that citizens be allowed to self-identify as a third gender on all official documents and registers.

Portugal: May 2017, surgery on intersex babies outlawed.

South Africa: Intersex people are protected from sex discrimination: "Sex" is defined to include intersex (defined as “a congenital sexual differentiation which is atypical, to whatever degree”) in the Judicial Matters Amendment Act, 2005


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