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Hey guys and gals - I was doing the radio show today on circ and a caller said that when he was in the army (circa WW2) they lined up daily for "inspection", men had to drop trow and retract, and if there was smegma, he was forcibly circ'd! My FIL confirms that this was indeed the case, my dad who was a merchant marine and intact had never heard of it. Anyone familiar with this? Creeps me out - if you don't wash it we cut it off! and the US Army doing that?! Sounds bizarre, like Nazis or something!
 

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That sounds like a perverts charter to me.<br><br>
I wonder what sicko thought that one up. Anyway, they don't do that now.
 

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It is my understanding that the military engaged in regular inspection of the genitalia of men during both world wars and during Korea. It was called short arm inspection. Men were indeed lined up and had to display their genitals for examinaiton by a medical officer. The purpose was not to check for cleanliness, though I suppose that was done as well, but rather to check for external signs of venereal diseases. Any men who were not circumcised had to skin back for the inspection. My father and his brothers have all confirmed the existence of such inspections. I don't know what the frequency of them was, and I don't know what became of these inspections after Korea. I assume they existed in some form at least through VIetnam.
 

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I have a suspicion that this practice was not confined to only U.S. forces. My grandfather was in the army in Canada (back then it was still the British Army) and was sent to join up with British troops , who then all fought in the Boer War in South Africa.<br>
Some years ago I was curious as to where/how this circumcision thing got started in my own family. Knowing that my Dad and uncle were both circumcised, I asked my uncle about his father (my GF) and he replied "Well , he was in the army". He did not elaborate , but it seems to me that I read somewhere that 100 years ago circumcision was not an uncommon practice in the military, and I think may have started when the Brits were heavily involved in India. Does anyone have any information on this?
 

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My grandfather was circ'd in the Navy (Korea era). There was vague mention of infections, but I don't know specifics. My dad and his brother are circ'd, as is my brother and I assume my male first cousins because he didn't want them to have to be circ'd when they were older. Not to mention the fact that they were born in the era of automatic circ without consent.
 

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You can just imagine them doing that to service<i>women</i> can't you?<br><br>
TEEEENNSHUN!<br><br>
DOOOOOOOWN ON YOUR BACKS NOW!<br><br><br>
LEGS......OPEN!!!<br><br>
And someone going down the line inspecting for smegma and other nasties.<br><br>
Why do they think that men's genitalia are so worthless, and that it's ok to humiliate men like that?
 

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Unbelievable! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:
 

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I know there was a big circumcision push in WWII because it was believed that soldiers in sandy regions were getting sand stuck under their foreskins and then getting balanoposthitis. Such a weird history!
 

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I do know cic' was heavily encouraged by the military. And "VD" was such a constant threat I can imagine them doing almost anything to keep more healthy and on the front lines. But the practice has definately gone by the wayside.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah, I wish I really could have gooten more into this on the radio show, but I want ed to give Dr. Denniston his time. I would have liked to just go off on the pro circ guy about the army thing and how absolutely bizarre and wrong that was, and why don't they still do it if circ is so great etc? But we had so little time! I asked my dad, who is intact and was a merchant marine, about this - he had never heard of it. Good thing for him he joined the merchant marine and not another branch of the service in WW2 - he might've found out about it BIG TIME!
 

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My grandfather was a Marine during WWII, and my grandmother has told me that he was intact. I read a lot of WWII novels and history. The "short arm inspection" was usually preformed just before giving the men leave to go into town to check for VD. There was a rhyme that went with it that said something about "skin it back"....but I can't remember it at the moment. There were a lot of involuntary circs preformed in the military, but it wasn't standard across the board. A lot of men escaped the service with their foreskins intact....unfortunately they returned home and decided to have their baby boys circed. (my one of my uncles is circed....the other uncle was adopted at a few months old and was not circed)
 

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Yup it's true, that's when circumsition became popular from my understanding. It was supposed to help with staying clean? My father was born before WW2 ended & he is not circumsized but his brother is & he was born after. Why, because it became the norm all of a sudden.
 

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My elderly neighbor lady said when her husband served in the Army during WWII that they were strongly advised to get circ. to prevent "social diseases." However, it was not required and he refused. But I think a lot of them did go along with it and I think that had a lot to do with the spike in circ. post-WWII on their sons, the baby boomers. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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I think there is more on this in the History of Circumcision website but it may have been not quite mandatory but highly suggested.<br><br>
Even more recently men have been offered circumcision, for example my parents are in their mid 50's and one friend was offered a circumcision before he sailed out- he was in the Navy. Apparently, he was one of the few that refused the procedure )-: I'm sure this was because the hygeine myth was rather rampant and the guys were probably told horror stories of what was going to happen to them in water conservation situations.<br><br>
Jessica
 

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My husband mentioned something about the reason why the circ'd more during WWII was b/c of "cleanliness" issues during WWI. Which seems to make a little bit of sense, as that war was full of disease from lack of good medical care and sanitary procedures. By WWII, technology got a "little" bit better and more meds were in place with the soldiers.<br><br>
But, I'm still pretty sure that it was all to "prevent" VD, etc. and other stupid things.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jennybean0722</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7943698"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My husband mentioned something about the reason why the circ'd more during WWII was b/c of "cleanliness" issues during WWI. Which seems to make a little bit of sense, as that war was full of disease from lack of good medical care and sanitary procedures. By WWII, technology got a "little" bit better and more meds were in place with the soldiers.<br><br>
But, I'm still pretty sure that it was all to "prevent" VD, etc. and other stupid things.</div>
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</tr></table></div>
There are easy ways to deal with the 'cleanliness issue' when at wartime, and all other cultures seem to have figured them out. So though their might have been issues, it was mainly because good practices were not taught.<br>
For example, if a man cannot wash or shower to clean up there are things that he can do. Like when he urinates he holds the forsekin closed till some pressure builds up and then releases.<br>
Urine is essentially sterile and the pressure cleans out the area quite well.<br><br>
Still it <i>would</i> be nicer to have a shower, but till you can have one this little 'trick' has been doing alright, well probably for thousands and thousands of years.<br><br>
I really think in the worst wartime scenarios it is pretty unlikely that foreskin problems topped the list of things to be concerned about.<br><br>
Jessica
 
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