Subincision

Subincision is a form of body modification consisting of a urethrotomy, in which the underside of the penis is incised and the urethra slit open lengthwise, from the urethral opening (meatus) toward the base. The slit can be of varying lengths.

Subincision is traditionally performed around the world, notably in Africa, Australia, South America and the Polynesian and Melanesian cultures of the Pacific, often as a coming of age ritual. The practice has been taken up in the western world in recent years for the purpose of sexual pleasure or aesthetics.

Disadvantages include the risk of surgery, which is often self-performed, and increased susceptibility to STDs. The ability to impregnate (specifically, getting sperm into the vagina) may also be decreased.

Subincisions can greatly affect urination and often require the subincised male to sit while urinating. The scrotum can be pulled up against the open urethra to quasi-complete the tube and allow "normal" urination, while a few subincised men carry a tube with them to aim with.

Cultural traditions

Subincision (like circumcision) is widespread in the traditional cultures of Indigenous Australians, and is well documented among the peoples of the central desert such as the Arrernte and Luritja. The Arrernte word for subincision is arilta, and occurs as a rite of passage ritual for adolescent boys. It was gifted to the Arrernte by Mangar-kunjer-kujaIt, a lizard-man spirit being from the Dreamtime. A subincised penis is thought to resemble a vulva, and the bleeding is likened to menstruation.

This type of modification of the penis was also traditionally performed by the Lardil people of Mornington Island, Queensland. The young men who chose to endure this custom would be the only ones to learn a complex ceremonial language, Damin, which is the only known non-African language with click consonants. In later ceremonies, repeated throughout adult life, the subincised penis would be used as a site for ritual bloodletting. According to Ken Hale, who studied Damin, no ritual initiations have been carried out in the Gulf of Carpentaria for half a century, and hence, this language has also died out.

Indigenous cultures of the Amazon Basin also practise subincision, as do Samburu herdboys of Kenya, who are said to perform subinicisions on themselves (or sometimes their peers) at age seven to ten. In Samoa, subincision is traditionally a coming-of-age ritual. In Hawaii, subincision of the foreskin is reported to have been performed at age six or seven.

Related modifications

  • Splitting the urethra only to the base of the glans is called meatotomy.
  • Some people split the top of the penis as well, to achieve genital bisection.
  • Splitting the glans, but not the shaft, is known as headsplitting.
  • Splitting of the top of the penis only is known as superincision.

External links

See also

References

General
  • Roheim, G´esa (1949) The Symbolism of Subincision. The American Iago 6:321–328.
  • Bettelheim, Bruno (1962) Symbolic Wounds: Puberty Rites and the Envious Male. New York: Collier.
Polynesia
  • Firth, Raymond, (1963) We the Tikopia: A Sociological Study of Kinship in Primitive Polynesia. Boston: Beacon.
  • Martin, John (1981) Tonga Islands: William Mariner’s Account. Tonga: Vava’u Press.
  • Diamond, M. (1990) Selected Cross-Generational Sexual Behavior in Traditional Hawai’i: A Sexological Ethnography, in Feierman, J. R. (Ed.) Pedophilia: Biosocial Dimensions. New York: Springer-Verlag, p422-43
Melanesia
  • Kempf, Wolfgang (2002) The Politics of Incorporation: Masculinity, Spatiality and Modernity among the Ngaing of Papua New Guinea. Oceania 73(1):56–78.
  • Hogbin, Ian (1970) The Island of Menstruating Men: Religion in Wogeo, New Guinea. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland
Australia
  • Cawte JE, Djagamara N, and Barrett MG (1966) The meaning of subincision of the urethra to aboriginal Australians. Br. J Med. Psychol. 39: 245-253.
  • Morrison J. (1967). The origins of the practices of circumcision and subincision among the Australian Aborigines. Medical Journal of Australia, January 21, p. 125-7.
  • Montagu, Ashley (1974) Coming into Being among the Australian Aborigines: The Procreative Beliefs of the Australian Aborigines. 2nd ed. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
  • Pounder, Derrick, J. (1983) Ritual Mutilation: Subincision of the Penis among Australian Aborigines. American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology 4(3):227–229.
  • Abley, Mark. Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages.
Africa
  • Margetts, E. L. (1960) Sub-incision of the urethra in the Samburu of Kenya, East Afr Med J 37,2:105-8
Body modification (or body alteration) is the permanent or semi-permanent deliberate altering of the human body for non-medical reasons, such as spiritual, various social (markings), BDSM "edgeplay" or aesthetic. It can range from the socially acceptable decoration (e.g.
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For the symbol of the erect penis, see phallus.
The penis (plural penises, penes) is an external sexual organ of certain biologically male organisms.
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In anatomy, the urethra is a tube which connects the urinary bladder to the outside of the body. The urethra has an excretory function in both genders to pass urine to the outside, and also a reproductive function in the male, as a passage for sperm.
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In anatomy, a meatus is a natural body opening or canal (pl. meatus, or meatuses).

Examples include:
  • the auditory meatus, the opening of the ear canal
  • the urinary meatus, which is the opening of the urethra, situated on the glans penis in males, and in the vulva

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Africa is the world's second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. At about 30,221,532 km² (11,668,545 sq mi) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area, and 20.4% of the total land area.
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Indigenous Australians are descendants of the first known human inhabitants of the Australian continent and its nearby islands. The term includes both the Torres Strait Islanders and the Aboriginal People, who together make up about 2.5% of Australia's population.
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South America is a continent of the Americas, situated entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean; North America and the Caribbean Sea lie
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Polynesia (from Greek: πολύς many, νῆσος island) is a subregion of Oceania, comprising a large grouping of over 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean.
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Melanesia (from Greek: μέλας black, νῆσος island) is a subregion of Oceania extending from the western side of the West Pacific to the Arafura Sea, north and north-east of Australia.
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Earth's oceans
(World Ocean)
  • Arctic Ocean
  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Indian Ocean
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Southern Ocean


The Pacific Ocean (from the Latin name Mare Pacificum
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Coming of age is a young person's transition from adolescence to adulthood. The age at which this transition takes place varies in society, as does the nature of the transition.
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Western world, the West or the Occident (Latin occidens -sunset, -west, as distinct from the Orient) [1] can have multiple meanings dependent on its context (e.g., the time period, or the social situation).
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MeSH D012749 A sexually transmitted disease (STD) is an illness caused by an infectious pathogen that has a significant probability of transmission between humans or animals by means of sexual contact, including vaginal intercourse, oral sex, and anal sex.
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Semen is an organic fluid (also known as seminal fluid) that usually contains spermatozoa. It is secreted by the gonads (sexual glands) and other sexual organs of male or hermaphroditic animals for fertilization of female ova. The process of discharge is called ejaculation.
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The vagina, (from Latin, literally "sheath" or "scabbard" ) is the tubular tract leading from the uterus to the exterior of the body in female placental mammals and marsupials, or to the cloaca in female birds, monotremes, and some reptiles.
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Urination, known by physiologists as micturition, or more simply as voiding, is the process of disposing urine from the urinary bladder through the urethra to the outside of the body.
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Circumcision is the surgical or other cutting of some or all of the foreskin (prepuce) from the penis.[1] The word "circumcision" comes from Latin circum (meaning "around") and caedere (meaning "to cut").
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Indigenous Australians are descendants of the first known human inhabitants of the Australian continent and its nearby islands. The term includes both the Torres Strait Islanders and the Aboriginal People, who together make up about 2.5% of Australia's population.
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Central Australia is a term used to describe an area centred on Alice Springs in Australia. It is sometimes referred to as Centralia; likewise the people of the area are sometimes called Centralians.
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Arrernte or Arrarnta may refer to:
  • Arrernte people
  • Arrernte language
  • Arrernte (area)

See also

  • Aranda, an older spelling

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Luritja is a name used to refer to several dialects of the Indigenous Australian Western Desert Language, and thereby also to the people who speak these varieties, and their traditional lands.
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rite of passage is a ritual that marks a change in a person's social or sexual status. Rites of passage are often ceremonies surrounding events such as childbirth, menarche or other milestones within puberty, coming of age, weddings, menopause, and death.
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The Dreaming or Altjeringa (also called the Dreamtime), a sacred 'once upon a time' [1] time out of time in which ancestral Totemic Spirit Beings formed The Creation.
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The external genital organs of the female are collectively known as the vulva (plural vulvae or vulvas)[1]. In common speech, the term vagina
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Menstruation is a phase of the menstrual cycle in which the uterine lining (endometrium) is shed. Menstrual cycles occur exclusively in humans and other apes.[1]
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 Lardil
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Language codes
ISO 639-1: none
ISO 639-2:
ISO 639-3: lbz

Lardil is a nearly extinct Tangkic language spoken on Mornington Island, Queensland.
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Mornington Island is one of 22 islands part of the Wellesley Islands. The island is located in the Gulf of Carpentaria at () and is in the Australian state of Queensland. Mornington is the largest of the islands.
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Queensland

Flag Coat of Arms
Slogan or Nickname: Sunshine State, Smart State
Motto(s): "Audax at Fidelis" (Bold but Faithful)

Other Australian states and territories
Capital Brisbane
Government Constitutional monarchy
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Damin (Demiin in the practical orthography) was a ceremonial language register used by the advanced initiated men of the Lardil (Leerdil in the practical orthography) and the Yangkaal tribes in Aboriginal Australia.
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Clicks are stops articulated with two closures in the oral cavity. The pocket of air enclosed between these two closures is rarefied by a sucking action of the tongue. (That is, they have a velaric/lingual ingressive airstream mechanism.
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