Rites of Passage – Circumcision

A rite of passage is a situation where a person haves a transition from being part of one group to join a higher group (Riteofpassagejourneys.org, 2015). However, the treatment of rites vary in different communities. Whereas a rite could be very important to one community, the same right may not have a significant impact on another community.  A particular rite for instance circumcision is taken to be a welcoming to adulthood. However, some communities have more unique ways of such transition to adulthood.

Circumcision is a very important ritual in most communities all over the world. In most of these communities, the ritual has always been applicable to the male group. In some communities they have also been practicing it to the females but has always been a campaign to end it (Abusharaf, 2006). The ritual involves the removal of the foreskin in the male penis.

The age at which it is done determines the significant role of the ritual. Some get their male ones circumcised at a very young age, usually a few days after birth has taken place. This cannot be said to be a transition to adulthood because the victims has not yet gone through the adolescence stage. It has also received criticism in the modern time (Schoen, 2005). In some communities, it is done after the boys have attained a certain higher age. In Africa, education level is used to gauge the circumcision group. Those who finishes a certain level are ready to be circumcised irrespective of their age.This is the separation phase.

The boys are then separated from the others. Various advices are given to them after they get circumcised. The advices are a guide on how to relate with both the elders and the young groups. This plays an important part in the transition.

After they get healed a ceremony is carried out welcoming them to the new life. They are expected to behave differently in the society. They are given certain roles and they can now be able to join the next level of their education.


There ismuch benefits from the ritual, both to the initiates and to the society. At the modern time, it has also been put forward that circumcision also helps in the prevention of most sexually transmitted diseases. Doing it to aged boys is important since they will understand the difference between adolescence and adulthood.

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