This is a topic I have very strong feelings about because I happen to be a victim of the cruel and unnecessary procedure called routine infant circumcision. Thankfully it’s not so “routine” anymore and is no longer covered under Canadian health care. I personally feel it should be banned without true medical necessity.
I could easily go into this topic with great depth and length, but I’ll try to be concise. As to its history, It’s enough to say that it primarily arose from religious and/or cultural traditions and eventually bastardized its way into the medical field when very insignificant studies that suggested mild preventative effects on certain conditions like penile cancer were used as an excuse for the anti-masturbation advocates to push for it. Then it was supposedly ‘cleaner’ and everybody looked that way so you wouldn’t want to look different then your dad or the boys in the locker room, would you? A very slippery slope down to a terribly common and horribly invasive procedure.
You could compare it to tattooing your child or removing their toenails so they won’t get fungal infections. It’s idiocy.
Let’s get to the ‘meat’ of the matter shall we? Why keep the foreskin? Here is the best study to date that actually tested the differences between an intact male and one circumcised.
The Conclusion reads: “The glans of the circumcised penis is less sensitive to fine touch than the glans of the uncircumcised penis. The transitional region from the external to the internal prepuce is the most sensitive region of the uncircumcised penis and more sensitive than the most sensitive region of the circumcised penis. Circumcision ablates the most sensitive parts of the penis.”
Other studies have been done & were shamelessly misleading; asking questions about “sexual satisfaction” and ability to get erections and orgasms. All completely irrelevant to head to head comparisons..No pun intended. Even a study done by McGill University in Montreal made a colossal error. They concluded, “The study found no difference in sensitivity to touch or pain between the two groups, debunking the widely-held belief that uncircumcised men experience greater sexual pleasure.
“This study suggests that preconceptions of penile sensory differences between circumcised and uncircumcised men may be unfounded,” said Kimberley Payne, a principal author of the study, in a release. So what was the problem? Here is a comparison of the two studies:
“For instance, the recent Payne et al. study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine says penile sensitivity is no different between intact and circumcised men. This is the opposite of the Penile Touch-Test Sensitivity Evaluation study by Sorrells et al. published in the British Journal of Urology International, saying intact men have four times the penile sensitivity of circumcised men. Sorrells says circumcision removes the most sensitive parts of the penis, while Payne chose to ignore the hyper-sensitive foreskin altogether, as well as failing to reference the earlier Sorrells study.
Both studies employed the same testing method using a standard monofilament skin sensitivity-measuring device. The Sorrells study tested 161 men at 17 locations (2157 tests) along the penis, including the circumcision scar, and inner and outer parts of the foreskin. The Payne study tested 20 men at 2 locations (40 tests), but inexplicably did not measure foreskin sensitivity.
The foreskin has long been identified as the most sensitive portion of the penis, and Payne admitted that, “it is possible that the uncircumcised penis is more sensitive due to the presence of additional sensory receptors on the prepuce and frenulum.” And, yet, omitted testing any part of the foreskin because, “this cannot be compared with the absence of such structures in the circumcised penis.”
People like me can never get back what we lost and many feel very bitter about that. Don’t make a choice for someone that isn’t yours to make.
Now we have clear scientific evidence showing the superiority of an intact penis. So now we move on to whose body is it anyway? Taking a young infant, or even a child and forcing him to undergo an irreversible, unnecessary procedure that is usually very painful and until recently rarely given anesthesia for is just wrong! Period! You could compare it to tattooing your child or removing their toenails so they won’t get fungal infections. It’s idiocy.
On top of this, you are removing the potential for greater sexual satisfaction and ultimately a decline in sensitivity overall as the circumcised penis keratinizes and becomes thicker skinned with age. It’s not meant to be exposed to the air and is covered by a mucous membrane that is designed to keep it moist and sensitive. It’s similar to the eyeball. Lastly the recent studies suggesting a minor protective effect against HIV and possibly other STI’s are just as silly an argument. Does it mean condom use is unnecessary? Absolutely not! So what does it matter? Just so you can have better chances whenever you might ‘take a risk’? If anything it might give a false sense of security. Work on getting rid of the diseases and properly protecting yourself fully against them, not removing parts of your body for an extremely mild resistance effect.
This is barely scratching the surface of the argument but let’s just finish off by reminding everyone that this can ALWAYS be chosen as an elective procedure if you wish to be circumcised later in life. But the people like me can never get back what we lost and many feel very bitter about that. Don’t make a choice for someone that isn’t yours to make.
Read the full study here.
photo credit: Sundve
, Journal of Sexual Medicine
, Kendall P
, Kimberlley Payne
, McGill University
, Parting Shots