Circumcision doesn’t Reduce Sexual Pleasure
A new study published in The Journal of Urology conducted at Queen’s University has found the penises of men who were circumcised as newborns are no less sensitive than uncircumcised penises.Male circumcision is the removal of a foreskin from the penis. Although most of the world in modern day does not participate in the practice, there are some regions where it’s common, such as Africa and United States. According to the study,there has been a widespread believe that the reduced sensitivity is mainly due to keratinisation, the deposition of keratin in cells as the result of the absence of the foreskin which is thought to be the most relevant and most sensitive part. However it turns out that the foreskin is even not that sensitive and has the same sensitivity as one’s forearm.Jenn Bossio, a clinical psychology PhD candidate, studied 62 men between the ages of 18 and 37. A total of 30 were circumcised and 32 were not. Four penile sites were tested using touch, pain, warmth detection and heat pain. The results indicated neonatal circumcision is not associated with changes in penile sensitivity and provides evidence to suggest the foreskin is not the most sensitive part of the penis.Ms. Bossio extended the research methods in her study to include warmth detection and heat pain because these stimuli are more likely to activate the nerve fibres associated with sexual pleasure.“One researcher who only used fine touch to measure penile sensitivity claimed the foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis, so removing it via circumcision is detrimental to men’s sex lives,” Ms. Bossio says.
“Many anti-circumcision activists believe this is true, but we didn’t find sufficient evidence to support this. We found that while the foreskin was more sensitive to fine touch, it was not more sensitive to the other stimuli we used, and those stimuli are likely more important in sexual pleasure.” Ms. Bossio explains that although there is a great deal of research on the health benefits of circumcision, there is almost no information on sexual outcomes of the procedure.“We need to take a more multi-lens approach to this procedure before making wide-sweeping conclusions about it in policy,” she says. “Further, many men opt to undergo circumcision to correct sexual dysfunction but this research suggests that this would likely not help. Lastly, parents of infant boys need to be fully informed before they decide to circumcise their sons or not.” Ms.Bossio conducted her research in the Sexual Health Research Lab under the supervision of Dr. Caroline Pukall, a Psychology and her next area of focus is to extend her findings to groups of men with sexual dysfunction like erectile dysfunction, those who may have lower penile sensitivity or premature ejaculation, those who may have higher sensitivity. “I also think we need to have a better understanding of the sensory mechanisms of the genitals.”According to 2015 statistics, an estimated one third of the global male population undergoes circumcision, and recent reports in United States, United Kingdom, Europe and Australia favour of neonatal circumcision.There’s also an increasing number of men undergoing circumcision in Africa to try and reduce HIV transmission.From my cultural background, people believe that circumcising a baby boy is more hygienic than leaving the foreskin intact, but this was not always the main concern.
There was a time when receiving this procedure may have been considered a status symbol. An increase in hospital births and a perception of circumcision as promoting cleanliness certainly contributed to the rise of the procedure in other cultures but overall compared to my childhood the numbers of those going through the knife has skyrocketed.In a time when hospital births have become commonplace, the well-off were a lot more likely to have a doctor-aided birth. For this reason, circumcision has become a distinguishing characteristic of class status and widely known as the choice that good parenting made.When circumcision was first introduced among non-Aboriginal cultures in Australia, urban types commonly were of the opinion that masturbation was extremely harmful, and could cause blindness, mental issues, alcoholism,and many other problems according to folk tales written by our forefathers. Amon non-aboriginals, it was considered sinful, and both boys and girls were circumcised as a direct punishment after being caught masturbating.But that wasn’t the case with aboriginal communities who only focused on the boy child.Since removing the foreskin, the only part of the penis that moves, would eradicate sensitivity of the penis and also inhibit movement, it was encouraged as a cure for this supposedly dangerous activity. Fast forward to the middle of 20th century and circumcision became mainstream in Australian society albeit with low intake.The medical reasons for this custom came after studies conducted among the aboriginals communities.