March 3, 2011
Male circumcision is a topic that has no non-emotive aspect. Those who research or publish on this topic will have it done or not done to their own member, if female they could have a partner or a son or an ex-lover, but everyone has an opinion based on their own experiences. Rarely on facts or science.
The debate rages on.
Here are some facts to get us started. These were provided by Dr John Dean, MBBS FRCGP, a specialist in sexual medicine, working in London and in Devon.
About one-fifth of men worldwide have been circumcised, mostly for religious and cultural reasons when the procedure is commonly performed shortly after birth or around puberty.
Although adults are occasionally circumcised as an act of religious dedication, adult circumcision is most commonly performed for medical reasons.
At present, around 80 per cent of US males have been circumcised, mostly for non-religious reasons. The frequency of newborn circumcision has fallen in the USA from 90 per cent in the 1950s to around 60 per cent today.
In Korea, more than 90 per cent of men have been circumcised, usually in their teens and twenties.
In the UK in 1948, around 20 per cent of boys were circumcised shortly after birth, more commonly among middle class families and those living in the south of England. Then, 50 per cent of grammar school boys, 84 per cent of public school boys and 60 per cent of graduates were circumcised. By 1975, only 6 per cent of boys born in the UK were circumcised.
There are three reasons for circumcision:
1. Religious practice
2. Immediate medical needs
3. To prevent future disease
Number 3 is the odd one out here. This is the reason for many infant circumcisions, but there is little compelling scientific fact that supports this. In which case, is number 3 really more about “so my boy’s thing looks like his Daddy’s thing”.
Circumcision has been claimed to prevent penile cancer, cervical cancer, urinary tract infections and STDs including HIV. However, here the studies are absolutely conflicted. For every one published declaiming these, another one is found to support. It is likely that studies into these areas are always done with an end in mind (to support or dispute the claims on circumcision’s benefits) and so subjects are chosen from certain social-economic groups that would bias the results (whether deliberately or not).
For example, all the studies conducted around the prevention of cervical cancer in women with partners of circumcised men were done with Jewish communities. When repeated in some African nations with high rates of circumcision (and a higher likelihood of early sexual activity / higher rates of promiscuity which are both linked to cervical cancer) there was no correlation found.
So the truth is, the case for prevention of future diseases is unclear. There is no clear conclusion to be made for or against at this time.
What about the adverse effects of circumcision? Since we are at MetAnotherFrog.com let’s focus on the sexual.
One of these rising concerns (lead by a group of Doctors in the US) is that circumcising men actually has an effect on the female sexual experience. They have provided a fantastic summary of studies that had findings in this area in their “Genital Integrity Policy Statement”
“Several studies report that male circumcision also adversely affects female sexuality. Warren & Bigelow (1994) report the foreskin avoids problems with vaginal dryness. Fleiss & Hodges (2002) explain that the lack of gliding action in the circumcised male partner causes the taut shaft skin to drag the vaginal lubrication out of the vagina. O’Hara & O’Hara (1999) surveyed women in the United States who had had sex with both circumcised and intact partners. They report the women preferred the partner to be intact by a ratio of 8.6 to one. Women reported that they were more likely to be orgasmic and even have multiple orgasms when the male partner is intact. Bensley & Boyle (2001) surveyed 35 women in Australia who had sexual experience with both circumcised and intact partners. Eleven, who had a mean age of 27.3 years, indicated a preference for a circumcised partner. Eleven, who had a mean age of 36.4 years indicated they would choose a genitally intact partner. They reported that circumcised males are significantly less likely to use condoms because of concern about reduced penile sensitivity. In addition, the females were significantly more likely to report vaginal dryness with a circumcised partner. The experience reported with a circumcised male partner is similar to the symptoms of “female arousal disorder.” Female arousal disorder may be a normal response to sex with a circumcised male partner.”
In summary – women seem to prefer their men intact. A more layman’s theory behind this is that an intact gentleman is more sensitive due to the band of nerves present in his foreskin (that is removed in circumcision). This means he gets the friction required from this moving band, and therefore takes shorter thrusts during intercourse, remaining in contact with the female genitals at all times. This gives a more consistent pressure on the clitoris leading to a higher chance of orgasm. The inverse being that a circumcised chap will withdraw more completely in order to received the necessary friction and therefore contact is often lost. Meaning the lady may struggle to orgasm.
Taking a wider view – these days, a lot of magazines and articles all focus on the fact women are more likely to orgasm from sex when on top. One of those aspects of control that cause the more frequent orgasms is being able to create that consistent contact and pressure on their nerves.
What about a man’s sexual response? In infant circumcision, there is no data. As no comparison can be made, but for those circumcised later in life there appears to be a higher number of studies (though still many conflicting) who figure a loss of sexual response or an increase in problems in impotency, not being able to maintain erections, lack of sensation.
There are MOUNDS of materials on this topic. All conflicting and all written with an emotive slant and few that are conducted or quoted without some end purpose in mind. I can’t in all scientific conscious offer a conclusion or even a hypothesis on this subject.
However, whatever your feelings about your own or your beloved’s dick – you can surely agree that conducting unnecessary surgery on infants (who cannot give their consent) is utterly barbaric. Especially when this is normally conducted without anaesthesia.
An excellent and informative video can be viewed here
And if you read my last paragraph in anger as you do agree with genital mutilation in infants, ask yourself if you support the practice of female circumcision in young girls (mostly performed without their consent). If you don’t, then why (besides cultural norms) do you agree it should be performed on boys?