More on Circumcision

Not everybody is satisfied by the methods employed in the study I posted two days ago (click here for my first post (see comment section there for links to more debates)). This here is a short, but well substantiated repudiation of the article:

In conclusion, despite a poorly representative sample and methods prone to exaggerating the sensitivity of the prepuce, NOCIRC’s claims remain unconfirmed. When the authors’ data are analysed properly, no significant differences exist. Thus the claim that circumcision adversely affects penile sensitivity is poorly supported, and this study provides no evidence for the belief that circumcision adversely affects sexual pleasure.

from “Fine-Touch Pressure Thresholds in the adult Penis” (Waskett, J. H. and Morris, B. J. (2007), FINE-TOUCH PRESSURE THRESHOLDS IN THE ADULT PENIS. BJU International, 99: 1551–1552)

7 thoughts on “More on Circumcision

  1. Why the interest in penis studies? On a literary note, I was amused a few years ago by a controversy about “Daniel Deronda.” Some critics felt that the novel was seriously flawed, because if Deronda had noticed that he was circumcised he would have realized early on that he was Jewish. People actually write essays on things like this!

  2. I wrote about this in the comment to my last post in, uh, penis studies. There’s currently a large controversy afoot in Germany, with some of the biggest newspapers launching big articles on the topic. I browsed a bit through various statements on this, and found the fact I quoted here http://shigekuni.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/on-circumcision very interesting. A reader of my blog wrote to me today and told me about this article and some others. Since I have no firm opinion either way, I decided to post it. I find this side of the topic much more relevant or interesting than empty blather about what secular countries should do or how much respect religious traditions deserve etc. etc. These two quotes are about actual medical or biological facts. If the 1st article had been correct, that would have been a severe argument against circumcision. It appears it may not be as strong an argument as it was at a first glance, however.

  3. In the U.S., circumcision for male babies is currently recommended by most doctors: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/circumcision/MY01023/DSECTION=why-its-done. A few years ago there was a trend not to do it. My son wasn’t circumcised. But my ex-brother-in-law’s son wasn’t circumcised as a baby but got an infection and was circumcised later. Obviously not getting circumcised can’t be all that bad if our ancestors didn’t do it for hundreds of thousands of years.

  4. There is talk here, based on studies and public discussion, to ban circumcision here, unless it’s medically necessary (happens). I’m not entirely sure what the medical consensus here is, but there are many in the medical profession here who oppose it.

  5. That Mayo text is full of “may have”s and “may be”s, and hardly amounts to good argument. The first text I posted weighs much more heavily in comparison. On the other hand, it may not, as today’s post shows, be entirely accurate.

  6. I think the scientific evidence in favor of circumcision is weak, except in a few special cases. This article discusses the issue within a sociological context, which seems to be how most people form their opinions about it: http://nymag.com/health/features/60135/. Also, doctors in the U.S. may be inclined to support it if only because it is a billable medical procedure.

  7. I was circumsised after losing my virginity (an injury to the foreskin). To be honest I never noticed much difference in sensitivity before and afterwards.

    There’s a tendency in the US to ascribe social practices to medical need. This seems to me a touch similar. Circumcision is socially, not medically, driven in the vast majority of cases.

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