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.
from the study “Fine-touch pressure thresholds in the adult penis” (Sorrells ML, Snyder JL, Reiss MD, et al. “Fine-touch pressure thresholds in the adult penis”. BJU Int 2007;99:864-9.)
Indeed. Which means that, while nowhere near as drastic as female genital mutilation, it is still a mutilation, and one that (whether this was ever intended to be the aim) reduces sexual pleasure or the potential for greater sexual pleasure.
And certainly in the 21st century West, there are few medical reasons for male circumcision, as most of us have easy access to showers, baths etc.
Saw a documentary on the subject a while ago, a movement in the US against circumcision, proving exactly what is described in your extract. Many men in the US are circumcised for ‘hygienic’ reasons, not because they are Jes or Moslems.
On the other hand, apparently women married to circumcised men have a much lesser risk of cervical cancer.
I think the jury is still out on this one.
I was reminded of this because of a debate here in Germany. Richard Wagner, who’s all kinds of odd usually, has written a large essay in the FAZ. Clarissa, you can read German, I think AManda might, too? http://www.faz.net/s/RubC4DEC11C008142959199A04A6FD8EC44/Doc~EF0769CF028C44EA498749DE6141F7E02~ATpl~Ecommon~Scontent.html Here is a satirical reply by Ramona Ambs http://www.hagalil.com/archiv/2011/02/08/beschneidung-2/
I think it’s a difficult topic. I’m not sure how much mutilation of sexually sensitive areas is ‘ok’ in return of lowered risks of other illnesses, which would usually statistically benefit one in thousand men. Otoh, every single circumcised man has been mutilated as a boy. We know that in 10-15 year old this can cause trauma. What about smaller boys? We all remember Reich and children’s sexuality. How is that affected?
As for female genetial mutilation, from many blogs and comments in the current debate here I gather there are two different kinds, one no worse and no better than what happens to men, and the other’s the bloody horrific nightmare that we all know.
I posted this though because this is an important fact that very few people know. Very few. Given what’s happening to boys all over the Western world, it should be more well known, in order for a debate on this topic to move beyond silly questions of religious autonomy vs. secular laws.
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