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Male circumcision tied to less sexual pleasure
NEW YORK - Men circumcised either as children or adults report less intense sexual pleasure and orgasm than their uncircumcised counterparts, according to a new study from Belgium.
"We're not saying less sexual activity or satisfaction, but sensitivity," said the study's senior researcher Dr. Piet Hoebeke, from Ghent University Hospital.
The new study surveyed 1,369 men over the age of 18, who responded to leaflets handed out in train stations across Belgium.
The men were asked whether they were circumcised, and were then asked to rate how sensitive their penis was, how intense their orgasms were and whether they experience any pain or numbness when they are aroused.
Overall, 310 men who took the survey were circumcised, and 1,059 were not. Each rated how sensitive their penis was on a scale from 0 to 5, with higher numbers being the most sensitive.
Overall, uncircumcised men reported between 0.2 points and 0.4 points higher sensitivity and sexual pleasure when their penis's head - known as the glans - was stroked during arousal, compared to circumcised men.
For example, uncircumcised men reported an average sensitivity score of 3.72 when they or their partner stroked the top part of their penis's glans, compared to 3.31 amongst circumcised men.
Uncircumcised men also reported more intense orgasms.
"It's not a very big difference in sensitivity, but it's a significant difference," Hoebeke said.
Currently, about half of US baby boys have their foreskin surgically removed at birth, and about 30% of men around the world are circumcised.
Some religions, such as Judaism and Islam, consider circumcision part of religious practice, while other people choose circumcision for possible health benefits - including a reduced risk of urinary tract infections (see Reuters Health article of December 7, 2012 here:).
Hoebeke and his colleagues write in BJU International that there are few studies researching whether foreskin plays a role in sexual pleasure. But Dr. Aaron Tobian, who studies circumcision but was not part of the new study, said that previous randomized controlled trials - considered the gold standard of medical research - looked at sexual performance and satisfaction. Those studies, he said, did not find a difference.
One possible explanation for any potential difference in sensitivity is that a man's foreskin may protect his penis's head from rubbing against underwear and clothing. It's possible, the researchers write, that friction makes the head of the penis thicker, drier and ultimately less sensitive.
The researchers also found circumcised men were more likely to report more pain and numbness during arousal than uncircumcised men, which Hoebeke said is likely due to scar tissue.
"I'm amazed that people report pain during sexual pleasure… That's very amazing and that was unexpected," he said.
‘Abundantly clear' evidence
Tobian, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said the findings are missing important context.
"The medical evidence and the benefits of male circumcision are abundantly clear," Tobian told Reuters Health.
"If there was a vaccine out there that reduces the risk of HIV by 60%, herpes by 30% and the penile cancer causing HPV by 35%, the medical community would rally behind it," said Tobian.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says the benefits of male circumcision outweigh the risks, but stops short of recommending universal circumcision.
- Circumcision is disgusting and perverted.
- Based on OP's post, this study has a pretty basic flaw: it doesn't pay any attention to the question of whether the men who were circumsized for religious reasons (probably most of those in Belgium) were brought up in a sex-stigmatizing environment. Very religious environments tend to send pretty negative messages about sex, and I'll bet those play at least as big a role in reducing sexual pleasure and sensitivity as circumsion does.
- Or it may just be that men who have all the skin and nerves nature gave them have more intense orgasms, R2.
- Well, we really can't answer that question based on the information contained in OP's post, can we, r3?
- Doesn't uncircumcised penises have more problems with bacteria? That is what I have always heard.
- Uncircumcised men have more pleasurable sex because when they finally have sex with a person who is not disgusted by the ugliness of their penis, they are ecstatic.
- The foreskin has more nerve endings than the clitorious. It protects the glands, this making them more sensative. Bottom line, no shit, Sherlock.
- I am cut and enjoy sex immensely, as have my many cut partners. This is ridiculous and just fodder for our resident anti-circ FREAKS.
- YES, r5.
- r5, they have the same problem as vaginas -- if you don't bathe. Muslims, Jews, and Americans are the only ones who circumcise. Unless you have a too tight foreskin, circumcision is only a negative. It was an ancient blood ritual. It was brought to the US by Kellogg Sr. as a method to get little boys to stop touching themselves. After WWII, Dr. Spock suggestion circumcision as means to look like other boys who were getting it done. Spock said decades later that there was no point to circumcision, and no longer recommended it. American junk science comes up with the most ridiculous pro-circumcision studies. The country is still off the charts with STDs, HIV, etc.
- You shouldn't need lube to wank.
- Total deluded bullshit, R7.
- Circumcision has been proven to lower HIV transmission rates. All the US boys I have been with regardless of religion were circumcised, reading these insane rantings on DL make it sound like only Jewish people do this. I realize someone in DL land is mad at their rabbi or mother but please take this shit to them.
- The country is still off the charts with STDs, HIV, etc.
Really R10? Africa has had extremely high death rate of AIDS in the world ,and they don't have circumcision within their culture.
- "Africa has had extremely high death rate of AIDS in the world ,and they don't have circumcision within their culture."
Where to begin with what's wrong here...
- This thread will end in tears.
- Statistically significant, .3 av difference.
Social significance, 0.
But .3 is all that is needed to get the anti circ freaks riled.
- "The foreskin has more nerve endings than the clitorious."
I assume you mean the clitoris? Then wrong. The male counterpart to the clitoris is the PENIS. The tissue covering the clitoris is similar to the foreskin.
- Obviously, the circumcised men in Belgium are likely to be muslim so their whole attitude to sex would be different, rendering OPs post meaningless.
Do the survey in America.
- How would they even know they're having less sexual sensation? I call bullshit.
- [quote]"If there was a vaccine out there that reduces the risk of HIV by 60%, herpes by 30% and the penile cancer causing HPV by 35%, the medical community would rally behind it," said Tobian.
- Americans keep trotting out junk science about to justify its backward adherence to a barbaric social practice that is unnecessary child abuse. It is also one country in the west that still uses the imperial system and has no universal health care.
- Was circumcised way too tight, making it somewhat uncomfortable at complete erection. Except for bj's, can't have sex without tons of lube and it must be thick and greasy.