Study suggests circumcision removes 'five most sensitive points' of the penis

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies

When people talk about the advantages and disadvantages of circumcision, you hear a lot about whether the kid will be embarrassed in his junior-high locker room or around women he will be intimate with in the future; you hear about diseases and cleanliness; you hear about the desire for the kid to be cut like his dad, or for the kid to feel normal.

Unless you're talking to an intactivist, you don't hear a lot about the fact that removing the foreskin dulls the most sensitive and pleasurable places on the penis.

But that is what one recent study suggests: circumcising a boy may reduce the pleasure he may one day get from sexual activity. At Michigan State University, scientists measured penile sensitivity at 19 points in tests on 163 circumcised and uncircumcised men, attaching sensitivity-measuring filaments to their penises while the men watched erotic movies. I hope they got to watch that costume drama with Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie. Talk about erotic!

The study determined that the five most sensitive points are all in portions of the penis removed by circumcision, especially those in folds exposed as the penis becomes erect. "The glans of the circumcised penis is less sensitive to fine touch than the glans of the uncircumcised penis," said the report that will be published in the British Journal of Urology (BJU) International. "Circumcision ablates the most sensitive parts of the penis," it concluded. Other studies with smaller samplings of men have, however, indicated that there is little difference in sensitivity between men whose genitals were mutilated against their will and those who were allowed to live intact.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.