Blunt-logic Thresholds in the Adult Brain

As I posted earlier this month, I’m not foolish enough to take news that clearly helps me and run with it on first appearance. Everything should be aired, but qualifiers are useful. Skepticism is the lifeblood of future wisdom since evidence can be fleeting after more than a glance. Being in the minority on an issue also means I have to be more careful. Some of what I believe in is too important to have my stance tossed aside because I touted incorrect data. But it should embarrass society that the intelligent stance must play conservative while mass opinion gets to push any sort of nonsense that wouldn’t pass a third-grader’s scrutiny if all facts were treated equally.

With that, I offer this study recently published in the British Journal of Urology.

To map the fine-touch pressure thresholds of the adult penis in circumcised and uncircumcised men, and to compare the two populations.

Adult male volunteers with no history of penile pathology or diabetes were evaluated with a Semmes-Weinstein monofilament touch-test to map the fine-touch pressure thresholds of the penis. Circumcised and uncircumcised men were compared using mixed models for repeated data, controlling for age, type of underwear worn, time since last ejaculation, ethnicity, country of birth, and level of education.

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.

By default this should be assumed true because circumcision is not medically indicated at birth. It is up to circumcision advocates to disprove this idea and the common sense behind it. It is no longer acceptable for people like me to have to protest that removing skin full of nerve endings causes a harm or that the owner of the skin is the only person qualified to voice an opinion on its removal.

I know wishful thinking won’t turn this truth into reality. Every new data point helps, no matter how obvious I know it to be.