Two researchers have a study¹ published in the British Journal of Urology. They sought to understand the changes, if any, in men circumcised as adults. The researchers provided a questionnaire.
The study included 373 sexually active men, of whom 255 were circumcised and 118 were not. Of the 255 circumcised men, 138 had been sexually active before circumcision, and all were circumcised at >20 years of age. As the Brief Male Sexual Function Inventory does not specifically address the quality of sex life, questions were added to compare sexual and masturbatory pleasure before and after circumcision.
What were the results? Remember, tissue packed with nerve endings and biological functions would’ve been removed in the process, although in a manner much less severe than occurs in infant circumcision. Try to act surprised.
There were no significant differences in sexual drive, erection, ejaculation, and ejaculation latency time between circumcised and uncircumcised men. Masturbatory pleasure decreased after circumcision in 48% of the respondents, while 8% reported increased pleasure. Masturbatory difficulty increased after circumcision in 63% of the respondents but was easier in 37%. About 6% answered that their sex lives improved, while 20% reported a worse sex life after circumcision.
A word of caution, of course. I do not seek to abuse the study beyond the obvious logical insights. This relates to adult males, and until I confirm otherwise, I’ll assume the 373 men were self-selected. Of the 255 circumcised men, there’s a chance of selection bias against the results of circumcision. Agreed and duly noted.
Still, circumcision advocates have no problem playing fast and loose in applying the findings from studies of adult circumcision to infants. Let me do the same for a moment. This study revealed that circumcision appears to negatively affect a male’s sex life. Besides the obvious duh factor, shouldn’t this study, and others like it, induce caution into a society that permits the unnecessary surgical removal of part of a
child’s boy’s genitals? Shouldn’t it cause one lawmaker or judge to reject such non-thinking customs?
The common response to something like this is that it doesn’t apply to American males because you can’t miss what you only briefly possessed. It’s amazing how determined people are to remain unchallenged by any ethical qualms.
DaiSik Kim, Myung-Geol Pang (2007)
BJU International 99 (3), 619–622.