I’d be surprised if doubt preceded the study.

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.

¹ Citation:
DaiSik Kim, Myung-Geol Pang (2007)
BJU International 99 (3), 619–622.

Random Computer Nerdery

I’ve mentioned that I’m planning to buy a new laptop in the near future. Obviously that will depend on finding a new contract, but when I do make the purchase, I expect to go in a different direction.

I’ve always used Microsoft’s operating systems. I started on MS-DOS when I first arrived at college. (Yes, I’m that old.) Then I dabbled with a borrowed copy of Windows 3.1, only to abandon it and return to DOS. When I upgraded to a new computer in ’95, Windows 95 came pre-installed. Then I upgraded to a computer with Windows 98, followed by a string of Windows XP machines, in many of its variations. It’s all been very boring and typical.

Now, after a little bit of dabbling in Linux over the last few years, I’m ready to give it a shot at becoming my full-time operating system. The new laptop I buy will inevitably come with Vista. I can’t get away from Windows yet, since my business stuff still requires it to some extent. Still, I can’t help but wonder if I can get better long-term stability out of Linux. I’m tired of the cycle with Windows computers where performance is great out of the box, only to degrade as the machine ages. I understand that some of this is simply using newer, more powerful programs, as well as adding more to the hard drive. But not all of it. With both of my current computers, booting takes longer, and the systems often hang when selecting programs from the Start menu. There has to be a better way.

There might be:

Officially, Dell Inc. hasn’t said a word yet about which Linux it will be preloading on its desktops and laptops. Several sources within Dell, however, have told DesktopLinux.com that Dell’s desktop Linux pick is going to be Ubuntu.

While unable to confirm this through official Dell channels, we have heard the same story now from several internal Dell sources. They tell us that the Austin, Texas, computer giant will be preinstalling the newly released Ubuntu 7.04. These systems will be released in late May 2007.

Ubuntu is the Linux distribution I’m most likely to use. I’ve seen it recommended in several places, and I gave it a try with a live cd. I doubt I’ll get it from Dell, which is where I’ll likely buy my new laptop. I still need Windows, and I don’t expect Dell to offer a dual-boot system any time soon. Still, I can install it myself. I’m not a hardcore nerd, but I’m ready to find out if it works for my everyday use.

Link via Bob Torres, co-host of the excellent VeganFreak Radio.

Must sixth-graders pack heat?

I guess he isn’t busy forcing optional vaccines on pre-teen girls. (Link via Fark.)

Gov. Rick Perry, mulling ways to stop the kind of murderous rampages that recently left 33 dead on a college campus in Virginia, said Monday there’s one sure-fire solution he likes: allow Texans to take their concealed handguns anywhere.

“The last time I checked, putting a sign up that says ‘Don’t bring your weapons in here,’ someone who has ill intent on their mind — they could [sic] care less,” Perry told reporters. “I think it makes sense for Texans to be able to protect themselves from deranged individuals, whether they’re in church or whether on a college campus or wherever.”

“Let me cover it right here,” Perry said. “I think a person ought to be able to carry their weapons with them anywhere in this state if they are licensed and they have gone through the training. The idea that you’re going to exempt them from a particular place is non-sense to me.”

Not only does Governor Perry not have a good understanding of bodily autonomy, he has a poor understanding of property rights. For liberty to continue, property rights must exist first. Violate and abandon those, and everything else will eventually fall. If a business or homeowner doesn’t want guns on her property, she has the right to deny access, regardless of the governor’s wild notions. This is so fundamental¹ that I wonder whether Gov. Perry can be considered competent to continue in his role.

Afterthought I: Someone who despises religion could have a field day with Gov. Perry’s comments:

…protect themselves from deranged individuals, whether they’re in church…

Pronoun attribution can be vicious sometimes. I’m just saying.

Afterthought II: I can’t tell if he’s being serious or sarcastic, but Glenn Reynolds notes this news:

If it saves just one life, it’s worth it!

God, I hope he’s kidding.

¹ The obvious parallel to smoking (and trans fat and …) bans must be noted.