Wired’s Science Blog commented on the circumcision study I mentioned last night that allegedly clears up the controversial position that circumcision affects sexual sensation. In an intelligent twist, the writer agrees with me.
They criticized the study for not testing the sensitivity of the actual foreskin (which does seem like a bit of an oversight).
A bit, yes.
And then there’s the methodology:
They tested the sensitivity by having the men watch porn and then…
Might the use of porn make a difference? Not all men care for porn, so is one stimulus sufficient for the realm of human (male) sexual response? Did all of the men view the same porn, or did each man have a selection to meet his preference? Was the study group self-selected? Did the men in the study like their individual circumcision status? Was there an element of kink involved for the men in being studied? Can you think of any other questions that might factor into the study?
I’m not questioning the methodology here, because this is all I know of it. While the questions above may be – and probably are – easily answered, there are several glaring flaws that can never be explained away. What relevance does the study have to circumcision when the study didn’t research the foreskin, the anatomical part removed during circumcision? And what relevance does the study have in America, where the circumcision issue is an ethical dilemma? The circumcised is almost never the person choosing the circumcision. Let’s start there instead of looking for explanations that our ethical violations allegedly (and preposterously) don’t result in physical changes.