Circumcision of babies and infants is in the spotlight once again following the decision of a German court to declare it illegal and the subsequent announcement by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that she wants the decision reversed.
The subject raises some very intriguing ethical arguments. The big one is: Do parents have the right to inflict permanent physical mutilation on children who are too young to make an informed decision for themselves?
Some of the subsequent arguments have, to my mind, been somewhat illogical. There are those, for example, who say the banning of a tradition that goes back thousands of years is an outrage. ‘Tradition’ is often brought up in arguments over all kinds of subjects but the people on the side of tradition only seem to want to apply it when it suits them. You never hear, for example, anyone saying they want to travel to work on a traditional donkey, or live in a traditional cave, or cook on a traditional open fire. Where I live, ‘tradition’ is often cited in defence of those whose hobby is shooting small birds. To me, tradition is not an argument.
Then there are those who condemn female genital mutilation but say that cutting off the male foreskin is quite different.
My particular interest is in the practical effects. Is there any difference in sexual pleasure (for women as well as men) between sex with a foreskin and sex without? There is some evidence to suggest that male circumcision makes the penis less sensitive. You can see why that might be so. Part of the role of the foreskin is to protect the glans, just as gloves protect your hands when you’re gardening. Make a habit of using a spade without gloves and you’ll soon develop tough, less sensitive, skin.
Those circumcised as babies or infants have no reference point. But if you were circumcised as an adult, for whatever reason, did you find that the loss of your foreskin made any difference? Was sex better or worse or the same? I’d like to hear from you. And, ladies, if you’ve had experience of both circumcised and uncircumcised men, did you notice any difference? Please click on the word ‘comments’ at the top of this blog and share your thoughts with us.
There is evidence that circumcision reduces the risk of catching sexually transmitted infections including HIV…. no reason though to ignore safer sex.