In November, residents of San Francisco will vote on a proposition to ban the circumcision of males under 18. Writing in Britain’s Sunday Times, Dominic Lawson, who was himself circumcised, obviously finds the campaigners ridiculous, seeing infant circumcision as the loss of something unimportant in exchange for what he claimed was a significantly lower risk of developing penile cancer.
In fact, cancer of the penis is extremely rare in North America and Europe. The American Cancer Society puts the figure at 1 in 100,000 men. What’s more, the ACS issued a statement in 1999 that circumcision was not beneficial in reducing the risk of cancer. The ACS says the risk factors are the human papillomavirus (HPV), smoking and a non-retractable foreskin (phimosis). Circumcised men can get penile cancer and it usually appears first along the line of the scar.
And is a foreskin unimportant? How different is sex with and without a foreskin? There is some research to suggest that the glans of a circumcised male is less sensitive (since it’s not protected by a foreskin). Is that true? And what about erection, given that the foreskin provides a sort of reservoir of skin to allow for expansion?
I can’t know what sex is like without a foreskin, because I have mine. And anyone who was circumcised as an infant can’t know what life is like with a foreskin. The only people who know are those who were circumcised as adults. So, if that’s you, I’d like to hear from you. Please either email me or leave a Comment in the box.