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Circumcision-- What Is It... Really?

Originally Posted by mgus
With regards to differences in reported sensation, we can only really ask those that have undergone the procedure as adults, or those that willingly tape up their foreskin for a long time in order to compare.

Yeah, like I said, they are the closest approximation to an empirical answer to the question — but still far from a true answer. The lack of self-report differences between circ and uncirc men does still carry some evidential weight, though, in my opinion: from what I have read, for example, women who are “circumcised” (in Africa or wherever else that horror is happening today) do report much less sexual satisfaction compared to intact females. True, no one is arguing that the foreskin is as important to sexual pleasure for men as is the clit for women, but the point is that if there were a really big difference between circ and uncirc, it would probably show up even in samples that have never experienced anything like the other condition (i.e., those who haven’t undergone adult circ or restoration).

Originally Posted by mgus
[everything else]

Those are two very nice counterexamples to my examples (I was hoping no one would bring up the feline vision studies ;) ). They are far from definitive, however, in my view, for a variety of reasons — as are my own examples, admittedly. I could also “go on and rant about this,” (I suspect we’d argue ad nauseam — I’m not BSing when I say I have a “variety of reasons”), as my life’s work (so far) is related to this area, but I’ll leave it at this: The point of my argument was simply to bring up the complications in making any inferences about loss of sensation from circumcision. We may have more relevant evidence someday (and the anti-circ paper I linked to suggests some useful neuroimaging studies in circ & uncirc adults), but currently the best we can do is (weak) triangulation.

We’re in agreement about circumcision itself, though. I think guys should be able to choose for themselves.

Geez, that was one heck of a parenthetical post. Sorry about that.

I’d like to ditch-in my opinion.

I think circumcision is for hygienic purposes. If you are uncircumcised, you tend to have smegma and all those not so clean stuffs.

On it’s effect to sexual sensations, I agree with you all that we should hear it from a person who has experienced having sex both when uncut and cut.

I don’t think circumcision makes your dick physically small.

Originally Posted by Para-Goomba
(I was hoping no one would bring up the feline vision studies ;) ).


Parry and feint, parry and feint…

I haven’t read the link about neuroimaging, but I don’t think we have that much to argue about - we both agree that it’s not that easy to know, although you leer towards “likely no difference” and I leer towards “likely some difference”.


regards, mgus

Taped onto the dashboard of a car at a junkyard, I once found the following: "Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." The car was crashed.

Primary goal: To have an EQ above average (i.e. streetsmart, compassionate about life and happy) Secondary goal: to make an anagram of my signature denoting how I feel about my gains

Frankly, Mgus, I think you’re probably right — there probably is some difference, just not a substantial difference. As Kong said, common sense dictates that the loss of a sexual part is going to result in some decreased sensation (and the loss of clit, in women, does reduce sensation drastically, as I pointed out above).

I think I was mainly playing devil’s advocate with the whole neural plasticity bit. I used to dabble in philosophy, so I’m often attacking ideas when people seem too certain of them, even when I don’t really have much conviction in my own rebuttal. :) Thanks for calling me out on it.

Originally Posted by Para-Goomba

… I think I was mainly playing devil’s advocate with the whole neural plasticity bit. I used to dabble in philosophy, so I’m often attacking ideas when people seem too certain of them, even when I don’t really have much conviction in my own rebuttal. :) Thanks for calling me out on it.

I find myself doing that from time to time, but for me the trigger usually is what I call “intellectual dishonesty”, when someone is claiming to be certain of something while at the same time happily putting on eyepatches to keep from taking in something that could upset his/her view of the world. Not an issue I have with you, I am pleased to say.


regards, mgus

Taped onto the dashboard of a car at a junkyard, I once found the following: "Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." The car was crashed.

Primary goal: To have an EQ above average (i.e. streetsmart, compassionate about life and happy) Secondary goal: to make an anagram of my signature denoting how I feel about my gains

What a sad, pathetic, thread. Circumcision is mutilation. Even if the term is offensive to some when used appropriately.

I’m circumcised, and recognized the stupidness of it 20 years ago while looking at my dick. It’s really fucked up that people think it’s perfectly fine to significantly modify a perfectly normal infant penis, damaging it irreparably. What is removed, can not be restored.

If an adult wants to be circumcised, go for it. It’s your choice.

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