Circumcised and uncircumcised men are sensitive in the same parts of the penis and under the same types of stimulation, according to a study published online December 24, 2015, in the Journal of Urology.
The study took 62 men between the ages of 18 and 37 – 30 circumcised and 32 intact – and asked them to perform a number of tests to assess sensitivity in that area.
Rather than look at touch thresholds (like in previous studies on the subject), these assessors asked their participants to measure touch and pain thresholds, as well as the ability to detect warmth and heat in comparison to their forearm. Four different points on the men’s penises were also put to the sensory test.
The findings from the research suggest men who are circumcised are not suffering from a lack of sensitivity in that area as the foreskin is no longer believed to be the most sensitive area of the penis.
Other areas, such as the glans penis (the tip) and shaft were more sensitive to pain stimuli than the forearm, suggesting circumcision does not appear to remove the most sensitive part of the penis.
The findings, factored in with what we already know about circumcision having an effect on reducing sexually transmitted infection, has seen the American Academy of Pediatrics come out to support the routine circumcision of newborn boys
The Canadian Pediatric Society remains not in favour.
The researchers also measured sexual function in their research participants. Looking at 15 different elements of men’s sexual functioning, including intercourse satisfaction, ability to orgasm, sexual desire, and overall satisfaction, they noticed no difference between the two groups of men.
Research leader Jennifer Bossio, from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, said:
“Methodology and results form this study build on previous research and imply that if sexual functioning is related to circumcision status, this relationship is not likely the result of decreased penile sensitivity stemming from neonatal circumcision.”