National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers,
December 7, 2000

Men Scarred by Circumcision

University of Sydney, NSW In the first study of its kind, researcher Tina Kimmel presented, at the Sixth International Symposium at the University of Sydney, Australia, her preliminary findings indicating that penile sensitivity of intact males is 25-30% greater than that of circumcised males.

Using the Semmes-Weinstein Sensory Evaluator, Kimmel discovered that "the foreskin is far more responsive to sensation than previously thought."

Kimmel found that the foreskin matches the lips and possibly exceeds the eyelids in sensitivity. "Circumcision represents a true loss of sensation, it is not a diminutive harm," Kimmel said. The foreskin went M-^Qoff the scale' in the standard 0-20 testing. A device that would measure even greater amounts of sensitivity was not available.

Kimmel used a sample group of circumcised, intact, and restoring men. Initial findings indicate that restoring men gain back sensitivity, but never attain the sensitivity of men that were never circumcised.

Confirming Kimmel's conclusions, presenters Dr. G. Boyle and G. Bensley reported that their findings revealed circumcised males are physically and psychologically harmed by the practice. The majority of circumcised men could be reliably classified as having penile scarring, being reluctance to use condoms, and experiencing a progressive decline in sexual sensitivity. Many express regret and are hesitant to think about their circumcision status. "There are many adverse physical, sexual and psychological effects from infant circumcision, which need to be acknowledged in any discussion pertaining to informed consent in relation to circumcision surgery."

Fellow researcher Boyle reported, "A circumcised male has been deprived of a highly specialized, sensitive and erogenous part of his penis that would have served important sensory, sexual and protective functions had it been left in place."

The Sixth International Symposium on Genital Integrity runs from December 7 to December 9, 2000. Experts from around the world will address the physical, psychological, religious, moral and ethical issues confronting Female and Male Genital Mutilation.

Cite as:
(File prepared 08 December 2000)

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