A friend of mine has a two-year-old son and at his last doctor’s appointment he asked her why her son was not circumcised. Her response was that she thinks that is a decision that she should leave her son to make, she doesn’t want to make it for him and he should decide when he is old enough. She has spoken to the father of the child, her dad and her brothers about this and they agree that she should wait.
I think though that this decision is clouded by her experience with a man before and after he got circumcised when apparently he just wasn’t as sensitive as before.
I am of the opinion that as a parent, you have a right to make that decision for your child. The benefits outweigh the risks and the sooner a child is circumcised the better. Studies are increasingly showing that neonatal circumcision does not reduce sensitivity of the penis.
Canadian researchers studied 62 generally healthy men ages 18 to 37, 30 of whom had been circumcised as infants, and 32 who remained uncircumcised. The researchers controlled for age, education, occupation and religious affiliation, and concluded that sexual functioning did not differ between the groups. The study is in the Journal of Urology.
The scientists tested the men for touch and heat sensitivity of the penis at four points: the midline shaft, the area next to the midline, the glans and, for the uncircumcised, the foreskin. As a control, they also tested a site on the inside of the forearm.
Uncircumcised and circumcised men did not differ in sensitivity to touch or temperature at any of the four sites tested.
However, this study is small only a sample size of 62 and Canadian men—would the results be the same or different if it were a larger and more diverse group. The jury is still out on whether circumcision reduces penile sensitivity but without a doubt there is compelling scientific evidence that circumcision can reduce HIV transmission from females to males by 60 percent
Male circumcision provides only partial protection, and therefore should be only one element of a comprehensive HIV prevention package which includes: the provision of HIV testing and counselling services; treatment for sexually transmitted infections; the promotion of safer sex practices; the provision of male and female condoms and promotion of their correct and consistent use. n