According to a Reuter's report on Friday, a new study in Belguim found that men who are circumcised feel less sexual pleasure than men who are intact.
Currently, over half of U.S. baby boys have their foreskin surgically removed at birth, and about 30 percent of men around the world are circumcised.
Some religions, such as Judaism and Islam, consider circumcision part of religious practice, while other people choose circumcision for possible health benefits - including a reduced risk of urinary tract infections.
However, no medical organization in the world recommends circumcision. In August of last year, the AAP renewed its statement on circumcision, stopping just short of condemning it.
The new study, surveyed 1,369 men over the age of 18, who responded to leaflets handed out in train stations across Belgium.
The men were asked whether they were circumcised, and were then asked to rate how sensitive their penis was, how intense their orgasms were and whether they experience any pain or numbness when they are aroused.
Overall, 310 men who took the survey were circumcised, and 1,059 were not. Each rated how sensitive their penis was on a scale from 0 to five, with higher numbers being the most sensitive.
The researchers believe the potential difference in sensitivity is that a man's foreskin may protect his penis's head from rubbing against underwear and clothing. Friction makes the head of the penis thicker, drier and ultimately less sensitive.
However, that's not all. The foreskin contains the majority of the fine-touch nerve endings found in the penis. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia have written that the foreskin is "composed of an outer skin and an inner mucosa that is rich in specialized sensory nerve endings and erogenous tissue." When it is removed, those nerve endings go with it.
According to a CDC report, the U.S. circumcision rate is steadily declining. In 2009 it was 54.5%,2 and 32% in 2010.3 That’s a huge drop from 56% in 2006 and 65% in 2002.
This could be because circumcision has never been proven to be effective in either reducing or treating cervical cancer, penile cancer, urinary tract infections, or sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS, according to Robert S. Van Howe, author of A Cost-Utility Analysis of Neonatal Circumcision.