July 27, 2007 According to a new study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, sexual sensation in circumcised and uncircumcised men may not be so different after all. The research, performed in the Department of Psychology of McGill University in Montreal, consisted of genital sensory testing conducted on circumcised and uncircumcised men during states of sexual arousal and non-arousal. Results showed that no difference between the two groups was found in sensitivity to touch or pain.
“This study suggests that preconceptions of penile sensory differences between circumcised and uncircumcised men may be unfounded,” says Kimberley Payne, Ph.D, principal author of the study.
“People have been arguing about the sexual effects of circumcision for at least 1,000 years and I hope these data will encourage more research,” says Dr. Yitzchak M. Binik, co-author of the research and Professor of Psychology at McGill and Director of the Sex and Couple Therapy Service of the McGill University Health Center.
The authors note that the presence of scar tissue formation from circumcision, as well as functional and mechanical changes related to sexual activity, are factors that may have secondary effects on genital sensitivity and should be considered in future research.
Irwin Goldstein, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine observed, “In this fascinating study performed by renowned sexual medicine researchers, not only do they dispel the myth that the glans penis is more sensitive in the uncircumcised male due to the protective function of the foreskin, but they show that both circumcised and uncircumcised participants were less sensitive to touch overall during sexual arousal. This appears to be an important factor in the normal sexual response and pleasure.”
This is the second manuscript in The Journal of Sexual Medicine this year examining the effects of sexual arousal on genital sensitivity. “While more research is needed, diminishing genital sensitivity during sexual arousal may be an important factor helping protect against pain during sexual activity.”
1. Gruenwald, I et al Physiological Changes in Female Genital Sensation During Sexual Stimulation, J Sex Med 2007;4:390–394
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