To cut or not to cut

To cut or not to cut

Circumcised vs. uncircumcised

by Ashley Groze |

When boys are born, they have a foreskin covering the penis head. If the foreskin is taken off, the penis is then circumcised, or cut. If not, it is regarded as uncircumcised or uncut.

For many years, circumcising male infants was a common procedure in many different countries. The practice can be performed in a hospital or during a religious ceremony. Although most males were circumcised at some point in some cultures, circumcision is becoming less common.

Nikolaus Dene is a fifth year kinesiology major at Humboldt State.

“I’ve heard that you have more feeling when you’re uncircumcised because of all the nerves in the extra skin,” Dene said.

Debate arises around the differences in sexual feelings with men circumcised versus uncircumcised. Since circumcision involves the removal of half the skin on the penis, men lose many of the penile fine touch receptors after the procedure.

“I think it should be the baby’s choice,” Dene said. “It’s involuntary surgery.”

People usually decide to circumcise the penis because of the potential health risks that come along with leaving the skin intact. There is over 12 times the risk of urinary tract infections in uncircumcised infants compared with circumcised infants. Leaving the penis uncircumcised increases the risk of inflammation and infection. Penile cancer is 20 times less common in circumcised men compared with uncircumcised men. This is a serious disease, however it is important to know that penile cancer is rare, with low rates even in uncircumcised men.

When men become sexually active, an intact foreskin can increase two to four times the risk of many sexually transmitted infections, including genital herpes, human papillomavirus and syphilis. Lack of circumcision even puts a man’s female partner at increased risk of STI’s.

Having a foreskin is the number one risk factor for HIV infection in heterosexual men. Uncircumcised men have two to eight times the risk of HIV, compared with circumcised men.

Kyle Blumer is a junior business major at HSU.

“My girlfriend says she would never touch an uncircumcised penis, but she’s never seen one in person,” Blumer said. “Most girls have told me that uncircumcised dicks are gross.”

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  1. Adam Cornish

    No prejudice in this impartial article, eh?
    70% to 80% of the world’s men have foreskins. If those medical estimates were correct, there would be no question that circumcision is the right thing to do. They are not. They are severely skewed to make circumcision look good. Girls get far more UTIs than either circumcised or uncircumcised boys. No one is advocating surgery to prevent them. European countries, where circumcision is rare, have lower rates of HIV, penile cancer, cervical cancer, and venereal diseases, than the US, where circumcision is common.
    When the UK, Australia, and New Zealand stopped routine circumcision, they saw no increase in disease.
    Rates have dropped dramatically in Canada and the US as well. Still, no uptick in disease.
    I think if someone was suggesting the removal of half the skin of Ashley Groze’s genitals, she might suddenly become opposed.
    Circumcision is not ethical. The only one who should be making that decision, is the adult owner of the penis. What other healthy body part do we cut off of someone who can’t consent?

  2. Brian Morris

    Don’t believe the lies and distortions of the anti-circumcision activists (who use the same kind of tactics opposing strong evidence-based health measures as the anti-vaxers). Globally 38% of men are circumcised (latest data in 2016 in Population Health Metrics).
    UTIs a much more common in uncircumcised infant boys than in girls of any age and of course 10-times higher than in circumcised boys.

    The fine-touch receptors on the foreskin have nothing to do with sexual sensation. The nerve endings responsible for sexual pleasure are location in the head of the penis and undersurface of the shaft. There are none of these in the foreskin. See:

    There are no adverse effect on sexual function or pleasure shown in the world’s top sexual health journal:

    See also a systematic review and meta-analysis of circumcision and sexual function.

    and a systematic review from Denmark:

    A recent study found very much higher rates of heterosexually transmitted HIV in men and women in the Netherland and France (where circumcision is uncommon) than in Israel where circumcision is virtually universal. In all of these countries other risk factors for HIV were similar.
    In the US the latest CDC statistics showed that male circumcision has increased in whites (to 91%), blacks (to 76%) and Hispanics (to 44%). Any apparent decrease in younger males is mainly because of the greater rise in the Hispanic populations than other ethic groups.
    Data contradict the claim about disease, with headlines in the UK and Australia warning that the rise in penile cancer (that affects 1 in 1,000 uncircumcised males over their lifetime) was due to the decline in circumcision.

    To maximise health benefits and minimise harm and expense, this simple procedure is best performed in the newborn period:

    The benefits of infant male circumcision exceed the risks by over 100 to 1. See risk-benefit analysis in Mayo Clinic Proceedings 2014:

    Whereas virtually all of the complications seen in an infant circumcision are rare (1 in 250), very minor and easily and completely treatable, the risks of not circumcising can be extremely serious: kidney damage in infancy, death from genital cancers (penile that affects 1 in 900 uncirc’d males and prostate that is much more common, cervical cancer in women) and the consequences of infection by HIV.

    Over their lifetime, half of uncircumcised males suffer a medical condition caused by their foreskin (see article in Mayo Clin Proc in May issue 2014):

    Infant male circumcision is cost-saving for prevention of infections (Johns Hopkins study):

    For the American Academy of Pediatrics evidence-based affirmative policy statement on infant male circumcision see:

    Brian J. Morris, DSc PhD, Professor Emeritus in Medical Sciences, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney

  3. Ron Low

    Hundreds of thousands of men are doing non-surgical foreskin restoration to undo some of the predictable sexual damage of childhood circumcision. Informed adults can decide for themselves.


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