It's a common belief men who are circumcised have a less sensitive penis, but a new study implies this is nothing but a myth.
According to research from Queen's University, penises of men who were circumcised were "no less sensitive than intact (uncircumcised) penises."
The study, which looked at 62 men between the ages of 18 and 37 (30 were circumcised and 32 were not), tested their subjects by a variety of touching mechanisms. Including fine touching, pain, warmth detection and heat pain, researchers wanted to know which penises were more sensitive.
“One researcher who only used fine touch to measure penile sensitivity claimed the foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis, so removing it via circumcision is detrimental to men's sex lives,” author and clinical psychology PhD candidate Jenn Bossio said in a statement.
“Many anti-circumcision activists believe this is true, but we didn't find sufficient evidence to support this. We found that while the foreskin was more sensitive to fine touch, it was not more sensitive to the other stimuli we used, and those stimuli are likely more important in sexual pleasure.”
The study, which was published in the Journal of Urology, notes one-third of men globally undergo circumcisions. In 2015, the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) updated its views on circumcision, to clarify both the risks and benefits of removing foreskin.
CPS noted it does "not recommend the routine circumcision of every newborn male," but that there are some benefits to foreskin removal including reducing urinary tract infections in young boys, preventing sexually transmitted pathogens like herpes and protectng against penile cancer.
"We're simply saying that for parents who are for whatever reasons keen on having their son circumcised, there's now a little more evidence than there used to be about potential benefits," the society explained.
Of course, male circumcision is a practice that has been around for thousands of years for certain religions and cultures, but the CPS notes it also has become a neonatal medical procedure.
Bossio adds while there is plenty of discussion on the health benefits of circumcisions, there is little known about the sexual benefits.
The next area of focus for her, she adds, is studying subjects with sexual dysfunctions like erectile dysfunction.
With files from The Canadian Press.