With all the attention being devoted to the subject of femal circumcision, we should note that the practice of male cirsumcision is perhaps equally brutal, equally unnecessary, and equally rooted in a Puritanical aversion to the association of sex with pleasure.
It is a tragedy that so little is being accomplished in the battle against the practise of female genital mutilation – a phenomenon that is widespread in the Muslim and African worlds. But it is a double tragedy that so little is done, let alone even said or known, about male genital mutilation in our own society.
Male circumcision is practiced world-wide by about one billion Muslims, three hundred million Christians, sixteen million Jews and an indeterminate number of atheists. It is almost unheard of in Europe, South America, and non-Muslim Asia. The inhabitants there know better.
Male circumcision entails the cutting off of the foreskin of the penis. It severely weakens the power of sexual excitement and the capacity for sexual enjoyment.
This barbarity is rooted in religious fanaticism. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the fear and hatred of sexual pleasure that lurks behind the crime of cutting off an essential part of human sexual anatomy.
It is by no means insignificant that St. Thomas Aquinas, classic Muslim authors, and great Jewish philosophers, such as Philo and Maimonides, all affirmed that the objective of male circumcision was to reduce sexual pleasure. It is no coincidence, therefore, that, as late as the 1970s, leading American medical textbooks advocated circumcision as a way to prevent masturbation.
But think about it: if circumcision reduces the frequency of masturbation because it reduces sexual pleasure, what does it do to the sexual pleasure in lovemaking?
Question: why is every normal human being born with a foreskin? Why, in females, does it protect the glans of the clitoris? Why, in males, does it protect the glans of the penis?
Dr. Paul M. Fleiss is a leading expert in the function of the foreskin. He has conclusively demonstrated that male circumcision denudes, desensitizes, and disables the penis.
The foreskin possesses a rich concentration of blood vessels and nerve endings. Yet circumcision severs 80 percent or more of it. Thus, circumcision cuts off more than 3 feet of veins, arteries, and capillaries, 240 feet of nerves, and more than 20,000 nerve endings. The foreskin's muscles, glands, and mucous membrane are mutilated.
This is not to mention that circumcision makes the penis as much as 25 percent or more shorter. The skin that is left in an unnatural state tugs the penis into the abdomen.
Circumcision radically desensitizes the penis. The rich nerve network and all the nerve receptors in the foreskin are severed. The loss of the protective foreskin obviously desensitizes the glans. Since the membrane covering the glans is now exposed and subjected to constant abrasion, it becomes desensitized, dry and tough. The nerve endings in the glans, which in the intact penis are just beneath the surface of the mucous membrane, are now out of sexual function.
The foreskin is meant to naturally glide back and forth over the penis. This motion is the process by which the penis and the orgasmic triggers in the foreskin, frenulum, and glans are stimulated. In intercourse, the foreskin facilitates smooth movement between the mucosal surfaces of a man and a woman. It enables the penis to slide in and out of the vagina without irritating friction, since it possesses its own natural self-lubricating mechanism.
The female, meanwhile, is stimulated by moving pressure rather than by friction only – as with circumcised males.
Talk to any woman who has been with both circumcised and uncircumcised males.
Is it really any surprise that so many circumcised men are today making efforts to have their foreskin restored?
Yes, we must recognize the barbarity of female genital mutilation in the Muslim and African world, and it is our duty to try to save the next generation of girls from this savagery.
But let us not become complacent and self-satisfied. We are, at this very moment, viciously mutilating the potential of sexual pleasure in our male population.
Think about it: how can a product of nature be so terrible that it needs external violence to be decimated?
The religious fanatics who associated sexual pleasure with the devil and hell have surely done a great job. Because of them, we have rationalized all kinds of reasons to mutilate our baby boys’ genitals.
But if a human being is going to damn his own soul because of how he uses his own sexual pleasure, let us leave it to him to decide on that matter. That is, after all, what God’s sacred gift of free will is all about.