A study conducted by researchers in the Department of Urology, Ghent University Hospital, Belgium, has shown that male circumcision decreases penile sensitivity.
The study, by Bronselaer, Schober, Meyer-Bahlburg, T'sjoen, Vlietinck, and Hoebeke, sought to settle the debate on the widely controversial issue of circumcision and loss of sensitivity.
"Today some studies on the effect of circumcision on sexual function are available. However, they vary widely in outcome," the abstract, available on the US-government funded National Centre for Biotechnology Information website said.
"The present study shows in a large cohort of men, based on self-assessment, that the foreskin has erogenous sensitivity. It is shown that the foreskin is more sensitive than the uncircumcised glans mucosa, which means that after circumcision, genital sensitivity is lost."
The study sample consisted of 1,059 uncircumcised and 310 circumcised men.
"This study confirms the importance of the foreskin for penile sensitivity, overall sexual satisfaction, and penile functioning. Furthermore, this study shows that a higher percentage of circumcised men experience discomfort or pain and unusual sensations as compared with the uncircumcised population," the researchers said. "Before circumcision, without medical indication, adult men, and parents considering circumcision of their sons, should be informed of the importance of the foreskin in male sexuality."