Anti-Circumcision Bias

By Dr. Aaron Jesin
Created: October 17, 2012 Last Updated: October 19, 2012
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In his article Male Circumcision: What Would Newborns Say (Oct. 11-17), Dr. Gifford Jones blatantly shows his anti-circumcision bias. Almost all of his “points” are full of misinformation. Let us examine some of these points.

1. Dr. John Taylor’s anatomical studies of the foreskin are well known. However, it is a leap to say that this translates into reduced sexual pleasure. Neither Dr. Taylor nor anyone else has shown a scientific double blind study proving that circumcised men have less sexual pleasure than uncircumcised men.

2. Nature gave us ear lobes without earring holes and other features with which we tamper. The argument that we should not remove the foreskin because it is supplied by nature should not hold.

3. On the one hand, Dr. Jones discounts the benefit regarding penile cancer because it is so uncommon. On the other hand, he makes a big deal regarding disfiguring complications of circumcision even though these are even rarer than penile cancer.

4. Reduction in transmission of HIV and genital herpes is a huge benefit and should not be easily discounted.

5. There is no proof presented, nor does any exist, that erectile dysfunction is related to circumcision. Erectile dysfunction is rooted in psychosocial causes as well as atherosclerotic disease. I am not aware of any published studies linking it to circumcision.

Parents do have a right to decide whether or not to circumcise their sons, just as they have a right to decide upon immunization and other health related decisions regarding their children.

Dr. Gifford Jones should be more careful to present accurate information in his articles; or he should admit that he is only presenting his personal opinion.

Dr. Aaron Jesin operates a family medical practice and a circumcision clinic in Toronto.

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  • John Dalton

    Re the points by Jesin:-

    1.Taylor didn’t show sexual pleasure is affected by circumcision, but did show that circumcision removes tissue which forms part of the afferent limb of the ejaculatory reflex. This ties in with the finding of Frisch that circumcised men are more likely to have difficullty with orgasm:

    2. Piercing the earlobes differs from circumcision in that it doesn’t remove anything functional. And frankly non-consenting children shouldn’t be having their earlobes pierced either.

    3. Every circumcision is disfiguring. Fact is that in no other context would we cut off a part of a child’s body to prevent later disease. Circumcision is dispraportionate to preventing penis cancer – a very rare disease of old men that can normally be treated without amputation.

    4. Bassett found no association between circumcision status and HSV: Even if circumcision does reduce the risk of contracting HSV, this is a benefit only in adulthood. Circumcision can be elected by the individual who seriously thinks it is worthwhile.It is not a reason for forcing on children the ablation of their foreskin.

    5.Reduced erectile function after circumcision has been documented: Elswhere also.

    No. Parents do not have the right to decide whether to circumcise their sons. It is for the man they will become to decide as an informed consenting adult.

    At least Jesin discloses his interest as a circumciser. This gives him a procircumcision bias.

  • Ian Wilkinson

    Talk about misinformation 1 What Taylor found was that the foreskin had strecth receptor nerves which are different to the pressure receptor nerves of the glans, circumcision removes a particular sensation generated by stretch receptors 2 To compare ear lobes and piercing them to removing the foreskin which is a functional sex organ is misleading 3 Where are your data that disfiguring circumcisions are rarer than penile cancer? 4 USA with highest circ rate has highest HIV rate in western world 5 Morten Fiske found a correlation between circumcision and erectile dysfunction 6 What about the boys rights over his own body isnt that more impt than parents rights?

  • Rerun

    1. It would be up to you to show us a double blind study to proove circumcision does no harm. You want to remove healthy skin and anyone doing something similar without this proove would go directly into jail.

    2. Why does’t it hold exactly? No parents should be allowed to pierce the earlobes of an 8 day old child and on older ones only, if the child has an age, that he can fully understand what is done and gives his consent.

    3. Penile cancer is an illness, having a foreskin is not. This makes quite clear, how slippery this argument is.

    4. There are small little things called condoms, and guess what, they do not exist in sizes that small to fit a child. If you think this is an argument though condoms exist, it is still no reason to harm a child without it’s consent.

    5. Again, it would be up to you, to proove that the operation is secure. Even if only one single man would exist that has sexual problems because being circumcised, it woud make circumcison without his informed consent a crime.

  • CountWestwest

    How does removing 20,000 nerves sensitive to pressure and stretching from the tip of the penis doesn’t diminish pleasure? That position is as ridiculous as saying that removing my fingertips doesn’t diminish finger sensitivity.

    • Barefoot Intactivist

      How can you prove cutting off your fingers is bad, there has never been a double blind study! Laughable!

      It is IMPOSSIBLE to do a double blind study on circumcision, since the man will by definition know that he has been circumcised. What a joke this article.

  • Dan Bollinger

    The problem here is that the good doctors gloss over or side step ethics and human rights by limiting their discussion to medicine. There are medical benefits to female circumcision, too, but if we only listened to doctors not only would more women be circumcised, but doctors would be the richer for it. Laws prohibiting female circumcision/cutting/mutilation make it illegal for even a pinprick that extracts a drop of blood; male circumcision is certainly worse than that.

  • Jackno

    This would all be funny, but for the fact that people pay attention to this person. What would you think if a bunch of color blind people told you you need to shut off your child’s color sight? …or one eyed people saying 3D sight is of no purpose This would be hilarious but for all of the mutilations and sexual dysfunction that this guy may cause.

    Many cut men do not regret circumcision as they have no clue about what they lost. And that is the point, this doctor doesn’t understand the 20000 pleasure nerves because he has no reference? He does have nipples, fingertips and lips thathave similar nerve endings. Would he also say that removing these will not lower sensation/pleasure?

    How can people have an opinion on this when they think the THOUSANDS of specialized nerve endings and their connection to BRAIN is not meaningful? These are the most innervated parts of the penis. The parts cut off shut down a huge part of the kid’s/man’s sensory system. That can never be returned. Also, many cut men have sexual function issues from the start of sexual activity. However, most will get ED at a much younger age than they would otherwise (cut men are 4.5 TIMES as likely to get ED).

    The International Journal of Men’s Health published results of a study that showed circumcised men are 4.5 times more likely to experience erectile dysfunction due to loss of sensitivity. In a further study, The British Journal of Urology International reports that circumcised men can experience up to a 75 percent reduction in sensitivity compared to men who are not circumcised.

    The knowledge of the this WOUNDING affecting sexual pleasure and function goes back years so there is NO IF as to SEXUAL HARM, it is a matter of HOW BAD IS IT for any particular guy. Maimonides (the Torah scholar) noted that the act that circumcision weakens the faculty of sexual excitement and sometimes perhaps diminishes the pleasure is indubitable. Kellogg declared a ‘war on masturbation’ at the end of the 19th century and advocated circumcision to curb male sexual urges by removing the main male pleasure parts.

    BTW, the number of baby redos and complications from circumcision far exceeds the number of cases of penile cancer. Ans in the real world there is no HIV risk advantage to men missing parts of their penis!

  • SteveB954

    In Indonesia doctors will make a small incision in the genitals of a girl if her parents request it for cultural or religious reasons. That type of female genital cutting is less damaging that what Aaron Jesin does to healthy Canadian boys.

    In my opinion there is no ethical difference between a Canadian doctor, like Aaron Jesin, who who performs unnecessary surgery on the genitals of healthy boys and an Indonesian doctor who performs unnecessary surgery on the genitals of healthy girls.

  • Hugh7

    Anti-circumcision bias? Sure I’m biased against male genital cutting, just as I’m biased against slavery, footbinding, cuttng off earlobes, involuntary gender (re)assignment of children with variations of sexual development (“intersexed”), and of course ALL unvoluntary female genital cutting, no matter how minimal, surgical and anaesthetised. (And yes, some of those are more severe than male genital cutting, but we’re talking about ethics here.)

    “Dr. Aaron Jesin operates … a circumcision clinic in Toronto.”

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.
    - Upton Sinclair

  • Richard Ross

    Without the foreskijn there is no gliding mechanism. This means it is harder to masturbate. Circed guys have to resort to artificial lubrication to masturbate. Otherwise there is friction which is sore and could damage the penis. The foreskin also acts like an accelerator pedal. The nerves give feedback on when you are about to ejaculate. Circed men can therefore suffer from both premature and delayed ejaculation.

  • finn

    less STD infections (at least HIV), just like male circ. and reduced sexual pleasure (the ‘pro’ that got cric ing introduced in the first place), like male cric.

  • finn

    Personally I think the pro circing bias of circumcised scientists should be investigated. I think they might find a high prevalence of cognitive dissonance, possibly caused by a deep rooted insecurity about their body, due to their own circing.

  • Camel S

    Dr. Aaron Jesin is a disgusting monster who preys on defenceless babies to make a living, hardly credible. The glaring conflict of interest here seems to elude his reptilian brain. This guy needs to crawl back under the rock he came out from under.

  • Camel S

    If you look into the matter, in other countries that practice routine female circumcision, the doctors have all sorts of ‘studies’ that show substantial benefits, they also claim it is harmless, and mothers insist on it so they ‘look’ like mommy. It is exactly the same weird logic used here. BTW, I am opposed to both male and female circumcision.


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