Holding on to that extra layer

The Weal ― NewsMen’s circumcision on the decline

More and more men are wearing toques on their head, and not the ones that keep the ears warm. At last count, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported in 2006 that 32 per cent of newborn boys are snipped of their foreskin, compared to 47 per cent in 1973 and the decline has continued across the globe according to recent reports.

To be circumcised is for a male to have the penal foreskin removed, usually shortly after birth.

The growing trend has caused plenty of discussion from both sides of the penis department.

The Globe and Mail reported in August about “inactivism,” a North American group opposed to male circumcision. They declared that the procedure is sexually harmful, painful and is a violation of the human rights of newborns who obviously cannot willfully oppose the decision.

Dr. W. Gifford-Jones, former senior editor of The Canadian Doctor, recently wrote a report against circumcision by listing off reasons against the procedure.

His first reason listed was, “Circumcision doesn’t just snip off a small piece of skin. Rather, it removes a large surface of foreskin measuring three to five inches in length, about half of the total skin of the penis.”

Although the opposition is growing, the pro-circumcision brigade explains that the procedure prevents diseases, especially serious ones such as HIV, according to the Canadian Aids Society.

In August of this year, Dr. Tifany Chao of ABC News wrote that a decline in infant male circumcision in the U.S. could add more than $4.4 billion health care costs for STI’s. Helen Weiss, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine explained that “the foreskin is rich in HIV target cells” and, “Therefore a man without foreskin is less likely to contract HIV and some other sexually transmitted infections.”

Whether or not the skin should remain or should be removed like a mandatory coat check appears to remain a point of contention, and the same goes for whether or not it makes a difference in the bedroom.

Calgary’s Dr. David Hersh, clinical director of the Hersh Centre for Sexual Wellness, said that the only person that could honestly state whether sex is better with or without foreskin is an adult who has experienced intercourse with both ends of the stick. Hersh said that a preference likely comes down to people in general having a wide variety of eroticisms.

“We as humans have a wide range of sexual fantasies. Those who have, don’t want, those who do, do not want,” he said.

“Some people like a circumcised cock, some people like an uncircumcised cock. Tall people, short people, bit tits, small tits, tattooed, not tattooed. We all have our preferences,” he continued.

Former SAIT electrical student Troy Huot said he has never considered becoming circumcised. Huot said he was comfortable in his own skin and that although he has heard the arguments against circumcision, the world have evolved into a place where disease is much less likely.

“My reasoning is cleanliness in modern-day society. I think with the modern-day movement, race or colour, or gender is all irrelevant. It [to not be circumcised] should not even be considered a factor,” said Huot.

For further questions regarding sex visit Hersh’s website at

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