Increasing demand for circumcision on aesthetic grounds.
This is the title (translated) of an article published in the Swiss magazine GHI. It is about the increasing number of teenagers who want to be circumcised because it looks better. The article is in French but here are some translated snippets. "Circumcision is, it seems, on the way to changing its status in our society." "All the girls these days prefer a circumcised penis, writes 'Julien', aged 19, from Lausanne, who is about to take the plunge. My girlfriend is very happy that I'm doing it, she thinks it is more hygienic and nicer for her, particularly in oral sex."
The article goes on to discuss the history of circumcision and its medical benefits. Thanks to Tom for the link.
circumcised in his 60s
A fun article in the Health and Fitness section of the Guardian on May 6th. Stuart Jeffries finally discovered in his 60s that he had phimosis! (He was married). We are spared the cutesy photo of a banana only to get a similar one of a cucumber. At least that is a common euphemism for the male organ. ("I don't care if he is common, so long as he's all cucumber and hooves" - Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood)
The imminent operation inspires him to research the procedure, including that you don't actually see anything in Old Master paintings of the Circumcision of Christ. He references " Miles Kington's droll Channel 4 documentary In Search of the Holy Foreskin. In the programme, he toured Italy trying in vain to find everybody's Top 10 favourite holy relic, Jesus's foreskin, which has been venerated for centuries as a religious icon." (For more information on this go to our News 2019 page and scroll down to 18th December.)
Anyway, it all went well, and the article is a great read. Thanks to JH for the link,
silicone replica of the body reconstructed.
The shroud of Turin - purportedly the grave-cloth in which Christ's body was wrapped - was first revealed in northern France in 1354. It bears a very faint image of a man. (Detail below left). As early as 1392 it was condemned as a fake by the bishop of Troyes which didn't stop it being venerated and next century it was acquired by the royal house of Savoy, who moved it to Turin (Torino) in Italy. Modern research has confirmed that it is a fake - radiocarbon dating shows that the linen fabric is mediaeval, and chemical analysis shows that the image is painted. Nevertheless it remains on display in Turin Cathedral, and last year a Spanish team decided to recreate a silicone replica of the body it depicts. It went on display in Salamanca last October. See below.
Whether this was a stunt, a money-making venture or a genuine act of devotion I do not know. But the funny bit is that, as you can see, Christ's hands were placed over his crotch in the shroud image. The reconstructors have lifted them to reveal a generously-proportioned and thoroughly circumcised penis. The shroud didn't show that!
Thanks to Hungarian correspondent Andras for the information. You can see a video of the reconstruction on Youtube. Shroud image courtesy Wikimedia Commons, reconstruction image courtesy Associated Press.
- protection from penile and cervical cancer.
This will not be totally new to regular Circlist readers, but a new popular article, based on a recent major review, explains the topic very clearly. The article, by Dr. Sanchari Sinha Dutta, is in News-Medical. The original paper, in Clinical Microbiology and Infection, is behind a paywall but you can read an abstract here.
Thanks to JT for the link.
A review of the evidence.
Our last news item, last year, was about the penile microbiome, before and after circumcision. This topic has now been reviewed by Dr. Liji Thomas, MD in the medical newsletter News - Medical. She looked at four different studies, including the one we featured, and came to the same conclusion - circumcision hugely reduces the mumber of nasties. My favourite quote: (circumcision has the effect of) "turning the post-circumcision PMB into something closely resembling the healthy skin microbiome." This is not an academic paper - it is easy to read and fully open access. Highly recommended.
Thanks to JT for the link.
Yes, there is almost no difference.
An impressive group of ten US academics has carried out a very comprehensive study of sexual sensitivity and response in US males. The study was limited to white, English-speaking men over 18 so they really did the best they could to elininate ethnic bias. 510 men were recruited, matched carefully to the general population. 46 of them, while male at birth, no longer had male genitalia, and so were excluded. Another 62 were excluded because they had never had sexual relations. This left 402 adult men,of whom 227 were circumcised and 175 were uncircumcised.
Diagrams divided the penis and scrotum into 12 different zones, and participants were asked to rate them for erotic sensitivity. There were some minor differences but of course the glans won out in both groups. The only substantial differences were that circumcised men rated the tip of the glans as more sensitive, and also rated more highly the middle area of the shaft (maybe the Gomco scar, since they were Americans). They were also asked to rate, qualitatively, ease of reaching orgasm and orgasm quality - no difference.
The paper, in Journal of Sexual Medicine, is open access at JSM. Thanks to JH for the link. Sadly, while it was open access when we posted this, it no longer is. Must have been a glitch.)
and is reunited with his family 25 years later.
A 13-year-old Indonesian schoolboy was supposedly preparing for his circumcision in the town of Klaten. Instead, on the day of the operation he disappeared, terrified of what was to happen. For 25 years, nobody could find him. Recently, an officer from the local district's social welfare coordination team, Joko Prayitno, managed to locate the man in the town of Bantul, with the help of a YouTuber. (Good to have something nice to say about YouTube). Last week he had a very emotional reunion with his family, after more that 20 years of homelessness.
The best story is at Singapore Uncensored but you can see other pictures at Juice. Thanks to our regular Indonesian correspondent EC.
Yes, he is circumcised .
But then, we knew that already - Ingrid Seward, a palace insider, told us that in her book 'The Two Princes' - see our UK page. What we didn't know was that having a foreskin might have saved him from frostbite of his dick!
This is where things get messy. Clearly the same handful of excerpts have been passed from source to source by "chinese whispers" getting more and more inaccurate along the way. So, many accounts say his member got frostbitten in the Antarctic, while others say it was on a trek to the North Pole. Since Harry was involved with a fundraising trek to the North Pole for wounded servicemen, and joined it for four days (see the BBC report) I am inclined to believe the latter version.
The most amusing variant is in Harry's account of losing his virginity to an older woman. "She liked horses, quite a lot, and treated me not unlike a young stallion. Quick ride, after which she'd smacked my rump and sent me to graze." This rings true, but many versions have her smacking his "ass" which not only destroys the horsey metaphor, it's an Americanism which Harry would never use.
There are many links but here are 3 7 News, Daily Mail, Page 6. Thanks to AG, BM and LX for the links.
I think we can assume that Meghan and Harry's son Archie is circumcised, so I guess media speculation will now centre on whether Willam and Kate's sons George and Louis are also circumcised.
The UK page has now (Jan 20th) been updated with accurate information from the actual book.
The Jew's penis: circumcision and sexual pathology in eighteenth-century England.
This paper, by Noelle Gallagher, is based on a cartoon by Hogarth. Now, if you were writing a piece of social history about the presnt century would you take a cartoon as fact? Hardly! Hogarth's cartoons were satires, intended to amuse.
Read this paper for a laugh, but don't take it seriously. It claims that Jews were effeminate, sexually inadequate and prone to sexually transmitted disease. All the serious literature contradicts this. Medical studies showed that Jews were much less prone to sexually transmitted diseases - the controversy was whether this was a benefit of circumcision or because Jewish men were less likely to stray in their married life. (Answer - probably both but until circumcision of gentiles became routine that question could not be answered.) And in popular literature circumcised men were regarded as so potent that a woman who had once experienced one could never be content with an uncircumcised one again (also nonsense, of course, but very few women had that experience). One final point - Gallagher quotes Robert Darby as a reliable source, which puts her firmly out in the lunatic fringe.
The abstract is available on PubMed but that really doesn't tell you much, you need to read the whole paper in Medical Humanities which is open access. Thanks to JH for the link.
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