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Does Circumcision Affect Pleasure?

Circumcision does not affect performance or satisfaction as noted in various studies.



The overall prevalence of circumcision [In the USA] was 79% and varied by race/ethnicity:

88% in non-Hispanic whites

73% in non-Hispanic blacks

42% in Mexican Americans

50% in all others


Review article in the journal AIDS in 2000 showed a reduced risk of HIV infection of 44% among circumcised men as compared to uncircumcised men.




1) Sexual satisfaction of women partners of circumcised men in a randomized trial of male circumcision in Rakai, Uganda BJU International. Volume 104, Issue 11, pages 1698–1701, December 2009


To investigate the effect of adult medical male circumcision on female sexual satisfaction.

We investigated self-reported sexual satisfaction among 455 women partners of men circumcised in a randomized trial of male circumcision for the prevention of human immunodeficiency virus in Rakai, Uganda. Women aged 15–49 years were interviewed about their sexual satisfaction before and after their partners were circumcised. We analysed female-reported changes in sexual satisfaction using chi-square or Fisher’s exact tests.

Only 2.9% (13/455) of women reported less sexual satisfaction after their partners were circumcised; 57.3% (255/455) reported no change in sexual satisfaction and 39.8% (177/455) reported an improvement in sexual satisfaction after their partner’s circumcision. There were no statistically significant differences in sexual satisfaction before and after partner’s circumcision by age, religion and education status.

The overwhelming majority of women (97.1%) report either no change or improved sexual satisfaction after their male partner was circumcised. These findings suggest that male circumcision has no deleterious effect on female sexual satisfaction.


2) Effects of circumcision on male sexual function: debunking a myth? J Urol. 2002 May;167(5):2111-2. Department of Urology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.


Claims of superior sexual sensitivity and satisfaction for uncircumcised males have never been substantiated in a prospective fashion in the medical literature. We performed such a study to investigate these assertions.

The Brief Male Sexual Function Inventory (BMSFI) was administered to sexually active males older than 18 years before undergoing circumcision. After a minimum interval of 12 weeks after the operation, the survey was again administered. The 5 domains of the BMSFI (sexual drive, erections, ejaculation, problem assessment overall satisfaction) were each given a summed composite score. These scores before and after circumcision were then analyzed by Wilcoxon signed-rank testing.

All 15 men who participated in the study between September 1999 and October 2000 were available for followup. Mean patient age plus or minus standard deviation was 36.9 +/- 12.0 years. There was no statistically significant difference in the BMFSI composite scores of reported sexual drive (p >0.68), erection (p >0.96), ejaculation (p >0.48), problem assessment (p >0.53) or overall satisfaction (p >0.72).

Circumcision does not appear to have adverse, clinically important effects on male sexual function in sexually active adults who undergo the procedure.


3) Prevalence of circumcision and herpes simplex virus type 2 infection in men in the United States: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 1999-2004. Sex Transm Dis. 2007 Jul;34(7):479-84. Source Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.


To study the prevalence of circumcision in the United States and to examine the association between circumcision and herpes simplex virus Type 2 (HSV-2) infection.

As part of National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 1999 to 2004, 6174 men were interviewed about circumcision status and sexual behaviors, and were tested for HSV-2 antibodies. Medical artwork was used to aid the reporting of circumcision status.

The overall prevalence of circumcision was 79% and varied by race/ethnicity (88% in non-Hispanic whites, 73% in non-Hispanic blacks, 42% in Mexican Americans, and 50% in others). For men born in the United States from 1940 through 1979, the prevalence of circumcision increased, with larger increases in non-Hispanic blacks and Mexican Americans than in non-Hispanic whites; the prevalence of circumcision decreased significantly in those born in the 1980s (84%) compared to those born in 1970s (91%) (P

The prevalence of circumcision apparently peaked in those born in the 1970s and declined in those born in the 1980s. Circumcision was not associated with HSV-2 infection.


4)  Male circumcision and risk of HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis. AIDS. 2000 Oct 20;14(15):2361-70. Medical Research Council Tropical Epidemiology Group, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK.


To systematically review studies of male circumcision and the risk of HIV-1 infection in men in sub-Saharan Africa, and to summarize the findings in a meta-analysis.

A meta-analysis of observational studies.

A systematic literature review was carried out of studies published up to April 1999 that included circumcision as a risk factor for HIV-1 infection among men in sub-Saharan Africa. A random effects meta-analysis was used to calculate a pooled relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for all studies combined, and stratified by type of study population. Further analyses were conducted among those studies that adjusted for potential confounding factors.

Twenty-seven studies were included. Of these, 21 showed a reduced risk of HIV among circumcised men, being approximately half that in uncircumcised men (crude RR = 0.52, CI 0.40-0.68). In 15 studies that adjusted for potential confounding factors, the association was even stronger (adjusted RR = 0.42, CI 0.34-0.54). The association was stronger among men at high risk of HIV (crude RR = 0.27; adjusted RR = 0.29, CI 0.20-0.41) than among men in general populations (crude RR = 0.93; adjusted RR = 0.56, CI 0.44-0.70).

Male circumcision is associated with a significantly reduced risk of HIV infection among men in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly those at high risk of HIV. These results suggest that consideration should be given to the acceptability and feasibility of providing safe services for male circumcision as an additional HIV prevention strategy in areas of Africa where men are not traditionally circumcised.

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