According to new research released by McGill researchers, the long-lasting myth that men who are circumcised have a decreased range of sexual pleasure and subdued sexual sensation as compared to men who are uncircumcised has been proven to be false.
Using state-of-the-art technology in the field of sexual research, McGill researchers were able to conclude said results. Some of this technology used included videos and high-tech sensors which measured arousal in the research participants.
Referring to the time-tested myth surrounding men’s arousal, Kimberly Payne, PhD and the principal author of the study, noted the interesting understanding of how universally accepted the myth was, even though, as she stated, no scientific evidence was available to back up the claim.
The research included volunteer participants, aged 18 to 49, where genital sensory testing was conducted on both circumcised and uncircumcised men. The testing was completed during times of sexual arousal as well as non-arousal to compare the differences and similarities between the group’s responses.
The results confirmed a lack of difference between circumcised and uncircumcised men relating to sensitivity of the genitals regarding pain or pleasure. Previous research of this kind only tested groups in sexual functionality and dysfunctionality, making this new study a groundbreaking advancement in sexual research. Studies before did not focus on the ways in which arousal was affected by sexual sensations.
Payne noted that while self-reported studies were previously released through questionnaires given to the general public, her study alongside McGill aimed on creating data not only measurable, but observable as well.
Therefore, McGill’s new research worked to study this matter. The study’s participants were provided with DVD goggles to assist their natural arousal and were placed in private settings to reduce nervousness. The participants then viewed both erotic material as well as the non-erotic.
During this process, sensation was measured in the penis and in the forearm to gain accurate readings of the men’s arousal.
Additionally, both the circumcised and uncircumcised test groups noted high levels of increased temperature of the penis when responding to the erotic materials. Compared with one another, it was shown that circumcised men experienced a higher increase in temperature of the penis
than uncircumcised men during periods of sexual arousal, although there were no recorded differences between the groups relating to sensitivity of the genitals.
While the results are noteworthy, Payne warns that all myths around circumcision are not necessary debunked fully. She notes that her study looks at the measurement of one sensation specifically and does not take into account possible differences between levels of sensation due to the physical differences in regard to uncircumcised and circumcised penises.
Dr. Payne is a current practitioner of clinical psychology in Ottawa, Ontario. The study was completed in conjunction with her doctoral research under Dr. Yitzchak (Irv) Binik, Professor of Psychology at McGill University and Director of the Sex and Couple Therapy Service at the McGill University Health Centre/Royal Victoria Hospital.