August 30, 1971

The Foreskin Saga

JAMA. 1971;217(9):1241-1242. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190090063015

A recent article, "Whither The Foreskin"1 again questions the value of circumcision, a problem bandied by physicians for years. It also calls to attention that this subject lends itself to some fanciful titles for medical articles, eg, "Penile Plunder,"2 "The Fate of The Foreskin,"3 and "The Rape of the Phallus,"4 a group I feel justified in joining.

In June 1965, Morgan4 attacked circumcision as barbarous (Iagree), of no health value (I am shocked), and resulting in decreased sexual pleasure in the male (I am depressed).

I am certain that I was not alone among the circumcised readers of that article in becoming quite concerned. My father was a young physician at the time of my circumcision and presumably had it done with best intentions. Nonetheless, although I am not a psychiatrist, a number of questions came to my mind. Did this represent an unconscious attack