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July 16, 1997

Advantages and Disadvantages of Neonatal Circumcision

Author Affiliations

Marshfield Clinic-Lakeland Center Minocqua, Wis
Marshfield Clinic Marshfield, Wis

JAMA. 1997;278(3):203. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550030043026

To the Editor.  —That the article by Dr Laumann et al1 documented differences in the sexual practices of men with regard to circumcision status is not surprising. Surgical removal of the prepuce results in the loss of the majority of fine-touch neuroreceptors found in the penis,2 leaving only the exposed glans, which is innervated with free nerve endings that can only sense deep pressure and pain.3A hypothesis is needed to explain the findings of Laumann et al in light of the known neurohistology. We suggest that a penis with foreskin and its full complement of neuroreceptors may make heterosexual coitus more satisfying, thereby making the man less likely to seek out alternate forms of stimulation. The only portion of the prepuce remaining in a man with surgically altered genitalia is the remnant between the coronaand the scar. While there are some fine-touch receptors in this tissue, the most sensitive