(New York, NY) – A striking admission by a top doctor reveals evidence that male circumcision reduces penile sensitivity.
“The fact is that reduction of sensation is very valuable to many men. And I’m not saying to all men, but to many men it is,” states Robert Sade, M.D., moderator of a debate on the legality and ethics of circumcision, in an audio recording released by GotNews.com today.
This is in contrast to the well-publicized claims of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that male circumcision has no significant effect on penile sensitivity.
Dr. Sade refers to the “benefits” that some men claim they receive after being circumcised with regard to their being able to last longer during intercourse.
“The issue is not the degree of sensitivity. It’s not the presence or absence of sensitive tissue. It’s the degree of satisfaction… in people who are able to make the decisions for themselves,” Dr. Sade is heard to say in the recording.
The debate on circumcision was held at the Medical University of South Carolina at Charleston in October of 2013, where Dr. Sade is a Distinguished University Professor. The debate was between Michael Brady, M.D. of the AAP Task Force on Circumcision and Steven Svoboda of Attorneys for the Rights of the Child.
Dr. Sade’s statements are also striking due to his long-time career as a bioethicist. He is a former chairman of the American Medical Association’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs as well as a former advisor to the President’s Commission on Bioethics.
Also present during the debate was a second member of the AAP Task Force on Circumcision, Douglas Diekema, M.D., representing the AAP Committee on Bioethics. A staunch proponent of genital cutting, Dr. Diekema is one of the architects of the AAP’s current policy on male infant circumcision and has stirred public controversy before.
In 2010, Dr. Diekema led a physicians’ committee that advocated for doctors being allowed to perform, and be reimbursed for, a form of Female Genital Mutilation known as a “ritual nick.” However, the AAP’s recommendations on Female Genital Mutilation were withdrawn after circumcision critics pointed out that such a procedure on female children constitutes a federal felony under current United States law.
Dr. Sade’s key admission with regard to penile sensitivity reduction was made as he recounted the time he served as a Navy surgeon in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War. According to Dr. Sade, sailors became interested in circumcision after hearing they would be able to “last longer” during sex due to the loss of sensation.
Rebecca Wald contributed to this report.
Correction: A previous version of this article referred to Dr. Sade as an AAP member, which we have been unable to confirm.
Update: This report was updated for clarity.