Letter: Circumcision myths

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Mischa Moselle (letter, 30 September) asserts that "surely it is the right of parents to determine how their children are raised". Does having one's son circumcised not amount, more accurately, to determining how he will be anatomically re-configured? Is that a valid parental prerogative?

When Moselle refers to "the loss of a couple of square inches of skin", he is terribly mistaken. The adult foreskin comprises 12 to 15 square inches of skin and mucosa together representing, typically, between one- third and two-thirds of the entire penile skin system.

The foreskin's unique and rich nerve structure was recently described in the British Journal of Urology (February 1996) by the Canadian John Taylor. Besides identifying the multiple zones and structures that constitute this complex body part, Taylor pointed out that the junction, at its tip, where the external skin becomes highly innervated mucosa "appears to be an important component of the overall sensory mechanism of the human penis".



Circumcision Information Resource Centre

Montreal, Canada