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← Male circumcision is a weapon in the sperm wars

Male circumcision is a weapon in the sperm wars - Comments

Mango's Avatar Comment 1 by Mango

There may be an evolutionary explanation


Obviously this isn't a practice that represents *evolution* but rather just cultural practices that have an effect on procreation.

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 09:01:00 UTC | #179944

Geodesic17's Avatar Comment 2 by Geodesic17

Ouch!

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 09:07:00 UTC | #179949

Crystal's Avatar Comment 3 by Crystal

How would ancient people know about sperm wars to put this together. The crushed testicle would seem odvious to anyone who knows the male part in reproduction but I am not so sure regular circumcision reduces fertility at all.

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 09:10:00 UTC | #179951

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 4 by Agrajag

Wilson suggests, however, that the lack of a foreskin could make insertion or ejaculation slower, meaning brief, illicit sex is less likely to come to fruition and lead to a pregnancy.

Ah, but the *non-illicit* sex... :-)

3. Comment #189459 by Crystal on June 6, 2008 at 10:10 am

How would ancient people know about sperm wars to put this together. The crushed testicle would seem odvious to anyone who knows the male part in reproduction...

Those ancient people, what did they know? Crushing testicles when every fool knows sperm comes from the spine!
Ste5e

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 09:14:00 UTC | #179958

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 5 by Cartomancer

Why do I find myself sat here with my legs crossed tight and a grimace of pain on my face when I read this article?

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 09:23:00 UTC | #179965

chauvinj's Avatar Comment 6 by chauvinj

"In some African and Micronesian cultures, young men have one of their testicles crushed. "

Holy shit.... :|

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 09:33:00 UTC | #179968

History_Junky's Avatar Comment 7 by History_Junky

crushed testicle...crushed testicle...crushed testicle...

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 09:45:00 UTC | #179974

m-man's Avatar Comment 8 by m-man

It doesn't seem to me that male circumcision is equivalent to female circumcision, because it seems like from an anatomy point of view, that the foreskin is just an evolutionary leftover, and that its equal to the leftover of the hymen on females, i think that the male equivalent of the female mutilation, where everything is cut out and sewn up, would be to say, cut off the testicles,
in developed countries, like everything else, circumcision is safe and non-risky. i also thought that i have read that every case of penile cancer has only occurred in uncircumcised men

what is it about "crushed testicle" , that just makes you wince, and get that feeling...eeh

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 09:45:00 UTC | #179975

bentleyd's Avatar Comment 9 by bentleyd

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 09:50:00 UTC | #179977

Geodesic17's Avatar Comment 10 by Geodesic17

oooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee ouch!

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 09:53:00 UTC | #179978

virtual_void's Avatar Comment 11 by virtual_void

Comment #189483 by m-man on June 6, 2008 at 10:45 am
It doesn't seem to me that male circumcision is equivalent to female circumcision, because it seems like from an anatomy point of view, that the foreskin is just an evolutionary leftover


No it has important functions like:
Keeping the glans moist, protecting the developing penis in utero, or to enhance sexual pleasure due to the presence of nerve receptors

The reason many people think that foreskin is useless is because they were deprived of it due to religious reasons at a very young age and have no understanding of its importance.

As usual religious people try to find reasons for why it is beneficial (circumcision)
Something similar to finding reasons for why wine or chocolate is good for you; you are going to eat/drink/cut it anyway, so as well feel good about it.

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 10:06:00 UTC | #179986

Friend Giskard's Avatar Comment 12 by Friend Giskard

Destroying one of the testicles reduces the likelihood of getting testicular cancer by 50%. Let's all get it done!

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 10:13:00 UTC | #179989

irvine.intervention's Avatar Comment 13 by irvine.intervention

This sounds like a Cock and Ball story.

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 10:19:00 UTC | #179993

al-rawandi's Avatar Comment 14 by al-rawandi

One tribe in Australia takes a sharpened needle like stick and shoves through the base of the penis making a hole through all the important stuff.


That way semen comes out of the hole, and he will only impregnate a woman when he covers the holes with a finger during sex.


I mean, can someone send them some condoms?

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 10:20:00 UTC | #179994

skyhook87's Avatar Comment 15 by skyhook87

It might also be the case that selection works at a group level, so that societies that enforce mutilation are more stable because of less conflict over paternity, Wilson says.


What is up with people named "Wilson" and group selection?

In reading Dawkins before encountering the arguments for group selection, I seem to be unable to understand how group selection offers a greater explanatory power.

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 11:02:00 UTC | #180010

glenister_m's Avatar Comment 16 by glenister_m

Unless circumcision is known to reduce fertility, it is unlikely to be the reason for the practice. After all, the shieks were smart enough to know that they had to castrate any male slaves they had looking after their harems. This didn't prevent them from having sex (they could, and they could last longer), but it did prevent pregnancies.

It's could be the "us" versus "them" model in which "outsiders" are visibly different, and the females are taught that 'not being that way' is dirty or vulgar or whatever. It's a similar reason for why different cultures will or won't eat certain types of food - "they" are "bad" because they eat ____.

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 11:02:00 UTC | #180011

thewhitepearl's Avatar Comment 17 by thewhitepearl

ahem..

"Sperm competition theory" (????!?!!!)

Reeeeaally?

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 11:11:00 UTC | #180014

SimUser's Avatar Comment 18 by SimUser

I remember reading/watching somewhere that the foreskin serves another evolutionary/mating purpose.

Not quoted verbatim, but I think that it was something like this:

If a mans sexual partner has been recently with another man, then his (the primary partner) foreskin and the head of the penis will act as a sort of trow and bucket (very crude and barely accurate way of putting it) to scrape out the semen of the previous man, thus making it more likely that his sperm will be the ones with the greater chance to impregnate her.

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 11:26:00 UTC | #180021

al-rawandi's Avatar Comment 19 by al-rawandi

whitepearl,






What is your theory?

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 11:34:00 UTC | #180024

eofor's Avatar Comment 20 by eofor

The Australian practice, called subincision in western societies, can be pretty hardcore, sometimes extending up the penis shaft to create a slit.
I once made a 12mm thick stainless steel ring (approx. 60mm internal diameter)for a guy who had a hole through the base of his penis that emerged from behind his scrotum. Apparently this modernised version was based on an old pygmy contraceptive method/rite of passage. He wore it at parties.

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 11:41:00 UTC | #180030

thewhitepearl's Avatar Comment 21 by thewhitepearl

al-rawandi,

Well as a stork theorist I don't see the need for sperm to compete.. :)

Naaaaaaah it was just a new phrase for me. It struck me as odd that's all. Has a nice ring to it. "Sperm competition theory"

"Hey what are you doing?"
"Oh just studying up on sperm competion theory"

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 11:43:00 UTC | #180031

Jiten's Avatar Comment 22 by Jiten

This is bollocks!

"Wilson has tackled a perplexing question and come up with a persuasive preliminary answer to an evolutionary enigma: why do men submit to procedures that seem to reduce their fitness?"
Why do men submit...? Circumcision is done on young boys who don't have a say in the matter and if they did I'd bet they'd say no.

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 11:46:00 UTC | #180033

al-rawandi's Avatar Comment 23 by al-rawandi

whitepearl,







I was happy to learn you are not one of these astorkists. I too am a firm believer in the power of the stork.

Also, I was a little weary of the term "sperm competition". I certainly don't want my sperm competing head to head with someone else's. The idea kind of perturbs me.

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 11:50:00 UTC | #180035

glenister_m's Avatar Comment 24 by glenister_m

Comment #189530 by SimUser

If a mans sexual partner has been recently with another man, then his (the primary partner) foreskin and the head of the penis will act as a sort of trow and bucket (very crude and barely accurate way of putting it) to scrape out the semen of the previous man, thus making it more likely that his sperm will be the ones with the greater chance to impregnate her.


You are correct. There are a couple of penis designs in nature. The human version which doesn't contain a bone, can act like a piston which sucks a competing males sperm out to give the male a better chance of fertilizing the female. The other version contains a bone, eg. mice, which is present because the sperm forms a hard plug to prevent foreign sperm from entering. The hard bony penis is used by competing males to separate the plug from the vaginal walls so that it falls out and the competing males sperm can enter.

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 12:03:00 UTC | #180039

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 25 by Border Collie

Or maybe it's just a bunch of insane crap perpetrated by ignorant people ...

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 12:09:00 UTC | #180041

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 26 by mordacious1

Sperm Wars

An accurate description, since mine are shot out of a cannon (sorry, couldn't resist)

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 13:07:00 UTC | #180059

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 27 by Steven Mading

I was doing fine until the line about the crushed testicle made me double-up in an empathic wince.

Oh ,and by the way, why did the article refer to young men being circumcized willingly when it's done to newborn babies - that's hardly willing.

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 13:30:00 UTC | #180069

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 28 by Agrajag

This "Sperm Competition Theory" business reminds me of a cartoon I saw a while ago:

Two sperms are shown; they have faces (don't they all?). One says to the other, "I'm beat; how far is it to the ovaries?"
The other replies, "Quite a distance; we've only just passed the tonsils!"
:-)
Ste5e

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 13:47:00 UTC | #180073

Abyst's Avatar Comment 29 by Abyst

Ugh... crushed testicle... can't get out of my mind... so not right! :(

Anyway, I thought circumcision was done for cosmetic improvement! Alright, maybe that's just a side effect, then. Though I am curious what the trends of circumcision have been throughout the years, particularly in more secular areas. As much as I conceptually loathe the idea of genital mutilation... well, foreskin isn't exactly something I find pleasant, either. :s

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 13:57:00 UTC | #180076

njwong's Avatar Comment 30 by njwong

I find the whole circumcision thing extremely gross. I truly cannot fathom why people will allow such a sensitive part of their body to be cut, or to have such a procedure performed on their children. Truly, religion makes people do silly things.

And if you think it is painful to read text describing circumcision, it is a million times more painful seeing an actual operation performed:

(WARNING: the video is EXTREMELY DISTURBING - please do not watch it if you don't want to have nightmares. I personally found it horrific - I was truly grossed out when I first watched it. Personally, I would never recommend such a video to others to spare them any mental anguish. But I think RD.NET readers here deserve to know such videos are available, and to make a decision themselves whether they want to watch a circumcision surgical procedure or not. Besides, many here could be doctors/medical personnel, so this is probably nothing to them. As a layman, I found this video to be very discomforting...)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze6DA1X5UIc

From the size of the penis, I think the patient must be a young boy.

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 14:03:00 UTC | #180079