Re: "Male Virginity"

Michael Nakis (
14 Oct 1995 07:07:25 GMT

Here is one more reply to my posting which I would like to debate in the

>Michael, I can't seem to get my newsreader to let me post a response to
>your last couple of notes in sci. anthropology so I will do it this way
>and if you wish to copy it to the newsgroup you may do so with my name
>on it.
>A couple of comments on your male virginity hypothesis: I have no idea
>whether such a thing as a "male hymen" might exist as I have never had
>the opportunity to examine an uncircumcised, virgin penis. It should be
>relatively easy, however, to find a pediatrician who has circumcised
>many newborn babies who could tell you authoritatively whether this is
>the case.

I am not sure that the branch of pediatrics has a clue as to what the
purpose of that tiny little hymen is. Any pediatrists out there?

>I think your suggestion that circumcision was "invented" to prevent
>anyone from knowing whether or not a male was a virgin is highly
>unlikely. If that were the only point, it would only be necessary to
>snip the "hymen" rather than to remove the whole foreskin.

But, you see, if that was to be the case, then the person who performs
the circumcision would have to know precisely *WHY* he is doing it, which
means that it would not be a secret. It would be a well documented fact,
and we would all know about it, and so there would be very little reason
to do it in the first place. Instead, the ritual has been concealed
under various religious pretences, which have evolved now into various
medical pretences, and its original purpose has been "forgotten", so the
secret has been well kept.

>Not only that, but who would be retracting the foreskin in the first
>place to determine whether the "hymen" was broken or not?

I can give not one, not two, but three answers to this: First of all, I
guess that any lady who is curious about the anatomy of her lover would
look and find out. Second, I had a girlfriend once who had only had
uncircumcised lovers before, and who had seen at least one of them losing
his virginity to her. She could tell that I was not virgin not by
examining me, but simply from the "feeling" of my penis. Third, even if
a woman was not curious nor hypersensitive, she would inevitably find-out
anyway: when the male hymen breaks, there is an *EXORBITANT* amount of

>And, if such a thing existed, I suspect the average male would have
>broken it himself with a bit of vigorous masturbation long before the
>issue of whether or not he had engaged in sex concerned him.

Well, I do not think that the male hymen is *THAT* delicate, but maybe
this actually does happen to some men; who knows.

>As for more likely reasons for circumcising males, I would suspect that
>if it is not for the hygiene reasons which have been given "officially,"
>i.e. to prevent the accumulation of smegma which is not only
>esthetically displeasing, but also serves as a breeding ground for
>bacteria leading to infection, and which in modern times has been linked
>by some studies to an increase in penile cancer and cervical cancer in
>the partners of uncircumcised men, it is most likely linked to sexual
>pleasure. I would guess that somebody decided/discovered that sex was
>more pleasureful if the foreskin was removed, leaving the head of the
>penis to receive more direct stimulation.
>As Freudian as Morris is about many of his theories, I am surprised that
>HE did not suggest sexual pleasure as a reason for circumcision.
I think that Morris did not suggest sexual pleasure as a reason for
circumcision for a double reason: On one hand, it is implausible because
women have traditionally had very little saying in such matters. On the
other hand, if it is plausible to any extent, it is so only insofar
homosexual men are concerned, and most heterosexual scientists/authors
prefer to dodge the issue. I would prefer to dodge it, too.

>In a separate, but related topic, I remember reading once about a
>society in Africa who practiced a form of sexual "altering" where small
>pieces of rock or gravel were implanted around the head of the penis. I
>can't remember whether this group practiced circumcision or if the rock
>was simply imbedded under the foreskin, but supposedly the purpose was
>to enhance the sexual pleasure of the men's partners, thus making the
>men themselves more attractive as sexual partners.
>Laura M. Young
>Scottsdale, AZ USA

Michael Nakis