N E W Y O R K, March 12 -- Given the choice, William Stowell says he would have kept his foreskin.
Since the choice was made for him, he is suing the hospital where he was born and circumcised for depriving him of "the pleasure of natural, normal sexual intercourse."
Stowell says his sex life would be much better if he had been allowed to keep his foreskin — the loose fold of skin that covers the tip of the penis. But his mother denied that to him when she signed a circumcision consent form in the maternity ward where she gave birth; she says now that it was a mistake.
Stowell's attorney, David Llwellyn, has considerable experience with men who lament the loss of their foreskins. He has filed similar lawsuits in the past, winning as much as $65,000 in one settlement.
In Stowell's case, Lwellyn will argue that the plaintiff's mother was under the influence of post-Caesarian painkillers when she agreed to the10-minute surgical procedure at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, N.Y.
Study Favors Foreskins
Sixty percent of American men in the U.S. have been circumcised.
Stowell bases his claims to missing out on sexual pleasure in part on studies that suggest men with their foreskins intact enjoy sex more than their circumcised peers. Stowell says that he knows that he and his partners would be enjoying sex more if he still had his.A 1999 study published in the British Journal of Urology involved 139 women who offered answers about sex with men with and without foreskins. In the end, the results showed more than half the women who filled out the surveys felt that sex with uncircumcised men was more enjoyable because they experienced more pleasure and less discomfort.
The study, conducted by researcher Kristen O' Hare, concludes "the anatomically complete penis offers a more rewarding experience for the female partner during coitus."
However, O'Hare acknowledges the study's shortcomings: Respondents were not selected randomly and several were recruited using a newsletter put out by an anti-circumcision organization.