Women in Kenya were lied to that male circumcision works and its advantage: increased protection against infections, including HIV, by 60% and cervical cancer . This was a government propaganda that was aimed at Kisumu City where 30 sexually active women ranging between 18 and 35 years participated in a government sponsored survey. The participants perceived circumcised men as more hygienic than their uncut counterparts and more satisfying in bed as they took a long time to ejaculate.
The authors believe that women will significantly influence the reception of male circumcision in western Kenya and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa since most of the participants in their study were aware of the partial protection the cut provides against HIV. Some of the participants also cited that males who have undergone the cut were more hygienic and lasted longer in bed than their counterparts with foreskins. The latter might be true since research has proved that circumcision decreases sensitivity in the penis hence reduced sexual pleasure, which in turn leads to delayed ejaculation. So while the horse-power might suit the females who need stallions in bed, it is quite unfair to the males as the sensuality of sex is not experienced, which would lead us to question the term “good in bed.” Is it possible when only one side is experiencing the euphoria?
The whole point of the study done in Kisumu was to gauge women’s understanding of the partial protection against infections that lack a prepuce offered. Kisumu is the headquarters of the old Nyanza Province and has the highest rates of HIV infections per square mile at 15%. The leading ethnic community in the city is Luo, and as per their tradition, circumcision is not a way of life. As of 2006, less than 50% of their male population had not undergone the cut, and they still had a high HIV prevalence in Kenya. As at the time of the research, at least 66% percent of Luo men had been circumcised, but the city still had the highest HIV prevalence in the country.
The research participants were women between 18 to 35 years old. Their average age was 25 years and with 87% of them being Luos. Out of the 30 participants, 84% were single i.e.: unmarried and not living with their partners. All of them were aware of HIV and how it is transmitted.
More than 50% of the participants admitted having sex with both cut and uncut men,23% had never experienced sex with an uncut partner, and 20% had only experienced sex with hooded men. At least 70% of the women admitted to having recently rolled in the hay with men who lacked a prepuce.
A significant percentage of the participants understood that having the cut did not translate to total protection against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. However, most interpreted this as a lack of a prepuce equating to a negative HIV status. The women also occasionally equated the cut with hygiene. This is entirely subjective because hygiene is personal, and we have all seen a cut man whose hygiene levels are in the dungeon.
From the study, more than half of the women were responsible for condoms during sex. However, none of them would change their stand on protection because a man had undergone the cut. Only one participant admitted that circumcision had impacted her sexual preference and behavior as she would not perform oral sex on an uncircumcised man.
More than 75% of the participants preferred cut partners. Five out of the 30 participants cited circumcision as a deal-breaker to them when it came to having a sexual relationship and have once insisted on their partners getting the cut before having sex.
In the survey, one woman who is a sex worker cited that she preferred circumcised men for romantic relationships but uncut men for business. They took a shorter time to ejaculate hence making great clients. In my opinion, this goes on to prove that it’s true; circumcision reduces penile sensitivity hence makes sex a harrowing experience. Uncut males will ejaculate fast because of heightened sexual sensation. Reaching orgasm will be easy as all the nerve endings are present and active, unlike those who have had their prepuces removed.
The cultural preference for the circumcised is observed in the interview conducted by the authors is brought about by both factual(partial protection against HIV and other STIs) and fallacious(hygiene and performance in bed) perceptions about the prepuce.
From the study, we still do not see the importance of male circumcision besides the 60% protection against infections and HIV and why we should get rid of our foreskins. Increased/longer minutes in bed is only an advantage to the females but not the males, which weakens the whole basis of sex. Why would we even term it an advantage if the owner of the penis does not get to experience it alongside their partner? Why would a couple’s counseling be tied to the presence or absence of a piece of skin?