R. W. Cockshut

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Very little has been found about this British Victorian doctor, who practised at Hendon, N.W. London. In fact, some websites and literature refer him as C. W. Cockshut and others as R. W. Cockshut.

He is relevant due to a quote from the British Medical Journal, 19 October 1935, where in a letter he calls for all male children to be circumcised to reduce masturbation. His letter was one of several letters, starting on page 763, regarding child circumcision. In this quote he acknowledges the keratinization of the glans, consequence of circumcision, and further loss of sensation as ideals for a civilized culture.

I suggest that all male children should be circumcised. This is "against nature", but that is exactly the reason why it should be done. Nature intends that the adolescent male shall copulate as often and as promiscuously as possible, and to that end covers the sensitive glans so that it shall be ever ready to receive stimuli. Civilization, on the contrary, requires chastity, and the glans of the circumcised rapidly assumes a leathery texture less sensitive than skin. Thus the adolescent has his attention drawn to his penis much less often. I am convinced that masturbation is much less common in the circumcised. With these considerations in view it does not seem apt to argue that 'God knows best how to make little boys.'[1]
R. W. Cockshut (Circumcision. British Medical Journal, Vol.2 (1935): p.764)


See also


  1. REFjournal Cockshut RW. Circumcision. Brit Med J. 19 October 1935; 2(3902): 764. Retrieved 25 August 2020.