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What is a Ridged Band?

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  • Written By: Andy Josiah
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2016
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The ridged band is a part of the foreskin of the human penis, or prepuce, noted for its rough, wrinkled look. It is sometimes referred to as Taylor's band, after John R. Taylor, a Canadian pathologist and medical researcher who is known for extensive research on this anatomical feature and credited with coining the "ridged band" term. It is also known by the clinical term "cingulus rugosus." Taylor's work has made the ridged band an increasingly curious—and controversial—part of the penile anatomy.

Taylor's Band is a collection of about eight to 10 ridges. It is considered a continuation of the frenulum, an inner band of tissue that prevents the foreskin from stretching too far. At the other end of the ridged band is a smooth area of tissue. The entire prepuce consists of mucosa, or mucous membranes.

Taylor introduced the ridged band concept in his 1991 report "The Prepuce: What, Exactly, Is Removed by Circumcision." This was presented at the Second International Symposium on Circumcision held in San Francisco between 30 April and 3 May 1991. Five years later, in a follow-up report published in the British Journal of Urology, Taylor postulated that most of the ridged band is lost during circumcision, which is the removal of some or all of the foreskin. This 1996 report, "The Prepuce: Specialized Mucosa of the Penis and Its Loss to Circumcision," also marked the debut of the term "ridged band."

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By 2007, Taylor's research had led him to believe that the ridged band contains a rich collection of nerves that contribute greatly to the reflexes needed to induce ejaculation. In other words, the more foreskin that is removed the less sensitive the penis. It is important to note, however, that the 1991 symposium where Taylor debuted his theories had been organized by the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NOCIRC), a non-governmental organization dedicated to the opposition of circumcision.

Taylor's assertions are not without its detractors. Oxford University faculty member A.M. Viens argued that Taylor used only 22 cadavers in his research—a rather small and insufficient sample size. Taylor himself admits that while he is steadfast in his belief of the importance of the ridged band's role in penile sexual function, further research is needed to determine the extent of such a role.

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