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Female Genital Mutilation
Join the discussion on the Female Genital Mutilation forum. a place to chat about what interests you!
Also referred to as female circumcision, female genital mutilation refers to procedures involving intentional partial or total removal of the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It is completely unnecessary, it is an illegal practice causing significant physical, mental and emotional harm. 

Why do you think this is still done in some cultures?
Sherry Clary
I didn't want my son circumcised but my husband insisted. His reasoning was that his son wasn't going to stand out in the school bathroom.
Morgan Barker
I'm confused as to why everyone thinks this is a horrible, disgusting thing (Don't get me wrong, it is), but think that male genital mutilation isn't...
Lauren Andrews
There needs to be stronger protections for american citizens taken abroad to their home countries for the procedure.

Middle eastern and African descent teenagers who currently live in or are CITIZENS of the Unites States are taken out of the country by their families for "vacation" and while there, are 'operated' on.

That's what **** me off more than anything.
Colene Pefley
I HATE that extremists compare female circumcision to male circumcision. I don't think either should be socially acceptable, but cutting off a piece of foreskin is different than cutting OFF a ****, ****, and in some cases, sewing the **** shut. It is horrible, and makes it impossible to ever enjoy sex. Makes me cry just thinking about it. Why does anyone think it is ok to mutilate a human being's genitalia in the first place?
Colene Pefley
I don't understand why there is a subject called "female genital mutilation" and you can't even use the proper, medical terms for body parts. Those words aren't dirty, they are scientific!
Morgan Barker
Perhaps male circumcision is of a lesser severity but other than that how do they differ? They're both genital mutilation, there's no denying that.
Candina Szabo
ugh this sound so horrible i would never and i can not understand how some cultures think this is okay
Nancy Cooley
I first heard about female genital mutilation or circumcision when I read a book by the author Alice Walker who also wrote The Color Purple. I also saw an HBO special on this subject. It was shocking to me. It is just so brutal and dehumanizing and I never understood why anyone in any of those countries that practice this would find this to be a necessary procedure to do to young girls. People who perform this type of thing should be prosecuted in my opinion--or maybe they should have one of their body parts cut off so that they would know what it felt like.
Tanya Phillip
Nancy, It is dehumanising and humiliating experience and worst more due to the physical and psychological effects it has on the victims. Ironically, most of the older women who perform this also went through this procedure and advocate for it. Like I wrote in my comment it is a very strong belief in some communities.
Nancy Cooley
Yes, and it was very surprising and upsetting to me that it was the older women in the village who were performing some of those mutilations. And even more disturbing was the fact that sometimes those girls would become infected and die from having that procedure done with a rusty or unclean knife, according to the program I watched about it. I'll never understand how the older women could advocate for something that they know is a horrible thing due to the fact that they themselves had also had the procedure done when they were young girls. I'd heard that if the girls in certain villages didn't have this procedure done, they would be considered unclean and unfit for marriage. It's amazing that females are expected to have this done to them yet the males get to keep all of their body parts. This is nothing more than psychotic brainwashing and it's a shame that the people in those villages allow themselves to fall victim to those psychological games.
Samantha Barney
Um... the males don't get to keep all of their body parts, at similar ages males undergo male circumcision with the same kind of rusty unclean knife. Watched one special where the young man had to stay alone in a dirty hut in the wilderness for three days after his circumcision, if he lived he was considered a man.
Tanya Phillip
Very true Samantha, some ethnic groups especially in Africa carry out male circumcision at teenage hood, it marks a kind of initiating ceremony into adulthood for the males, however most do it at birth for the males. My own sons were circumcisied at birth after 8 days in the hospital.
Tanya Phillip
This is mainly a cultural / traditional practice. It used to be referred to as female circumcision and in my country done at birth. My sisters and I were lucky, our Father was a radical and broad minded individual, he did not allow this for us, thanks to his association with some white bosses he had when he was a young and unmarried police officer.
Lauren McGann
i learned about this in school. There are many different practices by different cultures. I do not want to bash cultures who do practice this, but in my eyes it is wrong.
Kitty S
Wow.... this is crazy. I have no idea why this is done in some cultures, but it sounds really terrible.
Kat Deacon
This is a barbaric and totally unnecessary practise and should be banned everywhere.
Karina Nope
Is this done to infants, young girls, teenage girls, or full grown women? It seems logical that if a society promoted this, then it would be done at the youngest age possible. However, we all know that the well being of others are not always taken into consideration...
Dia Jane
Im kinda confused on why they would do this . . .
Halla Anderson
The reasons for female genital mutilation/female circumcision given by those who practice it in their cultures are nearly identical to those given for male genital mutilation/male circumcision in the cultures that practice it. It is not only an aesthetic issue ('so he'll look like dad/the other boys' is one I've heard more than once when it comes to male circumcision, but with females it's more 'it is unsightly'), but it is also required by the practitioners' tribal and even religious tradition. Additionally, female genitalia is considered unhygienic and that is how the area is kept "clean" - by removing the **** and prepuce. Other aspects relate to chastity and male sexual pleasure, which are obviously not considerations in male genital mutilation/male circumcision.

There really is no difference in the most common "why" between the two practices. The difference is only in how acceptable it is to the surrounding communities that don't practice it. While female circumcision is nearly universally frowned upon even for religious reasons, male circumcision for non-religious reasons is discouraged, but not yet made illegal anywhere in the world I'm aware of at this time. I guess this is one area we can say the women finally "win" - someone told the mothers and fathers in areas where it is practiced to just learn to use soap and water if they were concerned with the cleanliness of our naughty bits, which aren't so naughty that bits of them need to be cut off - no matter what they may think God or the neighbors and their idea of God may think about THAT.

BTW, there's a decent book on this very subject by Dr Akintayo Odeyemi. It's very expensive and not at all easy reading as it is the published findings of a study of groups who still practice it - legal or not. I found it on Scribd, IIRC and read it out of curiosity. This was something I'd HEARD of, but knew nothing about, so why not?
Halla Anderson
I can't believe they censored a very not naughty medical term for the more vulguar, but I bet not censored "lips".
Kristi Anglen
I don't agree with you that female genital mutilation is the equivalent of male circumcision. As far as I know circumcision of the male does not take sexual pleasure away from them the same way it does a female.
Halla Anderson
Actually, it does and multiple studies have shown this to be the case. Believe it or not, in some cases of religious conversion the circumcision of the male is still required even if he is an adult, so even if they did not know from simple deduction about which nerve endings are severed in the process that it decreases sexual pleasure, they know from adult male converts to faiths that practice it who were previously uncircumcised that it does indeed significantly impact sensation.

Also, it ultimately doesn't matter if due to your own cultural lens YOU perceive it to be the same thing or not, the people who practice it most certainly do. Viewed through THEIR cultural lens they honestly don't understand why it would be OK to do something like that to a boy when chastity is very much not a concern but not OK to do it to a girl - where chastity is directly tied to her worth, not to mention the honor and the perception of worth of her entire family within their community, and not performing the circumcision could quite possibly be offensive to their god (depending on which culture, as not all who practice it tie it to religion).
Dave Stowyk
It is wrong to do that to a young woman.
Zac Ryan
Cultures are very different. What may be taboo in one may be the norm in another.
Keith Montgomery
Just what kind of culture is this, Self mutilation?I dont agree with this.
Pat Veretto
It's not self mutilation. Men do it to women to keep them from enjoying sex for various reasons, in some cultures, anyway. It's a form of male domination, I suppose.
Keith Montgomery
oh that not a good thing let the women make own minds up...
Pat Veretto
Right. I seriously doubt any woman would choose to be mutilated in this way. It's barbaric.
Valerie Short
Unfortunately, it isn't illegal everywhere. It happens in countries where adultery is a very serious offense. If they can make sex unpleasant for women, then women will not cheat on their husbands or have sex before marriage. That's the idea behind it.
Hannah Jurgelis
But, what will stop the men from having sex before marriage or cheating on their wives with women that aren't mutilated or just raping them. Men love seeing women enjoy that time together, when you don't enjoy it, he doesn't much either. I'm sure every woman on this forum knows that... I just don't understand genital mutilation. You're not only doing harm to the woman, you are ruining something that should be enjoyed by both husband and wife.
Miyu Tachibana
I'm not going to bash on anyone's culture, if that's the main reason for this "practice". It seems like a messed up thing to a lot of us here in America, but then again, looking back at history, things that seemed horrendous to others were commonplace for some people.
John Welford
The practice has a lot more to do with culture than religion - it was practised in African and Middle Eastern regions long before Islam came along. It has a lot to do with male domination over women.
Edward Watton
this is a wild topic but i actually did a presentation on this in college.. got a 55/50 on it.... basically, to sum it up- it is very messed up..... wrong and i am glad women do not have to deal with these issues in America... I feel bad for women in other deprived countries
John Welford
Don't be so sure about "it doesn't happen here". One very real concern in the UK at present is that "family holidays" taken by Somali (etc) families can actually be a means of getting a girl circumcised in the family's original country.
Lindy H.
Unfortunately in American Male circumcision still exists. I don't know why parents find it unacceptable to cut their daughters but don't give the same respect to their sons.
Hannah Jurgelis
I've heard that it's part of culture in some areas, and that no one will marry you unless you get a 'female circumcision'.... I know that it takes away most(if not all) female pleasure from sex. That's just wrong. I think it may be to guard against adultery, but then why not cut off a man's **** half way up. I'm sure that would lower adultery too! Just doesn't make sense to me.
Doris Gozzo
I think it's done so the women just bare children and not have any pleasure. Your right Hannah cut the guys thing half off see how they like it.
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