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Female Genital Mutilation

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Essay title: Female Genital Mutilation

“Female Circumcision”

The practice of female genital cutting have attracted increasing attention in recent years and mobilized strong international opposition. While it typically produces a visceral response of horror and repulsion in United States, this practice is widely regarded in some cultures as essential for proper development into womanhood.

Female genital mutilation consist of a procedure involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural, religious, or non-therapeutic reasons. There are many different forms of female genital mutilation known to be practice today. They include Type I, the excision of the prepuce, with or without excision of part or the entire clitoris. Type II, excision of the clitoris with partial or total excision of the labia minora. Type III, excision of part or all of the external genitalia, stitching, and narrowing the orifice of the vagina. Type IV, pricking, piercing or incising of the clitoris, and labia; stretching of the clitoris and labia; cauterization by burning of the clitoris and surrounding tissue.

“Female Circumcision” is a tradition and social customs to keep a young girl pure and a married woman faithful. Female genital mutilation is often performed between the ages of 4 to 10 years, although in some communities it may be practice on infants or postpone until just before marriage. The procedure is done without anesthesia using a variety of instruments, such as knives, razor blades, broken glass, or scissors. The reason varies among cultures. For example, The African culture perform the procedure to reduce or eliminate the sensitive tissue of the clitoris, in order to attenuate sexual desire in the female, maintain chastity and virginity before marriage and fidelity during marriage, and increase male sexual pleasure. Customs and traditions are by far the most frequently cited reason for female circumcision which defines who is in the “group”. “Jomo Kenyatta, the late President of Kenya, argued that FGM was inherent in the initiation which is in itself an essential part of being Kikuyu, to such extent that “abolition…. will destroy the tribal system” (Dorkenno 201).

Over the past few years, several international and national humanitarians and medical organizations have attracted worldwide attention to the mental, physical, and sexual effects associated with female genital mutilation.

The physical complication associated with female genital mutilation may be acute or chronic. Early, life threatening risks include hemorrhage, shock secondary to blood loss or pain, local infection and failure to heal, septicemia, tetanus, trauma to adjacent structures, keloid, cyst, infertility, and urinary retention. This procedure in third world countries also contributes to the spread of HIV due to non-modernized technology.

Female Circumcision is often traumatic and can leave a lifelong emotional scar. Many women may suffer feelings of incompleteness, anxiety, and depression. The psychological effects of FGM are more difficult to investigate scientifically than the physical ones. Despite the lack of scientific evidence, personal accounts of mutilation reveal feelings of anxiety, terror, humiliation, and betrayal, all of which would be likely to have long-term negative effects. “Some experts suggest that the shock and trauma of the operation may contribute to the behavior described as “calmer” and “docile”, which is considered positive in societies that practice female genital mutilation. Festivities, presents, and special attention at the time of mutilation may mitigate some of the trauma experienced, but the most important psychological effect on a woman who have survived is the feeling that she is acceptable to her society, having upheld the traditions of her culture and made herself eligible for marriage, often the only role available to her.

Sexual and marital problems are very common because women become frigid and do not enjoy sexual intercourse because of the lack of nerve supply in the vaginal region. “Pregnant women tend to eat less than they should, because they fear their babies will grow too large to pass through the orifice of the vagina”. (Boyle 352) Genital mutilation can make first intercourse an ordeal for women. It can be extremely painful, and even dangerous, if the woman has to be cut open for intercourse. Clinical considerations and the majority of studies on women’s enjoyment of sex suggest that genital mutilation does impair a women’s enjoyment. However, one study found that 90% of the infibulated women interviewed experienced orgasm. The mechanisms involved in sexual enjoyment and orgasms are still not fully understood, but it is thought that compensatory processes some of them psychological, may mitigate some of the effects of removal of

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