Essay on Female Circumcision

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Female Circumcision
Duong Ly
PS 309 Human Sexuality

Female circumcision, also known as female genital mutilation, is a traditional practice, adopted mainly in several countries in Africa but has been remained unknown for many other societies. It applies usually on young girls before their first menstruation and involves the removal of the external female genital, clitoris, either partly or completely, associated with sewing the vagina opening shut. However, in some cases, women get circumcised after their first birth giving or before getting married. The desire is to keep the value of women as well as to control female sexual desire associated with other religious beliefs and myths. As cruel as it sounds, female
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“The age at which girls are circumcised caries both geographically and ethnically” (Slack, 1988); it ranges from one day old to 16 years old, before the girl’s first menstruation, before her marriage, on wedding night or before or after her first birth giving depending on local or family traditional customs.
As Cindy Little reported in her article about female circumcision, “Female Genital Circumcision: Medical and Cultural Considerations”, 2003, the estimate number of women who have been through female circumcision is from 114 million to 130 million (Little, 2003). This practice is mainly adopted by African countries, such as Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, etc., in which around 90% incidence of female genital mutilation in women is reported; 50% in other African countries like Nigeria, Gambia, Togo, Kenya, Mali, etc. Also, we can find this custom in some Middle East, Asian countries and perhaps in South America but not as common (Williams & Sobieszczy, 1997). There is increasing number of women, who experienced circumcision, in African communities in America. Female circumcision is usually practiced in low- economic and social-status areas in which people do not get much education, still maintain the extreme conservative view of virginity and not much respect for women. * History background of Female Circumcision
The origins of female circumcision remained unknown. However, it is believed that this practice has been

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