Female Genital Mutilation Essay

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Female Genital Mutilation


Worldwide, an estimated 130 million girls and women have undergone female genital mutilation. At least two million women a year are "at risk" of undergoing some form of the procedure. These numbers equal out to approximately 6,000 women at risk per day. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Female Genital Mutilation as all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons. Female circumcision is another term for the procedure as well.

Part I: History & Types of Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been an ongoing
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One last reason is social pressure. In communities in which most women are circumcised, family and friends create an environment in which the practice of circumcision becomes a requirement for social acceptance. In industrialized countries, genital mutilation occurs predominately among immigrants from countries where mutilation is practiced.

FGM can be classified into four separate groups. Type I, termed clitorectomy, involves the excision of the skin surrounding the clitoris, with or without excision of part or all of the clitoris. When this procedure is performed in infants and young girls, a portion of or all of the clitoris and surrounding tissues may be removed. If only the clitoral prepuce is removed, the physical manifestation of Type I FGM may be subtle, necessitating a careful examination of the clitoris and adjacent structures for recognition. Type II is referred to as excision. It is the removal of the entire clitoris and part or all of the labia minora. Crude stitches of catgut or thorns may be used to control bleeding from the clitoral artery and raw tissue surfaces. Patients with Type II FGM do not have the typical contour of the anterior perinea structures resulting from the absence of the labia minora and clitoris. In addition, the vaginal opening is not covered. Type III, known as infibulation, is the most severe form in which the entire clitoris and some or all of the labia minora are excised,

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