Female Genital Mutilation "long term psychological effects"

Essay by Tim AbbasUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, January 1996

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"Female Genital Mutilation"

'Long Term Psychological Effects'

Female Genital Mutilation, or Female Circumcision as sometimes called, is the partial or complete removal of the female clitoris immediately after birth, few years after birth (early childhood), or several years after birth (adolescence). Originally, female genital mutilation was practiced to ensure female virginity until marriage; as it was discovered that by the partial or complete removal of the clitoris, a female's sexual urge is minimized and, therefore, a girl could have more control over her sexual desires. Because virginity was and remains a very crucial factor in almost every society, circumcision was invented way in the past before any of the Heavenly Religions appeared. In fact, the most traditional and conservative type of circumcision is the Pharoanic type (Infibulation), where the complete removal of the clitoris occurs and the vulva walls are stitched together leaving a small opening for urination and menstrual discharge.

Nowadays, however, it continues to be practiced in Africa and the Middle East mostly due to social forces. New reasoning developed through the years to keep the ritual going on. The many reasons given for the practice are bewildering and unfounded in any scientific or medical fact. They fall into four main categories: psycho-sexual, religious, sociological and hygienic. Among the psycho-sexual reasons is a belief that the clitoris is an aggressive organ that threatens the male organ and even endangers babies during delivery. It is believed that if a baby's head touches the mother's clitoris during birth, the child will be born with a low IQ. Hence, a girl who is not circumcised, is considered 'unclean' by local villagers and thus unmarriageable. A girl who does not have here clitoris removed is considered a great danger and ultimately fatal to a man if her clitoris touches...