primitive communities that wished to establish control over the sexual behavior of women. The Romans performed a technique involving slipping of rings through the labia majora of female slaves to prevent them from becoming pregnant and the Scoptsi sect in Russia performed FGM to ensure virginity. The practice is supported by traditional beliefs, values and attitudes. In some communities it is valued as a rite of passage to womanhood (for example, in Kenya and Sierra Leone). Others value it as a means of preserving a girl’s virginity until marriage (for example in Sudan, Egypt, and Somalia). In most of these countries FGM is a pre-requisite to marriage and marriage is vital to a woman’s social and economic survival. It is believed by some African women that if their daughters are not circumcised, they would not get a husband. This (FGM) harmful tradition has been guided by taboos from generation by generation. FGM is rooted in culture and some believe it is done for religious reasons, but it has not been confined to a particular culture or religion. FGM has neither been mentioned in the Quran nor Sunnah. It has been highlighted that FGM was practiced in the United Kingdom and United States by the Gynecologists to cure women of so-called “female weakness”. The practice of FGM continues within some communities in various forms and even in the 20th century girls and women are still subjected to this harmful tradition. Mens’ role in abandonment of FGM Men in their roles as fathers, husbands, community and religious leaders may play a pivotal part in the continuation of female genital mutilation (FGM). However, the research on their views of FGM and their potential role in its abandonment are not well described. Despite the fact that women are the leading cause of the perpetuation of FGM, there is also evidence that men play an important role in the preservation of this practice as fathers, husbands and
community and religious leaders. There is very limited research on this subject involving the influence of men in the decision-making process. Also, there is no data that represents the success of involving men in the process of abandoning FGM. Furthermore, there isn’t much knowledge about the implication and effect of the practice of FGM on men . Men did not accurately understand FGM, as it was not until they were newly married that they experienced the irrevocable consequences of their wives’ FGM. Men felt they, too, were victims of the consequences of FGM. Almost all men stated they did not want their daughters to undergo FGM and believed it would become less common as men had started to prefer women who had not been cut. Men described their own complications, including male sexual dissatisfaction, compassion for female suffering and perceived challenges to their masculinity. Of women who have themselves been cut, 53 per cent believe that the practice should be retained; of men, 12 per cent do.
- Fall '08
- Female genital cutting