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Female Circumcision - Term Paper Example

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Introduction Culture defines a society’s values and norms. In some communities, female circumcision is considered a cultural tradition, norm and has “attached value”. However, this act in other communities is classified as a vice and propagators are subjected to face stern actions…
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Female Circumcision
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According to the world health organization, the definition of Female Genital Mutilation, FGM, is inclusive all nonmedical activities that alter or cause injury to the female genitals (WHO, 1). The exercise of female circumcision is practiced across all continents, however, at different rates. It is done to all ages, but those at the age of 15 and below are at the greatest risk of undergoing the process, depending on the parental influence and the socio-cultural inclination of a given community. For example, Africa is estimated to have an average of 300, 000 girls undergoing circumcision annually (WHO, 1). Factors that encourage female circumcision The practice of Female circumcision was and is still considered as good tradition by many societies. It is done for a number of reasons that have inclination to cultural, religious and social attachments. In communities that encourage the practice, FGM is a means of attaining gender and cultural identity. It viewed as part and parcel of raising the up the females children, preparation to adulthood and marriage. Girls who undergo circumcision are considered to be mature women and can get involved in relationships. Moreover, circumcised girls attract better marriage prospects or humongous bride prices compared to uncircumcised counterparts Therefore, both parents and girls are under social pressure and motivation to conform to the practice (European Campaign 9). Female circumcision is linked with sexual control and modesty i.e. maintaining premarital virginity and fidelity. FGM reduces female desire to engage in sexual intercourse. Thus females have less desire for sex and are more likely to remain virgins before marriage and be more faithful to their spouses after marriage (European Campaign 9). Other reasons that encourage FGM include social assimilation, whereby new groups move in areas where the practice is deeply rooted, and the belief that mutilated are women clean or hygienic, and unproven religious associations (European Campaign 9). Effects of Female circumcision It is estimated that approximately 140 million women and girls have undergone and live with the consequences of FGM (WHO, 1). Based on their experiences, it is clear that female circumcision has no health benefits but negative repercussions on the women or girls who undertake the act. This is as result of interference of their ‘‘genitalia’’ by doctors or midwifes administering the process. This affects the normal or predefined natural functioning of the female ‘genitalia’ and hence leading to a number of probabilistic complications. Long term health effects include difficulty in having sex when married, childbirth complications and stillbirths, difficulty in passing urine, recurrent bladder and urinary tract infections and infertility. On the other hand, Short-term health consequences may include injury to the adjacent genital tissue, infections, excruciating pain, and hemorrhage (WHO, 1). In societies where the practice is a norm, females who refuse to participate in the event are put to shame or coerced to participate. This demoralizes such females lowering their self esteem. Moreover, in forced female circumcision, flashbacks or memories of the ordeal can be psychologically tormenting to the Read More
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