Sex and Sexuality: Female Circumcision, a Cultural Taboo - Essay Example

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Cultural, social and religious beliefs have been practiced by different cultures and race all over the world. Example of these practices is female circumcision but to some they called it female genital mutilation or female genital cutting…
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Sex and Sexuality: Female Circumcision, a Cultural Taboo
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Download file to see previous pages It is classified into four categories; Type I or clitoridectomy, it is a partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or the prepuce. Type I is subdivided into two, Type 1a which is the removal of clitoral hood or prepuce only while in Type Ib is the removal of clitoris with prepuce. Type II or excision is a partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora. It is subdivided into three, Type IIa is the removal of labia minora only, Type IIb is the partial or total removal of clitoris and the labia minora and Type IIc is the partial removal of clitoris together with the labia minora and the labia majora. Type III or infibulations, is the narrowing of the vagina; orifice with creation of covering seal by cutting and positioning the labia minora and/or the labia majora, with or without excision of the clitoris. Type IIIa also subdivided into two, Type IIIa is the removal or apposition of the labia, Type IIIb is the removal or apposition of the labia majora and Type IV: All other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purpose, for example: pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterization (WHO 2008 pp.24). Female circumcision is practice widely in Africa, some countries in Asia, Middle East and immigrant communities in North America and Europe (WHO 2008). It is practice and widely accepted by cultural groups and society due to number of reasons which include health and hygiene benefits, religious, traditional and gender related reasons (END FGM 2009 pp.8). Female circumcision marks the sexual debut of a woman. It also promotes identification in the culture or lineage group. Uncircumcised women prohibit in participating ritual rites such as burial rites and preparing food for the male members of the community with the circumcised women. Another reason for female circumcision is family honour, cleanliness because uncircumcised female is considered as unclean and unmarriageable. They also considered it as insurance to virginity and faithfulness (Althus, 1997). It is believed to stop sexual desire due to decrease sensation in the clitoris area (Womenshealth Website) and prevent extra marital affairs. Uncircumcised female tend to experience peer pressure and social stigma, harassment and being ostracize by members from their communities, this is why it is practice until today despite different programs released by various organization to stop this practice. Family members of uncircumcised female also experience this type of treatment. In Kenya, boys with uncut older sister may not be initiated as warriors (END FGM, 2009, pp.9). Female circumcision is often decided by parents or older family member, extended family members and not the female itself. It is considered important to raise the girl properly and to prepare her to adulthood and marriage (Yoder et al., 1999; Ahmadu, 2000; Hernlund, 2003; Dellenborg, 2004 as cited by WHO, 2008) because men in their community are expected to select circumcised female. Kuria, Maasai, Somali, Samburu and Kisii ethnic groups in Kenya is known to practice the female circumcision. It is usually accompanied with an elaborate ritual of initiation into womanhood. For other tribes, it is done to force on women as a form of retaliation or intimidation and it signifies a return of pre-colonial traditions and performs under medical supervision that confers social ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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