Female Genital Cutting Argumentative Essay

Female Genital Cutting
A discussion of the controversial issue of female genital cutting as practiced in parts of Africa and the Middle East and its impact on female sexuality, the family, and society within the framework of current theories of sexual violence against women.
# 148085 | 1,684 words | 5 sources | APA | 2011 | CA
Published by on Aug 30, 2011 in Women Studies (General) , Hot Topics (General)

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This paper discusses the highly controversial issue of female genital cutting (also referred to in the literature as female genital mutilation and clitoridectomy) as practiced traditionally in various parts of Africa and the Middle East. It presents both sides of the issue, outlining arguments for and against the practice with special reference to female sexuality and the role of women in the family and society. Drawing upon research done in the West among immigrants who have undergone the procedure, the paper makes the argument that the practice must be understood and evaluated within the context of the social norms and values in which it evolved.

From the Paper:

"One of the most unusual forms of "sexual violence" from a Western perspective is the practice of female genital cutting (FGC), also referred to by various other terms, such as "female circumcision," "female genital mutilation," and "clitoridectomy." It takes several forms, but is defined broadly by the World Health Organization (WHO) as "the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for cultural, religious, and other non-therapeutic reasons" (cited in Esho, Enzlin, Van Wolputte, & Temmerman, 2010, p. 222). It is prevalent in several parts of the world, but most notably in Africa and the Middle East, and procedures and practices vary widely from place to place (Fourcroy, 2006; Leonard, 2000). The procedure is performed on girls between the ages of 4 and 10, but there are areas where it may occur soon after birth or just before marriage, and even as late as after a woman's first pregnancy and delivery (Leonard, 2000). While the practice was confined largely to the African continent for centuries, within the past 25 years or so, it has become an issue of international concern, as immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers from countries where it is prevalent have flooded into the West and brought with them not only the cultural mores and attitudes that are associated FGC, but also the social, public health, and other problems that it inevitably raises for Western societies (Fourcroy, 2006; Leonard, 2000; Toubia, 1994). This paper will examine the practice of female genital cutting in terms of its relation to female sexuality, family structures, and society at large. Of course, these three areas are not mutually exclusive and invariably have an impact on one another. Thus, certain aspects of the discussion will involve some overlapping of these categories."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Catania, L., Abdulcadir, O., Puppo, V., Verde, J. B., Abdulcadir, J., & Abdulcadir, D. (2007). Pleasure and orgasm in women with female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). Journal of Sexual Medicine, 4, 1666-1678.
  • Esho, T., Enzlin, P., Van Wolputte, S., & Temmerman, M. (2010). Female genital cutting and sexual function: In search of an alternate theoretical model. African Identities, 8(3), 221-235.
  • Fourcroy, J. L. (2006). Customs, culture, and tradition--what role do they play in a woman's sexuality? Journal of Sexual Medicine, 3, 954-959.
  • Leonard, L. (2000). Interpreting female genital cutting: Moving beyond the impasse. Annual Review of Sex Research 11, 158-191.
  • Toubia, N. (1994). Female circumcision as a public health issue. The New England Journal of Medicine 331(11), 712-716.

Cite this Argumentative Essay:

APA Format

Female Genital Cutting (2011, August 30) Retrieved October 05, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/argumentative-essay/female-genital-cutting-148085/

MLA Format

"Female Genital Cutting" 30 August 2011. Web. 05 October. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/argumentative-essay/female-genital-cutting-148085/>