Female Circumcision

A child’s birth is indeed one of the most precious times in life. However, many parents are faced with the age-old question: When my baby arrives, should my child be ‘snipped’? The majority of the western world thinks that this question is reserved solely for boys, but did you know that men are not the only ones that are circumcised? For Americans, in particular, female circumcision remains a mystery because it is illegal. In addition, beyond the legality, the thought is simply horrendous for Americans. Twenty people were asked if they knew about female circumcision and most responded, “What would you even cut off?”  Female circumcision involves the amputation of the clitoris and, in more severe cases, the additional removal of the inner and outer vaginal lips and near-total sewing shut of the remaining sides of the vulva (called infibulation).1 Female circumcision is also known as female genital mutilation (FGM). FGM is the term most commonly used by women's rights and health advocates.2  
The term Female Circumcision was widely used for many years to describe the practice; however, it has been largely abandoned as it implies an analogy with male circumcision3. Some will say if men can be circumcised why not women? The difference is that men circumcision is proved to prevent actual health issues like STDs. Female circumcision has no purpose and no benefit. “Female circumcision is a pointless, barbaric act,” says Zahrah Awaleh of Forward, a London-based group campaigning against discriminatory practices. Female circumcision just harms a women’s health. For example, studies have shown that women circumcised are more likely to have reproductive-tract infections, vaginal discharge, and genital warts. Women have even died from this practice because of severe bleeding. Female circumcision is a far more damaging and invasive procedure. Furthermore, while male circumcision is seen as affirming manhood, female circumcision is often perceived as a way to curtail premarital sex and preserve virginity.4 
In a clinical study, the women were asked about the frequency of sexual intercourse and the level of sexual pleasure. There was no difference between the cut and uncut women in how frequently they had intercourse, or in the proportion of women who said that there were easily “turned on”. In fact, cut women were more likely to initiate sexual intercourse5. 
Female circumcision goes all the way back to 25 B.C., when the first mention appeared in the writings by the geek geographer Strabo. 6 Ever since then circumcision has been practiced and mostly in 28 African countries.7 Because of the poverty and lack of medical facilities in these countries, the use of anesthesia is rare. The pain women endure throughout the circumcision is traumatizing and can even affect the brain of newborn. Newborns, young as they are, do not know how to tolerate this much pain. Tools to fulfill the procedure can go from broken glass to any sharp object. 
As a result, in the belief that female circumcision reduces promiscuity and improves reproductive health, female circumcision has inflicted over 100 million women. 8 It’s been practiced since before 25 B. C. and it will be continued to be practiced. This inhuman act against women is considered violence and everyone should be aware of these facts. There is no benefit to female circumcision just many health issues that can lead up to costing their lives.  

Works Cited 
Women's International Network News. Summer2003, Vol. 29 Issue 3, p31. 2p. 
The horror of female genital mutilationZiv Laura, Cosmopolitan, 00109541, May97, Vol. 222, Issue 5. 
Rob Edwards, New Scientist. 9/14/2002, Vol. 175 Issue 2360, p8. 3/5p. 1 Color Photograph. 
Marina Murphy, New Scientist. 10/5/2002, Vol. 176 Issue 2363, p10. 1/3p. 
Genital Mutilation Risk Highest Now, Community Care, 03075508, 7/27/2006, Issue 1633. 
How Did Female Genital Mutilation Begin, Rossella Lorenzi, 12/10/12