Female genital mutilation, cutting, or circumcision.

Obstet Gynecol Int. 2013;2013:240421. doi: 10.1155/2013/240421. Epub 2013 Nov 27.FREE

Female genital mutilation, cutting, or circumcision.

Sundby J(1), Essén B(2), Johansen RE(3).

Author information: (1)Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo, Norway. (2)Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH), Uppsala University, Sweden. (3)Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies (NKVTS), Norway.


Female genital mutilation (FGM), female genital cutting, or female circumcision of women, the theme addressed in this special issue has many terms. The short form acronym FGM is understood by most, and it does contain the notion that we are talking about a traditional practice that is harmful. The practice affects women in diaspora as well as African countries, and men are involved as decision makers and attitude changers. Cutting is a neutral term, and circumcision is a more traditional terminology. Each term carries a certain value. But the practice is the same regardless of name.

In order to understand the tradition, assist women who have undergone it, and promote action against it, it is important to have solid knowledge. This knowledge is partly medical and partly social. Thus, research based on a multitude of methods is warranted. This special issue is indeed a combination of social science and medical research on different aspects of the practice, that is also a genital health hazard for women….

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