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Female genital mutilation and mental health: how can research help the victims?

BJPsych Bull. 2016 Aug;40(4):230-1. doi: 10.1192/pb.40.4.230.

Female genital mutilation and mental health: how can research help the victims?

Alachkar M

EXTRACT

In their paper on mental health problems associated with female genital mutilation (FGM) Knipscheer et al1 concluded that ‘a considerable minority group, characterised by infibulated women who have a vivid memory of the circumcision and cope with their symptoms in an avoidant way, reports to experience severe consequences of genital circumcision’.

I welcome the authors’ brave contribution to this crucial but under-researched topic, and appreciate their attempt at exploring the relationship between FGM and psychopathology in circumcised migrant women. However, despite their genuine acknowledgement of the limitations of their findings, it is my opinion that their paper suffers from various shortcomings which I will try to address here…

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