An article or portion of an article giving an account of past events or circumstances significant in a field of study, a profession, a discovery, an invention, etc. The concept of history is very wide, ranging from the dawn of time to the present. This publication type is often checked in conjunction with BIOGRAPHY.
J Hist Med Allied Sci. 2008 Jul;63(3):323-47. Epub 2007 Dec 9.
Rethinking the history of female circumcision and clitoridectomy: American medicine and female sexuality in the late nineteenth century.
001 Wendover Avenue, Lincoln, Nebraska 68502, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, there was one kind of female orgasm and it was clitoral; there was also only one kind of healthy sexual instinct for a woman and it was for penetrative sex with her husband. When a woman behaved outside of this normality-by masturbating or by not responding to her husband’s affections-her sexual instinct was seen as disordered. If healthy women, then, were believed only to be sexual within the marital embrace, what better way to explain these errant behaviors than by blaming the clitoris, an organ seen as key to female sexual instinct? Doctors corrected a clitoris in an unhealthy state using one of four surgeries-removing smegma or adhesions between the clitoris and its hood, removing the hood (circumcision), or removing the clitoris (clitoridectomy)-in order to correct a woman’s sexual instinct in an unhealthy state. Their approach to clitoral surgery, at least as revealed in published medical works, was a cautious one that respected the importance of clitoral stimulation for healthy sexuality while simultaneously recognizing its role as cause and symptom in cases of insanity that were tied to masturbation.
[Sexual mutilations through ages]. [Article in French]
Androutsos G, Karamanou M, Tsigris C, Liakakos T, Stamboulis E, Lykouras E.
Service d’Histoire de la Médecine, Hôpital Laiko.
Among the ethnic mutilations (volunteer mutilations performed for religious, aesthetic, moral or hygienic purposes), genital mutilation (circumcision, castration, total emasculation, infibulation, excision, etc.) have always fascinated the human mind and are the subject of our historical overview.
London PMS & Menopause Clinic, 46 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8SD, UK. email@example.com
In the past, medical attitudes to female sexuality were grotesque, reflecting the anxiety and hypocrisy of the times. In the medieval world, the population feared hunger, the devil, and women, being particularly outraged and threatened by normal female sexuality. The 19th century attitude was no better as academics confirmed the lower intellectual status of women, particularly if they ventured into education. The medical contribution to this prejudice was shocking, with gynaecologists and psychiatrists leading the way designing operations for the cure of the apparently serious contemporary disorders of masturbation and nymphomania. The gynaecologist, Isaac Baker Brown (1811-1873), and the distinguished endocrinologist, Charles Brown-Séquard (1817-1894) advocated clitoridectomy to prevent the progression to masturbatory melancholia, paralysis, blindness and even death. Even after the public disgrace of Baker Brown in 1866-1867, the operation remained respectable and widely used in other parts of Europe. This medical contempt for normal female sexual development was reflected in public and literary attitudes. There is virtually no novel or opera in the last half of the 19th century where the heroine with “a past” survives to the end. The wheel has turned full circle and in the last 50 years new research into the sociology, psychology and physiology of sexuality has provided a greater understanding of decreased libido and inadequate sexual response in the form of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). This is now regarded as a disorder worthy of treatment.
Female circumcision: history, medical and psychological complications, and initiatives to eradicate this practice.
Shah G, Susan L, Furcroy J.
Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
Female circumcision – a procedure where the parts of the female genitals are removed, which is also known as female genital cutting (FGC) or female genital mutilation (FGM) – continues to be practiced in more than 28 African countries. It is estimated that 80-100 million women have been circumcised. We performed a review of the literature to examine the history of female circumcision, its medical and psychological consequences, and government and non-government educational initiatives that are currently being taken to eradicate this practice.
Male versus female genital alteration: differences in legal, medical, and socioethical responses.
Solomon LM, Noll RC. Proskauer Rose LLP, New York, New York 10036-8299, USA. Lsolomon@proskuaer.com
The different legal, social, and medical approaches to ritually based male and female genital circumcision in the United States are highlighted in this article. The religious and historical origins of these practices are briefly examined, as well as the effect of changing policy statements by American medical associations on the number of circumcisions performed. Currently, no state or federal laws single out male circumcision for regulation. The tolerant attitudes toward male circumcision in law, medicine, and societal opinion stand in striking contrast to the attitudes of those disciplines toward even the least invasive form of female genital alteration. US law tacitly condones male circumcision by providing exemptions that are not available for other medical procedures, while criminalizing any similar or even less extensive procedure on females. The increase in immigration, over the past few decades, of people from countries in which female genital alteration is a cultural tradition has brought the issue to the United States. The medical profession’s changing approach over time toward male circumcision is primarily responsible for such different legal and societal reactions toward female genital alteration.
[Female genital mutilation meets Swedish health care. Female genital mutilation is one of many forms of discrimination of women in the world]. [Article in Swedish]
Värnamo sjukhus. firstname.lastname@example.org
About 27,000 women from countries in which female genital mutilation (FGM) is a common practice are presently living in Sweden. This means that FGM is a phenomenon that directly affects the Swedish health care system. Knowledge and understanding of the background, meaning and consequences of FGM are a prerequisite for effective prevention, proper clinical handling and supportive reception of the women. To avoid a stigmatizing reception it is also important to understand the situation of genitally mutilated women, and to become aware of the identity crisis many of them experience when they come to Sweden and lose their identity as “normal” women. It is essential to remember that female genital mutilation is one of many forms of discrimination affecting girls and women around the world. This discrimination knows no national or cultural borders and varies in expression and extent. In order to offer optimal care and reception of women who have been socialized into a gender role that is often seen as completely different from the gender role that Swedish society is said to embrace, it is of the utmost importance to first take a critical look beneath the veil of alleged gender equality of Swedish women.