Reprod Health. 2017 Feb 10;14(1):25. doi: 10.1186/s12978-017-0287-4.
Virility, pleasure and female genital mutilation/cutting. A qualitative study of perceptions and experiences of medicalized defibulation among Somali and Sudanese migrants in Norway.
BACKGROUND: The most pervasive form of female genital mutilation/cutting-infibulation-involves the almost complete closure of the vaginal orifice by cutting and closing the labia to create a skin seal. A small opening remains for the passage of urine and menstrual blood. This physical closure has to be re-opened-defibulated-later in life. When they marry, a partial opening is made to enable sexual intercourse. The husband commonly uses his penis to create this opening. In some settings, a circumciser or traditional midwife opens the infibulated scar with a knife or razor blade. Later, during childbirth, a further opening is necessary to make room for the child’s passage. In Norway, public health services provide surgical defibulation, which is less risky and painful than traditional forms of defibulation. This paper explores the perceptions and experiences of surgical defibulation among migrants in Norway and investigates whether surgical defibulation is an accepted medicalization of a traditional procedure or instead challenges the cultural underpinnings of infibulation. METHODS: Data derived from in-depth interviews with 36 women and men of Somali and Sudanese origin and with 30 service providers, as well as participant observations in various settings from 2014-15, were thematically analyzed. RESULTS: The study findings indicate that, despite negative attitudes towards infibulation, its cultural meaning in relation to virility and sexual pleasure constitutes a barrier to the acceptance of medicalized defibulation. CONCLUSIONS: As sexual concerns regarding virility and male sexual pleasure constitute a barrier to the uptake of medicalized defibulation, health care providers need to address sexual concerns when discussing treatment for complications in infibulated women. Furthermore, campaigns and counselling against this practice also need to tackle these sexual concerns.
Knowledge and attitudes toward female genital cutting among West African male immigrants in New York City.
Akinsulure-Smith AM, Chu T.
In this project, we explored knowledge and attitudes toward female genital cutting (FGC) in a survey of 107 West African immigrants, including 36 men. Men in this study were as knowledgeable about the health consequences of FGC as women, though with a less nuanced understanding. They also rejected the practice at rates comparable to women. Despite this knowledge and rejection of FGC, most men did not express a personal preference for women with or without FGC in intimate relationships. Future research and interventions must explore men’s opposition to FGC and emphasize the impact of FGC on their partners’ gynecological and reproductive health.
BACKGROUND: The central role of males in female reproductive health issues in patriarchal societies makes them an important group in the eradication of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). OBJECTIVE: To determine knowledge about and attitudes to FGM/C among male adolescents, and their preparedness to protect their future daughters from it. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey among male adolescent students in Ilorin, Nigeria. Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire after consent had been obtained from them or their parents. Statistical analysis was with SPSS version 20.0 (IBM, USA). A p-value of <0.05 was taken as significant. RESULTS: Of 1 536 male adolescents (mean age 15.09 (standard deviation 1.84) years, range 14 – 19), 1 184 (77.1%) were aware of FGM/C, 514 (33.5%) supported female circumcision, 362 (23.6%) would circumcise their future daughters, 420 (27.3%) were of the opinion that FGM/C had benefits, mostly as a necessity for womanhood (109, 7.1%), and 627 (40.8%) perceived it as wickedness against females; 546 (35.5%) were aware of efforts to eradicate FGM/C, and 42.2% recommended education as the most important intervention to achieve this. CONCLUSION: Education and involvement in advocacy may transform male adolescents into agents for eradication of FGM/C.
Males’ preference for circumcised women in northern Ghana.
Sakeah E, Beke A, Doctor HV, Hodgson AV.
Navrongo Health Research Centre, P.O. Box 114, Navrongo, Upper East Region, Ghana. firstname.lastname@example.org
Female genital mutilation (FGM) still remains one of the challenges facing women in many countries around the world. Efforts to eradicate the practice are on going but the results are still modest due to, among other things, ingrained cultural traditions that expose women to serious health consequences. In Africa where FGM is practiced in more than 28 countries, males have been found to perpetuate the practice. Using baseline data on FGM collected in 1998 by the Navrongo Health Research Centre in Ghana, we examined factors that influence males’ choice of marrying circumcised women. Results from regression analysis show that the illiterate and those who have been to primary school are more likely to prefer circumcised women than those with secondary and higher education. In addition, ethnicity and religion are also significant factors that influence males’ preference to marry circumcised women. A number of policy implications are discussed.
[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.
Behavioural and biological determinants of human sex ratio at birth.
The Galton Laboratory, Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London, UK.
The human sex ratio SR (proportion male) at birth has been reported to vary with many variables. The explanation of this variation is not established, but I have hypothesized that it is partially caused by the hormonal concentrations of both parents around the time of conception. The present note suggests how this hypothesis might accommodate recent sex ratio findings relating to ‘psychosexual restriction’, female genital cutting, sexes of prior sibs, finger length ratios, the autism spectrum disorder, parental occupation and maternal eating disorders. Tests of such suggestions are offered, and it is hypothesized that: (a) in women, Manning’s R (the ratio of the lengths of the 2nd and 4th digits) is positively correlated with offspring sex ratio (proportion male); (b) women who have undergone female genital cutting (FGC) have high androgen levels; (c) offspring sex ratio correlates positively with ‘masculinity’ of parental occupation, the correlation being mediated by testosterone levels. It is noted that the lines of evidence for three hypotheses (James’, Manning’s and Baron-Cohen’s) are mutually supportive.