Tag Archives: News

(Im)perishable Pleasure, (In)destructible Desire: Sexual Themes in U.S. and English News Coverage of Male Circumcision and Female Genital Cutting.

J Sex Res. 2014 Sep 25:1-16. [Epub ahead of print]

(Im)perishable Pleasure, (In)destructible Desire: Sexual Themes in U.S. and English News Coverage of Male Circumcision and Female Genital Cutting.

Carpenter LM, Kettrey HH.


Under what conditions do sexual pleasure and desire get addressed in news coverage of sexual health issues like female genital cutting (FGC) and male circumcision (MC)? In this study we employed an embodied ethnosexuality approach to analyze sexual themes in 1,902 items published from 1985 to 2009 in 13 U.S. and 8 English newspapers and news magazines. Journalists’ discussions of sexual pleasure, desire, control, problems, and practices differed in quantity and quality depending on the practice and nation to which they pertained. News coverage in both nations presented FGC as impeding female sexual pleasure, desire, and activity in ways that reinforce (hetero)sexist understandings of sexuality. The English press depicted MC as diminishing male sexuality, whereas U.S. papers showed it as enhancing male sexuality. These patterns are influenced by, and serve to reinforce, cultural norms of embodiment and ethnosexual boundaries based on gender, race, and nationality. They may, in turn, shape public understandings of FGC and MC as social problems.

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UK’s shameful record on female genital mutilation.

BMJ. 2012 Dec 3;345:e8121. doi: 10.1136/bmj.e8121.FREE

UK’s shameful record on female genital mutilation.

Lloyd-Roberts S.

BBC, London, UK. sue.lloyd-roberts@bbc.co.uk

Comment in BMJ. 2013;346:f29.


Last month the Crown Prosecution Service announced plans to crack down on practitioners of female genital mutilation. Sue Lloyd-Roberts asks why we are lagging behind our European neighbours

Ayanna, a 23 year old mother now living on the 15th floor of a Glasgow tower block, fled Gambia a year ago and applied for asylum in the UK to escape an abusive husband and prevent her 6 month old baby girl from being genitally mutilated. “My husband would have insisted,” she explains. “All the women in my community have been cut.”

She says she feels safe in Scotland but tries to avoid contact with the African community. “They’ll tell me that my daughter should be cut. It’s being done here,” she says, pointing through the window at the other tower blocks which make up the Red Road housing estate. “The older women do it—the grandmothers,” she explains. “They use scissors, razor blades, or sharp knives. I know that just last week one 3 year old and a 2 week old baby were cut.”…

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First UK prosecution for female genital mutilation moves a step closer.

BMJ. 2013 May 8;346:f2981. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f2981. FREE

First UK prosecution for female genital mutilation moves a step closer.

Torjesen I.


The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is examining five cases of alleged female genital mutilation as part of its effort to try to finally bring the first successful prosecution for the offence in the United Kingdom.

Female genital mutilation has been a criminal offence in the UK for almost 30 years under the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985. The law was made tougher in 2003 when the Female Genital Mutilation Act made it an offence for UK citizens to take a child abroad for the procedure.

Each year more than 20 000 girls under the age of 15 years living in the UK are believed to be subjected to female genital mutilation or “cutting,” and 66 000 women are living with the consequences.1 However, no one has ever been successfully prosecuted under either act, and no case has even been brought to court…

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BMA backs police campaign against female genital mutilation.

BMJ. 2007 Jul 21;335(7611):116.FREE

BMA backs police campaign against female genital mutilation.

Moszynski P.


A crackdown on female genital mutilation has been launched by London’s Metropolitan Police in an attempt to protect the estimated 6500 girls it believes undergo the procedure each year in the United Kingdom.

The BMA backed campaign, dubbed Operation Azure, has been launched at the start of the summer holidays, because that is the time when girls from certain ethnic groups—mainly African communities—are thought to be most at risk. The extended holiday period allows time to recover from the physical effects of the operation. Most girls are sent abroad, but female genital mutilation is also thought to be conducted in the UK, although no one has ever been prosecuted.

A £20 000 (€30 000; $40 000) reward has been offered in an attempt to break the wall of silence surrounding the issue. The Metropolitan …

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