Tag Archives: Sex factors

Maleness or femaleness as a constituent element or influence contributing to the production of a result. It may be applicable to the cause or effect of a circumstance. It is used with human or animal concepts but should be differentiated from SEX CHARACTERISTICS, anatomical or physiological manifestations of sex, and from SEX DISTRIBUTION, the number of males and females in given circumstances.

Female genital cutting and mother’s age at birth are associated with the sex of offspring in Africa.

Biodemography Soc Biol. 2008 Fall;54(2):141-51.

Female genital cutting and mother’s age at birth are associated with the sex of offspring in Africa.

Martina JF, Williams RC.

School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-2402, USA. john.martin@asu.edu


Female genital cutting (FGC) is widespread in Africa. Its short and long term medical consequences are widely reported. Here we report that FGC is associated with and may contribute to increases in the sex ratio at birth (Odds Ratio = 1.019; 95% C.I. = 1.007, 1.032) while mother’s age at birth is inversely associated with probability of male birth (Odds Ratio = 0.998; 95% C.I. = 0.997, 0.999) in a generalized linear, logistic model with the probability of a male birth the dependent variable and eight potential explanatory variables applied to 413,384 births in 22 African countries. While these two associations are statistically significant, their odds ratios are close to 1.0 and they only slightly decrease the null deviance of the model. Therefore sex determination in these data is still a mostly stochastic process determined by the random variation in X or Y sperm production, transport, and conception.

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Being victims or beneficiaries? Perspectives on female genital cutting and reinfibulation in Sudan.

Afr J Reprod Health. 2006 Aug;10(2):24-36.

Being victims or beneficiaries? Perspectives on female genital cutting and reinfibulation in Sudan.

Berggren V, Musa Ahmed S, Hernlund Y, Johansson E, Habbani B, Edberg AK.

Division of International Health Care Research (IHCAR), Department of Public Health, Karolinska Institutet, 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden. Vanja.Berggren@staff.hkr.se


Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or the more value neutral term, Female Genital Cutting (FGC) is widely practised in northern Sudan, where around 90% of women undergo the most extensive form of FGC, infibulation. One new approach to combating FGC in Sudan is to acknowledge the previously hidden form of FGC, reinfibulation (RI) after delivery, when the woman is sewn back so much as to mimic virginity. Based on a qualitative study in Khartoum State, this article explores Sudanese women’s and men’s perceptions and experiences of FGC with emphasis on RI after delivery. The results showed that both genders blame each other for the continuation of the practices, and the comprehensive understanding of the perceptions and experiences was that both the women and the men in this study were victims of th e consequences of FGC and RI. The female narratives could be understood in the three categories: viewing oneself as being “normal” in having undergone FGC and RI; being caught between different perspectives; and having limited influence on the practices of FGC and RI. The male narratives could be understood in the three categories: suffering from the consequences of FGC and RI, trying to counterbalance the negative sexual effects of FGC and striving in vain to change female traditions. The results indicate that the complexity of the persistence of FGC and RI goes far beyond being explained by subconscious patriarchal and maternalistic actions, related to socially constructed concepts of normality, female identity,tradition and religion a”silent” culture betweenmen and women.

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Female genital mutilation — an exported medical hazard.

Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2005 Jun;10(2):93-7.

Female genital mutilation — an exported medical hazard.

Elgaali M, Strevens H, Mårdh PA.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Lund University, Sweden.

BACKGROUND: Female circumcision (FC) has remained a common practice in the countries where it has traditionally been performed. Following increased global mobility, it has also become a common medical issue in the predominantly non-Islamic countries where an increasing number of immigrants from regions where FC is still traditional, have settled. OBJECTIVES: To investigate types of FC found in a group of immigrants from northern Africa with a current domicile in Scandinavia. To characterize these women with regard to education, socio-economic status and experienced complications and sequelae. To report attitudes to FC among the women and their husbands. METHODS: An autoquestionnaire was distributed to 220 immigrant women (16-42 years old), who belonged to an African community in Scandinavia and who had all been circumcised. Information was also gathered concerning 76 of their daughters (aged 1-13 years). Of the women’s husbands, 95 were asked about their attitudes to FC. RESULTS: Of the 140 women, who had been circumcised in their home country before they migrated, 78 (35%) had been clitoridectomized, 38 (17%) had been subjected to genital excision and 24 (11%) to infibulation. The corresponding percentages in the remaining women, who had had FC when returning home for a visit, were 0%, 14% and 22%, respectively. Of the daughters, 15 (19%) had been circumcised whilst living in Scandinavia; all had been clitoridectomized. Twenty-eight (13%) women reported having experienced late complications or post-FC sequelae. A positive attitude to stopping the tradition of FC was reported twice as often by the husbands (69%) as by the circumcised women (35%). Religion (95% of the responders were Muslims and 5% Christians), cultural tradition, and increased chance of marriage or of continued health were the reasons put forward in favor of the continuation of FC by 58%, 27%, 10% and 4 %, respectively. Five per cent could not supply an opinion. CONCLUSIONS: FC is performed in immigrant women even after settling in areas where this practise is legally banned. Circumcised immigrant women experience medical and sexual problems which have to be dealt with in their new domicile country. Many African Islamic women, who have migrated to Scandinavia, seem still to be in favour of the continuation of circumcision for varying reasons.

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Female genital mutilation in the Sudan: survey of the attitude of Khartoum university students towards this practice.

Sex Transm Infect. 2003 Jun;79(3):220-3.

Female genital mutilation in the Sudan: survey of the attitude of Khartoum university students towards this practice.

Herieka E, Dhar J.

Bournemouth GU Clinic, Bournemouth, UK. elbushra.herieka@rbch.tr.swest.nhs.uk

BACKGROUND: Female genital mutilation (FGM) or female circumcision is the removal of variable amounts of tissue from the female external genitalia. It is practised all over the world on very young girls. This study was conducted in Sudan where FGM is a criminal offence and not a religious dictate. We assessed the knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of this practice among Khartoum university students and compared the differences between male and female student responses.

METHODS: An anonymised detailed questionnaire was distributed among the university students. In addition to the participant’s age, marital status, course studying, details regarding their attitude, knowledge of the practice of FGM, and their own experiences were collected.

RESULTS: Of the 500 questionnaires distributed, 414 (82.8%) were returned from 192 (46%) females and 222 (54%) males. 109 (56.8%) of the female respondents were themselves circumcised.18.8% of the male students and 9.4% of the female students thought FGM was recommended by their religion. Only 90 (46.9%) female students compared with 133 (59.9%) male students thought FGM was illegal. Though 16 (8.3%) female respondents thought FGM would increase their chances of marriage, the majority, 166 (74.8%), of the male students would prefer a non-circumcised female.

CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that 109 (56.8%) female university students who responded were circumcised. Confusing religious messages and ambiguous laws seem to be responsible for the continuation of this practice. The study highlights the partnership that needs to be established between religious leaders and educationalists to end this medieval practice.

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Male and female viewpoints on female circumcision in Ekpeye, Rivers State, Nigeria.

Afr J Reprod Health. 2002 Dec;6(3):44-52.

Male and female viewpoints on female circumcision in Ekpeye, Rivers State, Nigeria.

Briggs LA.

Department of Human Kinetics, Health and Safety Education, Rivers State College of Education, Port Harcourt.


One hundred and ninety five male and female volunteers across the social strata were interviewed using structured questionnaire. Data were analysed using frequency tables. The study revealed that 74.7% of female respondents were circumcised. They believe that the practice would help prevent sexual promiscuity, curb sexual desires and that it is a custom they cannot do without. Most of the men would not marry an uncircumcised female, while a substantial number of the respondents would like to circumcise their daughters. Community effort to eradicate the practice is very minimal. Based on the findings, it is suggested that communities where female genital mutilation (FGM) is practiced as a social norm should be involved in eradication campaigns with support from national and international organisations.

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No (wo)man is an island–the influence of physicians’ personal predisposition to labia minora appearance on their clinical decision making: a cross-sectional survey.

J Sex Med. 2011 Aug;8(8):2377-85. 2011 May 19.

No (wo)man is an island–the influence of physicians’ personal predisposition to labia minora appearance on their clinical decision making: a cross-sectional survey.

Reitsma W, Mourits MJ, Koning M, Pascal A, van der Lei B.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.

INTRODUCTION: Physicians are increasingly presented with women requesting a labia minora reduction procedure.

AIM: To assess the influencing factor of personal predisposition in general practitioners, gynecologists, and plastic surgeons to labia minora appearance in relation to their willingness to refer for, or perform, a surgical labia minora reduction.

METHODS: Cross-sectional self-administered questionnaire survey. Between May 2009 and August 2009, 210 physicians were surveyed. Primary care: general practitioners working in the north of the Netherlands. Secondary care: gynecologists and plastic surgeons working in five hospitals in the north of the Netherlands.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: A five-point Likert scale appraisal of four pictures showing a vulva, each displaying different sizes of labia minora, indicating a physician’s personal predisposition, manifesting as willingness to refer for, or perform, a labia minora reduction.

RESULTS: A total of 164/210 (78.1%) physicians completed the questionnaire, consisting of 80 general practitioners, 41 gynecologists, and 43 plastic surgeons (96 males, 68 females). Ninety percent of all physicians believe, to a certain extent, that a vulva with very small labia minora represents society’s ideal (2-5 on the Likert scale). More plastic surgeons regarded the picture with the largest labia minora as distasteful and unnatural, compared with general practitioners and gynecologists (P < 0.01), and regarded such a woman as a candidate for a labia minora reduction procedure (P < 0.001). Irrespective of the woman’s labia minora size and the absence of physical complaints, plastic surgeons were significantly more open to performing a labia minora reduction procedure than gynecologists (P < 0.001). Male physicians were more inclined to opt for a surgical reduction procedure than their female colleagues (P < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: The personal predisposition of physicians (taking account of their specific gender and specialty) concerning labia minora size and appearance influences their clinical decision making regarding a labia minora reduction procedure. Heightened awareness of one’s personal predisposition vis-à-vis referral and willingness to operate is needed.

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