Female Circumcision: Social & Religious Connections (Essay Sample)
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(Wednesday Class) Section 001.
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It should be a minimum of 6 pages and is due on March 28th. HARD COPY ONLY.
1. The OUTLINE formatted below MUST be used in writing your paper!
2. The subject MUST be able to fit the question requirements below.
Female circumcision has adverse health and sexual effects on the victims and is recognized as an infringement of the human rights of the victims. Death is the most common effect of female circumcision. Excessive bleeding from the cut as well as infections from the procedure which is most often performed under unhygienic conditions could lead to the death of the victim. Moreover, the operation leads to complications during birth that could still lead to a loss of life. Though not understood by many, female circumcision has an effect on the sexuality of the victims. The practice is also a barrier to the education of the girl child, which further affects the society. However, despite all these adverse effects, the practice still flourishes in some parts of the world. Helpless and vulnerable girls are forced to undergo this dangerous practice that completely disrupts their lives.
It is difficult to understand why parents who clearly understand the consequences of the act still go ahead and have their girls circumcised. That is why I chose this topic to clearly understand the beliefs that make it so valuable. I also seek to understand the magnitude of this problem, the efforts being aimed at stemming it out, as well as the successes and impediments to these efforts. The questions I seek to answer through this research are; origin of female circumcision, reasons why it is still practiced in some parts of the world, the social, cultural, and religious connections, its effect on sexuality, as well as efforts targeted at the problem.
Origin of Female Circumcision
Commonly known as female genital mutilation to avoid comparison with the male circumcision, which has health benefits, female circumcision is a ritual that involves the cutting of all or some of the female external genitalia for non-medical reasons. It is widely practiced in various regions in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. According to UNICEF, over 200 million women and girls in these regions have been subjected to some form of the practice. The procedure is mostly performed during puberty by traditional circumcisers, especially in secret since the act has been outlawed in many countries. However, in some settings, the procedure is carried out by healthcare providers under the belief that if done medically, it is safe (World Health Organization).
Historians have not reached a consensus on the origin of female circumcision. While some believe that the practice was introduced to sub-Saharan Africa with the arrival of Islam, others believe that the practice emerged independently among the various ethnic groups in Africa and the black slaves introduced it to the Arabs. It is also believed to have originated from the north-eastern region of Africa over 2000 years ago to increase confidence in paternity. In Egypt, it was practiced to distinguish the aristocrats. The belief that female genital mutilation emerged among various ethnic groups in the world such as the Aborigines of Australia and various sub-Saharan Africa communities as a measure to preserve virginity and decrease infidelity is popular (FGM National Clinical Group).
Effects of Female Circumcision
Sexual arousal in females is triggered by stimulation of the erotogenic areas. The clitoris is part of them. Female circumcision most of the time involves removal of the clitoris together with other parts of the genitalia. The process, therefore, reduces the sexual response of the victim and could lead to frigidity and anorgasmia. The procedure also interferes with the normal anatomy of female genitalia, resulting in pain during sexual intercourse (Abdel-Azim 142). The trauma experienced during circumcision coupled with the psychological effects of the procedure leads to negative beliefs about ...
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