Female Genitalia

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Rites of Passage: Female Genitalia Cutting

Cultural Anthropology ANT101

Rites of Passage: Female Genitalia Cutting

Have you heard of Female Genitalia Cutting or FGC? It is not an unknown practice here in the United States, but laws prevent it from occurring here. In other cultures in other countries Female Genitalia Cutting is being performed to children as young as 5 years old. In Cultures like Maasai in Tanzania and Shendi in Sudan these procedures are being performed on children as young as three. Is this a form of mutilation? Or is it the right thing to do to a child? Growing up in these cultures they are taught that this is the right thing that must be done, to show that they are fertile, to show their fidelity. A tradition that goes back over a hundred years and their “stubbornness” to end tradition keeps this rite of passage going.
Female Genitalia Cutting is the cutting of the female external genitalia, there are four forms of female genitalia cutting according to the World Health Organization also known as WHO. Clitoridectomy, excision, infibulation and other which is any harmful procedure done for non-medical reasons such as piercings. All of these procedures are normally done by a person who has no medical training and can cause death or infection to the person it is being practiced on. Clitoridectomy is cutting the clitoris as what the name says, the excision removes the clitoris and labia minora and the most invasive is the infibulation which reconstructs the labias and are sewn together and may or may not cut the clitoris only leaving a small hole to pass urine or menstrual bleeding. These procedures are done without any medication for pain or to numb the area that is being cut or sewn together, causing many difficulties such as hemorrhaging, infections, pain during sexual intercourse, pain during urination and may cause problems…...

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