Rite of Passage Or Violation of Rights? Althaus First published online: September 2, Female circumcision, the partial or total cutting away of the external female genitalia, has been practiced for centuries in parts of Africa, generally as one element of a rite of passage preparing young girls for womanhood and marriage. Often performed without anesthetic under septic conditions by lay practitioners with little or no knowledge of human anatomy or medicine, female circumcision can cause death or permanent health problems as well as severe pain.
Links with a right-facing blue arrow will take you off this site. The practice Female circumcision a sociological perspective routine medical circumcision of newborn male infants remains the norm in the United States, occurring to more than one million baby boys annually.
This article examines the history and continuing debate surrounding this surgery, and places it within the context of gender identity.
The rise of the activist anti-circumcision movement is described, as medical, moral, psychological, and legal issues surrounding this controversy are identified. The continuing practice of male circumcision is framed as an abusive wounding of males, which holds lifelong implications.
A differentiation is made between the conventional medical amputation of the foreskin, from that which is solely ritual, religious-based. Further, a societal double standard is noted between the moral outcry against female circumcision and the relative silence toward male circumcision.
While a majority of men throughout the world remain uncircumcised Wallerstein,annually circumcision is performed on more than one million American infants.
Inconsistent reports by hospitals and insurance companies leave national data unreliable and, in all probability, somewhat conservative e. Circumcision is, however, more than a benign medical procedure.
It continues to be readily authorized and infrequently questioned by parents or hospital personnel and not generally considered by and of the parties to be an act of violence. Framed within an historical context and an ongoing medical debate, circumcision should be seen as the first psychological and somatic wounding of men - a cultural act of gender betrayal and brutality.
As questions surrounding this procedure are examined, a challenge is made to the continued acceptance of this widespread practice.
Technical details To avoid the discussion becoming lost in the abstract, it is important to understand the medical specifics of this surgery.
Circumcision requires that a male infant be taken from his parents and placed on a restraint table with his extremities fastened or held down, while a variety of surgical instruments probes, clamps, scalpel are used to grasp the foreskin, separate it from the glans, slit it, stretch it, crush it, and amputate it Cohen, ; Gelbaum, It has also most often been performed without anesthesia due to medical contraindications, or with the use of a painful local anesthetic injection the dorsal nerve block.
Taddio, Goldbach, Ipp, Stevens, and Koren found continuing pain response in baby boys at four to six months, and expressed concern for possible long-term effects of the intense pain of circumcision.
The potential for complications from circumcision is real and ranges from the insignificant to tragic" p. Among the complications noted we find: History One might imagine that an intelligent species like man would leave them the human genitals alone.
Sadly, this has never been the case. For thousands of years in many different cultures, the genitals have fallen victim to an amazing variety of mutilations and restrictions.Sociology of FGM; The practice of female genital mutilation shows the differences in the way gender roles and expectations are shaped by society.
Since this has been happening for a very long time, we can see how different societies have formed common beliefs that shape the way girls and women are expected to behave if they want to have fair. Learn about female genital cutting from the Office on Women's Health.
Learn about female genital cutting from the Office on Women's Health. Female Circumcision (PDF, 80 KB) American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Female Genital Cutting: Clinical Management of Circumcised Women;.
Female circumcision, the partial or total cutting away of the external female genitalia, has been practiced for centuries in parts of Africa, generally as one element of a rite of passage preparing young girls for womanhood and marriage.
Female Circumcision: Rite of Passage Or Violation of Rights? Frances A. Althaus. First published online. THE PRACTICE OF FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION IN ESAN LAND OF EDO STATE, NIGERIA: A SOCIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS Female circumcision/female genital mutilation (FGM) is the collective name Int’l Perspective Vol.
2, Nos. , Female genital mutilation comprises all procedure involving the partial or total. The practice of female genital mutilation shows the differences in the way gender roles and expectations are shaped by society. Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 81 (4): - Obiora, L Amede, b, The little foxes that spoil the vine: Revisiting the feminist critique of female circumcision, in Canadian Journal of Women and Law, vol 9, no