, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 571-575

Ritual female genital surgery among bedouin in Israel

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Abstract

Ritual female genital operations are common in many parts of the world, with varying degrees of mutilation from clitoridectomy and removal of the labia to removal of the clitoral prepuce. Interviews of 21 Bedouin women in southern Israel revealed the practice to be normative in several tribes. However, physical examination of 37 young women from those tribes at a gynecological clinic revealed only small scars on the labia in each woman. Bedouin in southern Israel may offer a model of evolution of female circumcision into a nonmutilative ritual incision.