Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 403–412

Socially Sanctioned Violence Against Women: Female Genital Mutilation Is Its Most Brutal Form

  • Authors
  • Ruth F. Lax

DOI: 10.1023/A:1005119906627

Cite this article as:
Lax, R.F. Clinical Social Work Journal (2000) 28: 403. doi:10.1023/A:1005119906627


A historic survey indicates that Female Genital Mutilation occurs not only in the Third World but has also been practiced in the Occident. Though the differences in the practices, scope, and extent of the genital mutilations performed in these two divergent cultures are great, the basic goal has been the same. In the prevalent patriarchal societies, men sought and seek to curb, at times even eradicate, women's sexuality. Psychoanalytic findings indicate that the motive for female genital mutilation is based on men's unconscious fear of women's sexuality. The minimal psychic consequences following the mutilation of female genitals are loss of trust, a prevailing lack of bodily well-being, post-traumatic shock and depression.


Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2000