Genital Autonomy and Sexual Well-being
Purpose of Review
The purpose of this study is to survey recent arguments in favor of preserving the genital autonomy of children—female, male, and intersex—by protecting them from medically unnecessary genital cutting practices.
Nontherapeutic female, male, and intersex genital cutting practices each fall on a wide spectrum, with far more in common than is generally understood. When looking across cultures and comparing like cases, one finds physical, psychosexual, and symbolic overlaps among the three types of cutting, suggesting that a shared ethical framework is needed.
All children have an interest in genital autonomy, regardless of their sex or gender.
KeywordsGenital autonomy Circumcision FGM Intersex Sexual health Bodily integrity
The authors would like to thank the editors of this collection for inviting them to contribute and Professor Robert Van Howe, M.D., and Professor Elizabeth Reis for feedback on an earlier draft.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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