Evolutionary Cultural Ethics and the Circumcision of Children

  • Nahid F. Toubia


As I was pondering how I could contribute meaningfully to the rich programme that is being presented in this symposium, I realised that I have two audiences. The first audience comprises the participants in this symposium and those activists who belong to human rights’ organisations and established constituencies. Like myself, this group agrees that circumcision—that is, the genital mutilation of girls and boys—is wrong despite its widespread practice. We feel obliged to do something to stop it. Some of us may disagree on a wide variety of issues, ranging from terminology to strategies. I hope that my contribution will lead to a better understanding of our commonalities as well as our differences. I also hope to initiate a process that will help us overcome these differences and make compromises that will make us, individually and collectively, more effective in achieving the goal of stopping these practices.


Male Circumcision Female Genital Mutilation Penile Cancer Bodily Integrity Female Circumcision 
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    For a discussion on some of my personal views and my organisation’s position on the terminology please refer to the Statement of Values available from RAINB♀ and from our website at
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers, New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nahid F. Toubia

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