Encyclopedia of Global Justice

2011 Edition
| Editors: Deen K. Chatterjee

Female Genital Mutilation

  • Keisha Ray
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_599

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), often known as female circumcision, female cutting, and excision, involves the cutting of some part or all of a female’s genitals. FGM is predominately practiced in Africa, in some parts of the Middle East, and in immigrant neighborhoods in the United States that are predominately comprised of these nationalities.

The World Health Organization (WHO) places FGM into four types. Type I, cliteridectomy, is when the prepuce is removed. Type II, excision, is when the prepuce and the clitoris are removed. Type III, infibulation, is when part or all of the external genitalia is removed and the vaginal opening is stitched, making the vaginal opening very narrow. Type IV, unclassified, is any other practice that is not listed in the first three types of FGM, including burning of the clitoris, adding foreign herbs to the vagina to induce bleeding or to cause the vagina to tighten and narrow, and piercing or incising the labia.

Traditional reasons given to support...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keisha Ray
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA