Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo

Female Genital Cutting

  • Virginia Braun
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_107


Female genital cutting is a material, psychological, cultural, and political practice. As a practice, it has resulted in vociferous, often fraught, and sometimes bitter, debates. The question of how to make sense of, and respond to, female genital cutting (FGC) has divided scholars, activists, practitioners, and communities.


The boundaries around definition of female genital cutting are to some extent arbitrary and complex. The term FGC is typically used to refer to a very diverse range of so-called traditional practices, in which female genitalia are cut, scraped, pricked, stitched, and/or otherwise altered in some way; these practices have also been referred to as female circumcision or female genital mutilation (FGM) and are typically practiced in non-western countries, primarily in certain African countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) produced what is the most widely used designation of different “types” of FGC, depending on location of the tissue...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyThe University of AucklandAucklandAotearoa/New Zealand