Information & Resources
What is Female Genital Cutting, or FGC (also referred to as female genital mutilation or FGM)?
FGM, often referred to as 'female circumcision', comprises of all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural, religious or other non-therapeutic reasons.
– World Health Organization
Female genital mutilation/cutting is typically performed on very young girls and is practiced for a number of reasons:
- Psychosexual: to attenuate sexual desire in the female, maintain chastity and virginity before marriage and fidelity during marriage, and increase male sexual pleasure;
- Sociological: for identification with the cultural heritage, initiation of girls into womanhood, social integration and maintenance of social cohesion;
- Hygiene and Aesthetic: among some societies, the external female genitalia are considered unclean and unsightly, and so are removed to promote hygiene and provide aesthetic appeal;
- Religious: female genital mutilation/cutting is practised in a number of communities, under the mistaken belief that it is demanded by certain religions;
- Other: to enhance fertility and promote child survival.
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