Bad reasons to cut a girl's genitals
- Aesthetic: 2, 28, 114
- Cultural: 25
- Conformity: 40, 63, 106
- Rite of passage 6, 41, 56, 103, 107
- Tradition: 39, 100, 105, 113, 119, 126
- Economic: 37, 95, 118
- Hygienic: 130
- "Cleanliness": 7, 20, 32, 35, 50, 58, 80,
85, 86, 97, 111, 116, 120, 129
- Disease prevention: 13, 21, 22, 30, 33, 112
- Magical/Irrational: 8, 9, 15, 16, 23, 25, 38,
42, 43, 44, 68, 69, 78, 79, 83, 109, 110, 117
- Psychological: 3, 82, 115
- Punishment: 96,
- Religious: 31, 34, 72
- Islam: 4.1, 4.2, 10, 11,
- Christianity: 55
- preserve virginity: 74
- prevent rape: 124
- reduce lust: 1, 4.3, 5, 17, 19, 29, 36, 45,
46, 49, 64, 84, 91
- prevent promiscuity: 75, 92
- improve intercourse: 14, 47, 94, 108, 131
- accelerate women's orgasm: 125
- make less masculine / more feminine: 51, 99
- test husband's virility: 24
- increase husband's pleasure: 76, 81, 122
- increase fertility: 77, 89, 98, 123
- facilitate childbirth: 121
- Social: 52, 57, 60, 61, 62, 67, 70, 71, 73, 90
- marriagability: 53, 54, 59, 65, 66, 87, 88,
- as an honour: 127
- as a gift: 132
- Unclassified: 12, 27, 93, 101, 128
- Because "it will stabilize her libido,
- Two, it will make a woman look more beautiful in the
eyes of her husband.
- And three, it will balance her psychology.”
- Lukman Hakim,
chairman of social services,
Assalaam Foundation, Indonesia
York Times magazine, January 20,2008
- Advantages of circumcising female children
- It shows that one is a follower of Prophet
Ibrahim’s way of worship. Prophet Ibrahim (ASW) is the father of faith.
[FGC is not
mentioned in the Bible.]
- It shows one as a follower of Prophet Muhammad
- It is a way of reducing sexual desire in the
woman thus avoiding adultery and a way of curbing her from bad sexual
habits. This is because an uncircumcised woman would always have
unlimited sexual appetite, which may force her to commit adultery.
Rules of circumcision in Islam - Sheikh A.B. Muhammed,
Friday, 28 May 2010
- psychosexual reasons: reduction or elimination of the
sensitive tissue of the outer genitalia, particularly the clitoris,
- in order to attenuate sexual desire in the
- maintain chastity and virginity before marriage
- fidelity during marriage, and
- increase male sexual pleasure;
- sociological reasons:
- identification with the cultural heritage,
- initiation of girls into womanhood,
- social integration and
- the maintenance of social cohesion;
- hygiene and aesthetic reasons:
- the external female genitalia are considered
- unsightly and are to be removed to promote
hygiene and provide aesthetic appeal;
- myths: enhancement of fertility and
- promotion of child survival;
- religious reasons: Some Muslim communities, however,
practise FGM in the belief that it is demanded by the Islamic faith.
The practice, however, predates Islam.
World Health Organisation
- "Those who advocate for FGM from an Islamic
perspective commonly quote the following hadith to argue that it is
required as part of the Sunnah or Tradition of the Prophet:
'Um Atiyyat al-Ansariyyah said:
A woman used to perform circumcision in
The Prophet (pbuh) said to her:
Do not cut too severely
as that is better for a woman
and more desirable for a husband'."
- Because "it brings many benefits."
- Because "The secretions of the labia minora
accumulate in uncircumcised women and turn rancid, so they develop an
unpleasant odour which may lead to infections of the vagina or urethra.
- Because "Circumcision reduces excessive sensitivity
of the clitoris which may cause it to increase in size to 3 centimeters
when aroused, which is very annoying to the husband, especially at the
time of intercourse."
"it prevents stimulation of the clitoris which makes it grow large in
such a manner that it causes pain."
- Because "Circumcision prevents spasms of the clitoris
which are a kind of inflammation."
- Because "Circumcision reduces excessive sexual
- Because "For us in the Muslim world female
circumcision is, above all else, obedience to Islam, which means acting
in accordance with the fitrah and following the Sunnah which encourages
- Because "It takes away excessive libido from women"
- Because "It prevents unpleasant odours which result
from foul secretions beneath the prepuce."
- Because "It reduces the incidence of urinary tract
- Because "It reduces the incidence of infections of
the reproductive system."
- "How on earth can they get married with a big thing
hanging between their legs? Shame! Think of how long it will grow!"
- "When she gets married, she’ll get sliced open again.
Then, you know, if her husband doesn’t enter her, he is shamed. Weak.
Her family will refuse the marriage."
- "K", an old Djibouti woman on
the Jones family blogspot.
- To "build trust between hospitals and immigrant
- save some girls from undergoing disfiguring
procedures in their native countries,
- and play a role in the eventual eradication
- American Academy of
Pediatrics 2010 Policy on Female Genital Cutting,
p 1092 (6 of 8)
- Because s/he was diagnosed with "clitorimegaly
associated with ambiguous genitalia" (had a bigger clitoris/penis than
someone else was comfortable with).
- Jennifer Yang, Diane Felsen
and Dix P. Poppas
Analysis of Clitoral Sensitivity and Viability
J Urol, 178, 1598-1601, Oct 2007
- Because "Uncircumcised girls will want sex more than
- And they are more liable to infections and
- Dr Saed Thabet in Wiens J. Female
circumcision is curbed in Egypt BMJ
- "While religion was the main reason for
- it is believed by some locals that a girl who is not
circumcised would have unclean genitals after she urinates
- which could lead to cervical cancer.
- It is also believed if one prays with unclean
genitals their prayer won't be heard."
- Photo-essay by Stephanie
Sinclair in VII, June 21, 2010
- "In some countries where the practice of female
circumcision, it is believed that if a woman has not passed through
this test, then it is unclean,
- too excited
- and can not properly deal with the economy.
- It is also believed that uncircumcised women can not
give birth to a boy."
- Photo-essay (same photos) at Ankit Mehta, June 27 2010
- "... it was considered to be a good traditional
- ...to...avoid being shunned and laughed at by the
- ...that was the only rite of passage to womanhood."
- Ms Joyce Munanda, an advocate
against FGM who got circumcised in 1968; "When culture confronts health and the law",
the Monitor (Uganda), July 10, 2010
- Leaving a girl uncircumcised endangers both her
husband and her baby. If the
baby’s head touches the uncut clitoris during birth, the baby will be
- The milk of the mother will become poisonous.
- If a man’s penis touches a woman’s clitoris he will
- Lightfoot-Klein H ‘Erroneous Belief Systems Underlying Female
in Sub-Saharan Africa
and Male Neonatal Circumcision in the United
paper presented at the 3rd International Symposium on Circumcision,
Washington, DC, 1994.
- "It was hoped that it would tame the women's sexual
desires since we (the men) had to move long distances grazing our
- it would prevent the women from being unfaithful to
their husbands. However, I vowed to my wife that none of our children
will ever undergo the tradition."
- a 60-year-old Ugandan to
Richard Musani in New Vision
- "Greater sexual sensations, closer communication with
one’s partner, higher levels of orgasm.” “An awesome 75% of women are
hindered from feeling the full extent of sensations, due to a condition
which is most commonly known as “hooded clitoris”
- "The Kindest Cut:
Circumcision for Women", Playgirl, 1973, quoted in Rabbitwrite's blog, December 31,
- "The practice has become important to Islam because
it is associated with female sexual purity.
- FGM is intended by its practitioners to both control
women's sexual drives and also
- to cleanse women's genitalia by removing the
- which is seen as masculine, a female penis."
Jacqueline Castledine, Mount Holyoke College.
- To allow them to enter the secret Bondo society of
women (Sierra Leone)
statement by African Woman are Free to
and news item,
February 11, 2009
- Marrying without circumcision was not an option:
uncut girls were believed to be undisciplined and clumsy.
- No husband would be willing to run the risk of social
isolation inextricably bound up with marrying an uncircumcised girl.
- To make things worse: circumcision was believed to be
a religious obligation for both Christians and Muslims.
fights against female cutting, Radio Netherlands, April 11, 2011
- Female genital mutilation is the partial removal of
the external genitalia, undertaken for cultural initiation of a girl
K’jongs told to shun female
circumcision, New Vision (Uganda), May 8, 2011
because it has an important role in the Maasai culture.
... an uncircumcised girl will
find it hard to prove that she is a woman
- and any children she bears will be seen as unclean.
- Why Female Genital Mutilation
Persists, by Nyokabi Kamau, Daily Nation (Kenya), May 9, 22011
- ""Marrying an uncircumcised girl degrades your value
as a man.
- There are some rituals the girl cannot participate in
if she is not circumcised," explained Martin Ololoigero, one of the
managers of the rescue centre.
- "It is important for a woman to be circumcised so
that she can go to her husband's home," said Olemairuj Kipaken, a
Maasai elder in Narok.
"Female circumcision in Kenya" News24 October 5, 2011
- "Plapan regretted that some of the mid wives cannot
attend to uncircumcised women for fear of going against their
traditions, which considers uncircumcised woman as untidy.
- “Some of the uncircumcised women are teased by their
fellow circumcised women.
“This forces them to change their heart and go for the cut,” she said.
- The men also consider uncircumcised women as
promiscuous and polygamous men fear such women can embarrass them
especially when they take long to “reach their matrimonial beds”.
"Cultural Beliefs Benefit
Pokot Pastoralists" Coastweek, December 2, 2011
- "Hundreds of schoolgirls underwent the traditional
rite of passage that now allows them to get married,..."
- "The government allowed us to circumcise the men,
which we did, but then we later wondered: now that we have taken men
through the initiation, must we not create a pool of women from where
they can marry?"
"Villagers ignore the law and
go on a girl circumcision frenzy" the Daily Nation (Kenya) December
- “Personally, I have been through the process. I will
even make my daughters undergo it. The pain is tolerable and has
strengthened my relationship with my husband,” she wrote.
"Bohra women go online to fight
circumcision trauma" Hindustan Times, December 9, 2011
- “Some cultures consider it a purification ritual,” Ms
[Faduma Salah] Musse said.
“I am a victim myself, and I was forced to allow my three daughters to
go through it also.”
- "Woman's mission is to end
mutilation", Danenong Leader, January 13. 2012
- "The child's mother...
said her child was suffering from stomach infections, as a result she
couldn't learn how to walk even after attaining the age of twelve
"I sent my child to her grandmother, who claimed in order for the child
to be healed, she must undergo circumcision," she said.
"Child subjected to FGM now
admitted to hospital" IPPMedia, January 30, 2012
- To allow her to attend public meetings and take part
- To allow her a place at the "high table".
I would not be allowed to attend public meetings
because I was not ‘a woman’, something which subjected me to a lot of
psychological torture. I felt I was missing a lot in the public fora
and was being left behind in decision making.
That was not all, I always missed out on the ‘high
"What it means to undergo the
cut" the Monitor (Uganda), February 8,
- [Mrs Josephine Effah-Chukwuma, Executive Director,
Project Alert on Violence Against Women, Lagos,] said ...FGM is
considered to be a cultural inheritance designed to preserve some
traditional values such as religious purification,
- family honour,
- protection of virginity,
- prevention of promiscuity,
- increasing sexual pleasure for the husband and
- enhancing fertility.
Others, she further told Daily Champion, are
- the belief that if the clitoris of an uncircumcised
woman touches the head of a baby about to be born, the baby will die;
- and that if the clitoris is not cut, it will grow
- be dirty,
- and not allow a man enjoy sex.
Nigeria: Celebrating Zero
Tolerance to Female Genital Cutting AllAfrica.com, February 20, 2012
- Because "If a girl is not circumcised, she can't
Egyptian woman on YoutTube (0:34), October 12, 2011
- Because "In our culture there is a saying that if a
female is not circumcised she will break things."
- a 14 year old Ethiopian girl
in Hurt And Abused Children In Ethiopia: Cultural Calamity,
Eurasia Review, March 21, 2012
- Because "women otherwise were overly sexual and
'prone to prostitution.' "
Frank Bruni, Rethinking
His Religion NY Times, March 24, 2012
"She was referring to “kakia,” the ritual of crude circumcision that
girls in her native country [Togo] were traditionally forced to endure.
Female relatives held down the screaming teenagers and sliced off their
genitals with a knife, believing
- this would make them “clean” for their husbands."
Not victims of tradition: Women
emerge as symbols for girls facing abusive fates
Washington Post, May 2, 2012
- To prevent feeling dirty: "she asked me point blank
if I did not feel dirty since I was not circumcised."
- Because "In some communities uncircumcised girls are
considered not good enough for marriage"
Natasha Kokutangiira It's much more than just a cut,
Daily News, Tanzania, August 26, 2012
- "... to prepare young women for home management and
marriage, as well as
- to help women to give birth to more children."
Liberia: In Sande Bush - Woman Bleeds to
Death, AllAfrica.com, September 13, 2012
- Because "Circumcised women are less apt to make
nuisances of themselves than intact ones. 'What is the case if her
husband died or divorced her, is she going to pull men from the cafes?'
the daya [midwife/circumciser] asks."
Review of "Sex and the Citadel"
by Shereen El Feki in the New York Times, April 7, 2013
- Because "circumcision prevents a girl from having a
high sex drive...
- ...and thus from becoming sexually promiscuous ...
'“There’s this idea that if a girl is circumcised, she will grow up to
be a ‘good girl’ with a low sex drive,” she says."
- Yuli Krisna, Activists Demand Repeal of Circumcision Law
Jakarta Globe, April 20, 2013
- The procedure exposes these sensitive zones, in both
males and females, lessening the effort needed in achieving pleasure.
- Moreover there can be a discussion about the function
of foreskin in general. That its purpose is to protect the developing
child in the womb from being aroused sexually and skewing his/her
hormonal balance. That after birth this kind of protection is no long
necessary and, like the umbilical cord, be severed.
Abdulkhaliq Alemao on Facebook, June 10, 2013
- "I had to run away from home to a nearby school as my
father insisted that I had to be circumcised and get married so he
could get cows," said a 13-year-old girl from Amudat.
"Uganda: Parliament to Amend
Children's Act" AllAfrica, June 12, 2013
- To punish their father for speaking out against
June 20, 2013
Egypt's refugees find Syrian crisis brings
new challenges and some hope
by Hazel Haddon
Moataz, a 41-year-old Sudanese asylum seeker from Darfur, ...
argued that girls should not be circumcised.
"While I was speaking at the conference, they
came and took my kids. They took my two girls and circumcised them.
"They brought a letter, and they had doctors'
uniforms. They said they came from the ministry of health. They had put
my photo on a document, saying that I had agreed to do that," Moataz
says. "When they brought them back they gave my wife a message: Tell
your husband he shouldn't talk
about these things."
His daughters were two and six ...
- Dafa'a Allah ...
once described uncircumcised women as "dirty".
"Sudan MP Calls for Banning
Females From Sports" AllAfrica.com, June 25, 2013
- Because "women become pregnant more easily when they
are circumcised, and ...
- the clitoris can grow huge if they have not been
Somali born Safia Abdi is a nurse who ...
says women maintain the tradition primarily
- to pass on their identity to the next generation....
- this is the way things should be. ...
“Many do it with an eye to the future. They do it
- because they want to marry off their daughters ...
,” says Abdi.
“The ritual can also be carried out at puberty
- to mark the onset of adulthood. ...
"Circumcised women uncritical
of the ritual" ScienceNordic, June 26, 2013
- To punish her for adultery.
|Following rumours that when a certain part of
the female genitalia is chopped off, sex urges subside drastically, the
said group of women agreed to mutilate the genitalia to contain her
"Adulterous woman foils
circumcision ploy to tame her libido" the Standard (Kenya), December 1,
- "The girls said they were forced by their parents to
undergo the cut because it is tradition.
- They said they did not want to be laughed at in
school for allegedly being uncircumcised
- and referred to as children."
"Embu MCAs rescue six cut girls
from danger" The Star (Kenya), December 6, 2013
- To enable women to reach orgasm by exposing the
Female Circumcision as Sexual Therapy: The
Past and Future of Plastic Surgery? by Sarah B. Rodriguez,
Pacific Standard, February 24, 2014, or here
- Because ...
"If a girl is not circumcised, it is a curse," [Angel's mother, of the
Maasai community in Kajiado] said. "Her parents, her sisters and her
brothers will die early. So if a girl refuses to be cut, she is cursing
her family and she is an enemy."
- Jude Kaberia: Kenya:
local chiefs accused of abbeting [sic] FGM
in Capitol FM, June 22, 2014
- Because giving birth before undergoing FGM is
The Standard newspaper said the woman,
Cheponger Yarasia, admitted to police that the girl's parents had
sought her out to perform the ritual because their daughter was
pregnant, and that giving birth before undergoing FGM was considered
"Female circumcision killer
gets amnesty despite girl's death" News24 (Kenya)
September 4, 2014
- yess..cut girl make her cleann
- ..andd prefrnt dizeasses
srry my englush not good...i from somalia...we cut girl here.
- its beutiful tradittion
- ..it make gurl preitty
- and happy
- Mohammed Said Al Salaam on Facebook, November 4, 2014
- Because "the clitoris makes a woman itch, making her
want to scratch all the time, and that
- the clitoris makes water leak from her private
- Muhammed Alhajie Lamin
Touray, president of the Gambia’s Supreme Islamic Council in "My
daughter willl never be cut: it stops with me" in The Guardian, December 13, 2014
- Because “It is our job and we get paid for doing it.
- Our parents did it before us, now we are doing it
and then we pass it on to our children.”"
- ... if a woman is not circumcised, she isn’t
- She also believes that it helps women during
childbirth: she has heard that when an uncut woman has a baby, her
clitoris can explode – and,
- anyway, it is better for the husband. “We believe if
a woman is not circumcised, making love with them will not be
enjoyable,” she says, smiling.
- Sarjo, 63, who cut anti-FGC
campaigner Jaha Dukureh, in "My daughter willl never be cut: it stops
with me" in The Guardian, December 13, 2014
- To aid conception
Circumcision to aid conception kills
A 33-YEAR-OLD woman from Binga, who was desperate to
after bleeding for more than a week following a botched circumcision
during which her husband’s grandmother cut off parts of her genitalia.
Sources said it was a cultural belief in parts of
the district that long labia lead to the development of fibroids and
failure to conceive. Villagers often circumcise women by cutting off
parts of their external genitalia to deal with the problem.
The Chronicle (Zimbabwe) September
- To prevent rape:
Gambian friend of of Lily Harmourtziadou, cut at the age of 6 or 7, was
told that it would prevent any chance of her being raped.
- Because "it increases the sexual power of the women to achieve orgasm much faster
. That's why women go for it world wide for this procedure." [referring to the Dawoodi Bohra practice, khafz, nicking the clitoral hood]
of the women who engage in this, who practise this thing, [say]'There's
nothing wrong with what we do, it's been handed down to us,
- we're proud of it, we're honoured by it,
- we're better for it,
- we're cleaner,
- more hygienic,
- we enjoy sex better.' This is what they say."
- Somalian pro-FGC activist Fuambai Sia Ahmadu in "American Circumcision" (46'09" in)
- "We're getting you a gift as you start to become a woman"
- Anti-genital-cutting activist Soraya Miré's mother, told in "American Circumcision" (36'35" in)
- To express the power of the patriarchy.
(Documentation supporting this commonly-expressed reason would