Female Genital Mutilation "Long Term Psychological Effects"

2270 words - 10 pages

"Female Genital Mutilation"'Long Term Psychological Effects'Female Genital Mutilation, or Female Circumcision as sometimes called, is the partial or complete removal of the female clitoris immediately after birth, few years after birth (early childhood), or several years after birth (adolescence). Originally, female genital mutilation was practiced to ensure female virginity until marriage; as it was discovered that by the partial or complete removal of the clitoris, a female's sexual urge is minimized and, therefore, a girl could have more control over her sexual desires. Because virginity was and remains a very crucial factor in almost every society, circumcision was invented way in ...view middle of the document...

Also, the circumcision issue is seen as a form of beauty. It is seen as aesthetically beautiful, as genitals are disfiguring and ugly in their natural state (Real Net, 2). In short, nowadays the practice isn't done to explicitly mean that girls are un-trustable, but because, presently, the woman's clitoris is considered to be an ugly part in a woman's body and perceived to be harmful in many ways. And not long ago, Sigmund Freud wrote 'The elimination of clitorial sexuality is a necessary precondition for the development of femininity."According to psychologists, the practice is known to be done in order to suppress women. A patriarchal society is what defines most of those African and Middle Eastern countries. It is argued that a man keeps his superiority over women by controlling every aspect in her life. And since sexuality is such a major part in a human's life, a close control over this specific aspect in a woman meant to keep here under a tight male control. Circumcision ensures that a woman will not have had any sexual intercourse before marriage and thus is subject to what she is told to do by her husband. That is, due to past inexperience and low internal sexual drive, she is totally ignorant of what she is supposed to do regarding this matter. According to an article in the Real Net Access, "Women have been persuaded to see their sexual impulses in terms that suit men.... man's pleasure is paramount and women are merely vehicles for procuring this enjoyment."(Real Net, 2). Thus, the husband entails what should be done and what shouldn't, according to his preferences. So, it is only when and how the husband needs; the wife here is reduced to nothing but an object of pleasure. Psychologists, thus, argue that to deny a woman the basic right to her sexuality, is to deny her the rights to having strength, power and identity. The inability of a women to regulate their lives inhabilitates them; "they remain under the heels of patriarchal structures."(Real Net, 1). Thus circumcised women, unable to have sex for pleasure's sake, are reduced to baby-makers. Without the driving force to desire, they lost much of the power of self-initiative and, as a result, are more dependent on male authority to define their lives.As a result, a woman's integrity, worth and need in society is based on if she fits the sexual criteria. Many fear that an uncircumcised girl would be a social outcast whom no one will marry. In some societies, non-mutilated girls are "ridiculed and forced to leave their communities and fend for themselves."(Real Net, 2). Usually, these girls turn to prostitution in order to survive, because they cannot otherwise survive within the context of their societies. The women have utter conviction that mutilation is an essential part of a fulfilling woman's life. This notion was deep routed in their minds to the extent that when some women were asked why they have infibulated their daughters when they know themselves how much pain it cau...


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