Female genital mutilation and sexuality: WHO funded study

Female genital mutilation and sexuality: WHO funded study

2011-09-01 00:00:00

In 2006 WHO issued a call for proposals to examine how desire for sexual morality, “proper” sexual behaviour, and femininity is associated with women’s decision to practice or stop FGM. The reason for this call was the limited reduction in the prevalence of FGM, and the lack of success of many popular approaches. If sociocultural beliefs regarding the relationship between female sexuality and FGM is an important motivator for the continuation of FGM, more knowledge is needed on this aspect.

All the WHO funded studies found that FGM was considered an important or necessary means to reduce women’s sexual desire, subsequently believed to enhance womens conformity to local sexual norms. Some expressed an ambivalence between the belief that FGM is important to secure morality, and fear that it reduced sexual pleasure, and hence marital happiness and stability. Also, there were in all countries beliefs in the medical necessity of FGM in some women, that was also shared by health care professionals. The study also identified a larger prevalence and desire for infibulation than has previously been documented in West-Africa. The results of these and other WHO funded studies on FGM indicate that since sexual concern is a key motivator for FGM in many communities, these concerns must be taken into account when working against the practice. The studies are supported by the European Commission.

Conference: Demo
Play
My List