Countering myths about FGM/C – Jasmine Abdulcadir

Countering myths about FGM/C – Jasmine Abdulcadir

Dr. Jasmine Abdulcadir is gynaecologist at a specialized clinic in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG), Switzerland, that provides services for women who have experienced female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C).

In this TED Talk she talks the myths & taboos around FGM/C even amongst health professionals. 

Myth #1: Women that have been cut all share the same experiences

Not so. There are many procedures that are given the label FGM/C done in different ways for different reasons. All these practices shouldn’t be lumped together as if they are the same thing. This is because there are different types of cutting, and the setting, age, experience and perception need to be taken into account. Whilst some women feel injured and suffer many consequences, some women feel normal, sexy, even beautiful, feminine or pure by the procedure.

Myth #2: The clitoris is a small organ that is removed during the cutting

Not so. The clitoris is a big deep organ that measures 12 cm and extends subcutaneously towards the hips. The clitoris and penis share a very similar embryology.

She mentions that for the first time, in 2019, the actual diagram of the clitoris will be published.

The cutting of the external part of the clitoris is not what this website ( defines as female circumcision. On this website, we defined female circumcision to be a procedure based on the prepuce only.


Myth #3: Women who have undergone FGM/C have a mild or in-existent sexual response

This is untrue because (as explained above) the clitoris is still very much present and functioning. Further, women are much more than just their genitals; their sexual response depends on many other factors.

Myth #4: Women that are not cut are hyper-sexual

Not true.  Dr Abdulcadir stresses that in order to make informed decisions, we must counter the myths and taboos surrounding FGM/C and female sexuality. She eloquently urges people to reconsider their attitudes towards FGM/C.


NOTE: The editors of the website would like to point out that the myths pointed out by Dr Jasmine Abdulcadir concern Type 1b, 2 & 3 practices. This website is mainly concerned with Islamic female circumcision, which consists of a nick on the prepuce (without affecting the clitoris or labia), which is type 1a or type 4 in the WHO typology. These myths do not generally apply to Islamic female circumcision, though due to the conflation of practices, at times, these and other myths surrounding other practices are incorrectly applied Islamic female circumcision.

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