FAQ

HARM

There is no anatomic reason to believe female circumcision (WHO Type 1a or 4) would negatively affect sexual functioning as these procedures completely spare the clitoris and other sexually sensitive organs. In fact, clitoral unhooding is routinely carried out to increase sexual pleasure.1 2

The Hastings Center, a non-partisan bioethics research organization based in the United States, analyzed existing literature and empirical research on female circumcision and found that a high percentage of women who had undergone female circumcision “have rich sexual lives, including desire, arousal, orgasm, and satisfaction, and their frequency of sexual activity is not reduced”. 3 4

Even the magazine “Play Girl”, in one of its 1973 issues, promoted female circumcision for faster orgasms and “million dollar” sex lives. The front page of the magazine had the headline “Circumcision for Women – the Kindest Cut of All”. Cathrine Kellison had her own hood removed, and claims to know several women who had the surgery. Her article was titled, the “$100 Surgery for a Million-Dollar Sex Life”.  Kellison’s article reassures her readers about how minor a procedure it was (and how little discomfort it caused her in the healing process). It concludes with some comments on how she and others feel about their results, including the enjoyment of substantial erotic benefits as a result of the surgery. 5

“Something had happened with the usual tension, that responsibility of reaching an orgasm: the strain had been taken away. It just happened easier.”
“It’s far more sensuous, more than anything I’ve ever experienced, really”

It has no connection with childbirth. 6 7 As only the prepuce of the clitoris is nicked, the birth canal is not touched at all. From the time of conception of the baby to the time when the childbirth takes place, the nick on the prepuce has no influence on pregnancy, as the entire process involves female hormones which are released from the uterus and ovaries and not from the clitoris. Millions of Muslim women around the world who have undergone circumcision enjoy their sex lives, have healthy pregnancies and give birth to healthy children.

Citations

  1. n.d.Reduction of Excess Prepuce. Reduction of Excess Prepuce or Clitoral Hood Reduction, Dr. Jennifer Hayes | Florida | Cosmetic Gynecology. Retrieved June 17, 2017, from http://visionarycentreforwomen.com/services/cosmetic-gynecology-cat/reduction-of-excess-prepuce.html
  2. n.d.Clitoral Unhooding, or Hoodectomy Is Also Known as Clitoral Circumcision. Retrieved June 17, 2017, from http://clitoralunhooding.com/clitoral-unhooding.html
  3. Seven things to know about female genital surgeries in Africa, The Public Policy Advisory Network on Female Genital Surgeries in Africa. Available at: http://bit.ly/2tDS0Ij 
  4. Zakir, Mohammed. “WHO’s Stance and the Criminalization of Female Circumcision: The Protection of or Violation of Human Rights?.” (2016). Available at: https://www.dbwrf.org/articles/view/21 
  5. Kellison, Cathrine. “Circumcision for Women.” Playgirl 1.5 (October, 1973). 76, 124-125 and Kellison, Cathrine. “$100 Surgery for a Million-Dollar Sex Life.” Playgirl 2.12 (May, 1975).  52-55.
  6.  No association between female circumcision and prolonged labour: a case control study of immigrant women giving birth in Sweden, Essén, Birgitta. Available at: http://www.ejog.org/article/S0301-2115(04)00659-1/abstract 
  7. Is there an association between female circumcision and perinatal death, Essén, Birgitta. Available at: http://www.who.int/bulletin/archives/80(8)629.pdf