Female Circumcision in the Modern Age Research Paper

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Female Circumcision and Ethics

Ethical Considerations of Female Circumcision

Female circumcision practices are followed by a number of regions and tribes in the world where this practice is considered to purify and provide health benefits to the females of that particular society. However, this practice is considered to be immoral and unethical by the ethical feminist and clinical experts who imply that female circumcision practices violate the autonomy of an individual and, cause mental and physical trauma in the early childhood and generates negative health related concerns in females.

Key words: female circumcision, women's health, autonomy, cultural beliefs, ethics, critical feminism



Thesis Statement


Advantages of Female Circumcision

Disadvantages of Female Circumcision

Perspective of Society That Follows the Circumcision

Perspective of Ethical Feminists

Application of Ethical Theories



Practical Implications and Recommendations 15


Ethical Considerations of Female Circumcision

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Research Paper on Female Circumcision in the Modern Age Assignment

In many societies throughout the world, woman are considered to be second class citizens who are not in charge of their own lives, and often not in charge of the lives of their children. Moreover, a common issue in some authoritarian, patriarchal, and tribal societies is the inability of women to control what happens to their own bodies. The spectrum of control over females spans arranged marriages to homicide, with circumcision falling somewhere in the middle when gauged by the concept of autonomy. Female circumcision holds a strong cultural meaning in many societies because of its association with the sexuality of women and because of the importance of their reproductive role in their respective social groups (Toubia, 1994).

This paper addresses the phenomenon of female circumcision with a particular emphasis on the ethical dimensions of the practice. The advantages and disadvantages of the practice of female circumcision are discussed in concert with the cultural post-circumcision perspectives that are integral to the social groups that hold to the beliefs that support the practice. Contrasting views are discussed in the section on the perspective of ethical feminists and the consideration of the application of ethical theories. The paper concludes with a summary and a discussion of the practical implications and recommendations pertinent to the phenomenon of female circumcision.

Origins and Beliefs of Female Circumcision

Female circumcision is a fact of life in many societies, occurring in a manner that follows traditional surgical procedures with or without the supervision of surgeon. Female circumcision is defined as the circumcision of genital parts of the female body, a procedure that is considered to be a part of rituals that are followed by a large number of communities (Lane & Rubinstein, 1996). Traces of female circumcision have been found in the ancient Egyptian Kingdom and Roman Kingdom, circa 500 BCE. The practice of female circumcision has grown and endures in various sectors of the world in order to ensure women's chastity. Traditional surgical practices were followed until the 18th century when clinical surgeries were established in order to perform the surgical procedure. The establishment of clinical surgeries was a response to the belief that the external genital parts of the female body are responsible for causing fits, mania, mental dissatisfaction, and could even lead to death of uncircumcised women. In 1920's, the issue was raised by the Doctor's Society in Egypt but it failed to attract the attention of concerned authorities in order to end the practices related to female circumcision (Wasuna, 2000).

The practice is still followed in certain regions of the world, particularly India, Egypt, Sudan and Africa. Female circumcision practices are imbued with cultural value based on beliefs about aesthetics, health, and religion. Women in particular cultures are often indoctrinated to believe in the importance and necessity of female circumcision. Very often, despite the broad cultural acceptance, circumcision takes place in secrecy and with the mutual consent of females and their families.

According to WHO (2014), roughly125 million young girls from 29 countries have undergone with the procedure of circumcision between the ages of infancy and 15 years. The medical literature argues that the surgical procedure creates health hazards for the girls and can endanger their lives. Female circumcision is conducted prior to girls reaching puberty. The conditions under which female circumcision occurs are stark: there is an absence of proper medical equipment and clinical practices. The experience of female circumcision in such young and naive… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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