What's "normal": female genital mutilation, psychology, and body image.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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Abstract

Despite international efforts to halt the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), the number of African girls and women undergoing the procedure is not declining as rapidly as international observers had hoped when the World Health Organization began focusing attention on the practice in the 1960s. This article focuses on the psychological effects of FGM through the example of a patient who had undergone the procedure in childhood and now felt that her closed appearance was "normal" and that to be opened would be "abnormal." Western advocates must educate themselves about the various cultural forces that lead to FGM in order to help women who have undergone the procedure heal psychologically, thereby breaking the pattern of abuse from generation to generation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-170
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Medical Women's Association (1972)
Volume59
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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