Female Circumcision Does Not Reduce Sexual Activity
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FEMALE CIRCUMCISION DOES NOT REDUCE SEXUAL ACTIVITY
By Emma Young
Tuesday, September 24, 2002
Circumcised women experience sexual arousal and orgasm as frequently as
uncircumcised women, according to a study in Nigeria.
The researchers also found no difference in the frequency of intercourse or
age of first sexual experience between the two groups of women. These
findings remove key arguments used to defend the practice, they say.
Friday Okonofua and colleagues at the Women's Health and Action Research
Centre in Benin City studied 1836 women, 45 per cent of whom had been
During the operation, all or part of the clitoris and the labia are removed.
Proponents of female circumcision claim it makes virginity at marriage and
marital fidelity more likely. Opponents condemn it as dangerous and painful.
The women filled in questionnaires, asking about their sexual history. The
results show "female genital cutting cannot be justified by arguments that
suggest it reduces sexual activity in women," write the team in BJOG: An
International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Two million women
Circumcision is common in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Nigeria and Sudan. It is
often performed using crude, non-sterilised instruments.
Okonofua's team also found that the circumcised women were more likely to
have lower abdominal pain, genital ulcers and urinary tract infections.
An estimated two million women and girls undergo genital mutilation every
year. But in some regions, it is the women themselves who must be persuaded
the practice is undesirable, say local health workers.
Circumcision brings women respect from other members of the community,
points out Sudanese women's health rights campaigner Nahid Toubia.
Journal reference: BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and
Gynaecology (vol 109, p 1089)
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Female Genital Mutilation
Female Genital Mutilation, WHO
PREVIOUS NHNE NEWS LIST ARTICLES:
FEMALE CIRCUMCISION IN AFRICA (2/28/2002):
KENYAN WOMEN CALL FOR BAN ON FEMALE CIRCUMCISION (12/14/2000):
MALE GENITAL MUTILATION (8/6/2000):
FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (8/5/2000):
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