A team of Swedish researchers have observed that female circumcision, or genital mutilation, could render affected females infertile. The study, the first of its kind, involved nearly 300 Sudanese women and controlled for potential variables, such as sexually transmitted infections, age, and socio-economic conditions. The researchers concluded that the 2 million females annually affected are five to six times more likely to be infertile than are their unaffected counterparts. Incidence of infertility appears to be greater depending upon the severity of the procedure, which can involve the removal part or all of a female's genitalia. Researchers attribute the increased risk to infection, inflammation, scarring, or resulting physical alterations. Practiced in more than 30 countries, mainly in Africa and sections of the Middle East, female circumcision has been performed on an estimated 135 million females, according to Amnesty International. Though human rights campaigners have called it "an atrocity against womanhood," female circumcision, which is often viewed as a tradition or rite of passage to adulthood, is controversial to address because of cultural relativism. The new research, published in then Lancet medical journal, may strengthen the voices of the opposition.
[Thank you and welcome to Ana Lita, one of our new guest bloggers! Ana, who holds a Ph.D. in Applied Ethics and Social Philosophy and an M.A. in Sociology and speaks five languages, is Director of the IHEU-Appignani Humanist Center for Bioethics at the United Nations in New York City. ]
Friday, September 02, 2005
Posted by Linda MacDonald Glenn I'm reading: Another good reason to ban the barbarism of female circumsion...Tweet this! at 9:07 AM
Labels: genital mutilation