A Tradition in Transition: Factors Perpetuating and Hindering the Continuance of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) Summarized in a Systematic Review

Health Care for Women International. DOI10.1080/07399332.2012.721417. Accepted author version posted online: 04 Sep 2012

A Tradition in Transition: Factors Perpetuating and Hindering the Continuance of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) Summarized in a Systematic Review

Rigmor C. Berg  & Eva Denison

ABSTRACT

Understanding the forces underpinning FGM/C is a necessary first step to prevent the continuation of a practice that is associated with health complications and human rights violations. To this end, a systematic review of 21 studies was conducted. Based on this review, the authors reveal six key factors that underpin FGM/C: cultural tradition, sexual morals, marriageability, religion, health benefits, and male sexual enjoyment. There were four key factors perceived to hinder FGM/C: health consequences, it is not a religious requirement, it is illegal, and the host society discourse rejects FGM/C. The results show that FGM/C appears to be a tradition in transition.

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