Female genital mutilation in the West: traditional circumcision versus genital cosmetic surgery

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2004 Jul;83(7):611-3. doi: 10.1111/j.0001-6349.2004.00590.x.


This article intends to present the Scandinavian legislation on female genital mutilation and explore the implications of the laws. Juxtaposing trends of plastic genital surgery in the West with claims that female circumcision may be a practice generally abandoned in Scandinavia, we highlight the double morality inherent in current public discussions. Finally, we pose the question: Is the legal principle of equality before the law regarded when it comes to alterations of the female genitals?

MeSH terms

  • Africa / ethnology
  • Circumcision, Female* / ethics
  • Circumcision, Female* / ethnology
  • Circumcision, Female* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Female
  • Genitalia, Female / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Scandinavian and Nordic Countries
  • Somalia / ethnology
  • Surgery, Plastic / ethics
  • Surgery, Plastic / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Surgery, Plastic / psychology*