Female genital mutilation/cutting: will it continue?

J Sex Med. 2014 Nov;11(11):2756-63. doi: 10.1111/jsm.12655. Epub 2014 Aug 14.


Introduction: Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is a prevalent, deeply rooted traditional practice in Egypt.

Aims: Specification of the motives behind the continuation of FGM/C in Egyptian community and evaluation of the sexual function in women with FGM/C.

Methods: This cross-sectional study, involved 2,106 sexually active female participants with FGM/C. Full history-taking and general examination to evaluate the type of FGM/C were conducted. Sexual function was assessed by using the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaire.

Main outcome measures: Enumerate and specify the motivational factors and its percent among the participants. The correlation between FGM/C and FSFI domain scores was done with Pearson's correlation.

Results: Tradition, cleanliness, and virginity were the most common motives empowering the continuation of FGM/C (100%), followed by men's wish, esthetic factors, marriage, and religion factors (45.2-100%). Type I FGM/C was the most common, followed by type II. There was only negative correlation between the type II FGM/C and sexual satisfaction. No statistically significant difference between type I and non-FGM/C was found.

Conclusions: FGM/C remains high. A variety of socio-cultural myths, religious misbelievers, and hygienic and esthetic concerns were behind the FGM/C. Overall, a large proportion of the participants supported the continuation of FGM/C in spite of adverse effect and sexual dysfunction associated with FGM/C.

Keywords: FSFI Score; Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting; Female Sexual Dysfunction; Motivational Factors Perpetuating Genital Cutting/Mutilation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Circumcision, Female / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Culture
  • Egypt
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Religion
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women / psychology*
  • Young Adult