The Other FGM Debate: Is Male Circumcision (MGM) Also Child Abuse?
There is currently very serious concern in the UK about the increasing numbers of small girls – estimated to be over 20,000 annually – who are at risk of FGM (female genital mutilation). This is indisputably a matter of child abuse; discussion and news on action about #NoFGM in the UK can be found on this website here. But many maintain that male circumcision – more properly, MGM -is also child abuse and should be banned in the UK. You are therefore welcome to share information and (evidenced) views about male circumcision as well, via the Comments box below.
Some initial thoughts:
FGM: The Difficult Debates (considers also male circumcision)
Circumcision Information (official positions in Australia, UK, South Africa, Canada, Netherlands, USA, Finland, Sweden, Denmark)
Pros & Cons:
About Kids’ Health: Circumcision (The Hospital for Sick Children)
Male circumcision and FGM are not equivalent (Margaret Nelson, The Answer’s 42 blog)
Circumcision Policy Statement (American Academy of Pediatrics, 27 August 2012)
The case against (male, child) circumcision:
The WHOLE Network
Circumcision Should Be Banned (Paul Livingstone)
Chapter 18 of “Circumcision: An American Health Fallacy” by Edward Wallerstein (Springer, 1980)
The items above are of course just a small sample of possible reference points.
Please feel free to add further information and (evidence-based) opinion via the Comments box below…
[NB The Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children, which has a primary focus on FGM, is clear that in formal discourse any term other than ‘mutilation’ concedes damagingly to the cultural relativists – though the terms employed may of necessity vary in informal discussion with those who by tradition use alternative vocabulary. See the Feminist Statement on the Naming and Abolition of Female Genital Mutilation, The Bamako Declaration: Female Genital Mutilation Terminology and the debate about Anthr/Apologists on this website.]
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Books by Hilary Burrage on female genital mutilation
For more detail and discussion of female genital mutilation please see my textbook, which considers in some detail the situation globally, but also explores the issues relating specifically to Western nations: Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: A UK Perspective (Ashgate/Routledge, 2015). My second book, Female Mutilation: The truth behind the horrifying global practice of female genital mutilation (New Holland Publishers, 2016), contains narrative ‘stories’ (case studies) from about seventy people across five continents who have experienced FGM, either as survivors and/or as campaigners and activists against this harmful traditional practice.
FURTHER INFORMATION AND ACTION
There is a free FGM hotline for anyone in the UK: 0800 028 3550, or email:email@example.com
The #NoFGM Daily News carries reports of all items shared on Twitter that day about FGM – brings many organisations and developments into focus.
Also available to follow is daily news from #NoFGM_USA Daily News.
For more on FGM please see here.
Facebook page: #NoFGM – a crime against humanity
I am also categorically opposed to MGM, but that is not the focus in general of this particular website (and yes, I do understand the parallels between FGM and MGM, and I broadly accept the wider Intactivist position; my concerns would be about how in practice to deliver eradication – I believe the methodologies need in some part to be distinct).
My book ‘Eradicating FGM’ (above) refers to these matters on, eg, pp 7-8, 85-86, 162, 204 and 270.
Anyone wishing to offer additional comment on more general considerations around infant and juvenile genital mutilation (including gender reassignment) is asked please to do so here, on this, the relevant dedicated thread, originally developed in June 2012:
[Citation link: The Other FGM Debate: Is Male Circumcision (MGM) Also Child Abuse?]
Pending further notice (of a planned new blog, sometime after February 2016), discussion of the general issues re M/FGM will not be published unless they are posted on this dedicated page. Thanks.