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Routledge International Handbook Of Women’s Sexual And Reproductive Health

September 23, 2019

The Routledge International Handbook of Sexual and Reproductive Health, edited by Jane M. Ussher, Joan C. Chrisler, Janette Perz, is the result of a collaboration between the joint editors and many different authors.  I am pleased to be one of them, having written Chapter 33, on Female Genital Mutilation and Genital Surgeries.

The e-version of the book is available from today (23 September 2019) and the hardback version will be published on 11 October.

Below is a summary of the book as a whole, and also a summary of my particular chapter:

Routledge International Handbook of Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health

Edited By  Jane M. Ussher, Joan C. Chrisler, Janette Perz

1st Edition, Published 2019
eBook Published 23 September 2019
Pub. location London; Imprint Routledge; 628 pages
eBook ISBN9781351035620
Subjects: Behavioral Sciences, Health and Social Care, Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing & Allied Health, Social Sciences

The Routledge International Handbook of Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health is the authoritative reference work on important, leading-edge developments in the domains of women’s sexual and reproductive health.

The handbook adopts a life-cycle approach to examine key milestones and events in women’s sexual and reproductive health. Contributors drawn from a range of disciplines, including psychology, medicine, nursing and midwifery, sociology, public health, women’s studies, and indigenous studies, explore issues through three main lenses:

  • the biopsychosocial model
  • feminist perspectives
  • international, multidisciplinary perspectives that acknowledge the intersection of identities in women’s lives.

The handbook presents an authoritative review of the field, with a focus on state-of-the-art work, encouraging future research and policy development in women’s sexual and reproductive health. Finally, the handbook will inform health care providers about the latest research and clinical developments, including women’s experiences of both normal and abnormal sexual and reproductive functions.

Drawing upon international expertise from leading academics and clinicians in the field, this is essential reading for scholars and students interested in women’s reproductive health.

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Chapter 33|18 pages

with Hilary Burrage

Female genitals have been a source of fascination and fear throughout history. Patriarchal control of women by suturing their genitals has occurred over thousands of years, and still these practices – female genital mutilation – continue in communities of many types around the world. The personal, social and economic damage inflicted by FGM is enormous, with probably around three million girls and women affected every year. FGM is therefore a public health epidemic of the highest order.

This chapter considers many aspects of FGM, from immediate and longer-term physical and psychological health impacts for those who undergo FGM and their families, to modes of treatment and prevention in traditional settings and in modern urban environments. Issues addressed include medicalization, the questions raised by male circumcision and the vocabularies employed in discussion of FGM. Comparisons of FGM with contemporary surgical practices, such as female genital cosmetic surgeries, and paediatric sex assignment and later disorders of sex development, are also explored from the perspectives of the individuals concerned, their families and contexts, and their clinicians. Finally, a central emphasis is placed on eradication; if people stopped doing it, FGM would stop. Public health initiatives and education are as essential as enforcement of the law.

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Books by Hilary Burrage on female genital mutilation

18.04.12 FGM books together IMG_3336 (3).JPG

Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: A UK Perspective (Hilary Burrage, Ashgate / Routledge 2015).
Full contents and reviews   HERE.

FEMALE MUTILATION: The truth behind the horrifying global practice of female genital mutilation  (Hilary Burrage, New Holland Publishers 2016).
Full contents and reviews   HERE.


There is a free FGM hotline for anyone in the UK: 0800 028 3550, or email:

Details of NHS Specialist Services for FGM here.

More info and posts on FGM here.

Activists, service providers and researchers may like to join the LinkedIn group Female Genital Mutilation (FGM): Information, reports and research, which has several hundred members from around the world.

The (free) #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 at no cost or obligation is the #NoFGM_USA Daily News.

Twitter accounts:          @NoFGM_UK  @NoFGMBookUK @FemaleMutlnBook  @FGMStatement  @NoFGM_USA @NoFGM_Kenya  @NoFGM_France  @GuardianEndFGM [tag for all: #NoFGM] and @StopMGM.

Facebook page: #NoFGM – a crime against humanity

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