@pleasedoyourhomework: The terms 'female circumcision' and 'female genital mutilation' are catchall phrases for ANY manipulation of a girl's genitalia, no matter how small, and most forms of female circumcision are much less invasive than male circumcision. Female circumcision is also promoted for the same reasons as male circumcision: Hygiene, cosmetic appeal, prevention of diseases, culture, etc. (and male circumcision was promoted in the near past by both religious and medical leaders as a means of reducing sexual pleasure for both partners).In 2010, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) tried to introduce a policy that encouraged pediatricians to help some African and Muslim populations perform a ritual nick (pin prick) of the clitoral hood or clitoris or labia, the idea being that the local availability in a medical setting of such a 'purification rite' would be far preferable to these families taking their young daughters to countries where more invasive forms of female genital manipulation take place.The AAP even tried to smooth over the suggestion by officially noting that such a pin prick is far less invasive than male circumcision.Very quickly, however, the blogs and media lambasted the AAP for supporting what is defined by federal U.S. law as 'female genital mutilation'; within a month, the AAP more or less issued a statement of apology and completely wiped the proposal from its websites.There is clearly a double standard about what 'mutilation' is and what the rights of individuals are; it is an illegal act of 'genital mutilation' to make a reversible pin prick of a girl's labia, but it's completely acceptable (to the point of throwing a party) when somebody (even a non-doctor) strips 50% of the shaft tissue from a completely healthy boy, often under torturous conditions without any kind of suitable pain control beyond a drop of sugar water or wine. Which one of these acts is mutilation?'Pharaonic circumcision' is the worst form of female genital mutilation, whereby the clitoris and labia are amputated and the wound sewn shut; when people think of 'female genital mutilation' or 'female circumcision', this is what they think of, even though it's a minority variant. Hanny Lightfoot-Klein, an activist against genital cutting in general (but female genital cutting specifically), studied this worst form in a 5-year survey of women and their partners, and she found that "nearly 90%" of these women still enjoy sex and can orgasm -- which actually mirrors the experience of uncircumcised American women and which, given that 10%-to-15% of female circumcision cases are Pharaonic, means that at most 1.4%-to-2.1% of ALL circumcised females have the worst form of female circumcision and say they haven't experienced orgasm (to say nothing of pleasure).Of course, Pharaonic circumcision has other nasty physical consequences, but that's not at issue here (especially given that Pharaonic circumcision is a minority variant).However, none of that really matters. Whether or not one is more severe than the other makes no difference. Cutting off healthy genital tissue from a completely healthy child is genital mutilation and child abuse, regardless of gender or age. What's the point in saying otherwise other than to avoid hurt feelings?
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