Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)
HIRE A WRITER!
Paper Types
Disciplines
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)

Outlawing of Female Genital Mutilation, Term Paper Example

Pages: 1

Words: 2648

Term Paper

The Outlawing of Female Genital Mutilation

In today’s modern society, common people in general should be made aware of the existence of Female Genital Mutilation that still takes place in some parts of the world. There persists a great level of confusion, ignorance, propaganda, and misinformation surrounding the specific practice itself, the reasons for its continuation, and the risks and benefits of such a procedure. The following literature reviews and discusses the core aspects of the debate concerning female genital mutilation (hereafter FGM). FGM is widely practiced in Africa, as well as among Muslim communities in Malaysia, and some areas of the Middle East, India and Pakistan. What the general population has failed to realize and understand are the effects of the emotional trauma, death and mortality as a result of FGM. The support for humanitarian and other civil right groups is crucial to abolishing female genital mutilation.

Background

Even attempting to define female genital mutilation can be treacherous ground which yields a literature predisposed to rampant subjectivity. Radical feminists and the World Health Organization (WHO) would have FGM defined by its most horrifying manifestation: the deep, crude removal of the clitoris and the labia, as is experienced by more than ninety percent of Somali women (Sundby, 2003). It is important to remember that fundamentalist rituals are valued highly in Somalia and that this represents only one of the three forms of FGM. Specifically, a clitoridectomy includes the partial or total removal of the clitoris and the staunching of bleeding with applied pressure or a stitch; excision includes the mutilation of the clitoris and labia minora (or inner lips); infibulation includes the removal of the clitoris and all or part of the labia minora and includes incisions in the labia majora which expose the sensitive tissue to rawness and extreme pain. Eighty-five percent of FGM’s are clitoridectomies or excisions (Nussbaum, 1999). Liberal feminists and cultural relativists would further differentiate the forms of FGM, categorizing only involuntary mutilations by the terminology of the three FGM forms listed above. They propose that voluntary, moderate, sterilized procedures when performed by a knowledgeable physician should be referred to as female circumcisions (Darby & Svoboda, 2007).

In the literature, the most neutral definition describes FGM as the “substantial removal of tissue and/or functional impairment” in women (Nussbaum, 1999, p. 119).  In the mid-19th century, residents of the Occidental countries which now criticize FGM, frequently participated in its perpetuation as a nervous and behavioral treatment. However, the trendiness of FGM in Europe waned and was forgotten (Darby & Svoboda, 2007). This does not lessen the truthfulness of the literature deposing the health risks of amateur FGM; it merely undermines the impartiality and credibility of the countries presenting the evidence. In this light, there is no modern governmental assemblage who can support one position or the other without a certain degree of self-incrimination. Nonetheless, the commonality of the FGM history provides equal footing for the illegalization debate in more resistant countries.

Predominantly in African countries, FGM is a social requirement of female adulthood (Sundby, 2003). Indeed, in some areas, mobs of men or women force resistant teens to undergo this practice as a means of social and personal purification or preparation (Nussbaum, 1999). Between twenty and thirty percent (depending upon the area of residence) of male survey participants indicated that they would refuse to marry a woman who had not undergone FGM (Thomas, 2011). It should be noted that the advocacy for FGM is not limited to one religious group, as is commonly believed. Of these twenty to thirty percent of men, a significant portion of the participants were Christian (Thomas, 2011). Western culture is not well-informed about the African cultural setting in which most FGM’s occur, and, comparatively, Occidental human rights proponents advocate more strongly for the better-known dilemmas than those of the third-world countries of this very different continent.

Argument

The utilitarian slant of the FGM debate dictates that much of the support or refutation of risks and benefits is based upon statistics and other tangible data. Nonetheless, there are numerous resources which present both risks and benefits of the continuance of FGM. A thorough understanding of both is necessary to the understanding of the debate.

Against Thesis

As Sundby (2003) introduces FGM, she points out that it is a surgical procedure; that one of the most prevalent objections to FGM is the lack of training or sterilization, which is so often associated with it. The competency of the doctors should be of greater import to the WHO, as it drastically affects the likelihood of developing the adverse effects described above. In Sierra Leone, the ritual harshness of the more extreme FGM is showing signs of abating; a growing percentage of women there report that their genitalia were nicked rather than cut or partially excised (Thomas, 2011). It has been documented that FGM may not cause any harm to the female sexual desire (Shell-Duncan & Hernlund, 2000).The majority of complainants are underage or forcibly mutilated (Darby & Svoboda, 2007). The susceptibility to infection in botched FGM’s also encourages women to maintain a higher standard of personal, intimate hygiene, which prevents more harmful bacterium from thriving in one of the most vulnerable portions of the body, benefitting young and old alike (Sundby, 2003).

Although the movement against FGM has been heavily emphasized by America, Britain, Australia, and other European countries, the implemented laws which have barred FGM practice have very narrow definitions. This is the case for two reasons. Philosopher Yael Tamir wrote that “conceptions of female beauty encourage women to undergo a wide range of painful, medically unnecessary, and potentially damaging processes” (Nussbaum, 1999, p. 121). The quote was directed at Western culture. Even today, Occidental countries are performing their own clinical procedures on the female genitalia, like FGM, this cosmetic surgery is not performed to suit a cultural self-concept rather than a definite need (Braun, 2009). Shockingly, Americans have put in place a procedure that is more obscure that deals with cosmetic surgery for the newborn children suffering from ambiguous genitalia. The operations have been likened to FGM and have been condemned to be psychologically as well as physically harmful (Gollaher, 2000).

Meanwhile, the “Western response to ‘FGM’ has typically been to move toward better practices and to legislate against the procedures within their own nation-states” (Nussbaum, 1999, p. 234). The renewed resistance to FGM has been built upon the hypocrisy of Occidental society. Nussbaum (1999) points out that “it is morally wrong to criticize the practices of another culture unless one’s own culture has eradicated all evils of a comparable kind” (p. 121). For this reason, the first step to the global illegalization of FGM is to eradicate similar procedures which do not offer medical benefit.

On the other side, the legislative interference in the private religious, social, and sexual practices of informed, willing women is a clear-cut issue of individual civil and private rights. In Nigeria, the people commonly practice voluntary FGM, which is protected under their nation’s bill of rights, which provide “dignity of human person, personal liberty… private and family life, freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, [and] freedom of expression” (Idowu, 2008, p.17).

For Thesis

Many of the risks of FGM are directly correlated to the method of the procedure and to the inexperience of the people who conduct the practice, such as the development of infection, tetanus, and hemorrhaging (Nussbaum, 1999). Unintended side effects of a botched FGM may include such devastating effects as infertility, posttraumatic stress disorder, difficulties in urination or menstruation, extensive vaginal tearing during childbirth, and the obfuscation of routine gynecological examinations (Nussbaum, 1999; Sundby, 2003). As with male circumcision, the majority of these risks are adequately controlled by a capable clinician. Still, critics of FGM argue that the risk is unnecessary and that its illegalization is justifiable on these grounds. On purely medical grounds, this claim is absolutely true, and FGM, as a permanent and irreversible practice, should be taken seriously, especially since deaths related to excessive bleeding are often inaccurately attributed to a woman’s sexual character (Nussbaum, 1999).

In addition, the majority of the FGM opposition subscribes to the Judeo-Christian practice of male circumcision. While these parallels are striking, it is important to remember that male circumcisions are performed in clinical environments and are further supported by continuous care. Furthermore, these procedures contain sexual and bacteriological benefits for the health of the male body, whereas FGM does not. Furthermore, non-clinical implementations often involve what might be more accurately described as gauging (Nussbaum, 1999). Interestingly, in Sierra Leone, approximately twenty percent of women (aged fifteen to forty-nine) report that they were infants when the practice occurred and, as such, had absolutely no choice (Thomas, 2011). Many women are forced into FGM—or that the cultural pressure is so great as to create a sociological neglect for rebellious females (Monagan, 2010). FGM is tied to cultural expectations of female chastity and the belief that a woman’s maidenhood and marital loyalty are responsibilities “solely placed on woman with man being the beneficiary by upholding his status in the community and increasing the disparity of equality between the sexes by depriving woman of her self-determination” (Monagan, 2010, p. 163).

In “Judging Other Cultures”, Nussbaum presents a case study which ably demonstrates the confused nature of the issue. Fauziya Kassindja, the subject, lived in an area of Africa which commonly practiced a crude amateur FGM which involved the application of a razor blade to unwilling young girls. This unsanitary practice had produced infections in loved ones of both parents, who had seen severe infections and tetanus, develop. However, when Fauziya’s father died, her aunts were going to force her to marry and undergo FGM. She fled to the United States and received political asylum (1999). Indeed, it is difficult to say which of the FGM’s are voluntary and which occur under extreme cultural coercion.

Conclusion

As discussed, the support and the opposition for FGM are built primarily upon two conflicting platforms: medical science and sociocultural rights. While medical science is skewed toward the illegalization of FGM, it also accepts the clinical circumcision of males; while discussions of sociocultural rights are skewed toward the medical administration of FGM, they also require consent as a term of acceptance. Regardless, the arguments against forcible or unsterilized FGM’s are valid and deserving of legal attention from countries spanning all corners of the globe. FGM is not conducted for vanity and often instigates a chain of events which- without treatment- may lead to death.  The WHO looks to the event itself without considering its root causes partially as faults of Occidental culture. Even in the event that Western countries fully understood and aided African causes, foreign countries do not have the legal right to interfere in each other’s sociocultural practices where they do not clearly endanger basic human rights. For this reason, FGM must be outlawed by the people- from within their own political systemThe war against FGM must be fought on all sides, and no one can fight from the inside except the people. Similar procedures which do not pose health benefits should be globalized illegally, including the cosmetic surgeries of America, and information will be the next- and perhaps last– defense against the continuance and spread of FGM.

References

Braun, V. (2009). ‘The Women Are Doing It for Themselves’: The Rhetoric of Choice and Agency around Female Genital ‘Cosmetic Surgery.’. Australian Feminist Studies, 24(60), 233-249. doi:10.1080/08164640902852449.

Darby, R., & Svoboda, J. (2007). A Rose By Any Other Name? Rethinking the Similarities and Differences Between Male and Female Genital Cutting. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 21(2), 301-323. doi: 10.1525/MAQ.2007.21.3.301.

Gollaher, D., (2000). “Female Circumcision,” Circumcision: A History of the World’s Most          Controversial Surgery. Basic Books.

Idowu, A. (Nov. 2008). Effects of Female Genital-Mutilation on Human Rights of Women and Female Children: The Nigerian Situation. Research Journal of International Studies, 8, 13-26.

Monagan, S. (2010). Patriarchy: Perpetuating the Practice of Female Genital Mutilation. Journal of Adolescent Perspectives in the Social Sciences, 2(1), 160-181.

Nussbaum, M. (1999). Judging Other Cultures: A Case of Genital Mutilation, Sex & Social        Justice. O UP.

Shell-Duncan, B. & Hernlund, Y. (2000). Female “Circumcision” in Africa. Lynne Rienner Pub: Boulder, CO.

Sundby, J. (2003). Female genital mutilation. Lancet, Vol. 362. 36226-27. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Thomas, A. (January 2011). Impact Of Female Genital Mutilation On Sexual And Reproductive Rights And Practices Of Women In Sierra Leone: 1-77. Retrieved from http://www.statistics.sl/reports_to_publish_2010/impact_of_FGM_on_sexual_and_reprreproduc_rights_of_women_in_sierra_leone_2010.pdf>.

 

Evaluation of the Position Paper

Date: 11 – 9- 11      Instructor: S Durham Course: NURS 465 Student Name: Lorna Benoit

Elements Highly Competent (4)

Exceeds Expectations

                 Competent (3) Needs Improvement (2) Not Competent (1)  
1. Problem/Issue
Thesis statement Clearly identified, explicit   Adequately identified and

Described

  Problem/issue present, but ambiguous   Problem/issue not present or unclear    
Audience Clearly identified, clearly explained   Identification, not clearly explained   Identified, not explained   Not identified, not explained    
2. Analysis
Position or Pro thesis argument Clearly stated with at least 3 well developed defenses   Well stated with at least 2 developed defenses, or 3 defenses with some limitation in defense development   Vaguely stated with at least 1 limited defense   Poorly stated with no  defense    
Alternative argument (against thesis argument) Minimum of 3 alternate points of view well explored   Thoroughly considered attention to 2 alternate views or 3 alternate views with some points unexplored   Some attention to at least 1 alternate view   Alternate views ignored    
3. Investigation
Use of Sources materials All sources relevant, appropriate, credible –primary or secondary

 

  Most sources relevant, appropriate, credible

 

 

  Some sources are relevant, appropriate, credible

 

  No sources are relevant, appropriate, credible

 

   
4. Organization
Quality Ideas flow smoothly, clearly linked to each other and organized under headings – Introduction, Background, Argument & Conclusion   Ideas tend to flow smoothly, usually linked to each other and properly organized under prescribed headings   Ideas are incomplete, make little sense together, not well organized prescribed headings   Ideas are tangent, makes no sense together    
Integration Ideas well incorporated into a coherent argument or solution   Ideas incorporated into a fairly coherent argument or solution   Some ideas are used in argument or solution   Ideas lack connection or coherence    
APA Format

Grammar and Mechanics

Proper use of APA format throughout

Use of proper grammar and mechanics used throughout

  Adequate use of APA format throughout

Mostly used proper grammar and mechanics throughout

  Weak use of APA Format

Weak use of proper grammar and mechanics throughout

  Improper A {A throughout and Improper grammar and mechanics throughout.    
5. Conclusion(s)
Synthesis and Conclusions All points summarized & synthesized/Conclusions based on evidence/sound methods   Some points summarized & synthesized, Most conclusions based on evidence used with adequate methods   Summary points briefly mentioned, weak synthesis

Conclusions drawn & errors presented

  No synthesis or summary Conclusions ignored; maintains preconceived views regardless of evidence    
Total Points                                                                   /36                                                         /27                                              /18                                           /9
**Score used for a measure of critical thinking outcomes and Individual students must obtain a minimum critical thinking score of 21 in order to be considered competent

Position Paper Grading Rubric

Strengths

Weaknesses

Comments:

36 = 100% 22 =74 – 75%
35 =  99% 21 = 73%
34 = 98% 20 = 70 – 72%
33 = 97% 19 = 68 – 69%
32 = 95 – 96% 18 =  66 – 67%                   
31 = 94% 17 = 64 – 65%
30 = 90 – 92% 16 = 62 – 63%
29 =88 – 89% 15 = 60 – 61%
28 =86 – 87% 14 = 58 – 59%
27 =84 – 85% 12 = 54 – 55%
26 =82 -83% 11 = 52 – 53%                                                                                                   
25 =80 – 81% 10 = 50 – 51%
24 =78 – 79% 9 = 0 – 49%
23 =76 – 77%  

 

Time is precious

Time is precious

don’t waste it!

Get instant essay
writing help!
Get instant essay writing help!
Plagiarism-free guarantee

Plagiarism-free
guarantee

Privacy guarantee

Privacy
guarantee

Secure checkout

Secure
checkout

Money back guarantee

Money back
guarantee

Related Term Paper Samples & Examples

Holistic Palliative Care Approach, Term Paper Example

Introduction Palliative care is a critical need in the modern healthcare environment and provides considerable support to patients with significant needs towards the end of [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1011

Term Paper

Virtual Herbal Medicine Chest, Term Paper Example

Introduction Creating a medicine chest of herbal remedies requires knowledge of the different types of remedies and the options that are available to treat a [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 567

Term Paper

Balance of Power as Applied in International Relations, Term Paper Example

Introduction International relations among nations is one matter that constructs the new age society. People around the globe are highly dependent on this matter especially [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 2178

Term Paper

Minichun Model for Clinical Supervision in Family Therapy, Term Paper Example

Family therapy is an ever evolving field in which many therapy approaches are used in trying to help a family find solutions in order to [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1367

Term Paper

The Virginia Department of Planning and Budget, Term Paper Example

In looking over the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget, the approach to the budget is a factor that has been used throughout administration. The [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 435

Term Paper

World-Class Enterprise Projects, Term Paper Example

Executive Summary Tracking the progress realized by the project so far against the initially set objectives and goals is essential in determining success and/or failures [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1023

Term Paper

Holistic Palliative Care Approach, Term Paper Example

Introduction Palliative care is a critical need in the modern healthcare environment and provides considerable support to patients with significant needs towards the end of [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1011

Term Paper

Virtual Herbal Medicine Chest, Term Paper Example

Introduction Creating a medicine chest of herbal remedies requires knowledge of the different types of remedies and the options that are available to treat a [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 567

Term Paper

Balance of Power as Applied in International Relations, Term Paper Example

Introduction International relations among nations is one matter that constructs the new age society. People around the globe are highly dependent on this matter especially [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 2178

Term Paper

Minichun Model for Clinical Supervision in Family Therapy, Term Paper Example

Family therapy is an ever evolving field in which many therapy approaches are used in trying to help a family find solutions in order to [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1367

Term Paper

The Virginia Department of Planning and Budget, Term Paper Example

In looking over the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget, the approach to the budget is a factor that has been used throughout administration. The [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 435

Term Paper

World-Class Enterprise Projects, Term Paper Example

Executive Summary Tracking the progress realized by the project so far against the initially set objectives and goals is essential in determining success and/or failures [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 1023

Term Paper

Get a Free E-Book ($50 in value)

Get a Free E-Book

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!