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Questions about Female Genital Mutilation in Egypt

I read an article from the BBC about female genital mutilation(aka FGM). Since my visit to Egypt, I find myself paying more attention to news about the country. I've read a bit about the practice, reasons behind its existence, and current state of affairs. What struck me about this article was the quote attributed to the subject's uncle:

> "Suhair's uncle said FGM was necessary to keep girls' sexual desires in check"

Compare this to the other reports on slut shaming, lack of hijab (head covering), and other activities in Egypt targeted at girls. A quote from the slut shaming article stands out:

> "or that these boys will never believe they have enough self-control to treat women as human beings."

From the outsider perspective, women need to undergo FGM to keep their "sexual desires in check" and at the same time, if the women show parts of their body, they are subjected to ravenous, lustful men responding to the women "asking for it".

## Are males circumcised in Egypt?

Apparently, yes, some are circumcised. It's not clear how often nor what dictates yes or no decisions for males. And in the past, there have been campaigns to stop it.

From my logic, if males are circumcised and they are still harassing women over their sexuality, then empirical evidence suggests circumcision isn't controlling sexual desire. I'm not sure why the reverse would be true (women circumcised to remove sexual desire).

Another thought I had is that all of the women I met in Egypt, if they were under 50 years old, then likely they underwent FGM. Apparently, FGM is possible in the USA as well, if this CDC report from 2012 is accurate; the practice is brought into America by non-US cultures. I'm not sure any study has been done on FGM originating by and on other American citizens.

Originally published on

This article was updated on 2020/03/14 15:54:19