September 11, 2012
FGM practitioners 'have stopped thinking about why they do it'By Alexandra George
Many people who carry out female genital mutilation (FGM) no longer consider precisely why they are doing it, an academic has stated.
According to Dr Anne Aly of Curtin University in Australia, the practice is generally believed to "be a cleanliness thing", similar to how male circumcision is "done to prevent infection".
Speaking to WAtoday, she noted that FGM is also performed in order to prevent women being too sexually active.
However, Dr Aly said that in places where the procedure is still carried out, these issues are not necessarily considered and that the actions of those who perform FGM are dictated largely by tradition.
"When you have a tradition that has been practiced for years, people stop thinking about why they do it," she observed.
Dr Aly added that FGM "pre-dates all religion" and is particularly common in Egypt and the Republic of Djibouti.
According to the World Health Organization, the procedure can often lead to complications during childbirth, as well as urinary problems, infertility and cysts.