|Clitoridectomy and Infibulation in Africa
||Infant Male Circumcision in North America
|"She loses only a little piece of the clitoris, just the
part that protrudes. The girl does not miss it. She can still
feel, after all. There is hardly any pain. Women's pain thresholds
are so much higher than men's."
||"It's only a little piece of skin. The baby does
not feel any pain because his nervous system is not developed
|"The parts that are cut away are disgusting and hideous
to look at. It is done for the beauty of the suture."
||"An uncircumcised penis is a real turn-off. Its
disgusting. It looks like the penis of an animal."
|"Female circumcision protects the health of a woman. Infibulation
prevents the uterus from falling out [uterine prolapse]. It
keeps her smelling so sweet that her husband will be pleased.
If it is not done, she will stink and get worms in her vagina."
||"An uncircumcised penis causes urinary infections
and penile cancer. It generates smegma and smegma stinks.
A circumcised penis is more hygienic and oral sex with an
uncircumcised penis is disgusting to women."
|"An uncircumcised vulva is unclean and only the lowest prostitute
would leave her daughter uncircumcised. No man would dream
of marrying an unclean woman. He would be laughed at by everyone."
||"An uncircumcised penis is dirty and only the
lowest class of people with no concept of hygiene leave their
|"Leaving a girl uncircumcised endangers both her husband
and her baby. If the baby's head touches the uncut clitoris
during birth, the baby will be born hydrocephalic [excess
cranial fluid]. The milk of the mother will become poisonous.
If a man's penis touches a woman's clitoris he will become
||"Men have an obligation to their wives to give
up their foreskin. An uncircumcised penis will cause cervical
cancer in women. It also spreads disease."
|"A circumcised woman is sexually more pleasing to her husband.
The tighter she is sewn, the more pleasure he has."
||"Circumcised men make better lovers because they
have more staying power than uncircumcised men."
|"All the women in the world are circumcised. It is something
that must be done. If there is pain, then that is part of
a woman's lot in life."
||"Men in all the 'civilized' world are circumcised."
|"Doctors do it, so it must be a good thing."
||"Doctors do it, so it must be a good thing."
|Sudanese grandmother: "In some countries they only cut out
the clitoris, but here we do it properly. We scrape our girls
clean. If it is properly done, nothing is left, other than
a scar. Everything has to be cut away."
||My own father, a physician, speaking of ritual
circumcision inflicted upon my son: "It is a good thing that
I was here to preside. He had quite a long foreskin. I made
sure that we gave him a good tight circumcision."
|35 year old Sudanese woman: "Yes, I have suffered
from chronic pelvic infections and terrible pain for years
now. You say that all if this is the result of my circumcision?
But I was circumcised over 30 years ago! How can something
that was done for me when I was four years old have anything
to do with my health now?"
||35 years old American male: "I have lost nearly
all interest in sex. You might say that I'm becoming impotent.
I don't seem to have much sensation in my penis anymore, and
it is becoming more and more difficult for me to reach orgasm.
You say that this is the result of my circumcision? That doesn't
make any sense. I was circumcised 35 years ago, when I was
a little boy. How can that affect me in any way now?"