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Male Circumcision Vs Genital Mutilation, Which One Is More Drastic?

Certain practices just doesn’t make any sense.

Be it human sacrifice or genital mutilation or any other ritual for that matter. Unfortunately, some of these practices have a strong religious background that forces people to follow it.

And then, there are some rituals that are still in practice just because no one has raised a question yet.

genital mutilation

Each year, millions of people around the globe end up falling victim to a traditional ceremony which isn’t right. One such practice is the genital mutilation. This procedure is forced right when you are born (both male and female) in the name of religion and tradition.

But how different is male circumcision from a female mutilation? And which one can be worse?

Most of you may think that it is one and the same thing, but, you’re wrong. Even though circumcision is done on the respective genitals of male and females, there is a lot of difference. The main differences lie between the procedure and the after effects.

genital mutilation

Male circumcision is a practice that removes the foreskin of the penis, which covers the head of the penis. On the other hand, female mutilation is the removal of some or all of the external female genitalia.

If compared with males, often far more tissues are cut off from female genitals during mutilation. This tends to cause serious medical effects afterward, it is actually far worse than male circumcision.

Some of you, despite their differences, may think that both are equally wrong and worst. But, on a practical basis, you can indeed compare the two and point out the worst one. Nevertheless, this comparison depends on the facts, as some will argue that both are moral, while others will argue that both are wrong, even mutilating.

sad woman

What are the health-related effects on males and females after the procedure?

In order to understand how worse female mutilation is you need to understand how is it different from a male circumcision.

A female mutilation is performed multiple times depending on the type of FGM chosen. Unlike a male circumcision, it isn’t done in one go. There are three stages of FGM that cuts off different parts of the female genitals.

genital mutilation

It totally depends on the religious background of the female which decides the extent of tissues to be cut off from her genitals. Sometimes it’s just the removal of an outer layer, and sometimes it goes to the extent of the inner vulva.  In the worst cases, in a circumcision called ‘infibulation’, the vaginal opening is stitched to form a small hole.

Even the health effects differ after the circumcision takes place. The typical healing period for a male after undergoing circumcision, especially a new-born circumcision can take just a few days to a week or so. Even a teenager or adult takes up to two months.

genital mutilation

On the other hand, a typical female circumcision even on a new-born, can take months to heal, and the damage from the circumcision never really heals. There have been cases where females experience serious urinary problems. It also includes urinary tract infections that lead to kidney infections and kidney failure. It leaves most of the females with numerous medical problems that can even last a lifetime.

What else is different?

Not only it questions the practice of mutilation altogether, but it also scars the females for a lifetime. Males don’t have to undergo the physical and emotional trauma that a female does.

court about genital mutilation

On top of that, the physical implications cause a lot of day to day problems for a female who has undergone the mutilation of any kind. It affects the menstrual flow and also causes issues during intercourse. Males, on the other hand, do not feel pain or irritation at all after the healing process is complete.

Does religion support it blindly?

Most of the people who follow Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Eritrean Orthodox Church commonly practice this ritual. But if you research, you’ll come to know that the origin of this ritual is still a matter of debate.

all religion equal

Nowadays, even Christians are neutral about the biblical male circumcision. They neither support it nor forbid it strongly. The Bible does not mention female mutilation either.

Even in the words of Senior Muslim religious authorities, FGM is not required by Islam or is prohibited by it.

So, if none of the religious texts support the theory of mutilations where has this ritual come from? Why hasn’t this practice been put to a stop?

Why is such practice still going on?

The answer lies in the lack of effort to stop such a procedure that does far more bad than good. In every society where they still practice, mutilation appears to be more of a manifestation of orthodox belief that has no solid grounds.

male circumcision

There are countries where this is a common practice. In those countries, both men and women, usually support the ritual without question. Anyone that does not follow the ritual or support it may face condemnation, harassment, and ostracism. It may be difficult for families to abandon the practice without support from the wider community. And that is the exact reason why people still are falling victim to this.

What are the views of Supreme Court on FMG?

Last year, a petition was filed to ban the practice of female genital mutilation. The proceedings of the case saw the Supreme Court demand responses from the Centre and four states – Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Delhi. The states of Kerala and Telangana are also included in the case as parties now.

The Supreme Court is now questioning the practice of female genital mutilation of minor girls and referring to it as a violation of females integrity.


female genital mutilation

The court’s hearings for the ban on FGM was supposed to happen on July 16, 2018 after which there is no news on this. However, the members of the Dawoodi Bohra community are unhappy about this whole case. According to them, the Constitution guarantees religious freedom under Article 25, so this shouldn’t be banned.

The point is why people and communities are still following a disastrous ritual blindly in the name of religion? And what reaction are we going to expect if a ban is placed? Would this practice come to an end?

Whatever the outcome is, one thing is for sure that FGM is way more excruciating when it comes to the procedure and after effects of it on the victim. Strict actions need to be taken and implemented to eradicate this horrific crime that takes place every day.
What are your views on this? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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