Sexual Experiences and Psychosexual Effect of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or Female Circumcision (FC) on Sudanese Women

Article excerpt

The most serious traditional practice of FGM/FC should be considered and dealt with as a synonym of an endemic, epidemic and fatal disease specific to girls and women.

Despite the over two decades of anti-FGM/FC efforts, prevalence of FGM/FC in Sudan is escalating.

Many research gaps have to be bridged for the identification of effective interventions. This investigation was carried out on a hardly approached FGM/FC topic in the Sudan. The findings have shown that the majority (69%) of respondents had fearful and painful expectations for the first sexual intercourse after negative narration by pharaonically mutilated elders. Sometime after the first sexual experience, 77% of the respondents enjoyed sex as pleasurable. Nonetheless, a good number of the respondents live with the trauma.

Although the majority (77%) of respondents who changed feelings reach orgasm, some 6% never reached orgasm in their sexual life. Nineteen percent (19%) of the respondents who are pharaonically circumcised also seem to be deprived from the four phases of sexuality; henceforth frustrations and psychological disorders.

The main recommendations included enactment of laws prohibiting FGM/FC practice and penalizing circumcisers and those who contribute to the act. The inculcation of sex education in schools and other institutions curricula was also recommended. In-depth research on the investigated topic is highly recommended.

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Introduction

FGM/FC is the most serious traditional practice that adversely affects the health and lives of girls and women, particularly in the African Continent Within this context it would seem logical to consider and deal with FGM/FC as a synonym of an endemic, epidemic and fatal disease specific to girls and women, whenever and wherever it is prevalent and/or practiced (Abdel Magied, 1998). Nonetheless, internationally the practice is recognized as violence against women

and violation of the child's and women's human rights.

For simplification of typology and terminology different forms of Pharoanic and Clitoridectomic circumcision are practiced in Sudan(Abdel Magied, 1998).

The numerous hazardous health consequences of immediate and delayed complications, apart from their negative psychological and social impact, also sometimes proved fatal in many instances (Rushwan, 1983 and 1994, El Dareer, 1983, Shandal and AbulFutuh, 1967).

Worldwide prevalence of FGM/FC practice with particular emphasis on the African continent, has been reviewed by Rahman and Tubia (2000). In Sudan, the World Fertility Survey (1979) recorded an overall prevalence of 89%, Sudan Demographic and Health Survey (SDHS) for 1989-1990 recorded 89.2%. Nevertheless, the so far unpublished report of 1999 on Safe Motherhood Survey has shown an urban prevalence of 93% and a rural one of 89%, with an overall prevalence of 90%. Moreover, the unpublished MICS(of 2000-2001) indicates an overall prevalence of 93% (Abdel Magied, 2001). This is inspite of the advocacy against FGM/FC that started with individual efforts of a religious leader in the last quarter of the 17th Century (Dayf Allah, 1971).

Achievements of the Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that started in 1979 culminated only in the breaking of silence around an issue which is now no longer a forbidden taboo to address or campaign against in public(Abdel Magied 2001). Moreover, the widely spreading cosmetic Re-circumcision practice has not yet been addressed as a serious issue (Abdel Magied, et al, 2000). Again, the most serious spread of all forms of FGM/FC amongst communities not part of their culture, through negative acculturation influence. has not yet been given the due attention (Abdel Magied, 2001).

Moreover, Abdel Magied (2001) pointed out several research gaps that have to be bridged to provide suitable indicators for appropriate interventions. …