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Annotated Bibliography: Female Genital Mutilation’s Treatment as Cultural Relativism

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Criminology
Wordcount: 2012 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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Research Question: Why is Female Genital Mutilation treated as an act of cultural relativism rather than a violation of a women’s rights?


Jungari, Suresh. “Female Genital Mutilation Is a Violation of Reproductive Rights of Women: Implications for Health Workers.” Health & SocialWork, vol. 41, no. 1 Feb. 2016, pp. 25–31. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1093/hsw/hlv090.

In this journal article it discusses the issues that FGM victims face in terms of their reproductive health and how prevalent the tradition is within their country. The author had to look at different studies that were done by international agencies in providing evidence for the fact that FGM violates the reproductive rights of women. The article also goes fully in depth in the efforts that are being taken to eliminate FGM and how the women that go through it deal with the physical and psychological effects that come from it and what more can be done to support them.

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This peer-reviewed journal article gives great in-depth insight into the various issues that come from FGM and its outcomes, whether it is physical, sexual, or reproductive, but it could have talked a lot more about how women with FGM could seek help and not feel ashamed. This article was published by Oxford University Press, in the journal for Health and Social Work and it was written by Suresh Jungari, who is an assistant professor at Savitribai Phule Pune University’s Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences.

The article will be useful in discussing the outcomes that come from FGM and what more can be done in terms of allowing people to understand what FGM is as well as the role that healthcare workers should play in when it comes to hearing the concerns of the women that do go through FGM suffer from whether it is psychological or physical.

 Kahn, Sarilee. “You See, One Day They Cut’: The Evolution, Expression, and Consequences of Resistance for Women Who Oppose Female Genital Cutting.” Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, vol. 26, no. 7/8, Oct. 2016, pp. 622–635. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/10911359.2016.1238805.

The author of this journal article wanted to look at the number of women who showed resistance to female circumcision and the experiences they went through. The author interviewed women who left the practice behind and heard about their experiences. Seven women who were circumcised in their childhood ran away as adults to protect their daughters from experiencing what they went through. From all the things the author analyzed, she discovered harm and culture as common themes from each woman’s story in how they dealt with FGM and the fact that it is seen and treated as a rite of passage for women in their countries.

This peer-reviewed source is reliable in how it shows how many women resisted FGM or grew to resist it as they got older. The interviews that were conducted is essential in understanding the experiences of FGM victims. The article was published in the Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment by Taylor & Francis Ltd and it’s written by Sarilee Kahn who is an assistant professor at McGill University and has over 20 years of international social work experience.

 This journal article highlights what these women went through before getting circumcised and after. It would be useful in allowing the audience to have a good sense of what FGM is truly like from the interviews that were conducted by the author. These women went through such a traumatic experience and dealt with the consequences that followed and the readers should hear about them.

Pashaei, Tahereh, et al. “Daughters at Risk of Female Genital Mutilation: Examining the

 Determinants of Mothers’ Intentions to Allow Their Daughters to Undergo Female

 Genital Mutilation.” PLoS ONE, vol. 11, no. 3, Mar. 2016, pp. 1–12. EBSCOhost,


In this journal article the author wanted to learn about how mothers can allow their daughters to suffer from FGM. The author used the scientific method of surveys to hear from different mothers whether young or old in Iran and see their response to why they would allow their daughters to go through circumcision. Based on the findings, older moms compared to younger mom’s had a positive support for FGM. Mothers who lived in rural areas supported it, but mainly due to societal norms of tradition and religion. In the end the author suggested that prevention and intervention programs for FGM must be implemented to change the attitudes of mothers.

While this peer-reviewed journal article is more scientific, it is reliable because it shows the power of cultural relativism and how it correlates with female genital mutilation. Many of the mothers that were interviewed stated support for FGM because of their culture and how it was essential for many girls in their countries and villages to go through it or they would be shamed. This journal article was published by the Public Library of Science. It was written by Tahereh Pashaei who an assistant professor at the School Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences in the school of health.

This journal article will be utilized as evidence to support why it’s wrong to violate one’s human rights and fight off the idea of cultural relativism in supporting FGM since it harms women in every aspect of life whether it is sexual, emotional, or physical.

Rouzi, Abdulrahim A. “Facts and Controversies on Female Genital Mutilation

 and Islam.” European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health

 Care, vol. 18, no. 1, Feb 2013, pp. 10–14. EBSCOhost,


In this journal article the author calls out the ideologies of many people who support FGM and connect it to Islam though Islam doesn’t fully support it. The author highlights the fact that FGM is not even written in the Quran so when it comes to the actions of FGM it’s more traditional rather than religious. FGM is mostly effective in Islamic countries and the Quran has a principal of “no harm” so when it comes to FGM it is harming many women physically, emotionally, psychologically therefore Islam can’t support it. There’s a big misrepresentation of Islam when it comes to FGM because a religion shouldn’t be blamed for the actions of people who support a tradition that holds women back and controls them.

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This Peer-reviewed journal article fully goes in depth about the misconceptions people have about Islam, but it doesn’t really explain why FGM hasn’t ended even though Islam hasn’t shown any religious endorsement towards the practice. The article was published in the European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care by Taylor & Francis Ltd. It was written by Abdulrahim A Rouzi who works at the department of obstetrics and gynecology at King Abdulaziz University.

This article will be utilized as evidence to fight off the argument that FGM is supported by Islam. The audience needs to know that people in different countries are dehumanizing women by practicing FGM because of their own cultures and not by a religion who is against it.

 Sobel, Meghan. “Female Genital Cutting in the News Media: A Content Analysis.” Inter

 national Communication Gazette, vol. 77, no. 4, June 2015, pp. 384–405. EB

 COhost, doi:10.1177/1748048514564030.

In this journal article the author analyzed the amount of media coverage Female Genital Mutilation is getting from around the globe. Since FGM is an issue that many women around the world are suffering from, the media plays a key role in fixing the problems that comes with it. The author does a quantitative content analysis to study how many years of news coverage was used to raise awareness of FGM. The author found that as the years went by FGM received inconsistent coverage because of how the topic seemed to be problematic and sensitive for people to understand since it is cultural.

This peer-reviewed journal article is reliable since it highlights the fact that FGM is supported by others because of cultural relativism and how that correlates to why it’s not receiving any media awareness. The article was published in the International Communication Gazette by Sage Publications, Ltd. It was written by Meghan Sobel who is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Regis University and does a lot of research in global media, human rights and press freedom.

This article is useful for the fact that it urges more attention to be made for FGM and the victims that are suffering from it rather than not talk about it because of cultural relativism. It urges the media to do more and to know about FGM and how of a big issue it is for women and their rights as not only women, but human beings.

Wagner, Natascha. “Female Genital Cutting and Long-Term Health Consequences – Na

 tionally Representative Estimates across 13 Countries.” Journal of Development

 Studies, vol. 51, no. 3, Mar. 2015, pp. 226–246. EBSCOhost,


In this journal article, the author examines the long-term health outcomes between cut and uncut women from different African countries. The author found that cut women don’t suffer from health impairments and infertility but will suffer a lot from long-term genital problems and can easily contract infections because of the damage they suffered from their genitalia. The author urges more to be done to improve the reproductive health of women who are cut, and more studies to be conducted in considering the social aspects of FGM to further help address negative and long-term health outcomes.

This peer-reviewed journal article has more stats and analysis that could further support the claim of ending Female Genital Mutilation, but it doesn’t really speak about how tradition correlates with why FGM is still prevalent since it does affect a women’s health. It was published in the Journal of Development Studies by Routledge and written by Natascha Wagner who is an associate professor of Development Economics at the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam.

This journal article will be utilized in allowing the readers to know in terms of women’s health, the difference between a cut woman and an uncut woman. The audience needs to understand the consequences that come from FGM and how harmful it can be in many ways. The stats and analysis on why more studies need to be conducted in fixing long-term health outcomes that FGM victims suffer from will be useful as well.


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