What is the historical intent of female circumcision?

I've seen people on this site say it's because the men don't want the females to experience sexual pleasure. But I can't find this theory cited anywhere, and studies show that women often DO feel sexual pleasure after having the(se) procedure(s) done.

I get that it's a cultural thing, at this point. But what really started it? What was the original reason for having it done?


To clarify, ProfessorC, sexual pleasure does not necessarily go away once the clitoris is gone. Many women orgasm without clitoral stimulation.

Additionally, some of these procedures involve stitching the labia over the clitoris, but leaving the clitoris in place, so some stimulation is possible.

You haven't, however, addressed my question. Do you have any answers to provide?

Here's a link to the study info.


8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Most FGM in africa is the cutting of the clitoral hood (not the clitoris) and the labia. The reasons include all of the same reasons as pushed here in the US for male circumcision.

    Historically, it is proabbly the same as MGM, it can be done so they do it. Tribal marking and looks are involved. More recently the following are involved.

    Hygiene -- BS

    HIV -- the same as for male circ, African women that were circucmcized had more than 50% lower HIV risk (this may be due to other factors)

    STDs -- BS

    Sex is better (this is the same crap US men say -- remove erogenous tissue the sex does not get better).

    I think FGM is horrible. It is interesting that many women say that have this done say the sex is great that it is cleaner and they want it for their daughters. This is very similar to the US situation viz MGM.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    To be clear, not all female circumcision is clitorectomies. That is like conflating male circumcision with castration. These women who experience sexual pleasure after being circumcised have had much more minor procedures, often simply removing parts of the surrounding skin or the labia.

    I am not entirely sure for the reasoning behind this. However I've watched documentaries where they ask the women why they have these procedures (and it almost invariably IS the women doing it, I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere where the men actually push this directly) they say that it is because the men won't trust or marry them unless they have the procedure done.

    The practise is also surrounded by the same BS as is male circumcision, ie that its cleaner and prevents the spread of STDs and so forth.

  • 1 decade ago

    Hi, I, hail from a country where people practice female circumcision, let me answer the origin of practice, I am a male by the way, all my life I used to hear that this was originally practiced by the Pharaohs of Egypt and cannot prove it, Why they used to, because of chastity. men wanted to close their loved ones and open it when they are back, also not sure. about the feeling of the pleasure, from point of experience women enjoy sex even when they are circumcised, they do all what the normal intact females do. the choice unfortunately not made by men, its made by mother's, why?. tradition, shame, old stuff, as usual. you can say so many things. I witnessed a case whereby the dad threatened his wife that he is gonna divorce his wife if she goes ahead with the Genital Mutilation of his 3 beautiful girls and she did it, she said I don't care if you divorce me. he did not. the girls are all happily married now.

  • Beery
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Probably the exact same reasons people give for male circumcision in western countries: cleanliness, aesthetics and perhaps to cut down on sexual pleasure. Either way, circumcision (male or female) is sick and obscene.

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  • 1 decade ago

    If they cut off your clitoris the pleasure is pretty much gone. Like if you cut off the tip of the penis. Do you have a reference for this study?

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    (I do know that in one african tribe, they believe that if a woman gives birth and she still has her clitoris, then if the clitoris touches the baby, the baby will be poisoned and die.

  • 1 decade ago


    This is for one culture. There are other cultures that have practiced this barbaric act.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I believe that is done to avoid infections that can happen if germs/bacteria gets into the forskin.

    In the US it's done a lot for that reason. Around the world not as much.

    EDIT: I didn't see the "female" part. DUH!!!!!

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