Female Circumcision in the United States

Female circumcision is the hot new thing in the United States. Female circumcision in the United States is done when the hood of the clitoris is so thick that it blunts sexual feeling. The hood of the clitoris is removed and women who have been circumcised report greater sexual pleasure and sensation. There is another type of female circumcision done in the United States that is usually cosmetic, although sometimes it is done for other reasons. If the labia are so large they get caught in the vagina during intercourse, the labia may be cut back. But what of the woman who has trimmed her pubic hair, gotten a piercing, has a nice tattoo? In the United States she can get female circumcision in the form of cosmetic surgery to shape and even up her labia. Since all forms of female circumcision are banned in most countries with large immigrant populations practicing more extreme forms of female circumcision, many women are coming to the United States for the procedure.

There are unsubstantiated reports that some women in the United States are in communities where an extreme form of female circumcision is the ritual sacrifice of the entire external clitoris.

Female circumcision is a catch all term for a number of practices that go under the term “Female Genital Mutilation” or FGM. FGM is practiced mainly in Africa where it is part of a tribal coming of age. It goes across all religions and is generally condemned by all religious leaders, including Muslims. Female circumcision strictly taken means a “hoodectomy” or removal of the clitoral hood. This is called clitoridotomy and is what is practiced in the United States. A more extreme form of female circumcision is the clitoridectomy, or removal of the entire external clitoris. A third type of female circumcision is called Pharaonic circumcision where the external clitoris is removed, along with the labia. The sides of the vagina are then scraped so they will adhere to each other and then the opening is sewed, leaving only a small hole for urination and menstruation. The final method of female circumcision is the neurectomy where the pubic nerve is severed, leaving the genitals numb.

Lest people in the United States feel superior when it comes to female circumcision, a short history is in order.

Female circumcision in the United States began to be advocated in the early 19th century as a way to control masturbation and to relieve women of those pesky sexual urges. Both clitoridotomy and clitoridectomy were practiced.
There were several groups advocating clitoridectomy and they lasted until 1925. It is not know precisely when the practice ended in the United States but this form of female circumcision was covered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield until 1977. The last clitoridotomy performed to reduce sexually activity was probably the surgery performed in 1958 to stop a 5 year old girl from masturbating. All through the fifties some United States doctors recommend the clitoridotomy form of female circumcision for hygienic reasons and to reduce masturbation.

United States doctors performed an extreme form of female circumcision, the neurectomy, at the turn of the 20th century on institutionalized girls and women. As late as 1950 a very extreme form of female circumcision, electrical cauterization, was performed in the United States on mental patients to stop masturbation.

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