Firstly, I am totally against any form of genital cutting/circumcision/genital mutilation of any human being male or female that cannot freely and willingly consent to the procedure. I believe genital cutting of minors, or unwilling males or females is morally & ethically wrong.
Therefore, the reason for this blog is to deal in the facts, and to dispel the male circumcision myths used by procirc propagandist that male circ is ok & legal bec it has medical benefits whereas fem circ is not ok or legal bec it has no medical benefits. Well this is just wrong. There are two documented studies which demonstrate that women who have been circumcised have lower HIV infections, as follows:
"Stallings et al. (2005) reported that, in Tanzanian women,
the risk of HIV among women who had undergone FGC
was roughly half that of women who had not; the association
remained significant after adjusting for region, household
wealth, age, lifetime partners, union status, and recent ulcer.
"Female circumcision and HIV infection in Tanzania:
for better or for worse?
(3rd IAS conference on HIV pathogenesis and treatment)".
International AIDS Society.
Kanki et al. reported that, in Senegalese prostitutes,
women who had undergone FGC had a significantly
decreased risk of HIV-2 infection when compared to
those who had not.
Kanki P, M'Boup S, Marlink R, et al. "Prevalence and risk
determinants of human immunodeficiency virus type 2
(HIV-2) and human immunodeficiency virus type 1
(HIV-1) in west African female prostitutes".
Am. J. Epidemiol. 136 (7): 895-907. PMID
Now while these studies show that female circumcision reduces the risk of HIV infection it does not make the procedure morally right. Most female circumcisions are conducted on female minors who cannot consent to the procedure and there are more effective methods of disease/infection prevention such and safe sex practices and condoms.
Its not rocket science to understand how both male and female circumcision may reduce infections. Both male and female circumcision remove a substantial proportion of genital skin. Human skin has been proven to be a viral entry point for infections, and its removal reduces some potential entry sites. Viruses also enter the body through bodily fluids and blood, and vigourous or prolonged sexual intercourse can produce micro-tears in genital skin, allowing viruses to enter via blood. The questions here therefore need to be answered 1. Are there other methods that can prevent virus entry and are they more effectice? Yes & Yes Safe sex practices can prevent and are more effective. Is there an ethical way to use circumcision for both men and women. Well if they are male and female adults, they are fully informed, and willingly consent to the procedure then it may be argued that it could be ethical under these circumstances. Others may argue that it would still be unethical for a variety of reasons.
In conclusion, the argument that male circ is OK bec it has medical benefits, and fem circ is not ok and should be illegal bec it has no medical benefits is FALSE. They are both wrong, it is only culture that uses sexist values and ignorance that states male circ is OK and fem circ not OK.