CARTA: Female and Male Genital Modification with Ellen Gruenbaum

3/1/2024; 18 minutes

This talk offers an overview of the many forms of permanent genital modifications embedded in human cultures, where they occur, the reasons why, the archaeological investigations of origins, and future trends. Included are female clitoridectomy, excision, infibulation, and other practices that affect about five percent of females worldwide; and the male practices that affect one-third of males: circumcision, superincision, and subincision. Why have so many cultures invented and preserved these modifications as part of their valued heritage? Controversies abound: the current human rights opposition to all female practices is met with backlash, and others question the "justifications" for continuing male circumcision. (#39471)

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