Attitudes towards female genital mutilation: an integrative review
- This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
- No conflict of interest has been declared by the authors.
Immigration and globalization processes have contributed to the international dissemination of practices such as female genital mutilation. Between 100 and 400 million girls and women have been genitally mutilated, and every year 3 million girls are at risk of being subjected to female genital mutilation.
The objective of this study was to describe the attitudes towards the practice of female genital mutilation in relation to different health systems and the factors that favour its discontinuation.
An integrative review was performed of publications from the period 2006 to 2013 included in the MedLine, PubMed, LILACS, SciELO, CINAHL and CUIDEN databases.
We selected 16 studies focusing on diverse contexts that assessed the attitudes of both men and women regarding the perpetuation of this practice. Ten corresponded to studies conducted in countries of residence. Several areas of investigation were explored (factors contributing to the continuation of female genital mutilation, factors contributing to its discontinuation, feelings about the health system).
It is possible that the relevant studies may not have been included given the limitations of the literature review and the invisibility of the phenomenon studied.
This review demonstrates the strong social pressure to which women are subjected as regards the practice of female genital mutilation. However, many other factors can contribute to eroding beliefs and arguments in favour of this practice, such as the globalization, culture and social environment of countries in the West.
Implications for nursing and health policy
Nurses occupy an essential position in detecting and combating these practices.