Sexuality Issues in the Movement to Abolish Female Genital Cutting in Sudan

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Abstract

Ethnographic research in seven rural Sudanese communities in 2004 demonstrates the deep association between infibulation and expectations for successful male sexual response, reinforced by aesthetic values about the preferred body form for females. In contrast, women conceive of the uninfibulated body as lacking in both propriety and beauty, as well as making a woman less able to please a husband sexually. Female sexual response has only recently begun to be discussed in the context of change efforts to end female genital cutting.

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