OII Chairperson Hida Viloria asks US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to declare against intersex genital mutilation – IGM – as well as female genital mutilation – FGM

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OII Chairperson Hida Viloria has written an article for The Global Herald declaring that recent statements by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton against Female Genital Mutilation – FGM – do not go far enough and must also encompass the widespread cultural practice of intersex genital mutilation – IGM.

The Global Herald: Clinton’s Pronouncements Against Female Genital Mutilation Don’t Go Far Enough - click to read this article.

It is often parents’ or doctors’ homophobia which informs clitoral reduction surgery. For example, I interviewed a young woman for my undergraduate thesis whose doctors had strongly recommended “clitoral reduction” soon after her birth. Her parents, both New York attorneys, insisted on being told the real reason for the recommendation, as they could see no medical necessity or benefits. The doctors finally conceded that it was “in order to ensure that she would grow up to have a normal heterosexual sex life.” …

A recent poll of researchers on the topic produced three studies on the outcome of clitoral reduction surgery. The most conclusive, performed on women who had undergone the surgeries as adults, found that “Sexual function could be compromised by clitoral surgery.” Of the 39 women studied, 78% suffered from non-sensuality as compared to 20% of women who had not undergone the surgery, and 39% from anorgasmia as compared to 0% of women who had not undergone the surgery. Another study produced similar results. …

Protection can only be attained by acknowledging that, as with FGM, culturally-based discrimination is at the heart of non-medically necessary intersex infant genital surgeries, and similarly outlawing them as the human rights abuse that they are.

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