Bodily Integrity and the Politics of Circumcision: Culture, Controversy, and Change

Overview

Every year 13.3 millions boys and 2 million girls are subjected to circumcision, the involuntary removal of part or all of their external sex organs.

Bodily Integrity and the Politics of Circumcision illuminates the vulnerability of human society to medical, economic, and historical pressures. It provides a much-needed, thoughtful, and detailed analysis of the devastating impact of circumcision on bodily integrity and human rights, and it ...

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Overview

Every year 13.3 millions boys and 2 million girls are subjected to circumcision, the involuntary removal of part or all of their external sex organs.

Bodily Integrity and the Politics of Circumcision illuminates the vulnerability of human society to medical, economic, and historical pressures. It provides a much-needed, thoughtful, and detailed analysis of the devastating impact of circumcision on bodily integrity and human rights, and it provides hope for change.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Jay P. Goldsmith, MD (Tulane University School of Medicine)
Description: This compilation of papers presented at the Eighth International Symposium on Circumcision and Human Rights held in Padua, Italy, is intended to make the case against male and female circumcision.
Purpose: The editor's purpose, as stated in the preface, is to rid the world of circumcision in the next generation. The papers discuss the social, political, economic, religious, psychological, and legal aspects of this procedure. Very little medicine or science is included, except to say that such data is "under the control of the circumcisers."
Audience: It is difficult to determine exactly for whom this book is written. It is not scientific and could be easily read by interested lay people. It is doubtful that pediatricians, obstetricians, or urologists would read this book unless they wanted to learn about this movement. The authors are perhaps well known in this movement, but only two of the 38 contributors are physicians.
Features: The papers cover mostly the psychosocial and sexual aspects of both male and female circumcision. Many of the contributors are Italian, and much of the book deals with aspects of this procedure in Italy. American aspects of this issue include discussions on human rights (comparing circumcision to slavery), strategies for litigation, and a review of Medicaid funding by state for this procedure. The book dismisses the medical and scientific aspects of the procedure in one paragraph without reviewing the data. The index is inadequate to find specific references to such topics as genital cancer.
Assessment: In the spirit of full disclosure, I must state that I would be considered by these authors to be a member of "the circumcision industry." Nevertheless, this is a book with an agenda. The presentations are heavily weighted toward the theme of eradicating circumcision in the world. Some of the papers are interesting and the historical and religious roots of the procedure are well covered. However, comparing circumcision to slavery and using amendments to the U.S. Constitution to demonstrate circumcision as a violation of human rights is more emotion than science.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402049156
  • Publisher: Springer Netherlands
  • Publication date: 10/9/2006
  • Edition description: 2006
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 270
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgements

Contributors

Chapter 1: Circumcision as a Memeplex, Hugh Young

Chapter 2: The Life of the Flesh is in the Blood: The Meaning of Bloodshed in Ritual Circumcision, Leonard B. Glick

Chapter 3: Zipporah and the Bridegroom of Blood: Searching for the Antecedents of Jewish Circumcision, Nansi S. Glick

Chapter 4: At the Roots of Ethnic Female Genital Modification: Preliminary Report, Pia Grassivaro Gallo, Eleonora Tita, Franco Viviani

Chapter 5: Psycholinguistic Approaches to Ritual Labia Minora Elongation Among the Baganda Women of Uganda, Elisabetta Villa and Pia Grassivaro Gallo

Chapter 6: Graphic Reproduction of Genital Stretching in a Group of Baganda Girls: Their Psychological Experiences, Pia Grassivaro Gallo, Elisabetta Villa, Fabiola Pagani

Chapter 7: Survey on the East-African Female Students at the University of Padua, Stella Lineri, Chiara Rauhe, Pia Grassivaro Gallo

Chapter 8: Female Genital Mutilation Among African Immigrants in Greece: The First Cognitive Study, Pia Grassivaro Gallo, Anna Iordanidou, Franco Viviani

Chapter 9: Deinfibulation in Italy, Pia Grassivaro Gallo, Lara Franco, Lisa Rivaroli

Chapter 10: Research Center for Preventing and Curing FGM and Its Complications, Abdulcadir Omar Hussen

Chapter 11: Preliminary Research Into the Psycho-Sexual Aspects of the Operation of Deinfibulation, Saulo Sirigatti, Lucrezia Catania, Sara Simone, Silvia Casale, Abdulcadir Omar Hussen

Chapter 12: Addressing Female Genital Mutilation in Germany: The work of the women’s rights organization Terre Des Femmes and the situation in Germany, Petra Schnuell, Gritt Richter, Claudia Piccolantonio

Chapter 13: Male Circumcision in Italy, Franco Viviani, Gian Luca Costardi, Lisa Capparotto, Pia Grassivaro Gallo

Chapter 14: Genital Integrity and Gender Equity, J. Steven Svoboda

Chapter 15: Increasing Awareness of Iatrogenic Damage Consequent to Male Circumcision, Jim Bigelow and R. Wayne Griffiths

Chapter 16: A Survey of Subjective Foreskin Sensation in 600 Intact Men, Peter J. Ball

Chapter 17: Human Rights Advances in the United States, George C. Denniston

Chapter 18: Toward Regulation of Non-Therapeutic Genital Surgeries Upon Minors: A Preliminary Strategy, John V. Geisheker

Chapter 19: Strategies for Litigation, David J. Llewellyn

Chapter 20: Of Waste and Want: A Nationwide Survey of Medicaid Funding for Medically Unnecessary, Non-Therapeutic Circumcision, Amber Craig, Dan Bollinger

Chapter 21: A Campaign for the Eradication of Infibulation Within an Extended Family: Khartoum, Sudan, Nagla Dawelbait, Pia Grassivaro Gallo, Marianna Pappalardo

Appendix

Index

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