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Human Female Sexuality

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Veronica Poe
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« on: August 03, 2007, 12:22:44 am »

The following is not intended for children. While it intends to be a clinical, not explicit investigation into female sexuality, it will contain certain concepts, ideas and theories that children should not be made aware of, at least until they get older.

So, if you are a child reading this, by all means, please stop and go back to your cartoons.

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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2007, 12:23:16 am »

Historical conceptions of female sexuality

Representations of female sexuality date back to prehistoric times; there is clear evidence of the depiction of female fecundity in ancient Venus figurines. Fertility goddesses are common in many ancient cultures, and in many cultures are also the gods of sex, marriage, and love.

In the ancient civilizations of India, Japan, and China, the subject of female sexuality found expression in several writings and commentaries. For example, much of the Kama Sutra, an ancient treatise on sex and sexuality, deals with female sexuality.

Historically, female sexuality has been seen in many male-dominated cultures as subordinate to male sexuality, and as something to be controlled by society by restrictions on female behaviour.

Traditional cultural practices such as enforced modesty and chastity have historically tended to place restrictions principally on women, without imposing similar restrictions on men. Some controversial traditional cultural practices such as female genital cutting have been described as attempts at removing women's sexuality altogether. Other cultural practices such as honor killings threaten uncontrolled female sexual behaviour with death, often by the hands of the woman's own relatives.

Even in the twentieth century, many people did not believe that respectable women should enjoy sex; rather, it was said that they should "lie back and think of England".

Nevertheless, many studies have shown that women's actual sexual behaviour throughout history appears, like that of men, not to have been controlled to anywhere near the degree desired by society.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_female_sexuality
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2007, 12:23:49 am »

Modern studies of female sexuality

In the modern age, psychologists and physiologists engaged in the formidable task of exploring female sexuality. Sigmund Freud propounded the theory of two kinds of female orgasms, "the vaginal kind, and its kid sister, the clitoral orgasm." Though, studies (1960s) by Masters and Johnson reject this distinction [1]. Further studies have revealed the existence of uterine orgasms [citation needed], so there remains some debate.

Other medical ideas from the nineteenth century have also fallen into disrepute; the concepts of disorders of female sexuality such as hysteria and nymphomania have disappeared from modern medical thought, to be replaced by a variety of clinical conditions that are no longer gender-specific.

Feminist concepts

The feminist movement, and the increasing social status of women in modern society, have led to women's sexuality as being reassessed as a subject in its own right.

During the 1970s and 1980s, in the wake of the sexual revolution, numerous feminist writers started to address the question of female sexuality from their own female perspective, rather than allowing female sexuality to be defined in terms of largely male studies. The first such popular non-fiction book was Nancy Friday's My Secret Garden, and other writers such as Germaine Greer, Simone de Beauvoir and Camille Paglia were particularly influential in this, although their views were far from being uniform.

Lesbianism and female bisexuality also emerged as topics that could at last be talked about in public. A short-lived movement towards political lesbianism within the feminist movement led to temporary schisms within the feminist movement between heterosexual and (real or self-avowed) lesbian women, then rapidly foundered in the face of the acceptance that most women's sexuality was not defined by politics, but by their own sexual preferences. Most modern feminist movements now accept all forms of female sexuality as equally valid.

Feminist attitudes to female sexuality have taken two, superficially opposing, directions. The first is that female sexuality should be accepted and women should be free to have sex when they like, with who they like. The other is that women should be empowered to refuse to have sex when they want to, or to have their sexuality respected in society. A minority view within radical feminism states that even if it appears that women consent, heterosexual sex is inherently nonconsensual and women cannot ever be said to truly consent to it, because their decision is forged by the expectations and influences of growing up in a predominantly male-oriented society.

This has led, for example, to different groups of feminists simultaneously embracing and opposing pornography as sexually liberating and sexually oppressive respectively, both in the name of women's empowerment over their own sexuality.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_female_sexuality
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2007, 12:24:30 am »

Honor killing

Honor killing is the practice of a family member killing a female relative when that relative has been considered to have brought "dishonor" to the family, often through unsanctioned sexual activity—often including cases when a woman is raped. The killing (or "execution") of the female relative is often considered, in those societies and cultures where it is practiced, to be a private matter for the affected family alone; rarely do non-family members or the courts become involved or prosecute the perpetrators. The United Nations Population Fund estimates that the annual worldwide total of honor killings may be as high as 5,000 women. As of recently, there are harsher punishment toward honor killings in many countries like Turkey.

Definitions

Human Rights Watch defines "honor killings" as follows:

Honor crimes are acts of violence, usually murder, committed by male family members against female family members who are perceived to have brought dishonor upon the family. A woman can be targeted by her family for a variety of reasons including, refusing to enter into an arranged marriage, being the victim of a sexual assault, seeking a divorce—even from an abusive husband—or committing adultery. The mere perception that a woman has acted in a manner to bring "dishonor" to the family is sufficient to trigger an attack. [1]
Honor killings can also target those who choose as boyfriends/lovers or spouses members of another religious or ethnic group other than the family's own. Women who adopt customs (or a religion) of an outside group may also be more likely to be victims. [2].

Many critics hold that the practice is self-contradictory: honor killing is justified by participants or supporters as an attempt to uphold the morals of a religion or a code which, at the same time, generally forbids killing as morally wrong (see below concerning Islamic countries).

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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2007, 12:25:24 am »

History

Similar practices have been known since ancient Roman times, when the pater familias, or senior male within a household, retained the right to kill an unmarried but sexually active daughter or an adulterous wife. Europe has been familiar with the practice since ancient empires under Christian law in which crimes such as adultery, were punished often with stoning. Jewish law punishes certain sexual misconduct, for both men and women, with court- (Sanhedrin) approved capital punishment. (The Sanhedrin's requirements for burden of proof, however, are so strict that this punishment was never meted out, and certainly never sanctioned outside of the court.) Such practices have long since ceased to be endemic in North America, although immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East have brought the practice with them in recent decades.

Honor killings, generally considered premeditated, are typically held to be distinct from Crimes of passion, which occur, not uncommonly, in European and Western societies and throughout the world. Crimes of passion often have special status under the law. For instance, until 1975, the French Penal Code commuted the sentence of a husband who killed his wife after finding her in the act of committing adultery [3]; this law passed into the legal frameworks of the many nations who based their modern legal codes on the Napoleonic Code. However, crimes of passion are limited in scope and are different from premeditated crimes against an adulterous spouse.

Honor killings are sometimes performed even against a woman who is raped, for her **** supposedly dishonors the family. A raped single woman will also garner no bride price if she marries, and thus she will be "worthless" to the family.


Locations

As of 2004, honor killings have occurred in numerous countries, including: Albania, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Egypt, Germany, India, Iran, Iraq, Italy[4], Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Sweden, Turkey, Uganda, the United Kingdom and the United States. In Europe, honor killings have been reported within the Muslim and Sikh communities. Many cases of honor killing have been reported in Pakistan, where it is known as KaroKari. In December 2005, Nazir Afzal, director of Britain's Crown Prosecution Service in west London—an area with a large number of South Asian residents—stated that the United Kingdom has seen "at least a dozen honor killings" between 2004 and 2005 [5]. Afzal notes that

I've certainly seen more cases of honor crime since July 7...When communities perceive themselves to be under threat they tend to turn in on themselves, regardless of whether that perception has any basis in fact.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor_killing
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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2007, 12:26:02 am »

Honor killing as a cultural practice or religious practice

Sharif Kanaana, professor of anthropology at Birzeit University states that honor killing is


quote:
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a complicated issue that cuts deep into the history of Arab society...What the men of the family, clan, or tribe seek control of in a patrilineal society is reproductive power. Women for the tribe were considered a factory for making men. The honor killing is not a means to control sexual power or behavior. What's behind it is the issue of fertility, or reproductive power.
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An Amnesty International statement adds:


quote:
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The mere perception that a woman has contravened the code of sexual behavior damages honor. The regime of honor is unforgiving: women on whom suspicion has fallen are not given an opportunity to defend themselves, and family members have no socially acceptable alternative but to remove the stain on their honor by attacking the woman. Amnesty International.
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In countries with Islamic law

There is no mention of Honor killing in the Qur'an or Hadiths. Honor killing, in Islamic definitions, refers specifically to extra-legal punishment by the family against the woman, and is forbidden by the Sharia (Islamic law). Religious authorities disagree with extra punishments such as honor killing and prohibit it, so the practice of it is a cultural issue. But since Islam has influence over vast Muslims, culturalist and murderers of females use Islam to justify honor killing even though there is no support for honor killing in Islam.

Traditional interpretations of Islamic law (or sharia) prescribe severe punishments for zina' , or extramarital sex, by both men and women. This is however, not a new practice; it has been around since ancient times and has been practiced by other religions and cultures too. Premarital sex could be punished by up to 100 lashes, while adultery is punishable by lethal stoning. The act must, however, be attested by at least four Muslim male witnesses of good character; punishments are reserved to the legal authorities, and false accusations are themselves punished severely. This is however not considered honor killing.

The execution of the Saudi Arabian princess Misha'al is an example of an honor killing in which the execution did not follow any Islamic religious court proceeding but was ordered directly by her grandfather.

Interpretations of these rules vary. Some Arabs regard it as their right under both tradition and sharia (by the process of al-urf), though this contradicts the views of the vast majority of Islamic scholars (fuqaha). Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran has condemned the practice as "un-Islamic", though punishment under Iranian law remains lenient. In Indonesia, generally believed to be the country with the largest Muslim population, honor killings are unknown, as also in parts of West Africa with majority-Muslim populations and many other Islamic countries like Bangladesh. According to Sheikh Atiyyah Saqr, former head of the al-Azhar University Fatwa Committee (one of the oldest and most prestigious in the Muslim world):

"Like all other religions, Islam strictly prohibits murder and killing without legal justification. Allah, Most High, says, “Whoso slayeth a believer of set purpose, his reward is Hell for ever. Allah is wroth against him and He hath cursed him and prepared for him an awful doom.” (An-Nisa’: 93) The so-called “honor killing” is based on ignorance and disregard of morals and laws, which cannot be abolished except by disciplinary punishments."[6]

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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2007, 12:27:03 am »

Honor killing in national legal codes

According to the report of the Special Rapporteur submitted to the 58th session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (2002) concerning cultural practices in the family that reflect violence against women (E/CN.4/2002/83):

The Special Rapporteur indicated that there had been contradictory decisions with regard to the honour defence in Brazil, and that legislative provisions allowing for partial or complete defence in that context could be found in the penal codes of Argentina, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Peru,Syria, Turkey, Venezuela and the West Bank. [7]
Some of these, including those of Turkey, have since been abrogated.

Countries where the law can be interpreted to allow men to kill female relatives in a premeditated effort as well as in flagrante delicto (in the act of committing adultery) include:

Jordan: part of article 340 of the Penal Code states that "he who discovers his wife or one of his female relatives committing adultery and kills, wounds, or injures one of them, is exempted from any penalty" [8]. This has twice been put forward for cancellation by the government, but was retained by the Lower House of the Parliament[9].
Countries that allow men to kill female relatives in flagrante delicto (but not in premeditation) include:

Syria: Article 548 states that "He who catches his wife or one of his ascendants [sic], descendants or sister committing adultery (flagrante delicto) or illegitimate sexual acts with another and he killed or injured one or both of them benefits from an exemption of penalty."
Countries that allow husbands to kill only their wives in flagrante delicto (based upon the Napoleonic Code) include:

Morocco: Article 418 of the Penal Code states "Murder, injury and beating are excusable if they are committed by a husband on his wife as well as the accomplice at the moment in which he surprises them in the act of adultery."
Haiti: Article 269 of the Penal Code states that "in the case of adultery as provided for in Article 284, the murder by a husband of his wife and/or her partner, immediately upon discovering them in flagrante delicto in the conjugal abode, is to be pardoned."

In Turkey, murder laws formerly contained a specific provision for reduction in sentence from an maximum of 24 years imprisonment to 8 years if the perpretrator was "provoked". The sentence was raised to 24 years in 2003. After EU pressure, Turkey prohibited family members from being able to claim "provocation" and thereby receive lighter sentences. [10][11]

In two Latin American countries, similar laws were struck down over the past two decades: according to human rights lawyer Julie Mertus "in Brazil, until 1991 wife killings were considered to be noncriminal 'honor killings'; in just one year, nearly eight hundred husbands killed their wives. Similarly, in Colombia, until 1980, a husband legally could kill his wife for committing adultery." [12]

Countries where honor killing is not legal but is frequently ignored in practice include:

Pakistan: Honor killing are supposed to be prosecuted under ordinary murder, but in practice police and prosecutors often ignore it [13]. Often a man must simply claim the killing was for his honor and he'll go free. Nilofer Baktiar, advisor to Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, stated that in 2003, as many as 1,261 women were murdered in honor killings [14]. On December 08, 2004, under international and domestic pressure, Pakistan enacted a law that made honor killings punishable by a prison term of seven years, or by the death penalty in the most extreme cases. Women's rights organizations are, however, wary of the new law as it stops short of outlawing the practice of allowing killers to buy their freedom by paying compensation to the victim's relatives. Women's rights groups claim that in most cases it is the victim's immediate relatives who are the killers, so inherently the new law is just eyewash.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor_killing
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2007, 12:28:01 am »

Female circumcision

Female genital cutting (FGC) refers to a number of procedures performed for cultural, rather than medical, reasons on the female genitalia. Although occasionally practiced by some doctors in the United States until 1958, in recent years it is only common in parts of Africa and by minority groups in some countries of the Middle East. Less frequently, it occurs among some immigrant communities in parts of Asia and the Pacific, North and Latin America, and Europe. Opponents of these practices use the term female genital mutilation (FGM). The official term female circumcision is also in common usage, though advocates of male circumcision argue that this results in unwanted associations between the two practices, while genital integrity advocates might refer to all child genital cutting as mutilation.

Most Human rights organizations in the West, Africa, and Asia consider female genital cutting rituals a violation of women's human rights. Among these groups and governments, they are regarded as unacceptable and illegal forms of body modification and mutilation of those believed to be too young or otherwise unable to give informed consent.


Different forms

There are several distinct practices that are all generally referred to by this name. In particular, while female genital cutting is generally thought of in the West as involving the complete destruction of the female sexual organs in an effort to eliminate the female's sexual pleasure, in some forms female circumcision is claimed to be analogous to male circumcision, in that both procedures can involve the removal of the prepuce and the frenulum.

In other cases, the procedure has no tissue removal at all, but is simulated with a knife as part of a ceremony, or with a symbolic drop of blood released with a needle. Those that involve tissue removal are usually divided into three major types.
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2007, 12:28:33 am »

Clitoridotomy

"Clitoridotomy" (which is also called "hoodectomy" as a slang term) involves the removal or splitting of the clitoral hood. The United Nations Population Fund states that this is comparable to male circumcision.[1] In the United States and other Western countries, clitoridotomy is usually performed on adult women rather than on children. Sunna circumcision (named after the Arabic word for anything approved by Islamic law and centred in Islamic tradition: in fact, there is no genuine approval for this, and some Muslim clergy oppose all forms of FGC) may or may not involve the removal of part of the clitoris as well as the prepuce [2].

Type I circumcision is defined by the World Health Organisation as clitoridotomy and perhaps excision of part or all of the clitoris (clitoridectomy; see following section). However, some authors (e.g.., Cohen) define type I as at least partial removal of the clitoris.

From the late 19th century until the 1950s, it and other more invasive procedures, including excision of the clitoris and infibulation were practiced in Western countries to control female sexuality, and were advocated in the United States by groups like the Orificial Surgery Society until 1925. According to Paige, doctors advocating or performing these procedures claimed that girls of all ages would otherwise engage in more **** and be "polluted" by the activity, which was referred to as "self-abuse" [3].

Through the 1950s, some doctors continued to advocate clitoridotomy for hygienic reasons or to reduce ****. For example, C.F. McDonald wrote in a 1958 paper titled Circumcision of the Female [4],[5], "If the male needs circumcision for cleanliness and hygiene, why not the female? I have operated on perhaps 40 patients who needed this attention." The author describes symptoms as "irritation, scratching, irritability, ****, frequency and urgency," and in adults, smegmaliths causing "dyspareunia and frigidity." The author then reported that a two-year old was no longer masturbating so frequently after the procedure. Of adult women, the author stated that "for the first time in their lives, sex ambition became normally satisfied." In the U.S., the last documented clitoridotomy to reduce sexual activity occurred in 1958. The procedure was performed on a 5-year-old girl, reportedly to stop her from masturbating. Justification of the procedure on hygienic grounds, or to reduce ****, has since declined. The view that **** is a cause of mental and physical illness has dissipated since the mid-20th century [6].

A few doctors and others advocate clitoridotomy of adults, promoting it as a way of increasing sexual sensitivity and sexual pleasure. One claim is that a large clitoral hood may make stimulation of the clitoris difficult. Websites promoting the practice Circlist, bmezine and The Clitoral Hood Removal Information Page contain testimonials and two of them provide summaries of medical studies, including several finding that the majority of women reported improved sensation following the procedure (for example, 87.5% in Rathmann's 1959 study, and 75% in Knowles', as quoted in the summary of studies mentioned previously). However, this improved sensation does not last as the clitoris grows hard and less sensitive, much like when a male is circumsized.
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2007, 12:29:05 am »

Clitoridectomy

Clitoridectomy means the partial or total removal of the external part of the clitoris. It was sometimes practiced in English-speaking nations in the first half of the Twentieth Century to stop ****. [7]. It is, however, quite common in many countries of sub-Saharan Africa, east-Africa, Egypt, Sudan, and the Arabian Peninsula.

Type II circumcision is more extensive than type I, meaning clitoridectomy and sometimes also removal of the labia minora.

(There are reports that some women in certain "alternative lifestyles" communities in the United States have sought clitoridectomy because they are intrigued by the drama of the sacrifice involved with having their sensitive clitoris removed, while others seek the procedure in the hope that the pleasure in their buttocks and anal region will be greatly enhanced if the distraction of genital sensation is eliminated.)

Neurectomy, or severing of the pubic nerve to permanently numb the genitals and approximate the effect of a clitoridectomy was performed on institutionalized girls and women around the turn of the 20th Century in America and Australia, and electrical cauterization of the clitoris was reported to have been occasionally performed on mental patients in the USA to stop them from masturbating as recently as 1950.

The kind of things that sometimes happened to girls and women were documented in Alex Comfort's book, "The Anxiety Makers", Panther Edition, London, 1968:

About 1858, Dr Isaac Baker Brown, later president of the Medical Society of London, introduced the operation of clitoridectomy for the consequences of what he coyly calls 'peripheral excitement'. These, in his view, included epilepsy, hysteria and the convulsive disorders generally. (page 109)
In 1866 Brown published a series of 48 of such cases. This caused what Comfort called an 'almighty row'. Dr Baker Brown was ejected from the Obstetrical Society. Comfort says (page 111) that 'clitoridectomy fortunately disappeared from England'. However, it was taken up in the United States:

In 1894, we find Dr. Eyer of the St. John's Hospital, Ohio, dealing with nervousness and **** in a little girl by cauterizing the clitoris; this failing, a surgeon was called in to bury it with silver wire sutures - which the child tore and resumed the habit. The entire organ was then excised, with the crura. Six weeks after the operation the patient is reported as saying, 'You know there is nothing there now, so I could do nothing.' (Comfort, ibid, page 111)
Comfort says that this concern about **** 'did not really die out completely until the 1940s with the statistical studies of Kinsey' (Comfort, ibid, page 119
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« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2007, 12:29:41 am »

Infibulation

The form of female circumcision regarded as the most severe is Type III, which is also referred to as infibulation or pharaonic circumcision. This is often carried out by a "gedda," or matron of the village, without anaesthetic, on girls between the ages of two and six.

Infibulation replaces the vulva with a wall of flesh from the pubis to the anus, except for a pencil-size opening at the inferior portion of the vulva to allow urine and menstrual blood to pass through. A reverse infibulation is where the opening is left in the anterior part of the vulva in front of the uretha. After excision, the labia are sewn together, and since the skin is abraded and raw after being cut, the two surfaces will join via the natural healing and scar-formation process to form a smooth surface. The girl's legs are tied together for around two weeks to prevent her from moving the wound. [8]

The sewn-together labia majora are slightly opened before sexual intercourse by the girl's husband — girls will often be married at 12–16 years old — or by his female relatives, whose responsibility it is to inspect the wound every few weeks and open it some more if necessary.

During childbirth, the enlargement is too small to allow vaginal delivery, and so the infibulation must be opened completely and restored after delivery. Once again, the legs are tied together to allow the wound to heal, and the procedure is repeated for each subsequent act of intercourse or childbirth. When childbirth takes place in a hospital, the surgeons may preserve the infibulation by enlarging the **** with deep episiotomies. Afterwards, the patient may insist that her **** be closed again so that her husband does not reject her. [9]

This practice is reported to cause the disappearance of sexual pleasure for the women affected, as well as major medical complications, although advocates of the practice deny this, and continue to carry it out.

Other types of female circumcision

Other forms are collectively referred to as Type IV. This includes a diverse range of practices, including pricking the clitoris with needles, burning or scarring the genitals as well as ripping or tearing of the ****. Type IV is found primarily among isolated ethnic groups as well as in combination with other types.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_genital_cutting
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« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2007, 12:30:27 am »

Areas of practice

Prevalence of female genital cutting in AfricaFemale genital cutting is today mainly practiced in African countries. It is common in a band that stretches from Senegal in West Africa to Somalia on the East coast, as well as from Egypt in the north to Tanzania in the south. In these regions, it is estimated that more than 95% of all women have undergone this procedure. It is also practiced by some groups in the Arabian peninsula [10], especially among a minority (20%) in Yemen.

Although it is practiced by African Muslims, it is also known to exist throughout the Middle East, though it is veiled in secrecy, unlike in parts of Africa, where it is practiced relatively openly. The practice occurs particularly in northern Saudi Arabia, southern Jordan, and Iraq, and there is also circumstantial evidence to suggest it is present in Syria, western Iran, and among the Bedouin population of Israel.[11] In Oman a few communities still practice FGC; however, experts believed that the number of such cases was small and declining annually. In the United Arab Emirates and also Saudi Arabia, it's practiced among some foreign workers from East Africa and the Nile Valley.

The practice can also be found among a few ethnic groups in South America and India. In Indonesia [12] and Malaysia the practice is fairly common among the country's Muslim women; however, in contrast to Africa, almost all are Type I or Type IV (involving a symbolic prick to release blood) procedures.

The practice is particularly common in Somalia, followed by Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and Mali. Among ethnic Somali women, infibulation is traditionally almost universal. In the Arab peninsula, sunna circumcision is usually performed, especially among Arabs (ethnic groups of African descent are more likely to prefer infibulation).

Amnesty International estimates that over 130 million women worldwide have been affected by these procedures, with over 2 million being performed every year.

In modern times, the practice has spread to Europe and the U.S. due to immigration. Some tradition-minded families have the procedure performed while on vacation in their home countries.


Cultural background

Female genital cutting is primarily a social practice, not a religious one. It is today a mainly African cultural practice. It crosses the lines of various religious groups. It is found among Muslims and Animists. [13]

A number of reasons are put forward for the practice of FGC. These include the belief that it annuls or moderates sexual desires in women. It is also believed that it is more hygienic. Frequently the practice is associated with traditional initiation rites. Some believe religion justifies the practice.

In some cultures there exists the belief that a newborn child has elements of both sexes. In the male body the foreskin of the **** is considered to be the female element. In the female body the clitoris is considered to be the male element. Hence when the adolescent is reaching puberty, these elements are removed to make the indication of sex clear.

The operation is most often carried out by female practitioners. Thus it has been attributed by some authors to a deep-rooted fear of elder women that the more attractive younger women might seduce away their husbands and thus leave them without support.

Many African Muslims believe that female circumcision is required by Islam. In fact, no form of genital modification and mutilation is mentioned in the Qur'an, but only in a disputed hadith. [14] Even then, the hadith only permits and does not require the process. Only one of the four Islamic schools of juriprudence or law, the Shafi'i school, allowed for a "slight trimming" of the hood of the clitoris, supposedly in order to enhance sexual pleasure for the woman. Most contemporary scholars reject it completely.

In Saudi Arabia (Hijaz), where Islam originated, FGC was practised during the life-time of Muhammad. To call a man a "circumciser of women" was an insult among the pagan Arabs at the time. There is no evidence concerning whether this was practised on Muhammad's daughters, but according to his wife Aisha, Muhammad defined lawful intercourse as something that happens when the circumcised parts of the male and female touch each other. Muhammad also recommended in a hadith that the circumcision of females should not be too severe.


Most Muslim scholars believe FGM is practiced as a result of ignorance and misconceived religious fervor rather than for reasons of true religious doctrine--and any religious basis for the practice is denied. Many Arab Muslims interpret different passages as being in opposition to FGM, and believe the practice to be un-Islamic.

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani of SunniPath states "As for excision, FGM, or other harmful practices [including that which take sexual pleasure away from women], which have become culturally widespread, none of these are in any way permitted."[15] Amnesty International asserts that "FGM predates Islam and is not practised by the majority of Muslims, but has acquired a religious dimension." [16]

A few others, like the Egyptian Mufti Sheikh Jad Al-Hâqq 'Ali Jad Al-Hâqq issued, in 1994, a fatwa stating: "Circumcision is mandatory for men and for women. If the people of any village decide to abandon it, the [village] imam must fight against them as if they had abandoned the call to prayer." [17] Al-Azhar University has issued fatwas in 1949, 1951 and 1981 which endorsed the practice. [Gad-al-hak: Khitan al banat, pp. 3119-3125, in Sami A. Aldeeb, Mutiler, Institut Suisse de Droit Comparé, 1993, p. 191.] However, in March 2005, Dr Ahmend Talib, Dean of the Faculty of Sharia, Al Azhar University, Cairo, said: "All practices of female circumcision and mutilation are crimes and have no relationship with Islam. Whether it involves the removal of the skin or the cutting of the flesh of the female genital organs...it is not an obligation in Islam." [18]

However, in September 1998, both Christian and Muslim leaders publicly denounced the practice. [19]

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« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2007, 12:31:04 am »

Medical consequences

Among practicing cultures, FGC is most commonly performed between the ages of four and eight. As with most plastic surgery, advocates of it believe it should be performed under hygienic conditions and with the application of an appropriate anaesthetic. However, this technology has only been available for a relatively short time, and even today the procedure is usually carried out without anesthesia and under unsanitary conditions. As with any procedure, FGC can be extremely painful and dangerous to health when not performed hygienically.

In the case of Clitoridectomy, the principal and most obvious social/medical consequence, irrespective of the sanitary conditions, is the elimination of what is assumed to be the individual's main organ of sexual pleasure, which is the basis upon which the United Nations and most societies to classify it as a human-rights violation.

Some argue that making the process illegal drives it underground and thus puts the recipients at greater risk. Some opponents of the practice argue that the deterrent effect of prohibition outweighs such risks.

Practices such as infibulation, when carried out with shards of glass and other unsanitary tools, can commonly cause infections, sometimes resulting in death or serious long term health effects. These include urinary and reproductive tract infections (caused by obstructed flow of urine and menstrual blood), various forms of scarring and infertility. First sexual intercourse will always be extremely painful, and infibulated women also need to open the labia majora carefully. Sexual pleasure through stimulation of the external part of the clitoris, almost universally regarded outside of practicing cultures as an important part of typical female sexuality, is assumed to be eliminated. However, many circumcised women dispute this claim (see below).

Prohibition has led to FGC being undertaken without any anaesthetic or sterilization, and by persons with no medical training. The procedure, when performed without any anaesthetic, can lead to death through shock or excessive bleeding. The failure to use sterile medical instruments can lead to infections and the spread of disease, such as AIDS, especially when the same instruments are used to perform procedures on multiple women.

The health consequences of FGC vary from region to region and from researcher to researcher. An in-depth analysis by Carla Obermeyer (2003) shows that past studies, plagued by “incomplete analysis” and “inconsistent numbers”, have greatly overestimated the likelihood of serious medical complications resulting from FGC procedures (401). She notes that there is no significant statistically represented relationship between FGC and sexually transmitted diseases/infections, infertility or birth complications (402). Her study is not intended to portray FGC as harmless, simply to illustrate the inadequacy of the health data that anti-FGC advocates and organizations rely upon to justify their opposition.

As anthropologist Fuambai Ahmadu (2000) pointed out, her experience with ritual excision, though painful, empowered her as a woman in the Kono culture of Sierra Leone, increased her sexual sensitivity, and (due to its partial medicalization) led to no health problems beyond the initial heavy bleeding. She claims it did not interfere with her transnational life at all (305), thus was not “anti-progress”, and argues for its complete medicalization, not elimination (304).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_genital_cutting
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Veronica Poe
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« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2007, 12:31:49 am »

The Gräfenberg spot, or G-spot, is a small area in the genital area of women behind the pubic bone and surrounding the urethra. It is named after German gynecologist Ernst Gräfenberg. It is the same as, or part of, the urethral sponge, the site of Skene's glands. There is no confirmed scientific evidence that supports the existence of a particular physiological area known as the "G-spot". The common belief that the "G-spot" is composed of a dense collection of nerve endings is not scientifically supported by existing research. Histological examinations have not revealed any especially concentrated areas of increased nerve endings in the area where a "G-spot" is reported to exist, leading to scientific uncertainty as to whether this area plays any special role in female sexual excitement.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G-spot
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« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2007, 12:32:23 am »

Currently, the nature of female ejaculation is still quite unclear. From a scientific point of view, there are only a few articles in medical journals dealing with this topic. Almost all of these articles do not give any serious data about the origin or composition of the fluid expelled. Even worse, the little data available is inconsistent.

Without any doubt there is a loss of fluid during sexual stimulation or orgasm in some women. In many personal accounts it has been attested that the ejaculate is ejected from somewhere within the ****, not the urethra. In other cases it seems accidental urination has been mistaken for authentic female ejaculation. It has also been suggested that one of the components of the ejaculate may be glucose, which gives it a slightly sweet taste. Because of the wide variety of personal accounts it is difficult to pare away the anecdotes to come to a definitive conclusion, even if the answer may be utterly clear for those who feel they have experienced or witnessed it.

Other "pseudo-scientific" organizations such as the New Sex Institute offer step-by-step guidance to this "new realm of sexual pleasure and intimacy" through various books and videos/dvds. Clint Arthur, the founder of New Sex Institute, states publicly that "all women are physically capable of female ejaculation -- unless they have had surgery to prevent it." Others present less optimistic assessments of the female sex's capacity to ejaculate, with the percentage of women estimated to be between 10% and 55%.

Research

In 2002, Emanuele Jannini of L'Aquila University in Italy showed one explanation for this phenomenon as well as for the frequent denials of its existence. Skene's gland openings are usually the size of pinholes, and vary in size from one woman to another, to the point where they appear to be missing entirely in some women. If Skene's glands are the cause of female ejaculation, this may explain the observed absence of this phenomenon in many women. Retrograde ejaculation, where the fluid travels up the urethra towards the bladder (observed in 75% of test subjects) could also account for the observed absence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_ejaculation

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