Wluml dossier 3 June/July 1988 Sexual Mutilations

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1. Psychological trauma

This operation is often carried out on very young girls who have no appreciation of its underlying sociocultural basis. There are no preparations for it, they are just subjected to a harsh, cruel operation for which no reason is given and which is performed at the tender age of between 7 and 13 years. Not only is it physically painful, but it affects them psychologically. Many of them can become completely unprepared for the sexual act in adult life.

They may develop fear of the adult members of the society who subjected them to this type of torture. It should be noted that in some of the Moslem countries once the labia have been cut off the raw areas are brought together with thorns so that when healing takes place there is only a very tiny opening through which the blood of menstruation comes out. It therefore becomes necessary for the women to have a second operation prior to the wedding night. The poor girl is subjected to a lot of torture because the man performs intercourse through the raw area.
2. Dyspareunia (Pain during sexual intercourse)

Depending on the degree of mutilation carried out, when fully healed, those circumcised end up with scar tissue around the vaginal opening. This opening is not elastic enough due to the scar tissue to accommodate the penis and does not give way easily during penetration. This can be very painful to the female and can make her fearful of sex.

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