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

Author: Denniston, G.C.; Grassivaro Gallo, P.; Hodges, F.M.; Milos, M.F.; Viviani, F.

How is it that, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, it is still possible for males and females to be denied their inherent right to keep all the body parts with which they were born?

Circumcision is a cultural phenomenon that affects 15.3 million children and young adults annually. In terms of gender, 13.3 millions boys and 2 million girls are subjected to the involuntary removal of part or all of their external sex organs every year. Few people, however, ask why such practices persist or how modern societies can tolerate this inherent violation of human rights. The problem of female circumcision is being addressed on an international level, while male circumcision remains a subject many academics are reluctant to fully or impartially examine. This book explores the problem of male and female circumcision in modern society from religious, anthropological, psychological, medical, legal, and ethical perspectives.

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

Written for:

College, university, hospital libraries; female and male genital mutilation researchers; physicians; medical historians; lawyers; bioethicists


Female genital modification
Human rights
Male and Female genital mutilation

Table of contents:




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