The reputable UK newsmagazine The Economist, in its June 12, 2010 print issue, examines female genital cutting (FGC) in some detail with reference to the recent American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) position statements, which first (on May 1) condoned and then (on June 1) rejected the permissibility of minor forms of FGC. The article is titled, “Female Genital Cutting: Ending a Brutal Practice,” does not carry a byline, and appears on pp. 66-67. (

The closing paragraph of the article paraphrases Dena Davis, the head of the AAP committee that generated the May 1 statement condoning FGC, and is worth quoting in full for its eloquent, succinct call to apply US constitutional principles of equal protection to genital cutting:

Ms. [Dena] Davis argues that in America at least, it is not acceptable to criminalise all female genital cutting while adopting a relaxed stance to the male sort. She suspects that by allowing male circumcision while forbidding even a symbolic cut on girls, Western countries show respect for only those religious and cultural practices with which they are already comfortable.