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Female Genital Mutilation and Constructions of Masculinity in Twentieth Century Egypt
Masculinity in Egypt has traditionally been in part a function of control of female sexuality; Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is one instance of this. Likewise notions of femininity have served to encourage FGM among women, as the practice can be interpreted in part as removing or reducing a portion of the female anatomy that is popularly considered more properly male in terms of both structure and function; this has been considered a necessary precondition for marriage. In recent years, as anti-FGM educational campaigns have become more common in Egypt, anecdotal evidence indicates there has been some shifting of these ideas, as educated men sometimes show a preference for “uncircumcised” girls as marriage partners, believing that they will be more sexually responsive.
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