Bibliographies on Human Rights: Human Rights Center, UC Berkeley

Universalism vs. Relativism in Human Rights:
Implications for Human Rights Practice

Bibliography compiled by Molly Ryan
Fall, 1997

Female Circumcision/Genital Mutilation


Abu Shama, A.O., et al. (1949). Female Circumcision in the Sudan. Lancet, 1,544-5.

Ahmad, L. (1989). Arab Culture and Writing Women's Bodies. Feminist Issues, Spring:41-55.

Assaad, Marie (1980). Female Circumcision in Egypt: Social Implications, Current Research, and Prospects for Change. Studies in Family Planning, 11(1):3-16.

Aziz, F.A. (1980). Gynaecolgic and obstetric complications of female circumcision. International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, 17, 560-3.


Boddy, Janice (1982). Womb as Oasis: The Symbolic Context of Pharaonic Circumcision in Rural Northern Sudan. American Ethnologist, 9:682-698.

-----------------(1989). Wombs and Alien Spirits: Women, Men, and the Zar Cult in Northern Sudan. University of Wisconsin, Madison.

-----------------(1991). Body Politics: Continuing the Anticircumcision Crusade. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 5:15-17.


Cole, Johnetta B (1995). Human rights and the rights of anthropologists.(Transcript) American Anthropologist , v97, n3 (Sept, 1995):445 (4 pages).

Corbin, Beth (1994). The torturous realities of female genital mutilation. National N OW Times, v26, n4 (June, 1994):5 (3 pages).

Corbin, Beth (1994). Deportation vs. female genital mutilation. National N O W Times, v26, n4 (June, 1994):5.

Corbin, Beth (1994).FGM: breaking the conspiracy of silence. (female genital mutilation) National N O W Times , v26, n4 (June, 1994):11.


Dawit, Seble and Salem Mekuria (1993). The West Just Doesn't Get it. New York Times, 7 December 1993, Editorial.

Dorkenoo, Efua (1994). African women speak out on FGM. (female genital mutilation) National N O W Times , v26, n4 (June, 1994):11.

Dorkenoo, E. and Elworthy, S. (1992). Female Genital Mutilation: proposals for change. Minority Rights Group, London.

Duffy, J. (1963). Masturbation and Clitoridectomy: a nineteenth-century view. JAMA, 3, 166-8.


Economist (1996). Men's traditional culture.(female genital mutilation). v340, n7978 (August 10, 1996):34.

Eike-Henner, Kluge (1993). Female Circumcision: When Medical Ethics Confronts Cultural Values. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 148(2):288-89.

El Dareer, Asthma (1982). Woman, Why do you Weep? Circumcision and Its Consequences. Zed Press, London.

El Saadawi, N. (1980). The Hidden Face of Eve: Women in the Arab World. Zed Press, London.


Fluehr-Lobban, Carolyn (1995). Cultural relativism and universal rights.(Opinion & Arts)Chronicle of Higher Education , v41, n39 (June 9, 1995):B1 (2 pages).


Gallo, P. Grassivaro; Livio, M.; Viviani, F. Italy: International Symposium on FGM - May, 15, 1994. (female genital mutilation) WIN News , v20, n3 (Summer, 1994): 33.

Ginzburg, Faye (1991). What do Women Want?: Feminist Anthropology Confronts Clitoridectomy. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 5(1):17-19.

Gordon, Daniel (1991). Female Circumcision and Genital Operations in Egypt and the Sudan: A Dilemma for Medical Anthropology. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 5(1):3-14.

Gruenbaum, Ellen (1996). The Cultural Debate over Female Circumcision: The Sudanese are Arguing This one Out for Themselves. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 10(4):455-475.


Hale, Sondra (1994). A Question of Subjects: The "Female Circumcision" Controversey and the Politics of Knowledge. Ufahamu , 22(3):26-35.

Hayes, R.O. (1975). Female genital mutilation, fertility control, women's roles, and the patrilineage in modern Sudan: a functional analysis. American Ethnologist, 4, 617-33.

Hosken, Fran (1982). The Hosken Report: Genital and Sexual Mutilation of Females. Lexington, MA, International Network News.

Hosken, Fran P (1993). The medicalization of female genital mutilation. (Female Sexual Mutilation)WIN News v19, n1 (Wntr, 1993):34 (3 pages).


Ibrahim, Saad (1994). Circumcision of the Egyptian Mind: Guilt or Shame? Civil Society: Democratic Transformation in the Arab World, 3(31):3.


JAMA. (1996). Female genital mutilation. (from the AMA's Council on Scientific Affairs) JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association, n v274, n21 (Dec 6, 1995):1714 (3 pages).

James, Stephen (1994). Reconciling International Human Rights and Cultural Relativism: The Case of Female Circumcision. Bioethics, 8(1):1-26.


Kiragu, Karungari.(October, 1995).Female genital mutilation: a reproductive health concern. Population Reports , v23, n3 (Oct, 1995):S1 (4 pages).

Kopelman, Loretta (1994). Female Circumcision/Genital Mutilation and Ethical Relativism. Second Opinion, 20(2):55-71.

Kourba, L. J., and Muasher, J. (1985). Female Circumcision in Africa: an overview. African Studies Review,28, 95-110.


Lamb, Claire (1992). Female Excision: The Feminist Conundrum. Ufahamu, 20(3):13- 31.

Lane, Sandra and Robert Rubinstein (1996). Judging the Other. Responding to Traditional Female Genital Surgeries. Hastings Center Report, 26(3):31-40.

---------------------(1994). A Response [to 'On Condemning Female Genital Mutilation], Of Value, 24(3):3-4.

Lightfoot-Klein, Hanny. Prisoners of Ritual: An Odyssey into Female Genital Circumcision in Africa. Haworth Press, Binghamton, NY.

Lyons, H. (1981). Anthropologists, moralities and relativities: the problem of genital mutilations', Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 18, 499-518.


Maher, Robin M. (Fall, 1996). Female genital mutilation: the struggle to eradicate this rite of passage.Human Rights v23, n4:12 (4 pages).

Mohamud, O.A. (1991). Female circumcision and child mortality in urban Somalia. Genus, 67, 203-23.


Obermeyer, Carla Makhlouf (1995). A cross-cultural perspective on reproductive rights.Human Rights Quarterly ,v17, n2 (May, 1995):366-381.


Parker, Melissa (1995). Rethinking Female Circumcision. Africa. 65(4):506-523.


Reynolds, Barbara (1994). The move to outlaw female genital mutilation.Ms. Magazine v5, n1 (July-August, 1994):92.


Sader, Jennifer (July, 1996). 22-year-old photo intern documents grisly female genital mutilation rite. (includes related article on Togo native fleeing mutilation).News Photographer v51, n7 (July, 1996):24 (4 pages).

Scheper-Hughes, Nancy (1991). Virgin Territory: The Male Discovery of the Clitoris.Medical Anthropology Quarterly. 5(1):25-28.

Schroeder, Patricia. Female genital mutilation - a form of child abuse. (Editorial) New England Journal of Medicine v331, n11 (Sept 15, 1994):739.

Sheehan, Elizabeth (1981). Victorian Clitoridectomy. Medical Anthropology Newsletter, 12:10-15.

Slack, A.T. (1988). Female circumcision: a critical appraisal. Human Rights Quarterly, 10, 437-86.


Toubia, Nahid (1988). Women and Health in Sudan. In Women of the Arab World. Toubia, N. ed. Zed Books, London.

------------------(1993). Female Genital Mutilation: A Call for Global Action. Women Ink, NY.

-----------------(1994). Female circumcision as a public health issue. New England Journal of Medicine, 331, 712-716.

Tuzin, D. (1991). Sex, culture and the anthropologist. Social Science and Medicine, 33, 867-74.


Van der Kwaak, A. (1992). Female circumcision and gender identity: a questionable alliance? Social Science and Medicine, 35, 777-87.


Walker, Alice (1992). Possessing the Secret of Joy. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, NY.

Walker, Alice (1993). A legacy of betrayal: confronting the evil tradition of female genital mutilation. Ms. Magazine, v4, n3 (Nov-Dec, 1993):55 (3 pages).

Walker, Alice and Pratibha Parmar (1993).Warrior Marks. Female Genital Mutilation and the Sexual Blinding of Women. Harcourt Brace and Co., NY.

Walsh, Catherine (Dec. 1995). Perspectives. (female genital mutilation and partial- birth abortion) America , v173, n21 (Dec 30, 1995):6.

Warzazi, Halima Embarek (1992). Study: traditional practices affecting the health of women and children. (female circumcision in Sudan and Djibouti) (Female Genital and Sexual Mutilation).WIN News v18, n2 (Spring, 1992):42 (2 pages).

WIN News (1995). Progress report: women's international network grassroots campaign to stop FGM. (female genital mutilation).WIN News, v21, n3 (Summer, 1995):27.

WIN News (1995). Egypt: top Islamic authority supports FGM. (female genital mutilation)(Female Genital and Sexual Mutilations), v21, n2 (Spring, 1995):44.

WIN News(1994). Training of trainers program for Somali women in the Netherlands. (fighting against female genital mutilation). v20, n3 (Summer, 1994):32.

Winter, Bronwyn (1994). Women, the Law, and Cultural Relativism in France: The Case of Excision. Signs, 19(4):939.

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See also: Bibliographies on Gender Issues