The Library of Congress > Linked Data Service > LC Subject Headings (LCSH)

Female genital mutilation


  • Here are entered works on practices that involve surgery of the external female genital organs and that may vary in extent from simple cutting of the clitoral prepuce to total excision of the clitoris and parts of the labia.
  • URI(s)

  • Variants

    • Circumcision, Female
    • Clitoridotomy
    • Female circumcision
    • Female genital cutting
    • Female genital modification
    • FGC (Female genital cutting)
    • FGM (Female genital mutilation)
    • Genital cutting, Female
    • Genital mutilation, Female
    • Mutilation, Female genital
  • Broader Terms

  • Narrower Terms

  • Exact Matching Concepts from Other Schemes

  • Closely Matching Concepts from Other Schemes

  • Broader Concepts from Other Schemes

  • Earlier Established Forms

    • Female circumcision
  • Sources

    • found: Hennepin(Clitoridectomy x Female circumcision)
    • found: Women's thes.(Female circumcision)
    • found: Female circumcision, 1988:p. 51 (In practice the term "female circumcision" is used for several kinds of clitoral or genital manipulations)
    • found: Dorland's med. dict.(circumcision: female circumcision; clitoridotomy)
    • found: Washington Post, April 13, 1993:p. 9, Health section (Female circumcision)
    • found: Washington Post, June 14, 1996:p. A6 (female genital mutilation; genital mutilation)
    • found: Boyle, E.H. Female genital cutting, 2002:p. 25 (FGC: African feminists and scholars have criticized "female genital mutilation" for being ethnocentric; others adopt the term "female genital modifications" because the acronym "FGM" has become widely recognized)
    • found: MeSH browser, Sept. 21, 2012(Circumcision, Female. Scope Note: A general term encompassing three types of excision of the external female genitalia - Sunna, clitoridectomy, and infibulation. It is associated with severe health risks and has been declared illegal in many places, but continues to be widely practiced in a number of countries, particularly in Africa. UF Clitorectomy; Clitoridectomy; Female Circumcision; Genital Mutilation, Female; Infibulation. In MeSH Tree Structures under Cosmetic Techniques - Body Modification, Non-Therapeutic and also under Surgical Procedures, Operative - Body Modification, Non-Therapeutic)
    • found: Wikipedia, Sept. 21, 2012(under Body modification: Types: Female genital cutting/Labiaplasty/Clitoral hood reduction - removal of the labia minora or the clitoral hood) Female genital mutilation (Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as "all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. FGM is typically carried out on girls from a few days old to puberty." The WHO has offered four classifications of FGM. The main three are Type I, removal of the clitoral hood, almost invariably accompanied by removal of the clitoris itself (clitoridectomy); Type II, removal of the clitoris and inner labia; and Type III (infibulation), removal of all or part of the inner and outer labia, and usually the clitoris, and the fusion of the wound, leaving a small hole for the passage of urine and menstrual blood--the fused wound is opened for intercourse and childbirth. Several miscellaneous acts are categorized as Type IV. These range from a symbolic pricking or piercing of the clitoris or labia, to cauterization of the clitoris, cutting into the vagina to widen it (gishiri cutting), and introducing corrosive substances to tighten it; Other terms in use, apart from female circumcision, include female genital cutting (FGC), female genital surgeries, female genital alteration, female genital excision, and female genital modification. Several countries refer to Type 1 FGM as sunna circumcision. It is also known as kakia, and in Sierra Leone as bundu)
    • found: Sex and social justice, 1999:page 119 (Although discussions sometimes use the terms 'female circumcision' and 'clitoridectomy,' 'female genital mutilation' (FGM) is the standard generic term for all these procedures in the medical literature. [...] The term 'female circumcision' has been rejected by international medical practitioners because it suggests the fallacious analogy to male circumcision, which is generally believed to have either no effect or a positive effect on physical health and sexual functioning.)
    • found: UNFPA [United Nations Population Fund] website, accessed April 22, 2022:Female genital mutilation (FGM) frequently asked questions (When the practice first came to international attention, it was generally referred to as 'female circumcision.' [...] However, the term 'female circumcision' has been criticized for drawing a parallel with male circumcision and creating confusion between the two distinct practices. [...] It is also sometimes argued that the term obscures the serious physical and psychological effects of genital cutting on women. UNFPA does not encourage use of the term 'female circumcision' because the health implications of male and female circumcision are very different.) - https://www.unfpa.org/resources/female-genital-mutilation-fgm-frequently-asked-questions#FGM_terms
    • found: World Health Organization, 2022:Female genital mutilation [fact sheet] (Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external femal genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons) - https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/female-genital-mutilation
  • LC Classification

    • GN484
  • General Notes

    • Here are entered works on practices that involve surgery of the external female genital organs and that may vary in extent from simple cutting of the clitoral prepuce to total excision of the clitoris and parts of the labia.
  • History Notes

    • [Heading changed from Female circumcision to Female genital mutilation in July 2023.]
  • Instance Of

  • Scheme Membership(s)

  • Collection Membership(s)

  • Change Notes

    • 2003-03-28: new
    • 2023-07-27: revised
  • Alternate Formats