More than 500,000 in U.S. Could Be at Risk of Female Genital Excision

Alexandra Zavis, Los Angeles Times, February 6, 2015

Nearly 507,000 women and girls in the United States could be at risk of female genital excision, including 57,000 in California, a new study has found.

That is more than twice the number that were thought to be at risk in 2000, the last year for which estimates are available.

Analysts at the Population Reference Bureau, a nonprofit research organization in Washington, attributed the preliminary findings released Friday to an increase in immigration from countries where the practice is common, including Egypt, Ethiopia and Somalia.

It is unclear how many families continue the practice after moving to the U.S., but community activists say there is anecdotal evidence of girls being sent back to their parents’ home countries for “vacation cutting” and of traditional cutters traveling to the U.S. to circumcise girls in this country.

To estimate the number who may have undergone the procedure or be at risk, the research group used data collected by the Census Bureau for the 2013 American Community Survey to determine the number of women and girls whose families originate in countries where female genital excision is practiced. It then applied the prevalence rates in those countries to the numbers in the U.S.

The methodology is similar to that used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a study that found about 168,000 women and girls were at risk of genital excision in the U.S. in 1990, said Mark Mather, the group’s associate vice president for U.S. programs.

Campaigners have been urging the government to update its estimate, and the CDC is expected to release new figures this year.


Charlotte Feldman-Jacobs, the Population Reference Bureau’s gender program director, said she hoped government agencies, healthcare providers and community activists would use the information to ensure U.S. laws are enforced and the affected women and girls receive the care and support they need.

Cutting a girl’s genitals for nonmedical reasons has been illegal under U.S. federal law since 1996. In 2013, President Obama signed a law that also makes it illegal to send a girl to another country to have the procedure done.

But Feldman-Jacobs said she knew of just one criminal case being brought in the U.S. for female genital excision. An Ethiopian immigrant was convicted of aggravated battery and cruelty to children in 2006 for removing his daughter’s clitoris with scissors at the family’s Atlanta-area apartment when she was 2.


Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • D.B. Cooper

    Umm, OK.

  • MekongDelta69

    Remember when America was a first-world country?

    Luckily, I DO…

    • MBlanc46

      Alas, it’s that memory that makes it so painful to see it turned into a Third World hellhole.

  • Have they not heard? The European Union supports FGM, and wants to classify any attempts to prohibit it as Islamophobia.

  • superlloyd

    When you import the worst dregs of Africa such as the Somalis you also import their degenerate “cultural” practises. Don’t let them in and then we won’t have to pretend to care about their barbarism.

  • TomIron361

    No big deal. They’re just blacks.

  • Samuel Hathaway

    Color me ignorant, but what is the purpose of all this genital mutilation? Birth control?

    • Alucard_the_last

      It serves no purpose just like that tribe in Africa were the boys lick cattle pussy to ‘stimulate’ milk production. Just ANOTHER barbaric culture that we are suppose to embrace in the name of multiculturalism.

    • Anglokraut

      The purpose is to remove the nerves that make sex pleasurable for women–the sick reasoning is that if sex gives no pleasure, women will not seek it out, will stay chaste until marriage, and adultery will not be an issue later. There is the clitorectomy FGM, which is just what is sounds like, and the labial FGM, which carves up a woman’s anatomy like a Barbie doll, and leaves just enough skin for the husband to sew his wife closed when he’s not making use of the facilities.

      • Samuel Hathaway

        Okay, so it is a form of birth-control, so to speak, to discourage women from desiring sex, and consequently, getting pregnant. I had a hunch that had something to do with it. But I don’t live in that type of culture, so I never really much thought about it till I saw it here.

        • Anna Tree

          No not birth-control, just the African and islamic version of the chastity belt. They still do many kids but it is believed only with their husband as the husband would know if his wife/wives’s wounds are from him AND intercourse is so painful that women wouldn’t want it anyway.

    • jaye ellis


      The purpose is to fix women so they do not seek, can not have sexual pleasure.

      Sex in the Islamic, Black Africa world is for men, procreation – to have lots and lots of children, who are the foot soldiers to overwhelm White Western Civilization.

  • Alucard_the_last

    The feminists are really in a spot. If they oppose this, they’ll be racists/islamophobic.

    • Georgia Boy

      Problems are oportunities in disguise. We need more money for those programs, because they were never told, the key is education, so remember your white privilege.

      • RationaliseThis

        Another “program” which will be funded by an increase the government deficit, The money created by the Federal Reserve printing money and loaning it for interest as a bond to the Government. Diversity has turned America into Greece on steroids saved only by the fact that the U.S. dollar is used for trade but dumping it on an increasingly dubious world will evetually backfire.

        Such endless social “programs” do not create an asset that will repay the investment but in fact rob White or other productive people of their taxes, the money they could use to repay student loans, repay their house or buy an American made car.

        This should not be an American problem.

        The parents should be hanged by their necks, that will put an end to the practice and immigration.

  • dd121

    I take it the liberals are jumping up and down for joy, celebrating this bit of diversity.

    • Alucard_the_last

      They certainly aren’t complaining about it. Silence = Acceptance.

  • Xerxes22

    If female circumcision for non medical reasons is illegal in the US, then male circumcision for non medical reasons should also be illegal. You will notice that the LA Times uses the pc term, excision.. Using the correct term circumcision might offend some powerful groups.

    • Anglokraut

      Wow, if anyone if brave enough to take that equal-protection case to a U.S. court, there won’t be enough popcorn available for the circus to follow.

    • I’m glad I was circumcised, as this lets me “last” a lot longer. No man who appreciates the way a lady enjoys it wants that appendage “more sensitive”.

      • Anna Tree

        Europeans are not circumcised and European women and men are not less happy or satisfied than North Americans.
        Correlation doesn’t mean causation: maybe your claim can be rebutted with the hypothesis that the appendage makes the lady more sensitive…
        Female or male circumcisions ARE genital mutilation.

      • Anna Tree

        By the way two months ago I realized that most if not all of the scientific literature that allegedly is to support the medical reason for male mutilation is based on a) circumcised vs non-circumcised blacks in Africa and b) circumcised Whites vs non-circumcised Hispanics in the US!

        Duh, behaviors and hygiene of both groups are different from Whites’s behavior and hygiene!(*) This is race theory, aka there-is-only-one-race-we-are-all-the-same: it’s all a scam: if they would compared the HIV stats of circumcised and uncircumcised whites, they would be no difference! Not circumcising is the white thing to do, I hope the next generation won’t do the mistakes we did.

        The same way I wouldn’t accept the findings of diabetes prevention for blacks, to match the needs of white men, or findings in education or law enforcement etc, I wouldn’t accept the findings about circumcision for blacks, to match white folks.
        The studies are not conclusive and others about Europe are quite contradictory. As long as science is not sure, why should white parents mutilate their white kids? The same way I wouldn’t do it for a religious belief, I wouldn’t do it for any beliefs. I need reasonable and logic facts.

        I think circumcision protects from Stds the same way that cutting the eye lids protect from conjunctivitis. I presume that to save 300’000 people in the US from appendicitis surgeries and worse, we could cut the appendix from babies too.

        No I think bias, monogamy and condoms prevent Stds, not circumcision.

        (*) May be the fact that most/many circumcised blacks are muslims could make them as a whole less likely to be gay, using drugs, going to prostitutes or cheating: not only they may have more safe partners as in wives and slaves, but the fear of being shamed or stoned to death and all in between, could be a powerful deterrent.
        And maybe Hispanics are just more promiscuous, less careful with condoms and have less bias too.

    • Who Me?

      When my son was born 32 years ago, I had no feelings about circumcision either pro or con. I actually had never even thought about it. My husband said it was necessary, so it was done. No problems, and I guess he had no “locker room” problems, looking different that the other boys or anything, as most boys his age were circumcised too. Now though, after a few years of occasionally checking into the subject and using my brain, I’m convinced that most normal babies are born exactly the way they are supposed to be, with no *immediately after birth surgical modifications* necessary. This means male as well as female. Maybe someday routine circumcision of all male infants will cease, just like the once routine removal of all children’s tonsils has been reduced to only those who need it. (If you were born in the 40’s, 50’s or 60’s, chances are you have no tonsils.)
      But after all that is said, I still think FGM is horrendous. Anyone who performs this “operation” ought to have their genitals surgically removed without anesthesia.

    • Anna Tree

      An even more correct term is, in my opinion, genital mutilation. And indeed there are no medical reasons for any of them. They are barbaric. And they are money sham and scam, and additionally for islam, African religions and judaism, just tribal.

    • LHathaway

      Good luck with that. Male circumcision reduces men’s pleasure. Thereby increasing his girlfriends pleasure. At least whatever pleasure she feels will continue for a longer period of time. It is also hygienic. It’s a win-win all around. We should, perhaps, prevent black men from having it done . . . Men of color . . .

      • BlueSonicStreak

        Nothing about circ is a win-win. It’s a potentially dangerous procedure, performed for no good medical reason whatsoever.

        My own cousin was one of the unlucky ones who had a botched circumcision, Nearly lost his entire penis. They literally had to sew it back on.

        Imagine that was YOUR son.

        • LHathaway

          next you’re going to accuse Bill Cosby of raping a boy you know, because, ‘it happens so much out there’.

          • BlueSonicStreak

            I honest-to-god think you’re brain damaged. Not just stupid; but like you’ve been in some sort of tragic accident, and managed to re-learn how to type but still think through a brain of marbles. I have never, not once, seen a single cogent or rational comment from you. I don’t even know why I attempt to reply to you. I should probably stop doing that.

            The POINT, you donkey, relates to cost-benefit analysis. The relative risk of serious complications may be low (I believe it’s between 2-5%), but the potential loss is high for no serious benefit. The “lasts longer” thing has no empirical evidence behind it that I’m aware of. “Hygiene” is also a really poor reason to cut a sensitive part of the body off.

            BOTH justifications are really, really poor reasons to lose your penis entirely.

            If there was a MAJOR medical benefit to circumcision, the risk would be justified. There isn’t, though.

          • LHathaway

            Which is it, cost-benefits analysis, or . . . well, I guess that is all there is for you . . . or all you’re willing to admit to. You’ll come to an irrational thought one day. Maybe even have a genuine feeling. We’re allowed to have them, you know. It’s just strongly discouraged. Isn’t that enough to make you want to have them?

            I just say stuff, dude. It may not always be a shoe that fits.

          • meanqueen

            There is a major medical benefit to male circumcision – lower incidence of STDs, lower incidence of HIV (by 60%), lower incidence of cervical cancer in female partners, lower incidence of penile cancer, lower incidence of urinary tract infection, prevention of adult phimosis (inability to retract foreskin). Jews don’t give a rat’s tail whether gentiles circ their boys so are hardly a driving force here. You can decide for whatever reason to ignore the science, but don’t claim there are no good reasons for it.

          • BlueSonicStreak

            Penile cancer is rare, serious cases of phimosis are relatively rare, circumcision only has an impact on cervical cancer when the woman is high-risk to begin with (not that it should be the man’s concern to lose a body part when the effect is not on his body) and yeah, circumcision has been shown to drop HIV transmission rates by a lot – in populations that are known for not wearing condoms. Safer sex is by far the more important factor for both HIV and cervical cancer.

          • Lygeia

            “not that it should be the man’s concern to lose a body part when the effect is not on his body” – What?

          • BlueSonicStreak

            Er, what’s confusing about that statement? Aiding his partner’s health through safe sex practices is up to a man. Cutting off part of his junk in infancy for the future health of the partner it is presumed he will have should not be. It shouldn’t even be a consideration.

            I would feel the same way if the genders were reversed.

          • Anna Tree

            Please Meanqueen, bring me the research on those issues. Read my post on this page about the fact that those research were done on blacks in Africa and Hispanics in the US. It is not about white men! Circumcised European men don’t have higher incidence of those diseases.
            Rational bias on partners, monogamy and condoms prevent Stds, not circumcision.

  • Albert

    Listen up you left wing denialists. Every-time the Muslim world does something you don’t like, you protect them by saying the actions are those of extremists and have nothing to do with Muslim culture. What you can’t deny is that Islam is a culture that is repressive and oppressive to women. It’s practiced by Muslims of all stripes from so called moderates to extremists. Female genital mutilation is a common practice among them. You can’t deny this anymore than you can deny the sky is blue.

  • Spikeygrrl

    Doing this to minor children is wrong…but I can easily see some adult women having it done, voluntarily, sanitarily, and under appropriate anesthesia.

    • HE2

      Spikey, my children’s father insisted on post natal circumcision for our boys.
      He was born in Germany, not circ’d as per Euro perinatal protocol.
      As an teenager he developed painful phimosis unresponsive to treatment, thus he required circ’ing. Very traumatic for him.
      He told me he did not want our boys to endure it as he had. OK with me.
      I was taught it was a salubrious procedure resulting in fewer incidents of cervical and penile cancer, that reduction of sensate pleasure for men was a myth.

      • Spikeygrrl

        As women, neither you nor I will ever know the truth about male circumcision’s effects on males’ subsequent sex lives. There are an awful lot of anecdotes going around on both sides of the issue.

        I am, however, much more interested in VOLUNTARY female circumcision’s effects on women’s subsequent sex lives.

        • HE2

          Understand, Spikey.
          I do not want to debate the subject either.
          Empirically, my evidence is positive, based on observation of my children’s father, our boys, and patients.

          • Spikeygrrl

            Anecdotes are like a s s h o l e s: Everybody’s got one and most of them stink. 😉

          • HE2

            Yes, Spikey, agree.
            My anecdotes are merely my own experiential observations gleaned over the years. Not claiming they are worthy of post ipso facto universal acceptance in the matter.
            Have not noticed an odor, however. ;]

    • exlib93

      As long as our tax dollars do not have to pay for their reconstruction surgeries.

  • libertarian1234

    “More than 500,000 in U.S. Could Be at Risk of Female Genital Excision”

    True to their rabid leftist bent, they’re using a euphemism to describe what amounts no less to a ghastly procedure by calling it Female Genital Excision, instead of Female Genital Mutilation.

    If you Google WHO, FGM, you’ll see what I’m referring to. The procedure in many cases involves much more than an “excision” and is truly barbaric.

    Here’s what the WHO explains the procedures are:

    “Female genital mutilation is classified into four major types.

    “Clitoridectomy: partial or total removal of the clitoris (a small, sensitive and erectile part of the female genitals) and, in very rare cases, only the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris).

    “Excision: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (the labia are “the lips” that surround the vagina).

    “Infibulation: narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner, or outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris.

    “Other: all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area.”
    And not a word criticizing Muslims by feminist radicals about such indignities perpetrated on mostly young girls and children.

  • jaye ellis

    This is a tremendous propaganda issue for our side.

    It simply blows away the “that’s RACIST” defense of all things non White, all things 3rd world.

    Work with Liberal/Left and women’s groups to spread the truth that this is going on and only 1 person has ever been successfully prosecuted for this barbaric, anti female custom.

    • Knowing the left the way we do, their womyn’s groups will be too scared to touch it because doing so would be racist and Islamophobic. We could pick off some of their individuals using the issue, but don’t look for NOW to make Muslim FGM their big issue anytime soon.

      Then it will be back to regularly scheduled programming in feminist wacko city: Going topless and screaming at a bunch of octogenarian priests with no real power or influence.

  • Roninf9

    3rd World people with 3rd World ways, 3rd World habits, and 3rd World problems can only create 3rd World conditions. If we want to maintain our 1st World Civilization we must rid ourselves of ALL 3rd Worlders.

  • BlueSonicStreak

    Oh, and what sexual mores in the U.S. do you think are as terrible as cutting off large chunks of a child’s genitals?

    DO tell.

  • MathMan

    Here in UK there have been about 150,000 reported cases of FGM ( female genital mutilation). It is illegal, but so far no one has been prosecuted because the Liberal Left don’t want to upset the ethnics who bring these barbaric practices with them. UK is going backwards at speed!

  • Preparation HBomb

    Get RID of these tribal sub-humans — they have no right to be in this country. They offer us nothing of value.