Rationalising circumcision: from tradition to fashion, from public health to individual freedom--critical notes on cultural persistence of the practice of genital mutilation
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Medical Ethics 30 (3):248-253 (2004)
Despite global and local attempts to end genital mutilation, in their various forms, whether of males or females, the practice has persisted throughout human history in most parts of the world. Various medical, scientific, hygienic, aesthetic, religious, and cultural reasons have been used to justify it. In this symposium on circumcision, against the background of the other articles by Hutson, Short, and Viens, the practice is set by the author within a wider, global context by discussing a range of rationalisations used to support different types of genital mutilation throughout time and across the globe. It is argued that in most cases the rationalisations invented to provide support for continuing the practice of genital mutilation—whether male or female—within various cultural and religious settings have very little to do with finding a critical and reflective moral justification for these practices. In order to question the ethical acceptability of the practice in its non-therapeutic forms, we need to focus on child rights protection
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Joseph Mazor (2013). The Child's Interests and the Case for the Permissibility of Male Infant Circumcision. Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (7):421-428.
R. S. Howe (2013). Infant Circumcision: The Last Stand for the Dead Dogma of Parental (Sovereignal) Rights. Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (7):475-481.
Similar books and articles
Margherita Brusa & Y. Michael Barilan (2009). Cultural Circumcision in Eu Public Hospitals – an Ethical Discussion. Bioethics 23 (8):470-482.
Rida Usman Khalafzai (2008). Female Genital Mutilation. Chisholm Health Ethics Bulletin 14 (1):1.
Jeffrey P. Bishop (2004). Modern Liberalism, Female Circumcision, and the Rationality of Traditions. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 29 (4):473 – 497.
Michael Benatar & David Benatar (2003). Between Prophylaxis and Child Abuse: The Ethics of Neonatal Male Circumcision. American Journal of Bioethics 3 (2):35-48.
Rogaia Mustafa Abusharaf (1999). The Resurrection of the Savage: Warrior Marks Revisited. Radical Philosophy Review 2 (2):96-111.
Ruth Macklin (1999). Against Relativism: Cultural Diversity and the Search for Ethical Universals in Medicine. Oxford University Press.
Peter West-Oram (2013). Freedom of Conscience and Health Care in the United States of America: The Conflict Between Public Health and Religious Liberty in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Health Care Analysis 21 (3):237-247.
R. Sala & D. Manara (2001). Nurses and Requests for Female Genital Mutilation: Cultural Rights Versus Human Rights. Nursing Ethics 8 (3):247-258.
Thomas Szasz (1996). Routine Neonatal Circumcision: Symbol of the Birth of the Therapeutic State. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 21 (2):137-148.
Rebecca Reilly-Cooper (2009). Are Breast Implants Better Than Female Genital Mutilation? Res Publica 15 (4):415-420.
Lubomira Radoilska (2009). Public Health Ethics and Liberalism. Public Health Ethics 2 (2):135-145.
James Mensch (2007). Public Space. Continental Philosophy Review 40 (1):31-47.
E. Turillazzi & V. Fineschi (2007). Female Genital Mutilation: The Ethical Impact of the New Italian Law. Journal of Medical Ethics 33 (2):98-101.
Jonny Anomaly (2011). Public Health and Public Goods. Public Health Ethics 4 (3):251-259.
Rida Usman Khalafzai (2009). Public Health and Human Rights. Chisholm Health Ethics Bulletin 14 (3):4.
Added to index2010-08-24
Total downloads27 ( #126,010 of 1,781,271 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #167,843 of 1,781,271 )
How can I increase my downloads?