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Word Count: 740
Female circumcision also known by the terms clitoridectomy female genital mutilation and FGM is widely practiced in Africa the Middle East Southeast Asia as well as Central and South America The first known documentation of clitoridectomy was four thousand years ago in ancient civilizations in Egypt and Sudan The practice successfully survived the spread of Christianity to the ruling of the Nile kingdoms in Sudan in the sixth century Waves of Arab migration intermarriage with the indigenous people and the influence of Islamic teachers resulted in Islams becoming the dominant religion of northern Sudan by about 1500Gruenbaum 441 The close association with the historical origins of clitoridectomy and the Islamic religion might explain why some people think that Islamic law prescribes it which it does not Clitoridectomy is a deeply entrenched custom rooted in superstition not in religion Sex in most of these patriarchal societies is indeed simply for men which is why female circumcision takes place There are several different forms of female circumcision and the severity of the mutilation depends on the culture in which it is practiced The age in which the female is circumcised varies as well FGM consists of the removal of all external genitalia and in most cases infibulation Preparation for FGM may take months The preparation is so important because it is an important time in a young girls life It is a rite of passage for a female to be circumcised and the movement of individuals from one stage in their life cycle to another is often marked by ritual the most important rituals being celebrated at the most significant points of change Clitoridectomy is considered a time of celebration with gifts being given to the girls such gifts include dresses jewelry a slaughtered animal and a special meal prepared for the many guests and well-wishers who are expected to drop in In
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