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Epidemiological, Medical, Legal, and Psychological Aspects of Mutilation/at-Risk Girls in Italy

A Bioethical Focus
  • P. Grassivaro Gallo
  • L. Araldi
  • F. Viviani
  • R. Gaddini

Abstract

As a result of immigration from Africa, Italy has become host to people from cultures that traditionally practice female genital mutilation. According to indirect estimates, 4,000 to 5,000 genitally mutilated girls may be living in Italy today.

From a 1993 epidemiological study in which we interviewed 327 obstetrician/gynaecologists (Ob/Gyns), we collected data from 18 Ob/Gyns on 42 mutilated girls. The patients, primarily from East Africa, presently were living in nearly all regions of Italy.

Between 1993 and 1997, an additional survey of 30Ob/Gyns permitted us to collect case studies on 73 mutilated girls. The cases, analysed through a qualitative methodology, permitted us to investigate some areas of interest, giving us information on the different ways female genital mutilation is performed in Italy; the impact on the health service of the short- and medium-term physical consequences of female genital mutilation; the victim’s fear of the operation; the post-operative psychological consequences of female genital mutilation; and the first two legal cases reported to the authorities.

Due to wide-spread media coverage, a ban on female genital mutilation has now apparently been included in the goals of the Italian Committee on Bioethics.

Keywords

Public Health Issue Young Girl Psychological Aspect Private Clinic Female Genital Mutilation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers, New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Grassivaro Gallo
  • L. Araldi
  • F. Viviani
  • R. Gaddini

There are no affiliations available

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