Saturday, June 19, 2010

American Female Genital Mutilation

If you are standing (at the computer, that would be weird) you should sit down, the news I have to report is shocking.

Dr. Dix Poppas, a pediatric urologist at Cornell University has been surgically shortening the clitoris's of girls who have been deemed to be too big and too sensitive (God forbid a woman actually enjoy sex). Then at follow up examinations he uses a vibrator to test how much sensitivity is lost. I for one am outraged by this. The mutilation and molestation of children is sick. No other pediatric urologist preforms this procedure. What kind of parents would allow this to happen to their little girl? There is nothing wrong with these girls, it is a completely subjective, aesthetic judgment (I shudder to think what these parents would do with an intersex child).

The fact that Dr. Poppas does these vibrator follow-ups shows he is aware of the risks. In spite of this he goes forward with the surgery, violating his Hippocratic oath and demonstrating a disturbing lack of respect for his patients humanity. Look up any intersex discussion board to realize how psychologically devastating genital surgeries and especially the repeated examinations and poking and prodding are on children. These posters are adults who are still not over it. Emotionally they are very much like victims of child sexual abuse.

Even if, as he claims, that he is proving that the sensitivity loss is minimal, it is still wrong. Even if genital surgeries were perfect (they never are, the results are often quite terrible) I would say that it is horribly unethical. Whatever happened to learning to accept yourself, this turning to plastic surgery to solve our insecurities is deeply problematic. It is important to feel at home in your own skin, and when you are implicitly told that you are so unacceptable that we have to operate, it is very difficult to learn that self acceptance.

No comments:

Post a Comment