Some FGM only removes part of the clit or parts of the labia.
Should we support them or condone them?
From what I remember, some of the practitioners of female circumcision tried to get a compromise where they could prick the genital skin to draw blood. It would have kept their custom intact, but made it physically harmless.
That was forbidden as well and was classed as FGM.
Anon, what you’re describing does happen, but it’s not the only kind of FGM. The WHO classifies several types: Type I is the removal of the clitoral hood; Type II is the removal of the clitoral hood, clitoris head, the inner labia, and sometimes some outer labia; and Type III, also known as infibulation, is the most brutal and, as one adult woman practitioner proudly described, can go as far to scrape all of apparent vulva-related flesh away, leaving only a small hole that must be reopened with a scalpel or a knife for anything but urination and menstruation. Type IV seems to be a miscellaneous category, including some mild types like stretching the labia or nicking for a drop of blood but also including some brutal types like “widening” the vaginal cavity with a knife or burning the labia.
Type III accounts for at maximum 10% of all FGM and takes place in a few relatively isolated areas.
There are a number of reasons why people perform FGM, with reduction of female pleasure being only one of many. The idea that it heightens male sexual pleasure very well may be just like nearly every other folk-remedy aphrodisiac or could be a way to claim that their group’s women and culture were superior (so don’t stray and get a wife from elsewhere). In some areas, women who weren’t circumcized are looked at by other women with disgust and mockery. Many researchers have gone in with theories that taint their conclusions, such as one that assumed the husbands enjoyed causing pain to their wives.
Anon, in the female, the clitoris is the most highly sensitive part of the genitals. In the male, it is the foreskin. The clitoris is much more than the head and extends into the body. This means your statement isn’t as good of a comparison as you think it is. Considering that without a foreskin the glans dries and keratinizes, reducing sensation greatly, it may already be comparable to the amount of sensation lost from removing the clitoris.
The reason people bring up male circumcision being intended to reduce pleasure is because of the people who claim male circumcision isn’t comparable to FGM because that’s meant to control sexuality but circumcision isn’t. Both were intended to reduce it. Does it work on all men? No, but some circumcized women also manage to masturbate and find pleasure in sex as well. That shouldn’t invalidate that they went through.
Either way, cutting the flesh of an infant is unnecessary and cruel. Male infants can go into shock, have seizures, have their brains rewire to match PTSD patterns, have significant behavioral changes, have needed to have their genitals removed due to post-surgical infection, or have even bled out; we don’t bother testing similar criteria for females because it’s already banned here. Many of the supposed benefits would really only matter to those who are sexually active, and even those criteria are contested. Really though, the only thing we should need to know to ban it is it takes an infant and exposes it to pain and misery for no logical reason.