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Clitoridectomy ( gr. Of: kleitoris "clitoris" and ektemnô "cut off") is the medical term for the surgical removal of the clitoris glans, the external part of the clitoris . The complete or partial removal of the labia , sometimes along with other parts of the vulva, is called a vulvectomy .

The most common use of clitoralectomy is currently in the context of the circumcision of female genitalia (which is a criminal offense in Europe) ; However , it is only used for a medical indication in exceptional cases .

Ritual practice

From the origins of ancient circumcision practices, the custom arose in some cultures of removing the glans of the clitoris from girls and women as part of an initiation rite. Today, the WHO , UNICEF and many human rights organizations describe and fight the “clitoridectomy without compelling medical indication” as “ female genital mutilation ” (FGM) for the girls and women affected.

The women of the Skopzen were religiously motivated to practice clitoridectomy in addition to ablation of their breasts.

Medical historical applications

In Europe and North America clitoridectomy was not until the 20th century as a treatment of that time as a pervert considered masturbation , the nymphomania and female hysteria recommended. The method was presented in 1866 by the English gynecologist Isaac Baker Brown in a book about the "curability of various forms of madness , epilepsy , catalepsy and hysteria in women".

In 1923 Maria Pütz wrote in her dissertation:

"In three of me specially by Professor Dr. In cases kindly left to Cramer, after removal of the clitoris and partial or complete excision of the small labia, complete healing occurred . Masturbation was no longer practiced, and even after several months of observation the condition remained unchanged. Despite these pleasing results of clitoridectomy during masturbation there are now very many cases in which the evil cannot be influenced by any surgical intervention [...] "

“A second objection by the opponents is that the lowering of the libido also eliminates the possibility of conception . This objection is also unjustified; for it is clear that frigid women who only perceive coitus as a burden and who do not enjoy sexual satisfaction nevertheless conceive and give birth to healthy children. "

- Maria Pütz: About the prospects of an operative therapy in certain cases of masturbation of young female individuals ;
Marion Hulverscheidt: Female genital mutilation: Discussion and practice in medicine during the 19th century in German-speaking countries .

Medical indication

A clitoridectomy is performed on a clitoris affected by a tumor if there is medical indication.

Cosmetic clitoridectomy

In 2011, psychiatric assessor David Veale and surgeon Joe Daniels described in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior the case of a 33-year-old woman who wanted a clitoridectomy for personal, aesthetic reasons. After checking for psychiatric contraindications and thorough, informed consent , her request was finally granted and the operation carried out. The decision was criticized by other authors who do not consider consent to be given and instead would have seen psychotherapy as appropriate. Veale replied that after all the findings had been clarified, the patient was completely mentally healthy, she was fully aware of the risks and consequences and that there was no external compulsion. The patient was examined at regular intervals and was satisfied with the result.

Legal evaluation of the "clitoridectomy without medical indication"

In the case of minors, clitoridectomy without medical indication is a criminal offense under the law of many states (including all states of the European Union) .

Clitoridectomy in adult women can be performed with consent and with the exclusion of coercion and mental disorders, at least in the UK .

According to German law, the clitoridectomy without indication is at least threatened as dangerous bodily harm according to § 224 StGB with a prison sentence of 6 months to 10 years. In any case, according to § 228 StGB , consent that exempts from punishment is not an option for this type of genital mutilation.

Web links

Wiktionary: clitoridectomy  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Clitoridectomy In: Roche Lexicon Medicine. 5th, revised and expanded edition, Urban & Fischer, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-437-15150-9 .
  2. ^ Norbert Finzsch: “We know the lesbian habits of kleitoriaxein […] which justify the resection of the clitoris”: Cliteridectomy in the West, 1600 to 1988 . In: Gender Forum. Special Issue: On Clitoridectomy , 2018; 67: 9-28.
  3. ^ Isaac Baker Brown: On the Curability of Certain Forms of Insanity, Epilepsy, Catalepsy, and Hysteria in Females. Hardwicke, London 1866 ( full text ).
  4. Maria Pütz: About the prospects of an operative therapy in certain cases of masturbation of young female individuals . Euskirch, University of Bonn, dissertation, 1923.
  5. ^ Marion Hulverscheidt: Female genital mutilation: Discussion and practice in medicine during the 19th century in German-speaking countries . Mabuse, Frankfurt am Main 2002, ISBN 3-935964-00-5 (= Mabuse-Verlag Wissenschaft. Vol. 63; At the same time: Göttingen, Univ., Dissertation 2000).
  6. Willibald Pschyrembel: Pschyrembel, medical dictionary. 259th, revised edition, de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2002, ISBN 978-3-11-016523-4 , p. 863: Clitoridectomy .
  7. G. Bastert, SD Costapp: Vulvar carcinoma . In: Siegfried Seeber: Therapy Concepts Oncology. Springer, Berlin (inter alia) 1993, ISBN 978-3-540-56872-8 , pp. 501-508.
  8. ^ A b D. Veale, J. Daniels: Cosmetic Clitoridectomy in a 33-Year-Old Woman. In: Archive of Sexual Behavior. August 12, 2011, PMID 21837517 .
  9. SB Levine: Fashions in Genital Fashion: Where Is the Line for Physicians? In: Archives of sexual behavior. Volume 1-2, 2011, doi : 10.1007 / s10508-011-9849-7 .
  10. ^ RC Friedman: Assessing How a Woman Feels About Her Clitoris. In: Archives of sexual behavior. Volume 1-4, 2011, doi : 10.1007 / s10508-011-9852-z .
  11. D. Veale: Cosmetic Clitoridectomy in a 33-Year-Old Woman: Reply to Friedman (2011) and Levine (2011). In: Archives of sexual behavior. Volume 1–2, 2012, doi : 10.1007 / s10508-012-9953-3 .
  12. a b c Bundestag printed paper 16/1391: Response of the Federal Government to the minor question from the MPs Sibylle Laurischk, Dr. Karl Addicks, Burkhardt Müller-Sönksen, another member of the FDP parliamentary group on May 8, 2006, on the subject of "Protection of women and girls from female genital mutilation" (PDF; 184 kB). P. 3.
  13. Whether criminal liability is even given as serious bodily harm according to Section 226 of the Criminal Code cannot yet be regarded as conclusively clarified. - Lackner / Kühl: Criminal Code, Commentary . 25th edition, Munich 2004. ISBN 3-406-52295-5 . Section 78 marginal no. 6th
  14. a b Dirk Wüstenberg: Genital mutilation and criminal law. In: The gynecologist. 2006, p. 824 (827).