Mother, Like Daughter?
Female Genital Cutting in Minia, Egypt
Kathryn M. Yount, Emory University
Kathryn M. Yount is a social demographer and Assistant Professor
in the Departments of International Health and Sociology and has
an affiliated appointment with the Institute of Women’s Studies
at Emory University.
that 97 percent of ever-married Egyptian women were circumcised
in 1995 fueled interest to understand the levels, determinants,
and consequences of this practice. Qualitative data suggest that
ideologies of femininity, pressure to conform to behaviors characterizing
womanhood, and constraints to other opportunities perpetuate women’s
support for female genital cutting in Minia, Egypt. While the
practice remains prevalent in Minia, age-specific probabilities
of genital cutting are lower among daughters than mothers and
among younger than older daughters. A mother’s education is negatively
associated with, and her circumcision status positively associated
with, her intent and decision to circumcise a daughter. Increasing
reliance on doctors to perform the procedure is positively associated
with urban residence and father’s education, indicating a need
to understand local meanings of modernity. Overall, increasing
girls’ access to higher education may contribute to further declines
in female genital cutting in this setting.