Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About usFaculty of PhilosophyEducationThesis summaries

Lassesen, H.

Department of Theoretical Philosophy

Gender, Bodily Integrity and the Ethics of Genital Cutting

Practices of genital cutting are ubiquitous in a number of cultural contexts around the world, and all are related by a common denominator: the removal by cutting of genital tissue, reshaping a person’s genitalia. Interestingly, instinctive moral responses to these different cases can vary widely. When is genital cutting morally (im)permissible or imperative? Which factors are involved in possible ethical differences between the different scenarios? A comparative investigation of these different practices should allow us to formulate answers to these questions, and to identify the reasons why we often have different moral reactions to structurally analogous cases. Indeed, a related question is: how do conceptions of gender affect which types of genital cutting are considered culturally and/or ethically appropriate? On the milder side gendered cultural norms pressure individuals to moderate behaviour; more critically, they actively force compliance; either way conceptions of gender affect our ideas about genital cutting.

Last modified:09 April 2018 4.07 p.m.