I can’t do any better than Dan Savage on this one. He has written a blog post on the Frankensteinian program of female genital cutting, and what sounds to me like sexual molestation, at Weill Cornell Medical College (Cornell University), run by one improbably named Dix Poppas.
The professor cuts the girls and then brings them back for sessions with a vibrator to prove they still have sensation. This outrageous program was first exposed by Alice Dreger and Ellen Feder, which Dan quotes at length from their article published in the Bioethics Forum.
The one word summary is creepy. Dan goes on a bit longer, describing his entirely reasonable objection, which I join, to the clitoris reduction and stimulation program this way.
There’s so much to be angry about I hardly know where to start. Applying a vibrator to a girl’s clitoris after it’s been surgically shortened may demonstrate that she still has “sensation” in what’s been left behind—that she still has a few nerve endings that function—but that’s not proof that she hasn’t been physically or emotionally harmed by the surgery and those traumatic follow-up “procedures.” These post-op visits with the doctor and his vibrator do the girls no good—what can the doctor do if a girl reports no sensation? reassemble her clit?—and retaining sensation isn’t proof that these girls will grow up to be healthy, sexually functional adults. All of the tissues that make up the clitoris—the glans, the stem, the erectile tissues [and I would add the clitoral hood]—are important to sexual response, orgasm, and fulfillment, not just the part of the clitoris that’s “normally” exposed.
Are you as angry and outraged as I am? Then write to Cornell and tell the University that these children are not the scientific playthings of Dr. Dix.