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Genital modification and genital mutilation both can refer to permanent or temporary changes to the human genitals.

When genital alterations are used for punishment, typically for rape, adultery or other socially forbidden sexual practices, such modifications have included castration (actual or chemical) or penectomy.



Main article: Female genital cutting

This consists of removal and/or surgery of various parts of the female genitals, typically one or more of removal of the clitoral hood (Clitoridotomy), removal of the clitoris (Clitoridectomy) and sewing up the vagina (Infibulation). When performed on female minors these procedures can be highly controversial.

File:Subincision by expert19612005 (1).jpg



Main article: Male circumcision

The removal of the foreskin for religious, social, or medical reasons (for phimosis or to prevent urinary tract infections, for example). In the west, there is controversy over this procedure when performed on male minors for reasons other than immediate therapeutic need.[1]

Elective genital alteration[]

In some cases, people elect to have their genitals pierced, tattooed or otherwise altered for aesthetic or other reasons.

Such modifications run the gamut from single to multiple piercings, small decorative marks to complete tattooing, urethral relocation, and, in males, subincision or even complete bisection.

Female genital modification surgery[]

Female genital enhancement surgery includes laser resurfacing of the labia to remove wrinkles and clitoral repositioning for those not achieving optimum stimulation as well as labiaplasty and vaginal tightening.

A designer vagina is a cosmetic surgery procedure and the result of that procedure. The procedure is also known as labiaplasty (a reduction of the labia minora, the flaps of skin which form the lips of a woman's genitalia and cover the clitoris and vaginal opening) and vaginal tightening (involving surgery on the interior of the vaginal vault). It is a type of genital modification.

Types of genital alteration[]

The procedures listed below are different examples of genital alterations. Any of these changes may be considered to be modifications or mutilations by some groups of people. Some of these changes, in particular male circumcision, are not considered by other groups to be mutilations.

Types of genital alteration
Kind Removal of tissue Alteration of tissue Addition to tissue
  • Dorsal slit
  • Preputial infibulation
  • Preputioplasty [2]
  • Genital piercing
  • Genital bisection
  • Subincision
  • Meatotomy
  • Penis enlargement
  • Autocircumcision [3]
  • Surgical foreskin restoration
  • Foreskin restoration
  • Pearling
  • Genital tattooing
  • Silicone injection (between the skin of the penis shaft and the tissues that engorge with blood during an erection)
  • Genital piercing
  • Episiotomy
  • Vagina tightening and toning
  • Hymenorrhaphy
  • Hymenotomy
  • Genital tattooing
  • Labia elongation [4]
Sex Reassignment
  • Penile inversion
  • Colovaginoplasty
  • Metoidioplasty
  • Phalloplasty

See also[]

  • Bioethics of neonatal circumcision
  • Sterilization
  • Docking
  • Breast ironing

External links[]

fr:Mutilation génitale
pt:Mutilação sexual
fi:Naisten sukupuolielinten silpominen
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