Sex, Grief, and Psychic Trauma: Considering History and Politics in the Psychosexual Treatment of Women with FGC

Koukoui, Sophia (2019)

Current Sexual Health Reports

11 | 102-107

Purpose of Review

This paper stems from a presentation given at the “Second International Expert Meeting on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C): Sharing data and experiences, improving collaboration,” which took place at Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Ste. Justine, Montreal, Canada, in May 2018. It aims to shed light on the psychosexual health of women with female genital cutting (FGC), drawing from both scientific research and clinical work. This paper also addresses the inherent challenges to healthcare delivery for “cut” women and seeks to illuminate the social and historical realities that form the backdrop to the clinical encounter.

Recent Findings

While there is a vast body of literature on the psychological determinants of sexual health, studies on “cut” women’s sexual health have yet to delve into its psychological correlates. In addition, healthcare delivery for women with FGC poses a number of challenges, which impinge upon patient experience and health-seeking behavior.


Ethical considerations in care delivery for women with FGC must delve into the hegemonic nature of the patient-practitioner interactions and politics of Otherness. Interdisciplinary research and praxis on FGC will prevent biological reductionism and the pathologization of these women. It will afford more integrated, comprehensive, and ethical care for women with FGC.