Female genital mutilation between culture and health: a quanti-qualitative study

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Ilaria Simonelli
Alice Barbieri
Francesca Beraldo
Fabrizio Simonelli


Background There are multiple impacts of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on Health Care services in immigration countries, both culturally and regarding human rights violations. The understanding of social representations of FGM, and the development of strategies in which health care services play a crucial role, are fundamental to abandon FGM practices. The aim of this study was to investigate how different study populations (in particular immigrant women, Italian women and health professionals) perceive the social representations of FGM.

Methods a quanti-qualitative analysis, based on the comparison of questionnaires, and on the development of focus groups for the above mentioned study populations.

Results The social representations of FGM expressed by immigrant and Italian women presented several convergences, highlighting changes of immigrant-related attitudes for women who had lived in Italy for more than 5 years. Health care services are essential players in the pursuit of abandoning the practice.

Conclusion The convergences in the social representations of FGM represent an important and relatively quick cultural change in the attitude of immigrant women. Health care services, inspired by multidimensional models (therapeutic, preventive and salutogenic), cross-sectional activities (cultural integration), and models such as the Rights-based approach to health, represent a crucial asset for the abandonment of FGM.

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How to Cite
Simonelli I, Barbieri A, Beraldo F, Simonelli F. Female genital mutilation between culture and health: a quanti-qualitative study. ClinHealthPromot [Internet]. 2013 Dec. 31 [cited 2023 Jan. 28];3(3):90-7. Available from: https://www.clinhealthpromot.org/index.php/clinhp/article/view/clinhp13012
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