III. Identifying the Culprits of FGM in the West

Once again the question must be asked--why would a family, presumably safely ensconced in a country that bans FGM, opt to either send their female children back to their home country to have FGM performed or seek out a cutter in their new homeland?

A recently published article by Saba W. Masho and Lindsey Matthews outlined several common factors which determined whether Ethiopian women supported the continuation of FGM. Those factors [p817] included age, marital status, religion, lack of education, rural residency, whether the woman was already circumcised, and little or no exposure to mass media.

Not surprisingly, the culprits responsible for the continued prevalence of FGM have not changed; they have merely taken up residence in the West alongside the people who have immigrated. In rounding up the usual suspects, one can see that lack of assimilation, poverty, lack of education, and the devaluation of women all contribute to perpetuating the practice of FGM in the West.