San Francisco, California - A new student organization called Students for Genital Integrity was organized last month at San Francisco State University. Students for Genital Integrity is the first student organization in the country specifically focused on ending all forms of genital cutting of children, including male circumcision (Male Genital Mutilation or MGM), female circumcision (Female Genital Mutilation or FGM), and sex reassignment surgery on intersex children (Intersex Genital Mutilation or IGM).
Greg Dervin, the group's founder, hopes that Students for Genital Integrity will unite students interested in working to end each of these genital mutilations. Mr. Dervin said, "These are three groups of people who generally work separate from each other, and often, don't want to be associated with each other. This is unfortunate. We are all dealing with three sides to the same issue, namely: the forced cutting of a child's genitals to conform to a particular society's concepts of aesthetics and normality."
Every day over 28,000 boys and about 5,500 girls worldwide are forcibly held down while parts of their genitals are amputated in the name of tradition, religion, or supposed hygeine. (Figures for intersex children are unknown, but are documented to be about 5 per day in the U.S. alone).
While there are many established organizations dedicated to ending the genital cutting of children, Mr. Dervin noticed the lack of participation in the movement by students and young people in general. He said, "We have the energy, the impatience, the gutsy-ness, and the nothing to lose mentality, all of which are certainly helpful in any movement. No movement is ever successful without it's youth element."
Interest in this movement has been so strong that already new Students for Genital Integrity groups have sprung up at two other universities around the country, one at Florida State University and another is starting at the University of Iowa.
Recently Mr. Dervin gave a teach-in for the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance at San Francisco State University entitled, "Why Male Circumcision is a Feminist Issue," essentially focusing this teach-in on the numerous ways in which male circumcision affects women including, but not limited to:breaking of the mother-infant bond; overriding the new mother's basic instinct to protect her child from harm; disrupting breast-feeding; lessening overall sexual enjoyment of women; increasing the "female sexual dysfunctions" of vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse; as well as likely increasing rates of rape and domestic violence.
Attached is an mp3 audio file of the event.