Rethinking the History of Female Circumcision and Clitoridectomy: American Medicine and Female Sexuality in the Late Nineteenth Century

  title={Rethinking the History of Female Circumcision and Clitoridectomy: American Medicine and Female Sexuality in the Late Nineteenth Century},
  author={Sarah W Rodriguez},
  journal={Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences},
  pages={323 - 347}
  • Sarah W Rodriguez
  • Published 1 July 2008
  • Medicine
  • Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, there was one kind of female orgasm and it was clitoral; there was also only one kind of healthy sexual instinct for a woman and it was for penetrative sex with her husband. When a woman behaved outside of this normality—by masturbating or by not responding to her husband’s affections—her sexual instinct was seen as disordered. If healthy women, then, were believed only to be sexual within the marital embrace, what better way to explain… 

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