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Purpose of Review: The purpose of this study is to survey recent arguments in favor of preserving the genital autonomy of children—female, male, and intersex—by protecting them from medically unnecessary genital cutting practices. Recent Findings: Nontherapeutic female, male, and intersex genital cutting practices each fall on a wide spectrum, with far more in common than is generally understood. When looking across cultures and comparing like cases, one finds physical, psychosexual, and symbolic overlaps among the three types of cutting, suggesting that a shared ethical framework is needed. Summary: All children have an interest in genital autonomy, regardless of their sex or gender.

Original publication




Journal article


Current Sexual Health Reports

Publication Date





7 - 17