This report presents the results of two studies of female genital cutting (FGC) carried out in Guinea in 1998 and 1999. The smaller, formative study used open-ended questions while the larger, descriptive study obtained the vocabulary and descriptive phrases commonly used to discuss FGC, individual accounts of the experience of female circumcision, and information about the social context of the practice. A comparison of the results showed many examples of corroboration and complementarity in the two studies. The results of both studies indicate that: FGC is nearly universal in Guinea, girls are being circumcised at younger ages than in the past, there is a clear tendency toward medicalization of FGC, and that the practice of FGC forms part of the expectations of most individuals.
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