Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Education and Human Services


Family and Child Studies

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Pearl Stewart

Committee Member

Chih Yuan Steven Lee

Committee Member

Eva Goldfarb


INTRODUCTION: Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has significant negative physical complications on girls and women and its persistence is linked to lack of education, poverty and other socio-demographic characteristics such as region, type of place of residence, religion, and ethnicity. FGM is extremely dangerous. Even though FGM carries cultural marks, its primary objectives are social, sexual, and economic control of female sexuality. Despite the global effort to eradicate the practice and the evidence of its detrimental health consequences, FGM is still prevalent in Senegalese practicing communities.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to investigate the risk factors associated with the practice of FGM and its impact on women. Additionally, this study aims at determining FGM relationships with poverty and education using a representative sample of the Senegalese population.

METHODS: Data (n=l 8,363) from the Senegal Demographic Health Survey of 2005 is used for this study. T-test is used to examine the effect of FGM practice on physical complications. Moreover, Chi square test is used to examine the association between FGM practice, and certain socio-demographic characteristics, including education, poverty level, region, place of residence, religion, and ethnicity.

RESULTS: The results showed FGM had a significant effect on physical complications and that education, poverty, region, type of place of residence, religion, and ethnicity were all risk factors of FGM practice.

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