Bringing together an international range of case studies and interviews with individuals who have had genital re/construction, Body, Migration, Re/constructive Surgeries explores the socio-cultural meanings of clitoral re/construction following female genital cutting (FGC), hymen reconstruction, trans and intersex bodily interventions; and cosmetic surgery. Drawing critical attention to how decisions around such surgeries are affected by social, economic and regulatory contexts that change over time and across spaces, it raises questions such as:

  • How are bodies genderized through surgical interventions?
  • How do such interventions express cultural context?
  • How do women who have experienced female genital cutting respond to opportunities for clitoral reconstruction?
  • How do female-to-male (FtM) trans people decide on how and where to undertake body modifications?
  • What roles do cultural expectations and official regulations play in how people decide to have their bodies modified?

Suggesting that conventional gender binaries are no longer adequate to understanding the quest for bodily interventions, this insightful volume seeks to give a greater voice to those engaged in gender body modification. It will appeal to students and postdoctoral researchers interested in fields such as Gender Studies, Social Studies, Sexuality Studies and Cultural Studies.

chapter |16 pages


ByGabriele Griffin, Malin Jordal

part 1|75 pages

Understanding female genital cutting and genital reconstructive surgery

chapter Chapter 1|20 pages

Psychosexual health after female genital mutilation/cutting and clitoral reconstruction

What does the evidence say?
ByJasmine Abdulcadir

chapter Chapter 2|24 pages

An analytic review of the literature on female genital circumcision/mutilation/cutting (FGC)

The Möbius strip of body and society for women with FGC
ByGillian Einstein, Danielle Jacobson, Ju Eun Justina Lee

chapter Chapter 3|15 pages

Multidisciplinary care for women affected by female genital mutilation/cutting

Findings from Belgium
ByEls Leye

chapter Chapter 4|14 pages

Resistance to reconstruction

The cultural weight of virginity, virility and male sexual pleasure
ByR. Elise B. Johansen

part 2|63 pages

Routes to reconstruction

chapter Chapter 6|11 pages

The need for clitoral reconstruction

Engaged bodies and committed medicine
ByMichela Villani

chapter Chapter 7|19 pages

Circumcising the mind, reconstructing the body

Contextualizing genital reconstructive surgery in Burkina Faso
ByMargaret Nyarango, Gabriele Griffin

chapter Chapter 8|16 pages

‘If you can afford it, you can do it’

Deliberations of people in Burkina Faso on clitoral reconstruction after female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C)
ByElena Jirovsky

part 3|84 pages

(Re)constructive surgery

chapter Chapter 9|14 pages

Hymen reconstruction surgery in Jordan

Sexual politics and the economy of virginity
ByEbtihal Mahadeen

chapter Chapter 10|19 pages

Hymen reconstruction as pragmatic empowerment?

Results of a qualitative study from Tunisia
ByVerina Wild, Hinda Poulin, Christopher W. McDougall, Andrea Stöckl, Nikola Biller-Andorno

chapter Chapter 11|17 pages

Vagina dialogues

Theorizing the ‘designer vagina’
ByRuth Holliday

chapter Chapter 12|16 pages

Routes to gender-affirming surgery

Navigation and negotiation in times of biomedicalization
ByIwo Nord

chapter Chapter 13|16 pages

What constitutes an in/significant organ?

The vicissitudes of juridical and medical decision-making regarding genital surgery for intersex and trans people in Sweden
ByErika Alm

part 4|46 pages

Thinking otherwise

chapter Chapter 14|13 pages

Facing uneasiness in feminist research

The case of female genital cutting
ByKathy Davis

chapter Chapter 15|16 pages

Beyond comparison

‘African’ female genital cutting and ‘western’ body modifications 1
ByCarolyn Pedwell

chapter Chapter 16|15 pages

Before the cut

Rethinking genital identity
ByMargrit Shildrick, Marie-Louise Holm