Preprint Article Version 1 NOT YET PEER-REVIEWED

In Their Own Words: The Health and Sexuality of Immigrant Women with Infibulation Living in Switzerland

  1. Department of Social Sciences, University of Fribourg, Bd. Perolles 90 CH-1700 Fribourg, Switzerland
  2. Department of Ambulatory Care and Community Medicine, Vulnerable Populations Center, University of Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
Version 1 : Received: 5 August 2016 / Approved: 18 August 2016 / Online: 18 August 2016 (05:30:20 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Villani, M.; Griffin, J.L.; Bodenmann, P. In Their Own Words: The Health and Sexuality of Immigrant Women with Infibulation Living in Switzerland. Soc. Sci. 2016, 5, 71. Villani, M.; Griffin, J.L.; Bodenmann, P. In Their Own Words: The Health and Sexuality of Immigrant Women with Infibulation Living in Switzerland. Soc. Sci. 2016, 5, 71.

Journal reference: Soc. Sci. 2016, 5, 71
DOI: 10.3390/socsci5040071

Abstract

Objectives: Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a significant public health problem. It is estimated around 14,700 women affected by FGM live in Switzerland, primarily among women with a history of migration. Our qualitative research investigated the sexual health of immigrant women living with FGM in Switzerland, describing their own perception of health, reproductive life and sexuality. Methods: We conducted semi-structured, in-depth interviews with a group of eight immigrant women of African origin living in Switzerland with Type III FGM (infibulation). Results: Seven of the women were from Somalia and one from Ivory Coast. All of the Somali women were mothers and married (two separated), and the Ivorian woman was a single mother. The women in our study reported a low level of sexual satisfaction and reproductive health. They affirmed their desire to improve, or at least change, their condition. Although they rarely talk with their husbands about sexual subject matter, they would like to include them more and improve dialogue. Conclusions: Specific socio-sexual management is recommended when caring for immigrant women living with FGM in order to respond to their specific health care needs. Multidisciplinary approaches may be able to offer more comprehensive health care, including facilitated communication to improve dialogue between women and health care professionals, and eventually between women and their husbands in discussing sexual matter.

Subject Areas

migration; female genital mutilation; sexual health; reproductive health; communication

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