An Overview of Female Genital Mutilation and Its Psychosocial, Psychological, and Psychosexual Consequences

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is an ancient cultural practice that is still happening around the world – including in the U.S. – and involves procedures that intentionally alter and cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The World Health Organization reports that FGM has no health benefits and can cause serious and often lifelong physical and psychological health problems. The number of girls under 18 at risk of FGM in the U.S. has quadrupled since 1997. In Minneapolis, there are an estimated 37,417 girls and women at risk of undergoing FGM. This relevant presentation will provide an overview of FGM and its psychosocial, psychological, and psychosexual consequences, as well as share best practices in working with FGM survivors. This presentation is a collaborative effort between the Critical Thinking Unit and the Center.

About the Presenter

Joanna Vergoth, LCSW, NCPsyA

Joanna Vergoth, LCSW, NCPsyA, is the Founder and Executive Director of forma, with 20 years of experience as a business executive followed by 20 years of experience as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Psychoanalyst. As a mental health professional, she has dedicated herself to the healing of trauma and in addition to her public service, private practice, clinic and advocacy work, Ms. Vergoth has also studied and volunteered with organizations in London, Cairo, New York and Chicago which provide services to refugees, children of divorce, recovering sex workwes, and immigrant African women and girls. Over the past decade she has become a committed activist in the cause of Female genital Mutilation (FGM/C) first as Coordinator of the Midwest Network on Female Genital Cutting, and most recently with the creation of forma, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing comprehensive, culturally-sensitive clinical services to women and families affected by FGM/C.