Family is the most important institution of the society and it is the most significant unit of social behavior among human beings. Many researches in humanities point out the impact of this institution on forming the behavior of its members. Many of the mental health professionals and researchers improved that in person life satisfaction is related to fulfill most of the needs in family environment. When a couple decide to make their life the role of each spouse is very important. Couples do their efforts to create an atmosphere which can satisfy all their needs. The marital satisfaction consists of a sense of consent, experiencing consent and enjoyment by husband and wife, concerning all different aspects of life (
1). But occasionally some problems could threaten the happiness of couples and consequently the whole family. Marital satisfaction plays a key role in fulfillment of couples’ needs and depends on some elements including personal issues, marital relationship, problem solving, financial management, leisure, sexual relationship, and relatives and friends. When the most important element of marital satisfaction like sexual satisfaction is endangered it could damage couples’ relationship or threaten their mental health. Many factors could affect the sexual function of people, but some of them are not genetic or stem from diseases, they are caused by some customs, and unfortunately root in their irrational and wrong Beliefs .Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is one of them which has a long history and is still a common custom in some parts of the world. According to definition of the World Health Organization (WHO,2010), Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) are all the methods which lead to mutilation or cutting all or a part of female genital organism which are done on the basis of cultural goals or other unhealthy reasons ( 2). This action might be done at four different levels ranging from cutting and taking all or a part of clitoris to take out the large lips of external genital organism. The historical off spring of cutting female genital organism is not really known, but there are some records of doing it, in Egyptian mummy corpses. Clitoris is one of the sensitive tissues in female genital organism and its stimulation can lead to female orgasm. In female genital mutilation a part of female genital organism such as clitoris is cut, which results in decrease of sexual and marital satisfaction ( 3) clitoris and pre-derma are connected, in the case of girl genital mutilation sexual problems are caused in 75% of cases. Although pre-derma isn’t removed, the connection to clitoris is cut here. Despite adopting strategies and showing female anger and roars and fighting against FGM, five years after holding female conference in Beijing, both, Female genital mutilation and prostitution are the phenomena which haven’t had any concerned results yet. Some attempts have been made by specific organizations dependent on united nation organization, female community and defense over human rights and even from the countries that, this phenomenon is committed there. The world health organization states that 130 million women and girls have had genital mutilation in 25 countries of Africa and Middle East; not only it has not decreased, but also every year two million individuals are added to ( 4). According to the last statistics of the world health organization, almost more than 140 million females such as children, teenagers and youngsters are mutilated in more than 30 African and Asian countries. More than 79% of girls in African countries and 12% in Asian countries are victims of this issue ( 2). In some countries in West Africa and North Africa like Egypt and Sudan use this method to prevent the women to have sex before marriage. These attitudes rooted in historical and ancient thoughts, Islam and other religions have forbidden FGM. The majorities of FGM operations are illegal and are made by unprofessional and uneducated persons. Some of these operations have many physical and mental consequences, including damage of genital organs, serious infections, and sexual desire disorders ( 5). To decrease the harmful results of this inhuman action toward women and to provide awareness of risks and dangers of FGM, field researches were needed. People in “Kang Harbor” believe that there are evil impacts in Genital organ of women which can be kept away only by genital mutilation. Of course, it should be considered that this matter is quite logical in their culture because they look at it, as an ancient custom and the critics are called rebellious and guilty. Surly, it should be known that, the action is not just limited to “Kang”, and it is prevalent in some tribes of “Lorestan” and “Khuzestan” province, and it is justified in different ways. The female genital mutilation is prevalent among some ethnical and religious minorities which have justified it as a cultural and sanitary action. Mutilating a part of female genital organism is very painful and has a lot of physiological effects. Genital mutilation diminishes the sexual desire of female to the highest levels. Historically, this action was prevalent among Arabs, but nowadays it is common among some Arabic groups especially in North Africa and also, at the present time, in the west and south of Iran ( 5). Clitoris and pre-derma are connected and girl genital mutilation makes sexual problems in 75% of cases. Although pre-derma is not removed, the connection to clitoris is cut. According to UNICEF, female genital mutilation violates the basic rights of female and girls and damages their health ( 6). Alariqi performed a research in Yemen and concluded that 24% of female are circumcised or genital mutilated, dissatisfaction of sexual relationship in this group was more than female without genital mutilation ( 7). Khodabakhshi Koolaee ( 5) in a research under the title of report of Kurdish female genital mutilation found that 80% of female mutilated in their childhood have reported the sense of pain in genital region and dissatisfaction of sexual relationship with their husbands ( 5). Although the psychological aspects of female genital mutilation are not examined, the stress and horror before cutting genital organism is prevalent in the girls aware of this action. Regarding to several examinations done by World Health Organization (WHO), it is concluded that there is no medical and sanitary advantages in supporting the different levels of female genital mutilation ( 2). Most of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) are operated by old women who are working as local physicians, they are uneducated and do not have any information about women genital organs and their tools of operation are unsterile and unhealthy. Some of the young girls operated under these conditions had infections in their genital organs. FGM could affect marital satisfaction and endanger the marital life. Also, when couples are not satisfied in the marital life, could not respond to the sexual needs and demands of their spouse and themselves, it is very clear that their mental health could affect their marital satisfaction. FGM women lose the key organ of their vagina and sexual satisfaction is affected by mutilation. The world health organization defines mental health as a complete healthy state; it means, a person should be healthy regarding physical, psychological and social items, and he shouldn’t have sickness and physical disability. We know that when a person understands his tendencies, provocations, dreams, and stimulations can be called as an individual with psychological health. Different researchers have shown that, life satisfaction anticipates mental health. Life satisfaction is different from other psychological constructs, such as positive and negative sentiment, self-respect and optimism ( 8). Having sexual satisfaction is one of the marital satisfaction items. The rate of couples’ satisfaction from sexual relationship and the ability to take and give pleasure to each other are called sexual satisfaction. The psychological effects of FGM have a deep influence on child’s mind and it can be a reason for behavioral disorders. The sense of uncertainty in childhood period could be leading the psychological harmful effect in further. After a while, females may suffer from the sense of deficiency, depression, chronic stimulation, frigidity, struggling with husband, reverse reflex and even psychos. Most of the women suffering from FGM, may not be able to express their feelings and horror and may live in isolation ( 9). Being aware of Female Genital Mutilation problems is quite necessary for people. Some people do not have enough knowledge and information about the harms of FGM in women and young girls. Researches are needed to clarify the mind of mental health professionals and also, the governors to enact the rules to prevent of this inhuman action. Although, in Iran and most of the countries this action is forbidden and government recognizes it as a criminal act, in far villages and some minority groups like Kurdish people FGM exists. Culture is a multi-componential matter. The culture of a society could be an impact of beliefs and ideas of people. But sometimes the beliefs made by irrational and wrong ideas dramatically endanger mental and physical health. Unfortunately, some irrational customs are still alive in villages and minority groups in Iran. One of the cultural issues in Oramanat area in Kermanshah Province is the issue of female genital mutilation. According to research goals mentioned above, these questions were examined. They were including:
Is there any difference between marital satisfaction of genital mutilated females and non-genital mutilated females, especially sexual satisfaction?
Is there any difference between mental health of genital mutilated females and non-genital mutilated females?