Friday, May 7, 2010

Jezebel Wrongly Claims American Acadamy of Pedeatrics 'Endorses' Female Genetial Mutiliation

I'm a regular reader of Jezebel and have even written for it, but today they majorly screwed up. They wrote a post based on this PR Newswire story that says:
International human rights organization Equality Now is stunned by a new policy statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which essentially promotes female genital mutilation (FGM) and advocates for "federal and state laws [to] enable pediatricians to reach out to families by offering a 'ritual nick'," such as pricking or minor incisions of girls' clitorises.
But when you actually go to AAP's website, there's this release that seems to say the opposite:
Ritual cutting and alteration of the genitalia of female infants, children and adolescents, referred to as female genital cutting (FGC), has been a tradition in some countries since ancient times and continues today in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. According to a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), “Ritual Genital Cutting of Female Minors,” in the May issue of Pediatrics (published online April 26), the AAP opposes all forms of female genital cutting that pose a risk of physical or psychological harm, and encourages its members not to perform such procedures.
When I put in a call over at the AAP, the woman on the phone seemed just as surprised that I was that such a thing had been reported. I'm still waiting back for an official press person to respond, but the woman on the phone was basically wondering where I had gotten such misinformation.

Maybe next time, Jezebel will bother to check the actual site.

Update: Tracy Clark-Flory actually talked to a doctor over at the AAP and delves into what actually changed about the policy and why it's controversial.


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