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Traditional Bodily Practices: Case Studies

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on four controversial traditional bodily practices that are performed on children. The practices are male circumcision, tribal marking, extraction of baby milk teeth, and neck elongation, all of which have been discussed in the work of the international human rights bodies as falling within the scope of harmful traditional practices. The chapter explains the justification for the case selection and then discusses each practice in view of its social and cultural meaning. It explores the medical implications that have been associated with the customs as well as the other incentives that play a role in their preservation. The chapter aims at establishing the historical, cultural, and medical aspects of these traditional bodily practices in order to demonstrate the contingent nature of biomedical procedures.

Keywords: male circumcision; neck elongation; traditional bodily practices; tribal marking



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