Topic: Violence and abuse

Female genital mutilation: Health care as leverage for change – a qualitative study in Norway

Does the offer of opening surgeries function as a leverage for abandonment of the practice? When women opt for surgeries to open up an infibulation, and as such undo their FGM, could this surgery contribute to undermine this traditional practice? These are some of the questions this study aim to answer through a study of attitudes and practices and experiences of such surgery among women themselves, their community as well as caregivers

2013 This project has been completed 2017

Project Manager

Main objective

Increased insight into processes of change in attitude and practice With regards to female genital mutilation/cutting among affected migrant groups in Norway. This Insight can contribute both to improve Healthcare and accelerate processes of change.


This is a mixed method study with a main focus on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews. A qualitative study including in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with women from countries where FGM is common and their communities. Qualitative and quantitative data will be collected from the Health care services providing this care or being otherwise involved


Johansen, R. E. B. (2020). The applicability of the theory of planned behavior for research and care of Female Genital Cutting. Archives of Sexual Behavior. doi:10.1007/s10508-020-01716-9

Johansen, R. E. B. (2019). Fra tradisjon til overgrep – nye forståelser av kjønnslemlestelse ved migrasjon. In K. Skjørten, E. Bakketeig, M. Bjørnholt & S. Mossige (Red.) Vold i nære relasjoner: Forståelser, konsekvenser og tiltak (pp. 49-66). Universitetsforlaget. doi:10.18261/9788215032320-2019-03

Johansen, R. E. B. (2018). Resistance to Reconstruction: The Cultural Weight of Virginity, Virility and Male Sexual Pleasure. In G. Griffin & M. Jordal (Eds.) Body, migration, re/constructive surgeries: Making the gendered body in a globalized world (pp. 78-92). .

Johansen, R. E. B. (2017). Undoing female genital cutting: perceptions and experiences of infibulation, defibulation and virginity among Somali and Sudanese migrants in Norway. Culture, Health and Sexuality, 19(4), 528-542. doi:10.1080/13691058.2016.1239838

Johansen, R. E. B. (2017). Virility, pleasure and female genital mutilation/cutting. A qualitative study of perceptions and experiences of medicalized defibulation among Somali and Sudanese migrants in Norway. Reproductive Health, 14(25). doi:10.1186/s12978-017-0287-4