In 2013, “there were up to 507,000 U.S. women and girls who had undergone [genital mutilation] or were at risk of the procedure… the rapid increase in women and girls at risk reflects an increase in immigration to the United States,” said the Friday report by the Population Reference Bureau.
“We’re seeing a lot more F.G.M.,” Dr. Gretchen Heinrichs, a gynecologist, told The New York Times. FGM stands for female genital mutilation.
The new report, titled “Women and Girls at Risk of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in the United States,” did not specify how many girls in America aged 15 to 19 are now at risk from the culturally diverse practice, which is generally directed by their immigrant parents.
The practice continues because of pressure from the men and women in the extended families who arrange the eventual marriage of the young women and men. This is seen as vital to the survival of family groups in chaotic, conflict-ridden cultures.