Social dynamics of abandonement of harmful practices: a new look at the theory
UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
Special Series on Social Norms and Harmful Practices The essay refines the application of the social convention theory to the practice female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). The theory compares footbinding in China to FGM/C in Africa, explains each practice in terms of simple game theory, and recommends that the methods used to end footbinding be adapted to end FGM/C. It hypothesizes that each practice originated in highly stratified ancient empires, and became an ongoing requirement of marriageability, general and persistent within the intramarrying community because no one family can give it up on its own.
child protection; early marriage; female excision; female genital mutilation; gender issues; social norms;
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