Media and Community Influences on Female Genital Cutting in Egypt

  • Hilary Barker Department of Sociology, Brown University, USA
Keywords: Egypt, female genital cutting, media community


This study examines how media exposure influences Egyptian mothers’ intent for daughters to undergo female genital cutting (FGC), and whether community discussions of FGC moderate media effects. A mother’s FGC decision-making is embedded within the context of her family and local community, but exposure to broader communities through media exposure may also shape the context in which FGC decision-making occurs.Logistic regression and propensity score matching were used to analyse data from the Egypt Demographic and Health Surveys to examine the effects of media types on FGC intentions and whether conversations about FGC moderate those effects. I find that mothers who watched television were more likely to intend FGC, whereas mothers who read the newspaper and used the internet were less likely. Also, discussing FGC with friends and family amplified the positive effect of watching television and minimized the negative effect of reading the newspaper and using the internet. These findings suggest that gendered norms change in the context of broader communities created through media exposure, but women are less likely to act on new norms in the presence of local sanctioning.

How to Cite
Barker, H. (2019). Media and Community Influences on Female Genital Cutting in Egypt. The Journal of Development Communication, 30(2), 1-15. Retrieved from