Implications of Genital Mutilation at Autopsy
Given the potential significance of mutilation of the external genitalia in medicolegal fatalities, a review of the literature was undertaken to identify subcategories. Such mutilations may have been sustained sometime before death, around the time of death, or after death. The most common type of ante mortem genital mutilations involves cultural practices such as male circumcision. Less common male mutilations such as subincisions are tribally based. Female genital mutilation is found particularly in African, Middle Eastern, or Asian populations. Self‐inflicted genital injuries are most common in males and may be related to attempts at suicide, or to self‐harming practices. The latter have a strong association with psychiatric illnesses. Postmortem injuries may arise from animal predation or deliberate mutilation of a corpse. The latter may be associated with ante mortem genital injuries in sadistic homicides. The range of possible causes of genital mutilations in forensic cases necessitates extremely careful evaluation.
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