Breast ironing

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Breast ironing is a form of body modification practiced in parts of Cameroon. Pubescent girls' breasts are flattened in an attempt to make them less sexually attractive to men, usually by their mother. This practice is believed to help prevent rape and early marriage. Various tools are used to perform this, including grinding stones, pestles, belts, and heated objects are used to press or beat down the forming breasts. Local non-governmental organizations are trying to call attention to this practice and stop it.

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[edit] Health consequences

While there is little research on the health effects of breast ironing, it is generally believed that the practice can cause tissue damage in addition to the pain of the ironing process. Other possible side-effects include breast infections, the formation of abscesses, breast cancer, malformed breasts and the possible complete eradication of one or both breasts. Additionally, the practice can inhibit or prevent successful breastfeeding.

[edit] Scope

A survey by the German development agency GTZ from June, 2006 of more than 5,000 girls and women between the ages of 10 and 82 from Cameroon, estimated that nearly one in four, or four million girls in Cameroon alone, had had been subjected to the procedure.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

Breast ironing

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