Strengthening protection from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM): consultation analysis

An analysis of the responses to the consultation on strengthening protection from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Breast Ironing

Breast ironing, also known as breast flattening, is the pounding and massaging of a pubescent girl's breasts, using hard or heated objects, to try to make them stop developing or disappear. It is typically carried out by the girl's mother who will say she is trying to protect the girl from sexual harassment and rape, to prevent early pregnancy that would tarnish the family name, or to allow the girl to pursue education rather than be forced into early marriage. It is mostly practiced in parts of Cameroon, where boys and men may think that girls whose breasts have begun to grow are ready for sex. Some reports suggest that it has spread to the Cameroonian diaspora.

Question 12. Do you consider that additional protections need to be introduced in Scotland in respect of the practice of breast ironing? 

Yes ☐
No ☐

If yes, please outline these arguments.

Question 13. Do you have any evidence to suggest that individuals in Scotland have been subject to the practice of breast ironing

Yes ☐
No ☐

If yes, please outline these arguments.

Additional Protection

As with vaginal elongation, there was relatively limited support for the introduction of additional protections for breast ironing, with much support based on the respondent views that the practice is perceived as abusive and a form of gender-based violence, rather than a conviction that breast ironing is a widespread practice. Among respondents who did not support further protections, many did not elaborate on their answers but those who did either cited a lack of knowledge or that there were sufficient existing provisions. 


Among the respondents, evidence of this practice was very limited.



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