Global phylogenetic analysis reveals multiple origins and correlates of genital mutilation/cutting

Nature Human Behavior Vol/Iss. 6 Nature Published In Pages: 635-645
By Šaffa, Gabriel, Zrzavý, Jan, Duda, Pavel


Occurrences of genital mutilation/cutting will be phylogenetically clumped.


Specific methods for this test can be found in the "Methods" section of the paper, and the "Supplementary Methods" supplement. It was found that both main subgroups of GM/C (FGM/C and MGM/C) as well as their subgroups (FGM/C: clitoridectomy, excision, infibulation; MGM/C: male circumcision, superincision) were all phylogenetically clumped. The tree also shows that FGM/C and MGM/C had probably originated 11 and 17 times independently, and that the origins of FGM/C always coincided with or postdated the origins of MGM/C. Using this tree, the researchers were able to establish where and when these developments may have occurred.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Phylogenetic supertree analysisSupportedp<.05UNKNOWNUNKNOWN