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Studying Social Processes Underlying the Persistence of Female Genital Mutilation Using Agent-Based Modeling

Case
By: Laurence T. Droy Published: 2018 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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Abstract

This methods case covers three areas. Many researchers have not heard of agent-based modeling, so I first explain how agent-based modeling research works, what it involves, and what it is for. My PhD research project has been about applying agent-based modeling to a real-world topic: the occurrence of female genital mutilation in populations in the developing world. I briefly provide an overview of this topic. It might sound counter-intuitive to apply abstract modeling to the study of female genital mutilation. Yet, I explain why this can provide useful and informative insights on the subject. Finally, I talk about the practicalities of applying the methodology of empirical agent-based modeling research to the topic of female genital mutilation. I focus on what was helpful and what was challenging in designing and evaluating a preliminary agent-based model of female genital mutilation.

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