The continuation of female genital mutilation in Nigeria: a mixed methods study of Igbo men’s views and perpetuating factors
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AuthorsHemuka, Ngozika Jane
AffiliationFaculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractBackground/Aim: Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a harmful practice involving the partial or total cutting of the external female genital organs or other injuries to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes. The views and attitudes of women towards FGM are widely researched and known. However, very little empirical research has been conducted to attempt to explain the views of men about the practice. This research was therefore undertaken to empirically investigate the knowledge, views, and attitudes of men from the Igbo tribe of Nigeria towards FGM. Methods: A mixed methods approach involving a survey and in-depth interviews was employed for this study. The study was conducted amongst Igbo men aged 18 years and older who are indigenes and currently living in Uturu, Nigeria, in 2017. Data were collected sequentially. 250 questionnaires were distributed, of which 215 were completed and returned, giving a high response rate of 86%. In-depth interviews were conducted for 10 participants. Bivariate and binary logistic regression was conducted for the quantitative data using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS version 24), while thematic analysis was carried out for the qualitative data using NVivo version 11 software. Results: The study showed that the sociodemographic predictors of favouring FGM continuation include age, education, and occupation. The protective factors include mass media and having a Christian faith. Believing that FGM is a religious requirement that increases marriageability of girls, enhances cleanliness/hygiene, and improves male sexual satisfaction, significantly (p < 0.05) predicts men’s view of favouring its continuation. Conclusion: The study provides evidence to suggest that some Nigerian Igbo men’s view of FGM is less than favourable. As an outcome of this study, an explanatory funnel model of factors influencing Igbo men’s views on FGM, which is grounded in both modernisation and masculinity theories was developed. The model presents measures to be put in place both at the individual and community levels, which may contribute even further to FGM decline. Findings from this study also demonstrate the importance of using a mixed methods approach to gain a broader understanding of men’s knowledge, views, and attitudes towards FGM continuation. This is the first mixed methods study to investigate Igbo men’s views of FGM, so this study is methodologically unique. Recommendations: In view of the findings, policy makers should focus on increasing access to media messages regarding the harmful consequences of FGM and develop more awareness campaigns against the practice and ensure access to higher education, particularly in rural areas to enhance employment opportunities. There is a need for sensitively designed health programmes for men to improve their knowledge of the normal structure and functions of the female reproductive system and, also, to offer psychosexual therapy to the affected male members of practising communities.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
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