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Female genital mutilation: Nigerian Igbo men’s low acceptance of the practice

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Abstract

Female genital mutilation (FGM) involves the cutting of the external female genital organs for non-medical purposes. It is a widespread public health problem in Nigeria as it affects the health of women and girls. The views of women about FGM are widely researched and known; however, very little empirical research has been conducted to understand the views of men.

Aim

This study therefore sought to examine men’s views with regard to the continuation of FGM and its associated factors in a rural Igbo community in Nigeria.

Subject and Method

This paper reports the results of a survey of 215 men aged 18 and above living in Isuikwuato Local Government Area, Uturu in Nigeria. Bivariate and binary logistic regression were performed on 215 completed and returned questionnaires (86% response rate) using the Statistical Package for Social Science. This is the first study to investigate Nigerian Igbo men’s views of FGM.

Results

Descriptive statistics revealed that almost two-thirds of the sample (63.7%) thought FGM should be discontinued. Logistic regression found that owning a television and/or a radio and holding a Christian faith significantly predicted favouring the discontinuation of FGM.

Conclusion

This study provides evidence to suggest that some Nigerian Igbo men’s attitudes about FGM appear to be generally less than favourable. The major implication of these findings is that policy makers must place greater emphasis on addressing the economic and social development of rural areas in Nigeria if the harmful practice of FGM is to be reduced.

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Availability of data and material

Derived raw data supporting the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author [HN] on request.

Code availability (software application or custom code)

Not applicable.

References

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Funding

The authors disclosed that this study has no relevant external funding source for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. This was a self-funded PhD study.

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection, and analysis were performed by Dr Ngozika Jane Hemuka. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Dr Ngozika Jane Hemuka and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read, edited, and approved the final manuscript. Supervision Dr Angela Morgan, Dr Denise Bellingham-Young, and Dr Karlie Stonard.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ngozika Jane Hemuka.

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Conflict of interests

The author(s) have no relevant financial or potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Ethics approval

Ethical approval was sought from the University of Wolverhampton Faculty of Education, Health, and Wellbeing Ethics committee prior to seeking consent from the Isuikwuato Local Government Chairperson and the community traditional ruler.

Consent to participate

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Consent to publish

Participants signed informed consent with regard to publishing their data.

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Hemuka, N.J., Morgan, A., Bellingham-Young, D. et al. Female genital mutilation: Nigerian Igbo men’s low acceptance of the practice. J Public Health (Berl.) 31, 1237–1248 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10389-021-01680-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10389-021-01680-1

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