Religious Perceptions and Attitudes of Men towards Discontinuation of Female Genital Cutting in Nigeria: Evidence from the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey

Ayotunde Titilayo, Martin E. Palamuleni, John O. Olaoye-Oyesola, Olumide M. Owoeye

Abstract

Men‘s roles in any patriarchal society and the influence of their religious belief cannot be overemphasized especially in a culturally encrypted matter like female genital cutting (FGC).The study sample consisted of 8,111 men who had previous awareness of FGC from a cross-sectional nationally representative survey in Nigeria. The data took into cognizance the religious belief of the respondents as well as their attitude towards FGC among others. Analytical bivariate and multivariate ordered logistic estimates for FGC discontinuation were considered for the study. Of the total respondents, 29% reported that their religion required FGC for female children. A significantly higher proportion (89.4%; p<0.01) of men whose religion did not require FGC were found subscribing to its discontinuation. Significantly lower odds of FGC discontinuation exist among those whose religious belief requires FGC practice. Religious teachings and beliefs are crucial correlates of men‘s attitude towards FGC. There is therefore a need to consider the religious beliefs of men when engaging them in strategies to fight FGC. (Afr J Reprod Health 2018; 22[1]: 20-28).

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