Attitudes to female genital mutilation/cutting among male adolescents in Ilorin, Nigeria

S Afr Med J. 2016 Jul 4;106(8):822-3. doi: 10.7196/SAMJ.2016.v106i8.10124.

Attitudes to female genital mutilation/cutting among male adolescents in Ilorin, Nigeria

Adeniran AS, Ijaiya MA, Fawole AA, Balogun OR, Adesina KT, Olatinwo AW, Olarinoye AO, Adeniran PI


BACKGROUND: The central role of males in female reproductive health issues in patriarchal societies makes them an important group in the eradication of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). OBJECTIVE: To determine knowledge about and attitudes to FGM/C among male adolescents, and their preparedness to protect their future daughters from it. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey among male adolescent students in Ilorin, Nigeria. Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire after consent had been obtained from them or their parents. Statistical analysis was with SPSS version 20.0 (IBM, USA). A p-value of <0.05 was taken as significant. RESULTS: Of 1 536 male adolescents (mean age 15.09 (standard deviation 1.84) years, range 14 – 19), 1 184 (77.1%) were aware of FGM/C, 514 (33.5%) supported female circumcision, 362 (23.6%) would circumcise their future daughters, 420 (27.3%) were of the opinion that FGM/C had benefits, mostly as a necessity for womanhood (109, 7.1%), and 627 (40.8%) perceived it as wickedness against females; 546 (35.5%) were aware of efforts to eradicate FGM/C, and 42.2% recommended education as the most important intervention to achieve this. CONCLUSION: Education and involvement in advocacy may transform male adolescents into agents for eradication of FGM/C.