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

Adeniran, Abiodun ; Ijaiya, Munirdeen ; Fawole, Adegboyega ; Balogun, Olayinka ; Adesina, Kikelomo ; Olatinwo, Abdulwaheed ; Olarinoye, Adebunmi ; Adeniran, Peace (2016-08)


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). Objectives. 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.