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University female students’ perception and prospective practice of female genital mutilation in Umudike, Southeast Nigeria

Kabir A. Raheem
Chikwendu Udenze
Ismail A. Odetokun


Female genital mutilation (FGM) under the guise of female circumcision is still practiced across wider communities in Nigeria despite various dangers associated with it and several efforts to curtail the practice. This study investigated the prevalence of and personal disposition towards female genital mutilation in 345 university undergraduate students of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), South east Nigeria using a pre-tested structured questionnaire. The major inclusion criteria for the face-to-face interview were being a female student of MOUAU and consented approval. Associations between various variable were tested with Chi square and statistical significance was established at P < 0.05. There was no association (P = 0.165) between place of birth and circumcision status, whereas state of circumcision had a significant association (P = 0.00001) with willingness to carry out circumcision in daughter in the future. Also, the belief that non-circumcised girls are prone to prone to promiscuity in adulthood had a significant (P = 0.00001) association with prospective circumcision of daughters. The prevalence of circumcision is high in this population (30.1%) with a reasonable number (16.8%) seeing no ills in the practice and expressed willingness to sustain it. Therefore, a strategy to curtail this practice has to focus on creating awareness at correcting this misconception as a learning theme at the tertiary level of education system rather than an assumption of passive knowledge. Further studies involving many universities in the study area and South-eastern Nigeria in particular are suggested to validate the results of this study.

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eISSN: 1118-4841