IFE PsychologIA

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Impact of Female Genital Mutilation on Sexual Functioning, Self-Esteem and Marital Instability of Women in Ajegunle

H.O. Osinowo, A.O Taiwo


This cross-sectional research examined the impact of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on marital instability, self-esteem, sexual functioning and marital satisfaction of women. A total of 99 women drawn from Ajegunle area of Lagos formed the study group. They were divided into 2 groups: circumcised women (N=53) and uncircumcised women (N=46). All participants responded to self-reported questionnaires that assessed sexual satisfaction, self-esteem and marital instability. Results show that the uncircumcised women significantly reported better sexual functioning and marital satisfaction than the circumcised women (t=9.4, df= 97, p<.01) thus confirming the presence of psycho-sexual dysfunction among the circumcised women. Circumcised women significantly reported higher level of marital instability (t=5.4, df= 97, p<.01) and expressed statistically significant lower self-esteem (t=2.6, df=97, p<.01) compared with the uncircumcised women. It was concluded that FGM has devastating psychosexual influence on women and should be discouraged. Awareness about the adverse consequences of FGM should be intensified and psychological treatment especially post-traumatic stress disorder intervention for circumcised women is recommended.

(IFE PsychologIA: 2003 11 (1): 123-130)

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