AFRREV LALIGENS: An International Journal of Language, Literature and Gender Studies

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Sex Variations in the use of taboo Expressions in Igbo Community: A Manifestation of Gender Inequality

CU Omego


This study examined sex variations in taboo expressions in Igbo culture area and argued that sex variations in taboo expressions in Igboland is an indication that gender inequality still operates in Igbo community despite all efforts aimed at eliminating all forms of discrimination on the basis of sex. To carry out this study, the researcher adopted a descriptive survey method. The methods of data collection used were interview, personal observation and the researcher’s intuition as a member of Igbo speech community. Secondary data was collected through library research. A total of 48 fluent speakers of Igbo who inhabit the Igbo speaking areas were purposively selected for this study. The data collected were descriptively analyzed. The result of the study proved that sex is a strong linguistic variable that affects speech in Igbo community and that women in Igboland are forbidden from using certain taboo expressions, especially in gatherings comprising men and women. This paper, therefore, concluded that the differences observed in the speech of men and women in Igboland serve as an evidence of inequality between men and women in Igboland despite various attempts aimed at putting an end to all sorts of discrimination on the basis of sex.

Key Words: community, culture, inequality, expression, language, sex, variation, taboo

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