Perceptions of Health Students of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital to Gender Based Issues related to Reproductive Health
AbstractGender equity, equality and mainstreaming are very topical issues presently and most components of reproductive health require gender equity to succeed. Health care workers are constantly going to have to be involved in gender related issues in health.
This study was conducted among health students of the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba. A total sample of 330 students selected by stratified sampling from the 5 various disciplines were included in the study.
All the male respondents compared to 93% of the female respondents believed that a woman has human rights. More females [34.6%] than males [18.2%] and more students from the paramedical fields [45.8%] felt it was right for a woman to seek contraception without permission if necessary [p<0.05]. A significantly greater number of females [93.95] than males [75%] and more students of nursing [93.8%] and other courses[100%] agreed to the woman's right to refuse sex if she did not want it [p<0.05].
With regards to physical violence, 4%, 12.3% and 5.5% of the respondents respectively believed that men could beat their spouses if she was disrespectful to him, flirts with other men or disobeys him. More men than women indicated the right of the man to beat the woman, but there was no significant relationship between sex, or course of study and attitudes to physical violence [p>0.05].
Health workers in training still see gender issues primarily from a masculine or feminine point of view. It is important that teaching gender issues be included early in the curriculum to improve their management of future patients/clients.
Key Words: Gender Issues, Harmful traditional practices, Domestic violence
Nigerian Medical Practitioner Vol.45(5) 2004: 80-82