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An exploration of attitudes toward female genital cutting in Nigeria
Authors: Freymeyer, Robert; Johnson, Barbara
Source: Population Research and Policy Review, Volume 26, Number 1, February 2007 , pp. 69-83(15); DOI:
Topic(s): Female genital cutting (FGC)
Country: Africa
Published: FEB 2007
Abstract: Female genital cutting (FGC) continues to be widespread particularly in sub-Saharan African countries. We use data from the 1999 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey to consider factors that influence attitudes toward this procedure held by Nigerian women aged 15-49. We test four models: model 1 explores whether attitudes are consistent with a view of FGC as a social convention associated with marriageability of women. Model 2 examines the impact of modernization factors such as education and urbanization. In model 3, the influence of media and community activities are considered. Model 4 includes all of the factors in the three previous models. We find strong support for considering FGC a social convention. Modernization has minimal impact on attitudes about FGC mainly through its influence on the social convention.