FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION AND SEXUAL QUALITY OF LIFE AMONG IGBO WOMEN IN ABA METROPOLIS
Most women contribute immensely to the welfare of their various homes and may not be effective in their roles as home makers when their sexual quality of life is low. Marital quality of life in the area of sex is vital to women’s overall well-being. This study aims at identifying the perceived contribution of female genital mutilation on sexual quality of life of married women in Aba metropolis. A cross-sectional survey design was adopted to study 536 married women aged between 18 – 65 residing in Aba, Abia State. The subjects were purposefully selected from the population of women that attended the Nigeria for Women Project in Aba. Data was collected on the respondent’s local government area of origin, religion, education and status of marital relationship while standardized questionnaire (Female Sexual Function Index) was used to collect empirical data. Frequency counts, simple linear regression and t-test were used to answer the research questions, while simple linear regression and Hayes’ process model were used to analyze the hypothesis. The collection of data was done in November, 2021. Frequency counts were used to analyze participants’ demographic data. Frequency counts, simple linear regression and t-test were used to answer the research questions, while simple linear regression and Hayes’ process model were used to test the hypotheses at the .05 level of significance. All statistical analyses were carried out with SPSS version 27 software. Women in Aba metropolis had negative perceptions about the practice of female genital mutilation. The percentage of those who have negative perception stood at 52. Level of education had no significant influence on how women perceive female genital mutilation whereas a woman’s age was indicated as a determining factor on how they see female genital mutilation. Women’s decision to want their daughters circumcised was influenced by their circumcision status. Furthermore, there was a significant influence of female genital mutilation on marital quality of life and education and age were also significant moderators of the influence of female genital mutilation on sexual quality of life. Finding of this study led to the conclusion that while age is a factor that determines how women see female genital mutilation, education is not, even though female genital mutilation is generally perceived as a negative practice, 65% of studied women are still circumcised. A woman’s decision to want her daughter circumcised in the future is influenced by whether she is circumcised herself or not and female genital mutilation was found to have significant influence on sexual quality of life while age and education was found to be significant moderators of that influence. Despite the negative perceptions about female genital mutilation, the number of circumcised women outnumbered the uncircumcised. This could be attributable to societal pressures and need to be accepted within their communities.
Culture, genital mutilation, Igbo women, sexual quality of life, Aba metropolis