Comparative Study of Meanings, Beliefs, and Practices of Female Circumcision Among Three Nigerian Tribes in the United States and Nigeria

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The study was conducted to gain insight into the meanings, beliefs, and practices of female circumcision among three Nigerian tribes in the United States and Nigeria. Participant-observations occurred in three sites in Nigeria (Ibadan, Lagos, and Owerri) and in Essex County, New Jersey (Newark, Irvington, and East Orange). A total of 50 informants included adult males and females from the three main Nigerian ethnic tribes: Igbo, Yoruba, and Hausa. Leininger's culture care theory of diversity and universality was the study framework. Findings revealed existence of similarities and differences in the cultural meanings, beliefs, and practices among the tribes. Religion, education, and occupation were significant factors influencing informants’ attitudes toward continuation of the practice. Government-sponsored public education and influence by the media were found to increase informants’ awareness of complications of female circumcision. Changes in attitudes toward the practice and use of alternative practices were evident. © 2004, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.

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Journal of Transcultural Nursing

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