Volume 81, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


The harmful effects of female genital mutilation (FGM) on women are recognized worldwide. Although it is practiced by persons of all socioeconomic backgrounds, there are differences within countries and between communities. The aim of this study was to use the 2003 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey data to determine the spatial distribution of the prevalence of FGM and associated risk factors. Data were available for 7,620 women; 1,673 (22.0%) interviewed had had FGM and 2,168 women had living children, of whom 485 (22.4%) daughters had undergone FGM. Unmarried women were more likely to report a lower prevalence of FGM. Modernization (education and high socioeconomic status) had minimal impact on the likelihood of FGM, but education plays an important role in the mother’s decision not to circumcise her daughter. It follows from these findings that community factors have a large effect on FGM, with individual factors having little effect on the distribution of FGM.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Bettina S-D, Hernlund Y, 2000. Female Circumcision in Africa. Boulder, CO: Lynne Reinner Publishers, Inc.
  2. TOSTAN. Education about African Women’s Health. Available at: www.tostan.org.
  3. Freymeyer RH, Johnson BE, 2007. An exploration of attitudes toward female genital cutting in Nigeria. Popul Res Policy Rev 26: 69–83.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Nnorom CC, 2000. Female Genital Mutilation Practice in Nigeria: Patterns, Preference and Remedies.
  5. World Health Organization, 2006. Female genital mutilation complicates births: WHO collaborative prospective study in six African countries. Lancet 367: 1835–1841.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Nwakeze NM, 2006. The Paradox of Women Empowerment. Lagos, Nigeria: University of Lagos Sociological Review, Volume VII.
  7. World Health Organization, 1998. Female Genital Mutilation: An Overview. Geneva: World Health Organization.
  8. Female Circumcision in Nigeria, 1997. A monograph of the Inter-African Committee on Harmful and Positive Traditional Practices affecting Women and Children.
  9. U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), 2000. USAID Policy on Female Genital Cutting (FGC). Washington, DC: USAID.
  10. Creel L, Ashford L, Carr D, Roudi N, Sass J, 2001. Abandoning Female Genital Cutting: Prevalence, Attitudes, and Efforts to End the Practice. Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau.
  11. National Population Commission, 2004. Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey 2003. Calverton, MD: National Population Commission.
  12. Filmer D, Pritchett LH, 2001. Estimating wealth effects without expenditure data or tears: an application to educational enrollment in states in India. Demography 38: 115–132.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Van Rossem R, Gage AJ, 2007. The effects of female genital mutilation on the onset of sexual activity and marriage in Guinea. Arch Sex Behav 38: 178–185.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Brezger A, Kneib T, Lang S, 2005. BayesX - Software for Bayesian Inference Based on Markov Chain Monte Carlo Simulation Techniques, Version 1.40. Available at: http://www.stat.uni-muenchen.de/~lang/BayesX.
  15. Kandala N-B, Ji C, Stallard N, Stranges S, Cappuccio FP, 2008. Morbidity from diarrhoea, cough and fever in children in Nigeria. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 102: 427–445.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Kandala N-B, Ji C, Stallard N, Stranges S, Cappuccio FP, 2007. Spatial analysis of risk factors for childhood morbidity in Nigeria. Am J Trop Med Hyg 77: 770–778.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Rogers EM, 1995. Diffusion of Innovations. Fourth edition. New York: Free Press.
  18. Nwakeze NM, 2001. Economic decision-making power in the household: the case of Anambra women. J Women Academics 1: 124–134.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Boerma JT, Black RE, Sommerfelt AE, Rustein SO, Bicego GT, 1991. Accuracy and completeness of mother’s recall of diarrhoea occurrence in pre-school children in demographic and health surveys. Int J Epidemiol 20: 1073–1080.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 13 Mar 2009
  • Accepted : 03 Aug 2009
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error