African, male attitudes on female genital mutilation: an Australian survey

Shahid, Usama, and Rane, Ajay (2017) African, male attitudes on female genital mutilation: an Australian survey. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 37 (8). pp. 1053-1058.

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Abstract

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a traditional practice where female genital organs are altered for non-medical reasons. The custom is outlawed in Australia and associated with an array of medical consequences. Due to the recent influx of migrants from regions endemic to FGM, the practice is becoming a growing concern locally. This federal government funded study aimed to elicit the poorly understood perceptions that young, Sub-Saharan African, migrant males residing in Townsville, Australia have on FGM. Through piloted questionnaires we found that amongst the 67 participants, 23.9% believed that FGM should be allowed under Australian Law. The independent predictors of supportive attitudes in favour of FGM were having resided in Australia for five or less years (p = .016, 95% CI 0.99-8.09) and coming from a basic educational background (high school or TAFE) (p = .003, 95% CI 1.3-12.4). This study also found that participant perceptions on FGM were amenable to change through educational interventional strategies.

IMPACT STATEMENT

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a traditional practice where female genital organs are altered for non-medical reasons.

The role that males play in the continuation of this outlawed practice remains poorly understood. No research has ever been conducted in Australia looking at the perception that young, migrant males have on FGM.

Several European-based studies have examined the perceptions of older, poorly educated, migrant male cohorts. Generally, these studies show that the attitudinal support for FGM and intention to practice remains relatively high amongst these cohorts.

This study examined the attitudes of a young, Sub-Saharan African, migrant, male cohort residing in Australia. This adds to the literature base by establishing the perceptions and associated socio-demographic variables of this unique and influential subset of the migrant population.

This directly facilitates the development of interventional strategies against FGM by highlighting those most likely to have an attitudinal support in favour of FGM. Consequentially, this 'at risk' group can be more effectively focussed on interventional programmes and be further investigated in larger scale studies.

Item ID: 51321
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1364-6893
Keywords: female genital mutilation, male, youth, attitude, perception, Australia
Funders: Department of Health and Ageing
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2017 07:36
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine > 111402 Obstetrics and Gynaecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920205 Health Education and Promotion @ 20%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920507 Womens Health @ 80%
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