Journal Article

Men’s perceptions of masculinities and sexual health risks in Igboland, Nigeria

After the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, reproductive health programs responded to women’s experiences of sexual and reproductive illness. However, there has been no commensurate systematic attempt to understand men’s health issues. This study was designed to examine how men from a Nigerian ethnic group (i.e., the Igbo, formerly called the Ibo or Ebo) perceive masculinity and its impact on their sexual and other health needs. Qualitative data were generated and content analyses of the results were carried out. Participants indicated that there is a shift from traditional to non-traditional attitudes and practices among men in the area from which the sample was drawn. Factors responsible for this shift include education, religion, migration patterns, the influence of mass media and globalization. The men reported awareness of sexual and other health needs in the context of their experience of masculinity. Implications of findings for future research and advocacy are discussed.