NIGERIA (General Remarks)




Featured: Badjju, Nupe, Hausa, Kadara, Kagoro, Efik, Tiv, Kanuri, Ijaw/ Ijo, Bini, Marghi, Jekri, Lala, Kofjar, Ibibio[Anang Ibibio], Woodabe Fulani, Borroro Fulani, Ibo [Afikpo Igbo, Asaba Ibo], Rukuba, Irigwe, Yakoe, Igbira, Igala, Orri, Dakarkaki, Tuareg



“The average age at first marriage in Nigeria is 16[1]. Child marriage is particularly common in the north, where the majority of girls are married between the ages of 12 and 15[2]. The National Policy on Population discourages early marriage and states that parents should not arrange marriages for girls below the age of 18[3][4]. “Child marriage is practiced with the belief that it reduces promiscuity among young girls and because of the importance attached to virginity”[5] [6]. Kinderheiraten kommen vor allem im Norden, aber auch bei muslimischen Familien im Süden Nigerias vor. Mädchen ab 10 Jahren werden entweder von armen Familien an einen älteren Mann verkauft oder zu Beginn der Pubertät verheiratet, um das Stigma des außerehelichen Geschlechtsverkehrs auf alle Fälle zu vermeiden (IRB 19 April 2000; USDOS 2001, Section 5; Usman 1997, S. 81)”[7]. “The cultural practice of marrying girls at very tender ages —sometimes at 12 years or younger— to older men, for example among the Hausa-Fulani of Northern Nigeria and adherents of the Islamic religions, is also taught to be fraught with danger” (Oyekanmi, 1998:p500)[8].


Traditional requirements for premarital virginity vary across tribal communities (Feyisetan and Pebley, 1989)[9]. The demise of arranged marriage is evidenced by the present-day disregard for premarital virginity (Renne 1993, 1996a, 1996b:p178-81)[10]. This change is related to beliefs about the relationship between virginity and fertility, which in turn reflect ideas about paternal control of women’s bodies and marriage. In traditional Southern Nigeria, “[b]etrothal takes place at all ages, even from before conception in the womb-on the chance of the infant being a female- until the girl has reached marriageable age; it usually, however, occurs when the child is a few years old (Talbot, 1969 [III]:p425)[11]. This is noted for the Edo, Sobo (p437), Ijaw (p438), eastern Ika (p442), at Awka (p445), Degama Division (ibid.), Owerri Division (p447), and further at least among the Abadja, Amarisi, Iji, Ezza, Aro, Ihe, Ututu, semi-Bantu, Ibibio, Orri, Yachi, Ukelle, Ekuri Akunakuna, Mbembe, Ekoi, Etung, Olulumaw, Nde, Afitopp, and northern Nkumm. Later (childhood, pubescence) betrothals are noted for the Iyala, Atamm, and southern Nkumm. Age stratified betrothals of at least a generation are the rule. See further Olatubosun (2001)[12].

In 1950, the legalised age of marriage was 13, while menarche occurred past age 14 (Ellis, 1950)[13]. In Ibadan, Nigeria, a local myth would state that STDs are cured by intercourse with young virgins (Sogbetun et al., 1977)[14]. Adegoke (1993)[15] revealed that the Nigerian experience of spermarche was not particularly negative, and that the level of anticipation was not associated with attitudinal negativism.

Children would not be allowed to mention the names of sex organs (Uka, 1966:p79)[16]. Only 7.6%, more among urban, schoolgirls were told about menarche and pre-marital pregnancy (Osujih, 1986)[17], and parents were not involved with issues of sexuality in cases of adolescent pregnancy, unlike friends (Oronsaye et al., 1982)[18]. According to a 1990 survey (Turner, 1992)[19], median age of first sexual intercourse was just above 16 years for females, three-quarters of a year earlier than the median age at first marriage. Among senior secondary school girls from Port Harcourt (mean age 16.32 years), the mean, modal and youngest ages of initiation into sexual activity were 15.04, 15 and 12 years respectively (Okpani and Okpani, 2000)[20]. In a 2004 study[21] it was found that of senior secondary school adolescents in Calabar, the average age at menarche being 12.86 years, about 37.4% indicated having been sexually active with an average age at initiation of 13.7 years. Most of them (51.2% ) indicated having learned about sexual intercourse from their peers, “for fun, intimacy and friendship (84%)”. Anyway, “Sexuality education both at home and in school is lacking in Calabar”.


A recent study[22] shows that


“[…] 74.7% of female respondents were circumcised. They believe that the practice would help prevent sexual promiscuity, curb sexual desires and that it is a custom they cannot do without. Most of the men would not marry an uncircumcised female, while a substantial number of the respondents would like to circumcise their daughters. Community effort to eradicate the practice is very minimal”.



Demehin (1983)[23] observed that colonisation has removed the traditional forms of sex education through initiation ritesand pre-marital counselling by the elders so that young people nowadays rely mostly on peer information or erotic movies and publications. It seems to the author that the only avenue left open is to teach sex education through the school systems. A systematic review of the provisions for sex education in primary and secondary schools as well as teacher’s training colleges bring the author to the conclusion that although the sex education curriculum seems comprehensive on paper, they are mere copies of similar American or Canadian programmes with very little attempt at indigenising them.

Hake (1972:p53-8)[24] stated that it was rare to find villages where puberty rites were still celebrated. This may have caused the following situation:


“Sex training is almost non-existent in many Northern Nigerian families. It is considered to be sinful or “corrupting” to speak about such matters candidly between parents and children. Adolescent boys especially are given little or no information about the sexual changes taking place in their bodies. Nearly 80 per cent of the male respondents stated that no one in their family told them about sex and its proper use in their lives. However, only about 50 per cent of the female subjects said they were not given proper sex information. Those male subjects who were told about sexual matters, were given this informat[io]n primarily by older brothers, rather than by their mothers or fathers. In the case of the females, their mothers were listed as the main informants in sexual matters. Older sister, aunts, house-mothers in boarding schools, female principals and grandmothers also helped some of the female subjects in this matter”.


In a recent study[25],


“Parent-child communication in sexual matters was either non-existent or negative before maturity, which for girls is at age of menarche. The negative communication concentrated on the possibility of pregnancy and the dangers associated with it, including shame for the girl and the family. Though contemporary village society is more open and sex is being more freely discussed, communication in sexual matters between parent and child remains minimal”.


Orubuloye (2005)[26]:


“Certainly wives tradition have little control over their husbands’ extramarital sexual relationships; they are far more likely to try to control their sons’ sexual activity or to see that it is conducted in safety or that it does not result in making girls pregnant. There are community sanctions on wives monitoring their husbands’ behavior; there appear not to be parallel sanctions on mothers watching their sons ‘sexual behavior. Nevertheless, mothers consider monitoring their sons’ sexual behavior as their moral rights and social obligations to them. In contrast the community experts mother to monitor their daughters’ sexual behavior and there are sanctions for failure to do so. Most parents have the fear of their daughters’ becoming pregnant before finishing at school; hence mothers to enforce premarital chastity on their daughters while their sons’ are given some degree of sexual freedom”.


Ikpe (2004:p19-20, 21)[27].

“In most pre-colonial societies, sexuality was consigned to the realms of marriage. It was only under marital condition that sexuality was to be experienced. Outside this, it was culturally taboo to discuss sex and sexual matters. Sexuality was full of silence and discretions, for instance, between parents and children. Sexual discussions were clothed in languages, which were not explicit to the uninitiated. […] It was a taboo to discuss sexual matters in front of children until they were ready for their passage into adulthood. Although children recognised the differences between the genders, they were not supposed to know what the usefulness of such differences were for; except with regard to the allocation of household roles. They were aware that women brought forth babies but how that actually came about was kept a secret. Yet, research has shown that young children sometimes got to know their sexual side through self-discovery. Some pre-adolescent youths engaged in sexual exploration of self which the Ibibio refer to as ukap. This is a process of body exploration including the exploration of the genitals with the fingers. Sometimes, this took place between girls, between boys and between boys and girls. Research shows that many children were caught in this act and given thorough beatings. Sometimes, they were introduced to it by older youths. Though forbidden and frowned at, some adolescent youths still engaged in secret touching and massaging of one another’s erotic parts. This happened mostly during the moon-lit nights when young people went out to play. They were often under the watchful eyes of the elders, who sat around most of the times or soon fell asleep due to tiredness from the day’s work. The young people always found opportunities to touch one another in a way to derive sensual pleasure. This could happen on the way to the stream to fetch water or take a bath, or on their firewood fetching sprees when adults were not around. […] The bush must have provided a sort of privacy which allowed for the playing out of sexual fantasies in a way not possible in the houses with prying eyes and ears. […] Pre-marital sex for girls was a taboo but it happened from time to time resulting in pregnancies”.

In a large scale study between 1993 and 1995, Obisesan and Adeymo (1999)[28] found that 5% of respondents admitted sexual intercourse between ages 6 and 10. The finding was not associated with gender or tribe (5.4% Yorubas, 4.9% Hausa, 3.7% Igbos, 3.3% other tribes). This compares well to findings by Oloko and Omoboye (1993)[29] that 3.6% of Yoruba adolescent school students had their first sexual intercourse around age 10. In another study[30] on a randomly selected sample of 1,527 male students in rural and urban high schools in Oyo State, Nigeria, mean age at first sexual intercourse was 13.5 years among the 19.9% who had ever had sex.


Interesting tribal overview by Esiet et al. (2001)[31] (read in full: IES):


“The following summaries of the attitudes and practices regarding sexuality education and the discussion of sex of several ethnic groups in eight geographical regions of Nigeria were compiled by the authors during a meeting with health care professionals in January 1999 (Francoeur, Esiet, & Esiet 2000)[32] […].

Regions: Ipoti-Ekiti, Oyo, and Yorubaland. Ethnic Group: Yoruba

Sexual knowledge is acquired through storytelling myths, from peers, schools, apprenticeship centers, television, films, romantic novels, magazines, and over-heard adult conversations. There is no positive attitude regarding sexuality education. Educated adults see nothing bad in sexual education, but the uneducated say it is an abomination and such things should not be heard of. Sex is freely discussed in the beer parlor, at home when husband and wife are quarreling, or during marriage preparation in the church or mosque. Otherwise, sexuality issues are never discussed and people are repulsed by sexual talk. When compelled to discuss sexuality issues, the uneducated are very shy and hardly give any correct information of participation. More-educated persons discuss sex mostly among peers and with persons of the same gender.

Regions: Kano, Katsina, and Kaduna. Ethic Group: Muslim Hausa

Most children in these states learn about sexuality through their peer groups, media, and films. Parents do not discuss sex with their children. Parents are very negative about sexuality education in the schools because of the misconception that it will negatively affect the children. People will discuss sexual topics freely among friends and peers.

Region: Borno

Sexual information is acquired from peers as well as parents. The general attitude towards sexuality education in schools is negative. Talking openly about sexuality is clearly taboo.

Region: Benue. Ethnic Groups: Tiv, Idoma, and Isala

Children learn about sex from their peers, and through storytelling and the cultural practices of gender roles. Sexual intercourse is learned by experimentation. Mothers tell their daughters about the consequences of sexual intercourse when they start menstruating. They usually provide no knowledge on hygiene. People are generally not comfortable with sexuality education. Spouses rarely communicate about sexuality. They are, however, beginning to discuss family planning. Talking about sex is considered “wayward.”

Regions: Akwa-Ibom and the Cross River: Ethnic Groups: Efik and Ibibio

Children acquire sexual knowledge by listening to stories told by their elders, by eaves-dropping on adult talk, and from older sisters, cousins, house helpers, school peers, and electronic and print media. Young people also learn about sex during moonlight activities with their peers. In these activities, known as Edibe Ekok (hide and seek), children make a ring with a broomstick with a sand heap in the middle, around which they sit, mostly naked. They try to locate a ring in the sand heap. When found, they are joyous and exchange pleasant times, which sometimes results in sexual activity. Knowledge about sexuality is considered inappropriate for children but acceptable for the married. Sexuality education is seen as a way of corrupting the children. People do not discuss sexual topics, but this can be done in private and secretly.

Region: Delta State. Ethnic Groups: Uhobod, Ibos, Ijaws, Isaw, and Itsekirus

Children learn about sexuality from their peers and from the media in urban areas. Most people view sexuality education negatively because they believe it initiates the young ones to sexual relationships. Discussion of sexual topics is taboo. Males do, however, discuss sexuality - especially when they want to tell their peers how many girlfriends they have had intercourse with.

Region: Edo

Children in Edo learn about sex through their parents but mostly through peers. The general attitude toward sexuality education is negative. Discussion of sexual topics is avoided because it is believed that discussing the subject will result in promiscuity and exposure of adolescents to bad influences. People do not easily discuss sexuality topics because it is considered a taboo.

Regions: Imo, Enugu, and Anambra States. Ethnic Group: Ibo

Knowledge about sexuality is picked up accidentally-mostly from peers. There is no formal sexuality education. Parents teach their children through their own attitudes and behavior. Knowledge comes mainly from peers. The Ibo believe talk about sexual matters is vulgar, sexual education should not exist, and sexuality should never be discussed.



“It is not unusual for the growing child to engage in thumb sucking and some self-body massage. Both behaviors are commonly frowned on by adults, and parents try to discourage both “bad” behaviors. Pacifiers are encouraged as a substitute for thumb sucking, but parents tend to punish masturbation. [U. Esiet] Masturbation is a common sexual behavior in Nigeria among adolescents and adults alike. However, it is more common in adolescents, who rely on masturbation to satisfy their sexual urges. This they do by fondling the clitoris, breast, nipple, or penis. Masturbation is common in girls-only schools where same-sex relations occur. [Oyebola] […] From what little is known, the incidence of same-sex sexual behavior among children and adolescents is very low. Incidents have been reported within same-sex institutions”. (read in full: IES)


About school-related homoerotic experiences:


"I knew of the practice personally when I was about 12 years of age. We

were residing in an all girls boarding school, and girls talked about

it. Some of them had partners referred to as "darling." Some were just

platonic while some were having sexual activities. [...] When I met my

husband, while sharing our past, he told me that masturbation and

homosexuality were commonly practiced in his school in the sixties. It

was a famous boys only school" (Female, 36, social worker).


"We learnt this in secondary school. A senior girl picks on a new

arrival, makes her pet girl and they sleep together. I got mine and we

got along well. Flirting was not allowed among couples, but in a few

cases girls quarreled and broke up and had to write love letters to

other girls. The senior who was my "supe" is married too" (Female, 42,

Married, Graduate).


"I did a boys only secondary school. It is a well-known practice. The

rumor around is that it is practiced in the north widely. I used to. I

had a partner, but when we finished school, everybody went their

different ways" (Male, 28, Single, Secondary School).


From: Cesnabmihilo Dorothy Aken 'Ova (Executive Director, International Centre for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights (Increse)) Preliminary Survey Of Homosexuality In Nigeria. Informal presentation at “Obstacles to Organizing for Sexual Rights” panel at the Commission of the Status of Women, March 7, 2000 []




Additional refs.:

§  Akinboye (1984)[33]

§  Araoye and Adegoke (1996)[34]





According to Partridge (1905:p254)[35], “[g]irls are betrothed by her parents to her future husband when she is only a few years old. […] Until she reach [sic] the age of puberty, a girl is permitted by her parents and by her betrothed to go about freely and have as many lovers as she pleases. She may not, however, bring a lover into her father’s compound.






“The Karogo and Moroa girls marry later than the Kajji, whose brides can hardly average ten years of age. There is, however, no age limit, for no one counts the number of years he or she has lived, and even seasons are not noted for the purpose of reckoning ages […]. With the Kagoro or Moroa the first menstruation [age 11 or 12] appears and the mammae develop, and after that the marriage will be soon or late according to the needs of the girl’s father. With a boy, the test seems to be whether he can get an erection or not, but, of course, he must also produce the necessary presents […]; he would be sixteen to eighteen years of age (Tremearne, 1912:p169)[36].






The Urhobo and Isoko of the Niger Delta begin sexual intercourse “very early in life”[37]. Traditionally, betrothal in infancy or childhood was customary in Benin Kingdom (p48) and among the Northern Edo (p121). Among the Isoko, ritual sexuality is expected of the girl with her husband within one week of her circumcision, practised generally at menarche or within one year of that event (Welch, 1934)[38].



Further ethnographics:


Badjju, Nupe, Hausa, Kadara, Kagoro, Efik, Tiv, Kanuri, Ijaw/ Ijo, Bini, Marghi, Jekri, Lala, Kofjar, Ibibio[Anang Ibibio], Woodabe Fulani, Borroro Fulani, Ibo [ Afikpo Igbo, Asaba Ibo], Rukuba, Irigwe, Yakoe, Igbira, Igala, Orri, Dakarkaki, Tuareg



Additional reading:



·         Anuforo, P. O., Oyedele, L., Pacquiao, D. F. (2004) Comparative Study of Meanings, Beliefs, and Practices of Female Circumcision Among Three Nigerian Tribes in the United States and Nigeria, J Transcult Nurs 15:103-13

  • Arowojolu, AO Ilesanmi, AO Roberts OA & Okunola MA (2002) Sexuality, Contraceptive Choice and AIDS Awareness among Nigerian Undergraduates, African J Reproductive Health 6,3:60-70

·         Caldwell, J. C. et al. (1997) Male and female circumcision in Africa from a regional to a specific Nigerian examination, Social Sci & Med 44,8:1181-93

·         Dare, FO, Oboro, VO, Fadiora, SO, Orji, EO, Sule-Odu, AO & Olabode, TO. (2004) Female genital mutilation: an analysis of 522 cases in South-Western Nigeria, J Obstet Gynaecol 24,3:281-3 ["The average age at which the procedure was performed was 6.9+/-2.9 years [...]"]

·         Diejomaoh, F. M. E. et al. (1981) Adhesion of the labia minora complicating circumcision in the neonatal period in a Nigerian community, Tropical & Geographical Medicine 33:135-8

·         Hosken, Fran P. (1993) The Hosken Report: Genital and Sexual Mutilation of Females. Fourth Revised Edition. Women’s International Network News: Lexington, MA

  • Izugbara, Chimaraoke Otutubikey (2001) Tasting the Forbidden Fruit: The Social Context of Debut Sexual Encounters among Young Persons in a Rural Nigerian Community, African J Reproductive Health 5,2:22-9

·         Mandara, M. U. (2004) Female genital mutilation in Nigeria, Int J Gynaecol Obstet 84,3:291-8 ["Twenty-one percent of women said they were going to have FGM on their  daughters."]

  • Myers, R. A. et al. (1985) Circumcision: its nature and practice among some ethnic groups in southern Nigeria, Social Sci & Med 21,5:581-8
  • Myers, R.A. (1986) Female and Male Perceptions of Female Genital Operations in Six Southern Nigerian Ethnic Groups. East Lansing: Working Papers: Women in International Development, Michigan State University

·         Odujinrin, O. M. T. et al. (1989) A study on female circumcision in Nigeria, West African J Med  8,3:183-92

  • Okonkwo, J. E. N., Obionu, C., Uwakwe, R. & Okonkwo, C. V. (2002) Sources of sexual information and its relevance to sexual behavior in Nigeria, West African J Med 21,3:185-7

·         Olamijulo, S. K. et al. (1983) Female child circumcision in Ilesha, Nigeria, Clinical Pediatrics 22,8:580-1

  • Osagbemi, M. O.,Sexual Behavior of Urban Street Children in Northern Nigeria: Implication for Promoting Knowledge of AIDS/STDs and Responsible Sexual Behavior., Agency for Children in Crisis (AFChiC)
  • Sexual Mutilations. Case studies presented at the workshop: African women speak on female circumcision, Khartoum (October 21-25, 1984), Babiker Badri - Scientific Association for Women Studies, p60-2 []
  • Sunmola, Adegbenga M.; Morenike Dipeolu, Sunday Babalola & Adebayo D D Otu (2002) Reproductive, Sexual and Contraceptive Behaviour of Adolescents in Niger State Nigeria, African J Reproductive Health 6,3:82-92 []
  • Sunmola, Adegbenga M, Dipeolu, Morenike, Babalola, Sunday & Adebayo, Otu D (2003) Reproductive Knowledge, Sexual Behaviour and Contraceptive Use among Adolescents in Niger State of Nigeria, African J Reproductive Health 7,1:37-48 []
  • Unuigbe I. Evelyn & Ogbeide Osafu (1999) Sexual Behaviour and Perception of AIDS among Adolescent Girls in Benin City, Nigeria, African J Reproductive Health 3,1:39-44
  • Snow, R. C.; Slanger, T. E.; Okonofua, F. E.; Oronsaye, F.; Wacker, J. (2002) Female genital cutting in southern urban and peri-urban Nigeria: self-reported validity, social determinants and secular decline, Tropical Medicine & International Health, Vol. 7 Issue 1, p91 [data on timing of girl’s circumcision: The overall mean age at FGC was 4.9 years]
  • Ilechukwu, S. T. C. (1999) Oedipal Anxiety and Cultural Variations in the Incest Taboo: A Psychotherapy Case Study in the Nigerian Setting, Transcultural Psychia 36,2:211-25

·         Child marriage briefing: Nigeria. New York: Population Council, 2004 []

·         Isiugo-Abanihe, Uche C. & Oyediran, Kola’ A. (2004) Household Socioeconomic Status and Sexual Behaviour among Nigerian Female Youth, African Population Studies 19,1:81-98 []

·         Alubo, O. (2002) Adolescent Sexuality and Reproductive Health in Benue State, Nigeria. The Centre for Development and Population Activities, Nigeria  []

·         Chimaroke Otutubikey Izugbara (2005) Constructions of sex and sexuality in local erotic songs and chants (circulating) among rural Nigerian adolescent males. Cultural Aspects of Sex/Sexuality Education, One-day Conference at The Institute of Education, University of London, 25 May 2005

·         Amoran, O. E., Onadeko, M. O. & Adeniyi J. D. (2004-5) Parental Influence On Adolescent Sexual Initiation Practices In Ibadan, Nigeria, International Quarterly of Community Health Education 23,1:73-81

·         Smith, Daniel Jordan (2004) Youth, sin and sex in Nigeria: Christianity and HIV/AIDS-related beliefs and behaviour among rural-urban migrants, Culture, Health & Sexuality 6,5:425–437 []

·         Understanding Human Sexuality Seminar Series 3

·         Adepoju, Adunola (2005) Sexuality Education in Nigeria: Evolution, Challenges and Prospects. Lagos, Nigeria: ARSRC. March 24, 2005 []

·         Baseline Survey on Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices about FGC in Eastern Nigeria. Report of Findings.(doc) Prepared by Stella Babalola and Amouzou, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Communications Programs




Janssen, D. F., Growing Up Sexually. Volume I. World Reference Atlas. 0.2 ed. 2004. Berlin: Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology

Last revised: Sept 2005



[1] Akumadu, Th. (nd) Data on the Nigerian Chapter of the Anglophone Africa Report 1 (unpublished paper,on file with The Center for Reproductive Law and Policy), p13

[2] International Reproductive Rights Research Action Group-Nigeria (Irrrag) (1995) Voices: Findings of a Research into Reproductive Rights of Women in Nigeria, p118

[3] Federal Republic of Nigeria (1988) National Policy on Population for Development, Unity, Progress and Self-Reliance, p14

[4] CRLP (2001) Women of the World: Laws and Policies Affecting Their Reproductive Lives: Anglophone Africa. Progress Report, p75-89, at p85

[5] Nigeria: Harmful traditional practices among adolescents, Women's Int Network News, Summer 1998; 24,3:28 et seq.

[6] Cf. Sharia & Women’s Human Rights in Nigeria - Strategies for Action. Being the proceedings of a 2 . day strategic conference on Islamic Legal System and Women’s Rights in Northern Nigeria, organised by WARD C, Lagos and WACOL, Enugu, with the support of Henrich Boll Foundation, at Rockview Hotel, Abuja, (27 . 30th October 2002), p69-71 [download]

[7] Scholdan, Bettina (2002) Nigeria– Länderbericht. Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation, p69 []

[8] Oyekanmi, Felicia A. Durojaiye (1998) Socio-cultural relations in the Nigerian family : implications for AIDS in Africa, in Charles Becker, Jean-Pierre Dozon, Christine Obbo et Moriba Touré (Eds.) Vivre et penser le sida en Afrique, p493-508 []

[9] Feyisetan, B. & Pebley, A. R. (1989) Premarital Sexuality in Urban Nigeria, Studies in Fam Plann 20,6:343-54

[10] Renne, E. P. (1993) Changes in adolescent sexuality and the perception of virginity in a southwestern Nigerian village, Health Transition Series 3, suppl.:121-33; Renne, E. P. (1996a) Virginity cloths and vaginal coverings in Ekiti, in Hendrickson, H. (Ed.) Cloth and Difference: Embodied Identities in Colonial and Post-Colonial Africa. Durham NC: Duke University Press; Renne, E. P. (1996b) Shifting Boundaries of Fertility Change in Southwest Nigeria. The Shaping of Fertility and Mortality Declines, Health Transition Rev 6(suppl):169-90

[11] Talbot, P. A. (1969) The Peoples of Southern Nigeria. Vol. 3. London: Frank Cass & Co.

[12] Olatubosun, A. (2001) Addressing the phenomenon of child marriage in Nigeria, IFE-Psychologia 9,2:159-69. Argues that “that child marriage is a class phenomenon which is rooted in culture and religion. It is often based on the belief that virginity can only be guaranteed between the ages of 8-10 yrs. The author contends

that it also serves as a means of forestalling promiscuity in young girls, prevent any mischief and to protect family honor by preventing prostitution”.

[13] Ellis, R. W. B. (1950) Age of puberty in the tropics, Br Med J, Jan.14:85-9

[14] Sogbetun, A. O. et al. (1977) Sexually transmitted diseases in Ibadan, Nigeria, Br J Ven Dis 53:155-60

[15] Adegoke, A. A. (1993) The experience of spermarche (the age of onset of sperm emission) among selected adolescent boys in Nigeria, J Youth & Adolesc 22,2:201-9

[16] Uka, N. (1966) Growing Up in Nigerian Culture. University of Ibadan, Institute of Education

[17] Osujih, M. (1986) Menstruation problems in Nigerian students and sex education, J Royal Soc Health 106,6:219-21

[18] Oronsaye, A. U. et al. (1982) Pregnancy among schoolgirls in Nigeria, Int J Gynaecol & Obstet 20:409-12

[19] Turner, R. (1992) Marriages, First Births Occur Early in Nigeria; High TFR Appears Firm, Int Fam Plann Perspect 18,4:154-6

[20] Okpani, A. O. & Okpani, J. U. (2000) Sexual activity and contraceptive use among female adolescents--a report from Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Afr J Reprod Health 4,1:40-7

[21] Etuk, S. J., Ihejiamaizu, E. C. & Etuk, I. S. (2004) Female adolescent sexual behaviour in Calabar, Nigeria, Niger Postgrad Med J 11,4:269-73

[22] Briggs, L. A. (2002) Male and Female Viewpoints on Female Circumcision in Ekpeye, Rivers State, Nigeria, African J Reproductive Health 6,3:44 -52 []

[23] Demehin, A. O. (1983) Au Nigéria: laxisme et education sexuelle, Hygie 2,2:39-45

[24] Hake, J. M. (1972) Child-Rearing Practices in Northern Nigeria. Ibadan University Press

[25] Uche, Ch. & Vincent-Osaghae, G. (2001) Adolescent Sexual Behaviour: A Study of Nigerian Villages. IUSSP XXIVth General Population Conference, Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, August 18-24, 2001, p5 []

[26] Orubuloye, I. O. (2005) Demography, Sexuality and Sexual Behavior Research in Nigeria, Issue in Focus 7, February 2005 []

[27] Ikpe, E. B. (2004) Human Sexuality in Nigeria: A Historical Perspective. Understanding Human Sexuality Seminar Series, ARSRC

[28] Obisesan, K. A. & Adeymo, A. A. (1999) Childhood sexuality and child sexual abuse in southwest Nigeria, J Obstet & Gynaecol 19,6:624-6

[29] Oloko, B. A. & Omboye, A. O. (1993) Sexual Networking among some Lagos State adolescent Yoruba students, Health Transition Rev 3, Suppl.:151-7

[30] Oladepo, O. (2000) Sexual Attitudes and Behaviour of Male Secondary School Students in Rural and Urban Areas of Oyo State, Nigeria, African J Reproductive Health 4,2:21-34

[31] Esiet, U. E. et al. (2001) Nigeria, in Francoeur, R. T. ( chief) The International Encyclopedia of Sexuality. Vol. IV. New York: Continuum. Online ed.

[32] Francoeur, R. T., Esiet, U. & Esiet, N. 2000 (April/May) Ethnic views of sexuality in Nigeria, SIECUS Report 28,4:8-12

[33] Akinboye, J. O. (1984) Secondary sexual characteristics and normal puberty in Nigerian and Zimbabwian adolescents, Adolesc 19, 74:483-92

[34] Araoye, M. & Adegoke, A. (1996) AIDS-related knowledge, attitude and behaviour among selected adolescents in Nigeria, J Adolesc 19,2:179-81

[35] Partridge, C. (1905) Cross River Natives. Nendeln: Kraus. 1973 reprint

[36] Tremearne, A. J. N. (1912) Notes on the Kagoro and Other Nigerian Head-Hunters, J Royal Anthropol Instit Great Britain & Ireland 42:136-199

[37] Welch as cited by Bradbury, R. E. (1957) The Benin Kingdom and the Edo-Speaking Peoples of Southwestern Nigeria. International African Institution, p154

[38] Welch, J. W. (1934) The Isoko tribe, Africa 7,2:160-73