Contextual and social factors Influencing male fertility in Nigeria

Ololade G Adewole, Kehinde Omotoso, Sola S Asa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fertility level remains relatively high in Nigeria. Currently, it peaks at about six children per woman. Many studies have suggested targeting men in family planning programs to reduce fertility levels, particularly in patriarchal societies. Nigeria, being a patriarchal and multiethnic society, males’ influence on fertility behavior remains indisputable. Thus, this study explores contextual factors, such as sociocultural norms, beliefs, preferences, and perceptions, that influence male fertility behavior across different ethnic groups in Nigeria.
The study uses qualitative data that involved focus group discussion (FGD) and in-depth interview (IDI) from three geopolitical zones in Nigeria, with each zone representing the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria. Six IDIs and four FGDs were conducted in each of the three selected regions among men making a total of 18 IDIs and 12 FGDs, respectively. The data were transcribed and exported to Atlas.ti software for analyses.
Some of the beliefs and perceptions mentioned include influence of religion, polygamy, socioeconomic status, government policy, peer pressure, culture, and sex preference. These factors were found to vary considerably across tribes/ethnic groups.
Findings from this article show that there are other factors beyond individual factors that affect fertility behavior among men. Thus, there is a need to take into consideration the unique community structures in subsequent population-oriented social policy reviews and implementation to tackle high fertility behavior in Nigeria.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-260
JournalInternational Quarterly of Community Health Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2019


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