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CULTURAL BELIEF SYSTEM AND CHILDLESSNESS: A STUDY OF THE PEOPLE OF OPI

Dept: PEACE AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION File: Word(doc) Chapters: 1-5 Views: 2

Abstract

The research is an in-depth analysis of childlessness and socio-cultural impact on married couples in Opi, Nsukka local Government area of Enugu state. The study explored ways of reducing pressure both from the family and the society as a whole with particular reference to examining the existing causes and effects of infertility in the society. The instrument for data collection used for this research was questionnaire. The sampling techniques used for this study was cross-sectional survey research design. Two hundred (200) respondents were randomly selected. The data collected were analyzed using tables and percentages. From the analysis of the data, it was found that programmers‟ like marriage forum in Opi community could help reduce feeling of inferiority complex among childless couples. Negative attitude of childless couples towards child adoption and the significant relationship between childless couples and leadership role were found. The findings from the study ne

Chapter One

Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The research centres on cultural belief system and childlessness: a study of the people of Opi, here is a belif history of Opi Community

In Opi community, as in most other parts of the country, procreation is one of the major functions of the family. Every man take a wife apparently to have children with them, where this main purpose for marriage is not forth coming into fulfillment, it is then result to tension in most cases which lead to misunderstanding and disputes in the family. In traditional Opi society, many wives try to ensure the procreation of children to its fullest limit. For most of history, childlessness has been regarded as great personal tragedy involving much emotional pain and grief, especially when it is resulted from failure to conceive or from the death of a child (Charlene, 1986). Before conception was well understood, childlessness was usually blamed on the woman and this in itself added to the high level negative emotional and social effects of childlessness. Some wealthy families also adopted children as a means of providing heirs incase of childlessness or where no son had been born, the monetary incentives offered by westerners desire for children is so strong that a commercial market in the child laundering business exists (Charlene, 1986).In marriage, childlessness is one aspect of the diversity inherent in contemporary experience of marriage and the family. For most of history, childlessness has been regarded as great personal tragedy involving much emotional pain and grief, especially when it is resulted from failure to conceive or from the death of a child with this greater diversity, one common pressure for childbearing have given way to greater social acceptance of remaining single or married without children. Before conception was well understood, childlessness was usually blamed on the woman and this in itself added to the high level negative emotional and social effects of childlessness. Some wealthy families also adopted children as a means of providing heirs in case of childlessness or where no son had been born, the monetary incentives offered by westerners desire for children is so strong that a commercial market in the child laundering business exists. Nevertheless, childlessness is a concern, partly because of its implications for the maintenance of societies and partly because of its unwanted consequences for individuals. However, societies regard children as the most important asset in every successful marriage and for this reason childless couples become an object of ridicule in their communities. The dynamics of culture and human relationships have made researchers to observe many influences, manifestations, happenings and occurrences in marriage stability within the Igbo community. However one of the general cultural beliefs in marriage is that procreation is the basic aim of marriage, for them marriage and procreation are inseparable. However, modernization has not weakened the deep rooted tradition of having a child as soon as possible after marriage. According to (Owo, 1994) having many children makes one feel contented and important and also usually respected by others for not being childless .Marriage which fail to produce children often end in devastation and finally divorce. It is also describe as the dissolution or abrogation of marriage. Psychologically, (Owo, 1994) explained that childless couples especially the women are always depressed about their condition they always feel bad because most of the blames are levied against them for being unable to produce children. The pains suffered by childless couples attract sympathy.



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