Traditional Male Circumcision and Its Implications on the Socio-Economic and Psychosocial Life of the Bukusu Community in Kenya

Florence Mbachi, Sarah Likoko

Abstract


Circumcision is traditionally practised among the Bukusu of Bungoma District, Western Province. This practise has had several implications on the community and the initiates involved. This study sought to investigate the impact of traditional circumcision on the psychosocial life of the Bukusu. This study utilized a survey research design in which data was collected on a number of variables simultaneously and at one point in time. The target population consisted of all circumcised boys between 12 –15 years in class 8 of primary schools in Bukembe location of Kanduyi division. Purposive sampling was used to select 100 boys from class eight and 40 parents from their households. Primary data was collected using a structured questionnaire and an interview schedule. Secondary data was collected from documented information about circumcision. The data collected was coded and analyzed descriptively using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 11.5. Based on the findings, the study established that during traditional circumcision practices, the youths were taught sacred things, secrets, dos and don’ts, norms and regulations of their community. Thus they graduated as responsible members and future leaders of the community. It was also established that circumcision practices affect the socio-economic status of the families because it proved to be very expensive. It was also established that circumcision boosted the youth’s self- esteem because after graduation they were allowed to participate in communal activities,  including decision- making. This made them feel courageous, confident, worth to be respected and socially accepted members of their community. Based on this findings, it is recommended that teachings and songs being sung during traditional circumcision should be vetted to discourage immoral behaviours among the youth and also  parents should be provided with adequate information on hygiene pertaining to the long-term medical effects of circumcision so that they can make informed decisions.

Key words: Traditional Circumcision, Moral, Economical & Psychological Effects of Circumcision


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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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