Spouse-sharing and Experiences with Sexually Transmitted Diseases Among the Okun of Nigeria

M. O. Osagbemi, A A Adepetu, A O Nyong, A S Jegede


This paper examines the practice of spouse sharing and its influence on having multiple sex partners and self-reported STD experiences among the Okun people of Nigeria. It also examines the coping strategies of the people with respect to STDs. Primary data were collected through the administration of questionnaires to 1029 respondents (518 men and 511 women) and through focus group discussions. Respondents who participate in spouse sharing are more likely to have more sex partners simultaneously than those who do not, and multiple sexual partnering is a significant risk factor in the reporting of STD experience. Knowledge of the link between risky sexual practices involving multiple sexual partnerships and the prevalence of STDs is poor. Although most respondents are knowledgeable about the symptoms of STDs like gonorrhea and syphilis, and to a lesser extent HIV/AIDS, they are less informed about how best to prevent these diseases. The use of condoms is low among the men while a strong confidence is expressed in traditional medicine and self-protective practices with unproven efficacy. The study recommends the provision of more information, education and communication to expand knowledge of STDs, and the probable impact of spouse sharing in fueling the spread of STDs, including HIV/AIDS.


Spouse-sharing; Okun; Sexually Transmitted Diseases; Sex partner; HIV/AIDS

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11564/22-2-331


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