NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ933996
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 53
ISSN: ISSN-0954-0253
Teaching about Homosexualities to Nigerian University Students: A Report from the Field
Epprecht, Marc; Egya, Sule E.
Gender and Education, v23 n4 p367-383 2011
Nigeria's diverse cultures, religions and political parties appear to be unified by a strong taboo against homosexuality and gay rights. This has affected academic research, HIV/AIDS programmes, and sexuality education, all which commonly show evidence of heterosexism, self-censorship and even explicit condemnations of homosexuality. Yet a dissident discourse in Nigeria, as well as research from elsewhere in the region, suggests that this appearance of unity may belie greater openness to the issues than assumed. Indeed, research shows that (1) many African societies are traditionally more accommodating toward non-normative sexualities than contemporary nationalist or cultural claims would allow, and (2) secretive "bisexuality" is more common in practice (and tacitly acknowledged) than previously understood. Is it possible then that the presumption of homophobia and the fear of backlash that has clearly contributed to heterosexism and self-censorship in scholarship around homosexualities in Nigeria are exaggerated? Is it possible that Nigerians may be more open to consideration of scientific evidence and international best practices around sexual diversity, rights, and health than is commonly assumed in the literature? A trial intervention at a small state university in a predominantly rural area of Nigeria tested these questions by introducing wide-ranging, frank and non-judgemental (science-based) discussions of same-sex sexuality in several classes. Analysis of the students' feedback finds that stigmatising attitudes toward homosexuality were indeed present among the students. However, there was also a high degree of curiosity, awareness of the existence of secretive homosexualities in Nigeria, desire for education, and confidence that traditional cultures and Nigerian democracy could accommodate individual freedom and sexual rights. The conclusion is that well-prepared researchers and educators could be less anxious and self-censoring around the topic of homosexuality than prevails at present. Careful attention would need to be paid to local sensibilities, but sexuality and HIV education programmes could probably be brought closer into line with world guidelines on best practices and comprehensive approaches to human sexuality education and sexual health. (Contains 13 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Nigeria