1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Marriage is the oldest and much valued culture that has been or has been religiously, economically, socially and politically witnessed by any community in the world through its distinctive activities. Families are pupils of this institution as a social community whose members are related by blood, marriage or adoption. According to Musa (2018) societal wealth management, arrangement and distribution is only simple and feasible through an existing structure, and no system is more practical than the family.” In Africa, culture and tradition have shown that if a person marries, he is honored and becomes responsible.”Marriage speeds and expands human social relationships. If it is achieved with the consent of both partners, marriage is a lifetime practice.
But there are certain normal and artificial incidents that arise and induce marital instability in marriage practices, the end result of which is divorce. Divorce is triggered largely by political, technological, social and religious variables. Abdullati (2002) is of the opinion that, especially when they come from separate social backgrounds, tension between spouses is unavoidable. Spouses will no longer exist in love and have lost common respect for each other; husbands demand a minor fault from their wives and seek a divorce for apparent reasons. Musa (2018) stressed that divorce is a termination of a marital arrangement that can be concluded either by the act of the husband or by the wife’s order or by joint consent or by statute. Lemu (2005) explains that dissolution of marriage brings about the disintegration of the family unity. Yahaya (2018) opine that divorce leads to fractured families; children suffer from lack of maternal care and affection in these homes, inadequate socialization, which eventually leads to delinquency, illegal acts and the spread of other social ills in society. Couples are starting to hate the totality of marital ideals. The end result of divorce is that before getting married again, couples continue to wander around and take time. Women go into prostitution to a certain degree, according to Anderson (2000), certain sexual ills or activities, immoralities and disrespect are created by the rampant divorce faced by society.
More than 80 million couples worldwide suffer from infertility; half of the populations are citizens of developing countries (Ombelet & Campo, 2007). Infertility is seen as a major issue in African society, so African men and women can go to any extent to ensure their marriage is blessed with children. In many families, this phenomenon of infertility has led to many marital difficulties, such as divorce, which began well and was focused on true affection when marriages were consummated. Infertility is considered a significant crisis in life. (Ashraf, Ali and Azadeh, 2014) opine that to conclude that the security of people and relationships can be challenged. In assessing the impact of infertility on marital partnerships, social, psychological and infertility-related issues as well as gender can be of importance. Studies also agreed that infertility is more stressful for women than for men.
According to Anderson (2000)Awareness of fertility is low in the general population. The research shows that people are ignorant of the biochemical implications of conception; the odds of birth at the time of ovulation are frequently overestimated. Anderson (2001) opines that poor knowledge of when women are most fertile and lack of appreciation of the sharp drop in female fertility after 34 years of age. Awareness of potential risk factors for lower fertility, such as sexually transmitted diseases, smoking and alcohol intake, is minimal (Cahil and Wardle, 2002). When it comes to conditions that have little bearing on fertility capacity, people have incorrect information (for example, being good is equated with being fertile). According to (Ombelet & Campo, 2007) significant historical element also appears to be the country of birth. American samples, for instance, appear to attribute pregnancy disorders to biomedical and risk factors. According to Ombelet & Campo, (2007), some other countries attribution to supernatural causes is still common. In certain parts of Africa, the perceived causes of infertility are mostly non-medical and are generally associated with mystical or malicious forces and traditional healers and spiritualists are frequently involved in the procedure (Cahil and Wardle, 2002). Infertility in sub-Saharan Africa has lately been perceived as a serious concern. With regard to the efficient and efficient allocation of available health resources by national governments and international donors sponsoring either research or service delivery in the public health sector, this problem seems to be considered a low priority. (Coleman, Ganong 2000).
The results of childlessness in relation to divorce and separation are illustrated in this piece, which cuts through ethnic and geographical boundaries. Any of these effects include, but are not limited to, the occurrence of quarrels with spousal family members, stigmatization, and future tension between partners. Stigmatization is a result of the conditions and interactions where children are viewed as supporting the family lineage and inheritances in most parts of the world, especially in communities of a patrilineal type. Existence synonymous with children’s absence was viewed as not worth living and no one would inherit the properties of the deceased (Cahil and Wardle, 2002). Marital discord is associated with partners with struggles with infertility. This is profound, particularly for couples where women have more infertility issues than men have. Sultan, (2010) sexual activity is also a level playing ground where it is conducted. According to (Coleman, 2000) “Forty percent of infertile women have sexual disorders that cause them anxiety, compared to 25 percent of stable women in the control sample”.Couples with fertility problems, pressure from relatives, families and other social classes are subject to investigation. According to W.H.O. (2014) the effect of tension between partners also leads to issues with marital instability and reproduction. Disclosure of concealed pre-marital past is also a concern and often leads to confrontation. Therefore this study examines infertility and marital dissolutions in Ogbukpa, Nsukka L.G.A, Enugu state.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
According to (Ombelet& Campo, 2007) accessible figures suggest that for spouses who suffer infertility complications, divorce is three times more probable.It may be advantageous to leave a childless relationship rather than be in one that reminds you of childlessness. (Day, 2016). This is an aberration that Western cultures have established ways of coping with, even though the topic cannot be completely eroded. Social causes such as loose sexual habits are responsible for infertility; Contact with STDsWHO, (2014) genetic people with dysfunctional system that inhibits reproduction WHO (2014).The tradition of safe sex and birth control has influenced fertility since modern times (Anderson, 2001). Ecological variables that have influenced fertility are also present. Exposure to certain substances, responses to specific medications, drugs that enhance efficiency, anabolic steroids. The emotional ideals that are weakened due to infertility that contribute to alienation and self-worthlessness are a fundamental dimension (Wirthberg et al, 2007). The goal of this research was to gain a better understanding and a greater perspective into the causes of infertility and its long-term consequences.
In African countries, stigmatization faced by women is embedded with gory knowledge given to these women about cruel treatment. They become targets of pity and scorn, they are deprived, looked down upon. There are some of the reasons why researchers engage in the plight of infertile couples.
Any of the factors mentioned above frequently lead to partners’ withdrawal and often lead to marital discord. According to Hendrick and Hendrick, (1992) the phenomenon of emotional pain experienced by couples from infertility is tremendous severity, which results in accepting past failures as a potential cause of the problem. They grow despondent, loss emotions set in, suggestive of endless sorrow. In their expectation of a child, they are desperate and their sense of personal worth is impaired. They have no right to openly express themselves and are treated as outcasts and unfit persons (Coleman, Ganong 2000).
Infertility also has political ramifications, especially because most government has demonstrated a preference for limiting demographic growth. This has the effect of inhibiting strategies that benefit large numbers of families indirectly. In recent times, the issue of birth control has left vast numbers of household’s unpopular, impacting family fertility (Coleman, Ganong 2000).
The inability of men to take fertility medication is another fertility problem, as the problem is seen primarily as a woman’s problem in Africa. This has the effect of continuing the procedure and destroying the female’s fertile years.
There is a yawning gap in the existing literature about the full impact of infertility on Divorce among couples. Therefore the study centres on fertility and marital dissolution.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
In line with the statement of research problems the objectives of the study are to determine Infertility and marital dissolution in Ogbukpa Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu state. The objectives therefore are:
1) To examine the level of marital dissolution caused by infertility among couples in Ogbukpa
2) To determine the causes of infertility among married couples in Ogbukpa.
3) To the impact of infertility on marital dissolution in Ogbukpa
4) To examine the causes of divorce among married couples in Ogbukpa
5) To recommend solutions to the problems of infertility and Divorce in Ogbukpa.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1) What is the level of marital dissolution caused by infertility among couples in Ogbukpa?
2) What are the causes of infertility among married couples in Ogbukpa?
3) What is the impact of infertility on marital dissolution in Ogbukpa?
4) What are the causes of Divorce among married couples in Ogbukpa?
5) What are the solutions to the problems of infertility and Divorce in Ogbukpa?
1.5 HYPOTHESIS OF THE STUDY
In line with the statement of research problems and the objectives of this thesis, the following hypothesis will be tested:
HO: There is no significant impact of infertility on marital dissolutions among married couples in Ogbukpa, Nsukka L.G.A
H1: There is a significant impact of infertility on marital dissolutions among married couples in Ogbukpa, Nsukka L.G.A
1.6SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The purpose of the study is to examine closely the experience of infertility among couples. This would be done by creating an awareness of their documented experiences and how modern methods in medicine can impinge on couples with infertility issues and help in reviving ailing marriages.It is anticipated that the findings of this work could be used in guiding future legislations especially on the role of ARTs and the alternatives available to couples with these problems.
Furthermore, government should be aware of these new trends and help in subsidizing cost of treatment and also help in creating enabling environment that is related to policy issues in this area.
This would help inform policy makers on the depth of the problem and how it could provide succor for ailing marriages and possibly provide those legal basis for artificial reproductive technology.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study would cover the experiences of infertility as it affects marital dissolution. The study would encompass the married and the divorced in Ogbukpa Nsukka Local Government Area in Enugu State.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The researcher was faced with the following constraints in carrying out this study:
Time: The time within the researcher is too short to carry on the detail study on this topic.
Resources: Another constraint of the researcher is financial resources to carry on the detail study of this topic.
Data: Another limitation to this study will be lack of data to make valid study on the research problem.
1.9 OPREATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Family: A basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not: the traditional family. A social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for: a single-parent family.
Married Couples Family: The legal status, condition, or relationship that results from a contract by which one man and one woman who have the capacity to enter into such an agreement, mutually promise to live together in the relationship of Husband and Wife in law for life, or until the legal termination of the relationship.
Cohabiting Couples Family: Cohabitation refers to situations in which two people live together, and are involved in an emotional and/or sexually intimate relationship. The term is commonly used regarding unmarried couples who choose to live together without officially getting married.
Infertility: Diminished or absent ability to conceive and bear offspring. A couple is considered to be experiencing infertility if conception has not occurred after 12 months of sexual activity without the use of contraception.
Divorce/Dissolution: Divorce (or dissolution of marriage) is the termination of a marriage or marital union, the canceling and/or reorganizing of the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage.
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