The Childlessness And Socio Cultural Impact On Married Couples

Project and Seminar Material for Sociology

The Childlessness And Socio Cultural Impact On Married Couples


The research is an in-depth analysis of childlessness and socio-cultural impact on married couples in idah urban community of Kogi 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. One hundred (100) 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 idah urban 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 necessitated certain recommendations which include the fact that childless couples should seek for medical treatment jointly instead of allowing one partner to carry the burden alone among others.

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

In idah urban 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 igala 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 (Mail, 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 (McCurry, 2005).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, once common pressures 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. Nonetheless, 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 Yoruba 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 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. The pains suffered by childless couples attract sympathy.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Throughout the world and particularly in African societies, igala land not exempted, the word “childlessness” se listener and a sense of pity is immediately aroused in the mind. In igala land, children are regarded as great treasure to their parents, relations and their immediate community. Many people suffer from childlessness for so many reasons such as drug abuse, hard drugs effect, contraception, numerous abortions, and genetically inherited sickness and in most cases, psychological problems.

The number of childless couples is tremendously on the increase, this is evident to the fact that attempts to initiate a move which would have been directed towards adoption is taken with serious resistance in some places mostly by couples without even a child. Meanwhile, most couples are childless as a result of the degree of their waywardness while they were youths or younger and unmarried, such as illicit use of drugs in order to avoid pregnancy (Ugwuanyi, 1999).In idah urban community, childlessness is echoed by the fact that most couples are not aware of the prevalence of medical treatment; this therefore makes them not to seek medical assistance for such form of ailment. According to Nwapa (2004), some couples attribute their problem of childlessness to the supernatural, the hope in God that gives children to remember them at the appropriate time while some couples usually fall back to the fact that adoption, they are comforted for being biological infertile, they no longer want to know the cause of their infertility and solve it or get rid of it Hales, (2000).According to Dike (2013), the police have smashed a suspected syndicate whose alleged stock in trade was defrauding desperate barren women through false miracle babies. He also narrated the agony of a 61year old barren woman who travel to port Harcourt to consult miracle workers God was using to bless the barren and make them fruitful, they told her to pay #1.5 million, she paid the money and was given some seed to eat, after eating it, she began to stool. It took about nine months before the miracle

1.3 Objective of the Study

The major objectives of the study are:

  1. To ascertain the causes of childlessness in the family
  2. To ascertain the effect of childlessness in the family
  3. To ascertain the relationship between childlessness and socio-cultural impact

1.4 Research Hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

  1. H0: there are no causes of childlessness in the family
    H1: there are causes of childlessness in the family
  2. H02: there are no effects of childlessness in the family
    H2: there are effects of childlessness in the family

1.5 Significance of the Study

It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of benefit to the married couple. The study will also be of great benefit to the researchers who intends to embark on research on similar topics as it will serve as a guide. Finally, the study will be of great importance to academia’s, lecturers, teachers, students and the general public.

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of the study covers childlessness and socio-cultural impact on married couple. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c) Organizational Privacy:

Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.

1.7 Definition of Terms


Childlessness is people – men and women – having no children. Childlessness may have personal, social or political significance


The term “socio-cultural system” embraces three concepts: society, culture, and system. … A cultureis the learned behaviors that are shared by the members of a society, together with the material products of such behaviors.

Married Couple:

Married couple – two people who are married to each other; “his second marriage was happier than the first”; “a married couple without love” man and wife, marriage. Family unit, family – primary social group; parents and children; “he wanted to have a good job before starting a family

1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  1. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  2. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  3. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  4. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  5. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain childlessness and socio-cultural impact on married couple

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of childlessness and socio-cultural impact on married couple

5.2 Summary

This study was on contribution of office managers towards the achievement of organizational goal. Three objectives were raised which included: Investigating whether office managers are needed than their counterpart and whether the remuneration is commensurable with their duties, to know the level of contribution of office managers in organization, to know how their contribution have affected the productivity of the organization . In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 staff Dangote group of company Lagos State. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up managers,human resource managers,production managers and maintenance managerswere used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies

5.2 Conclusion

Conclusively, it is important to note that infertility questions go beyond the core of the individual in African setting. Nevertheless, how men and women respond and the language they use reflect their individual experiences. Listening to their accounts and experiences, one cannot help but imagine the physical and emotional challenges they face on a daily basis in their homes and the community at large. For those who have chosen a treatment option, it is important to understand that infertility treatment in Nigeria is not an easy option because of the emotions and physical difficulty involve and with every failure, the feelings of never becoming a parent are re-visited, in some cases even after success. Childlessness has major psychological and social implications for affected persons, especially in settings where fertility is highly valued. This study have documented how childlessness is perceived in the selected communities and the multitude of adverse consequences suffered by affected individuals, Using quantitative and qualitative methods from this communities, this study explores socio-cultural implication and perception and acceptance of childlessness in these communities , focusing on both voluntary and involuntary childlessness.

5.4 Recommendation

A couple is assumed to have problems if after two years of regular and active sexual life, there is no pregnancy. It is, therefore, advisable that you have regular sex. Also appreciate the fact that some women with short or irregular menstrual periods may ovulate during menses. There is nothing wrong with it. Avoid herbal concoctions that are not certified by specialists. Most will worsen your condition. Instead, seek medical attention. Today surgery, hormone treatment and Assisted Reproductive Technology have reduced childlessness but their success depends on factors such as age, health status of couples and even luck. You may adopt or have surrogate. If all attempts fail, couples should accept their condition and stay strong. Knowing that you can never have children is not easy but denying it actually hurts more. Take interest in other people’s children in the neighborhood, social organization and church. They will benefit from your time and your interest. Parenthood is not about biology but about love and care. As you show care and love you become a true model of parenthood. You may also develop new interest and get involved in activities like sports club, music and travel to meet people with kids. It helps you to blend in instead of alienating yourself from the rest of society. Never think that God does not love you. Instead He has given you what in His perfect plan, is the best for you.

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