Socio-Cultural Perspectives on Causes and Intervention Strategies of Male Infertility: A Case Study of Mhondoro-Ngezi, Zimbabwe

Stanzia Moyo, Itai Muhwati

Abstract

The subject of male infertility has, to a large extent, been broached from a western perspective that often insists on the biological factor. This approach has led to a narrowed and narrowing perception of male infertility in that it often neglects other possible crucial socio-cultural dimensions pertaining to the issue.  The study is purely qualitative.  Focus group discussions and key informant interviews (with males and females) are used to collect qualitative data. The study notes that, unlike in western inclined discourses, male infertility is an intricate condition that transcends biology. Witchcraft and punishment either from God or angry ancestors were avowed to be the determinants of male infertility. The study notes that the Shona people in MhondoroNgezi exclusively rely on socio-cultural intervention strategies to solve the problem of male infertility. The study thus recommends a holistic approach to male infertility which integrates the socio-cultural perspectives in policy and programming, if progress is to be made in unearthing the underlying causes and treatment options.  (Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17[2]: 89-101).

Résumé

Le sujet de stérilité masculine a  été abordé,  dans une grande  mesure, à travers une  perspective occidentale qui insiste souvent sur le facteur biologique. Cette approche a conduit à une perception réduite et le rétrécissement de l'infertilité masculine en ce qu'elle néglige souvent d'autres possibles cruciaux dimensions socioculturelles relatives à la question. L'étude est purement qualitative. Des groupes de discussion et des entrevues avec des informateurs clés (mâles et femelles) sont utilisés pour recueillir des données qualitatives. L'étude note que, contrairement à l'ouest discours inclinés, l'infertilité masculine est une condition complexe qui transcende la biologie. La sorcellerie et la punition soit de Dieu ou des ancêtres en colère ont avoué être les déterminants de l'infertilité masculine. L'étude souligne le fait que le peuple Shona dans Mhondoro-Ngezi basées exclusivement sur des stratégies d'intervention socioculturelles pour résoudre le problème de l'infertilité masculine. L'étude recommande donc une approche holistique de l'infertilité masculine qui intègre les perspectives socioculturelles dans les politiques et les programmes, si des progrès doivent être accomplis dans déterrer les causes sous-jacentes et les options de traitement. (Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17[2]: 89-101).

 

Keywords: male infertility, ancestors, culture, treatment, intervention strategy, Mhondoro-Ngezi

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