n IFE PsychologIA : An International Journal - Perception of spousal rape among Lagos State University undergraduates




The recognition of sex in the context of marriage as crime is strange. Men are often accused of exclusively perpetrating this culturally alien offence which exclusively causes enormous trauma to women within the family. This study examines the perception of undergraduates about marital rape among married couples in Lagos metropolis. Multistage sampling procedure was adopted to randomly select 240 respondents on whom copies of a questionnaire were administered. Four focus group discussions and twelve in-depth interviews were conducted. The study found that majority of respondents acknowledged the prevalence of marital rape; they solicited criminalisation of marital rape committed on sick victims. Opposing stiff penalty for marital rapists, respondents however strongly supported psychiatric observation of marital rape offenders. The study suggests that public policy should make divorce a lot more elastic to facilitate the exit of individuals who may feel trapped in tragic marriages which expose them to indiscriminate rape.


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