FACTORS INFLUENCING THE KIPSIGIS' PERCEPTIONS OF CHILDLESSNESS: NARRATIVE ANALYSIS

Catherine C. Kitur

Abstract


Infertility is a significant problem that affects people of all cultures in the world. However, an increasing number of couples suffering due to childlessness is observed among the Kipsigis community in Fort-Ternan, Kericho County. Hence, the need to understand the reasons behind the changing trend as well as the Kipsigis perceptions of infertility. This study sought to answer the research questions: How does Kipsigis society perceive childlessness? What factors influence this perception? A qualitative study using an open ended interview and focus group discussion are employed in gathering information for this study. Heibert’s critical contextualization model is adopted in scrutinizing the Kipsigis perceptions. The narrative analysis revealed five issues: social, cultural, family, religion and economic factors as great influencers to the Kipsigis perceptions. The results suggested that child-bearing is perceived inevitable. Children are crucial in holding the marriage together without which; the union is not fully established. Children play important roles including formation of the family, expansion of the family lineage and they are the future legacy. It is therefore recommended for the Kipsigis Christians to understand the implications of childlessness in biblical perspective and to acknowledge an alternative view in light of God’s purposes in the world and to offer biblical, cultural and missiological guidance for the Kipsigis churches and the Kipsigis society.

 

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barrenness, involuntary childlessness, infertility, church

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References


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