• The research findings were done by a British behavioral scientist, Dr. Rowena Merritt in conjunction with Dr. Peter Rukundo
  • The vice is silently flaring up through most rural based homes in East Africa.
  • In Uganda the vice was unknown till former health minister, Dr. Sarah Opendi unveiled it to the parliament in 2018

The practice of men drinking their partner’s breast milk is to come under the microscope in a landmark study into the trend, which is growing in  Uganda. The research findings were done by a British behavioral scientist, Dr. Rowena Merritt in conjunction with Dr. Peter Rukundo, a senior lecturer at Kampala based Kyambogo University.

The duo randomly examined couples in pursuit of their sexual orientations and behaviors. The research shockingly revealed that most men were forcing their wives into an unusual behavior of suckling breast milk.

The vice is silently flaring up through most rural based homes in East Africa. The vice is common in central Uganda, some parts of Tanzania and Kenya. Authorities say this coercive behavior is linked to gender based violence.

In Uganda the vice was unknown till former health minister, Dr. Sarah Opendi unveiled it to the parliament in 2018. The minister had warned of a widespread breast milk suckling vice which had become a growing culture of men demanding to suckle, and yet it was becoming a problem for some breastfeeding mothers and their babies.

While pursuing the research, Dr. Rowena Merritt noted that it was very much an exploratory mission where he less expected people to respond to some questions. “We didn’t know if we would find anybody willing to talk to us who admitted to doing it. We didn’t even really know if it was real or not,” he said.

The findings proved majority of men who practiced the behavior deemed it a nutritious venture to suckle breast milk. They claimed the milk was energizing.

“It sustains me, I come home for lunch and it relieves stress in the middle of the working day,” said Thomas, one of the men suckling breast milk. “There is a belief in some communities that breast milk has energizing and curative powers, even curing diseases such as HIV/Aids and cancer,” Dr. Peter Rukundo says.

Dr. Merritt noted that most of the suckled women are usually subdued and forced to do it against their consent yet it can be impactful on their health and the babies they are supposed to breastfeed.

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