Gender, Self Esteem, Religiosity and Premarital Sex among Young Adults

By Opayemi, Remi | Gender & Behaviour, June 2011 | Go to article overview

Gender, Self Esteem, Religiosity and Premarital Sex among Young Adults


Opayemi, Remi, Gender & Behaviour


Abstract

The increasing rate of spread of HIV, especially among the age range of 14 and 21 is becoming disturbing to the nongovernmental organizations and world governments in general. Therefore, this study was to determine the significant relationship among self esteem and religiosity, on premarital sex. Using convenience sampling, the participants were students from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye Ogun State. There were 247 participants, which were made up of 126 (51.0%) males and 121 (49.9%) females, with a mean age of 26years (SD=6.12)

The participants filled out a demographic questionnaire and three surveys: the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, a Religiosity Scale, and the premarital sex scale. No significant interaction was found between religiosity and self-esteem. [F (1, 243) = 2.26, P>.05] The result also revealed the significantly influence of religiosity on premarital sex. [t (245) = -3.32, P<.05]. However, there was a significant interaction effect on religiosity and gender. [F(1,243) = 10.48, <.05]. The study concluded that the type of secondary school attended would also influence ones engagement in premarital sex. [t (245) = 3.06, P<.05].

The result therefore implicate the need for religious heads to encourage their followers to engage in religious activates and also the state and at local level should make policies that would encourage people to engage in their religious believes. The university should have a standard church and mosque on school campus.

Introduction

Early Coital experience or sexual relationship among adolescents or the young adults has been associated with increased health risks, which include sexually transmitted diseases, early pregnancy and child-bearing. Sex is the basis of the relationship; for others, it is not even an issue until marriage vows are proclaimed, therefore, people's views of premarital relations stem from their parents' teachings, from their siblings' influences, from their peer or social groups, from their religious background, or from the era in which they were raised. (Teenage Sex, Friends and Family, 1994). In a related development, Brener, Lowry, Kann, Kolbe, Lehnherr, Janssen, et al. (2002) and SEICUS (1999) both reported that 60.5% of high school seniors report that they have had sex while fewer than 20% remain virgins until marriage. In view of this, the age of the young adults in determining their first sexual experience have been implicated in research, corroborating this, Rostosky , Regnerus , 8c Wright (2003), reported that age is perhaps the most consistent predictor of coital debut, though, systematic variations in timing have been documented across gender, race, and social class. Sexual relationship is believed to be one of the many important areas of the human life that has attracted attention within the human world, because humans rely on sex for reproduction, affection and also pleasure (Cuber, 1972).

Sexual relationship between two unmarried individuals from the religious point of view is referred to as fornication (Hebrews 13:4) or premarital (Stafford, 1999). The church defines premarital sex as a mortal sin. According to the church, God's view of sex is simple: sex is wonderful within marriage, and outside the marriage, it's an offense to the inventor (God). The ideal of sex within a marriage is, as the Bible sees it, total nakedness, total unity, total love, total sexual satisfaction within marriage, and not before (Stafford, 2001). However, the issue of premarital sex has been observed to be more prominent among the young adults with the rising increase in the number of sexually transmitted diseases been treated, abortion rate (Otoide, 2001) and underage pregnancies. Confirming this, Hamilton, Sutton, Ventura, Menacker and Kirmeyer (2009) reported that there were 435,436 births to mothers aged 15-19 years in the United States and a birth rate of 41.9 per 1,000 women in this age group.

In addition, Chandra, Martinez, Mosher, Abma, and Jones (2005) also reported that the majority, nearly two thirds among mothers under age 18 and more than half among mothers aged 1819 years, of teen births are unintended because they occurred sooner than desired or were not wanted at any time.

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