Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Sexuality Education and Contraception as Correlates of Sexual Behaviour among University Undergraduates

Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Sexuality Education and Contraception as Correlates of Sexual Behaviour among University Undergraduates

Article excerpt

Sex is one of the sacred topics discussed openly in Africa especially in Nigeria because of the cultural inclinations. It is generally believed that an individual should not know anything about sex and sexuality until marriage, yet sexuality is an integral part of man's existence (Falaye & Moronkola, 1999). Most people are of the opinion that sex and sexuality education are only for the promiscuous and prostitutes and not for the people that are morally just. One of the main fears of parents and other adults is that giving adolescents information about sex will cause them to become uncontrollably sexually active. This may be the more reason why parents discuss sexual topics infrequently with the adolescents, even when discussion topics are related to reducing risky sexual behaviour (Jaccard, Dittus, & Gordon, 2000).

However, evidences show this is not the case. Conversely, studies have indicated that sex education courses do not change the frequency of intercourse, masturbation, oral-genital sex, petting, or pre-marital sex among adolescents (Ashcraft, 2008; Dailard, 2003). This means that sexuality education did not promote negative sexual behavior. Zellner (2003) also indicates that sex education programmes seem to have a positive effect on students' condom use, that is, knowledge of sex education promotes positive sexual behaviour among youths. Supporting this view, Khathide, (2001) asserts that it is time for the pretence to come to an end and people have to talk about sex education in the languages the youths understand with the hope that this will facilitate better understanding of the concept. Commenting further on this, Kirby (2002) states that educating about contraception does not increase sexual activity and that emphasizing abstinence does not adversely affect contraceptive use. In a study, the World Health Organization reviewed 47 sexuality education programmes in both developed and developing countries and in another, the U.S. National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy reviewed over 250 programmes in the United States and Canada. Both found that, in almost all programmes, sexuality education did not lead to either the initiation of sexual activity or an increase in the frequency of sex among youths (Katz & Finger, 2002). These results necessitate further research, thus justifies this study.

Currently, the World is a global village, this exposes the youths to a number of external pressures such as pornographic materials, wearing of highly seductive fashionable clothes, films and videos that promote immorality as well as inability of parents to effectively perform sex guidance role, among others. This consequently led to the problem of casual sex, teenage pregnancy, and uncontrollable number of sexually transmitted diseases as well as high level of sexual immorality (Falaye & Moronkola, 1999). In fact, ignorance about sexuality education poses a great danger not only to the individuals but the society as a whole and this consequently affects sexual behaviour especially among the university undergraduates', majority of who are still in their late adolescence. Some of these dangers include; sexually transmitted infections (STI's), HIV, gynaecological problems, unwanted pregnancy and increase in the number of abandoned babies because of their inability to take care of them. These problems, opine IsiugoAbanihe (1993), are prevalent among students in secondaiy schools and higher institutions of learning in Nigeria. This assertion was confirmed by Magnus & Gbakeji (2009) when they affirmed that sex is a phenomenon currently ravaging higher institutions in Nigeria as a lot of students engage in premarital and heterosexual relationships on campus, all in the name of surviving harsh economic condition. Current statistics on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria provide evidences that young people within the age bracket of undergraduates are the high risk group (UNAIDS, 2000). The reasons have been adduced for a number of factors which include lack of communication between parents and child about sexuality; high level of illicit sexual; high incidence of campus prostitution, poverty or hash economic conditions among other factors (Obinna, 2005, Uzokwe, 2008)

In Nigeria, as in other countries of the world, youths are the most vulnerable since they are the most sexually active population and have been shown to have multiple sex partners (Okpani and Okpani, 2000, Ibe and Ibe,2003, Juarex and Martin,2006: Demilson, 2008). …

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