Socio-Cultural Context of Consistent Use of Condoms among Female Undergraduate Students in Nigeria: Insights from University of Lagos

By Oyefara, John Lekan | Gender & Behaviour, December 2010 | Go to article overview

Socio-Cultural Context of Consistent Use of Condoms among Female Undergraduate Students in Nigeria: Insights from University of Lagos


Oyefara, John Lekan, Gender & Behaviour


This paper examines the sexual behaviour and socio-cultural context of consistent use of condoms (male and female condoms) among female undergraduate students of the University of Lagos, Nigeria. Cross-sectional survey and key informant interview research methods were adopted to elicit information from the respondents. In all, a total of 200 female students were sampled in the survey, while 10 key informant interviews were conducted among the students to compliment the survey data. The theoretical orientation of the paper is the voluntaristic theory of action by Talcott Pearsons. The findings of the study show that 75.0% of the sampled female undergraduate students are sexually active. All the respondents have knowledge of the existence of male condom, while femmidom (female condom), the contraceptive method designed for women use to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies, HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), is unpopular among the study population. Specifically, 63.5% and 5.5% of the sample have ever used male and female condoms respectively. Furthermore, there is erratic usage of male condom during sexual intercourse among the sampled respondents since only 41.0% of them reported consistent use of male condom during every sexual encounter. There are significant relationships between current age, marital status, level of study and consistent use of male condom among the female undergraduate students at P < 0.01. In particular, only 17.6% of female undergraduate students between ages 15-19 years use male condom consistently compared with 43.9% and 16.7% among their counterparts in age group 25-29 years and 35 years and above respectively. In addition, single and 100 level female undergraduate students are more likely to use male condom consistently compared with their counterparts who are married and in 400 level. Consequently, many of the sexually active female undergraduate students in the study location are highly susceptible to STIs including HIV/AIDS.

Key words: Socio-cultural context, Female undergraduate students, Sexual practices, Condoms use, STIs/HIV/AIDS.

Introduction

Youth is sub-Saharan Africa countries are constantly facing diverse reproductive health problems today. The most important among these reproductive health problems are Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) including HIV/ AIDS, sexual violence and coercion, teenage pregnancy and childbearing, unwanted pregnancy, induced abortion, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), female trafficking and prostitution. In Nigeria, for example, existing empirical data show that many of the youth in the country are sexually active and they are less likely to use contraceptive methods during sexual activity (Onwuamanam, 1982; Gyepi-Garbrah, 1985; Makinwa-Adebusoye, 1992; Orubuloye et al. 1991; FOS, 1992; NPC, 2004). Consequently, majority of the sexually active youth in Nigeria, like other countries in the continent are highly vulnerable and susceptible to STIs and unwanted pregnancies.

STIs are chronic infections with a lot of devastating effects. Specifically, STIs can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, causing life-long pain, infertility and ectopie pregnancy, which can kill. Children are born with blinding eye infections. Men are left infertile and people die of advanced stages of syphilis. In addition, STIs multiply the transmiss ibility of HIV, the AIDS virus as much as ninefold (Population Report, 1993). On the other hand, unwanted pregnancy is the principal factor behind high rate of induced abortion and its complications in the continent. In addition, it also leads to unwanted children who are at a risk of abuse and neglect (Clark, 1993) and infanticide (CEPED, 1997).

It is noteworthy to mention at this point that dual protection method is the contraceptive technique that can prevent both the unwanted pregnancy and STIs at the same time during a sexual intercourse. The two contraceptive methods that possess this quality are condom and femmidom (i. …

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