The Attitude And Knowledge Of Parents Towards The Teaching Of Sex Education In Secondary Schools

Sex Education Project and Seminar Material

The Attitude And Knowledge Of Parents Towards The Teaching Of Sex Education In Secondary Schools


Abstract


This study was carried out on the attitude and knowledge of parents towards the teaching of sex education using some selected secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis as a case study. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of parents and teachers in some selected secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 200 respondents and 150 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables. While the hypotheses were tested using Chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that parents are not knowledgeable about the relevance of teaching sex education.The study also revealed that parents are not knowledgeable that sex education can reduce sexual promiscuity among youngsters. Further findings showed that The factors which influences parents attitude towards the teaching of sex education includes; place of residence, educational status, family types and religion.Therefore, it is recommended that Emphasis should be placed on creating awareness on sex education stemming the flood of teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDs requires joint effort by joint effort by parents, counsellors teachers, curriculum planners and even government. Counsellors as a first step, have the task of demystifying sexuality by providing the youngsters with adequate and relevant information regarding sexuality and reproductive health. Counsellors should try new strategies like counselling on proper gender role perception and abstinence to help adolescents stay away from sex until they are ready. To mention but a few.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Sex Education is a broad term used to describe education about human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual intercourse reproductive heat, emotional relationship and so on. Sex Education may also be described as “sexuality education referring to all aspects of sexuality, including information about family planning reproduction (fertilization conception and development of embryo and fetus through child birth).

Sex education, which is sometimes called sexuality education, is the process of acquiring information and forming attitudes and beliefs about sex. Sex education is about developing young people’s skills so that they make informed choices about their behaviour, feel confident and competent about acting on informed choices.

However, it is widely accepted that young people have a right to sex education. This is because it is a means by which they help to protect themselves against abuse, exploitation unintended pregnancies, Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD and HIV). It also argued that providing sex education helps to meet young peoples right to information about matter that affect them.

With regards to the attitude and knowledge of parents towards teaching of sex education to their adolescent girls, the issue still remains one that is approached as sacred sex is probably one area of our lives about which we know so little and whatever little we happen to know are in bits and pieces through sources like friends, acquaintance etc. As important as sex is in our life’s, parents, elders and teachers in Kwara State and especially in Ilorin Metropolis hardly play any significant role in providing vital knowledge.

Since talking about sex is more or less a taboo in the Ilorin society the adolescents cannot freely approach his/her parents for guidance. Also, those who seek guidance from parents are not satisfied because they later try to evade discussion or are not able to give satisfactory answers. A few of them try to gather information through books, films not have access to such information. Many times, the ado1lescent receives wrong information and these myths and misconceptions are carried through out their life time.

Similarly, the rural mothers and the urban mothers feel hesitant towards providing sex knowledge to their children. According to them, the girls can get information through their friends and elder sister. To them sex education should be imparted to girls only on the verge of getting married. The attitude of teachers towards sex education in Ilorin Metropolis can still be described Luke warm goal of sexuality education is the promotion of sexual health by providing learners with opportunities to develop a positive and factual view of sexuality and indeed sexual health. This on the long run contributes in the prevention of HIV/AIDS.

However, adolescence is a period when young people experience changes in their bodies among which is the development of new sexual feeling, which they may not understand. This is also the period when most of them are in secondary schools or higher institutions they therefore need information about assurance about what is happening to them. Children and teenagers are exposed to a barrage of information related to sexuality which will require guidance from families and schools for health, sexual development and responsible behaviours.

Besides due to impact of western civilization, there is need to supplement the training of people in the art of family life by their parents and family members with a school based sexuality education programme. This prompted the Federal Government of Nigeria in 1999 through the National Council on Education to Incorporate Sexuality Education into the National School Curriculum. This has generated heated debates especially among parents.

Despite the perceived benefits, the feared risk of exposure to early sex ranked high among the parents with the attendant sexual promiscuity as the risk of teaching sexuality education in secondary schools. (Comprehensive Sexuality Education. Trainers Resource Manual Action Health Incorporated 2003: 4- 5), parents attitude to Sexuality Education is varied and was found to be related to some variables such as religion and level of education. According to Gordon Dickman (1977), sex education role. New York, public affairs committee stated that religion affected the willingness of the parents to teach sexuality education though not significantly.However, exposure to higher levels of education especially University Education, improves parents knowledge and attitude towards sexuality education. This was brought to the fore in this study as there was significant relationship obtaining higher professional qualifications and parent willingness to teach sexuality education.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

In Nigeria, a number of studies have shown that sexual activity among youth is not only high but rising. (Oladipo 1983), the researcher therefore acknowledges the need for the teaching of sex education in secondary school curriculum because it will help the adolescents to understand many of the problems associated with sexual relationship. Such education programmes will reduce the rate of unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases abortion and some other sex related offence.

There appears to be a consensus among Nigerian researchers and observers that many traditional values are changing rapidly and for the worse (Naswen, 2001; Ezeh, 2001; Armala, 2005 and Eruesegbefe, 2005), one area of life in which the decline of traditional values is obvious in the area of sexuality. One major change has been the acceptance of pre-marital sex in a loving relationship. Osisioma (1998), lamented that in Nigeria, culture no longer has a grip on the youth as our society seems to be plagued with decayed moral codes and values and so the sense of right and wrong is eroded. This seems to affect the youth, adolescents inclusive more than any other group as this is manifested in the acceptance of sex before marriage, homosexual, lesbianism, abortion, drug addiction and indecent dressing.

Denga (1983), pointed out that sexuality explicit movies expose young people to adult issue at an “Impressionable age”. Other opine that the well use of pornographic materials as well as knowledge and use of contraceptives, especially the condom that has been excessively advertised, has contributed immensely to the involvement of adolescents in sexual practices (Onuzulike, 2002).

Since both homes and the school have complementary roles in imparting appropriate sex education to students there is need to study the attitude and knowledge of parents towards the teaching of sex education to students. The occurrences of pregnancies in the 12 – 19 years age group place this population at the risk with regards to the medical complication, probability of education completion. Financial disadvantages resulting from limited employment opportunities and social isolation of child by the parents that might eventually manifest as child abuse. The high rate of divorce un-happy, sexual, maladjustment, sexually transmitted diseases, prostitution and crimes such as rape in our society etc. testify to the need to have sex education in Nigeria secondary schools. Lack of sex education leads to failure in some instances, it may eventually leads to suicide attempts, death of some youth (Corey/Mccarest, 1981), there is need for increased education of adolescents, regarding the development of successful intervention strategies for coping with issues of pregnancy during the adolescent years. Regardless of the above, parents knowledge and attitude towards sex education have been found to hamper the teaching of sex education.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The man purpose of the study is to find out the attitude and knowledge of parents towards the teaching of sex education in secondary schools in Ilorin Metropolis. Specifically, the study will;

  1. Ascertain whether parents are knowledgeable about the relevance of teaching sex education.
  2. Find out whether parents are knowledgeable that can reduce sexual promiscuity among youngsters.
  3. Find out whether parents adequately give their children sexuality orientations at home.
  4. Find out whether parents feels hesitant towards providing sex knowledge to their children.
  5. Identify the factors which influences parents attitude towards the teaching of sex education.

1.4 Research Questions

Evolving from the objectives of the study, the researcher attempt to find answer to the following questions:

  1. Are parents knowledgeable about the relevance of teaching sex education?
  2. Are parents knowledgeable that can reduce sexual promiscuity among youngsters?
  3. Does parents adequately give their children sexuality orientations at home?
  4. Does parents feels hesitant towards providing sex knowledge to their children?
  5. What are the factors which influences parents attitude towards the teaching of sex education?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

H0: Parents do not have positive attitude towards the teaching of sex education.

H0: Parents have positive attitude towards the teaching of sex education.


1.6 Significance of the Study

Many situations that create behaviour problems in adolescent such as juvenile delinquency, sexual misbehaviour, rape lesbianism, violence etc. are intimately or distantly related to the psychological and physiological changes that occur at puberty (Akinboye, 1984). In culture, adults feel that it is unethical to discuss sex matters with the adolescents, thereby leaving them to seek information on their own. This study wants to investigate the attitude of parents and teachers in secondary school in Ilorin metropolis.

The result of this study will be of great benefit to parents as well as teachers, in helping to promote positive attitude towards the teaching of sex There is no significant difference in the attitude of parents towards the teaching of sex education in secondary school in Ilorin metropolis on the basis of in secondary school is positive. They will have a better understanding of their adolescents and be able to give them the basic knowledge they need to know about human sexuality. There by reducing the rate of unwanted pregnancies and premature death among the adolescents. Also adolescents themselves will benefit greatly in that, if parents and teacher attitude is positive they will gain freedom in discussing any sex related issues with them and thereby get answers to numerous questions that may be bothering them about human sexualities, thereby preventing them from getting wrong information/counsellor from their inexperienced peer groups.

On the other hand teachers, school authorities curriculum planners, government and non-Government Organizations (N.G.O) health professionals and the society at large will benefit. The basic sex education that the adolescent had received from home, schools and the understanding of their parents and teachers will compliment their efforts. Adolescent and others therefore need to learn to appreciate what these changes are, and to develop means of handling them. The knowledge of sex education in our secondary school cannot be over emphasized because the knowledge of sex education makes the adolescents become aware of the developmental changes.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The sample of the study will be restricted to parents and teachers (both makes and females) of secondary school students in Ilorin Metropolis. This study focuses on the attitude and knowledge of parents towards the teaching of sex education in secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

Moreover, the case study method utilized in the study posed some challenges to the investigator including the possibility of biases and poor judgment of issues. However, the investigator relied on respect for the general principles of procedures, justice, fairness, objectivity in observation and recording, and weighing of evidence to overcome the challenges.


1.9 Definition of Term

For the purpose of this study, the following terms would be operationally defined as used in this study.

Abortion:

Abortion refers to termination of pregnancy before the foetus is viable.

Adolescent:

This refers to young person between age of 14 to 19 years the term will be inter changeably used with “youth” in this study.

Contraception:

This is the use of devices or drugs to pervert conception in sexual intercourse.

Education:

A systematic instruction that will bring about changes in the life of an individual, a gradual process of impacting knowledge.

Gender:

This is refers to being male or female.

Masturbation:

The sexual self stimulation (usually to organs) manually or other stimulation of the genital organs.

Menarche:

The first menstruation circle of a girl.

Puberty:

The stage in life when a person reaches sex maturity and becomes capable of reproduction.

Sex:

Is probably one area of our life about which we know so little sex inhibits and pieces through sources like friends acquaintance on cheap sex books.

Sex Education:

That aspect of education that makes the adolescents become knowledgeable about sex and sexually behaviour and helps to develop wholesome attitude towards those behaviours.


1.10 Organization of the Studies

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the attitude and knowledge of parents towards the teaching of sex education using some selected secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis as a case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was on the attitude and knowledge of parents towards the teaching of sex education using some selected secondary schools in Ilorinmetropolis. The study was specifically carried out to ascertain whether parents are knowledgeable about the relevance of teaching sex education, find out whether parents are knowledgeable that sex can reduce sexual promiscuity among youngsters, find out whether parents adequately give their children sexuality orientations at home, find out whether parents feels hesitant towards providing sex knowledge to their children, and identify the factors which influences parents attitude towards the teaching of sex education.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 150 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent were parents and teachers in some selected secondary schools in Ilorin metropolis.


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher concluded that;

  1. Parents are not knowledgeable about the relevance of teaching sex education.
  2. Parents are not knowledgeable that sex education can reduce sexual promiscuity among youngsters.
  3. Parents do not adequately give their children sexuality orientations at home.
  4. Parents feels hesitant towards providing sex knowledge to their children.
  5. The factors which influences parents attitude towards the teaching of sex education includes; place of residence, educational status, family types and religion.

5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are proffered.

  1. Emphasis should be placed on creating awareness on sex education stemming the flood of teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDs requires joint effort by joint effort by parents, counsellors teachers, curriculum planners and even government. Counsellors as a first step, have the task of demystifying sexuality by providing the youngsters with adequate and relevant information regarding sexuality and reproductive health. Counsellors should try new strategies like counselling on proper gender role perception and abstinence to help adolescents stay away from sex until they are ready.
  2. Teachers should also teach certain aspect of sexuality at school so that the adolescents will be familiar with societal expectation of their future roles as wires and husbands. The sexuality education curriculum needs to be implemented 1in the schools as a matter of urgency. Thus should be a comprehensive package that should include adolescent reproductive health and socially accepted expression for sexual feelings.
  3. The government should regulate influx of foreign films as well as monitor and censor our local films to protect our adolescent from adverse effects of exposure to pornographic films.
  4. The religions leader stands a great advantage of teaching out to people easily since their followers listen and respect their voice. As part of method to curb the spread of sex education, government should established various support services rendering which would help carriers of genetic diseases to cope with the physiological and psychological effects of the diseases. It is recommended that schools should provide adequate information and knowledge of sex education for the children. This could be entrenched in the school syllabus (curriculum).

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