The Effect Of Sex Education On Adolescents’ Sexual Behaviour Among Senior Secondary Schools Students
The study investigated on the effect of sex education on adolescents’ sexual behaviour among senior secondary school students in Ijebu North Local government, Ogun state. The study utilizes a descriptive survey design. The sample population consists of sixty students randomly drawn from six senior secondary schools, in Ijebu North local government. The instruments used to elicit information from the respondents were questionnaires designed by the researcher. Descriptive statistical tools such as grand mean and arithmetic mean were used to interpret the data collected. The result shows that it is important to impact knowledge about sex education, sixty seven percent (67%) of the population lack the knowledge. From the survey, it was evident that sex education, when provided is effective on adolescents but most of them does not have the knowledge. Adolescents need to be provided accurate and correct information about sex in order to form good attitude and beliefs toward sex. Conclusively, sex education should be part of the school curriculum in order to educate adolescents. Parents should develop effective communication skill with their children, be their friends and have positive attitude toward sex.
1.1 Background to the Study
Sex education, which is sometimes called sexuality education or sex and relationships education, is the process of acquiring information and forming attitudes and beliefs about sex, sexual identity, relationships and intimacy. Sex education is also about developing young people’s skills so that they can make informed choices about their behaviour, and feel confident and competent about acting on these choices. It is widely accepted that young people have a right to sex education. This is because it is a means by which they are helped to protect themselves against abuse, exploitation, unintended pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases. Providing an effective sex education helps to meet young people’s rights to information about matters th at affect them, their right to have their needs met and to help them enjoy their sexuality and the relationships that they form. To contribute to adolescent’s full social and economic potential, young people need the knowledge and skills to make choices about when to have sex and how to protect themselves from infection and unintended pregnancies.
Comprehensive sex education curricular have been endorsed by various governmental agencies, educational organizations and teenage advocacy groups as the most effective educational method for reducing teenage pregnancy and helping prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among adolescent. Numerous surveys have suggested increased sexual experimentation by increasing numbers of teenagers at younger ages each year. Often, the outcome of this behaviour can have adverse consequences such as unplanned pregnancy and sexually acquired infections. It is necessary to understand some of the features of puberty and adolescence which increase the risk of STDs and their attendant complications.
Sex education that works also helps equip young people with the skills to be able to differentiate between accurate and inaccurate information, and to discuss a range of moral and social issues and perspectives on sex and sexuality, including different cultural attitudes and sensitive issues like sexuality, abortion and contraception.
Akerele (2004) wrote that “sex is something you do, sexuality is something you are.” This way of understanding sex highlights the difference between the act of sex and the individual experience of sexuality, which is an intrinsic part of who we are, one that can’t be separated out of ourselves any more than our ethnicity or religious/spiritual beliefs. Sexuality is a natural and precious aspect of life, an essential and fundamental part of our humanity. For people to attain the highest standard of health they must first be empowered to exercise choice in their sexual and reproductive lives; they must feel confident and safe in expressing their own sexual identity.
Sex is probably one area of our lives about which we know so little. And whatever little we happen to know about sex in bits and pieces through sources like friends, acquaintances and cheap sex books (Hoshi, 1987; Tjaden, 1988; Kumar, 1993). It is indeed ironical that while sex is such an important aspect in our life, parents, elders and teachers hardly play any significant role in providing scientific knowledge.
Since talking about sex is a taboo in our society, the adolescents cannot freely approach his/her parents for guidance. Also, those who seek guidance from parents are not satisfied because they latter try to evade discussion or are not able to give satisfactory answers. A few of them try to gather information through books, films or from friends but a majority does not have access to such an information. Many a time, the adolescent receives wrong information and these myths and misconceptions are carried throughout their lifetime. Therefore, there is a need to provide adolescents with information so as to enable them to cope better with these changes. Though there is a need to educate the adolescents on sex education, parents oppose such educational programmes due to the fear that imparting sex education would lead to experimentation with sex.
Providing information through sex education is therefore about finding out what young people already know and adding to their existing knowledge and correcting any misinformation they may have.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Physical, psychological, and social attributes of adolescence make young people particularly vulnerable to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIS) (Busari A.O.2003).Adolescents often are not able to comprehend fully the exposure to risk. Societies often compound young people’s risk by making it difficult for them to learn about sex education and reproductive health. Moreover, many youths are socially inexperienced and dependent on others, peer pressure often influence them in a way that can influence their risk. When adolescent are not given or provided the necessary information about sex, it places them at risk of getting pregnant, committing abortion or even contracting a sexually transmitted disease which make it a problem.
Sex education primarily concerns with teaching on sex roles, conception, happy married life, child birth and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. Where sex education is lacking, youths will be deprived of the knowledge of human reproductive system. There will be misuse of sex for other things. There will be high spread of sexually transmitted diseases. There will also be an increase in the dangers of adolescent pregnancy. Finally, interpersonal relationship may be poor. So after considering the above problems that could result from lack of sex education, it was therefore considered imperative to find out the effect of sex education on adolescents in Ijebu north local government, Ogun state.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To investigate on adolescents’ knowledge about sex education.
- To ascertain the effects of sex education on adolescents.
- To identify the risk associated with sexual activity among adolescents.
- To examine the attitude of adolescents toward sex education.
1.4 Research Hypotheses
The following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher to aid the completion of the study;
- H0: there is no risk associated with sexual activity among adolescents in secondary schools.
H1: there is risk associated with sexual activity among adolescents in secondary schools.
- H0: Adolescents’ attitude toward sex education in secondary schools is degrading
H2: Adolescents’ attitude toward sex education in secondary schools is degrading
1.5 Research Questions
- What is the level of knowledge about sex education in adolescents?
- What are the effects of sex education on adolescents?
- What is the risk associated with sexual activity among adolescents?
- What are the strategies which could be adopted in the teaching of sex education?
- What are the aims of introduction or teaching of sex education in secondary schools?
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study will add to the adolescents’ knowledge of sex education. The study is considered very necessary in many respects, so its significance includes:
This study will enable mothers to appreciate the need for them develop positive attitude towards sex education. The knowledge which the mothers will derive from this study would enable them know how to teach their children and prevent them from contacting venereal diseases.
The teachers stand to benefit from this study. It will expose them to various techniques and strategies to adopt in imparting sex education by delivering lessons to the students without invading into their privacy.
The outcome of this study will provide data for policy makers in the area of sex education. With such information, the relevant government agencies will draw up guidelines for the teaching of sex education in secondary and primary schools.
The study, when completed will generate data for curriculum planners when developing a curriculum on sex education.
This study will acts as a spring-board for future researchers who may wish to carry out a study on human sexuality, it will also make the researchers to realise the importance of sex education in human life.
1.7 Limitation / Scope of the Study
There are many schools under Ijebu north local government, but for the purpose of the study, six secondary schools as listed below were randomly selected
- Muslim High school, Ago-Iwoye
- Ago-Iwoye secondary, Ago-Iwoye
- Obanta Comprehensive High school, Oru
- Mercy Model College, Oru
- Japara High school, Ijebu-Igbo
- Molusi College, Ijebu-Igbo.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
To have an important or noticeable effect on something
Developing of adult mental processes and identity and also the transition from total socio-economic dependence to relative independence.
Organisms of many species are specialized into male and female varieties, each known as a sex. Sexual reproduction involves the combining and mixing of genetic traits: specialized cells known as gametes combine to form offspring that inherit traits from each parent.
Human sexuality is the way people experience and express themselves sexually. This involves biological, erotic, physical, emotional, social, or spiritual feelings and behaviors.
Sex education is the instruction of issues relating to human sexuality, including emotional relations and responsibilities, human sexual anatomy, sexual activity, sexual reproduction, age of consent, reproductive health, reproductive rights, safe sex, birth control and sexual abstinence
1.9 Organization of the Study
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows.
- Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (background of the study), statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope of the study etc.
- Chapter two being the review of the related literature presents the theoretical framework, conceptual framework and other areas concerning the subject matter.
- Chapter three is a research methodology covers deals on the research design and methods adopted in the study.
- Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
- Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study wasto ascertain the effect of sex education on adolescent sexual behavior among secondary school student.
In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of sexual behavior among senior secondary school students.
The study showed that most parents have knowledge about adolescents and young adult sexual behavior. Majority of the participants revealed that they are aware that unmarried adolescents’ male or female have sexual partners. They further said it is not easy to know since they do not do it in open. Some of them are of the opinion that they do not know but guess that the adolescents have sexual relationships. A very minute participants says that says that their adolescent do not have sexual relationship because they are well cared for and are too young. The issue of communication has clearly revealed that most parents do not discuss sex related issues with their children. Most are either shy or think that this will expose them to sexual activities. since the inception of sexuality education, the Nigerian educational system has not succeeded in helping the student to understand the implications of their sexuality upon their social and sexual wellbeing at the micro level and population trends at the micro level because, sexuality education is still being perceived as “sex” education which has the capacity to encourage sexual espionage and promiscuity among the youth.
Evidence adduced from the present study has shown that sexuality education-enriched instructional package was efficacious in enhancing students’ understanding of the health-related biology topics. Although both males and females benefited significantly from the use of sexuality education-enriched instructional package, the females who are more vulnerable to risky sex encounter, tended to benefit more. Gender had a significance influence on students’ understanding of the importance and effect of sex education.
Based on the foregoing, the following recommendations were made:
- Secondary school biology teachers should integrate sexuality education into health-related topics in the biology curriculum during instruction since this study has shown that such a practice has a facilitative effect on learning of such topic.
- Opportunities should be provided by relevant State and Federal government agencies for strengthening biology teachers’ capacity in the area of integrating sexuality education in biology instruction.
- Parents’ should be sensitized and encouraged to provide adequate information to their adolescent children on health-related issues especially as it concerns their sexuality.
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