The Importance Of Sex Education In Health Promotion Among University Students In Nigeria

Sex Education Project and Seminar Material

The Importance Of Sex Education In Health Promotion Among University Students In Nigeria


Abstract


The purpose of this study was the assessment health promotion on sex education among students in Edo State University, Edo State. Simple random sampling was used to select two hundred (200) respondents in the study area. A questionnaire was used to elicit information. Frequency and percentages were used for descriptive data while t-test was used for the inferential analysis. From the findings, majority of the respondents knew that sex education is the process of acquiring information, attitudes and beliefs about sex and sexuality. From the findings, the barriers to health promotion on sex education Students in Edo State University were shown to include low perceived health threat (71.5%), individual’s unwillingness to learn (46.1%), socio-cultural taboos (25%), policy-making barriers (20%), health system deficiency barriers (45%), religious barriers (40.3%), lack of professionals and teachers with the right skills to impart sex education (51.5%) and inadequate knowledge and material resources (48.5%).The major source of information was friends/peers with a response rate of which accounted for almost half of the respondents, while the least source of information was from the teacher. Other sources were school (27.4%), hospital (13.1%) and other sources (5.2%). Based on this, the study recommends promoting a health educational program for the students through workshops and training programs about prevention of and management of venereal diseases. Also, there is need to review and update content of the curriculum of students so they can have access to accurate information as recommended.


Table of Content


Chapter One

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background to the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Operational Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisation of the Study

Chapter Two

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Conceptual Review
  • 2.2 Forms of Sex Education
  • 2.2.1 Informal / Traditional Sex Education
  • 2.2.2 Formal Sex Education
  • 2.3 Theoretical Review
  • 2.4 Empirical Review

Chapter Three

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Target Population
  • 3.3 Sample Size and Sampling Technique
  • 3.4 Instruments for Data Collection
  • 3.5 Validity of Instrument
  • 3.6 Reliability of Instrument
  • 3.7 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.8 Method of Data Analysis

Chapter Four

Results and Discussion

  • 4.1 Results
  • 4.2 Discussion of Findings

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

There are different kinds of sexual aberration that are visible in the society, which the adolescents practice as a result of premarital sexual permissiveness. They include illegitimacy, homosexuality, lesbianism, prostitution, sexual harassment and exploitation including rape and incest (Eze&Adu, 2015:402). The devastating consequences of inappropriate sexual desires and practices among students calls for sober reflections and prompt actions of all and sundry (Gesinda, 2010). Nigerian adolescents are plague with social and moral decadence ranging from indecent dressing, drug addiction, pornographic attachment, hooliganism, abortion, teenage pregnancy to rising incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDs (Adeniyi, Oyewumi & Fakolade, 2010). Sex education is the mechanism or procedures, which stands for the protection, improvement and development of the human family based on accepted ethical ideas (Nakpodia, 2012). Sexual decision-making and related behaviour have significant implications for the health and development of adolescents (Ojo et al, 2011). Sexuality education was incorporated into the Nigerian educational system to address and create awareness on sexuality based problems especially among the youths. As put forward by Kayang, Jatau & Kolawole (2015), sexuality or sex education is an important aspect of the life of all humans and almost all people, including children and most importantly the secondary school students deserve to know about sex education.

Sex education was traditionally meant to be given to every child and adolescents by his/her immediate family but these practices have been eroded by the influences of modernization, western civilization, and collapsing family life. The effect of this is that the younger generations are left at the mercy of the wider society and other socializing agent who more often than not mislead the young ones in the transition process to adult hood (Ameh, 2015). Sex education is a well planned and designed education scheme to instinct the young ones and adolescent to acquire knowledge, skills and understanding of the need for sex so that they can fit into the society as desirable member of the community (Sule et al, 2015). Every human individual has sexual feeling, attitudes, and beliefs, but adolescents experiences of sexuality are unique because it is processed through an intensely personal perspective, which comes from private, personal experience, public and social sources (Ogundipe&Ojo, 2015). Sexual development is an integral and important part of human development (Ogundipe&Ojo, 2015). Sexuality education to Sunday &Umeh (2014) is the responsibility of the community – including schools, parents, government and non-government agencies, volunteers, teachers, counselors, health workers, games masters, home economic teachers and skilled peer groups.

Sexual experimentation is one of the ways in which adolescents understand their maturity and face the changes that afflict them (Slater & Robinson, 2014). Most adolescents practice sexual activity out of curiosity, acceptance and peer influence (Jayakody et al., 2011; Meyer, Sneed & Tan, 2015). Most do not have objective information about the correct sources, so they resort to sources that they believe are easily available, such as: Companions and media to obtain information about sex (Bogani et al., 2014). Research has shown that the sexual activity of adolescents and adolescents is increasing worldwide. It is believed that the changes observed in this group are caused by some changes in the social and economic situation in terms of urbanization, modernization and improvement of health promotion and nutritional status. This has led to a reduction in the age at puberty and a consequent reduction in the age of sexual debut (Sawyer Afifi, Bearinger, Blankson, Dick, Ezeh& Patton, 2012).

Sex education generally refers to systematic attempts to promote a healthy awareness of the problems that affect sexual functioning, development, behavior and attitudes through direct education (Cronin, Heflin & Price, 2014). It is the means to provide young people with the skills, information and resources to make informed decisions about their sexuality. Sex education can take place in the formal school environment or in the non-formal domestic environment. It is a means to ensure that adolescents make decisions about their sexuality based on information that is objective and appropriate. At the International Conference on Population Development (ICPD) in 1994, it was noted that all young people at the Cairo Conference should have access to information on reproductive health and services in all Member States. He invited countries to legislate and take measures to ensure that all young people, whether in school or out of school, have information, education and communication about sexual and reproductive health, early pregnancy prevention, family planning and sexual orientation (UNFPA, 2014). This commitment was reaffirmed at the 20-year anniversary summit of the ICPD beyond the 20 years (Fuerza, 2014, UNFPA, 2014).

Discussions about sexuality in African families and schools are still considered taboo, reinforced by the perception that the discussion about sexuality with children makes them sexually active. When children and adolescents refuse to talk about sex education and get involved in the Nigerian curricula, they are forced to engage in sexual activities with little or no information. Not only are they harmful, but they are also detrimental to their development, since they cannot develop values and morals related to sex and their sexuality from reliable sources such as parents, teachers and, sometimes, health professionals. The silence that adults have for sexual discussion does not prevent adolescents from becoming sexually active nor does it deny the negative consequences of adolescent sexual activity facing the world in general (Osaikhuwuomwan & Osemwenkha, 2013).

The traditional African home and school believes that children should be educated and punished with strict discipline and fear by asking questions that are considered inappropriate for children (Nyarko, Adentwi, Asumeng&Ahulu, 2014). Adolescents look for other ways to access information about gender instead of their parents, teachers and health workers, who can provide objective and accurate information. Information is fundamental for the healthy development of a person from childhood to puberty and from the reproductive years to post-fertility. In fact, the quality of life of women depends to a large extent on the quality of the information available and the purpose for which it is used. Therefore, all children should have the right to information that allows them to evaluate the alternatives and make an informed decision about their health and life in general (Kenneth & Stella, 2017).

The literature on reproductive health information and health promotion needs is very scarce. This is because adolescents’ access to reproductive health information remains a controversial issue for parents, authorities and many religious groups. However, young people have a particular need for information on sexual and reproductive health in order not to be victims of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), HIV and AIDS and unwanted pregnancies. Knowledge of reproductive health, also known as sexual education, is understood as knowledge of human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual relations, reproductive health, emotional relationships, reproductive rights and obligations, abstinence, contraception, family planning, body image, sexual orientation and sexuality. Pleasure denotes values, decision making, communication, dating, relationships, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and their prevention, and contraceptive methods (UNFPA, 2012).


1.2 Statement of Problem

Many youths and adolescents die prematurely each year, and it is estimated that 1.7 million young men and women between the ages of 10 and 19 lose their lives due to accidents, violence, complications related to pregnancy and other diseases that can be prevented or treated (Blum et al., 2012). As a result, adolescent reproductive health is becoming an increasingly important part of global health. The sexual and reproductive health of young people has become a major health problem in recent decades. The recent and rapidly increasing rates of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) point to an urgent need for sexually transmitted infections and HIV prevention measures in sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria. The students’ lack of familiarity with family planning and methods of HIV/AIDS transmission combined with minimal contraceptive use, present a high risk of transmission of unwanted pregnancies and sexual infections. In general, adolescents are considered to be healthier than other age groups that have survived many of the early childhood diseases and are decades away from the diseases associated with aging (WHO, 2012). However, some adolescents are affected by the disease, while others die prematurely. An important threat to the health of adolescents and adolescents is mainly their sexual behavior, which is partially influenced by the lack of knowledge about reproductive health, lack of health promotion and lack of awareness.

Information and education about sexuality are limited even in the formal education sector and barely exist in the family environment (Kumi-Kyereme, 2014). In Nigerian society, it is culturally undesirable to discuss sexuality and sexual problems with adolescents and adolescents (Kwankye, 2017). Parents have disabilities to talk with their children about reproductive health problems and sexuality. School curricula do not have spaces for adequate and complete sexual education, and religious institutions do not discuss this important issue with young people. Some providers of family planning services have not shown interest in providing reproductive health services to adolescents. Although sexual activity in adolescents is decreasing more and more, they are not recommended to seek appropriate information on reproductive problems among adolescents.

The problem associated with lack of inadequate knowledge on sex and sexuality matters are enormous which are evidently obvious in the incidence of teenage pregnancy, abortion among adolescents, sexually transmitted infection (STIs), school desertion caused by unwanted pregnancy, poverty perpetuation due to jeopardy of education which results from pregnancy, child abuse and neglect, child battering, child mortality and maternal deprivation frequent among offspring of teenage parents among others. Some if not all of the above problems to some extent is caused by the lack of healthy information, education and skill and this perhaps why Owie (2015) stated that the issues of sexuality, sex education and health promotion should be critically addressed. Therefore, this work focuses on the importance of sex education in health promotion among university students in Nigeria.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to assessthe importance of sex education in health promotion among university students in Nigeria.

The specific objectives are as follows;

  1. To assess attitude and knowledge of students on sex education in Edo State University
  2. To determine the major sources of information available to students to acquire knowledge on sex education and reproductive health in Edo State University
  3. To identify the barriers to health promotion on sex education among students in Edo State University

1.4 Research Questions

The research questions are formulated based on the objectives and statement of problem to include;

  1. What is the attitude and knowledge level of students on sex education in Edo State University?
  2. What are the major sources of information available to students to acquire knowledge on sex education and reproductive health in Edo State University?
  3. What are the barriers and challenges to health promotion on sex education among students in Edo State University

1.5 Hypothesis

The study attempted to test the following hypothesis:

  • HO: Knowledge of sex education influences the attitude towards health promotion among students in Edo State University, Uzairue, Edo State
  • HA: Knowledge of sex education does not influence the attitude towards health promotion among students in Edo State University, Uzairue, Edo State

1.6 Significance of the Study

The findings from this study are of significance to the society as a whole as it reveals information on the levels of knowledge and attitudes towards health promotion, sex education and reproductive health. Also, findings from the study will help policy makers in coming up with appropriate programmes and control measures that boost the health promotion among students and youths. It is expected that the findings from this study will help stakeholders and health authorities to formulate policies and strategies in measures to improve sex education and promote healthy lifestyle and risk free behaviours among the students. Finally, information gathered from this study will serve as a source of literature and guide for future research and as well serve as empirical reference for further studies.


1.7 Scope of Study

The focus of this study is to assess the importance of sex education in health promotion among university students in Nigeria. Edo State University was used as the study area, and students as the respondents for data collection and analysis. Variables considered include attitude and knowledge of students on sex education, the major sources of information available to students to acquire knowledge on sex education in Edo State University, and the barriers and challenges to health promotion on sex education students in Edo State University.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

In the course of this study, the researcher encountered some limitations. There was unwillingness of respondents to fill the questionnaires. Some of the copies questionnaires were also reported missing and it was severally replaced and this affected the researcher negatively finance wise. Also, the researcher faced time constraints and had to combine the research with other academic activities and coursework. Lastly, the researcher made use of Edo State University since all the universities in Edo state could not be exhausted.


1.9 Operational Definition of Terms

Health Promotion:

Health promotion is “the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health”. This involves information dissemination, creation of awareness and other health education means.

Sex Education:

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.


1.10 Organisation of the Study

This study is organized into five chapters. Chapter one included the background of the study, research problem, research objectives and questions as well as limitation of the study. Chapter two contains the literature review. Chapter three includes the methodology. Chapter Four contains the results and discussion of key findings of the study. Chapter Five finally looks at the summary, conclusions, and recommendations based on the findings.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

The primary objective of the study was to assess the importance of sex education in health promotion among university students in Nigeria using Edo State University, Edo State. A descriptive survey research design and 200 respondents were used. A self-structured questionnaire was developed according to the objectives of the study to guide in the generation of information. Socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents and the research question were analyzed using simple frequency and percentage, while hypothesis was tested using the t-test. From the findings, majority of the respondents knew that sex education is the process of acquiring information, attitudes and beliefs about sex and sexuality. Majority of the respondents agreed that they had been sick with STDs or knew someone who had. The major method of treatment was through medication in the health center. On having a history of STDs, 51.5% had while 48.5% did not have. The measures for students at risk of contracting venereal diseases were advice to use condom, abstinence from sex, being faithful to one partner, and reducing sexual partner.

Also, the reasons for sex among the students were shown to include sexual initiation because of age, peer pressure, pressure from boyfriend/partner, and economic gain. The major source of information was friends/peers with a response rate of which accounted for almost half of the respondents, while the least source of information was from the teacher. Other sources were school (27.4%), hospital (13.1%) and other sources (5.2%).


5.2 Conclusion

This study presented the influence of health promotion on sex education among students in Edo State University, Edo State. The analysis of the data collected in relation to the subject revealed a highly statistically significant association regarding total knowledge and attitude among the Students, which indicated an improvement in their knowledge about sex education will improve their attitude towards health promotion. Also, the hypothesis test revealed that knowledge of sex education and reproductive health influences the attitude towards health promotion among students in Edo State University. This is because the observed t-calculated (.978) is less than the critical value (1.96).


5.3 Recommendations

The following recommendations were made based on the findings of the study;

  1. Promoting a health educational program for the students through workshops and training programs about prevention of and management of venereal diseases. There is need to review and update content of the curriculum of students so they can have access to accurate information as recommended
  2. Health authorities and institutions should ensure the availability of professionals in hospitals as this will be very helpful in solving the issue of health misinformation and answer questions to improve knowledge.
  3. More research should be conducted to assess and evaluate the impact and nature of sex education on sexual behaviour and reproductive health knowledge among youths and adolescents across the secondary and tertiary levels of study in Nigeria.

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