Influence Of Exposure To Sexual Contents On Social Media Among Secondary School Students In Port Harcourt

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Influence Of Exposure To Sexual Contents On Social Media Among Secondary School Students In Port Harcourt


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine the influence of exposure to sexual contents on social media among secondary school students in Port Harcourt. The study was carried out to find out the extent of social media utilization among secondary school students in Port Harcourt, find the extent of sexual content are portrayed on social media, ascertain the extent at which secondary school students engage in sexually explicit materials on social media, and find out the effects of secondary school students exposure to sexual content on social media. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprised of secondary school students in selected schools in Port Harcourt. In determining the sample size, the researcher purposefully selected 147 respondents and 141 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 was tested chi-square statistical tool. The result of the social media is highly utilized among secondary school students in Port Harcourt. Furthermore, the study revealed that social media has a negative influence on secondary school students sexuality in Nigeria. Therefore, it is recommended that all the stakeholders and especially Communication Commission of Nigeria and network providers’ needs to come up with means of filtering information that reaches the young people through social media platforms. This will help minimize exposing them to pornographic and other unwarranted materials. To mention but a few.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

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

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The use of social media (SM) has gained considerable popularity during the last decade, attracting millions of users worldwide. The most used social networks are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and WhatsApp, in that order (Statista, 2019). SM is now part of the rapid worldwide digital development reshaping the lives of many young people (Pfeiffer et al., 2014). In Nigeria, a majority of the youth in secondary schools use SM.

SM sites have several features which make them popular with young people. Facebook and Instagram, for example, allow users to create personal profiles, upload photographs and videos, and post messages that connect them with other users (Moreau, 2019; Pempek et al., 2009). Young people derive several benefits from the use of SM sites including receiving and sharing information and ideas, friendship, education, and being connected with family and other loved ones (Adil, 2018). Yet, the use of SM sites is fraught with many challenges such as the risk of depression, time wastage, cyberbullying and harassment, hacking, fraud and scams, addiction, and exposure to sexually explicit materials (SEM) (Adil, 2018).

Sexually explicit materials, also called pornography, are materials that show genitals and sexual activities in unconcealed ways (Peter & Valkenburg, 2007), and which are primarily meant to sexually arouse the audience (Malamuth and Impett, 2001). Observing a model in sexually explicit materials can make the viewer get involved in behavior they learned through observation. Hence, according to social cognitive theory, “when people observe a model performing a behavior and the consequences of that behavior, they remember the sequence of events and use this information to guide subsequent behaviors” (Bandura, 2001). Therefore, whether one is being rewarded or punished for one’s behavior and the outcome of the behavior, the observer may choose to replicate the behavior modeled. Whether intentionally or inadvertently, exposure to explicit materials is of concern because of the associated potential negative consequences involved in this practice, including emotional disturbance (Flood, 2009) and change in sexual behavior (SB) (Arulogun et al., 2016). Other consequences include increased likelihood of accepting and engaging in sexually permissive behaviors (Lo & Wei, 2005), earlier initiation of SB (Ashby et al., 2006), negative perception, and increased likelihood that young people, regardless of gender, would view women as mere sex objects (Peter & Valkenburg, 2009; Rideout, 2001).

Exposure to SEM may also lead to addiction which is characterized by compulsive, repeated use of SEM until it causes serious negative consequences to one’s physical, mental, social, and/or financial well-being (Parashar et al., 2007), and associated with masturbation addiction (Carvalheira et al., 2015). Furthermore, it has been reported to intensify attitudes supportive of sexual coercion among males and associated with higher levels of reported sexual victimization among females (Flood, 2009; Olaleye & Ajuwon, 2012; Simons et al., 2012; Ybarra et al., 2014).


1.2 Statement of Problem

Currently, there are raging controversies surrounding the way sexuality and coverage of sexual issues is being portrayed in the media (Buerkel-Rothfuss et al, 1993; Council on Communications and the Media, 2010; Ojo, 2007; Tiemoko & Oku-Egbas, 2006). Specifically, the preponderance of sexually ‘attractive’ scenes on new media technology is becoming appalling and calls for concern especially in this age that young people are the closest to such media. It also portends danger for a transiting economy like Nigeria and can jeopardise the sustainable development agenda of several developing countries with larger younger population. Thus, in an era when issues of sexual reproductive health and rights have become important and sometimes threatening to human existence, it is imperative to examine the exposure and abuse of these tools and their implications among the adolescents.

In Nigeria, the proportion of individuals using internet increased from 0.06% to 3.6% brought to you by between 2000 and 2005 and thereafter it increased from 24% to 32.9 percent between 2010 and 2012, and have constantly increased. The bulk of these users are young individuals aged less than 25. Adolescents form up to 22 percent of Nigerian population out of which 48 percent are girls (National Population Commission, NPC, 2010). While these young adults are adjudged to be biologically matured to become fathers and mothers, they are socially ill-matured to be responsible fathers or mothers of responsible children owing to the degree of reproductive health illiteracy they exhibits and the vulnerability to sexual misdemeanours. Approximately, 19 million new STDs each year occur among young people worldwide and the bulk is always from developing nations (United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013). Thus, it is exigent to bring to limelight the degree of vulnerability of adolescents to sexual content and the consequences of such exposure. In view of the aforementioned, this study seek to examine the influence of exposure to sexual contents on social media among secondary school students in Port Harcourt.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to examine the influence of exposure to sexual contents on social media among secondary school students in Port Harcourt. The study will be guided by the following specific research objectives;

  1. Find out the extent of social media utilization among secondary school students in Port Harcourt.
  2. Find the extent of sexual content are portrayed on social media.
  3. To ascertain the extent at which secondary school students engage in sexually explicit materials on social media.
  4. Find out the effects of secondary school students exposure to sexual content on social media.

1.4 Research Question

  1. What is the extent of social media utilization among secondary school students in Port Harcourt?
  2. What is the extent of sexual content are portrayed on social media?
  3. What is the extent at which secondary school students engage in sexually explicit materials on social media.
  4. What is the effects of secondary school students exposure to sexual content on social media?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

The following hypotheses are generated by the researcher and was tested in this study:

  • Ho: Social media has no negative influence on secondary school students sexuality in Nigeria,
  • Ha: Social media has a negative influence on secondary school students sexuality in Nigeria.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study revealed that most parents do not normally engage their children in sex education, and that children do not feel comfortable discussing sexually-related matters with their parents, a big gap in the family that teenagers are attempting to fill at all costs. Parents, guardians, and teachers will find this study useful because it emphasizes the importance of teaching young adolescents about sex education and the importance of not ingesting sexual information from the internet. This study revealed that most parents do not normally engage their children in sex education, and that children do not feel comfortable discussing sexually-related matters with their parents, a big gap in the family that teenagers are attempting to fill at all costs. Parents, guardians, and teachers will find this study useful because it emphasizes the importance of teaching young adolescents about sex education and the importance of not ingesting sexual information from the internet.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study focuses on examining the influence of exposure to sexual contents on social media among secondary school students in Port Harcourt. The study will be delimited to adolescent in some selected secondary schools in Port Harcourt.


1.8 Limitations of the Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.

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 the Terms

Social Media:

Social media are interactive technologies that allow the creation or sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.

Adolescent:

This is a transitional stage of physical and psychological development that generally occurs during the period from puberty to legal adulthood (age of majority).

Exposure:

Access, ability to view and sometimes understand sexual scenes and contents. The introduction and possible addiction to online contents.

Sexual Content:

Sexual news, write ups, quotes, visual content which include pictures, videos, gifs and so on.

Sexual Orientation:

How sexual content viewed make then view things relating to things related to sex. How they view and react to sex in a whole.


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 influence of exposure to sexual contents on social media among secondary school students in Port Harcourt. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to examine the influence of exposure to sexual contents on social media among secondary school students in Port Harcourt. The study specifically was aimed at to find out the extent of social media utilization among secondary school students in Port Harcourt, find the extent of sexual content are portrayed on social media, ascertain the extent at which secondary school students engage in sexually explicit materials on social media, and find out the effects of secondary school students exposure to sexual content on social media.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 141 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents are secondary school students in selected schools in Port Harcourt.


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher made the following conclusion.

  1. The social media is highly utilized among secondary school students in Port Harcourt.
  2. The sexual content are highly portrayed on social media.
  3. The extent at which secondary school students engage in sexually explicit materials on social media is high.
  4. Social media has a negative influence on secondary school students sexuality.

5.4 Recommendations

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

  1. The adolescent need to be trained on better usage of the social media so as to minimize time wastage on chatting and other irrelevant engagements that are not of major importance on their lives.
  2. All the stakeholders and especially Communication Commission of Nigeria and network providers’ needs to come up with means of filtering information that reaches the young people through social media platforms. This will help minimize exposing them to pornographic and other unwarranted materials.
  3. Parents and security agencies should monitor activities of the young people on social media in order to protect them from sex pest and paedophiles.
  4. In order to communicate effectively to the young people schools and government agencies should adopt social media as one of their means of communication.
  5. To avoid having a generation that does not have face to face communication skills, all the stakeholders should consider organizing social events that the youth will use to interact and mingle with each other physically.
  6. The findings of this study should be used in policy formulation at levels of learning that the youths are inclusive such as high schools and universities and in government agents that deal with the youth.

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