Investigating The Barriers Of Teaching Sex Education In Primary School

Sex Education Project and Seminar Material

Investigating The Barriers Of Teaching Sex Education In Primary School


Abstract


This study was carried out to investigate the barriers of teaching sex education in primary school. Specifically, the study determined whether the poor communication skills of teachers affects the teaching of sex education in primary schools, determined whether parental involvement/attitude towards sex education affects the teaching of sex education in primary schools, determine whether teachers religious background and exegesis affects the teaching of sex education in primary schools and, determine whether fears of corrupting the pupils by the teacher affects the teaching of sex education in primary schools. The study employed the survey descriptive research design. A total of 30 responses were validated from the survey. The study adopted the the Social learning theory by Bandura in 1977, and Freud psycho-sexuality theory (1905). From the responses obtained and analysed, the findings revealed that poor communication skills of teachers affect the teaching of sex education in primary schools. Furthermore, the findings revealed that parental involvement/attitude towards sex education affect the teaching of sex education in primary schools, and teachers religious background and exegesis also affects the teaching of sex education in primary schools. The study recommendsthat government both federal and state should make adequate fund available for sexuality education especially in primary schools. These measures, if done will facilitate the implementation of sexuality education in primary schools.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Numerous definitions and interpretations have been advanced by all sectors of human society without an agreeable definition. According to Khan, (2016), the term sex goes beyond the realm of sex organs, instructions and act of sex organs as individuals are made to believe to make a breakthrough in the life of human relation among and between sex partners. Sex education is the instruction about sex and human sexuality. Sex is an important effect on the human life of an individual and almost everyone in the society including children wants to know about it.

Traditionally, children are not supposed to receive information about sex at all (Kaplan, 2015). They many a times, learn about sex through their friends, books, television, pornographic films either from the magazines or internet and sex movies. Correct and factual information should be given to teenagers about the anatomic development in their bodies. During this period, the girls develop breast, pelvic borne broadens these starts at the age of eleven to twelve years and in the boys between fourteen to fifteen years. The sexual organs mature the widening of the chest and enlargement of the lynx which causes breaking of the voice (Kaplan, 2015). The teenager’s stage or periods are very crucial in the life of the individual. Many frustrations may occur during this stage such as school dropout, sexual immorality juvenile delinquency to mention but a few are all problems evolving from physical, social, cognitive and mental development. However, sex education has generally being masked in giggles and hush-hush silent matters. Hawkins, (2015) pointed out that children should be given adequate information’s about sex. Gone are the days when sexual matters were hidden from children.

The concept of sex education and its introduction in primary schools has witnessed much controversy and misconceptions by many teachers, parents, society and students. The concept of sex education which is sometimes called sexuality education or sex and relationship education attracts a plethora of definitions from different people. According to Haffiner, (2019), sex education is “the systematic attempt to promote the health awareness in the individual on matters of his/her sexual development, functioning, behaviour and attitudes through direct teaching”. Similarly, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) in Eze, (2015), sees sex education as “a planned process of education that fosters the acquisition of factual information, the formation of positive attitudes, beliefs and values as well as the development of skills to cope with the biological, psychological, socio-cultural, and spiritual aspects of human sexuality. From these definitions, it can be deduced that sex education is deliberate, planned and organized learning experience in the aspect of human sexuality which is intended to equip young people with the requisite skills and adequate knowledge which will enable them to develop positive attitude on sex-related issues as well as to make rational decisions in line with societal expectations. It is important to note that sex education was not just incorporated into social studies for knowledge acquisition but to help young people develop attitudes, values, goals and practices that are based on sound knowledge which will enable them to express their sexual and mating impulses in a manner that is socially and ethically acceptable as well as personally satisfying (Eze, 2015). The concept of sex education in Nigerian schools is not new in Nigeria. Erulkar, (2014) postulated that the traditional form of sex education and family life education has been in existence where kinship systems, age grade and coming–of–age ceremonies or initiation ceremonies where the youths were tutored about manhood and womanhood. It was purely biological and cultural, while various methods of contraceptives were just kept in the domain of married people and kept secret. Many children were kept in the dark as they did not have an opportunity to be properly educated on family life and sex education because their training was on “dos and don’ts”. Traditionally, sex education was to be given to every child and adolescents by his/her immediate family but these practice has been eroded by the influence of modernization, western civilization, and collapsing family life; thereby leaving the young ones at the mercy of the wider society and other socializing agents who may not give accurate information that can assist the young ones in their transition to adulthood. This vacuum in the life of children is what the school needed to fill through the teaching of sex education (Erulkar, 2014). The recognition of the above gap, as well as the risk in adolescents reproductive health who are prone to unplanned sex, unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortion, sexual coercion, sexual violence, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and even Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) owing to lack of information or misinformation about the implications of their reproductive behaviour and health risks especially from under-age sexual practices and other anti-social practices, prompted the Federal government of Nigeria through the National Council on Education (NCE) to incorporate sexuality education into the national school curriculum in 1999 (Durojaiye, 2015). This became necessary to prepare children for their adult roles in line with the acceptable societal standard and to also empower young people to have greater control over their sexuality and reproductive life to their own benefit both socially and economically. It is also a means of safeguarding or protecting the youths against the consequences of sexual ignorance as well as preparing them for responsible life.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Like all people, children and young people develop gradually into adulthood. This process includes sexual development, which consists of an interaction between physical, cognitive, mental, social, relational, ethical, religious and cultural factors (Durojaiye, 2015). While sexuality education can support children and young people in their sexual development and contribute to their health and wellbeing, many do not receive sexuality education that is oriented to their needs and development, promotes a positive image of sexuality, or aims to empower them (Obionu, 2019).

Research has revealed that primary school children receive less sexuality education than expected. This may be due to the fact that most educators tend to believe that primary school students are too young to know about sex.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The primary objective of this study is to investigate the barriers of teaching sex education in primary school. Other objectives of this study are:

  1. To determine whether the poor communication skills of teachers affects the teaching of sex education in primary schools
  2. To determine whether parental involvement/attitude towards sex education affects the teaching of sex education in primary schools
  3. To determine whether teachers religious background and exegesis affects the teaching of sex education in primary schools
  4. To determine whether fears of corrupting the pupils by the teacher affects the teaching of sex education in primary schools.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions will be answered in this study:

  1. Does poor communication skills of teachers affect the teaching of sex education in primary schools?
  2. Does parental involvement/attitude towards sex education affect the teaching of sex education in primary schools?
  3. Does teachers religious background and exegesis affect the teaching of sex education in primary schools?
  4. Does the fear of corrupting the pupils by the teacher affect the teaching of sex education in primary schools?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study will be greatly significant to the educational sector as the findings of this study will reveal how important sex education is to primary school pupils and and the different barriers that prevent the effective teaching of sex education in primary schools. Finally, the study would primary serve as a baseline survey for further research on sexuality education and health.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study will focus on investigating the barriers of teaching sex education in primary schools. Specifically, this study will focus on determining whether the poor communication skills of teachers affects the teaching of sex education in primary schools, determining whether parental involvement/attitude towards sex education affects the teaching of sex education in primary schools, determining whether teachers religious background and exegesis affects the teaching of sex education in primary schools and determining whether the fear of corrupting the pupils by the teacher affects the teaching of sex education in primary schools.

This study will be using teachers of selected primary schools in Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State as enrolled participants for the survey.


1.7 Limitations of the Study

This study will be limited to investigating the barriers of teaching sex education in primary schools. Specifically, the scope of this study will be limited to determining whether the poor communication skills of teachers affects the teaching of sex education in primary schools, determining whether parental involvement/attitude towards sex education affects the teaching of sex education in primary schools, determining whether teachers religious background and exegesis affects the teaching of sex education in primary schools and determining whether the fear of corrupting the pupils by the teacher affects the teaching of sex education in primary schools.

This study will be using teachers of selected primary schools in Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State as enrolled participants for the survey. This serves as a limitation to this study as the findings of this study can not be used anywhere else till additional research is carried out.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Investigating:

The action of investigating something or someone; formal or systematic examination or research.

Barriers:

A circumstance or obstacle that keeps people or things apart or prevents communication or progress.

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, sexual health, safe sex and birth control. Sex education which includes all of these issues is known as comprehensive sex education, and is often opposed to abstinence-only sex education, which only focuses on sexual abstinence. Sex education may be provided by parents or caregivers, or as part at school programs and public health campaigns. In some countries it is known as Relationships and Sexual health education.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings into the investigation the barriers of teaching sex education in primary school. Respondents for this study were obtained from selected teachers of primary schools in Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to investigate the barriers of teaching sex education in primary school. The study specifically was aimed at determining whether the poor communication skills of teachers affects the teaching of sex education in primary schools, determining whether parental involvement/attitude towards sex education affects the teaching of sex education in primary schools, determining whether teachers religious background and exegesis affects the teaching of sex education in primary schools and determining whether fears of corrupting the pupils by the teacher affects the teaching of sex education in primary schools.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 30 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are selected teachers of primary schools in Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State.


5.3 Conclusions

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

  1. The poor communication skills of teachers affect the teaching of sex education in primary schools
  2. Parental involvement/attitude towards sex education affect the teaching of sex education in primary schools.
  3. Teachers religious background and exegesis affect the teaching of sex education in primary schools.
  4. The fear of corrupting the pupils by the teacher affect the teaching of sex education in primary schools

5.3 Recommendations

Based on the responses obtained, the researcher recommended that;

  1. Government both federal and state should make adequate fund available for sexuality education especially in primary schools. These measures, if done will facilitate the implementation of sexuality education in primary schools.

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Frequently Asked Questions


What are the barriers to sex education in schools?

Despite the generally positive view of sex education, only 10% of students are receiving sex education in their schools. Fear of negative public reaction to such programs is the main barrier to their being offered. Some types of barriers to the presentation of sex education are psychological such as discussed above.

Should sex education be taught in schools?

Many think that teaching sex education in schools is equal to teaching sexual intercourse education. In fact, sex education is a broad term used to describe education about human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction and other aspects of human sexual behavior. 

What are the effects of sexual education programs?

The United Nations Population Fund has found that some programs delayed initiation of sexual intercourse by 37 %, reduced the frequency of sex by 31 %, reduced the number of sexual partners by 44 % and increased the use of condoms and contraception by 40 %. 

Is sex and Relationship Education (SRE) compulsory in primary schools?

Sex and relationship education (SRE) is not compulsory in primary schools. The biological aspects of reproduction have to be taught as part of the science curriculum, then it’s up to individual schools to develop an age-appropriate SRE programme. 

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