Perception And Impact Of Campus Dating Among Students

Project and Seminar Material for Sociology

Perception And Impact Of Campus Dating Among Students


This research was set out to thoroughly assess the perception and impact of campus dating among students of Federal University Dutsin-ma, Katsina State. The major objectives of this study were to: examine the nature of romantic relationship in Federal University Dutsin-ma; examine the perception of campus dating in Federal University Dutsin-ma; identify the social factors that facilitates dating amongst students; examine the positive and negative impacts of campus dating on students’ academic performance; and proffer suitable measures on ways to improve students’ academic performance.

The study employed descriptive survey design and data was collected using questionnaire and interview.The findings revealed that, dating is a form of romantic relationship in which two people are emotionally and sexually attracted to each other. More so, findings revealed that dating in Federal University Dutsin-ma is a social exchange between two unmarried persons. The findings also revealed that, the social factors that facilitate dating among students are academic pursuit,peer pressure, socio-economic background, parenting style and the need for high prestige.

Finally, findings revealed that, dating has both negative and positive implications. According to the findings, the positive impacts include improve in CGPA, ease of academic stress, improvement in emotional health and strengthening of self-esteem/confidence. The negative impact of dating includes prevalence of dating violence, sexual implications and high level of disrespect among students. It is therefore recommended that students should concentrate on their studies and avoid every form of relationship.

Victims of dating violence should seek medical help. Parents should monitor their children in the universities. Stake holders in education should develop a curriculum on relationship education for institutions of learning to enable students understand the dangers associated with early relationship. The University authorities should enforce proper dress codes to reduce sexual attraction. University staff should help inculcate moral values into the students by organizing seminars, debates, conferences and other related activities to help them build their academic potentials and resist deviant activities.

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

Education is an essential part of human life which contributes greatly to the development of an individual (Luqman,2012). Through education, an individual becomes fully developed in all aspect of life (Luqman,2012). Academic success is a proof of commitment to an individual’s pursuit. Academic performance is a scholarly effort rendered in order to achieve academic success (Ames, 1992, Puklek, and Peklaj, 2006). Commitment towards academic pursuit influences greatly, a student’s academic performance. A student’s academic performance could be distorted by such factors as peer-group influence, recreational activities and dating (Lisa,2007). Dating could be of benefits and also result into negative consequences to students’ performance.

According to N’jole (1993) dating fulfils a number of specific functions that can enhance people’s socio-psychological development and ultimately promote a society’s continuity. Dating functions can be either manifest, the purpose are visible, recognized and intended or latent, the purpose are unintended or not immediately recognized. Dating is the organized means by which most people moved from being single to begin single coupled (Spielmann, Maxwell, MacDonald, andBaratta,2013). Dating is a somewhat ambiguous phenomena used in different vocabulary. Terms like “dating”, “going out”, “going-around”, “hanging-out”, “going-steady”, and “being-involved” often lack clear definition and agreement. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, (2009), dating is a social engagement between two persons that often has a romantic character. Sociologists describe the dating process as a marriage market, in which prospective spouses compare the assets and liabilities of eligible partners and choose the best available mate. In this sense, who a person trades with depends on what resources he or she brings to the exchange (Gavin 2012).

Dating has been in existence among countries of the world. Dating is not a new phenomenon but what it is referred to is relative (Alev Degimand Tao Fu 2015). Naturally, every individual would want to love and be loved. To most people, dating is based on an assumption that dating provides important experiences and valuable lessons that will eventually help selects mates and construct happy marriages. Dating doesnot really serve as a training ground for marriage, the behaviours that tend to characterize dating are not the sorts of activities that necessarily prepare one for the everyday demand of married life (John 2012). The nature of dating in the 1700 is different from the nature of dating in the 21st century; dating in the 1700, males and females follows dearly defined expectations in meeting and in time spent together (Eli, Chin Ming, Kathleen and Grace (2013). Parents were very strict to their children especially their daughters. Some societies like Ghana, Togo castrated their daughters as a way of avoiding pre-marital sex and births (Emmanuel 1998; Hanny Lightfoot-Klein 1989). Contrary to this period, dating in the 1900 differed. Economic and educational innovations which enable young people to interact with the opposite sex away from the watchful eyes of parents. The expansion of commercial recreation, technological innovation contributed to these changes in dating patterns. One of the things that most distinguishes modern dating from traditional dating is the prevalence of sexual activity in dating relationships (Newman 1958; Nievera 2013).

Dating while schooling could pose a negative or positive effect to student’s academic performance. Dating might help students involved in easing environmental stress, improving their social network and can also negatively affect their academic performance (Abanaka2007).Factors like frequent dating, time spent together, recreational activities; prevalence of sex in dating contributes to failure in achieving academic success (Whyte 1992).

Dating in Nigeria is not a new phenomenon. Before colonization, individuals dated but due to civilization the pattern of dating has changed (Oteh,2010).Dating in Nigeria institutions is a way of life. It is seen as a means of gaining social status and promoting popularity. To be more specific to the area of my research study Federal University, Dutsin-ma. Dating in the above named university is a culture (normal) many view as having special benefit that enhances students social network, emotional wellbeing and social status. On the other hand, when a student is not involved in dating, he or she is tagged with terms as dry, not happening, not socialise-able and anti-social. This research study intends to make findings on how dating influences students’ academic performances. Some students considers it as being good because of its beneficial attributes while others considers it as bad taking into cognisance its consequences on the life of spouse especially academically.

In Federal University Dutsin-ma Katsina state, dating popularly called “campus marriage” can be seen from two different perspective: one with positive impact and that of the negative impact. Dating has positive impact if it allows both spouse enough time to study their books, attend classes and also do their assignments. University life is very stressful and this stress affects students a lot. The amount of stress experienced may be influenced by the individual’s ability to effectively cope with stressful events or situations (Zurilla and Sheedy, 1991). Dating may ease environmental stress (Berger, 1997). Paul and White (1990) observe that being in an intimate relationship involves trust, sensitivity, and responsiveness, being able to make a commitment, striving for equity and mutuality. For a student, it also means working to achieve academic balance. However, Zimmer and Ginerbec (2001) find dating to have a positive effect on the emotional health of adolescents. Dating also help to an extent provide economic security to some spouse. Spouses encourages each other and stand by each other in times of difficulty, provide provisions and most importantly food stuffs for each other. This help ease students need on campus and help them to have a good learning environment.

In contrast to the above, dating tends to have negative impact when it is regarded as something that takes up your time, attention and energy, as such can affect student’s performance in school. The impact of dating life on academic performance depends on how well one is able to strike a balance between social life and studies. In moderation, dating can help some academically while to other, the reverse is the case. Quatman, Sampson, Robinson, and Watson (2001) study dating status, academic performance, and motivation in high schools asserted that students who dated more frequently had a lower academic performance. The study supported a significant relationship between dating status and academic achievement, which can cause serious problems among university students (Prisbell,1986). While having an intimate relationship may have negative effect for emotional health, that being overly involved in dating is associated with a more negative effect on the psycho-social function and health of students (Baumeister,1995). For example people who engage in dating have been reported to have been performing poorly in schools, fails to attend classes, fails to do their assignments, fails to participate in academic activities and probably isolate themselves from other students. This is because of their commitment with their spouse which take most of their time.

In light of the above, the researcher seeks to investigate and find out the views of students on the phenomenon of dating and how it improves or affect the performances of students in Federal University Dutsin-ma.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Friendship is essential in any part of the world, because it is generally believed that no man is an island. Even attracting the biblical story of the origin of man, when Adam was created, God saw that it is not right for the man to be alone (Genesis 2:18).

The demand for a friend or partner especially someone of the opposite sex has grown tremendously over the years and it is even assuming different dimension and direction. Today in the world, friendship (especially with the opposite sex) connotes dating or romance (depending on the level of relationship). It means love or a romantic affair between two individuals, especially different sex composition. Dating traditionally and globally has been viewed as a requisite for marriage or at least a long lasting relationship (Sorensen, 2002).

Dating is now prevalent among both old and young. Dating or romance in the university campus is common. However, the problem here is not that whether dating is viewed as necessary or whether it is a prerequisite for marriage. But the problem is the effect of the dating on the students’ academic achievement. Different scholars today have argued that dating on campus causes a clash or conflict of interest in terms of loss of priority between one’s studies and the need to meeting the dating demands. That is they are of the view that dating negatively affects students’ academic performance. Some other effects of dating may include but not limited to over-stress among spouses, lack of time for academics activities, as well as health and psycho-social challenges. This view is shared by scholars such as Pianzhi, 2011; Quatman et al 2001;Crissey, 2006; Umar, Shaib, Aituisi, Yakubu and Bada 2010; Wensch, 2005; Rector and Jonson, 2005; Bailey and Miller 1998; Lugman, 2001.

However, other researchers have disagreed on this that dating tends to encourage good academic performance of students (especially when they study together, encourage themselves, sort each other out with assignments), some even went further to say that dating helps to create a sense of responsibility among students. Healthy communication prepares them for the future. Researchers on this other side of the spectrum include scholars such as Allen, 2010, Howard, 2004; Kopfler, 2001; Furman and Wehner, 2002.

However, some other studies have not even shown in a clear stand on the issue, that is to say the researcher(s) is inconsistent (Allen, 2010) and some others show that their results tend to nullify the hypothesis (Pham, 2002; Abanaka, 2007).

The foregoing has shown that dating in Federal University Dutsin-ma is conceived to be a social problem because of its negative consequences on students’ social life and academic performance. To some however, it is conceived to be a prerequisite for attainment of specific goals. This clearly indicates that there exists a misconception in the act of dating amongst students, giving rise to a growing gap existing in previous studies on the topic. This prompts the researcher to critically examine the perception of students on campus dating and its impacts on student’s academic performance.

1.3 Research Questions

The following questions are raised to serve as a guide in the course of carrying out this research work:

  1. What is the nature of romantic relationship in Federal University Dutsin-ma?
  2. What is the perception of campus dating in Federal University Dutsin-ma?
  3. What are the social factors that facilitate dating amongst students?
  4. What are the positive and negative impacts of campus dating on students’ academic performance?
  5. What suitable measures could be put in place to improve students’ academic performance?

1.4 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of the study is to assess the Perception and Impact of Campus Dating among Students of Federal University Dutsin-ma.

Other specific objectives are to:

  1. Examine the nature of romantic relationship in Federal University Dutsin-ma.
  2. Examine the perception of campus dating in Federal University Dutsin-ma.
  3. Identify the social factors that facilitate dating amongst students.
  4. Examine the positive and negative impact of campus dating on students’ academic performance.
  5. Proffer suitable measures on ways to improve students’ academic performance.

1.5 Justification of the Study

The significance of the study based on its findings will help in providing useful information that would be of help and reliance to students and how best to cope and improve their academic performance despite involvement in dating.

This study will serve as an additional source of knowledge and enlighten students on how campus dating positively and negatively affects their academic performance and also on how students could possibly avoid its negative implication and rather apply its positive impact on their academic performance.

This study will serve as an additional knowledge in the area which the topic to this study is concerned (Perception and Impact of Campus Dating on Students’ Academic Performance). It will also serve as a tool and reference for further studies. Finally, the recommendations will be useful to the university community, students, parents, government and the society at large.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The scope of the study is to find out the perception and impact campus dating on students’ academic performance among students of Federal University, Dutsin-ma. The study covers students from the six faculties in the institution which includes Faculty of Science, Agriculture, Education, Art, Social Science, and Management Science. More so, the study focused mainly on the concept of dating among student of Federal University Dutsin-ma, Katsina state and not romantic relationship. Thus dating will be conceptualised within the context of the study area.

1.7 Operational Definition of Terms

Key concepts and terms as used in this research work are hereby described as follows:

1. Dating:

An activity with someone you might have a romantic relationship with (a friendship dating). In other words; an appointment to meet at a specified time; especially a social engagement between two persons that often has a romantic date.

2. Romance:

To give special attention to someone in order to get something that you want from that person. Or to try to influence or curry favour with especially by lavishing personal attention, gift or flattery; in other words to carry on a love affair with someone.

3. Academic:

Of or relating to school and education or based on formal study especially at an institution of higher learning.

4. Perception:

The way you think about or understand someone or something.

5. Impact:

To have a strong and often bad effect on something or someone.

6. Relationship:

A romantic or sexual friendship between two people. Or the way in which two or more people or things are connected.

7. Love:

A feeling of strong or constant affection for a person. Or attraction that includes sexual desire. In other words, the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship.

Chapter Five

Summary, Recommendations and Conclusion

5.0 Introduction

This study was initiated to take into consideration, perception and impact of campus dating among students of Federal University Dutsin-ma, Katsina state, Nigeria. This chapter is divided into sevenparts: the summary part dealt with the general summary of chapters in this research work and the major findings; recommendations that must be put in place by the students and school as well as the government in order to improve students’ academic performance in federal University Dutsin-ma, Katsina State were identified. In the conclusion part of the study, conclusions were drawn from major findings of the study; at the tail end of this chapter are the contribution of the study to knowledge, suggestions for further studies and the limitations of the study.

5.1 Summary

The first chapter dealt with the background to the study, it also tries to present a coherent statement of problems of the study which is attributed to the fact that, dating has positive and negative effects on students’ academic performance. There is a misconception of the phenomenon of dating and its implications among students. Other aspect of the chapter includes research questions, objectives of the study, justification of the study, scope of the study, and operational definition of terms.

In the chapter two, literature and theoretical was reviewed. Areas covered by the literature includes history of dating, the benefit of campus dating, consequences of campus dating, social factors that facilitates dating among students, frequency/ consistency in dating and academic achievement, ways of guaranteeing better students’ academic performance despite their dating status.

In the chapter three of the study, the methodology was discussed. Subsection under this chapter include research design, population of the study, sample and sampling procedure, data collection instrument, validity of research instrument, method of data collection and method of data analysis in line with the research objectives. This research design was adopted because it helps to probe more into the issue of perception and impact of campus dating among students of Federal University Dutsin-ma and it helped the researcher to elucidate relevant information which is of interest to the researcher about the subject.

The fourth chapter of the research dealt with the presentation and analysis of data collected, which were based on respondents from the designed instrument of questionnaire and interview. Adequate attention was given to the four major objectives in this study.In Table 4.6, 62 (56.3%) sows that respondents believed that romantic relationship is an intimacy between two people who are emotionally and sexually attracted to each other. Table 4.12 reveals that 45 (40.9%) of the respondents suggests that campus dating is a social exchange where both spouse benefit from each other in one way or the other. Table 4.14 shows thatthe social factors that facilitates dating among students are Academic representing which is 43 (39%); Pear Pressure representing 35 (31.8%); Socio-economic Background representing 15 (13.6%); Poor Socialization representing 10 (9%); and prestige representing 7 (6.3%) respectively.

Table 4.16 revealed that the positive impacts of dating on students’ academics include Improved CGPA which constituted 40 (36.3%); Ease academic stress representing 25 (22.7%); Improves emotional health represented 20 (18%); Strengthens self-esteem/ confidence represented by 15 (13.6%); and improves writing and communication skills represented by 10 (9%). Table 4.19 revealed that majority of the respondents 45 (40.9%) opined that Dating violence is the negative impact of dating on academic performance; followed by Sexual implication which was represented by 39 (35.4%) and high level of disrespect represented by 6 (5.4%). Table 4.21 indicated some way through which student’s academics could be improved: 70 (63%) opined provision of scholarship for students by the University managements; 22 (20%) opined full concentration to studies by students; while 18 (16.3%) suggests abstinence from dating.

Chapter five dealt with the summary, recommendations, conclusion, contribution to knowledge, suggestions for further study and the limitations of the study. This chapter captured all that was done in this study including the findings in this study as well as the recommendations that would be put in place in order to improve students’ academic performance.

5.2 Recommendations

From this research study, it has been observed that dating may have its emotional and social benefits to the students in the university but it also has its negative impact on both the social and academic lives of students. The practice constitutes a serious social problem to University community and the society at large. These show the need for implementing the following suggestions through which the prevalence of dating can be ameliorated.

Students are therefore advised to pay full attention to their studies and avoid every form of relationship that may cause them emotional or psychological traumas. Students who are victims of such traumas should seek medical help as well as counsel from the school management on possible ways of managing such problems.

Parents should as a matter of responsibility, should monitor and pay regular visits to their children in the universities and provide them with basic materials that will make their stay comfortable.

Stake holders in education should develop a curriculum on relationship education for institutions of learning to enable students to understand the dangers associated with early relationship and prepare them on how to manage and maintain a good relationship.

The University management should provide scholarship to students on regular basis up to graduation to enable students concentrate on their studies instead of going round and negotiating for dating for economic reasons.

University authorities should aggressively enforce dress codes to reduce sexual attraction/urge, rape and temptations that are in some instances facilitated by provocative and sexy dresses. This responsibility should not be left to security personnel alone; it should involve all stakeholders in the University.

University staff should see themselves as guardians/ parents to the students and inculcate moral values into the students in addition to their primary responsibilities in the university. Students should be encouraged by the authorities to organize seminars, debates, conferences and other related activities to help them build their academic potentials and resist deviant activities.

5.3 Conclusion

Based on the findings, the following conclusion can be drawn that empirically, romantic relationship is any form of relationship in which two people are emotionally and sexually attracted to each other. Dating is a form of romantic relationship and it is not a new phenomenon in Federal University Dutsin-ma. Findings revealed that dating is a form of social exchange in which both spouse involved benefits from the other in one way or the other. Dating is normal and a culture practiced by most students of Federal University Dutsin-ma. Dating has positive and negative impact on students and their academics but most students deemed it fit to engage in the act. According to the findings, dating does not occur in isolation, there are some social factors that precipitates its occurrence. These are but not limited to the pursuit for academic excellence, peer pressure, socio-economic background, poor socialization (poor orientation) as well as thirst for high prestige (reputation or respect).

5.4 Contribution to Knowledge

A lot of research has been done on perception and impact of dating among students’ academic performance of college/University students but there is scarce information about perception and impact of dating among students of Federal University Dutsin-ma.

The study enabled the researcher to make recommendations to Federal University Dutsin-ma policy makers especially those in the Security unit, the Central Academic office and the Ministry of Education and Sports on what policies and strategies can be employed to improve academic performance in institutions of higher learning.

It will therefore provide an enormous amount of literature on the subject of dating and it’s impacts; it is thus carried out with the intention of filling that gap and adding to the amount of literature on the subject.

The study will also serve as a bench mark for the government policy makers to fashion out policies towards reducing the prevalence of problematic dating among students and how to stop it from degenerating into other anti-social behaviours.

5.5 Suggestions for Further Studies

This study has identified the necessity to investigate and analyse the nature of the sexual implications of dating and how it affects the individuals involved and the society at large especially the future generation.

Moreso, the study has identified the need to investigate the reason why dating with the prevalence of huge negative consequences on students is still seen as a normal thing and a culture among students of Federal University Dutsin-ma.

Finally, the study stresses the need to investigate why the rational choice theory emphasizes on the fact that human actions are calculative and rational on the basis of their needs and desire despite the fact that some of these acts do harm to the victims and the society at large.

5.6 Limitation of the Study

In the course of this research, certain limitations were encountered. However, in all scientific research, especially those in the social sciences where emphasis is laid on human behaviour, limitations are inevitable.

One of the basic limitations in this research is that, during the distribution of questionnaires, there was incompatibility of some of the non-complying respondent who felt insecured with any answer they gave. This was re-solved through tactful explanation that their responses would be held in strictest confidence.

More so, there was also the problem of retrieving the questionnaires where a hundred and twenty copies were distributed to respondents; but only one hundred and ten copies were successfully retrieved back. However, the researcher makes use of those one hundred and ten (110) copies in his analysis.

Furthermore, worthy of mention was the inability of the researcher to extend his interview to other faculties and departments in the institution under study due to time factor.

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