Personal Characteristics Of Secondary School Students Towards Pre-Marital Sex, Implication For Counselling

Sex Education Project and Seminar Material

Personal Characteristics Of Secondary School Students Towards Pre-Marital Sex, Implication For Counselling


The study was designed to investigate personal characteristic of secondary school students towards pre-marital sex in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. It was undertaken under the background of the increasing involvement of adolescents in pre-marital sex. Four variables were isolated for investigation. These were gender, age, self-concept and religiosity. Four research questions and hypotheses were formulated. The four hypotheses were tested at 0.05 alpha levels using the independent t-test statistics.

Data was gathered using personal characteristics and attitude of students towards premarital sex questionnaire (PCSTPQ) constructed by the researcher. The sample size used was 200 Senior Secondary II students drawn from five selected secondary schools. The result of the data showed that the four variable influences students vulnerability towards premarital sex. Finally, it was recommended that parents, teachers, governments, counsellors, religious bodies, NGOs and other bodies should work towards intervening and helping adolescents stay off premarital sex.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Students in secondary schools are often in their adolescence stage of development. Adolescence is a stage human beings face once throughout a lifetime. This stage serves as a threshold for biological, physical, psychological and social development which is accompanied by either positive or negative behaviours depending on the environment that the child is brought up. At this stage, risky sexual behaviours including early sexual debut, unprotected sexual intercourse and multiple sexual partners are often linked to the adolescent. (World Health Organization, 2015).

Sexual intercourse before marriage often termed premarital sex is gradually becoming a norm than exception in most of the contemporary society and culture most people consider premarital sex as acceptable and harmless (RENA, 2016). Sexual activities among adolescents have been reported to be increasing on a daily basis (Fidaku, 2000). Emerging evidence from rural and urban areas shows that premarital sex is no longer a taboo in some areas and as such many adolescents now engage in pre-marital sexual activity (Collin, 2001). Mostly, adolescence stage is a time when sex is greatly experimented. In the course of experimentation, they are exposed to high risk situations such as contracting sexually transmitted disease, HIV\AIDS, Unintended pregnancy, early marriage and abortions (Fidaku,2000)

Secondary school students are often faced with strong social, peer and cultural pressure to engage in pre-marital sex. As a result of this, significant numbers of adolescents are involved in sexual activities at an early age and by extension put themselves at high risk for intentional and unintentional injuries and risky behaviours (Taffa, 2002). Pre-marital sex is any sexual activity with an opposite sex partners or a same sex when the individual has started marital relationship. This is characterized by being unanticipated, unpredictable and inconsistent with values and by extension becoming a common feature in adolescents. Pre-marital sex is fast becoming a major life threatening and health problem among students as it makes them vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases (Zerai, 2005)

Collin (2001) in his view on the high rate of pre-marital sexual activities among adolescents’ pointed that sex seems to dominate the thoughts and actions of modern human beings. It is the central issue of concern among students at all levels of education. It is a dominant theme in movies, art, politics and the church. Zeng (2001) asserted that mass media, rapid modernization, economic expansion and exposure to new ideas act to influence young people view on pre-marital sex. As a result of this, they no longer see pre-marital sex as a taboo. Researchers are of the view that the desire to engage in premarital sex by some adolescents is influenced by some factors such as age, self-concept, gender, and religious affiliation, parental influence on sexuality, culture, hereditary, environment and personal characteristics of an individual (Werner and Wilson 2001).

Students in secondary school ranges from 10 or 11 years to 18years of age. Students here come from different backgrounds and it is assumed that adolescents in this environment model themselves after the older ones. This care is diverse in nature, the most important of which is imparting of knowledge to the adolescents brought to this environment (Olu, 2002). As one transit into adulthood, a change in perceptions and behaviours occur: as ones personality becomes well pronounced.

The individual sheds the emotion laden views of adolescence as he/she climbs the developmental ladder, except if fixation occurs at some point (Dive Weiler and Zanna, 2003). This goes to justify that one may not be able to rate the students to be different from the adult where it concerns sexual expression. They are all subjected to the social spirit of the environment. In this way, males and females differ in their physiological make up. These differences are perceived to have affected the ways in which each of the sexes acts and reacts in certain or given circumstances. The era of no sex until marriage seems to be disappearing (Williams and Solomon, 2002).

The maxim then seems to be before marriage where boys and girls would be virgins. If the boys saved themselves, it would be better but it was understood that many boys would not achieve that goal. These societal expectations appear to have been at the roof of the involvement in pre-marital sexual activities or spree. However, it is observed that girls of these days appear to be different from their counterparts in the previous generation. The pre-twentieth century women did not have the luxury of modern techniques of birth control, refined means of abortion, mass media influence and an emboldened womanhood courtesy of the liberation struggles of some women, which are now at the disposal of today’s women and they are capitalizing on it (Sorense, 2003).

The importance of self concept in explaining the sexual behaviour of a man has been confirmed by Muhammad (2007) when he noted that, an individual’s concept of self provides grounds by which one can understand and predict a measure of behaviour, describing the concept. Olown (2000) perceived self concept as the system of perception which the organism formulates of the self in awareness of its unique being.

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