The Sexual Knowledge, Sexual Interests And Sources Of Sexual Information Of Adolescents

Sex Education Project and Seminar Material

The Sexual Knowledge, Sexual Interests And Sources Of Sexual Information Of Adolescents

Chapter One


1.1. Background to the Study

Adolescent is an important period in a man’s life since it marks the onset of sexuality and the adoption of behaviour patterns that have implication for adulthood. For a boy, it means leaving world of his mother and of the women in the household and establishing a male identity.

This requires the gradual shifting of roles models toward his father and adapting to those provided by other boys or adults males around him. during adolescence, sexuality matures and enters a active phase that includes sexual exploration and the first sexual acts.

The degree of sexual freedom allowed the adolescents in any culture in a function of the beliefs and values predominant within the culture with regard to the purposes of sex and ultimately with regard to human life itself. Where those values change from time to time society attitude to sexuality among the young cannot be expected to be static.

Adult attitudes to adolescents sexuality are a continuum from the most liberal or permissive to the most restrictive and repressive. Examples of both extremes are extensively documented in cross. Cultural literature on the subject. One of the most liberal culture in this regard is found among the Lepcha of India. The Lecher reportedly believe that “girl will not mature without the benefit of sexual intercourse”. Hence, young girls are encouraged to start sexual activities quite early, so that by the time they are eleven or twelve years old, most of girls regularly engage in full sexual intercourse. Also, among the Akamba people of Kenya where sex is very much institutionalized, adults teach children to practice and appreciate sex early.

Akamba children “start indulging in sex at an early age, as early as six years old and by the time they are thirteen or fourteen years old, they are sexually active, mature and at age of sixteen years they are veterans” The other extreme is illustrated by the traditional practice reported of the Ashanti of Ghana. There “sexual intercourse with a girl who has not undergone the puberty is considered as harmful to community that the offence is punishable by death for both parties.

Among the Nigerians, a wide variety of culturally determined attitudes to adolescents sexuality can be identified and assigned to various parts on the permissive-restrictive continuum. In most societies discourse on sexual matters is highly restrictive and consigned to the private domain. The young ones are generally shielded from open discussions of sexual matters, high premium was on virginity and chastity which was enforced through a network of social control and myths.

In the past, adolescents were restrained by considerations of morality or religion, by fear of physical or biological consequences of early or indiscriminate sex indulgence, or by certainty of harsh social sanctions as parents whose daughters are known to have lost their virginity before marriage after have a sense of shame. In some societies still, young ones have to be subjected to certain initiation ceremonies before they are accepted as matured to know about sexual matters.

In general, Nigerian adult attitudes tend to favour the postponement of full sexual experience by adolescents for as long as possible. Not only was sexual experience before marriage frowned upon, sexual relation was largely viewed in terms of procreation and biological reproduction.

It was thus a far cry from the western culture, especially the current post-modernist tendency which makes sexuality a part of celebration of freedom and liberty e.g. Urban Area.

Today, in Nigeria as all over the world a new sexuality morality seem to have emerged arising from a combination of environment and economic factor such as the deepening economic crisis, hardship, exposure of western cultural influence through the media and the dissemination of literature as well as peer group influence, the traditional view of sexuality is undergoing rapid change.

Young people tend to regard sex as the private personal affair of the participants and no business of anyone else. To the adolescents subculture, the line between right and wrong with regard to sex has become rather vague. The pills penicillin and other contraceptive devices have largely removed the dread attached to the usual consequences of sexual indulgence. Thus we are increasing confronted with problem of teenage pregnancy with all the social and medical problem associated with it. The phenomenon of prostitution is on the increase in most Nigeria communities and no more unique problem of urban existence. In recent times, it has become common to hear of a prostitution ring that involves the export of this ‘trade’ across the shores of the land. A good example is the export of teenagers into the commercial sex industry in Europe, especially Italy.

In many societies, young men are left off the look, society does not hold them accountable for any sexual activity. While girls in many societies receive sexual information directly or indirectly from mothers, aunts who in still fears of unwanted pregnancy, dropping out of school and the fact that the boy who may be responsible for such pregnancy may end up not marrying them into the girls, the boys are left in the dark because their own reproductive health needs are ignored. These young men therefore needed accurate and relevant information about sexuality and reproductive health including full information about their own risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases and how to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.

In the western societies, claims of new sexual morality have become growingly aggressive. A recent survey of students attitude on the subject in the United States showed that a large percentage wanted greater sexual freedom and demanded that contraceptive be freely and regularly distributed by the College Medical Centres to female students in residence while such blantant evidence of the new sexyual morality, may not yet be characteristics of Nigerian schools and campuses, there can be no doubt that some western sex attitudes are now very much with us, thanks to the mass media and easy accessibility of sex oriented literature.

Culturally speaking therefore, the Nigerian schools adolescents is a vaccum with regard to culturally regulated sex development and it is this vaccum that various new attitude from alien cultures are doing their utmost to fill.

Puberty is believed to herald active functioning of sexual glands and it is accompanied by psychosocial demands arising from sexuality needs of the adolescents. Parents, teachers and peer-groups had been identified as resource persons in meeting up with the demands, crisis, problem and possible complications arising from sexual behaviour of adolescents.

With or without official sexual education, most normal adolescents learn about sex using factual knowledge or practical experience from the peers.

Most adolescents are in schools from puberty until their teens when they graduate to higher institution of learning or go into apprenticeship to learn some trade in Nigeria; with the controversy and non-implementation of sex education in schools in Nigeria, this study is conducted to assess the knowledge, interests and sources of sexual information of adolescents.

1.2. Statement of the Problem

The research work is ready to work on sexual knowledge, sexual interests and source of this sexual information of adolescent is in our rual and urban areas which have greater problems in our young ones. Such as unwanted pregnant, insecurity of lie and social security benefits drop out from schools etc.

Majority of the problems stated in the study has something of many things to do with this research work.

The degree at which each of the problems affect the later is what this study would like to evaluate.

Also the study would like to investigate how the study would like to investigate the sexual knowledge, source of sexual information affect the adolescents in our societies.

The major problem of sexual knowledge therefore must be identified and select what to preserve and what to do in our culture characterized by the influence of multitude factors.

1.3. Purpose of the Study

That adolescents sexuality is a worldwide problem is no longer a question. Most adolescent do engage in sexual activities. Such as kissing, romancing, petting and even sexual intercourse in and around the school and even at home. Many of them as a result get pregnant and would like to abort, some of them even drop out of school as a result.

Apart from the problem of pregnant and birth for young mothers and their effects on young women and her family, the quality of life of the child born min such circumstances cause mis-givings.

News from radio, television, news papers have indicated many cases of veneral disease among adolescents.

The drain on the resources for social; security benefits in perceived as a major problem for the society.

It is not enough to raise concern over the number of school age girl who become pregnant and the attending problem created by adolescents sexuality as these actually does not stop adolescents from engaging in sexual activities. Researches need to be carried out to assess:

  1. The depth of adolescents sexual knowledge
  2. Types and level of adolescents interest
  3. The sources of adolescents sexual information

This writer has thought it fit to look into the various sexual activities of adolescents and in this study attempts to answer the following questions

  1. Are there environmental differences in the sexual knowledge, sexual interests and sources of sexual information of adolescents?
  2. Are there class difference in the sexual knowledge sexual interest and sources of sexual information of adolescents
  3. Are thee religion difference in the sexual knowledge sexual interests and sources of sexual information of adolescents.

These questions will be answered through empirical study and it is hoped that a clear out look of adolescents sexuality via sexual knowledge, sexual interests and sources of information of sexual information will be provided.

1.4 Significance of the Study

It is hoped that the result of this study will be useful to counsellor, psychologists, teachers, social workers and parents. Its findings will also act as a sort of useful literature on the level of sexual knowledge of adolescents areas of sexual interests of adolescents and sources of adolescents sexual information.

It is assumed that the findings of this study will act as a basis of relevant and effective therapeutic measure in handling adolescents sexuality and its attending problems.

Finally, it is hoped that heuristic values will be generated for future researchers on adolescents sexuality.

1.5 Statement of Hypotheses

The following hypotheses will be tested at 0.05 level of significance

  1. There will be no significant difference between the sexual knowledge of adolescents from schools in rural and urban local government areas.
  2. There will be no significant difference between the sexual knowledge of adolescent who are Christians and those who are Muslims.
  3. There will be no significant difference between the sexual knowledge of male adolescents and female adolescents.
  4. There will be no significant difference between the sources of sexual information of adolescents from schools in rural and urban local government areas.
  5. There will be no significant difference between the sources of sexual information of adolescents who are Christians and those who are Muslims.
  6. There will be no significant difference between the sources of sexual information of male and female adolescents.
  7. There will be no significant difference between the sources of sexual interest of adolescents form schools in rural and urban local government areas.

1.6 Operational Definition of Terms


The state or process of growing up, the period of life from puberty to maturity.


A person in the state of adolescence


The sphere of interpersonal behaviour especially between male and female directly associated with genital union.


Anything relating to or associated with sex

Sexual Activity:

Exercise (s) relating to e.g. kissing, petting, romance, masturbation, coitus

Sexual Information:

Any information that has to do with sex or sexual activity it may be inform of teaching, instruction.

Sexual Knowledge:

Any sexual; understanding or familiarity gained by experience, instruction study or research.

Sexual Interest:

Any sexual activity that engages or attracts one’s attention.


Expression of sex instruct (s)

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