ASSESSING CONSEQUENCES OF PREMARITAL SEXUAL ACTIVITIES AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
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The study is focused on the consequences of premarital sexual activities among secondary school students in Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State.
A total of 200 respondents were randomly selected from Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State.
The instrument used was a questionnaire titled.
Consequences of Premarital Sexual Activities Questionnaire (CPSAQ) which was developed by the researcher.
It consists of two sections: (A and B).
section A consisted of items that gave the personal data of respondents, while B contained items on the consequences of premarital sexual activities.
The results of the study indicated that the consequences of premarital sexual activities mostly includes dropout as a result of teenage pregnancy, unsafe abortion single parenting, early marriage, increase in the rate of contraceptive drug and abandoning of one’s responsibility was considered the least.
Based on the findings of this study, it was recommended that counsellors should be involved in enlightenment programme to sensitize Nigerian adolescents towards sexual behaviours strict discipline in the home should be encouraged. Sex education should be included into the guidance and counselling.
Background to the Study
The rate of sexual irresponsibility especially among youth seem to be on the increase. Adeoye (2006) asserted that modern day Nigerian have made sex one of the most discussed subject, however, our forefathers pretended as if sex does no exist by placing some taboos on it.
Where as, modern Nigerians pretend that nothing else exists other than sex.
Increasing rate in teenage and youth sexual activities can be sustained by numerous reports of unwanted pregnancies, illegal abortion and dumping of unwanted babies.
The present time can be described as a period of “sex explosion” in which youths are enjoying unprecedented ‘sex boom” and ‘sex escapades (Achiwizies 1990) further emphasized that sex is commonly practiced and no more a big deal.
This is why it happens anywhere be it in the office, under a tree, inside the car or even in the classroom.
It could emphatically be said that youth of nowadays engage in premarital sexual activities with limited knowledge of what is involved and its consequences.
In pursuit of education, students leave their homes for school and are no longer under the strict supervision of their parents.
Most of them get exposed to modern lifestyle more than ever and due to peer group influence, they engage in premarital sexual affairs which they regard as due marks of civilization.
Since every child in secondary school is believed to be teenager and classified as adolescent, therefore interest and conception had been that adolescence is a period of intense.
Importance of purity before marriage is fast dying out in Nigeria. Adolescents were viewed across cultural and social boundaries and the outcome is likely to exhibit similar behaviour. Gwander (2001) rightly pointed out that the meaning of sex to various people depends upon the social context in which it develops.
Adolescents are changing in their attitude towards sexual behaviour especially attitudes of adolescents today and those adolescents of twenty or thirty years ago, there will be a significant distinction.
Adolescents of today seem to value sexual activities more than their counterparts of yester years.
Adolescents on the other hand see sex as a way of behaving like adults and exercising themselves to explore and understanding their own bodies.
Hyzer (2001) holds that adolescents of age 17 to 18 years are termed to have reached reproductive maturity.
This is about the time the adolescent become intellectually mature and set their future goals. But situation is changing gradually with our adolescents. Nowadays sexual maturity and unset of sexual interest precede the intellectual maturity.
One also has the feelings that since the advent of various contraceptives, there has been an increasing pressure on youths especially females to be involved in casual sex.
One of the factors that enhance “sexual revolution” is social change and modernization which is associated with educational opportunities, increase in the percentage of sexual activities among females especially unmarried adolescents, delay age at marriage and relaxation of traditional family’s emphasis on virginity.
The consequences of the gender sexual behaviour include: premature pregnancy, abortion, venereal diseases, early marriage, HIV/AIDs infection and premature death.
Some adolescents found adult sanction against their sexuality difficult because they see their behaviour as fashion and act of socialization.
Providing authentic sex information through counselling and sex education is an aspect that ought to engage society’s attention.
Statement of the Problem
In Nigeria, a number of studies Adegboye, J.O. (2008), Anafi, J.K. (1993) Bakare, E.G. (2006) to mention but a few have shown that sexual activities among students or young ones particularly the unmarried is not something to be taken with levity but handled with urgent attention.
Many Nigerian teenage girls about 60% according to Kapan (1999) are victims of premarital sexual activity, unmarried pregnancy and babies.
They get scared and try all sorts of possible means of getting rid of unwanted and unclaimed pregnancy the result is usually very fatal. It was found by Bakare (2006) that most of our teenagers and youth lack the proper parental upbringing right at home which is supposed to serve as first contact of moral reformation in our society.
Above 60% of Nigerian parents do not take good and proper care of their children which exposes the adolescent to moral degeneration.
They fail to give what is required of them as parents to their children at home. Some female children are subjected to premarital sex in the hands of human traffickers who perpetrate their obnoxious business with the knowledge of the parents.
The young females are lured into premarital sexual activities through prostitution because they are not under the supervision of their parents.
About 30% of these female teenagers are raped which often lead to unwanted pregnancy or other consequences such as AIDS, STD among others. Bakare (2006).
Its medical and psychological implication in the life of the adolescent girl such as early pregnancy, Rector Vaginal Fistula (RVF), Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) is often associated with labour.
These problems led to the investigation into the factors influencing premarital sexual activities of secondary school students in Ilorin West Local Government Area.
To the best of the researcher’s knowledge, none of the other researchers have considered this topic: consequences of premarital sexual activities among secondary school students in Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State.
The following questions are asked to guide the conduct of the study.
1. What are the consequences of premarital sexual activities among secondary school students in Ilorin West Local Government?
2. Will there by any significant difference in the consequence of premarital sexual activities as expressed by respondents on the basis of gender?
3. Will there by any significant difference in the consequence of premarital sexual activities as expressed by respondents on the basis of age.
4. Will there by any significant difference in the consequence of premarital sexual activities as expressed by respondents on the basis of school type.
5. Will there by any significant difference in the consequence of premarital sexual activities as expressed by respondents on the basis of religion.
The following research hypotheses are formulated to guide the study.
1. There is no significant difference in the consequences of premarital sexual activities among secondary school students on the basis of gender.
2. There is no significant difference in the consequences of premarital sexual activities among secondary school students on the basis of age.
3. There is no significant difference in the consequences of premarital sexual activities among secondary school students on the basis of school type.
4. There is no significant difference in the consequences of premarital sexual activities among secondary school students on the basis of religion.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to investigate the factors influencing premarital sexual activities among secondary school students. Also it will investigate the variables of age, gender, religion and school type.
The study would as well conclude its investigation by suggesting some probable solutions to premarital sexual activities among students especially in Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State.
Significance of the Study
The present study is very significant because the findings would be of great opportunity for the government to plan a comfortable and favourable environment for female children in various schools.
Another significance of this study is that it would serve as challenge to parents to pay great attention on their children by keeping watch on the type of friends their children keep when they go out and return home every day and check them whenever any act of misbehaviour is noticed in the children’s way of life.
More so, these study would educate the parents, teachers and school authorities on the need and importance of showing love, affection, interest and acceptance to the children and students both at home and at school.
It would also serve as a source of enlightenment for teenagers, especially why they need to abstain from premarital sexual activities.