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Keywords:SEX EDUCATION: ISSUES AND CHALLENGES
The study is aimed at analyzing sex education issues and challenges in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria. The sample used consist of two hundred (200) respondents from six schools in Obio/Akpor. A questionnaire titled “Sex education: Issues and challenges” was developed by the researcher for the collection of data. The data collected were analyzed by the use of simple percentage. The study showed that students actually want sex education in the secondary school curriculum and it was recommended that sex education should not only be limited to schools but also taught at home.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Sex education is one of the major determinants of future stability in families of the nation. Unfortunately, in Nigeria today while time and money are being spent on curriculum work and school environment, surprisingly, little time and attention are paid to the crucial issues of sex education.
Sex education is a comprehensive and systematic development program extending from infancy to maturity. It is planned and directed to produce social and moral desirable sexual attitudes practices and personal behaviour.
Sex problems have a very devastating effect on the individual in our society. Some people have wrong ideas about sex education. This is not surprising, considering the fact that many old people have their respective viewpoint about life.
With the greater freedom of discussion of sex in our society and the earlier maturity of children today, one would not consider the introduction of ex education to our teenagers too early. The introduction of proper sex education to our youths will reduce many of the societal problems now facing us.
The bringing together of boys and girls into the same schools creates problems of physical contact and emotional involvement which eventually culminate in arousing Sex.
A majority of Nigerian parents and teachers believe that the sex education of their children is the parent’s responsibility while some others would welcome its introduction into the school curriculum. This lead to the question, ‘what are the students views towards it introduction into school curriculum?
Simply put, sex education is that dealing with the processes and problems of reproductions designed to provide the individual with understanding and control of their sex impulses and behaviour. It also deals with the principles of both individual and groups problems stemming from the biological fact that there are two basic types of human beings – males and females.
Sex education has been given various definitions by various schools of thought. AHI (2003) described 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 Sex.” That is, learning about the anatomy, physiology and bio-chemistry of the sexual response system which determines identity, orientations, thoughts and feelings as influenced by values beliefs, ethics and moral concerns. It is the interactive relationship of these dimensions that describes an individual’s total Sex (SIECUS, 1995). Also, sex education teaches us that, religious principles, beliefs, rules and regulations and ethical considerations affect our everyday interactions just as our culture, role models in our families and our friends impact us as well. Sex education is simply the art of learning how to conform to a certain art of living by being able to reason, examine and monitor oneself in clearly defined terms.
Due to the broadness of sex education, this research will focus on the issues and challenges of sex education with a direct focuson secondary schools in Obio/Akpor Local Government. This is because of the influx of people from different ethnic group into the locality. Obio/Akpor has not only increased in population but also in size. The need to actualize these sexual feelings became evidence when the students are among themselves. But the forceful preventives warning of the parents only serve temporary chock on sexual tendencies amongst these youth. With these children sent to secondary schools and no thorough knowledge of sex life, a lot of problems easily come into play as the student’s jumps into their game of uncontrolled emotion. As a place for the dissemination of knowledge, secondary schools become the local point fort the introduction of sex education, since present generation involve themselves in promiscuity and corruption, there is the need for them to be taught what sexual relationship is. With this, a lot of changes will occur in the life of the students, parents and the community at large.
According to Calderome (1972) the World War II marked the liberalization of many attitudes about sex as well as the beginning of changes in behaviour leading individuals all over the world to advocate for ‘telling the truth’ to children. The child study association of America in the 1920s led the way toward an open approach to all topics including sex education. Though more emphasis was placed on reproductive education, since then, the concept has enlarged considering today sex education encompasses a wide range of biological, sociological and psychological knowledge. Today there is the awareness of the need for sex education in schools, churches and other institutions of the growing concern over teenage pregnancies, abortions, venereal disease, increased promiscuity, widespread martial and sexual difficulties.
Sources of initiatives are the sex information and education council of the United State (SIECUS), which was founded in 1963, professional groups and all levels, while Calder-Wood D. D. and Sloan (1982) added the Japanese Association for sex education.
More so, the knowledge of sex education will reduce the rate of casualty, which would have resulted from illegal procurement of abortion by quack doctors or nurses. Presently sex education programmes have been integrated into several secondary school education programmes.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
Ignorance of sex and its associated problems is prevalent in and among secondary school students. The life of students are shattered with the passing of incorrect information among themselves, they get misled by others.
Today, the problems resulting from the lack of sex education to our youth are numerous. They are unwanted pregnancies, increase abortion, high incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and high rates of sexual promiscuity. All these have led to inability to concentrate, poor school performance, deterioration of mental health of students, high rate of school drop outs, increase in illiteracy and over population. Consequently, the educational opportunity of Nigeria youth is greatly affected and this posses a great loss to the society. Religious bodies view sex education as premature, dangerous and likely to lead to sexual promiscuity. To behavioural scientists, the introduction of sex education is proper. However, despite the increasing sexual problems, parents and schools are still not providing teenagers with proper knowledge of sex.
Young people regard sex as fun rather than what it really is. They see it as a personal and private affair of the participants, which it is not. They take to themselves as a teacher (which is not good enough) and have been guided by mythologies and misconceptions about sex.
Many administrations have been greatly worried about the appropriate level of which sex education can be introduced, who should teach sex education, what to teach and what not to. It should however, be realized that sex education if properly given does not arouse morbid curiosity but does exactly the opposite to young people. Whereas, the misinformation, secret, misinterpretation and fables about sex functions leads to dangerous consequences. Therefore, information about sex education gives an insight to people understanding of sex functions.
It was Liewely-Jones Derek (1978) who noted that adults complain about the irresponsibility of teenagers about their lack of respect, about their morals and promiscuity, yet it is difficult to ask teenagers to develop responsibility when adults seen to be rejecting it and when society seems to be fragmenting it is particularly difficult to ask young people to maintain sexual responsibility. He needs to be alert to talk to someone close to him and not have to talk to her parents as strangers. It parents are unable to answer her questions regarding social, moral and sexual attitudes, then they have failed as parents and should not blame their children for failing. As children grow older, their interest in sex increases.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is therefore to sample the issues and challenges of sex education with a focus on selected secondary schools in Obio/Akpor LGA. This study is also programmed to find out how sexual problem deeply influence students in order to portray the need for schools. It would also educate the students to know what sexual relationship is and the implication of sex promiscuity.
And to make a case for the need to teach sex education in secondary schools beginning from junior secondary III. It also seeks to find out the various ways in which sex education can be taught, who to teach it and the goals to be achieved from teaching sex education.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The outcome of this research programme will enable the readers not only to identity the need for introducing the course sex education into secondary school curriculum, but will also assist in the enumeration of the issues and challenges occurring due to the non-introduction of sex education into secondary schools and possible solution to the elimination of such associated issues. It will also help the readers to understand that the babies got from unwanted pregnancy by school girls may be fatherless, thus they will always create problems to their parents and also the society in general.
It is hoped that through the findings, the various misconceptions on the issue of sex education will be corrected. There can be nothing more damaging to effective sex reduction than shame, embarrassment and untruthfulness on timidity about sex. It is also hoped that a solution to the problems affecting sex education will be achieved so that meaningful sex education will be taught to our youths.
Solving the issue of sex education will go far in improving on the health of every individual, school performance, population growth and therefore lighten the standard of living.
With the knowledge and not ignorance of sex education, youth will be in a better position to understand the challenges of growing up and the values of sex as well as its pit falls.
- The teaching of sex education should be limited to female teachers.
- The teaching of sex education in secondary schools will reduce the rate of dropout that is caused by indiscriminate sexual activities.
- The knowledge of sex education can reduce the rate of deaths that occur during the procurement of abortion of unwanted pregnancies.
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- Do parents feel that sex education will save them from certain embarrassing situations?
- Do parents feel that sex education should be taught at home?
- Do parents want sex education introduced into the secondary school curriculum?
- Can the problems of infertility among women in the society be reduced with the knowledge of sex education
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
Sex education is a very broad topic, it is necessary for everybody not just students or adolescent, but this study is limited to the issues and challenges of sex education and the need for sex education to be taught not only in schools, but also at home.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERM
Sex: A fundamental driving force in relationship between the biological need to produce, culture influence love and affection of human life.
Sexual relationship: Sexual intercourse by both sexes. It also has something to do with having canal knowledge of each other.
Promiscuity: Indiscriminate sexual relationship that occurs outside marriage life.
Education: This is the act of acquiring knowledge that intend to produce a positive result. It is also a process of changing the behaviour of a person.
Sex education: Composes of the knowledge of the male and the female anatomy on parts of the body, the basic process of human reproduction and developments, sexual intercourse, consequences and responsibilities, contraception or pregnancy prevention and where or how to get counselling
Curriculum: This can be descried as the list of projects to be studied in any course of study. It can also be defined as a planned course of instruction.
Teenagers: This is the stage of development in human being between 10 – 18 years.
Keywords: SEX EDUCATION: ISSUES AND CHALLENGES
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