PROJECT TOPIC : A SURVEY OF THE SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN OVIA NORTH-EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EDO STATE
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Keywords: secondary school students, prevalence of sexual behaviour
Background to the Study
Human sexual behaviour refers to any activity (solitary, between two persons, or in a group), that induces sexual arousal. It may be the inherited sexual response patterns or other types of influence exerted on the individual by society in the expression of his sexuality (Gebhard, 2014). Anochie and Ikpeme (2010) defined sexual behaviour as the outcome of normal physiological changes occurring in adolescents. Wikipedia (2016) defined sexual behaviour as the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality. People engage in a variety of sexual acts, ranging from activities done alone (e.g., masturbation) to acts with another person (e.g., sexual intercourse, non-penetrative sex, oral sex, etc.) in varying patterns of frequency, for a wide variety of reasons. Pam (2016) defined sexual behaviour as actions that lead to reproduction and stimulation of sexual organs for satisfaction without conception. Nwoke and Okafor (2012) quoting Wikipedia (2005) opined that sexual behaviour is a form of physical intimacy that may be directed to reproduction (one possible goal of sexual intercourse), spiritual transcendence, and/or the enjoyment of any activity involving sexual gratification. There are two major determinants of human sexual behaviour: the inherited sexual response patterns that have evolved as a means of ensuring reproduction and that are a part of each individual’s genetic inheritance, and the degree of restraint or other types of influence exerted on the individual by society in the expression of his sexuality (Gebhard, 2014).
Sexual behaviour among secondary school students is highly relevant to different public health problems (Crossette, 2005; Marston and King, 2006). For example, youth unprotected sexual intercourse contributes to unwanted pregnancies, abortions, pregnancy-related complications, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV/AIDS (Tang, et al., 2011).
Sharma (2013) conducted a study on the prevalence of sexual behaviour among adolescents in Phalga Local Government Area of Rivers State and reported that adolescents practice a wide variety of sexual behaviours. The commonest of them is masturbation. Mutual masturbation among same sex adolescents is also common. Other forms of sexual behaviour include necking and petting, which are physical contacts in an attempt to produce erotic arousals without sexual intercourse. Sometimes petting and necking can also lead to orgasm. Sharma (2013) further noted that among the sexually active adolescents one may observe that many have single partners; others have multiple partners at a time.
Adolescents’ sexual behaviour were clearly not and never had been without risks. There are inherent dangers of unplanned pregnancy, dropping out of school, unsafe abortion and sexually transmitted infections/HIV/AIDS which are the major implications of sexual risk behaviours considering the grave consequences (Watneys, 1987 in Nwoke and Okafor, 2012).
Until recently, secondary school students in Ovia North East were seen as a healthy segment of the population. But biology and society bring on additional health challenges to them; those resulting from unprotected sex, violence and substance abuse. Ahonsi (2013) posited that adolescents in Ovia North East have high burden of reproductive health problems. This assertion supported earlier surveys conducted on sexual behaviours of Nigerian Adolescents (National Demographic Health Survey, 2008; National HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Health Survey 2007; Integrated Biological and Behavioural Surveillance Survey, 2010) which show that Nigerian adolescent (15‐19) almost half of the females (46.2%) and about a quarter of males (22.1%) have engaged in sexual intercourse. This figure varies from state to state. For some states like Edo State, it can be as early as 7 years (Diala, Olujimi, Harri & Feyisetan, 2011).
The figures above is a course for concern. The prevalence of sexual behaviour among adolescents at various levels of education in Nigeria cannot be over-emphasised. The prevalence of sexual behaviour has grown to a level that creates fear and tension in the heart of anyone who has concern for the future of the local government area. The society is grappling with many sexual behavioural problems of the students, which according to Ekundayo & Oyeniyi (2008) and Adebule (2012) include sex abuse, sex offences, sexual misconduct, immorality and promiscuity
Worrisome still is data from the Federal Ministry of Education (2009) which found that 21% of secondary school children surveyed indicated they have been involved in sexual intercourse yet only 40.6% who had two or more sexual partners in the past 12 months reported using a condom during their last sexual intercourse (National Demographic health Survey, 2008). It is against this backdrop that this study undertake a survey of sexual behaviour among secondary school students in Ovia North-East Local Government Area of Edo State.
Statement of the Problem
Risky or abnormal sexual behaviour among secondary school students is a great concern. This is because these behaviours could result into unwanted pregnancies, teenage parenthood, illegitimate children, feeling of shame and emotional instability. In some cases, abortion is attempted or committed and this sometimes led to premature death of both mother and child. These behaviours are prevalent among the senior secondary school students, especially those preparing for WAEC/NECO.
A growing proportion of these students not only initiates sexual intercourse at early ages, but also engages in multiple sexual partners for lack of information and education, hence a high incidence of illegally induced abortions. Sizeable number of these students have been sent out or shamefully and voluntarily withdrawn from school due to teenage pregnancy. Many of the female students may be engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse with attended health consequences because they lack knowledge and information. This research therefore will attempt a survey of sexual behaviour among secondary school students in Ovia North-East Local Government Area of Edo State.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to undertake a survey of sexual behaviour among secondary school students in Ovia North-East Local Government Area of Edo State. Specifically, the study will find out the sexual behaviours among secondary school students along the following dimensions:
- Male and female students
- Urban and rural students
- Junior and senior secondary school students
- Those from low and high socio-economic background
The following research questions has been raised to guide the study:
- What is the prevalence of sexual behaviour among male and female students?
- What is the prevalence of sexual behaviour among urban and rural students?
- What is the prevalence of sexual behaviour among junior and senior secondary school students?
- What is the prevalence of sexual behaviour among students with low and high socio-economic background?
The following hypotheses were formulated for the study:
- There is no significant difference between the prevalence of sexual behaviour among male and female students
- There is no significant difference between the prevalence of sexual behaviour among urban and rural students
- There is no significant difference between the prevalence of sexual behaviour among junior and senior secondary school students
- There is no significant difference between the prevalence of sexual behaviour among students with low and high socio-economic background
Significance of the Study
This study will be of great benefit to the students, parents, school administrators, the society and guidance counsellors.
The study will be of great of benefit to the students since they will be exposed to behaviours that are considered unacceptable and how to live their life and be productive especially in their academics.
The study will also benefit the parents in that they will be encouraged to always be there for their children and to provide the necessary guidance during the adolescent stage of development so that they will not fall prey to overbearing peers.
School administrators will equally benefit from the findings of this study since, the study will expose them to the wake-up call of the menace in the school system and how to address the situation and bring normalcy into the education system.
Furthermore, the society will benefit from the study since, a sanitized education system will translate into a morally healthy society.
Lastly, guidance counsellors will benefit from the study in that they will understand the urgency in dealing with the matter of sexual recklessness among secondary school students and how they can help in providing meaningful guidance and counselling to the students.
Scope/Delimitation of the Study
This study will focus on the survey of sexual behaviour among secondary school students. The study will be limited to Ovia North-East Local Government Area of Edo State.
Operational Definition of Terms
Survey: This means to ask a question or a series of questions in order to gather information about what most people do or think about something
Sexual Behaviour: This is a person’s sexual practices
Secondary School: This is a school which provides secondary education, between the ages of 11 and 16 or 11 and 19, after primary school and before higher education
Students: These are learners, or people who attend an educational institution.
Local Government Area: This is an administrative division of a country that a local government is responsible for.