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This study, CAUSES OF HIGH RATE OF SEXUAL PROMISCUITY AMONG ADOLESCENTS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ETSAKO EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EDO STATE contains concise information that will serve as a framework or guide for your project work. The project study is well-researched for academic purposes and are usually provided in complete chapters with adequate References.

Keywords: sexual promiscuity, sexual promiscuity among secondary school




Background to the Study

Being a teenager gives a child a lot of responsibilities to handle whether boy or girl, for the child no longer depend solely on the father or mother for most decisions taking, including those that are related to sex. Nigerians like people in other countries, derive their code of sexual morality from their various homes, existing traditions and the dominant religion of their places of origin.

Adolescents can be said to be promiscuous when they have two or more sex partners at the same time, and have sexual intercourse with all of them. Rakesh (1992) has explained that what behaviour that is promiscuous, varies much among different cultures. In some cultural contexts, a woman who copulates with a man or men other than her husband is considered promiscuous, while in another culture a married or unmarried man’s extra and pre-marital sexual behaviour may not be considered promiscuous.

Sexual promiscuity is the act of indulging or having sexual intercourse with several casual acquaintances. According to Olarunwaju (2008), sexual promiscuity means having many sexual partners. Misi (2008) opines that sexual promiscuity is the use of one’s body for the purpose of remuneration or consideration of any form. It could also be addressed as prostitution. This is the type of service given by ladies who want money or who are desperate to attain some certain levels of prosperity (Osoba, 1995). Observations by researchers have shown that many female teenagers are in this practice (Ogene et al., 2007). Olugbile, Abu and Adelakun (2008) opined that sexual promiscuity is very rampant among teenagers. Uzokwe (2008) posited that with unbridled liberty and freedom the teenager began to push the limits of acceptable behaviour, taking advantage of freedom bestowed on them as “adults”.

At this point, one would ask, what is the actual cause of sexual promiscuity or prostitution among our teenagers? According to Uzokwe (2008), one of the causes is dereliction of parental responsibilities. Many years ago, families in Nigeria put a lot of premium on sexual promiscuity, honour and character. Parents took time to bequeath same to their wards during their formative years. There were injunctions and periodic denial of basic necessities for doing things that impinge the family name. Vices like promiscuity, stealing and the like when displayed by a member of the family are capable of soiling the family image. No family would want to be blacklisted or blackmailed so parents paid serious attention to the moral and social welfare of their children, at times taking corrective actions when bad behaviours were detected. Compare this day to the ages past, certain behaviours that would repulse people no longer do. The reverse seems to be the case. On the other hand, teachers these days no longer play the invaluable traditional roles they used to. They are no longer character builders because children have grown „wings and tails‟. These children, especially the female ones, feel they have the protection of their parents and or boyfriends. Consequently, young girls go through school exhibiting signs of unacceptable behaviour which metamorphose into bigger issues in future with no one to stop or correct them.

According to Douglas Anede (2008), things an individual did is known to his or her neighbours, hence the individual has strong motive for conformity to the society conventions, including correct sexual conduct.” He further stated that, as of today, fewer people lives in isolation and people are more educated and pre-occupied with the hustle and hustle of life to have time to check who is sleeping with who, thus, the birth of sexual promiscuity in the society.

Before the 60s, it was considered a taboo for an unmarried teenage girl to be seen alone in company of brothers or cousin. Then marriages were arranged by parents and a girl must remain a virgin before marriage. Any boy or man who has canal knowledge of a girl outside marriage would be forced to marry the girl and pay her bride price. Adeyinka (2005).

In the early 70s sexual promiscuity started to gain ground as a result of western education which weakened the hold which traditional sexual taboo used to have on people, and virginity before marriage was thrown to the wind. Ademola (2002). Douglas Besharov, a resident scholar at the American enterprise institute, sates that, more teenagers are becoming sexually active than in the past years and are more likely to use contraceptives than their earlier counterparts. He further reports that by 1988, 70% of teenage females have had sex at least once compared to 40% in 1970s.

From 1990 to date, the rate of sexual promiscuity among teenagers is on a steady increase and it has grown to an extent of alarming rate in the sense that even children between the ages of 10-12 are no longer left out.

A number of factors has been suggested to be responsible for sexual promiscuity in Nigeria. According to Ubana (2008), some of the factors include the following; mass media, peer group and family types and social economic status of parents.

Although a number of factors contribute to adolescents’ sexual promiscuity, the media have been accused of playing a central role in shaping sexual promiscuity (Ola, 2008). In a recent survey, 53% of teens said that they use TV and movies as a source of information about sex and birth control (Morrish, 2010). This source of sexual learning may be problematic, especially because television often depicts sex as glamorized with attractive characters engaging in such mature behaviour without precaution or consequence.

Two studies have looked at young viewers’ ability to learn sexual information from television. Results from one study show that 5th and 6th graders who viewed a sex education program scored significantly higher on a subsequent questionnaire about sexual facts than did those who did not (Greenberg et al., 2013).

This revealed that television is capable of teaching sexual information, at least when programs are designed specifically for that purpose. Because most TV programming that adolescents view is designed for enjoyment rather than education, a more recent study examined learning from entertainment shows (Greenberg, Linsangan, & Soderman, 1993).

Peterson, Moore, and Furstenberg (2007) examined the relationship between sexual promiscuity and television exposure in a two-wave panel study. Research revealed suggested that youngsters are learning information about sex from television and that exposure is affecting their attitudes and moral evaluations. The effect of viewing TV sex on behaviour is less clear. However, theories suggest that television may play a key role in shaping adolescents’ thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs about romantic relationships, intimacy, and even sexual behaviour (Enegide, 2012).

For instance, a cultivation approach may argue that viewing repeated messages regarding sex on television may be teaching viewers that sex is to be taken lightly, without much thought, precaution, or consequence. With heavy viewing, young viewers may cultivate unrealistic attitudes and beliefs about negative consequences of sex or the importance of practicing safe sex.

Peers are important influences during adolescence, and peers in particular, become increasingly important (Aseltine, 2005; Bowerman & Kinch, 2009). There is an abundant literature available demonstrating that there is a positive association between sexual promiscuity among adolescents and that of their peers, and this (Billy & Udry, 2005).

Steinberg and Silverberg (2006) found that as young people grow, they begin to surrender to the influences of their peers as they shed off their parental orientation and replace it with dependence on their peers. According to him, Friends may encourage their peers to engage in undesirable acts like fighting, alcohol drinking, and sexual promiscuity.

Chalder, Elgari, and Bennett (2005) pointed out that peer group influence is a key determinant in causing alcohol consumption that may result into getting into fights, engaging in sexual promiscuity, and missing school. Indeed, there is evidence that peer affiliations may be the mechanism through which social disadvantage and family conflict affect a number of undesirable life outcomes in later adolescence and early adulthood, such as criminal behaviour, sexual promiscuity, and early childbearing (Dishion, Ha, & Vérroneau, 2008).

Peers may strongly determine preference in the way of dressing, speaking, using illicit substances, sexual promiscuity, adopting and accepting violence, adopting criminal and anti-social behaviours and in many other areas of the adolescent’s life (Padilla, Walker & Bean, 2009; Tomé, Matos & Diniz, 2008).

Among the possible causes of promiscuity such as television viewing, pressure from peers, internet, news media that feature sexual films, and modern music, one that stands out prominently is parenting. Parenting is an important component of the family system and it could involve different types. Family type comprises family size, either small or large family, family structure, monogamous or polygamous and either intact or broken (Donatus and Bankole, 2013).

Owing to a constant breakdown of the family unit, there is a decrease in parent/adolescent communication and time sharing which results in lack of sex education within the home. Odebunmi and Adeyole (2006) were of the view that sexual activity of single adolescent girls today can be accounted for by rational adaptation and social disorganization of the family.

In a broken home, the two parents do not cooperate, only one of the parents takes care of the children. Adolescents in broken homes may be free, attending one party or the other. They are more likely to be exposed to joining bad gangs, to be addicted to drugs and other vices due to lack of proper upbringing. They are likely to receive inadequate affection and love, there may be no proper coordination or direction in the affairs of such family. Adolescents in broken homes are therefore likely to be promiscuous and are likely to have a less serious disposition against promiscuity (Donatus and Bankole, 2013). Chao (1994) stated that love as distributed by polygamous homes could be regarded as promiscuous. However, the Nigerian culture which permits polygamy may be regarded as endorsement of promiscuity.

Many parents have difficulty discussing sex with their adolescents and the more difficult it is when parents suspect adolescents of being sexually promiscuous. It seems that society is not much concerned about sexual promiscuity among adolescents. Society seems to be permissive about the sexual activities of adolescents including promiscuous behaviour. Society seems not to be bothered even about the promiscuous life of adolescents. Permissive attitude seems to pervade the society including the adolescent population. High rate of polygamy in the Nigerian society, separation and divorce may provide a fertile ground for promiscuity and permissive attitude to promiscuity. Adolescent from polygamous homes have more favourable attitude to sexual promiscuity than those from monogamous families. Male and females adolescents have similar attitude to sexual promiscuity (Donatus and Bankole, 2013).

Statement of Problem

There is a high rate of sexual abuse among adolescents in the society, secondary schools, tertiary and other institution of learning. These have resulted 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. The primary cause of these lamentable circumstances is simply because adults in a position to instruct the young are too often filled with shame and guilt about sex. They are themselves sexually ignorant or misinformed and painfully uncertain about what they truly believe to be acceptable sex behaviour. Compounding this ignorance and conflict is their reluctance to admit these shortcomings. A growing proportion of youth 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. Moronkola and Fakeye (2008), reveal that sizeable number of youth have been sent out or shamefully and voluntarily withdrawn from school due to teenage pregnancy. The researchers further stated that many female adolescents may be engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse with attended health consequences because they lack knowledge and information.

Parents, who ought to communicate values about sexual behaviour to their teaming population of adolescent, shy away due to several opinion and beliefs. It from this background that this study is investigated to find out the causes of high rate of sexual promiscuity among teenagers in Secondary Schools in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State as perceived by parents.

Research Questions

The following research questions were raised to guide this study:

  1. To what extent does the mass media contribute to sexual promiscuity among Secondary School students?
  2. How do types of family contribute to sexual promiscuity among Secondary School students?
  3. In what ways do peer group contribute to sexual promiscuity among Secondary School students?
  4. To what extent does the social economic status of parents contribute to sexual promiscuity among Secondary School students?

Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of this study is to find out the causes of sexual promiscuity among teenagers in Etsako East Local government area of Edo state while the specific purpose is to find out:

  1. How mass media contribute to sexual promiscuity
  2. How family types contribute to sexual promiscuity among secondary school students
  3. How peer group contribute to sexual promiscuity among secondary school students
  4. How social economic status of parents contribute to sexual promiscuity among secondary school students  

Significance of the Study

The study will be of a great benefit to parents, teachers, policy makers and school counsellors.

The study will provide parents with useful information about causes of sexual promiscuity in order to know how best to guild their children against such practice.

The study will also provide teachers with information about causes of sexual promiscuity and useful ways on how to handle the issue of sexual promiscuity.

The study will equally provide vital information to policy makers on how best to formulate policies relating to sexuality.

Finally, this study will provide school counsellors with useful information about the causes of high rate sexual promiscuity and on how best to provide guidance and counselling to both the students and their parents in order to provide ways of tackling the problems relating to sexual promiscuity.

Scope and Delimitation of the Study

This study will cover Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State. This study will look critically into the various causes of high rate of sexual promiscuity among teenagers in the area as perceived by parents.

Operational Definition of Terms

Causes: something or someone that produces an effect, result, or condition

Sexual Promiscuity: Is the practice of having casual sex frequently with different partners or being indiscriminate in the choice of sexual partners.

Adolescents: These are children between the ages of 11 to 19 that are in the secondary school.

Secondary schools: these are schools which provide secondary education to children between the ages of 11 and 16 or 11 and 18, after primary school and before higher education.

Local Government Area: This is an administrative division of a country that is, the third tier of governments.

Keywords:sexual promiscuity, sexual promiscuity among secondary school

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