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SEXUALITY AND CONTRACEPTIVE USE AMONG ADOLESCENTS
Sexuality and contraception among students continue to be a public health problem of immediate concern in developed and underdeveloped countries. While the knowledge of HIV/AIDS as an inevitable disease is high among Nigerians in general, HIV/AIDS transmission in reduction measures are inconsistently taken by sexually active individuals. The youths and adolescents are those that have high risk of being affected with STDS, if contraceptives are not used correctly or avoided, because the youths are vulnerable to indiscriminate sexual intercourse, with multiple sex partners.
Heterosexual transmission accounts for as high as 90% of HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan African where about 14 million people were estimated to be infected with HIV. The federal ministry of Health and Human Services (FMH & HS 1992) in Nigeria suggested that about one million HIV infected people exist. This prevalence is increasing due to high risk of sexual behaviours. These STDS diseases are mostly common among individuals younger than 25 years world wide. Several educators have shown that young people lack knowledge about prevention and the use of contraception and often have little or no idea about reproduction. Pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease among students is very rampant among undergraduate. Most of these pregnancies are unplanned and unwanted. They are often terminated illegally by quark doctors in the dark. About 600,000 clandestine abortions took place in Nigeria in the 1980s some of which had disastrous consequences for the abortion seekers (African Journal of Reproductive Health, 2002). In most parts of Nigeria, sexual abstinence before marriage is expected from unmarried youths. However, studies show that premarital activity is high among adolescents. Parents, government and NGOS have expressed serious concerns about adolescents’. Sexual activity based on the board information that adolescent who engaged in sexual activity whether orally or otherwise often fail to use contraceptives thus, exposing themselves to the risk of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections and diseases.
The lower age limit for admission into most Nigeria higher institutions is 16-18 years. This means that majority of undergraduates are in their late teens and early twenties. Most of them live away from home, in school hostels and rented apartments close to their institutions. These arrangements weakens parental control and supervision of student’s activities. They are often exposed to influences from friends, which encourage casual sexual relationship and have to take personal important decisions about their social and reproductive lives. Unfortunately the use of contraceptives among Nigeria students is very low due to the fear of side effects and negative cultural attitudes of parents/guardians to contraceptive use.
Other factors responsible for sexuality among undergraduate are that sex education is not part of secondary school curriculum in Nigeria and there are not obvious policies in most Nigeria higher institutions on the provision of reproductive health services, including contraceptive to the students.
This study is carried out to determine the sexuality and contraceptive practices among students as related to their awareness of HIV infection.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
Changes in the social environment coupled with exposure to western media, appear to have had profound influence on students sexuality in African. In a country like Nigeria whose students are judge to be among the most sexually active world wide, the issue of sexuality and contraception can not be over elaborated. Blane and Laky (1998) opined that youths who are sexually active often fail to use contraceptive. In a study of adolescents in Edo State by Peterson and Fakeye (1978), it was found that 13.4% of male had made a partner pregnant and 69% of these pregnancies had been aborted. Gueye et al (2001) observed that previously in many African societies, sexual taboos, rites and cleansing procedures were transmitted in conjunction with formal rituals, such as circumcision or initiation. Nowadays, the influence of such traditional structure has weakened, thus, reducing the sources of social support and resource for youths sexual health problems.
Furthermore, this study of sexuality and contraceptive will invariably touch upon some socially controversial issues like sexual promiscuity and homosexuality. According to Cameroon (1989) STDS such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphillis, Cancroids, and Trichomoniasis increases the likelihood of HIV transmission.
This research work is a survey of the sexuality and contraception among students of College of Education, Ekiadolor, Edo State.
1.3 PURPOSE OF STUDY
The purpose of this study is to investigate sexuality and the use of contractive among students. It will educate the students on the issues of sexuality and the use of contraceptive, to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases among students and to enlighten young undergraduates and the public in general on the importance and uses of contraceptive. It will also determine to some extent the usage of contraceptive among students.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study seeks to identify the roles of parents in the sexual and contraceptive behaviour of their children and to awaken the interest of parents in giving their children sex education at home. It will in no doubt, promote further research for predicting contraceptive behaviour which will assist in the development and implementation of effective, preventive and intervention programmes especially issues concerning sexually transmitted disease. This will go along way to make profound or useful contribution to medical issues like family planning, rate of contractions of STD’s, STI and effectiveness of contraceptives and it will also be useful to sexuality experts involved in the development and promotion of safer sex pregnancies. It will also help to identify students who either use or misuse contraceptive method, thereby putting them at risk of unwanted pregnancy, AIDS and other sexually transmitted disease. It will also be of importance in educating the undergraduate on the choice of contraceptive methods.
Conclusively, it is envisaged that this study will contribute meaningfully to the ongoing debate on the strategies for educating students on sexuality and contraception.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Based on the assumptions, the following research questions have been formulated.
1. Can the knowledge of sex education reduce promiscuity among undergraduates?
2. Is there any relationship between the knowledge of sex education and the usage of contraceptives?
3. Does peer group play significant role in undergraduate sexuality?
4. Does the knowledge/usage of contraceptives increase sexuality among the undergraduates?
1.6 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study shall focus on sexuality and contraception among students. In this case, this study will review the plight of sexuality and the use of contraception among students of College of Education, Ekiadolor, Edo State. The school is located at Ekiadolor Community which is in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State. Due to the pattern of life style of the students all over the country, the result of this study can serve as a guide to what the situation could be in other parts of the country.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Sexuality: The things people do and feel that are connected with their desire or ability to have sex.
Contraception: The practice of making it possible for a woman to have sex without having baby or the methods for doing this, birth control.
Contraceptive: A drug, object or method used to make it possible for a woman to have sex without having a baby or contracting an STD.
Heterosexual: Sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex.
Promiscuity: having sex with a lot of people indiscriminately.
Undergraduate: A student who is doing a University course for a first degree
Sex Education: Education given to students about the physical process and emotions involved in sex.
Pregnancy: The condition of being pregnant
Sex: The activity in which a male and female join their sexual organs in order to create babies or for pleasure.
STD: Sexually transmitted disease
STI: Sexually transmitted infection
HIV: Human Immunodeficiency virus
AIDS: Acquired immune deficiency syndrome
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