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A STUDY OF ADOLESCENT ATTITUDE TOWARDS SEX EDUCATION IN THE SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL

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A STUDY OF ADOLESCENT ATTITUDE TOWARDS SEX EDUCATION IN THE SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL

ABSTRACT

This research work was a survey research, it was designed to study the adolescent attitude towards sex education in the senior secondary schools in Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State.  In carrying out the research, five research questions were raised to study the adolescent attitude towards sex education.  A sample of one hundred (100) students were randomly selected.  Twenty (20) students each from the selected public senior secondary schools were used.  For effective data collection, questionnaires were designed using strongly agree, agree, strongly disagree, disagree.  The data collected were critically analyzed and used to test the research questions propounded, simple percentage were the statistical method adopted in the analysis of data.  During the findings, it was discovered that adolescent faces sex related problems because of lack of sex education.  Based on the findings, it is recommended that education about the dangers of sex should be provided by parents, teachers and religious leaders.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page                                                                                        i

Certification                                                                                    ii

Dedication                                                                                       iii

Acknowledgement                                                                         iv

Abstract                                                                                           vi

CHAPTER ONE:  INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study                                                               1

Statement of the Problem                                                               6

Purpose of the Study                                                                      8

Research Questions                                                                         8

Scope of the Study                                                                           10

Definition of Terms                                                                        11

CHAPTER TWO:  REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

The Concept of Attitude                                                                 13

Attitude Formation                                                                         14

Attitude Change                                                                             15

Sex Education                                                                                  17

Attitude and Sex Education                                                           24

Attitude of Secondary School Learners towards Sex

Education in relation to Information given by Parents,

Teachers, Peers, and other Media                                                 31

 

Influence of gender, age, and grades on Attitudes

towards sex Education                                                                             35

 

Importance of Sex Education for Teenagers/Adolescents           43

 

CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY

Research Design                                                                             45

Population of the Study                                                                  46

Sample and Sampling Technique                                                 46

Instrumentation                                                                              47

Validity of the Study                                                                      47

Reliability of the Study                                                                            48

Administration of Questionnaire                                                  48

Method of Data Analysis                                                               49

CHAPTER FOUR

Analysis of Data and Discussion of Findings                              50

 

CHAPTER FIVE:        SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND

                                      RECOMMENDATIONS

 

Summary                                                                                         63

Conclusion                                                                                                65

Recommendations                                                                          66

References                                                                                                        69

Appendix                                                                                                                 71
 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

The Nigerian society today has to grapple with many behavioural problems of its youth.  Such problems include truancy, disobedience, drug offences, assault, insult, stealing, violent, demonstration, vandalism, examination malpractices, robbery and secret cult activities (Nnachi, 2003).  Apart from these widely publicized behavioural problems, heterosexual activities are also listed among types of behavioural problems prevalent in Nigeria secondary schools.  These are variously named in the literature as sex abuse, sex offences, sexual misconduct, sexual immorality, sexual promiscuity and sexual maladjustment (Odoemelam, 1996; Adedipe, 2000; Ndu, 2000; Nnachi, 2003).

The end of the nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth century represented an important period in the invention of the concept we now call adolescence.  Adolescence can be described as the period between the latter stage of childhood and early stage of adulthood (Health Foundation of Ghana, 2004).  The World Health Organization (WHO) suggested adolescence to be the period between the ages of 10 and 19 or the second decade of life.  Adolescence, therefore, refers to boys and girls who fall within this stage or period.

Sex education simply refers to the systematic attempt to promote the healthy awareness in the individual on matters of his or sound development, functioning, behavior and attitude through direct teaching.  Sex is a topic, which most people would not like to talk about.  The Nigerian parents’ attitude to sex is that the child will grow to know.  In the home, when the child is present and parents are discussing issues about sex, even the adolescent child is kept away from sight.  An inquisitive child who ventures to ask questions about sex is morally branded “a bad” child.  Many society and homes consider discussion of sexual issues as a taboo.  In view of this, most parents find it too difficult, awkward and uncomfortable to discuss sex-related issues with their children.  Children are condemned when they mention a word referring to some sexual organ or act.  Even the hands of babies are hit whenever they fondle with their sex organs.  Due to this, throughout adolescence, the youth in the country learn about sex and sexuality in a variety of ways devoid, in most cases of factual and empirical information and in secrecy.

The child comes to know about sex possibly from an early age through relatives, friends, the elderly, movies, and drawing.  A 14 year old boy was asked where he learned about sex, he responded “in the streets’.  Asked if this was the only place, he said “well, I learned some from play boy and others sex magazines”.  What about school, he was asked?  He responded, “No, they talk about hygiene, but not much that could help you out”.  When asked his parents’ contribution, he replied “they haven’t told me one thing” (Powers and Baskin, 1969).

In a similar survey contained in the Population Report (1995), seventy-five percent of the students sampled preferred to discuss about bodily changes that occur during adolescence with peers of the same sex, non of them wanted it to be with their parents.  As a result of a cultural taboo, adolescents in many developing countries rarely discuss sexual matters explicitly with their parents.  Most information for their patchy knowledge often comes from peers of the same sex, who may themselves be uninformed or incorrectly informed.  The end result to know about one’s sexual development, hence experimentation to explore one’s sexual life.

The issue of introducing sex education has been a tropical and controversial one with two schools of thought emerging.  This scholarly tug of war has engaged the attention of policy makers and government the world over, religious organization, parents and even children.  Many are those who have called for its introduction due to the apparent havoc that irresponsible and unplanned sexual behavior brings.

As a child reaches the adolescence stage, the interest in the opposite sex generates.  This instinct – (sex drive) which has been present with the adolescent since childhood pushes him or her to ‘pet’, kiss and manipulate the sex organ, etc.  Curiosity and experimentation of sex, which sometimes leads to teenage pregnancy and or contraction of STD (sexually transmitted diseases) are prevalent at this adolescent stage.

Statement of the Problem

A lot of sex related problems facing the youth of today is undoubtedly linked with lack of sex education.  It is apt to point out that even though these (matters about sex) impinge generally on men, the vulnerable group is the youth, many of whom are not knowledgeable in matters concerning sex.  In their bid to satisfy their curiosity, many a youth would like to experiment these things and inexperience usually lead them into dangerous consequences.   Many a time, the adolescent receive wrong information and these myths and misconception are carried throughout their life time.  Therefore, there is a need to provide adolescents with information so as to enable them to cope better with these changes (Sathe, 1992).

The fact is that with or without these services, the tendency towards precocious sexual relations, pregnancy in adolescence and the alarming increase in the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in these age groups, are commonplace and universal realities.  It is necessary that the adolescent is made aware of these bodily changes through education before they occur so that they can adequately prepare themselves before the asset of puberty, and also help them engage in other activities rather than sexual manipulation.  The study, therefore, sought to explore the adolescents’ opinion on various sexual issues that account for their sexual development and to establish the need for sex education in senior high schools in some selected schools in Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to:

  • Determine the nature of the adolescence thoughts and feelings towards sex education.
  • To find out the nature of adolescents thoughts and feelings towards sex education in relation to information given by parent, teachers, and other media.
  • To determine the extent to which gender, age grade and residence influence learner’s thought and feeling towards sex education.

Research Questions

The study sets out to examine or unravel the following research questions:

  1. What is the nature of adolescents’ thoughts and feelings towards sex education?
  2. What is the nature of adolescents’ thoughts and feelings towards sex education in relation to information given by parents, teachers, peers and other media?
  3. How do the following variables influence the thoughts and feelings of adolescents towards sex education:
  • Age
  • Resident
  1. To what extent do students favour the teaching of sex education in schools?
  2. In what ways can sex education be effectively promoted among adolescents in schools?