Need for sex education in secondary schools A study of Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Area of Abia State
Background to the study
The debates over sex education and contraceptives use for the teens have continued over the years. For long, parents, teachers, ministers and others have been discussing the best way to educate teens about sex. To most people, sex is often considered a taboo in the society and yet many people practice it, but only few are comfortable discussing it. Sometimes, they rely on the schools and education system to do so: World Health Organization (2006).
Newspapers, periodicals, journals and magazines often carry sensational stories of teenage sex escapades, pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea, syphilis and Herpes. (Oikeh, 1999; Adegboyega 2000; Moodu, 2003; and Fabiyi, 1995). Most recently (relatively) but more dangerous are the reported cases of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV – AIDS), while the reports of expulsion of pregnant students by school authorities were also common (Momodu, 2003).
Akingba (1999) claimed that nearly one million adolescents aged 15 -19 years become pregnant in the United States of America yearly and about 30,000 pregnancies occur out of wedlock and are unintended. Although up to date statistics were not available about the situation in Nigeria, there is no doubt that hundreds of Nigerian teenage girls roam about the streets of Nigeria’s urban centers offering themselves to various men for economic gains. These sex escapades often result in a, venereal diseases and at some other times, fatal abortion what- are the causes of this social phenomenon? Trefor (2005) feels that sexual resolution in its current advanced state is characterized by demands for new forms of sexual freedom from repressive codes and styles of Victorianism; Societal, religious and legal expressions. Momodu (2002) was of the opinion that victims are mainly teenager from the secondary schools which victims are mainly teenager from the secondary schools which are scattered throughout the nooks and crannies of the country.
Adegboyega (2003) pointed out that school girls and boys in the cities had been known to commit horrible acts in their bid to get rid of pregnancies. He contended that their activities had always been influenced by what they had seen on television and cinema screens or read about on the pages of romance or pornographic materials.
The current general economic depression according to Ogunjimi (1999) had forced so many ladies including house wives and single parents into trading their bodies for money (commercial sex workers). This according to him is being done to either supplement their meager financial resources or as a survival strategy. Egwu (2003) pointed out that some parents have because of poverty made use of their teenage daughters to make money from willing and in randy men. Prevailing circumstances among the various families, communities and the general societies at large have rendered the religious, moral and cultural check and balances in matters concerning human sex extremely irrelevant and moribund. In view of the foregoing, the question thus, arises on how the society would meaningfully and constructively address the social malaise in the interest of the present and future generations. It is noteworthy, however, to observe that various recommendations have already been put forward by so many scholars. Akingba and Egwu (2003) and Fabiyi, (1995) were of the opinions that the teaching of sex education should be institutionalized at the secondary school level. Their recommendations according to them were based on the fact that there was a high involvement of adolescents in sexual activities and that this development had made them much more vulnerable to the killer disease ably referred to as hydra headed afflicted (HIV/AIDS) .
Fabiyi (1995) contended that recommendation by experts may not be enough. Sex education according to him must be accepted by students and parents themselves as an appropriate subject to be taught in schools if a successful sex education programme is to be introduced in secondary schools. Oikeh (1991) blamed emotional rather than logical approaches to the evaluation of the need for the teaching of sex education, for the controversy that has inundated the institutionalization of the programmed in most parts of the world of the world.
This study was therefore conducted to ascertain the Need for sex education in secondary schools using Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Area of Abia State as area of study.
The primary goal of sex education is promotion of sexual and reproductive health. There is a pressing need to raise the level of information among the young people who are embarking on sexually active life. It can help to prevent physical, psychological, marital and social problems related to sex. Whether or not sex education should be given is always a topic of discussion among teachers, parents and community members. It is a fact that in the present scenario it is much required to teach adolescents about healthy and positive sexual situations as well as life skills. However, arguments are often raised on what, when and how the message of sex education should be given to adolescents.
Before taking any step towards sex education among the various parties, it is most essential to study the need for sex education in secondary schools so that students attitude, parents, teachers and the society’s attitude may be changed if required. Education should be organized in such a way that it may enable the adolescents to face and solve the problem of life. They may feel inadequate, because they are unfamiliar with the correct terminology.
Purpose of the study
The purpose of the study is to find out the Need for sex education in secondary schools a study of Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Area of Abia State. Specifically it is set to:
- Know how sex education can solve the problem of unwanted pregnancy among secondary school students.
- Determine if sex education can lead to healthier attitude towards pregnancy among school going adolescents.
- Ascertain the best teaching method to enhance students’ attitude towards sex education.
- Ascertain things that can be done to change the negative attitude of our teenager towards sexual related issues.
Significance of the study
This study will be very important to many people such as young people, parents and schools as it will add to the existing body of knowledge.
The ministry of education and youth development will benefit from the findings of this study because it would be a guide to the youths in expressing their sexual feelings in ways that are not harmful. The study will also help the Nigerian education system succeed in helping the students understand the implications of their sex upon their social and sexual well-being at the micro level.
Finally, the ministry of education and youth development will equally benefit from this study as it will help them in determining content of the school curriculum and help them in dissemination of sex education both at state and federal level.
Scope of the study
This research project “Need for sex education in secondary schools a study of Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Area of Abia State” due to some reasons, (especially of proximity, time and financial constraints, this research work is limited to Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Area of Abia State.
The researcher as a student, in the cause of carrying out this research project had other academic activities to attend to. Consequent upon this, decided to limit the study to his Local Government of Origin for effectiveness.
The following research questions were posed to guide the study:
- How can sex education solve the problem of unwanted pregnancy among secondary school students?
- To what extent does sex education lead to healthier attitude towards pregnancy among school adolescent?
- What teaching method can be used to enhance student attitude towards sex education?
- What can really be done to change our teenagers’ negative attitude towards sex education?