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Background to the Study

Over the past few decades, the role of the schools as a site for sexual health promotion has been widely acknowledged (World Health Organization, 2002). According to the World Bank, countries’ education sectors have a strong potential to make a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The World Bank reported that education sectors offer an organized and efficient way to reach large numbers of school-age youth-groups either most at risk or most receptive to influence behavior. UNESCO (2010) defines sex education as an age-appropriate, culturally relevant approach to teaching about sex and relationships by providing scientifically accurate, realistic, non-judgmental information. UNESCO pointed out that sex education provides opportunities to explore one’s own values and attitudes and to build decision-making, communication and risk reduction skills about many aspects of sexuality. According to Berger (2008) sexuality education seeks both to reduce the risks of potentially negative outcomes from sexual behavior like unwanted or unplanned pregnancies and infection with sexually transmitted diseases, and to enhance the quality of relationships. It is also about developing young people’s ability to make decisions over their entire lifetime.

It is not yet known how teachers perceive sexuality education in secondary schools in AhiazuMbaise local government area of Imo state. UNESCO (2010) reported it is important to acknowledge that teachers have their personal, cultural and traditional beliefs and values and these affect their comfort, willingness and ability to teach sensitive topics in the appropriate language. UNESCO emphasized like other members of society, teachers live within a network of cultural and traditional beliefs that must be acknowledged and addressed if they create a barrier to effective teaching. Teachers’ confidence about teaching sex education could depend on their negative outcome expectations because sex education in general is not value-free, but loaded with meaning and a teacher might consider that parts or the whole content of a program contradicts her/his own values and norms, those of the students or the parents, or values and norms in the community in general (Helleve, Flisher, Onya, Mathews &Aaro, 2009).

Berger (2008) noted that teenager’s stage or periods are very crucial in the life of the individual. Many frustrations may occur during this stage such as school dropout, sexual immorality juvenile delinquency to mention but a few are all problems evolving from physical, social cognitive and mental development. However, sex education has generally being masked in giggles and hush silent matters. Also, it is a very sensitive subject that is still considered a taboo and a topic not to be discussed openly. Even then there is growing recognition of the need to inculcate responsible reproductive behaviour amongst the adolescents. Thus, before formally introducing the topic of sex education, it is extremely important to know the perception, it people, teachers and school children regarding sex education to avoid any adverse effects(Berger, 2008).

According to Helleve, et al (2009)Children should be given adequate information about sex. Gone are the days when sexual matters were hidden from children. Questions posed by the teenagers should be answered by teachers to open a wide range of the communication because silence or lie telling may cause injury as the assurance that the answers should be contrary to those books and peers. To Berger (2008), Sex desire can lead to sexual immorality which can result to pregnancy, that is, the process of procreation or reproduction most teenagers are physically able to have children but few are ready and responsibilities of marriage or parenthood most unmarried teenagers who do not have babies can be carried away by their sexual feelings and emotional desires. This can cause a serious sexual malady and the psychological problems for them. It can cause an abortions sexual transmitted disease and so on. Sexual intercourse between teacher and his students or between two persons who are not married to each other is considered as a taboo to be generality of the society and morally wrong among religious groups(Helleve, Flisher, Onya, Mathews &Aaro, 2009).

UNESCO (2010) stated that sex relationship outside marriage can result in guilt’s feelings and other psychological problems to persons involved. It can as well cause birth of unwanted baby.Therefore, sex education should be given at early development stage of the child, this is because the foundation laid in the early life of the teenagers determines the stability and propensity of marriage life of an individual in the society.

Academically, quality teachers, who are happy with their academic knowledge which they acquired tend to show this is their relationship with students and this help to produce students who are motivated in achieving academic excellence (Orji and Esimai, 2003). The implication is that, if any behaviour or attitude of a teacher as it relates to the teaching of any subject is positive, it will make the class facilitative on the part of the students who will pay very high attention to the teacher while the lesson is going on in the classroom(Orji and Esimai, 2003).On the other hand, if the teacher makes his lesson negative or boring in the class, students will see no usefulness in paying attention or struggling to acquire knowledge from the teacher thereby hampering the proper achievement of the objective of education(Toor, 2012).

Uchenna (2000), for many years in Nigeria, sex education and public discussion in human sexuality have been a taboo especially for some Christians. Nobody wants to talk about sex, yet everyone wants it. He further states that this idea of hiding issues that relate to sex have also moved down to our educational system as there are always difficulties on the part of the teachers to explain sex issues related matters to the learners in the classroom.

Esu (2008), opined that some teachers find it difficult in explaining sex issues, ideas, knowledge, and concept before the students in the classroom and it leads to poor communication between the teachers and the students as it relates to sexual behaviours. Fawde (2005) suggested that the attitude of the teacher passing on the information about human sexuality to the student is of great importance. He further states that the attitude of the teacher can mostly influence that of the students as it relates to the issue of sex. If the sex attitudes and traits are being exposed to the students, the behavioural method as well as the approaches to the teaching of the sex education will be felt by the students and they will know the implications of sex activities, hence they will see everything in their proper context.


Toor (2012), states that sex education is required for adolescents to provide them positive direction, right information, which would avoid unnecessary worries and tensions. Toor’s study about the attitude towards sex education found out that people with higher educational qualification favors such programs and the income of the household has less or no effect on the preferences over sex education.

Similarly, Orji and Esimai (2003) mention that a majority of parents, teachers and students supported that sex education should be introduced in school curriculum and it will help prevent unwanted pregnancies, parental transmission of HIV/AIDS infections and enhance healthy relationship between opposite sex. It will also provide the knowledge of sex interactions, consequences and responsibilities. In addition, it was also found that School and College children are positively inclined to accept formal sex education as a part of classroom teaching (Bhalwar&Jayaram, 2003).

Statement of the Problem

Over the years, it has been observed that there is an upward increase in the population of people. This arose from the fact that people are giving birth without due consideration as to whether they can take care of the children or not. Some girls even give birth without knowing the actual father of their children. Some people attribute this to lack of knowledge of individuals as it relates to sex. To this end, there is need for students to learn and understand how to handle themselves in some sex related issues. Therefore, the problem of this study is to investigate teachers’ attitude towards the teaching of sex education in secondary schools in AhiazuMbaise Local Government Area.

Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of this study is to investigate teachers’ attitude towards the teaching of sex education in secondary schools in AhiazuMbaise Local Government Area.Specifically the study sought to:

  1. Ascertain the attitude of teachers towards the teaching of sexual attraction in secondary schools in AhiazuMbaise Local Government Area.
  2. Determine the attitude of teachers towards the teaching of sexual intercourse among secondary school students/learners.
  3. Determine the attitude of teachers towards the teaching of dangers of indecent dressing among secondary school students in AhiazuMbaise Local Government Area.
  4. Determine the attitude of teachers in teaching against teenage pregnancy in secondary schools in AhiazuMbaise Local Government Area.

Significance of the Study


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