Attitude of in-school adolescents toward premarital sex in Ibadan North Local Government Area
Keywords:Attitude, In-school adolescent, premarital sex, sex education, reproductive health
Premarital sex is a global phenomenon observed to be prevalent among adolescents especially in secondary schools. While the obvious consequence has attracted scholarly interest, negligible attention has focused on adolescents’ attitude towards premarital sex which is expected to largely influence behavioural changes. The paper attempts to examine in-school adolescent attitude towards premarital sex in Ibadan North Local Government Area (LGA) with a view to examining the effect of sex education and cultural norms and values on students’ attitude towards this phenomenon using the social learning and structural functionalist theories as framework for explanation. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were utilized in data collection with 600 in-school students for the quantitative, while 8 senior secondary school 3 (SS3) students and 6 teacher were approached for the in-depth and key informant interviews respectively for the qualitative data. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistic and regression analysis, while the qualitative data was content analyzed. Findings revealed that 91.3 percent of respondents have not engaged in premarital sex. However, while cultural norms and values had significant effect on students’ attitude towards premarital sex (β=.127, p=.003), sex education surprisingly had no significant effect on respondents’ attitude towards premarital sex (β=.027, p=.503). Interviews revealed that students abstained for reasons such as fear of getting pregnant and its associated shame and disgrace in their cultural environment. Increased sensitization is needed to maintain the attitude of students towards premarital sex.