Transactional sex at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka campus

Implications for school social work in Nigeria

  • J C Ene University of Nigeria, Nsukka
  • C U Nnama-Okechukwu University of Nigeria, Nsukka
  • N P Anazonwu University of Nigeria, Nsukka
Keywords: social workers, transactional sex, tertiary institutions, young adults


Transactional sex has remained one of the determinants that influence the increasing spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), particularly in Nigerian tertiary institutions. This behavior is associated with significant health-risks and said to be caused by a power imbalance in sexual relationships. This study investigates the prevalence and perceived determinants of transactional sex among students and staff in a tertiary institution. Results were presented from a qualitative analysis using Focus Group Discussion (FGD) from 54 participants made up of 30 undergraduate students and 24 staff of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka campus. Data was collected, transcribed, and categorized into themes. Major findings indicate that some demographic variables like gender, place of residence, and family structure have a relationship with the perceived involvement of students in sexual behaviors in tertiary institutions. Other findings indicated that academic grades and finance had a relationship with involvement in health-risk sexual behaviours. The study thus recommends the need for social workers in school settings and their collaboration with other health professionals should be considered in the provision of support services on reproductive health care for students. This may help increase awareness of STIs and reduce the rate of transactional sex in tertiary institutions.

Author Biographies

J C Ene, University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Department of Social Work

C U Nnama-Okechukwu, University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Department of Social Work

N P Anazonwu, University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Department of Social Work