KNOWLEDGE OF FAMILY LIFE EDUCATION AND SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR OF IN-SCHOOL ADOLESCENT

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the study

          Adolescence is a time when young people are learning a great deal about themselves and adjusting to a rapid change in their bodies. World Health Organization (WHO 1995) views adolescent as person between 10 – 19 years and they are made up of 20% of the world’s population of 5 whom 85% of them live in developing countries. During early ado1lescence, many experience new uncertainties about their bodies and how they function. They need information and assurance about what is happening to them. As they mature, some feel confused about what they are supposed to do in a variety of situations including level of relationship with family and peers, coping with new sexual feelings and trying to access conflicting message about who they are and what is expected of them (Comprehensive Sexuality Education, 1991).

          In the past, it was normal to protect adolescents from receiving education on sexual matters as it was falsely believed that ignorance would encourage chastity yet. The rampant unprotected sexual activities among adolescents and the devastating consequences in evidence of the sexual and reproductive health behaviour of Nigeria Youth confirm that they had not been formally taught about sexuality, their information on this important subject came from peers, new, magazine, and biology classes (Comprehensive Sexuality Education, 1991). 

          Many young people without guidance from responsible adults make decisions daily about sexuality, relationship and health issues and many times, decisions are not based on accurate information or on clear and well considered values. Many adolescents lack the cognitive skills to understand the connections between their actions and long-term consequences (Brindis, 1991). Parents, educators and communities all face the challenge of creating environment that support and nurture good sexual health. Young people need family-life education programmes which are otherwise known as sexuality education which refers to curricula designed to provide information that will help young people make healthy decision and choices (Brindis, Pittman, Reys, 1991). This programme models in teaches them to have positive worth, be responsible, understanding an acceptance of diversity and sexual health.

          Many in-school adolescents still believe that family-life education would encourage “sexual experimental” and several studies have been conducted to determine whether family-life education programme actually increase young people’s sexual involvement. One of these is the land mark study commissioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1993 which conclusively showed that contrary to long-held beliefs.

          No significant relationship exists between receiving formal sexuality education and initiating sexual activity. Rather, sexuality education result in postponement or reduction in the frequency of sexual activity and more effective use of contraception and adoption of safe behaviour (Comprehensive Sexuality Education, 1991). Instead of informing adolescent only about the health risk and potential negative consequence associated with sexual activity, adult need to provide young people with more balance messages. Adolescents need accurate and comprehensive.   Instead of informing adolescent only about the health risk and potential negative consequence associated with sexual activity, adult need to provide young people with more balance messages. Adolescents need accurate and comprehensive education about sexuality to practice health sexual behaviour as adults. Early exploitative or risky sexual activity may lead to health and sexual problems such as unwanted pregnancy and sexuality transmitted disease including Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

          The in-school adolescents need to receive clear, protective messages about sexual decision making, but they need to hear affirming messages about healthy relationships and healthy sexuality. Sexuality is more than “sexual activity”. It deal with many aspects of life including biological, gender roles, body image and interpersonal relationships, thought, believe, values attitudes, feelings and sexual behaviour. Therefore, it is important to study the relevance of the knowledge of family life education and sexual behaviour of in-school adolescent in Ifelodun Local Government, Kwara State.

Statement of the problem

KNOWLEDGE OF FAMILY LIFE EDUCATION AND SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR OF IN-SCHOOL ADOLESCENT