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INFLUENCE OF HOME BACKGROUND ON ADOLESCENT’S ATTITUDE TOWARDS SEX AND SEXUALITY IN GOVERNMENT SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ZARIA EDUCATIONAL ZONE.
Moral decadence among adolescents especially on issues concerning sex and sexuality has become a problem in any societies. This is an abnormal situation that requires social adjustment on the part of adolescents’ behaviour. Towards this end, factors responsible for the development of this abnormality are examined towards finding possible solutions to the problem within Zaria metropolis. Eight secondary schools out of thirty-three were selected. In the selected schools, two hundred and ten (210) questionnaires were administered on socio economic status, gender influence, parental and family types as factors affecting the adolescents’ attitude towards sex and sexuality. Survey method was adopted because it is descriptive in nature. The analysis of this data was carried out through percentage, standard deviation (SD), mean (X), Pearson product moment correlation and two-tail test. The result of this study shows that adolescents’ attitude towards sex and sexuality were influenced by parental socio economic status and parental attitude/up bringing. According to Hurlock (1972), the home is the first environment which set the pattern for adolescents’ attitude towards life in general. The study ends by making some recommendations for improvement on adolescents’ attitude towards sex and sexuality.
1.1 Background to the Study,
Many psychologists like Enusesike (1985) described adolescence as a, period of experimentation, hypothesis formation' and abstract reasoning. Adolescents would want to experiment what they see, hear or read be it negative or positive.
Blair and Sampson (1968) stressed that adolescence is the period of stress and storm in an individual life. That is the period that lies between end of the childhood and the beginning of adulthood. Adolescent period witness constant and serious changes in the, physical and emotional, social and psychological domains of life (Okorodudu, 1988). For instance, physical and emotional changes of adolescent begin with puberty (the maturing of the sexual functions). Also, adolescent’s problems arose from precocious puberty (Herbert, 1978), that is, a child behaves more like an adult. The physical and emotional changes make the adolescents to become insecure and have problems in articulating their needs. Sometimes family members or friends try to help the adolescent to “adjust”. For example, questions concerning sexual protection and unplanned adolescent pregnancies.
Shertzer and Stone (1976) noted that physical changes of the adolescents are marked by increase in the rate of physical growth. This can influence behavior of the adolescents both directly and indirectly. Directly,
this determines what the child can do if he or she develops according to his or her age to enable him compete on equal terms with peers in games and sports. Indirectly it influences attitude towards self and others. The sudden spur in growth seen in both internal and external physiological features and increases in height being the most observable. Here are some major dimensions of the physical changes during adolescence for both girls and boys:
a) Height and weight,
b) Increase, in the body proposition and
c) Development of the reproductive system and others.
The rate of physical development is one of the serious problems in the life of individual. What happens physically affects the child mentally; because physical development makes him to go beyond expectation in doing things. Physiological changes also make an adolescence to develop negative attitude such as drug abuse, sex abuse or' sexual activity. However, physiological changes affect adolescents greatly which become general problem at home and in the school.
At home, many parents and their children feel embarrassed to talk about some aspects of sex and sexuality. Lack of knowledge or in-proper approach to discussing about sex and sexuality make adolescents acquire wrong knowledge on sex and sexuality from their mates, street corner gangs and ill conceived pornographic literature.
In the Nigerian society, adolescents are faced with the problem of adult’s double standard in rules and behavior expectations. Sometimes, the adolescents are expected to behave like adults and in another situation they’re reminded that they are still children. This situation brings stress and conflicts between adolescents and adults.
1.2 Statement of problem for the study
Secondary school students are at their critical period in life usually referred to as adolescent period that lies between the end of childhood and beginning of adulthood. An adolescent period witness constant and serious change(s) in aspect of physical, social and personal developments and others (Okorodudu, 1988).
The physical developments and the changes begin with puberty and that marked by increase I the rate of physical growth. Major dimensions of the physical developments are as follows:
- Changes in height and weight
- Increase in the body proportion
- Development of the reproductive system
The rate of the physical development is a source of problem in the life of the individual because puberty marks the beginning of sexual function of adolescents’ lives. This time they are concerned about their body, their stature and size.
Strong friendship ties with members of their own sex continue to grow and with increase awareness about the members of the opposite sex. They begin to learn about establishing heterosexual relationship.
Hurlock (1972) noted that physical development influences behaviour both directly or indirectly especially on adolescents due to curiousity of wanting to experiment whatever they hear, see and read. What happens physically can affect them mentally.
In influence of technological advancement including information technology has readymade the society a complex one.
Children live with the influence of mass media-television, radio, video films and film stars. Much of the immoral behaviour (i.e. sex abuse or sex harassment) perpetrated by the young people in school and home are learned from television programmes they watch. Moreover, many indigenous video films are not censored and this gives room to spread of pornographic films. The universe is now accessible to the internet user. Adolescents are therefore exposed to sex and sexuality through the diverse.
These, problems of sex and sexuality towards adolescents’ behaviour in secondary schools make the researcher to look on how sex education can be introduce in the curriculum so as to curb the sexual abuse in schools.
1.3 Objectives of the Study:
The study is designed to achieve the following objectives:
- To find out home background conditions that influence attitude of adolescents towards sex and sexuality.
- To determine the effect of schooling system of male and female (gender) on adolescents attitudes towards sex and sexuality.
- To give recommendations on how the adolescents can from the
negative towards sex and sexuality in future.
1.4 Research Questions.
- How does parental socio economic status/occupation relate to adolescents attitude towards sex and sexuality?
- What impact does schooling system have on adolescent’s attitude towards sex and sexuality?
- To what extent do family types affect adolescent attitude towards sex and sexuality?
- To what extent does parental discipline influence attitude of adolescents towards sex and sexuality?
The research would test the following hypothesis:
- There is no significant relationship between parent’s socio-economic/status on adolescent attitude towards sex and sexuality.
- There is no significant difference between attitude of male and female students towards sex and sexuality.
- There is no significant difference between nuclear and extended family on adolescents towards sex and sexuality.
- There is significant relationship between parent’s disciplinary style and adolescent’s attitude towards sex and sexuality.
1.6 Basic assumptions of the study
In the Nigerian society, adolescents are faced with the problem of adult’s double standard in rules and behaviour expectations. This situation brings stress and conflicts between the adolescents and adults. Also, the situations make some adolescents to be away from home and sometimes from school and form their own gangs without the knowledge of their parents. Therefore, the researcher states the following assumptions below:
- Most adolescents in secondary schools have inadequate knowledge of the dangers of sex and sexuality before marriage.
- Some parents and teachers do not fully play their roles in educating adolescents on sex and sexuality.
- The home plays leading role in influencing the attitudes of adolescents towards sexual behavior.
- Some societies see it as a taboo to talk about sex and sexuality with young ones.
1.7 Significance of the Study
Determining influence of home background on adolescents’ attitude towards sex and sexuality in government secondary schools in Zaria, it is necessary to conduct a research on how to find solution to the problem like:
- The parents would provide basic needs of the adolescents especially on food, cloth, health; education and give proper information about sex and sexuality before marriage.
- It will help the religious organisation and social institutions to embark on enlightenment campaign on behaviour of our adolescents towards sex and sexuality.
- It will also assist the school administrators, and counselors to apply the appropriate technique to cope with the immoral behaviour among adolescents.
The significance of the study is to find out the relationship between home conditions on adolescents attitude towards sex and sexuality.
To find out the schooling system of male and female (gender) as they affect their attitudes towards sex and sexuality.
1.8 Scope and delimitation of the study
The study examines influence of home background on adolescent’s attitude towards sex and sexuality in Zaria Zone.
There were thirty-three (33) secondary schools in Zaria under inspectorate division. These schools are Barewa College, Government
Secondary School Tukur-Tukur, Commercial College, Government Secondary Pada, Government Secondary Dakace, Government Girls Secondary School (W.T.C.), Government Boys Secondary School and Government Girls Secondary School Chindit.