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THE EFFECTS OF PRE-MARITAL SEX ON STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
1.1 Background to the Study
In this age of moral laxity, the laws of God have been set aside in the name of freedom. The moral codes of the past have given way to situation ethics. Mothers are insisting that birth control pills be given to their unmarried daughters. Movies, televisions, magazines and pornography of every kind are being used to train and inflame our youth. Modern sex education has become the tool of the devil because the biology and mechanics of sex are being taught without restraint (Momah S. 2007).
Biblically, it was categorically stated that marriage is honourable in all, and keep the bed undefiled, but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge (Hebrews 13:4)
However, modern dress styles are designed to make the side walk classroom and living room into garlic’ show. Little has been left for imagination. Miniskirts and hot pants have been designed to break down any form of modesty and morality that still exist in our society. Live-stage shows draw a large crowd by staging wild bizarre sex acts that are real in every way (Dobson J.1982).
According to Momah S.(2007), the result of promiscuity and premarital sex, being veneral diseases and illegitimate births increasing among young people at an unprecedented rate. The teenagers who are more sexually active than anyone else generally do not realize how easy it is to become pregnant .The ultimate solutions recommended by Planned Parenthood is abortion with good surgical procedure where contraceptive fails. People’s minds have been conditioned to accept the idea that unborn baby is something less than human.
The global Christian Missionary Publications (2008) stated that there is no joy in premarital sex; it only brings misery and regrets. The men who will pressurize the girls for sex will be the Same ones to hate them (the girls) passionately later on .The Girls that give into a boy’s (or man’s) demands for sex only cheapens the girl before the boy or man. A girl that can keep herself and resist every sexual advance from her fiancé will be highly honoured by her groom on their wedding night.
In times past, the virginity of the female at her marriage called for a family celebration with appropriate gifts and visits from the in-laws. In some cultures, especially among the Yorubas, where “hawking” (street vending) and “night marketing” is common, young girls are learning to receive “passes” from men and acquire skills in dealing with these. Since the introduction of Western values and education in Nigeria, women have continued to acquire skills in dealing with males in a culture in transition. This has led to an increased tendency to delay marriage and an increased incidence of premarital sexual relationships. In some tribal cultures, in fact, it is more common today to demand pregnancy rather than virginity as a prerequisite for marriage. This is especially true among the educated young. Also, most of the popular music and advertisements glamorize sexuality, even though there is still a strong disapproval of open discussion of sexuality.
Hausa culture today is predominantly Islamic, making it difficult to distinguish tribal Hausa cultural norms from Islamic injunctions. Although Hausa culture has remnants of non-Islamic and distinctly indigenous practices that are part of their rites of passage, a marriage of convenience has evolved between Islamic injunctions and aspects of Hausa cultural norms that do not conflict with the religion. Islam is a way of life for its adherents, with rules and regulations guiding all aspects of life. Its strong moral code emphasizes chastity, and prohibits loitering, soliciting, and unnecessary intermingling of the sexes. Islam permits women to go out of their houses only to pursue lawful needs such as the acquisition of knowledge or to work and contribute to societal development. Marriage before age 18 was the norm among Muslim Hausa girls before the colonial era and the introduction of secular education. Most parents in those days preferred to marry off their daughters at age 12.
According to Maduro, (1989) every religion is situated in a specific human context in a concrete, determined geographical space, historical moment, and social milieu. Members of a religion share certain collective dimensions-social, economic, political, cultural, educational, military, etc. Religion is therefore closely linked and interrelated with all the dimensions of the life of a community. Because religion is part of a society, it follows that anything that affects people’s lives will affect their religion. Hence, religion affects sexuality.
Nigerian society is dominated by two religions: Islam and Christianity. They are the main source of our Nigerian religious value systems, which affect sexual attitude and behavior. Christianity, for instance, expects men and women to hold in high esteem the religious value of sexual purity. Girls are expected to be virgins at the time of marriage. Islam allows female children to be given in marriage before the age of puberty. These practices ensure that the female child is a virgin at marriage. Similarly, Christianity and Islam emphasize that adultery is unacceptable. However, our culture expects men to do what women are not to do. Our culture allows and even encourages a man to contract polygynous marriages. While extramarital sex is publicly frowned on, a man who engages in extramarital sex is privately hailed for his behavior. The same culture deals severely and ruthlessly with married women caught in adultery. In both the Islamic and Christian religions, a man can ask for and be granted a divorce if his wife is confirmed to have committed adultery. This is not the case if a wife discovers her husband’s illicit affairs with other women.
However, because of the culture of silence on sexuality, there has been little or no structured way of teaching Nigerians about sexuality. The government has been working to get POP/FLE (population and family life education) into the schools’ curricula, and this effort is ongoing. Adolescents continue to be denied access to sexual information and services on a national scale. There have been some efforts by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to assure that marginalized groups have access to sexuality education. This effort is increasing as data from studies continue to show that five out of ten girls and seven out of ten boys have had sexual intercourse at least once by the time they leave secondary school.
Therefore, this research work aimed at pointing out the impacts of premarital sexual relationships on the educational development and performance of the youth.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There appears to be a consensus among Nigerian researchers and observers that many traditional values are changing rapidly and for the worse (Naswen, 2001; Ezeh, 2001; Arumala, 2005 and Eruesegbefe, 2005). One area of life in which the decline of traditional values is obvious is in the area of sexuality. One major change has been the acceptance of pre-marital sex in a loving relationship.
Osisioma (1998) lamented that in Nigeria, culture no longer has a grip on the youth as our society seems to be plagued with decayed moral codes and values and so the sense of right and wrong is eroded. This seems to affect the youth, adolescents inclusive, more than any other group as this is manifested in the acceptance of sex before marriage, homosexual behaviour, lesbianism, abortion, drug addiction and indecent dressing. Apart from the blame apportioned to parents for their negligence as earlier mentioned, some people are of the opinion that adolescents are naturally open to the normal sex drive while this drive is incensed by the impact of permissive Western culture transmitted through the sexual stimuli conveyed by the mass media. Denga (1983) pointed out that sexually explicit movies expose young people to adult issues at an “impressionable age.” Others opine that the use of pornographic materials as well as knowledge and use of contraceptives, especially the condom that has been excessively advertised, has contributed immensely to the involvement of adolescents in sexual practices (Onuzulike, 2002).
The researcher discovered that sometimes the students’ performances are on the negative as a result of premarital sexual relationships either among the students or with those outside the school. And these have gone a long way to hamper the educational development of the Nigerian youths in general and Kuje and its environs in particular.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
This study was aimed at finding out the attitude of a selected group of adolescents to ascertain whether it was in consonance with information reported in the literature. The study also tried to find out which factors influence the attitude of the adolescents toward sexual practices. This will then serve as a starting point for determining what interventions to carry out in order to help adolescents in their sexual adjustment. However, main purposes are highlighted thus:
1. To identify the kinds of premarital sexual relationship among the youths.
2. To examine the causes of premarital sexual relationship among the youths.
3. To examine the effects of premarital sexual relationship on the educational development and performance of the youth.
4. To identify the possible means of curbing this menace among the youths so as to enhance and improve their academic development and performance in school.
1.4 Research Questions
1. What kinds of premarital sexual relationship exist among the youths?
2. What are the causes of premarital sexual relationships among the youths?
3. How much have premarital sexual relationships affected the educational development and performances of our students?
4. What are the possible ways of overcoming premarital sexual relationship?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The result of this research work will be useful to the government. Because it will make the government to discover the consequences of premarital sexual relationships on the educational development of the youths and the role it needs to play to curb this menace in our society.
The youths themselves will benefit from this research work as it will enable them to identify the problems associated with premarital sexual relationships with particular reference to their educational development.
It will also benefit parents, because it will point out the areas through which the parents have been influencing premarital sexual relationships among the youths and the quota they need to contribute to resolving the problem.
The teachers will also gain from this research work as they are the tutors of the Nigerian youths. It will also show their own roles in curbing premarital sex among the youths they are teaching through guidance and counselling services.
1.6 Delimitation of the Study
This research work is delimited to the youths in Kuje Area Councilwhich covers Kuje town, Kiyi, Chibiri, Gaube, Rubochi, Gudu-karya. The decisions are specifically limited to the area of study even though there are other areas in the FCT that may have similar cons.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Absenteeism: Is regular absence from work or school without a good reason.
Consequence: Is the relation between a result and its cause or something that follows as a result.
Effects: This could be the result of something probably after testing and evaluating them, then the result yielded or -outcome.
Existence: The state of being real, actual or current rather than imagined, invented or obsolete.
Environment: All the, people etc that influence the way in which people lives or works.
Immoral: Contrary to accepted moral principles.
Marriage: A state of union between a man and a woman, which has brought them together to live as husband and wife for procreation.
Motive: Is the reason that makes someone to do something especially when this reason is kept within .Or it is an impulse, a desire or a need that leads to an action.
Pandemic: it is a disease that spread nationwide or worldwide at a particular.
Performance: This is a notable action or achievement, which has to do with the strength or ability of something.
Prostitution: The ability to have sexual intercourse for money.
Pre-marital Sex: This is an act of indulging in sex between unmarried persons.
Rape: is an “unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, with or without her consent, or if the consent is obtained by force or by means of threats, intimidation of any kind, or by fear of harm or by means of false and fraudulent misrepresentation as to the nature of the act or in the case of a married woman, by impersonating her husband.” (Section 357 of the Nigerian Criminal Code)
Sex: it is a sexual intercourse.
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