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The aim of study’ Effect of premarital sex among the youth; other aim of the research work includes; ascertaining how premarital sex affect the youth, to identify the factors leading pre-marital sex among youth. The sample size of 200 was considered for the purpose of the research work; the Pearson correlation method and the paired sample t-test were used to test the hypothesis. The study found out the Effect of premarital sex among the youth is gender dependent, thereby concluding that there is a significant relationship between youth and premarital sex
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Premarital sex is sexual activity practiced by people who are unmarried. Historically, premarital sex was considered a moral issue which was taboo in many cultures and considered a sin by a number of religions, but since about the 1960s, it has become more widely accepted, especially in Western countries.
More than 13 million youths, representing 7% of the population aged 15–24, are pursuing University education in Nigeria (Ayodele et al, 2001). For most of these youths, university represents a shift towards greater independence from home, and school settings offers an opportunity to form new friendships, as well as new subculture with divergent norms and values. While for others, school represents an opportunity to experience romantic and/or sexual relationships and experiment new ideas.
Throughout the world, the trend towards an increasing number of young people is reported having sex before marriage. Research indicates that as far back as 1950’s, the phenomena attracted a lot of public attention both in the African, United Kingdom and United States of America (Olugbenga 2009). For example, in 1954 a study in Manchester revealed that between the years 1950-1954 more than a quarter of underage girls were reported to have had sex before the age of 19. It was also noted that the girls came from a particular background, (from broken homes or bad parental influence). Similarly, an analysis of the Demographic health Survey found that in 58.6% of the 41 countries studied, women 20 to 24 years of age were more likely than women of 40 to 44 years of age report having premarital sex. According to Ayodele et al (2006), the rise in premarital sex in Africa has resulted from a sexual revolution that came with western culture (Scott, 2006). Sex in traditional societies use to be regarded as sacred and limited only to adult males and females within the institution of marriage (Alo, 2008).It is unfortunate that sex before marriage in Nigeria is still frown at. A child learns through the mass media and peers unguided. Children learn the important topic of sex education in negative manners, rather than having proper sex socialization at home or in schools. According to Asuzu (2005), premarital sex is increasingly considered a modern way of testing a girl’s fertility before marriage. Similarly, Data from the 2002 survey conducted in Owerri south eastern Nigeria by centre for reproductive health indicated that by age 20, 77% of respondents had premarital sex. Even among those who abstained until at least age 22, 81% had had premarital sex by age 44. Among cohorts of women turning 15 between1964 and 1993, at least 91% had had premarital sex by age 30. Among those turning 15 between 1954 and 1963, 82% had had premarital sex by age 30, and 88% had done so by age 44.
The phenomenon has been reported as being common among Nigerian University undergraduates (Alo, 2008). Corroborating this view, Ayodele et al (2011), carried out a study to determine the prevalence of this phenomenon among adolescence in tertiary institution. The conclusion of the study indicates that premarital sex is highly normative behaviour among university students. A significant (85.6%) number of the respondents see nothing wrong with sex before marriage. The study also identifies cohabitation as one of the primary influence on premarital sex among students in tertiary institution. Cohabitation of opposite sex is a predisposing factor to the initiation of sexual activities. Premarital sex is not confined to teens alone, a good number of people who are not married, are also vulnerable to premarital sex. This is evidenced by the large number of unintended/unwanted pregnancies many of which get terminated in back street clinics (Alo, 2008). It is against this background that this paper seeks to ascertain the effect of premarital sex on university students in contemporary Nigerian.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Literature regarding the influence on pre-marital sex is limited. This research seeks to fill the vacuum by examining the students view on how pre-marital sex should be discouraged with special reference to peers, university environment, family background and the social media have any significant effect on undergraduates’ perceptions on pre-marital sex.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
1. To examine its influence on pre-marital sex.
2. To ascertain how pre-marital sex is being practiced among the undergraduates.
3. To identify the factors leading pre-marital sex among undergraduates/youth.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the influence on pre-marital sex?
2. How is pre-marital sex being practiced among the undergraduates?
3. What are the factors leading pre-marital sex among undergraduates?
1.5. RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: The influence on premarital sex is not gender dependent.
H1: The influence on premarital sex is gender dependent.
H0: premarital sex does not influence youth.
H1: premarital sex influences youth.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
1. The outcome of this study will educate the general public and education administrators on what students feel about premarital sex as this will form a guide to managing the issues of premarital sex among the students / youths.
2. This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study on the effect of pre-marital sex among the youths will cover all various types of approaches on premarital sex that exist in the Nigerian universities among the youths. It will also cover the views of the youths about its and its effect on premarital sex.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
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