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This research was set out to thoroughly assess the perception and impact of campus dating among students of Federal University Dutsin-ma, Katsina State. The major objectives of this study were to: examine the nature of romantic relationship in Federal University Dutsin-ma; examine the perception of campus dating in Federal University Dutsin-ma; identify the social factors that facilitates dating amongst students; examine the positive and negative impacts of campus dating on students’ academic performance; and proffer suitable measures on ways to improve students’ academic performance. The study employed descriptive survey design and data was collected using questionnaire and interview.The findings revealed that, dating is a form of romantic relationship in which two people are emotionally and sexually attracted to each other. More so, findings revealed that dating in Federal University Dutsin-ma is a social exchange between two unmarried persons. The findings also revealed that, the social factors that facilitate dating among students are academic pursuit,peer pressure, socio-economic background, parenting style and the need for high prestige. Finally, findings revealed that, dating has both negative and positive implications. According to the findings, the positive impacts include improve in CGPA, ease of academic stress, improvement in emotional health and strengthening of self-esteem/confidence. The negative impact of dating includes prevalence of dating violence, sexual implications and high level of disrespect among students. It is therefore recommended that students should concentrate on their studies and avoid every form of relationship. Victims of dating violence should seek medical help. Parents should monitor their children in the universities. Stake holders in education should develop a curriculum on relationship education for institutions of learning to enable students understand the dangers associated with early relationship. The University authorities should enforce proper dress codes to reduce sexual attraction. University staff should help inculcate moral values into the students by organizing seminars, debates, conferences and other related activities to help them build their academic potentials and resist deviant activities.
Keywords: Dating, Academic Performance, Romance, Relationship.
Word Count: 320 words.
1.1 Background to the Study
Education is an essential part of human life which contributes greatly to the development of an individual (Luqman,2012). Through education, an individual becomes fully developed in all aspect of life (Luqman,2012). Academic success is a proof of commitment to an individual’s pursuit. Academic performance is a scholarly effort rendered in order to achieve academic success (Ames, 1992, Puklek, and Peklaj, 2006). Commitment towards academic pursuit influences greatly, a student’s academic performance. A student’s academic performance could be distorted by such factors as peer-group influence, recreational activities and dating (Lisa,2007). Dating could be of benefits and also result into negative consequences to students’ performance.
According to N’jole (1993) dating fulfils a number of specific functions that can enhance people’s socio-psychological development and ultimately promote a society’s continuity. Dating functions can be either manifest, the purpose are visible, recognized and intended or latent, the purpose are unintended or not immediately recognized. Dating is the organized means by which most people moved from being single to begin single coupled (Spielmann, Maxwell, MacDonald, andBaratta,2013). Dating is a somewhat ambiguous phenomena used in different vocabulary. Terms like “dating”, “going out”, “going-around”, “hanging-out”, “going-steady”, and “being-involved” often lack clear definition and agreement. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, (2009), dating is a social engagement between two persons that often has a romantic character. Sociologists describe the dating process as a marriage market, in which prospective spouses compare the assets and liabilities of eligible partners and choose the best available mate. In this sense, who a person trades with depends on what resources he or she brings to the exchange (Gavin 2012).
Dating has been in existence among countries of the world. Dating is not a new phenomenon but what it is referred to is relative (AlevDegimand Tao Fu 2015). Naturally, every individual would want to love and be loved. To most people, dating is based on an assumption that dating provides important experiences and valuable lessons that will eventually help selects mates and construct happy marriages. Dating doesnot really serve as a training ground for marriage, the behaviours that tend to characterize dating are not the sorts of activities that necessarily prepare one for the everyday demand of married life (John 2012). The nature of dating in the 1700 is different from the nature of dating in the 21st century; dating in the 1700, males and females follows dearly defined expectations in meeting and in time spent together (Eli, Chin Ming,Kathleen and Grace (2013). Parents were very strict to their children especially their daughters. Some societies like Ghana, Togo castrated their daughters as a way of avoiding pre-marital sex and births (Emmanuel 1998; Hanny Lightfoot-Klein 1989). Contrary to this period, dating in the 1900 differed. Economic and educational innovations which enable young people to interact with the opposite sex away from the watchful eyes of parents. The expansion of commercial recreation, technological innovation contributed to these changes in dating patterns. One of the things that most distinguishes modern dating from traditional dating is the prevalence of sexual activity in dating relationships (Newman 1958; Nievera 2013).
Dating while schooling could pose a negative or positive effect to student’s academic performance. Dating might help students involved in easing environmental stress, improving their social network and can also negatively affect their academic performance (Abanaka2007).Factors like frequent dating, time spent together, recreational activities; prevalence of sex in dating contributes to failure in achieving academic success (Whyte 1992).
Dating in Nigeria is not a new phenomenon. Before colonization, individuals dated but due to civilization the pattern of dating has changed (Oteh,2010).Dating in Nigeria institutions is a way of life. It is seen as a means of gaining social status and promoting popularity. To be more specific to the area of my research study Federal University, Dutsin-ma. Dating in the above named university is a culture (normal) many view as having special benefit that enhances students social network, emotional wellbeing and social status. On the other hand, when a student is not involved in dating, he or she is tagged with terms as dry, not happening, not socialise-able and anti-social. This research study intends to make findings on how dating influences students’ academic performances. Some students considers it as being good because of its beneficial attributes while others considers it as bad taking into cognisance its consequences on the life of spouse especially academically.
In Federal University Dutsin-ma Katsina state, dating popularly called “campus marriage” can be seen from two different perspective: one with positive impact and that of the negative impact. Dating has positive impact if it allows both spouse enough time to study their books, attend classes and also do their assignments. University life is very stressful and this stress affects students a lot. The amount of stress experienced may be influenced by the individual’s ability to effectively cope with stressful events or situations (Zurilla and Sheedy, 1991). Dating may ease environmental stress (Berger, 1997). Paul and White (1990) observe that being in an intimate relationship involves trust, sensitivity, and responsiveness, being able to make a commitment, striving for equity and mutuality. For a student, it also means working to achieve academic balance. However, Zimmer and Ginerbec (2001) find dating to have a positive effect on the emotional health of adolescents. Dating also help to an extent provide economic security to some spouse. Spouses encourages each other and stand by each other in times of difficulty, provide provisions and most importantly food stuffs for each other. This help ease students need on campus and help them to have a good learning environment.
In contrast to the above, dating tends to have negative impact when it is regarded as something that takes up your time, attention and energy, as such can affect student’s performance in school. The impact of dating life on academic performance depends on how well one is able to strike a balance between social life and studies. In moderation, dating can help some academically while to other, the reverse is the case. Quatman, Sampson, Robinson, and Watson (2001) study dating status, academic performance, and motivation in high schools asserted that students who dated more frequently had a lower academic performance. The study supported a significant relationship between dating status and academic achievement, which can cause serious problems among university students (Prisbell,1986). While having an intimate relationship may have negative effect for emotional health, that being overly involved in dating is associated with a more negative effect on the psycho-social function and health of students (Baumeister,1995). For example people who engage in dating have been reported to have been performing poorly in schools, fails to attend classes, fails to do their assignments, fails to participate in academic activities and probably isolate themselves from other students. This is because of their commitment with their spouse which take most of their time.
In light of the above, the researcher seeks to investigate and find out the views of students on the phenomenon of dating and how it improves or affect the performances of students in Federal University Dutsin-ma.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Friendship is essential in any part of the world, because it is generally believed that no man is an island. Even attracting the biblical story of the origin of man, when Adam was created, God saw that it is not right for the man to be alone (Genesis 2:18).
The demand for a friend or partner especially someone of the opposite sex has grown tremendously over the years and it is even assuming different dimension and direction. Today in the world, friendship (especially with the opposite sex) connotes dating or romance (depending on the level of relationship). It means love or a romantic affair between two individuals, especially different sex composition. Dating traditionally and globally has been viewed as a requisite for marriage or at least a long lasting relationship (Sorensen, 2002).
Dating is now prevalent among both old and young. Dating or romance in the university campus is common. However, the problem here is not that whether dating is viewed as necessary or whether it is a prerequisite for marriage. But the problem is the effect of the dating on the students’ academic achievement. Different scholars today have argued that dating on campus causes a clash or conflict of interest in terms of loss of priority between one’s studies and the need to meeting the dating demands. That is they are of the view that dating negatively affects students’ academic performance. Some other effects of dating may include but not limited to over-stress among spouses, lack of time for academics activities, as well as health and psycho-social challenges. This view is shared by scholars such as Pianzhi, 2011; Quatman et al 2001;Crissey, 2006; Umar, Shaib, Aituisi, Yakubu and Bada 2010; Wensch, 2005; Rector and Jonson, 2005; Bailey and Miller 1998; Lugman, 2001.
However, other researchers have disagreed on this that dating tends to encourage good academic performance of students (especially when they study together, encourage themselves, sort each other out with assignments), some even went further to say that dating helps to create a sense of responsibility among students. Healthy communication prepares them for the future. Researchers on this other side of the spectrum include scholars such as Allen, 2010, Howard, 2004; Kopfler, 2001; Furman and Wehner, 2002.
However, some other studies have not even shown in a clear stand on the issue, that is to say the researcher(s) is inconsistent (Allen, 2010) and some others show that their results tend to nullify the hypothesis (Pham, 2002; Abanaka, 2007).
The foregoing has shown that dating in Federal University Dutsin-ma is conceived to be a social problem because of its negative consequences on students’ social life and academic performance. To some however, it is conceived to be a prerequisite for attainment of specific goals. This clearly indicates that there exists a misconception in the act of dating amongst students, giving rise to a growing gap existing in previous studies on the topic. This prompts theresearcher to critically examine the perception of students on campus dating and its impacts on student’s academic performance.
1.3 Research Questions
The following questions are raised to serve as a guide in the course of carrying out this research work:
1. What is the nature of romantic relationship in Federal University Dutsin-ma?
2. What is the perception of campus dating in Federal University Dutsin-ma?
3. What are the social factors that facilitatedating amongst students?
4. What are the positive and negative impacts of campus dating on students’ academic performance?
5. What suitable measures could be put in place to improve students’ academic performance?
1.4 Objectives Of The Study
The main objective of the study is to assess thePerception and Impact of Campus Dating among Students of Federal University Dutsin-ma. Other specific objectives are to:
1. Examine the nature of romantic relationship in Federal University Dutsin-ma.
2. Examine the perception of campus dating in Federal University Dutsin-ma.
3. Identify the social factors that facilitate dating amongst students.
4. Examine the positive and negative impact of campus dating on students’ academic performance.
5. Proffer suitable measures on ways to improve students’ academic performance.
1.5 Justification Of The Study
The significance of the study based on its findings will help in providing useful information that would be of help and reliance to students and how best to cope and improve their academic performance despite involvement in dating.
This study will serve as an additional source of knowledge and enlighten students on how campus dating positively and negatively affects their academic performance and also on how students could possibly avoid its negative implication and rather apply its positive impact on their academic performance.
This study will serve as an additional knowledge in the area which the topic to this study is concerned (Perception and Impact of Campus Dating on Students’ Academic Performance). It will also serve as a tool and reference for further studies. Finally, the recommendations will be useful to the university community, students, parents, government and the society at large.
1.6 Scope Of The Study
The scope of the study is to find out the perception and impact campus dating on students’ academic performance among students of Federal University, Dutsin-ma. The study covers students from the six faculties in the institution which includes Faculty of Science, Agriculture, Education, Art, Social Science, and Management Science. More so, the study focused mainly on the concept of dating among student of Federal University Dutsin-ma, Katsina state and not romantic relationship. Thus dating will be conceptualised within the context of the study area.
1.7 Operational Definition Of Terms
Key concepts and terms as used in this research work are hereby described as follows:
1. Dating: An activity with someone you might have a romantic relationship with (a friendship dating). In other words; an appointment to meet at a specified time; especially a social engagement between two persons that often has a romantic date.
2. Romance: To give special attention to someone in order to get something that you want from that person. Or to try to influence or curry favour with especially by lavishing personal attention, gift or flattery; in other words to carry on a love affair with someone.
3. Academic: Of or relating to school and education or based on formal study especially at an institution of higher learning.
4. Perception: The way you think about or understand someone or something.
5. Impact: To have a strong and often bad effect on something or someone.
6. Relationship: A romantic or sexual friendship between two people. Or the way in which two or more people or things are connected.
7. Love: A feeling of strong or constant affection for a person. Or attraction that includes sexual desire. In other words, the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship.
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