Adolescent Attitude towards Sex Education in the Senior Secondary Schools of Awka South Local Government Area



This research work was a survey research; it was designed to study the adolescent attitude towards sex education in the senior secondary schools in Awka South Local Government Area Anambra State.  In carrying out the research, five research questions were raised to study the adolescent attitude towards sex education.  A sample of one hundred (100) students was randomly selected.  Twenty (20) students each from the selected public senior secondary schools were used.  For effective data collection, questionnaires were designed using strongly agree, agree, strongly disagree, disagree.  The data collected were critically analyzed and used to test the research questions propounded, simple percentage were the statistical method adopted in the analysis of data.  During the findings, it was discovered that adolescent faces sex related problems because of lack of sex education.  Based on the findings, it is recommended that education about the dangers of sex should be provided by parents, teachers and religious leaders.




The Nigerian Society today has to grappling with many behavioral problems of its youth. Such problems include truancy, disobedience, drug, offences, assault, insult, stealing, violent, demonstration, vandalism, examination malpractices, robbery, secret cult activities (Nnachi, 2003). Apart from these widely publicized behavioral problems, heterosexual activities are also listed among types of behavioral problems prevalent in Nigeria secondary schools. These are variously named in the literature as sex abuse, sex offences, sexual misconduct, sexual immorality, sexual promiscuity, and sexual maladjustment (Nnachi, 2003)

The end of the nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth century represented an important in the invention of the concept we now call adolescence. Adolescence can be described as the period between the latter stage of childhood and the early stage of adulthood (Health Foundation of Ghana, 2004). The World Health Organization (WHO) suggested adolescence can be the period between the ages of 10 and 19 or the second decade of life. Adolescence, therefore, refers to boys and girls who fall within this stage or period.

Sex education simply refers to the systematic attempt to promote the healthy awareness in the individual on the matter of his development, functioning, behavior and attitude through direct teaching. Sex is a topic, which most people would not like to talk about. The Nigerian parents’ attitude to sex is that the child will grow to know. In the home, when the child is present and the parents are discussing issues as regards sex, even the adolescent child is kept away from sight. An inquisitive child who ventures to ask questions about sex is morally branded “a bad” child. Many society and home consider discussion of sexual issues as a taboo. In view of this, most parents finds it too difficult, awkward and uncomfortable to discuss sex related issues with their children. Children are condemned when they mention a word referring to some sexual organs or act. Even the hands of babies are hit whenever they fondle with their organs. Due to this, throughout adolescent, the youth in the country learn about sex and sexuality in a variety of ways devoid, in most cases of factual and empirical information and in secrecy.

The child comes to know about sex possibly from an early age through relative, friends, the elderly, movies and drawing. A 14years old boy was asked where he learned about sex, he responded” in the street’. Asked if this was the only place, he said” well, I learnt some from play boy and others from sex magazines”. What about school, he asked? He responded, “No, they talk about hygiene, but not much that could help you out”. When asked his parents’ contribution, he replied “they haven’t told me one thing” (Powers and Baskin, 2008).

In a similar survey contained in the Population Report(2009), seventy-five percent of the students sampled preferred to discuss about bodily changes that occur  during adolescence with peer of the same sex, none of them wanted it to be with their parents. As a result of a cultural taboo, adolescents in many developing countries rarely discuss sexual matters explicitly to their parents. As a result of a cultural taboo, adolescent in many developing countries rarely discuss sexual matters explicitly with their parents. Most information for their patchy knowledge often comes from peers of the same sex, who may themselves be uninformed or correctly informed. The end result to know about one’s sexual development, hence experimentation to explore one’s sexual life.

The issue of introducing sex education has been a tropical and controversial one with two schools of thought emerging. This scholarly tug of war has engaged the attention of policy makers and government the world over, religious organization, parents and even children. Many are those who have called for its introduction due to the apparent havoc that irresponsible and unplanned sexual behavior brings.

As a child reaches the adolescent stages, the interest in opposite sex generates. This instinct – (sex drive) which has been present with the adolescent since childhood pushes him or her to ‘pet’ kiss and manipulate the sex organ, etc. Curiosity and experimentation of sex, which sometimes leads to teenage pregnancy and or contraction of STD (sexually transmitted diseases), are prevalent at this adolescent stage.

Statement of the Problem

A lot of sex related problems facing the youth of today is undoubtedly linked with lack of sex education. It is apt to point out that even though these (matters about sex) impinge generally on men, the vulnerable group is the youth, many of whom are not knowledgeable in matters concerning sex. In their bid to satisfy their curiosity, many youth will like to experiment these things and inexperience usually lead them into dangerous consequences. Many a time, the adolescent receive wrong information and these myths and misconception are carried throughout their life time. Therefore, there is no need to provide adolescent with information so as to enable them to cope better with these changes (Sathe, 1992).

The fact is that with or without these services, the tendency towards precocious sexual relations, pregnancy in adolescence and the alarming increase in the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in these age groups, are common place and universal realities. It is necessary that the adolescent is made aware of these bodily changes through education before they occur so that they can adequately prepare themselves before the asset of puberty and also help them engage in other activities rather than sexual manipulation.


Purpose of the Study

The study, therefore, sought to explore the adolescent attitude towards sex education in the senior secondary schools in some selected schools in Awka South.

Specifically the study is to:

  1. Determine the nature of the adolescent thoughts and feeling towards sex education.
  2. To find out the nature of adolescent thought and feeling towards sex education in relation to information given by parent, teachers and other media.
  3. To determine the extent to which gender, age grade and residence influence learner’s thought and feeling towards sex education.



Significance of the Study

The finding will be of benefit to the various groups such as parents academic community as well as the government.

Secondary school adolescent will benefit in the sense that they will understand the importance of sex education on them and the masses. To the academic community, the study will contribute to the existing literature and this will bridge the gap in information flow and thereby stimulate further research in this area. The government equally will benefit as the result of the study will lead to developing appropriate standard of behaviour and healthy living.

Scope of the Study

In any study, the scope is the area in which the research work is focused on or going to be carried out as a centre for the study.

The smaller the scope, the more manageable the study will be in terms of available resources, time, energy and intellectual materials.

The scope of this study will be limited to the Adolescent Attitude towards Sex Education in the Secondary Schools in Awka South Local Government Area.






Research Questions

The study sets out to examine or unravel the following research question:

  1. What is the nature of adolescent’ thought and feeling towards sex education?
  2. What is the nature of adolescent’ thought and feeling towards sex education in relation to information given by parents, teachers, peers and other media?
  3. How does age and residence influence the thought and feelings of adolescents towards sex education:
  4. To what extent do student favour the teaching of sex education in schools?
  5. In what ways can sex education be effectively promoted among adolescent in schools?