This study focuses on the “Perception of premarital sex among students in higher education The challenges of sex before marriage have drawn concern; This is due to different social problems it generates. understanding is that, sex before marriage comes with its own dangers and if not treated properly can lead to more social problems. To achieve the stated objectives of the research, data were collected through the questionnaire as a tool. The data were analyzed using the Likert scale method to achieve clarity. According to research findings, it was concluded that sex before marriage among students has reached alarming proportions and that sex before marriage is now part of the social life of students and as such, students see nothing wrong with it. Therefore, it was recommended that, early sex education should be given to children, regular campaign and public awareness on sex before marriage should be carried out and that parents, government and the general public need take it upon themselves to bring their own quota to the education and the reduction of sex before marriage.



Title page                                                                                                     i

Approval page                                                                                            ii

Certification                                                                                                         iii

Dedication                                                                                                  iv

Acknowledgement                                                                                                v

Table of contents                                                                                        vii

Abstract                                                                                                      ix


CHAPTER ONE:                            INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study                                                                                       1

Statement of the Problem

Purpose of the Study

Significance of the Study

Research Question

Scope of the Study



Conceptual framework


Premarital sex

Sexual relationship

Tertiary institutions


Theoretical framework

Theory of diffusion by Everett Rogers

Theoretical studies

Studies on;

Causes of premarital sexual relationship among the tertiary students

Engagement of tertiary students in premarital sex

Role of premarital sex on the spread of HIV/AIDS

Factors that influence premarital sex


Empirical studies

Studies on;

Perception of students on premarital sexual relationship in Nigeria

Nature and extent of premarital sex among tertiary institutions

Effects of premarital sex on undergraduate students

Summary of Review of Related Literature                                                 



Research Design

Area of the Study

Population for the Study

Instrument for Data Collection

Validation of the Instrument

Method of Data Collection

Method of Data Analysis


Research Question 1

Research Question 2

Research Question 3

Findings of the study

Discussion of Findings



Discussion of Findings

Summary of Procedure Used

Implication of the Study



Suggestions for Further Studies







Background to the Study

In recent times, premarital sexual relationship has been on the rise around the world especially among the tertiary students. This development could be said to have resulted from the much exposure to modern technologies like social media, internet and also lack of proper parental control and care. Research indicates that as far back as 1950’s, the phenomena attracted a lot of public attention both in the 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 sexual relationship. According to Ayodele et al (2006), the rise in premarital sexual relationship 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 sexual relationship 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, most youths have lost their virginity and for those who haven’t, they are looked down on as not being up to standard.

Over 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 sexual relationships and experiment new ideas.

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 sexual relationship is highly normative behavior among university students. A significant number of the respondents see nothing wrong with sex before marriage. The study also identifies cohabitation as one of the primary influence on premarital sexual relationship among students in tertiary institution. Cohabitation of opposite sex is a predisposing factor to the initiation of sexual activities. Premarital sexual relationship is not confined to teens alone, a good number of people who are not married, are also vulnerable to premarital sexual relationship (Alex Ondevilla, 2013). This is evidenced by the large number of unintended/unwanted pregnancies many of which get terminated in back street clinics.

Abstinence before marriage is important, however in this present world where modern technology transports some changes in human sexuality, it has become a rare thing to see. Students, most especially teenagersin tertiary institution are vulnerable population to engage in pre-marital sex. For their best interest they need protection not only by the state but by the experienced people around them. This protection may not be by means of legal action but through clearness regarding pre-marital sex issues so that they could think well with certainty (Alex Ondevilla,2013).

Pre-marital sex is terminologies which are mostly overhead by students. Some engage in this act in a casual way and think its effect after they have committed such act. According to I. Joromat, a psychology teacher, he mentioned that by observations some students discontinue their studies due to earlier pregnancy and much worst if the pregnancy will gain no moral and financial support from the obligated man that contributed to the early motherhood situation.

In addition, the researchers discover that there are number of instances that students drop out of school untimely and later information was received that one of the reason of not coming back to school is pregnancy due to pre-marital sex. This fact sounds the alarm and needs sensible attention.

Therefore, it is very important to investigate the insights of tertiary students in Anambra State as regarding to pre-marital sex and thus, the study is conducted.


Statement of the problem

Pre-marital sexual relationship among students in tertiary students has been on the rise due to modern technologies and exposure.

Many students in tertiary institutions no longer see premarital sexual relationship as it is but they see it as a way to belong, in order not to feel left out or to be looked down on.

To this effects students are grappling with the problems of, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, inferiority complex, lack of focus on studies and students dropping out of schooldue to mismanagement of funds spent on frivolities.

All these aforementioned problems, starring at the face of Nigerian students in tertiary schools are banes in the progress of their academic life. These obstacles in the growth of the academic and moral life of tertiary students in Nigerian campuses especially in Anambra state is what prompted this study.


Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of the research work is toinvestigate the perception of students on pre-marital sexual relationship among tertiary students in Anambra state.

The study is specifically set out to find out:

  1. The causes of pre-marital sexualrelationships among tertiary students in Anambra state.
  2. The levels of pre-marital sexual relationships among tertiary students in Anambra state.
  3. The consequences of pre-marital sexual relationship among tertiary students in Anambra state.


Significance of the Study

The study will be of great importance to students, parents, lectures and even school administrators as a result of the trend of events in the tertiary institutions worldwide.

The study is intended primarily to reduce the students’ interest in pre-marital sexual relationship. It also helps the students to know the implications of involving in such acts.

The study will help the parents to know where they go wrong in training their children; it’ll also help school administrators in finding the solutions to these immoral behaviors.

Furthermore, it will serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field.


Scope of the Study

This research work covers the tertiary institutions in Anambra state. The work focuses on the students perceptions on premarital sexual relationship in the higher institutions.


Research Questions

  1. What are the causes of premarital sexual relationship among tertiary institutions students in Anambra State?
  2. What are the levels of sexual relationship practiced among students in Anambra State?
  3. What are the consequences of premarital sexual relationshipamong students in Anambra State?