Sexual Behaviour and Practices Among Secondary School Adolescents in Anambra State, Nigeria
AbstractBackground: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), adolescents are persons aged 10 to 19 years. Adolescence is the progression from appearance of sexual characteristics to sexual and reproductive maturity; development of adult mental processes and adult identity and a period of transition from total socio-economic dependence to relative independence. Their sexual behaviour is an issue of global public health concern. Objective: TThis study is to assess the sexual behaviour and practices among secondary school adolescents in Anambra State, Nigeria. Methods: A cross -sectional descriptive study of 384 inschool adolescents in Anambra State, Nigeria, selected using a multi stage random sampling technique was done. Data was collected using pre-tested, semi-structured self administered questionnaires. Data was analyzed with SPSS version 13 computer software. Results: One hundred and twenty (34.3%) out of 384 respondents have had their first sexual exposure and are sexually active. Seventy eight (65.0%) were males while 42 (35.0%) were females. The mean, modal and youngest ages of initiation into sexual activity were 15.08 + 0.2, 15+ 0.2, and 10+ 0.2 years respectively. About 49 (40.8%) have multiple sexual partners. Contraceptive awareness was 52.0%, while contraceptive uses at first and last sexual intercourse were 35 (29.2%) and 108 (75.0%) respectively. The most commonly used contraceptive methods were condom 90.0% (108) and pills 8.20% (10), while the most common reasons for having premarital sex were peer group pressure 50.0% (60) and monetary gains 27.5% (33). Conclusion: Risky sexual behaviour is high among this age group. Efforts to promote sexuality education and contraceptive awareness should be intensified. Key words: sexual behaviour, secondary schools, adolescents, Nigeria. Afrimedic Journal 2010; 1(2)22-27
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