Sexual orientation and quality of life among students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Nigeria.
Background: Sexual orientation is an individual's pattern of physical and emotional arousal toward members of the same and/or opposite gender.
Objective: To determine the pattern of sexual orientation and the relationship between sexual orientation and quality of life among a sample of OAU students.
Methods: A descriptive cross sectional study among 481 students of OAU using a multistage sampling technique. They completed a Socio-demographic data schedule, questions on sexual orientation and the World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale – Brief version (WHO QOL-BREF).
Results: 4.9% of the sample self-identified as bisexual while 0.1% self-identified as gay/lesbian. 11.8% of the respondents reported varying degrees of attraction to the opposite gender. The mean age of sexual debut was 17.62 (±4.05). Those who self-identified as gay/lesbian/bisexual had a lower average score on all domains of the WHO QOL-BREF.
Conclusion: Same sex sexual attraction and practice occur among young people in Nigeria and this has sexual and reproductive health implications. GLB youth report a lower QOL compared to heterosexual counterparts and this may suggest some distress among this vulnerable group. More studies should be undertaken to explore issues raised in planning interventions and health services that would improve safe sexual practices within this group.
Keywords: Sexual orientation, quality of life, students, Nigeria.
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