religion, religiosity, adolescents, sexual health behaviour, Lagos, Nigeria
The rate of premarital sexual intercourse among adolescents in Nigeria is alarming, despite its prohibition by several
religious groups. This contradiction prompted the question: what is the prevailing relationship between religion, religiosity, and adolescents’ sexual behaviour in the country? This relationship was examined through survey data collected between December 2009 and February 2010 in the Lagos metropolis. A multistage sampling procedure was adopted in selecting 1026 adolescents between 12 and 19 years of age in the metropolis 2 and Logistic regressions techniques were employed in data analysis. Results reveal that religious affiliation is significantly related to only casual sexual relationships among boys at the level of 2 analysis (p < 0.05) but it is not significantly related to any of the indicators of risky sexual behaviour at multivariate level of analysis. Also, religiosity is significantly related (p < 0.05) to multiple sexual partnerships at both levels of analysis among females. The study concludes that religious affiliation is not likely to play any significant role in combating adolescents’ risky sexual behaviour but religiosity could be fairly effective in this battle among females in the study setting.
Keywords: religion, religiosity, adolescents, sexual health behaviour, Lagos, Nigeria