Influence of the Internet on the Sexual Health of University Undergraduates in Makurdi, Nigeria
This paper investigated the nature of relationship between internet exposure and the sexual health of university undergraduates in Benue State. The main objective was to assess the extent to which internet exposure has affected the sexual health of university undergraduates in Benue State. A sample of 400 students (two hundred students each) was selected from each of the two universities in Makurdi metropolis (Benue State University and University of Agriculture). Survey method was used, with questionnaire and interview as instruments for data collection. Findings showed that internet exposure, particularly exposure to pornographic sites, e-mailing and on–line chatting had negative effects on the students. For instance, it was noted that these have corrupted the minds of the students (most of who were in their late teens or early twenties) by exciting their curiosity about sex; which, normally peaks at this period of human development. Results also showed that these exposures drive sexual experimentation, and in some cases, promote repeat sexual practices. However, these practices, as some respondents have noted, often lead to unplanned pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, and other dangers. On the whole, the findings suggested that internet exposure has led to sexual promiscuity among university undergraduates in Benue State. This in turn, has led to such sexual health problems as unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and abortion-related complications among others. It is therefore recommended, among others, that University undergraduates should de-emphasize patronage of pornographic sites.