Perception of Sexuality Education amongst Secondary School Students in Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Background: Sexuality behavior amongst young people in Nigeria and indeed Sub-Saharan Africa is seriously going through transformation from what it was previously. It is therefore important that young people have adequate information about their sexuality so that they can make informed choices.
Objective: To determine perceptions and knowledge of sexuality education amongst secondary school students in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Methods: A structured, anonymous and self-administered questionnaire, used as instrument for data collection, was distributed amongst a convenient sample of 1050 secondary school students attending a series of Schools debates in Port Harcourt Metropolis.
Results: The students were aged 10 – 20 years, with a median age of 15. There were 486 males and 564 females giving a M: F ratio of 1:1.2. Four hundred and fourteen (73.4%) of the females had attained menarche. Nine hundred and fifty (90.5%) of the respondents had heard of sexuality education but only 422 (40.1%) discussed relevant topics on the subject. 52.8% believed that sexuality education should be given at home by both parents. However, only 164 (31.2%) and 19 (3.6%) got such information from their mothers and fathers respectively. Only 7.6% acknowledged the school teacher as a source of information.
Conclusion: Secondary school students are aware of the subject of sexuality education, but lack adequate information on sexuality issues. Parents and teachers are a poor source of information for students. Parents, Teachers and students need to be enlightened on sexuality education. There is also a need to incorporate it into the school curriculum.
Keywords: Perceptions, sexuality education, secondary school, students.