Ethnic and cultural factors as determinants of sexual behaviours among Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba youths: implications for sexuality education in Nigeria

Mercy Onwuama, University of Lagos
Adunola Adepoju, University of Lagos

Sexual Literacy among Nigerian Youths has been a subject of debate over a long period of time. Factors such as ethnicity, socio-cultural background, gender stereotypes and politics among others have been found to have great relationship with varied patterns of sexual behaviors among youths. Invariably, with the upsurge of the HIV/AIDS pandemic one thing that has remained difficult to understand is how far the combination of indigenous sexuality education and the structured sexuality education introduced into Nigerian schools have helped in shaping the sexual behavior of the Nigerian youths. How much and how well the indigenous sexuality education has served as a foundation for the structured sexuality education in the schools is something that requires attention in other to further improve the understanding of the youth about day to day sexual issues that surround them. In this vein, the study looked into variations in the patterns of youths sexual behaviors based on their socialization process and their perceptions of their sexuality before and after their exposure to sexuality education in the school. The Expost facto research design was adopted to examine the content of the in-school sexuality education, its mode of implementation, its methods of evaluation and its relationship with the indigenous sexuality education bearing in mind extraneous factors such as politics and religion to determine knowledgeable the Nigerian youths are about their sexuality and sexual issues. The study identified the missing gaps between the indigenous sexual literacy and the structured sexuality education and suggested changes and modalities by which sexuality education could be used to improve the sexual behavior of the youths, and suggests that sexuality education be given a wider reach through primary health care programmes at grassroots’ level and school curriculum expansion for structured sexuality education to commence from primary school to ensure effective knowledge transfer.

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Presented in Poster Session 1

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