Perceived awareness of adolescents on sex education

Background to the study

The stage of a person’s life that occurs between childhood and adulthood and is referred to as adolescence. The Latin term “adolescere,” which literally translates to “to grow,” is where we get the English word “adolescence.” Between the ages of 10 and 19, adolescents are a distinct demographic that falls between the categories of children and adults (WHO, 2009). This type of individual will typically go through a variety of changes, both physically and psychologically, as well as obstacles, including those associated with sexuality. The teenager, consequently, has to be effectively informed on matters relating to sex in order to make informed decisions about sexuality, and relevant educational opportunities are required for this. Home Economics education should be able to equip adolescents with the competencies (knowledge, skills, and attitudes) in sex education that will allow them to deal with challenges relating to sexuality and develop their potentials to the fullest extent possible. These competencies can be provided as part of sex education, and they can be provided to adolescents. A person’s mental, sexual, and physiological development all progress during adolescence, a time of life that is also fraught with a bewildering variety of challenges brought on by the many diverse developmental shifts that occur during this period (Burt, 2010). An adolescent is a male or female that is in the process of transitioning from childhood to adulthood. This transition involves a number of changes on a biological, cognitive, and emotional level. Adolescents can be either male or female. During puberty, a person’s body goes through a series of physiological changes, including a spurt of growth, shifts in hormone levels, and development of the sexual organs. Individual thinking and intellect can alter as a result of cognitive changes, which can lead to an increase in abstract, idealistic, and logical thinking. Individuals’ feelings, personalities, and their relationships with one another are all part of socioemotional transformation (Santrock, 2004). The intellectual, social, physical, emotional, and moral traits of adolescents are all present in equal measure. Briefly, these characteristics range from modeling behaviour, restlessness, mood fluctuation to storm and tension. In many cases, they are distinguished by the youthful enthusiasm and propensity for experimentation that they display, particularly in terms of sexual behavior (Moore, 1993).
In the fields of biology and psychology, sex is referred to as both an identity and an action, which makes it a significant concept. It is the anatomical structure of a person’s sexual organs in conjunction with specific physiological operations that determines whether or not a person is male or female according to identity standards. Caring for one another and having sexual encounters are also aspects of this activity (Sandler, 1980). This is body chemistry, and what they (adolescents) consider to be love is something they experience. It is also important to consider the location of the teenager, such as whether he or she lives in an urban or rural area, as well as the people with whom they engage in sexual activity. Adolescents are better able to exercise self-control over their sexual needs when they have received an education that includes useful information on sexual behaviors and values. This type of education is referred to as sexual education. It is also possible to describe it as any and all forms of education that successfully address the problems that adolescents face and the social interactions that are directly or indirectly connected to sexuality (Anyaegbunam, 2003). According to the report that was presented to the General Assembly of the United Nations in the year 2001, sex education is defined as the type of education that helps young people develop the ability to make informed choices about their behavior and the confidence to act on those choices. The author of the piece expressed agreement with this definition. Therefore, the knowledge, skills, and attitudes connected to sexuality and sex that help teenagers to deal with the sex issues they face make up what is known as “sexuality and sex education.” It is also the educational measures that focus on sexuality, which stand for an individual’s protection, presentation, improvement, and development (Burt, 2012).

The process of instilling in teenagers the knowledge, attitude, and abilities necessary to manage the issues presented by adolescent sexuality is referred to as “sexual education.” It involves knowledge, attitude, and skill that serve to encourage and influence positive behavior change in adolescents. Adolescents are the target population for this. The primary purpose of sex education is to encourage the healthy growth of a person’s personality as well as their sexual life. It also helps teenagers develop the needed ability necessary to boost interactive learning tasks, which allows for the development and practice of abilities such as communication, negotiating, and listening (Mario, 2011). It is generally acknowledged that teenagers have a right to receive sexuality instruction because this is a method through which they can be assisted in protecting themselves against exploitation, unwanted pregnancy, STDs, and HIV and AIDS. Challenges are presented to adolescents by their bodies and their emotions, by their relationships with people of the opposite sex, and by their ignorance of the dangers that are inherent in their sexual act. These dangers include the possibility of adolescent pregnancy, abortion, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), sexually transmitted infections (STIs), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Challenges are difficult tasks that test someone’s ability and skill, and many adolescents see challenges as problems. Some of the challenges include adjusting to the altered appearances, functioning of the maturing body, learning to deal with sexual desires, confronting sexual attitudes and values, experimenting with sexual behaviors, and integrating these feelings, attitudes, and experiences into a developing sense of adulthood. Challenges are difficult tasks that test someone’s ability and skill. Challenges are seen as problems by many adolescents (Moore, 1993).

A person’s knowledge, experience, and natural aptitude all contribute to their ability to perform a task successfully, which is what we mean by the term “skill.” It is a potential that may be obtained by an individual through training, and it is intended to ensure that the individual is proficient and competent in the performance (Nnachi, 2008). The development of beneficial social behaviors in an individual, such as self-discipline, sound judgment, and the capacity to get along with others, is facilitated by skill, and this skill can be obtained to a considerable extent by meeting the requirements of sex education.

The act of finding and filling gaps between an individual’s existing situations and their ideal conditions or wants is what is meant by the term “need” (Shafloot, 2011). A desire to increase current performance in order to make up for a shortcoming is one example of an issue that may be correctly identified by measuring the gap between the existing conditions and the conditions that the adolescent wants to have instead of having those conditions (Burke, 2005). Need is defined as the things an individual requires in order to achieve a desired standard. Chutta (1992). According to Olaitan, Nwachukwu, Igbo, Onyemauche, and Ekong (1999), a need is a requirement that is considered necessary in order to achieve effectiveness. In the context of this study, “need” refers to the sexual education information, attitudes, and abilities that adolescents require in order to live in a socially and morally responsible manner. It is also essential to incorporate sexuality education into the curriculum of upper-level basic education, in particular to attract them at a young age and also to adequately guide them on their requirements via the process of teaching and learning (Nnachi, 2008).

It is therefore essential to provide adolescents, while they are still in junior secondary school, with formal instruction on sexuality. This will not only guide and mentally prepare them for the responsibilities that come with adulthood, but it will also protect them from the risks associated with engaging in risky sexual behaviors (Barbara Hasting 2013). Organizing formal instruction involves identifying different areas of need while teaching the components of sex education as such – sex roles, pre-marital sex and teenage pregnancy, social relationship, personal identity, emotional development, sex drive or sexual feelings in childhood adolescence sense, social aspects, conception, pregnancy and births, physical, emotional and psychological changes during puberty, gender roles, STD (Jateline, 2011), and proper ways of tea. Organizing formal instruction also involves Because of their lack of experience and knowledge, adolescents are easily duped into making poor choices. This study identified the sex-related challenges faced by adolescents in relation to their body changes, emotional challenges, challenges resulting from their relationship with someone of the opposite sex, the knowledge, attitudes, and skills required to cope with the aforementioned challenges, and areas in which adolescents have a need for sex education. Because there are instances of sexual harassment, teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, sexual immorality like rape, and homosexuals, adolescents have a need for sex education that is aimed at reducing the risk of potential negative outcomes that could be caused by inappropriate adolescent sexual practices.


Statement of problem

In today’s Nigeria, there is a growing problem with moral permissiveness, promiscuity, unwanted pregnancy, abortion, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), forced marriage, and school dropout among young people. According to Onah (1981), the rise in the prevalence of these problems can be traced back to the lack of knowledge among young people regarding sexual education. The goal of secondary students’ sexuality classes was to help them develop the skills necessary to deal with sexually related issues and peer pressure, as well as to enable them to make sexuality-related decisions based on accurate information. There are still issues that arise from sex related issues of adolescents, such as teenage pregnancy, STIs and STDs, abortion, HIV/AIDS, same sex relationships, which are on the increase, as well as luring adolescents into baby making machines, which are pervasive as a result of adolescents actively engaging in sex, despite the efforts of the government to include sex education in junior secondary schools.

Teenagers are unaware of the difficulties associated with their own physical body development, the care and management of their body changes, the emotional changes that accompany those changes, the difficulties associated with their relationships with people of the opposite sex, and the difficulties associated with their access to and utilization of sexuality information (Brown, 2013). They rely on peer groups and the media to obtain information about their sexual development and practices, despite the fact that this information may be false and misleading. As a result, they put themselves in danger of unwanted pregnancies and contact with STDs and HIV/AIDS, both of which damage their lifelong expectations, result in the victims being ridiculed and disgraced, and, in some cases, result in the victims’ deaths due to a lack of access to proper health care delivery systems (Mihalko, 2011). These things have an effect on the goals of sexual education, cause the components to become derailed, and destroy the modalities and strategies that are necessary to teach sexual education in the classroom.

The majority of parents do not take an interest in the stages of development that their adolescents go through because they do not have enough time for their children and the pressure to earn more money is growing. Teenagers are sexually active and need to investigate the changes that are occurring in their bodies, but at the same time, they are confused and so require an understanding ear from their parents, who do not have time for them.

Because the teaching and learning of sex education in schools in Ogun state depend on the scanty unit course outlines provided in Basic sciences, Home Economics, Health and Physical Education disciplines, it means that the junior secondary school system in Nigeria has not much sex education in their curriculum (BECE Brochure, 2012–2015, Nnachi, 2008). As a result, the sex education needs of adolescents have not been adequately addressed. This study on adolescent sex education needs was undertaken to investigate these and many other adolescents’ overall developmental and sexual problems and challenges. As a result, it adduced some measures of ameliorating these encumbrances for a satisfactory sustainable lifelong living and effective adolescent contributions towards a better well behaved and sex-controlled society, particularly in Ogun state. This research was conducted in Nigeria.

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