Sex Education in Nigeria

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1AFRICA REGIONAL SEXUALITY RESOURCE CENTRE Understanding Human Sexuality Seminar Series 3Sexuality Education in Nigeria: Evolution, Challenges and Prospects ADUNOLA ADEPOJU (PhD) Department of Arts and Social Sciences Faculty of Education University of Lagos Nigeria Lagos, Nigeria March 24, 2005 © ARSRC 2005 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Page 2

2Introduction Ancient theories and ideologies about sexuality, circled around the power of dreams, the individual as a sexual being, the power of self cultivation and processes of essentialism. Although the concept of sexuality can be dated back to our ancestors, who laid much emphasis on the care of self and the act of procreation, emerging population and health concerns have led to the re-thinking and re-identification of the relationship between sexuality and human activity and behaviour. Invariably, the concept of sexuality has undergone many changes within the past forty years. The emergence of the sexual revolution has also impacted greatly on sexual orientations, patriarchy, sexual relations, family formations and reproduction. In recent times, the youth who constitute ages 10-24 and 36.7 per cent of the Nigerian population, are found to be highly vulnerable to antisocial behaviours such as violent crimes, unsafe sexual activities and drug abuse among others. The Nigerian Association for the Promotion of Adolescent Health and Development, (NAPAHD) has also alerted that, an hospital based research has shown that, 80 per cent of patients with abortion complications are adolescents. This assertion was based on the fact that, over 16 per cent of teenage females reported first sexual intercourse by age 15 while 8.3 per cent of boys of age 15 have also had their first encounters. This adolescents’ health dilemma has been attributed to their great lack of information and knowledge about the implications of their population behaviour on their sexual health and the general welfare of the nation. In this vain the introduction and institutionalisation of sexuality education became one of the immediate efforts made to address this problem to create awareness about these sexually based problems. The rational was to acquaint the youth with factual and accurate sexual information about the dimensions of sexual knowledge that will enable them understand and clarify their personal values, improve their sexual knowledge and sexual decision–making and promote their knowledge about how all these interact with socio-cultural and religious factors to affect personal well-being. This set of values sexuality education was set to promote perhaps form part of the motivation for its introduction into the Nigerian educational system. However, in view of the predicament suffered by similar intervention packages such as Population/Family-life Education it is relevant to examine the potentials for success and failure of this nascent subject. With this backdrop, this paper will examine the origin of the concept of sexuality education, how it evolved in Nigeria and how well it is fairing in Nigeria. In doing this, the paper will highlight on some conceptual perspectives of sexuality education, identify its definition, its content and structure. The prospects and challenges of sexuality education in Nigeria today will also be identified by looking into the relationship between sexuality and; society and culture, socio-economic status, ethics, communication, information, gender and the media. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Page 3

3Conclusions will be drawn and practical ways of moving sexuality education forward in Nigeria will be suggested. Conceptual Perspective The following conceptual perspectives guide the discussions...
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