INFLUENCE OF FAMILY TYPE AND JUVENILE DELINQUENCY ON ADOLESCENT’S INVOLVEMENT IN PREMARITAL SEX
The study examined Influence of family –type and juvenile delinquency on adolescent’s involvement in premarital sex in Bariga local government area. Four research questions and four hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The sample size consisted of 200 Senior Secondary School Students randomly selected. The statistical methods adopted were descriptive and inferential statistics. The major findings were; There is a significant relationship between single parent and adolescents involvements in premarital sex; There is a significant relationship between intact parent and adolescent’s involvement in premarital sex; There is a significant relationship between juvenile delinquency and adolescents involvements in premarital sex ; There is no significant relationship between socio- economic status of parents and adolescent’s involvements in premarital sex; there is a significant gender difference in the involvements of adolescents in premarital sex. The following recommendations were made among others; considering the upsurge of teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, educating adolescents about sexuality requires joint effort by parents, counsellors, teachers, curriculum planners and even government. Counsellors should try new strategies like counselling on proper gender role perception and abstinence to help them stay away from sex until they are ready.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Premarital sex is sexual intercourse engaged in by persons who are not married to each other. It is generally used in reference to individuals who are presumed not yet of marriageable age, or between adults who will presumably marry eventually, but who are engaging in sexual activity prior to marriage ( Lucas , 2000; Ramesh, 2008 and Barbra et al, 2001). The need to predict and design preventive measures against HIV/AIDS has provided the valuable impetus for sexual behaviour and intervention studies in the last few decades. Previous research on young peoples’ premarital sexuality activity shows a wide spectrum of factors that facilitate premarital sexual activity. These include the degree of parental influence in terms of monitoring and control or supervision and disciplining, peer influence, individual religiosity and religious affiliation, household structure or socio-economic status, environmental factors, gender norms, media influence, drug use and demographic factors (Broman 2007; Buhi and Goodson 2007; Biddlecom .2008).
Throughout the human history and in almost every society and culture across the globe, there exists the mutual sexual attraction between sexes, which takes its peak during adolescence. There are several factors which encourage pre-marital sexuality in cities; example include higher mobility and migration of younger people to towns and cities in search of jobs, massive urbanization resulting in proliferation of slums, growing population, unemployment, influence of modern mass-media and information technology, better life-style, changing modes and erosion of traditional customs and social norms and many others.
The increase in pre-marital sexuality is also influenced by several other supportive developments which range from family structure and peer pressure. There are many behavioural problems among the adolescents that Nigerian society today has to contend with. Such problems include truancy, disobedience, drug offences, assault, insult, stealing, violent demonstrations, vandalism, examination malpractices, robbery, and secret cult activities (Nnachi, 2003). Apart from these widely publicized behavioural problems, heterosexual activities are also listed among types of behavioural problems prevalent in Nigerian secondary schools.
These are variously named in the literature as sex abuse, sex offences, sexual misconduct, sexual immorality, sexual promiscuity, and sexual maladjustment (Odoemelam, 1996; Adedipe, 2000; Ndu, 2000; Nnachi, 2003). The rise in premarital sex in Africa has resulted from a sexual revolution that came with western culture (Scott, 2005). Sex in Southwest Nigeria before now was regarded as sacred and limited only to adult males and females within marriage (Alo, 2008). Public opinion polls have consistently shown that premarital sex is wrong and dangerous to health, resulting in abortions, teenage mothers and sexually transmitted infections (Aaron, 2006; Finer, 2007).
The adolescent years are a time of tremendous change, both for youth and their families. It is a time of finding one's identity as manifested by trying new ways of walking, styling hair, handwriting, or dancing. More significantly, it is a time of deciding who one is and what one stands for. This search for identity, and the new and different behaviors that accompany it, also creates changes and stresses in adolescents' families. The influence of family type (monogamy, polygamy and single parenthood) on adolescent’s involvement in premarital sex has given adequate attention in research.
1.2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
Theories of child development which approach the family from the childhood perspective, are concerned with the flexibility or plasticity of the child at different ages to being moulded by the family and the relative permanence of family influences (Kreppner and Lerner, 1989). The development of the child is viewed as following a probabilistic epigenetic course - according to which, biology remains a prime mover but the developmental results depend on reciprocal interaction between biology and the social context. Hence, on the probability that biological sensitive points in the child and the social and environmental resources of the family will come together to produce certain outcomes (Lerner, 1989). This approach to the family elaborates theories regarding family factors as determinants of child outcome such as involvement in premarital sex. It includes the investigation of psychological resilience, or why some children thrive in adverse circumstances. Exploration of family effects often is reduced to the examination of dyadic parent-child interactions, usually focusing on the mother-child dyed, with little attention to family dynamics. This has placed much emphasis on family structure-intact or single parent homes in influencing child developments and behaviours.
The type of family affects all forms of child development. Like all forms of human development, sexual development begins at birth. Sexual development includes not only the physical changes that occur as children grow, but also the sexual knowledge and beliefs they come to learn and the behaviours they show. This includes decisions to be involved or otherwise in premarital sex. Single parenting is a very important social issue that can have significant effects on an adolescent’s sexual behaviour. Adolescents who are raised in a single family home are at risk of not reaching their full potential.
The family structure, ideally, provides a sense of security and stability that is necessary for children. When there is a breakdown in the family structure, it may have a tremendous impact on a child and their ability to function ordinarily or demonstrate a socially acceptable sexual behaviour. In most situations, the child no longer has two parents to depend on. Therefore they have to rely on one parent to meet most, if not all their needs. With limited finances, time and availability, parents are less likely to provide the adequate support a child needs to perform to the best of their ability. This is not to say, necessarily, that the parent raising them is not providing them with more than adequate love and attention, but rather the single parent model within itself is comprised of many different factors that can affect a child’s sexual development.
1.3 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Variables like family history, parental education and type of parental care affect sexual behaviour. If teens feel parental support, feel a connection to their parents, and are aptly supervised by them, they are less likely to have early sexual exposure and become pregnant. If parents model sexual risk taking behaviour, such as early child bearing, or permissive attitude towards pre-marital sex, adolescents from such environment could engage in early sexual intercourse.
The incidence of teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infection (STIs) and HIV infections among our youth has become alarming. The fact that adolescents are in the age of high sexual drive causes many to engage in unsafe sex, premarital sex and prostitution. Male adolescents were also reported to have had sexual experience from early age of 14 years. Casual observation shows that parents spend insufficient time with their children. Some parents would even travel to distant places, leaving the children at the mercy of nannies and guardians. Such children lack parental care and attention and may end up becoming delinquent and most often would engage in early sexual intercourse. This study, therefore, intends to find out the influence of family type and juvenile delinquency on adolescents’ involvement in premarital sex in Bariga Local Government of Lagos State, Nigeria.
1.4 PURPOSE OF STUDY
The main objective of this study is to find out the influence of family type and juvenile delinquency on adolescents involvements in premarital sex.
Other objectives are:
1. To examine the effect socio –economic status of parents on adolescents involvements in premarital sex.
2. To determine who involve in premarital sex more between male and female adolescents.
3. To make plausible recommendation on what could be done to remediate risky sexual behaviour among the adolescents.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. Is there a significant relationship between single parent and adolescents involvements in premarital sex?
2. Is there a significant relationship between intact parent and adolescent’s involvement in premarital sex?
3. Is there a significant relationship between juvenile delinquency and adolescents involvements in premarital sex?
4. To what extent will socio- economic status of parents significantly responsible for adolescent’s involvements in premarital sex?
5. Is there a significant gender difference in the involvements of adolescents in premarital sex?
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
1. There is no significant relationship between single parent and adolescents involvements in premarital sex?
2. There is no significant relationship between intact parent and adolescent’s involvement in premarital sex?
3. There is no significant relationship between juvenile delinquency and adolescents involvements in premarital sex?
4. There is no significant relationship between socio- economic status of parents and adolescent’s involvements in premarital sex?
5. There is no significant gender difference in the involvements of adolescents in premarital sex?
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study through its findings would create the necessary awareness among parents on the influence of what they do on the sexual behaviour of their adolescent children. It will shed more light on the relevance of parents monitoring/supervision on present and future well being of the adolescents. It will also equip the adolescents with some of the dangers involved in pre-marital sexual intercourse and therefore make them to manage their teenage age with more caution. The findings of this study would be very useful to governmental ministries and agencies like Ministries of Health and Education; Non-Governmental Agencies as well as sundry stake-holders in packaging effective and result oriented interventions on adolescents. Lastly, it will contribute positively to the expansion of knowledge in the area of adolescent sexual behaviour and also serve as an important reference tool for future researchers in the field.
1.9 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study is basically on the influence of family type and juvenile delinquency on adolescents’ involvement in premarital sex. The target groups for the study are the adolescents in senior secondary schools. Five schools were selected among schools in Yaba Local Government Area namely. The respondents covered students in SS2. The researchers decided to use this group because these groups are within the age range of 14-21 years which is the middle adolescence and at which stage all the secondary sexual characteristics would have manifested. Also, they are more vulnerable to sexual experimentations and adventures.
1.10 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION
Adolescents: WHO (2003) defined adolescent as those persons in the age group between 10-19 years. For the purpose of this study, however, adolescence refers to school adolescent aged 15-19years.
Premarital sex: This is engaging in sexual intercourse outside marriage among adolescents.
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