The study investigated the attitude of mothers towards the introduction of sex education in secondary schools with special reference to secondary schools in Enugu urban in Enugu state. The population of the study was two hundred and ten mothers selected from seven schools in urban secondary schools. A sample of 30 mothers was randomly selected from each school. The instrument used for the study was questionnaire. The questionnaire was constructed and validated by some expert and the reliability of it was measured by statistician. The data collected was analyzed using mean. The result showed that the attitude of mothers affects the teaching of sex education in Nigerian schools. Lack of introduction of sex education in schools leads to increase in the rate of early pregnancy, illegal abortion among adolescents contacting of sexual transmitted diseases. Therefore the researchers recommended that Government should encourage the introduction of sex education in secondary schools.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
A happy family is basis of a stable and wholesome society as well as a key to individual happiness. Education should not only be concerned with the physical hygiene but also with economic, social, cultural and spiritual phases of the family life. Education for family, especially for youths at adolescent and post adolescent ages, is currently subject to serious discussion. This project will focus it attention on sex education in our secondary school in Enugu Urban.
Sex education is an integrated part of total education for living, which begins at birth and proceeds throughout every phase of growth. The basic pattern of the child’s future sex attitude and behaviour are sex in the formative first five years of his life. Chissel (1945) said that the teaching of sex education in schools and colleges should be done by experts but unfortunately this category of teachers are not readily available, having in mind that sex is an aspect of human life that requires little or no guidance as how to get about it. Sex education is the process of acquiring knowledge and information about human sexuality. For many years in Africa, sex education and public discussions or human sexuality have been a taboo especially for some Christians, no body wants it. For the Christian and for those human beings who thinks that talking about sex will bring sexual misconduct and abuse, it would be proper to remind them of two things.
First, even without the proper talking about or saying a word about sex in public places, sexual misconduct has been on the increase just because of lack of knowledge.
Secondly, it is good to remind us a lot of positive information about human sex. (Odunze 1990) we cannot overemphasize the need for sex education. It goes without saying that opinions may differ on sex education. This is due to the puritanical backgrounds, Christian doctrine of sex as original sin and traditional sin and ethnical aspect of marriage. Our sex instinct is part of our nature, it has been given to us by God.
We are witnesses to the consequences of this inhibition, insensitivity, illogicality and irrationality of sex education. Pomeroy (1981) reported that, time after time, people would say to me, if only I have been given more information about these things when I was young, or if I have more open attitude about sex, I wouldn’t have made such a mess of my life. It is unfortunate that people can make such a regrettable statement in this present age and that parents hold tenaciously to traditional beliefs. The manners and morals of the 19th century are still very much with us and continue to provoke irredeemable damage and unhappiness. I agree with statement that instead of joining those prophets of disaster who see only trouble before us, and who demand a return to the good old day, it is advocated that we acknowledge the changes that are upon us and accept the responsibility for directing them with all the rationality, foresight and skill of which we are capable.
Sex education has been defined in various ways. One of such ways is the one given by Shy (1976 :4) who defines sex education as the “education which teaches the young person what he/she should know for his/her personal conduct and relationships with others” in view of the above definition, such questions as who will teach the young person and of what age range is the young person could arise. The answers to these kinds of question are not far fetched. Sex education should start from child hood stage. The reason is that from infancy, an individual is developing feelings about himself and others in his world, mother, father, brothers and sisters. Growth and developmental changes occur continuously. A child is normally curious about his world and his relationship to the people in it. As he matures, strong innate drives arise which are often in conflict with the norms and standards of the group of which he is a part. If he is to live happily with himself and as a member of the group, he must learn to understand, accept, deal adequately with the changes which are occurring within him, and to control and direct his sex drives in personally satisfying and socially acceptable ways. The writers agreed that sex education should start from infancy, but decided to carryout their research specifically on secondary institutions. . The reason being that those attending secondary institutions range in age from twelve to seventeen years and even twenty years. During this ages, the growing child is not only most impressionable but also most inquisitive. This is because the general malaise in the present Nigerian society could be traced to the mania for sex, sex mania is in turn a product of inadequate or ill-informed idea of the intents and purposes of sex. In answer to the second question as to who will teach sex education, the writers suggest that it should be everybody’s affair since sex pervades every stages of life.
Sex education is aimed at providing knowledge of human reproduction, arrest of misuse of sex, a check on the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, reducing the dangers for adolescent pregnancy and providing good interpersonal relationships between the sexes. It is observed that over years, there has been a general upward movement or rise in the population of people. As noted earlier, this arise from the fact that people are giving birth without due consideration as whether they can take care of the children or not. Some girls even get impregnated prematurely. No doubt, the life of females is in danger if the ugly trend continue unabated. Many young girls meet their untimely death while deliverying a child.
Apart from premature death, inadequate knowledge about sex related issues had in the past made boys and girls alike to indulge in sexual activities without knowing the consequence of such acts. At the end of it all, many girls begot children who were not respected and wanted in the society, some of them, that is boys and girls contact sexual transmitted diseases including HIV/Aids, some girls commit abortion so as to avoid the social stigma attached to carrying a pregnancy outside married life, some girls had their fallopian tube rendered infertile because of improper administration of the abortion on them etc.
Lapido (1984) remarked that, inadequate knowledge about sex on the part of youths leads to the raising of bastards and illegal children who grow up to harass and molest the society.
The agents of education, which includes the home, the schools and the church, play vital roles in the child’s mental and physical development. Nwegbu (1974) argued that the home and the school are not performing up to he expectation in terms of the provision of sex education in their homes because many parents are inadequate or reluctant to give sex education to their children. Students have to rely on their own initiative and whatever they can learn from friends and their school mates. Thus, they under go a great deal of emotional stress and strain caused by a variety for reasons. Chief amongst which for the twelve age groups, may be problem of ignorance about sex. Parents tend to withhold specific education about sex issues even when they are informed and able to give such education.
Onigbo (2000) reported that abortion account for over half of emergency gynecological admissions in most developing countries and places, a considerable drain on limited medical resources. In five year review of women treated for illegal abortion at the university teaching hospital Enugu, 90 percent of the patients were unmarried adolescents. At the University of Benin, teaching hospital between 1970 to 1977, 61 percent of abortion related admission involved teenagers who had never been married. In the context of a high and increasing incidents of unwanted pregnancy and illegal abortion among adolescent, the introduction of sex education in primary and secondary school curriculum is a welcome development. Following the introduction of sex education in schools, there is need to find out the thinking, feelings and behaviours of mothers towards sex education, hence this study is concern.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
According to Anerobi, Eya, Oguike and Okwuma (1991:3) attitude stands as a cardinal point in health. Favourable attitude is a essential prerequisite for the promotion and maintenance of mental health, social health and emotional health. The verbal expression of some mothers in Enugu urban towards sex education are some – times not encouraging. Some of them hold negative views about sex education. For instance the think that sex education or discussing sex with young ones will make them to be promiscuous in life. Sex educaitn primarily concerns with teaching on sex roles, conception, happy married life, child birth and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. Where sex education is lacking, youths will be deprived of the knowledge of human reproductive system. There will be misused of sex for other things. There will be high spread of sexually transmitted disease. There will be also an increase in the dangers of adolescent pregnancy. Finally, interpersonal relationship may be poor. So after considering the above problems that could result from lack of sex education, it was decided to carry out a research in order to know the attitude of mothers in Enugu urban towards the introduction of sex education in the secondary school curriculum.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study was to find the attitude of mothers towards the introduction of sex education in secondary schools in Enugu urban.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is considered very necessary in many respects.
Mothers: this study will enable mothers to appreciate the need for them to develop positive attitude towards sex knowledge. The knowledge which the mothers will derive from this study would enable them on how to teach their children, prevent them from contacting veneral diseases.
Teachers: The teachers stand to benefit from this study. It will expose them top various technique and strategies to adopt in imparting sex education delivering lessons to the students without invading into their privacy.
Policy maker: The outcome of this study will provide data for policy makers in the area of sex education. With such information, the relevant government agencies will draw up guide lines for the teaching of sex education in secondary and primary schools.
Curriculum: The study when completed will generate data for curriculum planners when developing a curriculum on sex education.
Researcher: This study will acts as a spring-board for future researchers who may wish to carry out a study on human sexuality, it will also make the researchers to realize the importance of sex education in human life.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
There are many schools under Enugu urban, but for the purpose of the study, the researchers limited themselves to only seven!
(1) City Girls Secondary School Enugu
(2) Queens School Enugu
(3) Urban Girls Secondary School Enugu
(4) New layout Secondary School Enugu
(5) Metropolitan Girls Secondary School Enugu
(6) Government Technical College Enugu
(7) Government Secondary School Enugu
This study was limited to working class mothers who are teachers. The reason for limiting it to only teachers is because they are the ones to implement the curriculum. Secondarily, they will be able to fill the questionnaire (written). The illiterate mothers have to be interviewed orally.
(1) What are attitude of mother towards introduction of sex education in secondary school?
(2) What are the strategies which should be adopted in teaching of sex education?
(3) What are the aims of introduction or teaching of sex education in secondary school?
DEFINITION OF TERMS
The following terms were defined:
Malaise: Feeling of bodily discomfort, but without clear signs of a particular illness.
Sex: The sum total of those differences among individual by which distinction is made between partners engaged in sexual reproduction.
Attitude: Position of a person, manner, emotion or action towards an object or person or issues.
Mother: Female parent or women who has adopted a child.
Illegimate birth: Birth given by unmarried parents.
Promiscuity: The act of having so many partners indiscriminately for sexual conduct.
Mania: Exteremely strong desire or enthusiasm for something.