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Results

p. 4-27


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1The results are presented in tabular form, and give the relevant data on the education of girls and current trends in their social behaviour in relation to their attitudes towards boys, sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases.

Findings with respect to girls

2The majority of the girls surveyed were between the ages of 15 and 18 (table 2). It was found that 78 per cent of the girls in mixed and 85 per cent of those in all-girls schools attended various parties (table 3). Parties are a social setting and provide the opportunity for many adolescents to be exposed to undesirable activities.

Table 2. Age of adolescents in selected secondary schools in Ibadan

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Table 3. Party attendance among adolescents in selected secondary schools in Ibadan

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3For example, it is during parties that many students are introduced to alcohol and keeping late hours. In fact, 8 per cent and 5 per cent of the girls in mixed and in all-girls schools respectively (table 4) admitted to staying overnight at parties. It is a mistake on the part of parents and guardians to allow their wards to stay overnight at parties. Cases of rape, exposure to drugs and lacing of drinks with drugs were reported by some of the students during the survey.

Table 4. Duration of stay at parties by adolescents in selected secondary schools in Ibadan

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4It is noteworthy that 12 per cent and 11 per cent of the girls in mixed and in all-girl schools respectively said they spent at least 4 hours at a given party (table 4), and up to 9 per cent and 6 per cent of girls in mixed and in all-girls schools respectively, attended parties with their boyfriends (table 5).

Table 5. How adolescents attend parties

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5One common feature of such all-night parties is that these adolescents were free from adult supervision; all kinds of activities such as smoking, drinking alcohol, experimenting with drugs and sex do occur. These parties were invariably organized at club houses or halls and very rarely in a parent’s house.

6Contrary to the general belief that smoking is a problem associated with adolescent boys, results from this study (table 6) showed that 3 per cent of girls in both types of schools smoked. In fact, 9 per cent of the girls in mixed and 12 per cent in all girls’ schools, said they had 1 to 3 girlfriends who smoked (table 6). These figures show that cigarette smoking is becoming a habit to contend with in adolescent girls.

Table 6a. Smoking habit in adolescents in selected secondary schools in Ibadan

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7The chances are high that more girls will pick up the habit as a result of peer pressure. Many of these girls were only occasional smokers; they admitted to smoking only at parties. This confirms the earlier statement that parties are places where adolescents pick up negative habits like smoking. The adverse effects of smoking are well known and the consequences, particularly when such habits continue into adulthood and subsequently into the reproductive years, have been well documented.

8On alcohol consumption, this study revealed that as many as 13 per cent of the girls in mixed schools and 16 per cent of the students in all-girls schools had consumed alcoholic drinks (table 7). Although cases of alcohol consumption have been surveyed in earlier studies (Adebusoye, 1991; Ladepo, 1993) none has been as high as has been revealed in this study, a fact which gives a cause for concern. When asked where they consumed alcohol, many of the girls admitted that they went to nightclubs.

9The consequences of overindulgence in alcohol are obvious; someone under the influence of alcohol is likely to engage in acts he or she would otherwise not consider when sober. Such acts include having sex with known and unknown persons, taking other harmful drugs, rape, careless driving and so on. When questioned if they had friends who also consume alcohol, 2 per cent of the girls in mixed schools and 7 per cent of the girls in all-girls schools admitted to having between 3 and 4 girlfriends who took alcohol regularly (table 7).

10When questioned on why they started.to take alcohol and or smoke cigarettes, the majority of the students admitted that they started out of curiosity, contrary to the belief that youths start as a result of peer pressure. It is noteworthy, however, that every girl who admitted to smoking cigarettM or drinking alcohol had at least three friends who also dran moked. This study revealed that most of these girls did not t^H^eer, but wine and sometimes spirits. The number of girls who drank beer was very difficult to quantify, as most were occasional drinkers. None of the girls admitted to ever being drunk.

Table 7a. Alcohol consumption by adolescents in selected secondary schools in Ibadan

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Table 7b.

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Table 7c.

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Relationships with the opposite sex

11In both mixed and in all-girls schools, more than 50 per cent of the girls admitted to having some sort of sexual relationship with boys; almost the same percentage (40 per cent) of the girls in all-girls and mixed schools denied having any form of relationship with boys (table 8). The implication of this is that more youths are becoming exposed to sexual relationships at a very tender age. About 21 per cent of the girls had boyfriends for the first time between the ages of 10 and 14 in all-girls secondary schools (table 10); only 13.5 per cent of the girls in mixed schools had boyfriends while in this age range. It was expected that girls in mixed schools, because of proximity, would have had boyfriends at an earlier age than girls in all-girls schools, but our data docs not support this conclusion.

Table 8. Girls in selected secondary schools in Ibadan who have boyfriends

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12It was found that 29 per cent and 40.5 per cent of the girls in all-girls and in mixed schools respectively had boyfriends for the first time between the ages of 15 and 20 years (table 10). From table 10 most of the girls had boyfriends for the first time at ages 15, 16, and 17 years in both types of schools. This may indicate that peer pressure and pressure from the opposite sex to get involved in a relationship may be highest at this age range.

Table 9. Boys in selected secondary schools in Ibadan who have girlfriends

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Tabic 10. Age at onset of having boyfriends/girlfriends among adolescents in selected secondary schools in Ibadan

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13When asked who influenced their decision to have a boyfriend, 27 per cent of the girls in both types of schools replied that they were old enough (tables 11 and 12). Adolescents often think they are old enough to take certain important decisions which affect their lives. Although at times they may be wrong, things usually work out better, if adolescents themselves are given a chance or put in a position of authority to decide what they think is best. The role of adults should be one of guidance, not of imposing what they think is ideal.

14In mixed schools, peer pressure was one of the main reasons given as the reason to have a boyfriend; 12 per cent as opposed to 4 per cent in all-girls schools. Older brothers and sisters were also found to influence the decision to have boyfriends (table 11). One girl confirmed that her senior sister encouraged her to have a boyfriend, saying that there was no "big deal" in having one. In all-girls schools, 5 per cent of the girls claimed that their older brother or sister encouraged them to go out with boys, while in mixed schools the percentage was 6 (table 11). In both the mixed and all-girls schools, just 2 per cent of the girls responded that their parents influenced their decision to have boyfriends.

Table 11. Factors influencing the decision to have boyl’riend/girlfriend among adolescents in selected secondary schools in Ibadan

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Table 12. Factors influencing the decision to have sexual intercourse among adolescents in selected secondary schools in Ibadan

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15Results from this study agree with reports (Makinwa-Adebusoye, 1991; Ladepo, 1993) that indicate that more adolescent girls are engaging in sexual intercourse at an early age. One per cent of the girls in both types of schools admitted to having sexual intercourse for the first time at the age of 10 years (table 13). Specifically, 10 girls in all girls’ schools and 9 girls in mixed schools indicated that they had had sexual intercourse for the first time before or at the age of 10 years.

Table 13. Age at first sexual intercourse for adolescents in selected secondary schools in Ibadan

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16Two per cent of the girls in both types of schools admitted to having had sexual intercourse by the age of 12 years, a total of 37 girls in all. Up to 3 per cent and 6 per cent of the girls in all-girls and in mixed schools respectively indicated that they had had sexual intercourse for the first time between the ages of 13 and 15 years (table 13).

17At the age of 10, a girl is still a child, and her secondary reproductive characteristics are not developed. Young girls are being enticed by unscrupulous adults and boys into engaging in sexual intercourse. Intercourse at this young age, before puberty, can have serious consequences for these girls, and can result in sterility or psychological problems.

18The majority of the students who indulged in sexual intercourse were between the ages of 16 and 18, 15 per cent in mixed and 4 per cent in all-girls schools (table 13).

19When questioned on the number of people they have had sexual intercourse with so far, 6 per cent of the girls in all-girls schools and 11 per cent in mixed schools admitted having had sexual intercourse with one partner only. However, at least one per cent of girls in all-girls and 2 per cent of the girls in mixed schools had had up to 3 partners (table 14). The figures are the same for girls who had had up to 4 partners in both types of schools.

Table 14. Number of sexual partners for adolescents in selected secondary schools in Ibadan

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20A clearer picture of the present number of partners that sexually active girls have had can be seen from table 15. Up to 10 per cent of the sexually active girls in all-girls and 6.8 per cent in mixed schools had just one partner. On the other hand, 1.4 per cent of the sexually active girls in mixed and 5 per cent in all-girls schools had had more than one partner. In addition to this, one per cent of girls in both schools admitted to having had casual sexual encounters (one-night stands), a total of 19 girls in all. As emphasized before, these girls need to have access to information and services in order to avoid the risks to which they are exposing themselves; many young women are totally unaware of the physical damage that sexual activities can have on their immature reproductive organs which could compromise their future fertility.

21The most common factor which influenced girls’ decisions to have sexual intercourse was found to be persuasion from their boyfriends. Six per cent of the girls in all-girls schools and 9 per cent of those in mixed schools (table 12) claimed that their boyfriends influenced their decision to have sex. Another factor was peer pressure, 3 per cent in all-girls and 6 per cent in mixed schools indicated that their friends persuaded them that it was alright to have sex (table 12).

Table 15. Sexual behaviour of adolescents in selected secondary schools in Ibadan

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22In order to confirm the data on rate of sexual activity amongst adolescents, girls were asked to state the number of their friends who were having sexual intercourse. Twenty-one per cent of the girls in mixed and 17 per cent in all girls’ schools confirmed that they had between 1-2 friends who had had sexual intercourse (table 16). Also, 9 per cent of the girls in mixed schools and 3 per cent in all-girls schools had between 3 to 4 friends who had sexual intercourse regularly; 3 per cent of the girls in both types of schools had more than 4 friends who were having sexual intercourse regularly (table 16).

23When questioned on the incidence of teenage pregnancies in these schools, more than half of the girls knew one or more girls who got pregnant at some point in time in their schools (table 17). For example in all-girls schools, 73 per cent of the girls were aware that one or more girls had got pregnant while 57 per cent of the girls in mixed schools were similarly aware of cases of pregnancy in their schools.

Table 16.. Friends of adolescents in selected secondary schools in Ibadan who have had sexual intercourse

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Table 17. Awareness of cases of pregnant students among adolescents in selected secondary schools in Ibadan

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Table 18. Cases of pregnancy among adolescents in selected secondary schools in Ibadan

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24When questioned on the fate of such pregnancies, 18 per cent of the girls in mixed and 22 per cent in all girls schools said they were aborted (table 19); while 24 per cent and 27 per cent claimed that some of the babies were delivered. These figures confirm an increasing incidence of teenage pregnancies and abortions in secondary schools in Oyo State.

Table 19. Fate of pregnancies of girls in selected secondary schools in Ibadan

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25On the subject of contraceptives, 58 per cent of the girls in mixed schools and 58 per cent of the girls in all-girls schools had heard about contraception (table 20). However, very few of the girls, 13 per cenf in mixed and 6 per cent in all-girls schools admitted that they would use any of the available methods to prevent pregnancy. In fact, only 2 per cent of the girls in all-girls schools disclosed that their boyfriends used condoms, while none of the girls in mixed schools would disclose the type of contraception they used. It appears that the use of contraceptive devices is low when compared with the number of sexually active girls. The need for education on and the provision of contraception for adolescent girls and boys are factors which should be urgently discussed by school administrators and parents of adolescent children in order to reduce the incidence of unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

26For the girls in both types of schools, their main source of information on contraception was the media, 59 per cent in mixed and 54 per cent in all-girls schools (table 21). These figures show the importance of the media in informing students and developing their minds in a positive direction, by providing facts on sexual and reproductive health.

27On the topic of sexually transmitted diseases, more than half of the students had heard about AIDS and other STDs (table 22), but the question that needs to be asked is whether or not they believed that they themselves could contact AIDs, given the fact that they indulged in sexual intercourse without protection.

Table 20a. Awareness and use of contraceptives among adolescents in selected secondary schools in Ibadan

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Table 21. Sources of information on contraception among adolescents in selected secondary schools in Ibadan

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Table 22a. Awareness of and types of sexually transmitted diseases among adolescents in selected secondary schools in Ibadan

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Table 22b.

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Findings concerning boys

28The ages of boys in mixed schools (table 2) showed that most of them fell within the adolescent age group, between the ages of 13 and 19, the target group for this study. In mixed schools 29.6 per cent of the boys were 17 years old, 24 per cent were 16 years and 22 per cent were 18. In Loyola College, which was the only all-boys school studied, 41.4 per cent of the boys were 16 years, 32 per cent were 17 years and 11.2 per cent were 15 (table 2).

29On the subject of party attendance, 86 per cent of the boys in the all-boys schools said they went to parties regularly, while the figure was 75 per cent for boys in mixed schools (table 3). This indicates that many boys were frequently exposed to the various types of unwholesome activities which take place during parties. The frequency of party attendance for both boys and girls in the schools studied was almost the same. At least 13 per cent of the boys in mixed schools, and 25 per cent of boys in the all-boys school admitted to spending at least 4 hours at any given party, while 12 per cent of the boys in mixed schools and 9 per cent in Loyola College stayed overnight at such parties (table 4). These figures are relatively higher than those for girls and this indicates that boys have a higher degree of freedom to attend social functions than girls. Thus, boys more often than girls, are exposed to negative influences such as smoking, alcohol and drugs amongst others. Boys are also often more eager to experiment with these activities, and have a greater need to try things to prove their maturity.

30Discussions with some of the boys indicated that most of them who smoked and drank, picked up these habits at parties. On the subject of how they went to these parties, in mixed schools, 29 per cent went alone, 20 per cent with their girlfriends, 11 per cent with their boyfriends and 12 per cent with other people, mostly parents and relations (table 5). In Loyola College, 29 per cent of the boys went to parties alone, 27 per cent with their girlfriends, 12 per cent with their boyfriends, and 5 per cent with other people (table 5). The boys confirmed that most of these parties were organized in nightclubs, where they were free to do whatever they liked. The survey showed that parties which lasted only 4 hours were mostly held at friends’ houses, while the ones that lasted all night were held at nightclubs, restaurants, hotels, etc. It was not confirmed, however, whether violent criminal activities such as rape occurred at some of these parties, as alleged by the girls.

31When questioned about their relationships with the members of the opposite sex, 74 per cent of the boys in Loyola College and 48 per cent of those in mixed schools admitted to having girlfriends (table 9). This confirms that most adolescent boys in secondary schools have some form of sexual relationship with girls. In fact, 18 per cent of the boys in mixed schools had girlfriends for the first time at age 11 years and below, while in Loyola College one per cent admitted to having had girlfriends before the age of 12 (table 10). This is in line with the results obtained for girls and indicates that more adolescents are now engaging in sexual relationships at a very early age, when the ideal thing is that they should concentrate on their studies. This early initiation into having girlfriends often stems from peer pressure.

32Most of these boys, particularly in mixed schools had girlfriends who attended all-girls secondary schools. These girls were not familiar with boys like the girls in mixed schools. When asked what influenced their decision to have a girlfriend, 20 per cent of the boys in Loyola College and 21 per cent of the boys in mixed schools said they were influenced by their friends who also had girlfriends, while 34 per cent and 25 per cent in Loyola College and mixed schools respectively claimed that they were old enough to have girlfriends (table 11). There is the need to determine through research, the effect of indulging in sexual relationships on the academic performance of the adolescents.

33Up to 15 per cent of the boys in mixed schools had had sexual intercourse for the first time at the age of 18 years and 13 per cent had had sexual intercourse for the first time at the age of 15 years (table 13). Also, 3 per cent and 7 per cent of the boys had had sexual intercourse for the first time at the ages of 10 and 12 years respectively. This is in agreement with many other findings (Makinwa-Adebusoye, 1991; Ladepo, 1993) that adolescents now engage in sexual intercourse at an early age and are therefore in urgent need of information and programmes, which emphasize the implications of early sexual activity, that is, the issues of teenage pregnancy and the increasing incidence of STDs among youths.

34To bring about the necessary changes, there is the need to take note of the point made earlier on, that adolescents normally think that they are old enough to take some important decisions concerning their lives. Therefore, in planning programmes for them, their opinions should be sought and strongly considered. Another important point is that peer pressure, to a very large extent, determines what many adolescents do. There is the need to use this peer pressure to the advantage of the adolescents themselves by putting them in positions where they can effect the changes in their friends and class mates.

35Contrary to the results obtained for mixed schools, 18 per cent of the boys from Loyola College had sexual intercourse for the first time before the age of 16 years while 12 per cent had sexual relations for the first time by the age of 18 years (table 13). However, five per cent had sexual intercourse by the age of 10, while 9 per cent had by the age of 12 (table 13). These figures confirm the fact that our adolescents have opportunities to engage in sexual relationships.

36When asked exactly what influenced their decision to have sexual intercourse for the first time, 16 per cent of the boys in mixed schools and 20 per cent of the boys at Loyola College claimed that their girlfriends influenced their decision (table 12) although they could not explain how they were influenced by their girlfriends. In addition, 14 per cent to 15 per cent of the boys in both the mixed schools and Loyola College admitted that their friends influenced their decision to have sex (table 12). Some of these boys confirmed that these friends had also had sexual intercourse (table 16) and encouraged them to do the same, telling them that ‘they do not know what they are missing’.

37A point that comes out here is that potential sexual partners have a stronger influence on the decision to have sexual intercourse than peers. Adolescents should be made to realise that the final decision to have or not to have sexual intercourse rests with them personally and that they should not be influenced by their boyfriends/girlfriends or peer pressure. Therefore, programmes organized for adolescents especially on taking decisions should have this as a focal point.

38When questioned on the number of partners they had had sexual intercourse with, 11.6 per cent and 5 per cent of the boys in mixed schools and Loyola College respectively claimed to have had just one partner; 7 per cent and 12 per cent of the boys in mixed schools and Loyola College respectively had up to 2 partners, while 4.2 per cent and 16 per cent in mixed schools and Loyola College respectively had up to 3 partners (table 14).

39Higher percentages were obtained for those who had had 4 partners and above, these are 20 per cent in Loyola College and 12 per cent in mixed schools.

40Information on the number of partners boys surveyed are presently having sexual intercourse with is provided in table 15. Up to 19 per cent in Loyola College and 14 per cent in mixed schools claimed they had just one sexual partner; while 17 per cent in Loyola College and 14 per cent in mixed schools said they had more than one sexual partner. Having sexual intercourse with more than one partner is one of the ways by which sexually transmitted diseases are spread. There is an urgent need to provide more information on how to prevent sexually transmitted diseases before these youths face the greatest risk of their lives; HIV infection.

41Having a sexual relationship with an unknown person or casual friend on a one-night stand basis also exposes adolescents to sexually transmitted diseases. Three per cent of the boys in Loyola College and 7 per cent in mixed schools admitted to having had sexual intercourse on a one-night stand basis. Some of the boys were not willing to disclose the class of people they had sexual intercourse with, that is, whether they were prostitutes or girls they picked up at parties. However, two of such boys in mixed schools disclosed that they had had sexual intercourse at parties with girls. They did not disclose however, whether these girls were forced into having sexual intercourse or were willing partners. This finding confirms the earlier statement that unsupervised teenage parties can provide a venue for undesirable activities.

42On the issue of peers who were having sexual intercourse, 25 per cent of the boys in mixed schools and 10 per cent in Loyola College respectively claimed they had at least 2 friends who had sexual intercourse regularly, while 18 per cent and 31 per cent claimed to have at least 4 friends who had sexual intercourse regularly (table 16). The disparity in these figures is due to the fact that many students are not willing to disclose information on their personal relationships, but they readily talk about the escapades of their friends.

43Results show that in spite of the negative effects of habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol, the level of consumption is relatively high. It was found that 12 per cent of the boys in Loyola College and 6 per cent in mixed schools smoked cigarettes (table 6). The high percentage of smokers in Loyola College cannot be explained, but a relatively high number of students who smoked was also observed in Ibadan Grammar School where the majority of the students are boys. In fact the school accounted for more than one third of the total number of smokers in mixed schools.

44In addition, at least 31 per cent of the boys in Loyola College and 16 per cent in mixed schools had friends who smoked (table 6); and again, Ibadan Grammar School accounted for approximately one third of the boys who also had friends who smoked. A breakdown of the actual number of friends who smoked is presented in table 6.

45On alcohol consumption, the trend was the same; 35 per cent of the boys in Loyola College and 23 per cent in mixed schools reported that they drank alcohol (table 6). Most of these boys claimed to have taken alcohol at youth gatherings, at nightclubs and at parties. Only 2 boys admitted to going to beer parlours to take alcohol on a regular basis. Up to 41 per cent of the boys in Loyola College and 27 per cent in mixed schools respectively disclosed that they had friends who take alcohol (table 6).

46On the issue of awareness of girls who got pregnant in their schools, 36 per cent of the boys in mixed schools said they were aware of girls who got pregnant in the school. At least 10 per cent of the boys were aware of one girl; another 10 per cent were aware of 2 girls, while 4-5 per cent claimed that they were aware of at least 3 or 4 girls who got pregnant; one per cent of the boys disclosed that they were aware of up to 10 girls who got pregnant, but this may be an exaggeration on the part of the boys (table 18).

47On the fate of these pregnancies, 8 per cent of the boys in mixed schools claimed they were aborted, 13 per cent did not know what happened to the pregnancies, while 7 per cent disclosed that the babies were delivered (table 19).1 These figures show that even boys are aware of the fate of such pregnancies. The figures confirm that a serious situation exists in our schools and that there is an urgent need to address the problem. The negative consequences of teenage pregnancies and abortions include the debilitative effect on the general health of the girl and the baby. In addition, abortion can jeopardize the future fertility of the girl concerned.

48Many of the boys claimed to know about contraceptives, 53 per cent in Loyola College and 40 per cent in mixed schools (tabic 20) but claims on usage were lower, 31 % in Loyola and 18 per cent in mixed schools. No question was asked to ascertain if the boys who used contraceptives were using them properly. The most commonly used contraceptive was the condom. Up to 28 per cent of the boys in Loyola College, and 13 per cent in mixed schools used this barrier method of contraception (table 20). However, less than one per cent of the boys in mixed schools claimed to use other methods of contraception.

49When the number of boys who claimed to be having sexual relations was compared with those who use contraceptives, it appears some boys who admitted to having sexual intercourse do not use any contraceptives. For example, for Loyola College, the total percentage of the boys having sexual intercourse whether with just one partner or more than one partner or on one-night stand basis was found to be 39 per cent, whereas only 31 per cent used contraceptives. In mixed schools the situation was nearly the same, 35 per cent of the boys admitted to having sexual intercourse whereas only 18 per cent used contraceptives. These boys who do not use any protection, face increased risks of catching sexually transmitted diseases. Although they do not carry pregnancies, they suffer from the psychological effects, in terms of the stigma attached to such young parents in the Nigerian society.

50The most common source of information on contraceptives was the media. Precisely 53 per cent of the boys in Loyola College and 44 per cent in mixed schools mentioned the media as their major source of information on contraceptives (table 21). Friends were another major source of information; 13 per cent in Loyola College and 7 per cent in mixed schools.

51Parents and relations were shown to be poor sources of information on contraception. Parents should be enlightened on the role they should play in the dissemination of the right information to adolescents. These findings confirm the important role played by the mass media in the dissemination of information.

52On the subject of sexually transmitted diseases, 88 per cent of the boys in Loyola College and 58 per cent in mixed schools had heard about STDs; in fact almost all of the students knew about AIDs (table 22). It is, however, not certain whether these boys were aware of the fact that the safest form of protection available is the condom and that they were vulnerable to STDs if they did not use some form of protection.

Notes de bas de page

1 As Loyola College is an all boys school, the question was not administered to them.

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