EFFECT OF EARLY SEX ON STUDENT ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
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This study examines the relationship between early sex among students and its effect on academic performance. There has been considerable research and policy debate internationally about whether single-sex schooling yields academic and social advantages for both girls and boys. This study outlines some of the findings from research on effect of early sex conducted in Nigeria. In particular, it looks at research on the impact of sex and relationships on academic performance, subject take-up, personal and social development, and adolescence outcomes. In doing so, it attempts to provide a critical perspective on some of the key issues involved in comparing the results obtained.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The trend is gradually changing and the incidence of student-adolescents’ or youths’ engaging in sexual relationship is high and may constitute problems (Ngalinda, 1998) including social, health and academic. Students’ sexual activity has resulted into increased cases of unplanned pregnancies, poor academic performance, and eventually school dropouts (Mlyakado, 2013; 2013a). However, studies in Nigeria have not seriously investigated the effects of early sex on students’ academic performance. Most of previous studies in Nigeria have invested in studying factors affecting academic performance in general. Factors studied include such as teachers’ incompetence, student’s low motivation, teachers’ low morale, the level of sexual activity of students, etc. summarized in Timothy (2010). Evidences from other countries may help to understand the existing relationship between students’ sexual relationship and academic performance. In the United States, a number of studies have shown that, teenagers who abstain from sex are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college than their sexually active peers (Sabia & Rees, 2009). Although American context is not comparable to Nigeria due to great differences of the two countries in socio-economic, educational and technological development, still this study lays a good foundation to understanding sexual behaviors and academic performance of adolescents in different contexts including Nigeria. Good academic performance is imperative in learning school materials (Timothy, 2010). However, this has not been the case in some school in Nigeria. The quality of education in school has deteriorated overtime (Mlyakado, 2012). School has experienced students’ poor academic performance signaled by mass failures of secondary school leavers, which sparked concern of the public especially parents. The ‘Certificate of Secondary Education’ (CSE) results have posed a frustrating indicator to the education wellbeing in Nigeria. CSE mass failure can be exemplified by the results in 2010, when 49 percent of form four leavers failed at division zero; in 2011, when about 47 percent failed at division zero and in 2012 when about 65.5 percent students got division zero. The 2012 CSE results compelled the government to form a special committee to investigate and come up with solutions to prevent CSE mass failures. After the committee’s investigation, it was advised to standardizing the former results and then the performance records were changed. This study, however, does not aim at explaining mass failures in school rather ascertaining the existence and effects of early sex on student academic performance. Studies reveal that, there is relationship between students’ sexual relationship and their academic performance (Sabia & Rees, 2009). It was found that, high school students who were dating exhibited consistently and significantly lower levels of academic achievement and academic motivation (Quatman, et al., 2001). Another study on teenage sexual abstinence and academic achievement revealed that, teens who abstained from sex during high school years were substantially less likely to be expelled from school by 60 percent, 50 percent less likely to drop out of high school and almost twice as likely to graduate from college (Rector & Johnson, 2005). In support of these findings, the following arguments were offered: when greater energy and interest were invested in sexual activity the drive for academic performance was likely to diminish, sexually active teens may become preoccupied with the present sexual activity, then, long-term academic goals may have diminished importance, and teenage sexual relationships are inherently short-term and unstable, therefore, the collapse of intimate relationships is likely to result in emotional turmoil and depression, which, in turn, affect individual’s academic performance. Such a perspective also demands attention to sex differences for at least three reasons. First, there is evidence that female students may be more susceptible than male students to the negative consequences of “fear of success”(or “fear of failure”; see Leitenberg, 1990; Rothblum & Cole,1988). Such motivational differences between the sexes could lead to differences in academic performance and, more specifically, to female students “underperforming” their male counterparts. Second, sex differences in the frequency and intensity of depressed moods have been well documented; with female generally the more frequently depressed sex (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2001). Dysphonic affect is a more salient emotional motivation for female than for male. Third, female make up an increasingly large proportion of the undergraduate population (Goldin et al, 2006).
It is noted that, unplanned or premarital pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, poor academic performance are typical problems students engaging in sexual activity are likely to encounter. However, this study capitalized on effect of early sex on student academic performance. Good academic performance is a core achievement desired by any educational institution that aims at achieving quality education. It should be noted further that, students are in schools for academic achievement. It is during this time when young people pass through a critical time of their life development including academic and eventually career choices. On the hand, during the same time most adolescents start experimenting with their sexual fantasies (Kelly, 2001; Santrock, 2006), which may compromise with their academic life and in turn adversely affect academic performance.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
There is a link between sexual activities and academic performance, as the world changes, so do our lives, this is true of effect of early sex on student academic performance. A sexologist, Tiefer (1995) stated that sex is not a natural act, Wilson and Nias (1976) also stated that sex hormones are increase when the brain is confronted by sexual arousing stimuli and decrease when confronted with fear, anxiety, stress. This is probably because hormone secreted is controlled by the pituitary gland which has connections to the hypothalamus in the brain, pheromones is another chemical that plays important role in sex. Because of the possible out-come, from it premarital sex evolving from the youth, failure to discuss that issue of sex and sexuality education with our children, leads to them dating secretly because of the natural tendency to do so coupe with environmental factors. These secrecy and taboos surrounding the issue of sex leads to high incidence of teenage sexual tragedies, early sex involve the emotional, physical, social, psychological and educational, aspect of the individual health wise, it may lead to STDs, HIV/AIDs, some student use the academic for love talks, outing and seeking for the seemingly happiness of each other. This will certainly affect academic performance thereby leading dropping out from school. This unfortunate situation abounds among students and certainly needs counseling intervention to redress such ugly trend. Against this background, the study investigates effects of early sex on student academic performance.
1.4 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study to examine the effect of early sex on student academic performance;
Specifically, the study intend to;
- Assess the effect of early sex on student academic performance
- Assess other factors contributing to early sex among student
- Examine the relationship between effect of early sex and student academic performance
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: there is no effect of early sex on student academic performance
H1: there is effect of early sex on student academic performance
H02: there is no significant relationship between early sex and student academic performance
H2: there is a significant relationship between early sex and student academic performance
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of benefit to the federal ministry Education, teachers and student. The study suggests that “all information will help specially student the implication of early sex to their academic performance. The study will also be of great benefit to the researchers who intends to embark on research on similar topics as it will serve as a guide. Finally, the study will be of great importance to academia’s, lecturers, teachers, students and the general public.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study covers effect of early sex on student academic performance. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
The researcher attending lectures, doing assignment, preparing for semester exam and also writing project was the major challenge, thereby limit the study. The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher have to combine other academic activities also limit the study. The money to photocopy and download information from internet contributes in the limitation of the work.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
EFFECT: A change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause
EARLY: Happening or done before the usual or expected time
SEX: Either of the two main categories (male and female) into which humans and most other living things are divided on the basis of their reproductive functions.
ACADEMIC: Academic definition, of or relating to a college, academy, school, or other educational institution, especially one for higher education: academic requirements.
PERFORMANCE: The action or process of performing a task or function.
EARLY SEX: This is of concern because early initiation of sexual intercourse places adolescents, particularly females, at elevated risk of being involved in an unintended pregnancy, of acquiring HIV or another sexually transmitted disease (STD), and of other negative social and psychological outcomes.
ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: Academic achievement or (academic) performance is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals.
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