Background of the study
Over the years and all through history it has been observed that opposite sex attracts, that is, man to woman, young boys to young girls, male child to female parent (Oedipus complex) and female child to male parent (Electra complex). This attraction could be for sexual
gratification, sense of identity or a feeling of belonging. Literatures have shown that these two parties (male and female) have always had a strong connection that is beyond the ordinary. Something, someone or an idea has drawn them together.
Premarital sex 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 engaged in sexual activity prior to marriage (Lucas, 2000, Ramesh, 2008 and Barbra et al, 2001).
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). Premarital sex is sex before marriage and it is generally found among the youth. It involves fornication, rape, defilement and incest. The causes behind it have been established including curiosity among the youth, proof of manhood, lust, pornography and it adverse effects, insanity and sex promiscuity as well as moral decadence among the youths (Choe et al, 2004).
Premarital sex is perceived and seen as a taboo in many cultures and considered a sin against man and God in most religion, it has become more commonly accepted by large portions of populaces in developed countries within the last few decades. The rise in premarital sex in Africa has resulted from a sexual revolution that came with western culture (Scott, 2005). A 2014 pew study on global morality found that premarital sex was considered particularly unacceptable in “predominantly Muslim nations” such as Indonesia, Jordan, Pakistan and Egypt, each having over 90% disapproval, whilst many people within western European nations were the most accepting with Spain, Germany and France having less than 10% disapproval.
According to a 2001 UNICEF survey, in 10 out of 12 developed nations with available data, more than two thirds of young people have had sexual intercourse while still in their teens. In Denmark, Finland,
Germany, Iceland, Norway, The United Kingdom and The United States, approximately 25% of 15years old an 50% of 17year olds have had sex. This goes a long way to prove that even before the students gains admission into the University a hand fill of then are already familiar with the experience of sexual intercourse an so the trends to continue even at the University level.
Worldwide, rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among the youth are soaring; one-third of the 340million new STDs each year occur in people under 25 years of age (Fernandez et al, 2010). There are many behavioral 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 malpractice, robbery and secret cult activities (Nnanchi, 2003). Apart from these widely publicized behavioral problems, heterosexual activities are listed among types of behavioral problem 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 (Odoemelamelam, 1996, Adedipe, 2000, Ndu, 2000; Nnachi, 2003). When this individuals graduates from their secondary school they do not only graduate with learned behavior and new ideology which they bring in to the University to explore their new gained freedom.
Sexual intercourse from observation and from the reports and witness of people who engage in them attest to the fact that it is highly pleasurable, both during and after the act, and as such an average person would be attracted to activities that induce pleasure. People engage in premarital sex, in this case University undergraduates for several reasons whether out of curiosity, for pleasure sake or a feeling of achievement etc. The case of premarital sex among undergraduate student of the University of Benin one can say has been on the increase and is gradually becoming a part of the norm in our society and the University communities. In one occasion in my Faculty just outside the entrance I witness a girl and a boy obviously not married kissing and smooching for a long period of time in the dark. Here and there within an outside the University Campus, cases of students caught engaging in sexual intercourse has been reported among undergraduate students in some locations of peculiar features. A roommate of mine attest to an incident where him and his friends caught some students in the act around the dark corners in his faculty, one thing lead to the other and the case got to the security department University of Benin.
According to Abdullahi and Umar (2008), “Sexual behavior among the students in our University is speculatively very rampant and worrisome. In this contest it is important to understand why youth engage in risky sexual behavior and to understand the influencing factors for the behavior. When the Dean, students’ affairs of the University of Maiduguri whose responsibility is to regulate the conduct of students issued a circular to checkmate sex activities amongst students, the students felt that neither the deanery nor the university authority had jurisdiction over their sex life. The students, who live in congested rooms and study in a difficult academic environment, were angry, not for the lack of facilities in the halls of residence or in the teaching areas, but with the interference of the university management with their personal life (Their Activities). In the night of Monday, 28 January, 2002 the students went on demonstration during which the Dean of student affair was beaten and sand thrown on him.