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Education and Sexuality: Towards Addressing Adolescents’ Reproductive Health Needs in Nigeria

Author(s): James Godswill

Journal: Current Research Journal of Social Science
ISSN 2041-3238

Volume: 4;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 285;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Adolescents | reproductive health | sex | sexuality | sexuality education

The aim of this study is to assess the crucial role of sexuality education in addressing adolescents’ reproductive health needs within the backdrops of immense challenges in Nigerian environment. Young people have been well documented as a special need group in the area of reproductive health. Adolescent sexuality and reproductive health are important contemporary concerns especially for reproductive health problems such as early marriage, unintended/unwanted pregnancy, maternal mortality and sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. A large number of adolescents in Nigeria decide to be more sexually active without access to preventive measure, such as condoms or family planning devices and thus face undesired consequences, including unwanted pregnancies, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), including the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and the social consequences of both. In fact, adolescents have a higher prevalence of most reproductive health problems because of lack of information and poor access to service. However, one of the 2004 Nigerian National Population Policy objectives is increasing the integration of adolescents and young people into development efforts and effectively addressing their reproductive health and related needs. The study, which relies mainly on secondary data, examines the crucial role and benefits of sexuality education against the backdrops of the challenges including reaching the youths with sexuality and reproductive information and service, or motivating them to change behavior in the light of new information and awareness, more institutional support and creating the social and economic climate, which will make the desired changes possible and sustainable. The author contends that it is a violation of ones fundamental human rights and freedom guaranteed by numerous international, regional and national policies as well as legal instruments when attempts are made to control rather than educate people to freely express their sexuality positively and in good health. Thus, there is need for all stakeholders to acknowledge the reality of adolescent sexuality and teach them how to be healthy sexual beings without endangering themselves and others.
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