KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE OF SEX EDUCATION AMONG MOTHERS IN AWGU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
Background to the Study
Sexeducationcan be best described as character education. It consists of instruction to develop understanding of the physical, emotional, social economic and psychological phases of human relations as they are affected by male and female relationship (Asha 1967).
Sexeducationis also the study about human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual intercourse and other aspects of sexual behaviour (Wiki Pedia 20012).
However, sex education includes more than anatomical and reproductive information, sex education is viewed as a life long process of enquiring information and forming attitudes, beliefs and values about identify, relationships, and intimacy (SIECUS 1993). It implies that man’s sexuality is integrated into his total life development as a healthy entity and as a source of creative energy.
Infact, sex education is a term used to describe human sexuality which means that it emphasizes education about all aspects of sexuality and sex orientation, sexual pleasure, values, decision-making, communication, dating, relationships, sexually transmitted diseases (STDS) and how to avoid them and birth, control methods. From the definitions above, it is understood that most mothers in Awgu L.G.A have no knowledge about sex education and the practice is very poor at family level because mothers in Awgu L.G will continue to give birth to up to thirteen children and yet will still continue to deliver more.
Moreover, the high rate of teenage pregnancy and numerous cases of early Vesico Vaginal Festula (V.V.F) as a result of early marriage/child birth and even cases of STDs is an evidence to prove that the mothers lack the knowledge and practice of sex education in AWGU L.G.A of Enugu State.
In Nigeria today, emphasis is more on the desirability of four family members that is, small family size. But in most villages of AWGU L.G.A, the mothers continue to give birth to up to thirteen children and above. Because of this, there is high rate of maternal mortality, teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases and V.V.F in the area. However, in order to put a stop to these problems, sex education should be given to the mothers and children at the family level so that the mothers can make it a point of duty to give their children the right education on sex related issues before it could be introduced or mentioned to them outside or else where. (Oluremi 2002).
The mothers have failed to play their role in that, most children get the first information about sex from their peer groups and of course wrongly because of lack of knowledge and practice of sex education among mothers in AWGU L.G.A of Enugu State. This goes a long way to ruin the lives of some children because the relationship of these children to their mothers is very poor as far as sex education is concerned.
Consequently such children abuse sexuality and ruin their lives for ever and some may have their reproductive organs destroyed through illegal abortion; some may contact sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV/AIDS some may run into unprepared early marriage, some will fall victim of Vesico Vaginal fistula (V.V.F) or even die all in the name of ignorance and these are the reasons why good percentage of unwanted pregnancies illegal abortions, high mortality rates of our teenage girls abound in AWGU L.G.A of Enugu State.
Even with our women, they also fall victim to all these problems due to lack of knowledge of the vital facts like not knowing how well to plan their families or involving them selves in extra-marital sex.
What about the high incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS that is nearly giving us the idea of no future for the young generations?
All these are due to lack of adequate information or knowledge or lack of proper education about one’s sexuality (Oluremi 2002).
The relationship of children to their mothers play a vital role here. There is communication gap between children and their mothers or caregiver in sex education
Many mothers in Awgu L.G.A of Enugu State don’t mention this at all to their children and never to raise the issue up again. If mothers don’t care about their children’s future, their lives will be ruined. Other finding has revealed that the more mothers talk to their children about sex, the less they stand the risk of experiencing teenage pregnancy as well as sexually transmitted diseases STDS/HIV/AIDS.
It is important to remember that teaching young ones about sex, it helps to protect them from nsi nwanyi and against ime Mkpuke’ in Awgu language.
In doing this, the mothers should stress more on abstinence from pre-marital sex until the children gets married.
This issue of sex education is a very important topic in which people have very strong opinion, often guided by religious and moral teachings as well as their own early experience. However, mother’s participation is welcome in this important issue. In respect of the above account, there is need for urgent and careful look into mothers participation in sex education of children in Awgu L.G.A of Enugu State.
Statement of the Problem
Something is really going wrong about the way mothers in Awgu L.G.A of Enugu State leave their duty of educating their young boys and girls. Some of them fall victim of having unwanted pregnancy which finally result to illegal termination of the pregnancy which is very risky to their reproductive organ or health. Some of their teenage girls fall victim of unwanted pregnancy and problem of Vesico Vaginal Festiula VVF due to pre-marital sex and early child birth which consequently results to school dropout.
However, the mothers also lack the knowledge of family planning methods and the practice very poor most families and that is why a mother in AWGU L.G.A will give birth to up to thirteen children and will still want to deliver more, leaving them Untrained even up to secondary school level.
Some of these children dropped out in the primary school as a result of poverty and that is why there are lot of applicants in the area, their most occupation is farming while some of the boys who are very lazy join bad gang and begin to cause nuisance in the community just because they were unable to bear the number of children they can not carter for.
One can imagine a teenage boy of about 18 years raping a girl of about 9 year old in rural area of Awgu L.G.A of Enugu State rendering the child almost lifeless. This happened in one of the villages called mgbowo in Awgu L.G.A. taking closer looking into the harmful and deadly effect of these problems, Governments, mothers and Religious group should take serious action about this by providing strong and steady remedies and not only fighting the risky behaviours like the outcome of HIV/AIDS and other STDs but providing sex education to the children and teenager which will rightly direct their ideas about sexuality and correct those who had already been misinformed before they start wrong practices.
Serious steps have to be taken to check the increasing rate of promiscuity, sex addicts, rape, polygamy with no regard for family planning done by mothers in the rural areas of Awgu L.G.A considering ignorance, poverty, diseases, ugly conditions they might lead to like having pre-marital sex, pregnancy, over population, STDs, HIV/AIDS, illegal abortions leading to damage of the reproductive organs and even death.
To this end mothers should be educated on the advantages of sex education so that they will pass it unto the children as they are closely in touch or related with the children.
As emphasized by (Nwosu, 2001), who stated that consistent information gives better result, especially when it has to do with education or changing peoples Unhealthy attitude to desirable one.
Purpose of the Study
The main objective of this study is to discover the knowledge and practice of sex education among mothers in Awgu l.G.A of Enugu State.
Therefore the specific objectives of this study are to:
• Correct the impression about sex education
• Examine the methods of sex education
• Determine the extent of awareness of family planning in Awgu L.G.A.
Significance of the Study
The finding of this research work will be of great importance to mothers, teenagers, governments, families and the community and society.
The study is considered significant as the will direct and correct the attitudes of mother towards sex education in Awgu L.G.A of Enugu State. It will also highlight the degree of knowledge and practice of sex education in the family level. Expose the factors that contribute to their ignorance in sex education in Awgu L.G.A.
The findings and recommendations of this study will be beneficial to both mothers and teenagers in so many rural areas especially in Awgu L.G.A of Enugu State in order to correct their misconception about sex education. The study will also help the mothers, religious group and other policy maker
in health education sector to find out the area they can assist to minimize the problems faced by our mothers and teenagers in most villages especially in Awgu L.G.A on sex relate issues.
In order to solve the above enumerated problems the study shall find answers to the following research questions:
• Are the impressions of mothers about sex education been corrected?
• Do you support the methods of sex education?
• Are mothers in Awgu L.G.A of Enugu State aware of family planning programmes going on in Nigeria?
Scope of the Study
This study was limited to an investigation to only mothers and teenagers in Agwu L.G.A of Enugu. It will also limit itself to female adults that are married based on exciting system of marriage inherent in Agwu L.G.A of Enugu.
Definition of Terms
For the purpose of clarity marriage issues in Awgu L.G.A can not be isolated from customary issues that connects traditional marriage. Some terms associated with the tradition.