ATTITUDE OF EBONYI STATE UNIVERSITY SOCIAL STUDIES UNDERGRADUATES TOWARDS USE OF FAMILY PLANNING DEVICES
The study examined the attitude of Ebonyi State University undergraduates towards use of family planning devices with particular reference to undergraduate students of Social Studies. The research objectives were set to determine the attitude of the undergraduate students towards the use of condom as a device, to determine the attitude of the undergraduate students towards the use of withdrawal method as a device, and to ascertain the attitude of the undergraduate students towards the use of oral contraceptive pills. Three research questions were formulated in line with the research objectives. The descriptive survey design was adopted. The population of study consisted of the 180 undergraduate students of Social Studies, Ebonyi State University. The sample size comprised 160 undergraduate students of Social Studies selected using a simple random technique. The instrument for data collection was a structured questionnaire. Mean and standard deviation was used for data analysis. The findings showed that undergraduates of Ebonyi State University shows negative attitude towards the use of condoms, the students showed a positive attitude towards the use of withdrawal method and the students showed positive attitude towards the use of oral contraceptive pills. From the findings, it was recommended that Undergraduates should endeavor to abstain from sexual activities, but if they cannot abstain from sex before marriage, they should use contraceptives. Lecturers should periodically give students advice on use of contraceptives and that Parents should give their children sex education.
INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background to the Study
Adaralegbe (2005) sees Social Studies as a study of man in his environment and the effects of science and technology among others. Esu and Inyang (2014) describe Social Studies as an integrated study of and the outcome of his interaction with the environment. The researcher from his own viewpoint sees Social Studies as the study of man and his environment. Social Studies can be seen as a study of how man influences and is in turn influenced by his physical, social, scientific and technological environment.
Nearly half of all pregnancies in the Nigeria are unintended, the highest of this instance occurs between 18-24 years of age. Four in ten of all unintended pregnancies are terminated by abortion (Guttmacher, 2011). Sexually active adolescents aged 10-24 years of age are at the highest risk for contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and while young adults aged 15-24 years represent only 25% of the sexually active experienced population, they acquire nearly half of all new STDs (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). The high occurrence of unintended pregnancies and STD contraction can be prevented through contraceptive use. With contraceptives becoming increasingly easier to access, costing less, and expanding in variety or options the question remains as to why such incidences of pregnancies and STDs are so high among the young adult age group. The CDC STD Surveillance report stated that STDs are hidden epidemics of enormous health and economic consequence in the Nigeria. They are hidden because many Nigerians are reluctant to address sexual health issues in an open way and because of the biologic and social characteristics of these diseases. STDs are public health problems that lack easy solutions because they are rooted in human behavior and fundamental societal problems. The validity in the clause lies deeply rooted behavioral and societal stigma of discussing sexual activity in the Nigeria has become an overwhelming barrier to education on contraceptive use. Solutions to these societal issues can only begin through knowledge and discussion to explore how the adolescent population’s behaviors and attitudes regarding contraceptives are affecting their use.
Family planning issues are important to university aged undergraduates. Education is associated with sexual behaviours, childbearing and contraceptives use and studies show that women are more likely to postpone pregnancy. Therefore, education can be described as a dynamic activity which involves an orderly, deliberate and sustained effort to develop knowledge and skills (Olusakin, 2009). As Awoniyi (2010) puts it, formal education is a process by which the human mind develops through learning at school in stages from pre-primary through primary, secondary to tertiary (university) institution. The present socio-economic situation in Nigeria has made it obvious that the women must be given sound, formal education as their male counterparts are given.
According to Adiele (2000), the education of the girl-child was not a common phenomenon in the traditional Nigerian society before independence. In fact, her birth would not attract so much celebration as that of the male-child, and depending on the number of female children the mother had given birth to before her, the birth of an additional girl-child could cause her mother her marriage. This is still a major problem in some homes even among educated men. According to Omegbe (2011) “education itself is the development of an individual through training, transmission of what is worth while to the point that he is able to fit into his environment and contribute to the best of his ability, to the well being of the society.
Therefore, incessant child-bearing places a woman in a very weak position physically, economically, and psychologically, yet barrenness is viewed as a curse in Nigerian society due to high infantile mortality, the capacity to breed was much valued but advances in the field of medicine have greatly increased the survival rate among both infants and adults. According to Onyeanwu (2001), incessant child-bearing is, therefore, no longer necessary, instead, it poses a great danger to the health of the mother and also increased family size that cannot be supported with the family resources, especially now that the Nigerian economy has nose-dived and the resultant effect of unemployment among men in the society. Therefore, to improve the living condition of Nigerian families, the life of the women who are the cornerstone of every household should be improved and the regulation of the size of the nuclear family, through family planning, cannot be overemphasized (Lai, 2000).
There has been a lot of discrimination against the female gender. In fact, people just see them as breeding machines, in spite of the availability of family planning. The dissemination of appropriate and relevant information would lead to the acquisition of knowledge skills and women empowerment. This can help in breaking the intractable poverty cycle which many Nigerian families have come to be associated with due to ignorance of family planning devices and the attitude of many women towards the application of such devices.
According to Anyanwu (2002), there are many methods of family planning. These include the condom; the withdrawal method; the intrauterine contraceptives device, the diaphragm, the spermicidal, the douching methods etc. Among all the methods of preventing unwanted pregnancies by the youths in schools, the condom and the pills are the most commonly needed or are used. Apart from its side effects, a variety of pills is used by women in many societies today. This is because of its relative effectiveness. Also, the 90% of women, especially girls in various schools at the tertiary level, use condoms as preventives methods in pregnancies. This is because; the condom is easy to use and has virtually no side effect after use. Therefore, students both male and female prefer to use them, apart from deriving sexual pleasures they perceived prevention of pregnancy gives them assurance (Uzodike, 2003; Alani, 2002 and Adedoyin, 2004). Ebonyi State University, Social Studies Undergraduates represent one of Nigeria’s richest resources for the future; most of them are sexually active and engage in risky sexual behaviour. Social Studies undergraduates co-habit within the academic community with much free will and liberty from parental guidance and influence. While some balance their work with social activities on campus, others concentrate on social life to the detriment of their academic pursuits. Peer pressure to acquire expensive items such as clothing, jewelry, expensive hairstyles, and makeup drive female Social Studies Undergraduates to engage in transactional sex, thus explored the attitude of Ebonyi state university social studies undergraduates towards the use of family planning devices.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Studies have reported high levels of risky sexual activities and low use of contraception among Ebonyi state university, Social Studies undergraduates. Lack of awareness, lack knowledge, inadequate information and erroneous belief has been adduced as some of the reasons for low contraceptive uptake. Empirical research has focused on the attitude, knowledge and practice of contraception among Ebonyi State University undergraduates, with participants requested to merely indicate the sources through which they obtain information on contraceptive use. There has been little emphasis on study of the frequency of exposure and preferences for sources of information on contraception. In view of the important role of contraception information in promoting contraception adoption and decreasing the number of unintended pregnancies, it is insightful to learn more about the various sources of information used for knowledge of contraception among Ebonyi state university, Social Studies Undergraduates. The present study thus explored the attitude of Ebonyi state university social studies undergraduates towards the use of family planning devices.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to assess the attitude of Ebonyi State University Social Studies undergraduates towards the use of family planning devices. The specific purposes are
1. To determine the attitude of Ebonyi State University Social Studies Undergraduates towards the use of condoms as a device
2. To determine the attitude of Ebonyi State University Social Studies Undergraduates towards the use of the withdrawal method as a device
3. To ascertain the attitude of Ebonyi State University undergraduates towards the use of oral contraceptive pills.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will of immense beneficial to the following individuals: Students, Teachers, School, Parents, Federal Government, and Society.
Students who are in the tertiary institutions, especially at the Ebonyi State University Social Studies undergraduates, would find the result of this study very helpful because the findings and recommendations would help them identify some of the important contraceptives that are available for use and their effectiveness in preventing pregnancy and contracting of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, syphilis, etc. This study would enable students to know the most save and effective contraceptives to take in order to avoid after effects. This study will enable students to not only identify some available contraceptives, but know their strengths and weaknesses.
The school authorities: the findings of the study will be of great benefit to secondary school and tertiary authorities because it will enlighten them on the need for family planning devices and means of combating unplanned pregnancies.
Teachers may equally benefit from the recommendations and findings of this study because it will enable them to identify some contraceptives students use; their effectiveness or otherwise even their after-effects to students’ health and vitality. Teachers (Lecturers) would find this study quite revealing as its finding would go a long way in helping the perception of their students towards the use of some contraceptives and their effects on them.
Parent may find this study very useful as its findings and recommendations would help them to identify some important contraceptives needed by their children at school, especially the Ebonyi State University social studies undergraduates. This study will help parents know the most effective contraceptives and their usefulness or otherwise to their children at school. With the findings and recommendations of this study, parents would be able to identify some of the contraceptives that may be useful to them also, in their family planning.
The Federal Ministry of Health may see this study as a great asset, as its findings and recommendations would enable the ministry to be abreast with the challenges facing those who use contraceptives that are not effective especially the fake ones and this knowledge will assist the ministry to tackle the problem of fake and adulterated drugs in Nigeria.
The society may also benefit from this study because the content of this study will help people in the larger society to appreciate the roles contraceptives play in birth and population control. This study will be a reference point to both students, new researchers, old researchers, and the general public.
1.5 Scope of the Study
The study examines the attitude of Ebonyi State University, Social Studies Undergraduates towards the use of family planning devices. The content scope is contraceptives and sexually transmitted diseases. The geographical scope is Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki.
1.6 Research Questions
The study provided answers to the following research questions:
1. What is the attitude of EBSU Social Studies Undergraduates towards the use of condoms as a method of family planning devices?
2. What is the attitude of Ebonyi State University, Social Studies Undergraduates towards the use of withdrawal method as a family planning device?
3. What is the attitude of Ebonyi State University undergraduates towards the use of contraceptive pills?