Over the years issues related to sexuality and contraception have been taken with great reservation by Nigerians, as a result of an increase in sexual expressions and experimentation among adolescents.  This, therefore, investigates contraceptive use among female students of the University of Benin, Benin City.

    The objective of this study was to identify the status, patterned, constraints contraceptives use among female students of the University of Benin, Benin City which will help to prevent some serious problems, such as unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortions.

    The population of the study was centered on female undergraduates of the University of Benin in Ugbowo Campus on the full-time programme during the 2011/2012 academic session.

    A well-structured questionnaire whose reliability was established through a test-retest reliability procedure was used.  The reliability coefficient was found to be 0.74.  The questionnaire was administered to 209 students that were 1/5 of the students residing in the halls of residence which were selected using the simple random sampling technique.

     The analytical tool for the study included frequency counts and percentages from the data collected and analyzed, the result shows that a low rate of female students of the University of Benin uses contraceptives.

    In view of these findings, contraceptive use should be a major part of educational programmes designed for students’ health, educators and other medical personnel should give appropriate health education on different methods of contraceptives in regards to their benefits and limitations.


Title page                                        i

Certification        `                            ii

Dedication                                        iii

Acknowledgment iv

Abstract                                        vi

Table of Contents                                viii


Background to the Study                            1

Statement of the Problem                            5

Research Questions                                6    

Purpose of Study                                6

Significance of Study                            7

Delimitation of Study                                8

Limitation of Study                                8

Definitions of Terms                                9


Theoretical Framework to the Study                    10

Trends in Adolescents Sexuality                        12

Adolescents Contraception                            15

Methods of Contraceptives                            21

Attitudes and Behaviour of Adolescents towards Contraceptive    32

Summary of Literature Review                        34    


Research Design                                    36    

The population of Study                            37

Sample and Sampling Technique                        37

Research Instrument                                38

Validity of the Instrument                            38

Reliability of the Instrument                            39

Method of Data Analysis                            40


Data Presentation and Analysis                        41

Discussion of Results                                48



Summary                                        51

Findings                                        51

Conclusion                                        52

Recommendations                                 53

References                                         56

Appendix                                         59



Background to the Study

    The practice of contraception is old as human existence.  Ancient writings noted on the Leahun Papyrus (1800 BCE) that the old Egyptians practice contraception by using a vaginal pessary of crocodile dung and fermented dough which may create a hostile environment for sperm.

    During the early second century in Rome, Sorunus of Ephesus created a highly acidic concoction of fruits, nuts, and wool that was placed at the cervical OS to create a spermicidal barrier (, 2010).

    Over the years, issues related to sexuality and contraception, have been taken with great reservation by Nigerians, as a result of an increase in sexual expressions and experimentation among adolescents.  Studies conducted among female students in Nigeria indicate an overall awareness rate of 70.9%.  Among sexually exposed students, there was a contraceptive usage rate of 40.1% and an unwanted pregnancy rate of 30.5% (Adinma and Okeke, 1995).

    Most adolescents who are sexually active and do not use contraceptives face the increasing risks of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions.  Induced abortion currently accounts for 20,000 of the estimated 50,000 maternal death occur in Nigeria each year (Akingba, 1977; Okonfua and Liumok, 1992).

    Many unwanted pregnancies by adolescents arise out of ignorance because they receive inadequate education on sexual and reproductive health, and the sources of information available on contraception are often dubious, unreliable, and misleading because the information is less motivated by healthcare providers than their peers.  The 1990 Demographic and Health Survey indicated that only 11% of sexually active women age 15 – 19 ever used any modern contraceptive methods.

    The utilization of modern methods of contraceptives has always been shown to be poor among Nigerian adolescents.  Studies from Western and Southern Nigeria have found the rates of contraceptive use among sexually active adolescents to be about 30% (Arowoju, Adekunle, Okpani and Okpani, 2000).

    Although, societal and cultural inhabitation has been a great influence on the use of contraceptives, among adolescents because the use of contraceptives had been the prerogative of married women and adults in most African societies.

    Fueye, Castle, and Konate (2001) indicated that previously in many African societies, sexual information among adolescents is seen as sexual taboo.  In general, the voluntary control of fertility is of paramount importance to the reproductive health of a woman, which can be essential to her ability to achieve her sense of well-being.  The use of contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion is especially important (Nuleo and Pool, 1997; Adedoyin and Adejoke, 1995; and Oladepo and Brieger, 1994).

    Furthermore, contraceptive use among sexually active adolescents would be very important, since it saves them from the high risk of unwanted pregnancies, embarrassment, and disgrace.  Although, they are some constraints that may affect the use of contraceptives.  It is this premise that this present study seeks to examine the level of acceptance of contraceptive use among female students of the University of Benin, Benin City.

Statement of the Problem

    The promotion of effective contraceptive use among female students of the University of Benin is very important if their reproductive health is to be improved because many female students are oblivious of the adverse health consequences of ineffective contraceptives.

    It should be noted that despite the wide knowledge and campaign about the use of some contraceptives such as condoms, most female students still distaste such use, therefore, exposing themselves to unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions.

Research Questions

    The study will therefore provide an answer to the following questions:

1.    What proportion of female University of Benin Students use contraceptives?

2.    What are the common methods of contraceptives used among female students of the University of Benin?

3.    What are the constraints to the use of contraceptives among female students of the University of Benin?

Purpose of the Study

    The purpose of the study was to investigate the use of contraceptives among the female students of the University of Benin, Benin City. To identify common contraception and constraints to the use of contraception among the students.

Significance of Study

    Over the years, the rate of contraceptive use among adolescents is low, because contraceptive use has been the prerogative of married women, therefore, leaving the youngsters to face the high risks of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions.

    The study will help the curriculum planners to know the level of knowledge of contraception among adolescents, thus, the issues on pregnancy, contraceptive use should be a major part of educational programmes designed for students.  Discussions regarding methods of contraceptives must be acknowledged and accurate information should be available to match the methods with specified choices.

    This study will also help students to understand the benefits and limitations of the various contraceptive methods and to also know that efficacy of any contraceptive method can be impaired if they have access to health care professionals who will give them appropriate education on contraception.


    This study was carried out among female students residing in the halls of residence in Ugbowo Campus of the University of Benin, Benin City.


    The major limitation to the study was that some female students were reluctant and hesitant to give correct answers to questions particularly when sex and contraceptives are sensitive issues.  And some were not willing to talk about their sexual lives.  Thus, which adversely affected the authenticity and accuracy of the information on this study.

Definition of Terms

1.    Fertile Period:  This is the time when contraception can occur and one might likely become pregnant.

2.    Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR):  A measure of the extent of contraceptives use among a defined population group at a point in time.

3.    Sexuality:  Sexuality is the development of sexual attitudes and practices that create room for sexual intimate relationships.



The review of related literature was discussed under the following headings:

⦁ Theoretical Framework to the Study

⦁ Trends in Adolescents Sexuality

⦁ Adolescents Contraception

⦁ Methods of Contraceptive

⦁ Attitude and Behaviour of Adolescents toward Contraception.

⦁ Summary

Theoretical Framework to the Study

Historically, there had been two separate explanations for understanding human sexuality in general and adolescent behavior in particular.  And the study hinges on these explanations, one paradigm represented by the work of Sigmud Freud (1933).  This explains sexual behavior as largely attributable to the unfolding biological urges that begin pressing mostly urgently for genital expression during adolescence.

In contrast with such biological and inner driven views, a second paradigm represented by the work of John Locke (1932) says that this theory is based on the premise that behavior of persons are shaped strongly by their social environment, he believed that it would be accurate to view a child’s mind as a tabula rasa or clean slate whatever goes into the mind will come from the surrounding environment.  He said environment, culture and social settings play a major role in perceptions, attitudes and behavior of sexuality.

According to this view, cultural elements constraints the age, gender, legal and kin relationship between sexual actors, as well as setting limits on the site of behavior and the connection of sexual organs (Gagnon and Simon, 1973).  Recent views combined elements of both biological and social explanations in understanding the timing and variations of adolescents sexual behavior (Smith, 1889).

Trend in Adolescent Sexuality

Sexuality is central to human being and individuals express their sexuality with a partner in diverse ways as expressed by Izuora and Ebigbo (1985).  There are three types of sexual intercourse; intercourse for the purpose of procreation, intercourse for pleasure and intercourse for complimenting a relationship.  In regards to adolescents sexuality, sexual intercourse is often for relational and recreational purpose (Mosher, and Jones, 2008).

The frequency of sexual intercourse among unmarried adolescents in the more normative population is usually quite sporadic.  Zelinu, Kenter and Ford (1981) concluded that white females have a higher mean of 3.0 per month, while black female a mean of 1.7 times per month.

Data from the 1982 Natural Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) show that 40% of 15 to 19 years old women who had engaged in sexual intercourse reported having intercourse, an average of once a week or more in the preceding 3 months.  This percentage had increased to 45 in the 1988 National Survey of Family Growth data.

Vinovskis (1988) found unmarried adolescents to be one fourth less active than their married counterparts.

A 2002 American study found that those aged 15-44 reported that the average age of the first sexual intercourse was 17.0 for males 17.3 for females (Tang, Yeung, and Lee, 2004).

HIV-Related Knowledge (1990) in 1988 adolescents who had engaged in sexual intercourse earlier in life reported greater number of sex partners.

Among women age 15 to 24 years old who initiated sexual intercourse before age 18, 75% was reported having two or more partners and 45% reported having four or more partners.  Among women age 15 to 24 who had been sexually active for the same length of time whereas 45% of 15 to 17 years old reported to have had two or more partners compared to 40% of 18 to 19 years and 26% of those older than 29 years of age.

Pratt and English (1990) concluded that of females aged 15 to 19, 41.3% had had one sexual partners, 28.0% had had 10 or more partners.  Age 15 strongly related to adolescent sexual intercourse experience.  According to the most recent data available only about 50% of the adolescent males have sexual intercourse by age 13, compared to over 80% of 19 years old males (Sonenstem, Pleen and Ku, 1989).

Data from the 1990 Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey indicate that 98% of all women aged 20 – 49 have ever had sexual intercourse.

A study on sexual behavior and pregnancy conducted among Nigerian female students in tertiary institutions indicated that overall sexual exposure incidence rate of 81.2%, a mean coital frequency of four times per month and pregnancy rate of 34.8% (Adinma, 1994).



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