1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Social ills such as examination malpractice, drug abuse, alcoholism, cultism, inordinate ambition, sexual abuse, abortion etc. are common among youths. There is no gain-saying that these vices are generally unacceptable from both cultural and religious viewpoints in Nigeria. Unfortunately, despite the obvious detrimental tendencies associated with these vices, youths actively participate in them. Among these social vices, this work sets out to examine premarital sex which is prevalent among Christian youths. Premarital sex is usually used to refer to any sexual activity done before marriage. Premarital sex is indulging in sexual intercourse by individuals who have not been joined in marital vow or culturally recognized as having been enrolled in marriage institution. Although marriage rites take various forms based on cultural uniqueness, nevertheless the major point is the acceptance by the society. In most cases, premarital sex is not always a problem to persons who are sexually matured since they may view it as a natural response to a natural stimulus. However, premarital sex is morally unacceptable in almost every human society that has to do with marriage as the legitimate requirement for sexual freedom, and especially among Christian youths who are considered vulnerable to health – related problems. Undoubtedly, sexual activity among unmarried youths is one of the major problems confronting the nation as it has led to a rising incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), unwanted pregnancies, abortion, death etc. Some youths begin to indulge in premarital sex from their teens and so grow up to believe that it is difficult, if not impossible to abstain from sex before marriage. Some of the causes of premarital sex among youths have been identified as peer pressure, electronic media, printed media, environmental influence, greed, ignorance, indiscipline etc. Premarital sex occurrences alarm every sector in the society, particularly the religious and health institutions. This work appreciates the efforts of various religious, educational, and social institutions in fighting this anomaly but it is glaring that something is still lacking. Christianity vehemently opposes premarital sex and thus prescribed specific punishment for culprits. Sometimes, premarital sex is rebranded as fornication because of its implication. In Christian religion, the Holy Bible emphasizes that: “… the marriage bed should be kept undefiled, for God will judge… all the sexually immoral” (Heb.13:4). In this context, keeping the marriage bed undefiled and holy entails abstinence from sex before marriage while sexually immoral refers to any unacceptable sexual acts particularly premarital sex. Thus, it is also clear that Christian faith prohibits engaging in sex prior marriage (premarital sex). The proportion of young people who are sexually experienced by age 15 and 18 years old in Nigeria in 2008 showed significant variations between male and female. Where 5.7% male of age 15 have had sex the female population was 15.7%. At age 18, the statistics showed that 25.6% of males have had sex but the females’ proportion was 49.3%, which is remarkably higher than their male counterparts (Adeyemi, 2013). The reasons for the variation could be numerous ranging from biological (maturation), social, cultural to psychological. Lots of factors account for premarital sex, youthful exuberance itself is a stage of human life that is made up by high development in various parts of the body. Especially, the unprecedented growth and development of sex organs and the attendant accelerated emotion as correlate are enough significant factors that may predispose youth to premarital sex. Different studies identified different factors that may dispose young persons to premarital sex. Insufficient sex education from home throws youths into confusion which often results to personal search and in the process become victim to adults who could take advantage and defile the innocent young girls mainly. Other factors associated with premarital sex include effect of media, societal pressure, insatiable desire for money, cultural influence, sexual harassment, curiosity, poor school discipline, location of school, religious teachings and literacy (Kiragu & Zabin, 2010; Abraham & Kumar, 2013; Ajiboye, 2012; Adegoke, 2013). There are several sexual behaviors that can make the Christian youth prone to practicing premarital sex. A category of such behavior is autoeroticism in which a Christian youth attempts to satisfy his/her sexual desire by carrying out the activities by self and on self. Among such acts are sexual fantasy (a mental exercise involving imagining, mapping, desiring and navigating, in abstract, into sexual pleasure), masturbation (the manual stimulation of one’s own genital for sexual pleasure), and erotic dreams (an unconscious state especially during sleep when one experiences sensual feeling). Other sexual behaviours that could expose adolescent to premarital sex include pornographic viewing, caressing. There is no doubt the fact that premarital sex has dire moral implication on Christian youths. Barker and Rich (2011) identified teenage pregnancy as a major consequence of premarital sex. No wonder, Gyepi-Garbrah (2011) inferred that premarital sex is one of the reproductive health problems witnessed among youth as a result of daily increase of teenage pregnancy with its attendant consequences. These dire implications could become a springboard for other challenges such as school dropout, poor health conditions, and permanent deformity, which may resort from sexual activities. Other moral implications are stigmatization, isolation, self-guilt, poor self-concept, negative self-image, teenage motherhood, single – parenting to mention a few. Hence the study examines the moral implication of premarital sex among Christian youth in Gidan waya Jema’a L.G.A of Kaduna State.
1.2. STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Throughout the human history and in almost every society and culture across the globe, there exists the mutual sexual attraction between sexes, which takes its peak during adolescence. From my observation during the teaching practice programme, secondary school students were caught in romantic mood behind the school toilet. This is considered as immoral and total deviation from the values and norms of the school. It is lamentable that these students caught in the act have done so under peers pressure and influence. The desire to meet up with lifestyle enjoyed by their peers, tend to lure young people into committing immoral act of premarital sex. Indulgence of young ones in premarital sex culminates in various consequences such as unwanted pregnancy, exposure to sexually transmitted infections, poor academic performance, school dropout and a host of others. Adolescents also maintain sexual relationships, even though cultural values in communities like Gidan waya Jema’a L.G.A do not permit it. It is also worrisome that most young people who indulge in premarital sex do not really feel perturbed about it. This is particularly because they perceive it as being common among their peers, and should be allowed to enjoy such experience. However, there is worldwide concern on pre-marital sexuality as it constitute global crisis which requires appropriate strategies to curb it even at the local level. Therefore, this research work is designed to examine the moral implications of premarital sex among Christian Youth in Gidan waya Jema’a L.G.A of Kaduna State.
1.3. AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine moral implication of premarital sex among Christian youth in Gidan waya Jema’a L.G.A of Kaduna State. Other specific objectives of the study include;
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no significant relationship between premarital sex and its moral implication on Christian Youths in Gidan waya Jema’a L.G.A of Kaduna State.
H1: There is a significant relationship between premarital sex and its moral implication on Christian Youths in Gidan waya Jema’a L.G.A of Kaduna State.
1.6. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will provide veritable tool in the form of knowledge to schools on factors that bring about premarital sex among students in the institution. This will enable the churches to fine-tune relevant policies for lasting arrest of the immoral act among youths. The findings of this study will be useful to church counselors who have bunch of tasks to do in order to correct anomaly of the youths. This is because the study tends to explore the factors, perception and consequences of premarital sexuality; and these are important issues to the counselors. This study would also be of immense benefit to students and scholars who are interested in developing further studies on the subject matter.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to moral implication of premarital sex among Christian youth in Gidan waya Jema’a L.G.A of Kaduna State.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Sex: refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women.
Premarital sex: is sexual intercourse engaged in by a person or persons who are not yet married.
Moral: is a concept that deals with the principle of right and wrong in behavior, especially for teaching right behavior.
OTHER SIMILAR THEOLOGY PROJECTS AND MATERIALS