THE PERCEPTION OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS TOWARDS THE USE OF CONTRACEPTIVES
The study attempted to investigate the perception of undergraduate student towards the use of contraceptives at the University of Lagos. In this study, relevant and extensive literatures were reviewed under relevant sub-heading. Also, the descriptive survey research design was used in the assessment of the respondents’ opinions with the use of the questionnaire and the sampling technique. A total of 150 (one hundred and fifty) students in the Faculty of Education were used as participants in this study, thereby representing the entire population of the students at the Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, Akoka. Equally, 3 (three) null hypotheses were formulated and tested with the use of the Pearson Product Moment Correlational Coefficient Statistical tool at 0.05 level of significance. While the bio-data and the research questions were analysed with the use of the simple percentage frequency counts. At the end of the analyses, the following results were obtained: Hypothesis one revealed that there is a significant relationship between students’ perception and the use of contraceptives at University of Lagos. Hypothesis two indicated that there is a significant relationship between students’ use of contraceptives and avoidance of pregnancies. It was found in hypothesis three that a significant gender difference exists in the use of contraceptives amongst students at the University of Lagos.
1.0 Background to the Study
By the time young people reach fourteen or sixteen years of age, their biological development is established. Most puberty changes have occurred and most of their physical attributes are set (Cross 1992). Still, the teen years are considered by most authorities in development to be the most stressful. Personal appearance and social popularity grow to be overwhelming forces in teens’ daily life. According to Darroch and Singh (2000), teenagers naturally make sexual behaviour a part of attaining peer affirmation. A teen may be asked, dared or may even belittled into proving solidarity with the peer group by performing sexual acts (Lewis and Lewis, 2004). As Ounyea (1994) puts it, research studies have shown that teenagers consistently submit to sexual pressures even without any inducement from peers.
Hein (2001) observed that sexuality education for adolescents must present materials perceived as relevant to them, in a factual manner that avoids the appearance of preaching or admonishment. Adolescents of this level, possess a strong sense of autonomy. They easily detect in adult, especially their teachers, hidden strategies designed to alter their behaviour or thinking. Course material and exercises examining reproduction, contraception and communication are among the more meaningful at this stage, but prevention of sexual assault and information on sexual variables also generated interest among adolescent (Dryfold, 2003). At this stage, students requires contemporary information and the use of contraceptives.
The average student today in higher institutions especially at the University of Lagos, grew up in the pill era and simply assumes that highly effective methods of contraception are available. It is difficult sometimes to remember that this has been true only for about the last three decades and previously contraception was a hit-or-miss affair at best (Adekeye, 2000). According to him, contraception is less controversial than it once was (except for the issue of side effects). Today, there are variety of reasons for an individual student at the higher institution to use contraceptives. Munoye (1998) states that many girls these days do not want to go into pregnancy and then abort their careers at school, this is why they prefer to take pills in order to avoid unwanted pregnancies or to get involved in premature marriages before completion of their education.
According to Anyanwu (2002) there are many methods of contraceptives in the society. These include the condom; the withdrawal method; the intrauterine contraceptives device, the diaphragm, the spermicides, 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, the variety of pills are used by women in many society today. This is because of its relative effectiveness. Also, the 90% of women, especially girls in various school 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).
1.1 Statement of the Problem
The problem of unwanted pregnancy among adolescents or teenagers of school age, has been a daily concern to both parents and teachers, and even the youths themselves. This is because many youngsters, especially the female ones, have abruptly stopped schooling due to problem of unprotected sexual activities such as sex without condom and or without taking pills after sex. Findings shows that majority of our youth have even contracted the sexually transmitted diseases (STD), apart from the unwanted pregnancies, this has cut short the lives of most youths in terms of contacting the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and the HIV. While some others have ended their educational careers, through their premature pregnancies. The above problems resulted in the investigation of the perception of undergraduates towards the use of contraceptives at the University of Lagos.
1.2 Purpose of the Study
The objectives of this study include;
1) To find out whether undergraduates students take contraceptives or not.
2) To investigate whether there is relationship between the use of contraceptives and avoidance of pregnancy.
3) To examine the pregnancy rate among undergraduate students of University of Lagos.
4) To assess the level of awareness of contraceptives among female students at University of Lagos.
5) To identify the different types of contraceptives available for students use.
6) To find out whether there is gender differences in the use of contraceptives amongst students.
1.3 Research Questions
The following research questions:
1. Do undergraduate students take contraceptives or not?
2. Was there any relationship between the use of contraceptives and avoidance of pregnancies?
3. To what extent can the pregnancy rate among undergraduate students of University of Lagos be examined?
4. Was there high pregnancy rate among undergraduates of University of Lagos due to non-use of contraceptives?
5. How can the different types of contraceptives be identified?
6. Is there gender difference in the use of contraceptives among students at the University of Lagos?
1.4 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were formulated and tested in this study:
1. There will be no relationship between students perception and the use of contraceptives.
2. There will be no significant relationship between students attitudes and their use of contraceptives.
3. There will be no significant gender difference in the use of contraceptives among students.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study will be beneficial to the following individuals:
Students who are in the tertiary institutions, especially at the University of Lagos, would find this study very helpful because the findings and recommendations would be 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.
Teachers would 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 would 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 undergraduate students at the University of Lagos. 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 will 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 will 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.
1.6 Limitation of the Study
The study examines the perception of undergraduate students toward the use of contraceptives at the University of Lagos, Akoka in the Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State. In this study, finance, time, sourcing of materials and other logistics would be some constrain on the completion of this project work.
1.7 Delimitation of the Study
This study is set to examine the perception of the University of Lagos undergraduates’ perceptions towards the use of contraceptives. The study was carried out at the Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, Akoka, in Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Operational terms were defined in this study in the following ways:
Contraception: Birth control by prevention of conception or impregnation. This refers to the most common method of sterilization. The most effective temporary methods are nearly 99% effective if used consistently and correctly.
Consistency: This is a term which refers to the continued rate or frequency things happen or take place. It means repeated occurrence of an event.
Reproduction: This means the process by which organisms replicate themselves, assuring the continuation of their species. The two basic forms are asexual and sexual. Asexual reproduction (e.g. fission, spore formation regeneration and vegetative reproduction) produces an offspring generally identical to its single parent. Sexual reproduction produces a new individual through the union of special sex cells (gametes) usually from different parents.
Pregnancy: This refers to the process of human gestation that takes place in the female’s body as a fetus to birth. It begins from when a male sperm contact with the female egg in the fallopian tube.
Perception: This is the process of registering sensory stimuli as meaningful experience. The dividing line between sensation and perception has varied according to how the terms are defined.