PATTERNS OF UNSAFE SEXUAL ATTITUDES AND PRACTICES AMONG STUDENTS OF TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN NASARAWA STATE
The purpose of the study was to find out the patterns of unsafe sexual attitude and practices among students of tertiary institutions in Nasarawa state. To achieve the purpose of this study, eight specific objectives with corresponding research questions were posed and eight null hypotheses postulated. Descriptive survey research design was used for the study. The population for the study was 27,879 students while multi-stage sampling procedure was used to draw a sample of 696 students for the study. The instruments used for the data collection was the 31 item researcher design questionnaire called unsafe sexual attitudes and practices questionnaire (PUSAPQ) and the focus group discussion guide(FGD). The research questions were answered using means and percentages while null hypotheses were tested using the t-Tests, ANOVA and Chi-square statistics. The following results were obtained: The students exhibited negative attitudes towards unsafe sex ( x =2.45 < 2.50) while overall 24.9% practimced unsafe sex. Both male and female students indicated negative attitude towards unsafe sex with male slightly higher than female students (male x = 2.49 > female 2.38). Male students aged 23 – 26 years indicated positive attitudes towards unsafe sex (2.51) and negative for 27 years+. Slightly higher proportion of student age 27 years+ and 15 – 18 years practiced unsafe sex than other age groups 19 – 22 years and 23 – 26 years. Male practiced unsafe sex more than female counterparts (male = 29.9% > female = 27.5%). On-campus and off-campus student demonstrated negative attitude (on-campus x = 2.49 > off-campus = 2.42) while a higher proportion of on-campus students practiced unsafe sexual practices than off-campus students (on-campus = 33.6% > off-campus 26.7%). Student exhibited unsafe attitudes during academic session ( x =2.45) and weekends ( x = 2.45) than during holidays (2.40) and festivities ( x = 2.38) while a higher proportion of students practiced unsafe sexual attitudes during weekends (42.9%), than holidays (34.8%), festive periods (30.5%), academic session (25.7%) rainy and dry season (21.2%) and (18.9%) respectively. Based on the findings and conclusions the researcher recommended among others the incorporation of comprehensive sexuality education in general studies courses in all the tertiary institutions in the state.