SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES AND SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR AMONG STUDENTS OF SELECTED TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN KOGI STATE
Today in Nigeria, Social Networking Sites like Facebook, 2go and WhatsApp are getting more popular among students of Tertiary Institutions irrespective of their different ethno-social backgrounds. It has become a vital part of their social life, presenting new opportunities as well as potentially unsafe encounters. Yet, little is known about the contributions of these media to the pattern of sexual behaviour of young people, especially students. It is against this background that this study was conceived to examine Social Networking Sites and Sexual Behaviour among Students of Selected Tertiary Institutions in Kogi State. The study employed Survey research method and relied on questionnaire and interview as instrument for the collection of primary data used in this work. The data were quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed using tables showing frequencies and simple percentages. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to sample the 384 respondents from the selected institutions. Anchored on the Uses and gratifications theory, the study found among other things; that social networking sites contribute to students sexual Behaviour and that, there is an increasing adoption of the use of these sites, especially WhatsApp, 2go and facebook in that order. The study concludes that SNSs utilization exerts both positive and negative effects on the sexual behaviour of students but with the debilitating effects more conspicuous. Meaning they may promote sex education and pleasure, but indiscriminate sexual activities are also promoted thereby polluting the traditional sacredness of sex among young people, thus undermining the moral values in the state. Hence, the study recommends that the use of SNSs should be regulated among students, and stressed the need for awareness and re-orientation of students on the safest way of using the SNSs.