SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC CORRELATES OF PERCEIVED SEXUAL BEHAVIOURS OF ADOLESCENTS IN IMO STATE, NIGERIA.
This study was designed to determine the socio-demographic correlates of perceived sexual behaviours of adolescents in Imo State. The statement of problem is the increase in risky sexual behaviours of adolescents and inherent dangers of unplanned pregnancy, dropping out of school, unsafe abortion and sexually transmitted infections/HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, no empirical data was identified in Imo State hence the motivation to determine the socio-demographic variables that influence the level of sexual behaviours of adolescents in Imo State. The study was guided by 11 purposes, 11 research questions and 11 hypotheses. A cross sectional survey research design was used for the study. Sample size was 3360 (2.2%) adolescents drawn from a population of 153586 adolescents. A structured, validated and reliable questionnaire (r = 0.77) was used as the instrument for data collection. Data analysis was done using mean for research questions, ANOVA and Z-test statistics were used to test the hypotheses. The result showed that in Imo State Secondary Schools, the sexual behaviours of the older adolescents ( x = 2.60) were significantly higher than those of the younger adolescents ( x = 1.41), P<0.05. The males had higher levels of sexual behaviours (x =1.53) than the females (x = 1.44), P<0.05. There were significant differences among adolescents in classes JSS1 to SS3 in terms of their levels of sexual behaviours with SS3 ranking highest followed by SS2 and SS1. The rural adolescents’ level of sexual behaviour ( x = 1.51) was higher than that of the urban adolescents (x = 1.43). Furthermore, there were no significant differences among adolescents of different family sizes in terms of their levels of sexual behaviours, P >0.05. There were significant differences among adolescents of different family structures, financial strengths, and religious beliefs, P< 0.05. Furthermore, there were significant differences among adolescents with various ages at first sexual intercourse in terms of their levels of sexual behaviours. Finally, there was a significant difference in the levels of sexual behaviours of the adolescents who used alcohol (x =2.60) and those who did not use alcohol (x =1.78) as well as adolescents who used illegal drugs ( x = 1.68) and those who did not use illegal drugs (x = 1.50). Based on the above findings, conclusions were drawn and recommendations made.