1.1 Background to the Study
In this age of moral laxity, the laws of God have been set aside in the name of freedom. The moral codes of the past have given way to situation ethics. Mothers are insisting that birth control pills be given to their unmarried daughters. Movies, televisions, magazines and pornography of every kind are being used to train and inflame our youth. Modern sex education has become the tool of the devil because the biology and mechanics of sex are being taught without restraint (Momah S. 2007).
Biblically, it was categorically stated that marriage is honourable in all, and keep the bed undefiled, but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge (Hebrews 13:4)
However, modern dress styles are designed to make the side walk classroom and living room into garlic’ show. Little has been left for imagination. Miniskirts and hot pants have been designed to break down any form of modesty and morality that still exist in our society. Live-stage shows draw a large crowd by staging wild bizarre sex acts that are real in every way (Dobson J.1982).
According to Momah S.(2007), the result of promiscuity and premarital sex, being veneral diseases and illegitimate births increasing among young people at an unprecedented rate. The teenagers who are more sexually active than anyone else generally do not realize how easy it is to become pregnant .The ultimate solutions recommended by Planned Parenthood is abortion with good surgical procedure where contraceptive fails. People’s minds have been conditioned to accept the idea that unborn baby is something less than human.
The global Christian Missionary Publications (2008) stated that there is no joy in premarital sex; it only brings misery and regrets. The men who will pressurize the girls for sex will be the Same ones to hate them (the girls) passionately later on .The Girls that give into a boy’s (or man’s) demands for sex only cheapens the girl before the boy or man. A girl that can keep herself and resist every sexual advance from her fiancé will be highly honoured by her groom on their wedding night.
In times past, the virginity of the female at her marriage called for a family celebration with appropriate gifts and visits from the in-laws. In some cultures, especially among the Yorubas, where “hawking” (street vending) and “night marketing” is common, young girls are learning to receive “passes” from men and acquire skills in dealing with these. Since the introduction of Western values and education in Nigeria, women have continued to acquire skills in dealing with males in a culture in transition. This has led to an increased tendency to delay marriage and an increased incidence of premarital sexual relationships. In some tribal cultures, in fact, it is more common today to demand pregnancy rather than virginity as a prerequisite for marriage. This is especially true among the educated young. Also, most of the popular music and advertisements glamorize sexuality, even though there is still a strong disapproval of open discussion of sexuality.
Hausa culture today is predominantly Islamic, making it difficult to distinguish tribal Hausa cultural norms from Islamic injunctions. Although Hausa culture has remnants of non-Islamic and distinctly indigenous practices that are part of their rites of passage, a marriage of convenience has evolved between Islamic injunctions and aspects of Hausa cultural norms that do not conflict with the religion. Islam is a way of life for its adherents, with rules and regulations guiding all aspects of life. Its strong moral code emphasizes chastity, and prohibits loitering, soliciting, and unnecessary intermingling of the sexes. Islam permits women to go out of their houses only to pursue lawful needs such as the acquisition of knowledge or to work and contribute to societal development. Marriage before age 18 was the norm among Muslim Hausa girls before the colonial era and the introduction of secular education. Most parents in those days preferred to marry off their daughters at age 12.
According to Maduro, (1989) every religion is situated in a specific human context in a concrete, determined geographical space, historical moment, and social milieu. Members of a religion share certain collective dimensions-social, economic, political, cultural, educational, military, etc. Religion is therefore closely linked and interrelated with all the dimensions of the life of a community. Because religion is part of a society, it follows that anything that affects people’s lives will affect their religion. Hence, religion affects sexuality.
Nigerian society is dominated by two religions: Islam and Christianity. They are the main source of our Nigerian religious value systems, which affect sexual attitude and behavior. Christianity, for instance, expects men and women to hold in high esteem the religious value of sexual purity. Girls are expected to be virgins at the time of marriage. Islam allows female children to be given in marriage before the age of puberty. These practices ensure that the female child is a virgin at marriage. Similarly, Christianity and Islam emphasize that adultery is unacceptable. However, our culture expects men to do what women are not to do. Our culture allows and even encourages a man to contract polygynous marriages. While extramarital sex is publicly frowned on, a man who engages in extramarital sex is privately hailed for his behavior. The same culture deals severely and ruthlessly with married women caught in adultery. In both the Islamic and Christian religions, a man can ask for and be granted a divorce if his wife is confirmed to have committed adultery. This is not the case if a wife discovers her husband’s illicit affairs with other women.
However, because of the culture of silence on sexuality, there has been little or no structured way of teaching Nigerians about sexuality. The government has been working to get POP/FLE (population and family life education) into the schools’ curricula, and this effort is ongoing. Adolescents continue to be denied access to sexual information and services on a national scale. There have been some efforts by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to assure that marginalized groups have access to sexuality education. This effort is increasing as data from studies continue to show that five out of ten girls and seven out of ten boys have had sexual intercourse at least once by the time they leave secondary school.
Therefore, this research work aimed at pointing out the impacts of premarital sexual relationships on the educational development and performance of the youth.