Religiosity and sexual abstinence among Nigerian youths: does parent religion matter?
By Okungbure Idowu
2 weeks ago
Religion plays an important role in youth behaviours, making it a significant factor in the discourse on youth sexuality in sub-Saharan Africa. Several studies have found that religion and religiosity play an important role in the sexual behaviours of young people. However, little research in Nigeria has examined the mechanisms through which religiosity influences youth sexual behaviour and if parents’ religion moderates this relationship. Guided by the social control theory, this paper contributes to the existing literature by examining the relationship between religiosity and youth sexual behaviour.
Data for the study came from 2399 male and female youth aged 16–24 years in four states purposively selected from four regions in Nigeria. Abstinence was the sexual behaviour of interest. Logistic regression was used to examine this relationship.
Results showed that 68% of the youth had never had sex. Religiosity was a protective factor for youth sexual behaviour and this positive association was still evident even after controlling for other covariates. Youth who were highly religious (OR – 1.81, CI- 1.13-2.88) had significantly higher odds of abstaining compared to their counterparts who were not religious.
Religiosity is a protective factor for sexual abstinence among youth in Nigeria. Policy makers can work around using religious institutions for behavioural change among youth in Nigeria.[NewsNaira]