Perspectives on the socio-cultural context of adolescent reproductive health behaviour in Nigeria

Olasupo P. Ogunjuyigbe, Obafemi Awolowo University
Adunola Adepoju, Lagos State University

In Nigeria, socio-cultural taboos limit access of adolescents to credible sources of information. Stakeholders withhold reproductive health and sexuality information from adolescents, who are also denied reproductive health services. This study used a combination of innovative approaches - focus group discussion, rapid participatory assessment and in-depth interview to obtain information on, and capture the influence of family, work place, school and the society and the impact of media and peer groups, on adolescent sexual and reproductive behaviour. The study indicated that: (i) most parents refrain from discussing with their adolescent children about sex, pregnancy and contraception because of cultural beliefs, fear and lack of knowledge (ii) established religion, customs and values about sexual behaviour and traditional systems of preparation for adult sexual life are collapsing. Hence parents, school, community and government have critical roles in articulating youth-friendly programmes to meet adolescent sexual and reproductive health needs.

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Presented in Poster Session 1