This study examined the relevance of Biology in Teenage Pregnancy on academic performance of Biology students in Ikere local government area of Ekiti state.   The study investigated the general causes, effect and the way out of this social menace in Ikere local government area. The study adopts descriptive method to identify basic factors and their effects as they affect our societies. Some of the root causes identified are poverty, peer pressure and media influence while the effects include: school drop-out, inadequate care for the child born by teenage mother, health problems and a host of other vices. The study suggested adequate parental care, eradication of street hawking and inculcation of moral values through religious bodies as ways of reducing teenage pregnancy in Ekiti.










Background to the Study

In Nigerian secondary schools, Biology is one of the basic sciences among the core subjects taught in the senior secondary schools (SSS) .Biology is the science of life. Traditionally Biology is divided in to Botany the study of plants and zoology the study of Animals. Biology has several divisions such as Morphology, Anatomy, physiology, Ecology, Genetics and evolution.

Biology of our age differentiates pure Biological science from the applied Biology sciences which are Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Agriculture among others. The scope and nature of Biology is that which is paramount to life. The role of Biology has virtually speeded through most aspects of human economic and public life.

In general some branches of Biology have contributed to the provision of health and disease control, development of industries, crime detection, provision of food and shelter, awareness of variety of life, provision of foundation for future profession and understanding the physical world.

The ultimate goal of any teaching activity is to facilitate effective learning among students. In an attempt to ensure that effective learning takes place, teachers effort should be geared towards ideas, methods and skills. There is no gain saying that student in modern world of science, technology and information explosion are expose to myriad of information from different sources. It is expected that this information should be acquired, perceived, internalized, retained, intercepted and utilized by students in a similar or novel environment with view to succeed in examination in particular and life in general.

The teaching of science process apart from its physiological benefits as a motivational factor is known to take a more lasting effect on students learning. Some process skills on the other hand, appear to have a longer life span and are positively related to acquisition of appropriate scientific attitudes and habits because even those dropouts from school at some stage are those that might not later specialized in scientifically intelligent question and pursue the solutions to their problems in like manners. The importance of these cannot be over emphasized; given that the world is daily become more scientifically and technologically sophisticated. To realize this basic goal of how curricular were innovated which emphasized the teaching of science inquiring to inculcate scientific process skills, Nwosis and Nzewi (2017) observed that these approaches emphasize active learning by learners in a social environment from which resources and references should be respectively drawn and made to make learning more effective, meaningful and relevant.

However, teenage pregnancy and childbearing occurs in every society but varies from country to country and it was the focus of the 2013 World Population Day. This indicates that teenage pregnancy has global effects and implications which need the attention of every country. In Nigeria, studies show that the problems of teenage pregnancy affect the country’s development. Education and practice bring about development. Nigerian teenage boys and girls need education for development.

The teenage years (12-18) are the years of adolescence when teenagers are easily excited sexually because of the biological changes in their bodies, including production of sex hormones. The teenage years are also the period when the average adolescent is in post- primary school in Nigeria. It is the period when the adolescent bubbles with a lot of energy and wants to be recognised or heard and feels he/she can handle problems all alone and may not need the advice of older persons. The teenage years are when adolescents are expected to be in secondary schools in preparation for tertiary education where they can acquire knowledge and skills for development. These days, adolescents develop biological maturity earlier than in the past generations although they often do not reach psychological maturity and economic independence until much later (Creatsas, 2013). Research has shown that many reasons are given for the occurrence of teenage pregnancy. The reasons include poverty, ignorance, inferiority complex, peer influence, among others. These reasons are in contrast with the prevalent myth in Britain where teenage girls believe that there are economic and social advantages in having a baby (Irvine, Bradley, Cupples and Boohan, 2017). According to Irvine et al, (2017) however, contrary to such speculation, several research studies reported that the majority of teenage pregnancies in Britain are unplanned and the outcomes for the mother and child in terms of life chances are negative.

Adolescence is a stage in the lives of young boys and girls where many of them have difficulties in adjusting to life and dealing with their sexuality. Jolley (2001) noted that there is a need for more information regarding safe sex which not only educate adolescents about how to avoid an unwanted pregnancy but also will prepare them to know how to be protected from sexually transmitted infections and HIV. In the Nigerian context, sex education is regarded as a taboo that should not be mentioned in the public. The little knowledge of sex education that a teenager is to acquire before marriage is expectedly given by the parent of the same sex. A survey of women and livelihood in the Niger Delta by Sofri (2017) revealed that unfortunately, most parents in Nigeria due to cultural and traditional norms find it difficult to engage or involve their children who are of adolescent age in sex and sexuality education. These cultural and traditional norms are so strong that the children may not be able to know the proper names of their sex reproductive organs. According to Ekeng, Ekanem and Esien (2014), this lack of knowledge is due to cultural inhibitions whereby the parents use coined words to refer to the male and female sex organs. Very often, the knowledge of the children about the utility of their sex organs is limited to urination. Hence, when their bodies begin to show sexual sensations at adolescence, the adolescents become confused and then dare to try to use it for sexual activities. In certain situations (Ekeng et al, 2014), adolescent girls may not be able to refuse sex. Sex education before the attainment of puberty could equip boys and girls to develop the right attitude in adolescence that will equip them for challenges of growing up and becoming effective citizens that could be integrated into the society.

Moreso, Teenage is often used interchangeably with adolescence. World Health Organization – WHO (2017) opined that, it is the period between 10 and 19 years when the secondary sex characteristics appear. Turner and Helms (2013) reported that the teen years fall between the ages of 13 and 19 years. The issue of pregnancies among teenage girls seems to be one of the social problems facing not only Nigeria, but also several other nations of the world.

Teenage sexual activities in Nigeria also tend to be on the increase (Nwosu, 2005; Okafor, 2017). A major consequence of these increase sexual activities among teenagers is out of wedlock pregnancies that may result in abortion, childbirth or even death. Pregnancy at whatever stage in life can be a life changing experience that cuts across boundaries of race, educational attainment and socio-economic status (Kost et al., 2010). Motherhood places demands on one's life which were hitherto non-existent prior to the birth of the woman. When a girl that should be in school becomes pregnant, her entire life could be completely altered as her hopes and aspirations could be shattered. Teenage parents according to Kost et al., (2010) are parents between the ages of 13 and 19 years. Maynard (2017) believe that teenage pregnancy is a delinquent behavior resulting from stress, dislike, malice, boredom and unhappiness experienced by a teenage girl within her home environment. Other predisposing factors include alcoholism, drug addiction, and sexual promiscuity.

According to Kinby (2001) victims of teenage pregnancy lacked information or probably were not adequately educated on safe-sex either by their parents, schools or development agencies that could have enabled them deal with friends who lure them into sex prematurely. He stressed further that children of single parents are more vulnerable to teenage pregnancy. In the same vein exposure to sexual content on television, sexuality in the media, pornographic and sex chart rooms by teenagers, could most likely tune them to engage in sexual activities (L’Engle et al., 2006; Park, 2008). Acceptance of gift for sex and some adult deliberately taking advantage of poor teenagers, encouraging them into having sex were also noted as factors responsible for teenage pregnancy (United Nation, 2001).

Yampolslaaya, Brown and Greenbaum (2002) posited that approximately 60% of adolescent mothers live in poverty at the time of the birth of their babies and “approximately 73% go on welfare within 5 years of giving birth”, its associated motherhood are characterized with shame, disgrace, and school dropout sometimes end up the individual’s dreams of achieving higher pursuits.

Teenage pregnancy according to Williams (2010) is therefore a major concern to world communities with the United State being at the top with almost 1,000,000 teenage pregnancies each year. Teenage pregnancy has attracted a great deal of concern and attention from religious leaders, the general public, policymakers, and social scientists, particularly in the developed and less developed countries especially in Nigeria. The continuing apprehension about teenage pregnancy is based on the profound impact it can have on the lives of the girls and their children. Demographic studies continue to report that in developed countries such as the United States, Mexico, Canada, Austria, teenage pregnancy results in lower educational attainment, increased rates of poverty, and worse “life outcomes” for children of teenage mothers compared to children of young adult women (Yampolslaaya et al., 2002) . Most teenagers do not plan their first sexual experience; rather, it is something that just happens to them based on the influence by female counterparts. Nearly 10 percent of adolescent or teenage girls get pregnant each year. Studies have found that between 20-30 percent of pregnancies in teenagers are direct results of rape, while 60% of teenage mothers have unwanted sexual experiences preceding their pregnancies before 15 years when they were coerced by males who were at least six years older than them (Williams, 2010).

A woman must be physically and medically matured before procreating. Some  teenagers died or lose their babies in the process of giving birth because the body of a teenage girl is not always mature enough to handle pregnancy and the stress involved. Psychologically the mind of a teen mother is not yet matured to handle the challenges of parenting and motherhood and this is why majority of teen mothers live with relatives who help them to cater for their babies.  Therefore this study is want to look into the relevance of Biology as a core subject in eradicating teenage pregnancy among secondary school students in Ekiti East local government area of Ekiti state.


Statement of the Problems

Research shows that the teen years are the most stressful and confusing times of life (Deegan, 2019; Duval, 2015; Kohlberg, 2011). During this period, teenagers are expected to acquire education and skills needed for the future. On the contrary, many teenage girls engage in premarital sex, which expose them to the risks of sexually transmitted infection (STIs) and teenage pregnancies (Umeano, 2003). Pregnancy is usually welcome when it occurs at the appropriate time such as a mature age and in wedlock. On the contrary, it is most unwelcome when it occurs outside of wedlock or during the teen years, when the individual should be acquiring skills in formal or non-formal environments. Numerous studies Audu (2017), Noble (2016), WHO (2017) and Onuzulike (2002) have indicated poverty, pornography, mass media and peer influence as some of the factors responsible for teenage pregnancy. All teenagers who engage in pre-marital sex are vulnerable to pregnancy.

The issue of teenage pregnancy is no longer a new thing in any society be it developed, developing or less developed nations. Various reasons has been adduced for its existence but the basic problem is the persistency and the geometric progression of its expansion despite all the efforts that has been made by both government, schools, religious bodies and non- governmental agencies at resolving some identified factors leading to this cancerous or decadence in our societies.


Purpose of this Study

The purpose of this study is to:

§  investigate why Nigerian teenage boys and girls indulge in premarital sex;

§  assess the degree of support from parents to teenage girls during pregnancy and after delivery;

§  examine the possibility of pregnant Ekiti  teenage secondary school girls to go back to school after delivery;

§  assess the degree of support from parents to pregnant teenage secondary school girls during pregnancy and after delivery; and

§  compare the attitude of students, teachers and parents towards the inclusion of sex education in Ekiti secondary schools Biology curriculum.


Research Questions

The following questions were raised:

1.      Why do Nigerian adolescent boys and girls indulge in premarital sex?

2.      What chances have pregnant Ekiti teenage girls to go back to school after delivery?

3.      How much parental support do pregnant Ekiti teenage girls receive during pregnancy and after delivery?

4.      What is the attitude of students, teachers and parents towards sex education in Nigeria?

5.      How much of sex education do secondary school students receive in Biology classes in Nigeria?



Significance of the Study

The research study is focused on the relevance of Biology as a core subject in eradicating teenage pregnancy among secondary school students in Ekiti East local government area of Ekiti state; this study will be significant in the following respects:

1.                 Expose the parents to the reality that, they are partners in progress with the teachers, the school and the society at large in the effort to avert and completely curb the menace of teenage pregnancy, sexual abuse, and sexually related diseases in the society.

2.                 Provide understanding about the complexities involved in the teaching of Biology, thereby contributing towards the designing of an effective curriculum to suit the teaching of sex education in other to eradicate teenage pregnancy.

3.                 To encourage non-governmental organizations to participate in the education of the youth in the area of teenage pregnancy among secondary school.

4.                 Encourage schools, and other health related agencies to intensify efforts towards the teaching of sex education in secondary schools

Operational Definition of Terms

RELEVANCE: Relevance is the concept of one topic being connected to another topic in a way that makes it useful to consider the second topic when considering the first

BIOLOGY: the study of living organisms, divided into many specialized fields that cover their morphology, physiology, anatomy, behaviour, origin, and distribution.

ERADICATING: To eradicate something is to get rid of it, to destroy it, and to kiss it goodbye. Eradicate is from the Latin word eradicare meaning "to root out." When you yank that weed up by the roots, it has been eradicated; it's not coming back.

TEENAGE PREGNANCY: Teenage pregnancy, also known as adolescent pregnancy, is pregnancy in a female under the age of 20. Pregnancy can occur with sexual intercourse after the start of ovulation, which can be before the first menstrual period (menarche) but usually occurs after the onset of periods.

SEX EDUCATION:- Could be any instruction in the processes and consequences of sexual activity ordinarily given to children and adolescents.

ATTITUDE:- Is the opinions and feelings that one usually has about something or the way that one behaves towards someone or in a particular situation.

UNWANTED PREGNANCY:-   Carrying or having an  unborn baby that is not planned for


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