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ARTICLE
Year : 2006  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 96-100

The average Nigerian adolescent and sexual life- A challenge


Department of Paediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
FMCPaed Ada R C. Nwokocha
Department of Paediatrics, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, P.M.B. 1129, Enugu
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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The earliest feature and hallmark of adolescence is sexual maturation which is seen as the development of secondary sexual characteristics, general increase in body size, change in body configuration and progressive sexual urge. Innate hormonal template in these adolescents and environmental influences predispose them to and encourage sexual activities. This calls for deliberate effort to forestall the numerous deleterious consequences of careless or illicit sexual activities. The ease at obtaining criminal abortion with its numerous complications in developing countries like Nigeria, despite the restrictive abortion law, at best compounds the picture rather than solve the problem. Poor value system, goal-setting, decision-making, parental supervision, and quite importantly, poor knowledge (ignorance in sexual issues) ill-equip them. A typical case of today's adolescent in Nigeria is reported, illustrating the plight of these young adolescents in their state of unpreparedness for this cardinal milestone; little or absent supervision, inadequate informed decision-making capability for both parents/guardians and the adolescents themselves. Deliberate effort to provide preventive services for these adolescents to forestall avoidable self damage, vicious cycle of poverty and provide appropriate intervention measures is recommended.


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