KNOWLEDGE AND ATTITUDE OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS TOWARDS HOMOSEXUALITY AND ITS IMPLICATION ON SOCIAL ADJUSTMENT
1.1 Background to the study
Homosexuality is romantic or sexual intercourse or behaviour between members of the same sex (beth 1992:2). As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectionate or romantic attractions primarily and exclusively to people of the same sex (Redmond 1999).
The term homosexual is derived from a Greek word “homos” which means same. Thus connoting sexual acts and affections between members of the same sex. Lesbianism is a sexual act between females while Gay generally refers to male homosexuality. The word “Lesbians” is derived from the name of the Greek island “Lesbos”, where the poet Sappho wrote largely about her emotional relation with young women.
Historically, homosexuality has attracted much interest and attention but attitudes towards such preference of having sex with one of the same gender have varied in different epochs and cultural groups ranging from acceptance as among the ancient Greeks, to measured tolerance in the Roman times and outright condemnations. (Greg Reeder 1999). 10
According to the old testament, Leviticus 16:8-22, 20:13) sex between men is an abomination and any involved will be put to death, other parts of the Bible makes it known that homosexuality is a sin and any involved in it faces strong penalty. Such books of the Bible like the book of Romans 1:18-31, Corinthians 6:9 which says that homosexuals are unrighteous and will not inherit the kingdom of God. This however has affected the Judeo-Christian attitude towards homosexuality for centuries.
Also in primitive time, negative attitude is found in different cultures even in Africa, there has been serious condemnation of homosexuality such that anyone involved in act will be put to death.
In the late 19th century ambivalent attitude have prevailed, that is, opposing feelings about homosexuality such that some people fell homosexuality is normal and they tend to fight for their freedom. In some primitive societies homosexual activities are considered normal and socially acceptable. For instance in Arunta of Central Australia, homosexuality is a common practice. Some nations such as Great Britain, United States and West Germany to mention but a few have recently legalized homosexual relations between consenting adults. In the United states, in the 1940s homosexuality was classified as felony with punishment up to life imprisonment in all states. (Frank Beach 1991).
By the early 1970s at least ten states had legalized such acts between consenting adults. One third of the societies studied by ford and Beach include many industrialized countries; give little or no sanction to homosexuals.
In recent years in the United States such organizations as the Gay Activities Alliance and the Daughters of Bilitis have attempted to influence public opinion and legislation toward greater tolerance of homosexuals. Their effort and other world associations and conferences such as the 1974 Berkshire conference also the 1973 meeting of the Association of homosexual activists and other various meetings along with Gay advocacy books has created several attitudes among people of the world and attracted attentions. Recently, even in Nigeria, homosexuality is beginning to spread and open up and even though there has been a law against the act, still it is in existence in the country and also in various institution of higher learning in the country. Including Caritas University where there has been cases of homosexual activities amongst students though not too obvious and popular but it exist and there has been various attitudes towards it from other students who do not get involved in the act.
While a lot of research have been carried out in other aspect of students attitude very little or nothing has been done in the area of research on the attitude of students towards homosexuality. It is on this premise that this study seek to unravel the knowledge and general attitude of students towards homosexuality.
1.2 Statement of the problem
With increasing urbanization in Nigeria and relative freedom from parents and guardian enjoyed by students in various institutions of higher learning in Nigeria. There has been different kinds of sexual orientation which includes homosexuality and attitudes towards it. How do people regard to homosexuality and those involved in it is an issue that need to be investigated. While homosexuals face condemnation in some societies. They are accepted in other societies. In Nigeria, it is highly frowned at, because it is believed to have a negative effect on the general behaviour and it is strongly against the moral principle of Nigerian society and Caritas University in particular. Though this act of homosexuality exist in closed and private settings in Caritas University, this case is becoming obvious and privately alarming so much so that the moral ethics for which this mission university is known is under serious threat. The act is like underground water destroying the moral base of this noble university. Like wild fire, it is permeating into the minds of all students of Caritas University.
On the part of the homosexuals, most often they suffer psycho social trauma, social isolation and are society wide regarded as deviants, they are some times regarded and treated as criminals. In future, they may face the danger of childlessness except if they change and get married to opposite sex. This is outright 13
negation of the order instituted by God. It is a violation against the natural use of man and woman.
Furthermore, the attitude of people towards the acts causes those involved in the act unable to socially and psychologically adjust within the society and relate to people and members of the society.
It is on the above premise that this study seeks to unravel the attitude of undergraduate students of Caritas university towards homosexuality and its effects on social adjustment.
1.3 Research Questions
The following research questions shall guide this study
- Do students have knowledge about homosexuality?
- How do students perceive homosexuality?
- How do students get involved in the act?
- How easy is it to disengage from the act?
- What do students think about people who are involve in homosexual act?
1.4 Objectives of the study
The general objective of this study is to investigate the attitude of undergraduate students towards Homosexuality and how it affect social adjustment.
The specific objectives of the study area are as follows:
- To understand the extent to which students knowledge about homosexuality affects their attitudes and social adjustment.
- To determine students knowledge about homosexuality.
- To fnd out how students get involved in the act of homosexuality.
- To ascertain how easy it is to disengage from the act.
- To suggest how this social ill will be stopped.
1.5 Significance of the study
This study has both theoretical and practical significance. Theoretically, the study intends to find out the motive behind indulging in homosexuality.
The findings of the study will be of immense values to the educators, psychologists and school administrators on the best ways to handle the problem of homosexuality among undergraduate students. 15
Again, the findings of this study will help to intimate the guidance counselors on the social and sexual background of these students and how best to offer a programme of intervention for their re-integration into heterosexual world.
Thus, both students and counselors will be better informed about he inherent dangers associated with indulging in homosexuality.
1.6 Definition of terms
Homosexuality is a romantic and sexual intercourse between members of the same sex or gender.
Lesbianism is the sexual relationship between two women, when someone is a lesbian it simply means that a woman is having sexual relationship with another woman.
This refers to a disposition to react or behave in a certain way towards an issue, event, act or a situation. 16
These are people who are currently undertaking or studying for their first degree in a higher institution of learning.
This can be referred to as sexual relationship between two men.
This means adapting to the societal conditions or circumstances of one’s environment.
CLOSED AND PRIVATE SETTING
This refers to a secret place where the homosexuals carry out the act without being noticed by anybody.