Institutional and Student Characteristics Influencing Risky Sexual Behaviour among University Students in Tharaka Nithi County, Kenya
Nyamu, Euriter Wanja
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It is essential to recognize the factors that persuade youth’s education and to understand how the forces interweave at the higher institution of learning. The primary objective of the study was to establish the risk sexual behaviour among the students attending Universities in Meru South, more so on how physical infrastructure at the University influences Students risky sexual behaviors, also to establish how institutional social structures influence students risky sexual behaviour, and to identify student’s risky sexual behaviors modeled by the available resources in Universities in Tharaka Nithi County. The study population comprised of 7950 University students at Chuka and Presbyterian University of East Africa. The study employed Random sampling to obtain a sample of 402 students. Data for the study was collected using a researcher-made questionnaire that was pre-tested in Meru University of Science and Technology using a sample of 40 students to determine the instrument reliability. A Cronbach Alpha coefficient of 0.89 was obtained on computing the reliability. Content and face validity was ascertained by evaluating the judgment of the research supervisors and experts within the Department of Environmental and Population Health of Kenyatta University. SPSS version 21 .0 for windows was used to analyze data to facilitate generation of inferential statistics owing to the quantitative nature of the obtained data. The information that was collected was then presented in the text in the form of tables and charts. The study established that the physical infrastructure; type of hostel, surveillance cameras in lecture halls, recreational centers located at isolated places, and buildings with basements at the University have greater relationship with students’ risky sexual behaviors(x2 =49.120, df =1 , p =0.508 ). A correlation between peer influence, family background and social structures of stratification and University students’ risky sexual behaviors were established (x2 =49.120, df =1, p =0.806). The study further established that availability of free Internet (72%), laptops (64%) and computers (64%) contributed to a large number of students spending much time surfing the net on their cell phones (100%), watching sex explicit oriented videos (3%), viewing sexually explicit messages online (24%), watching programs with sexual contents on the televisions (72%), listening to sexually explicit lyrics were correlated with students’ sexually risky behaviour (chi-square was 0.012 significant at 0.883). The social structures established in the Universities also contributed greatly to the students’ risky sexual behaviors (x2 = 20.909, df=1, p=0.007).Based on the findings of this study it was concluded that Universities in the study area had physical facilities that promoted students risky sexual behaviors. The university administration should train student peer counselors and equip them with the best skills of handling the risk sexual behaviour issues. The study further concludes that student’s risky sexual behaviors were to a great extent modeled by the available resources such as free Internet at the university. Based on research finding recommendation to the university management should to device ways in which they can restrict the available resources and infrastructure, in order to contain the students' behaviors.