Social Networking Sites and Sexual Behaviour among Students of Selected Tertiary Institutions in Kogi State.


Today in Nigeria, Social Networking Sites like Facebook, 2go and whatsapp are getting more popular among students of Tertiary Institutions irrespective of their different ethno-social backgrounds.

It has become a vital part of their social life, presenting new opportunities as well as potentially unsafe encounters. Yet, little is known about the contributions of these media to the pattern of sexual behaviour of young people, especially students.

It is against this background that this study was conceived to examine Social Networking Sites and Sexual Behaviour among Students of Selected Tertiary Institutions in Kogi State.

The study employed Survey research method and relied on questionnaire and interview as instrument for the collection of primary data used in this work.

The data were quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed using tables showing frequencies and simple percentages. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to sample the 384 respondents from the selected institutions.

Anchored on the Uses and gratifications theory, the study found among other things; that social networking sites contribute to students sexual Behaviour and that, there is an increasing adoption of the use of these sites, especially whatsapp, 2go and facebook in that order.


Background of Study

With the advent of web 2.0 and the emergence of numerous social networking sites (SNSs) like Facebook, Whatsapp, Baddo, Flirtomatic, Myspace, Twitter, Blackberry Messenger (BBM), and 2go available today, the socialization patterns of young people have changed dramatically.

These social networking sites are used to mediate personal interactions and communication, as well as provide youths with a powerful space for socializing, learning, and participating in public life.

According to Livingstone and Brake (2010:75), people engage themselves in the use of Social Networking Sites to ‘reinvent their personalities, showcase their social lives and potentially increase their social circle, at least, in terms of acquaintances’.

Earlier studies have demonstrated that SNSs are widely embraced by the younger generation, variously labelled ‘Generation Y (Digital Natives and the Net Generation),’ (Oblinger & Oblinger, 2005:2).

This, McLoughlin and Burgess (n.d) noted, could be as a result of the fact that SNSs break down barriers at different levels, such as private and public space, learning spaces and social spaces, and informal and formal communication modes.

The affordability of social networking sites gadgets like mobile phones and computers further enable communication among broad circles of contacts, locally and globally, and permit the combination  of activities of e-mail, messaging, website creation, diaries, photo albums and music or video uploading and downloading.


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