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This study was designed to investigate into the causes of unwanted pregnancy and abortion and its impact on academic performance among female biology students in FCE Pankshin. The population of the study comprises of two hundred and six (206) Degree students and eight hundred and twenty five (825) NCE students with 120 sampled respondents. The study employed descriptive survey design. Three  research questions and a research hypothesis guided the study. The three research questions were analysed using statistical means. The results of the study revealed that there exist many causes of unwanted pregnancy and abortion among female biology students in FCE Pankshin some of which are economic hardship, peer pressure, carelessness, social media, lack of family support and promiscuity among others. The analysis also revealed that the problems of unwanted pregnancy and abortion among our female students is one of the main challenges facing developing countries due to its effect on uncontrollable population growth and mother and child health. This is because Unplanned or unwanted pregnancy and abortion interfere with health and wellness in different ways and that it does not only affects various aspects of individual and family health state, but also reduces the labour productivity. Based on the findings of the study, the researcher concluded that the causes of unwanted pregnancy and abortion are very high among students in the study area. And therefore, sex education, health education and also youths programmes should be designed specifically to target female students to provide them with adequate knowledge on reproductive and sexual issues, change their attitude about sexual risk and motivate them to understand behaviour that reduce sexual risks especially the consistent use of condoms which has a dual purpose of both preventing unwanted pregnancies and also preventing sexually transmitted infections. The study recommends among others that, Health Care centre with the help of those in authority should educate students about the dangers of unprotected sex and safe sex before they contract STI’s and HIV/AIDS.




1.1       BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY  –           –           –           –           –           1

1.2       STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM –           –           –           –           –           5

1.3       PURPOSE OF THE STUDY –           –           –           –           –           –           8

1.4       RESEARCH QUESTIONS   –           –           –           –           –           –           9

1.5       RESEARCH HYPOTHESES –           –           –           –           –           –           9

1.6       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY   –           –           –           –           –           10

1.7       SCOPE OF THE STUDY      –           –           –           –           –           –           10

1.8       OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS            –           –           –           11






3.1       STUDY AREA           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           50

3.2       RESEARCH DESIGN           –           –           –           –           –           –           51

3.3       POPULATION AND SAMPLE OF THE STUDY   –           –           –           52

3.3.1    Population       –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           52

3.3.2    Sample            –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           52

3.4       SAMPLING TECHNIQUE   –           –           –           –           –           –           53

3.5       INSTRUMENT (S) FOR DATA COLLECTION     –           –           –           54


RESEARCH INSTRUMENT –           –           –           –           –           –           54

3.6.1    Validity           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           54

3.6.2    Reliability       –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           54

3.7       PROCEDURE OF DATA COLLECTION    –           –           –           –           55

3.8       METHOD OF DATA ANALYSIS   –           –           –           –           –           55



4.1       RESULTS PRESENTATION            –           –           –           –           –           57

4.2       ANALYSIS OF RESEARCH QUESTIONS –           –           –           –          

4.3       TESTING OF HYPOTHESIS           –           –           –           –           –          

4.4       DISCUSSION OF THE FINDINGS –           –           –           –           –           69






5.1       SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS    –           –           –           –           –           72

5.2       CONCLUSION          –           –           –           –           –           –           –           73

5.3       RECOMMENDATION         –           –           –           –           –           –           74

5.4       LIMITATION OF THE STUDY       –           –           –           –           –           75

5.5       SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDIES           –           –           –           75

REFERENCE –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           76

APPENDIX    –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           79




Society expects tertiary institutions to serve as a hub for both education and character development. One important aspect of character development is the promotion of positive sexual behavior, which is considered desirable by the society. This objective is pursued through a combination of teaching and learning, as well as the establishment and enforcement of rules and regulations. As students transition to a higher level of education, they acquire new behaviors to adapt to the demands of their new environment. Each student brings their own unique perspective on life, shaped by their social background, to the higher education setting. Given the diverse ethnic and social makeup of higher institutions, it is possible to encounter individuals who hold deviant norms. These individuals may inadvertently influence others through daily interactions and associations (Ariyo, 2017). According to Ariyo (2017), modern sex education has been the tool of the devil because of biology and mechanics of sex are being taught without restraint. However modern dressing styles are designed to make the side walk classroom and living room into garlic show, little have been left for imagination. Miniskirts and hot pants have been designed to break down any form of modesty and morality that will exist in our society.

Female biology students, particularly those studying at FCE Pankshin, undergo rapid physical and psychological changes. They possess a natural curiosity and a desire to explore new phenomena (Lewis, 2007). However, these students face various challenges such as fears, worries, and conflicting desires. They often feel hesitant to seek advice and guidance from their parents and elders. Taking a life cycle approach, it is crucial for female biology students and their communities to receive education about reproductive health. This knowledge empowers them to make informed decisions regarding their reproductive health and sexuality (Baryamutuma & Baingana, 2011).

One prevalent social issue in many societies today is unwanted pregnancy. According to Sambo (2009), unwanted pregnancy refers to pregnancies that occur when a girl is below the age of 18 and is unwilling to marry. These pregnancies are unplanned and occur outside of wedlock. Unwanted pregnancy can arise due to early physical maturation, coupled with the onset of menstruation, which varies among individuals. This early maturity exposes young girls to the influence of their peers (Ede, 2011). Ede (2011) observes that a well-matured adolescent girl becomes aware of her attractiveness to the opposite sex, and her self-image and self-esteem become significant factors. This awareness may lead her to seek out sexual encounters for social, economic, and emotional gratification, often resulting in hasty decisions and pregnancy. The issue is exacerbated by the substantial pressures that sexual matters exert on young individuals. Additionally, teenage pregnancy can occur as a consequence of prevalent sexual abuse in society. Considering these factors, Nweke (2012) asserts that a child who experiences early abuse may carry the burden of fulfilling the needs of adults or older siblings throughout their life, which can significantly impact their sense of self. The consequences of sexual abuse extend beyond issues in one’s sexual life and can hinder the development of a healthy, autonomous personality.

The topic of abortion holds significant importance when discussing reproductive health and family productivity. According to Shiers (1999), abortion refers to the termination of a pregnancy before reaching 24 weeks of gestation. In simpler terms, it involves ending a pregnancy before the completion of the sixth month. The World Health Organization (2004) defines abortion as the termination of pregnancy before the embryo or fetus becomes viable. Okoye (2006) explains that the age of viability, which is widely accepted as 28 weeks of gestation or the seventh month of pregnancy in Nigeria and many other countries, signifies the point at which any removal of the fetus from the uterus should be considered a birth rather than an abortion. Ramalingan (2006) aligns with this perspective, stating that abortion refers to the premature termination of pregnancy, with the fetus being considered matured from the seventh month onward.

Despite living in the modern age, the mere mention of the word “abortion” still upsets and causes discomfort for many people. Furthermore, many students remain uninformed about issues related to abortion. Unfortunately, due to this negative attitude toward abortion, more harm than good has been inflicted upon numerous innocent lives. If the appropriate steps and attitudes had been taken at the right time, many of these situations could have been addressed and resolved, thereby saving lives (Fisher, 2008).

Unwanted pregnancy, which often leads to abortion, occurs when a pregnancy is mistimed, unplanned, or unwanted at the time of conception. This is typically attributed to factors such as the lack of access to effective contraceptive methods, inconsistent or incorrect use of contraception (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013). Additionally, unwanted pregnancy can result from cases of rape where emergency contraception is not utilized. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, certain groups of women, including unmarried women, black women, and those with low educational status and income, are more likely to experience unintended births. Throughout the course of a pregnancy, it is possible for a desired pregnancy to become unwanted or vice versa, influenced by the reactions of others or external economic pressures (Monga and Dobbs, 2011). Changes in circumstances, such as lack of support from a partner, can lead to the pregnancy becoming unwanted, potentially resulting in its termination through abortion. Conversely, unexpected pregnancies may be welcomed due to prevailing circumstances. Based on these considerations, the researcher finds it appropriate to explore the causes of unwanted pregnancy and abortion among Female Biology Students and its impact on their academic performance at FCE Pankshin, Plateau State.


Unwanted pregnancy and abortion have deeply affected Nigerian students, causing parents and stakeholders to lose confidence in our generation. Their efforts to build a better future often seem futile, as the consequences of unwanted pregnancy and abortion lead to societal issues such as street life and imprisonment. The decline in traditional values is evident in our society, with numerous articles and discussions attempting to discourage the prevalence of unwanted pregnancy and abortion among Female Biology Students, especially at FCE Pankshin. Naswen (2001), Ezeh (2001), Arumala (2005), and Eruesegbefe (2005) all agree that traditional values are rapidly deteriorating, particularly in the realm of sexuality. Pre-marital sex, once considered taboo, is now more widely accepted within the context of a loving relationship.

Osisioma (1998) laments that Nigerian culture no longer holds sway over the youth, and moral codes and values have decayed, leading to a erosion of the sense of right and wrong. This seems to impact Female Biology Students at FCE Pankshin and the youth in general, as evidenced by the acceptance of pre-marital sex, resulting in unwanted pregnancy, abortion, drug addiction, and indecent dressing. Some attribute this shift to parental negligence, while others believe that higher institution students, including Female Biology Students, are more susceptible to normal sexual desires, intensified by the influence of permissive Western culture conveyed through mass media’s sexual stimuli. The exposure of young people to sexually explicit movies and the excessive promotion of pornography and contraceptives, particularly condoms, are also seen as factors contributing to adolescents engaging in sexual practices that lead to unwanted pregnancy and subsequent calls for termination (abortion) (Onuzulike, 2002).

Unwanted pregnancy and abortion are not only local issues but also global problems with serious implications for women’s reproductive health (WHO, 2014). Unwanted pregnancy refers to a pregnancy that is mistimed, unplanned, or unwanted at the time of conception, while the World Health Organization (WHO, 2014) defines abortion as a procedure for terminating an unwanted pregnancy in an environment lacking the necessary skills or minimum standards. Unsafe abortions resulting from unwanted pregnancy among Female Biology Students in tertiary institutions reach approximately 20 million annually, with developing countries, including Nigeria, having restrictive abortion laws (Adinma, 2019). Maternal mortality rates are significantly influenced by unwanted pregnancy and abortion, contributing to 30-40% of maternal deaths in Nigeria (Adinma, 2019). Despite the absence of official data due to restrictive laws, a significant number of abortions are performed in the country each year, resulting in the death of many young and older women due to complications (Otoide, Oronsaye & Okonofua, 2011; Henshaw, 2018).

In Nigeria, abortion is only permitted when the life of the woman is at risk, and otherwise, both the woman and the abortionist face imprisonment (Adinma, 2019). This law implies that women with unwanted pregnancies cannot access safe abortion services in government facilities, forcing them to turn to unqualified individuals, leading to severe and undesirable consequences (Adinma, 2019). Unwanted pregnancy and abortion often result in serious medical complications, such as sepsis, hemorrhage, injury to the uterus, bowel, or genital organs, renal failure, and even death (Ibrahim et al., 2011; Bankole et al., 2016). Survivors may experience long-term health complications, including secondary infertility, chronic pelvic pain, and ectopic pregnancy, jeopardizing their future reproductive and economic well-being (Ibrahim et al., 2019). Late first and second trimester abortions account for the majority of cases (68%), while only 20% occur in the early stages of the first three months (Ibrahim et al., 2019).

The researcher has observed that the prevalence of unwanted pregnancy and the resulting abortions, whether among the students themselves or with individuals outside the school, have a negative impact on the academic performance of Female Biology Students. This issue hampers the educational development of Nigerian youths in general and specifically affects FCE Pankshin and its surrounding areas.


The main aim of this study is to investigate into the causes of unwanted pregnancy and abortion and its impact on academic performance among Female Biology Students in FCE Pankshin with the following specific objectives:

  1. The prevalent rates of unwanted pregnancies and abortion among Female Biology Students in FCE Pankshin.
  2. The impact of unwanted pregnancies and abortion on the academic performance of Female Biology Students in FCE Pankshin.
  3. Find out the possible means of curbing this menace among the girl’s students so as to enhance and improve their health status and academic performance in school.




In order to achieve the above objective, the study came up with the following research questions. The research questions are stated as follow;

  1. What are the causes of unwanted pregnancies and abortion among Female Biology Students in FCE Pankshin?
  2. What are the factors leading to unwanted pregnancies and abortion and its effects on the educational development and performance of FCE Pankshin Female Biology Students?
  3. What are the possible means of curbing this menace among the Female Biology Students so as to enhance and improve their academic development and performance in school?


Ho: There is no significant association in the prevalence rate of unwanted pregnancy and abortion in FCE Pankshin.

Ho2: There is no significant association between the impact of unwanted pregnancy and abortion on the academic performance of Female Biology Students in FCE Pankshin.

Ho4: There is no significance association in the possible means of curbing this menace among the Female Biology Students so as to improve and enhance their academic performance.


The result of this research work will be useful to the government. Because it will make the government to discover the consequences of unwanted pregnancies and abortion on the educational development of the higher institution Female Biology Students and the role it needs to play to curb this menace in our society.

The Female Biology Students in higher places of learning themselves will benefit from this research work as it will enable them to identify the prevalence causes and problems associated with unwanted pregnancies and abortion with particular reference to their educational development.

It will also benefit parents, because it will point out the areas through which the parents have been influencing premarital sexual leading to unwanted pregnancy and abortion among the Female Biology Students and the quota they need to contribute to resolving the problem.

The teachers will also gain from this research work as they are the tutors of the Nigerian youths. It will also show their own roles in curbing unwanted pregnancies and abortion among the Female Biology Students and the youths in general through guidance and counselling services.


The researcher will limit the study to the causes of unwanted pregnancy and abortion among Female Biology Students and its impact on their health and academic performance in FCE Pankshin, Plateau State.

            Due to financial constraint, the researcher will be unable to go round and collect more materials or to obtain information from all the final year students in School of Sciences of Federal College of Education Pankshin. Also the researcher being students is involved in other academic endeavours and hereby will be left with limited time to go round in the study area. These factors therefore, will delimit the research work to only some selected final year Female Biology Students in Federal College of Education Pankshin.




Terms that are related to the study are defined below in order to remove somatic ambiguity in their usage.

Causes:                                   It refers to a person or thing that gives rise to an action, phenomenon, or condition.

Unwanted Pregnancies:       Literally, it refers to pregnancies that are mistimed, unplanned or unwanted at the time of conception. In this study, it implies to a pregnancy that is either unwanted, such as the pregnancy occurred when not ready financially. Or the pregnancy not needed, or is mistimed, such as the pregnancy occurred earlier than desired.

Abortion:                               This has to do with removal or termination of pregnancy between the seven month which is the viability of the foetus a time when the foetus is capable of extra uterine life and independently.

Impact:                                   Literally, it refers to the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another. In this study, it implies those consequences offers by the unwanted pregnancies and abortion among Female Biology Students in Federal College of Education Pankshin.

Academic:                              Academic is used to describe things that relate to the work done in schools, colleges, and universities, especially work which involves studying and reasoning rather than practical or technical skills.


Performance:                         Literally, it implies the action or process of performing a task or function. In this study, it refers to successful completion of a program required by the department, including an education.

Academic performance:                   It refers to the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has attained their short or long-term educational goals. 


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