Background The reasons for the persistence of risky sexual behaviours among adolescents and young adults in sub-Saharan Africa despite the increasing knowledge about the associated risks continue to attract scholarly debates. Drawing from a cross-sectional study conducted among male and female Nigerian university students, we examined the relationship between family structure, family support and transactional sex. Methods A pre-validated questionnaire was administered to 800 male and female students selected using stratified sampling; however, we performed the analysis on 630 participants who had ever engaged in sex. Transactional sex was operationalised as self-reporting of giving or receiving money, gifts or favour in exchange for sex. We fitted a list-wise logistic regression model to examine the relationship between family structure, family support and transactional sex while controlling for essential covariates. Results Of the 630 participants included in the analysis, 17.9% had given and 23.8% had received money, gift or favour in exchange for sex. Our bivariate analysis shows that individuals from polygamous families had higher odds of reporting that they have ever given (AOR: 1.89; CI: 1.05–3.39) or received (AOR: 1.85; CI: 1.85–3.19) money, gift or favour in exchange for sex; however, the relationship was not statistically significant after controlling for relevant covariates. After controlling for essential covariates, the odds of giving or receiving money, gift or favour in exchange for sex was 56% lower in individuals who received adequate family support compared to those who received no or insufficient family support. Conclusion In conclusion, this paper lends support to the assertion that family structure and family support are protective factors against transactional sex among adolescents and young adults. Future surveys need to include a larger sample in order to explore the effect of single-parent and polygamous family on transactional sex in Nigeria where family formation is changing rapidly.
Ajayi, A. I., & Somefun, O. D. (2019). Transactional sex among Nigerian university students: The role of family structure and family support. PLoS ONE, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0210349