Akpenpuun Joyce Rumun
There has been an increasing awareness of the need to pay special focus on the adolescent and their sexual and reproductive health. Religion plays a significant role in the life of individuals in every society. Its role as a moral builder has been variously acknowledged. This study examined the role of religion on the reproductive health behaviour of youths. The study was conducted in Makurdi, Benue State. Data for the study were collected from a representative sample of youths resident in Makurdi local government area. A total of 550 youths were successfully sampled using the purposive sampling technique. Results are presented in frequencies and percentages and the relationship between religious commitment and youth reproductive behaviour was tested. The study found out that, religion is irrelevant for youth who even if they are aware of the religious values still have sexual intercourse before marriage. The study also revealed that peers and mass media affect sexual attitudes and behaviour more than religion. Though religious practices are indicators that should affect youth reproductive health behaviour and attitudes towards premarital sexual activity but it is not so in practical lives of the youths. Since religion does not affect the sexual lifestyles of adolescents, religious representatives should take note of this double moral standard and thereby assist the State towards supporting HIV/AIDS, STI prevention initiatives and the formulation of accurate health policies in the country.