According to a study conducted by the School of Women and Gender Studies at Makerere University, at least 90% of Ugandan university students are involved in premarital sex.
The research, which was titled “Rebuilding the Moral Infrastructure of the Youth in Uganda: Nurturing a New Generation for National Transformation” interrogated students about moral values and character necessary for academic excellence, social innovations, positive mindset, attitude and behavioural change essential for national transformation at different levels.
The study was conducted between December 2019 and March 2020 but the findings were shared to the public by Peace Musiimenta, the principal investigator during a recent event at Makerere University.
The recently concluded research involved 993 students from Makerere University and 12% of the respondents confessed to having been pregnant. Of these, 55% confessed that they aborted, 8% experienced miscarriages and 37% carried the pregnancy.
“Some students at Makerere University have dubbed sex a “silent course unit” whereby having multiple boyfriends or girlfriends is common among students,” Musiimenta disclosed.
The study further discovered that due to moral degeneration, there is increased cases of sexual harassment, sex for marks, unplanned pregnancies, abortion among others. Apparently, freshers (first year students) are more vulnerable to moral degeneration, accounting for 49% of the respondents followed by second year students at 42%.
Speaking of moral degeneration, this study suggests that the biggest form of moral degeneration manifestation is alcoholism and smoking ranked at 57%, drug abuse ranks second at 54%, while sexual harassment ranks third at 53% and prostitution ranks fifth at 38%.
The research also discovered that 91% of the students interrogated were aware that there is moral degeneration amongst their colleagues.
According to Josephine Ahikire, the principal at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the findings are a mirror of what is currently happening in the society.
“We do not have to look at Makerere alone, but have a broader picture where people are being paid sh1,000 to vote. This needs to be scaled up and not only focus on the youth,” Ahikire said.
While commenting on the research, Brenda Boonabaana, a lecturer at Makerere University, revealed that the research came up with recommendations. Among recommendations forming clubs that will promote good morals.
Dubbed “Becoming A New Generation (BANG) clubs, a total of 500 students have already joined in an effort towards promoting good morals.