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Social networking, identity and sexual behaviour of undergraduate students in Nigerian universities

Williams Ezinwa Nwagwu (Africa Regional Center for Information Science, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria and Department of Information Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 5 June 2017




The purpose of this study was to examine how the identity of undergraduates who use social networking sites in selected Nigerian universities influences the prediction of their sexual behaviour.


A questionnaire survey was used to collect data from 388 students from three public universities in Nigeria.


Sex and age exerted sufficient influence on the youth’s sexual behaviour, but the identity variables seemed only to increase the tendency of younger males to form intimate relationship with partners. Specifically, young males who maintain high level of social relationships have a high tendency of developing intimate relationship with partners.

Research limitations/implications

This study that deployed identity variables provides wide-ranging information on how identity moderates sexual behaviour in the presence of traditional predictors of demographic characteristics and social networking.

Practical implications

This study demonstrates that identity has a very strong influence of the predictive power of sex and age on sexual behaviour.


This study is the first that examined sexual behaviour, identity and social networking together.



Nwagwu, W.E. (2017), "Social networking, identity and sexual behaviour of undergraduate students in Nigerian universities", The Electronic Library, Vol. 35 No. 3, pp. 534-558.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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