Indecent dressing is a social malady in the society today especially by the youths. It simply means deliberate exposure of one’s body to the public.
This practice does not conform to the norms and values of the society, particularly the African society.
This practice is now so common in public places like in churches and offices. Indecent dressing is caused by common phrases which are the problems of our generation like; “Only God can judge me, you can’t”, “Leave them alone”,
“Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion”;
“Mind your business”. These phrases have become so common in our society that one can’t condemn any wrong doings again because the rewards are usually curses, malice, hatred and condemnation.
Indecent dressing is the major cause of the various assault and sexual harassments recorded in the society, overtime. In the name of fashion, ladies dress half naked to functions for instance Nigerian ladies derive pleasure in wearing miniskirts, bumper shorts, armless tops etc.
Innocent boys have been subject to arrests along with hooligans because of this ill. Boys nowadays fix hairs, pierce ears making them look like hardened criminals, so one cannot really police for arresting them.
Nowadays, there are different boy styles like sagging, hot bosom, low west and the likes. Although to say the least, these unfortunate societal ill has now eaten deep into both the young and the old, it is also common amongst artistes especially while they are on stage.
This is another cause for indecency in dressing amongst youths as most youths see these characters as role models and mentors.
Major factors contributing to this societal problem include: the society, peer groups and parents.
Reasonably parents are not to be a part of this problem but nowadays, parents encourage their offspring by buying them these kinds of clothes or recommend them to the children to attend parties.
There are various ways in which indecent dressing can be reduced in our society at least to a minimum level. Parents should dress decently and act as role models to their children, religious institutions should always promote the culture of decent dressing, dress codes should be introduced in higher institutions and given to all students, the mass media should do more to promote decency in dressing among youths and there should be formation of campus brigades to check the dressing patterns of students.
This project looks at indecent dressing. Dress pattern that is common among students of higher institution of learning in Nigeria. The various forms that these dresses appears, reasons why these students dress indecently, use of the internet, fading values as well as demonic influence among others. The negative repercussions include rape, prostitution, HIV/AID and other venereal diseases/infections as well as armed robbery, lying and poor school grades. The instrument used in the collection of data was questionnaires; the result showed that indecent dressing has a great effect on students in higher institutions. It was recommended that parents should be good moral examples to their children. They should given them attention and regulate the films they watch at home and that the media must promote good moral values.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Indecent appearance has come to characterize the dress pattern of many students on campuses of higher learning in Nigeria, there is hardly any higher institution of learning in this country that is not faced with his nauseating problem. The way students on theses campuses of learning particularly the female ones dress seductively leaves much to be desired. What the girls call skirts that they wear is just “one inch” longer than their pants. When they put on such dresses, they struggle to sit down, find it difficult in climbing machines, cross gutter as well as pick anything from the ground. Apart from the skimpy and tight fitting nature of these dresses, they are again transparent, revealing certain parts of the bodies that under normal dressing patterns ought to be hidden away from the glare of people. In the case of boys, their pattern of dress is different. It makes them to look so dirty and very unattractive with unkempt hairs and dirty jeans having pockets of holes deliberately created around the knees and the lower part of the trousers allowed to flow on the ground because they go through their heals into their legs as socks.
The waist of their trousers are lowered and fastened tightly at the middle of the bottom lobes to reveal their boxers (pants) and when they are walking they drag their legs and one of their hands particularly, the left one, cupping their invisible scrotum as if they will fall to the ground if not supposed. Many of them because of how they dressed had at one time or the other become victims of rape, lured into prostitution, used for ritual purpose, unable to complete their education or training and also engaged in other ancillary social and moral problems like cultism and lying to mention these few. Although, there are known universally acceptable way or ways of dressing, dresses are meant to serve some definable purpose, country or region notwithstanding. They are part of the peoples culture and they define their tribal or ethnic identity. Apart from dresses being a means for cultural identity they are for ornamental or aesthetic purposes, for protection of the body against harsh weather condition as well as covering the intimate part of the body. These purposes are important especially as they form major aspects of a person’s personality. But as important as these purpose are, they have been defeated by the Nigerian youths, their dress pattern are most time anti-African dress pattern invented. They usually dress in a manner that does not show especially that of Nigerian encourages modesty in appearance as do the Christian and Islamic religion where the larger population of these youth claim to be worshiping God. This un-african dress pattern among the youths of this generation are generated a lot of concern and worry among the citizenry of the country. Religion institution as well as institution of learning are not resting on their bars to watch this moral act being perpetuated, but they speak against it. For instance Olori (2003) reported that at the university of Abuja rules were made that any dress won must cover intimate part of the body, must not expose the breast, stomach, navel and bare chest. But on this campus student still dress indecently.
In the same vein, in Edo State College of Education Ekiadolor, where this study is focused, it seems that the introduction of a dress code was misinterpreted by the students to mean they should dress indecently. This is because what became obvious with students in this college after the introduction of this dress code was the alarming and arrant ways that they begin to dress indecently. One is not however surprised because what is typically of most Nigerian administrators is always a wide gap between policy and formulation and execution. Indecent dressing even though is not accepted as the normality, it seem to be gaining ascendancy. One wonders what becomes of the society tomorrow with the caliber of students that are being trained.
If rules are made for people, they suppose to be adequately informed why such rules are made. It is for this very reason this project attempts to counsel students about the cause, effects of indecent dressing as well as suggestion of solutions that could remedy the further spread of this immoral act on campuses of learning in Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
This behaviour is of a hydra headed origin. It is not just a behaviour that developed overnight, but an accumulated behavioural pattern that could be attributed to the home due to neglect and/or poor parenting. The effects of globalization arising from wrong values of exportation and importation, reflection of high rate of moral decadence in the large society (corruption and the led), peer pressure and the desire to belong as well as fading values and demonic influence all contribute to the act of indecent dressing.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The main motive of the study is to investigate the effects of dressing in the Nigerian educational sector. Indecent dressing in higher institutions of learning, emphasis on college of education, Ekiadolor, Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State. This study is to find out whether students of higher learning can still dress decently.
This study intends to find out possible solutions to indecent dressing in the Nigerian educational sector. Many teachers, administrators, security personnel, counsellors are worried when it comes to evaluating indecent dressing.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Parents, school administrators, society leaders are some of the important factor that contribute to the indecent dressing of students in higher institutions of learning. It is hoped that this study will identify some of the vital factors existing in the various levels and what influences students indecent dressing.
The result of the study will be of immense importance to all and sundry particularly educational administrators. Teachers and others who may be interested in the welfare, progress, educational upliftment and advancement of students. The study will bring into focus the need for government to incorporate parents in planning the progress and upliftment of the students.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
For valid conclusion to be drawn in this study the following research questions have been formulated to serve as guide in the conduct of the investigation.
- Does poor parenting have any impact on indecent dressing of the students in higher institutions of learning?
- Does peer pressure have any impact on indecent dressing of students in higher institution of learning in Nigeria?
- Does society have any impact in indecent dressing of the students I higher institution of learning?
- Does educational sector have any impact in indecent dressing of the students in higher institutions of learning?
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers the effect of indecent dressing in the Nigerian educational sector using the college of education, Ekiadolor as a case study.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Dress: A piece of clothing that cover someone’s’ body
Indecent: Offensive or shocking
Skimpy: Of (clothes) short and revealing
Ornament: Am object designed to add beauty to something.
Aesthetic: Concerned with beauty or its appreciation. Having a pleasant appearance.
A student stated that she had to stop attending a church in which she grew up because the ushers stopped her from entering inside one Sunday because of what she was wearing.
According to her, “I wore a mini gown, which highlighted my hips and boobs and the ‘old-fashioned’ usher refused to allow me enter the church. Since then, I decided to join another church that won’t judge me based on my dressing, but my heart. Besides, the Lord sees the heart, not the body; so, why should anybody judge me”?
On her part, a retired school principal and mother of five, Mrs. Hilda Kumbin stated that: “It is unfortunate that standard has fallen in the society and parents are not helping because they don’t have time for their children. There are many reasons why young girls come out in indecent dresses but the most important, I think, has to do with self-esteem. When a young girl feels inadequate, lacking in self-confidence, she will do anything to draw attention to herself and wearing indecent clothes could be her way of doing that. They forget that for every action, there is a reaction; and that is why we have series of cases like rape. Most young women have fallen victims to rape because of the provocative dresses they put on. I believe that, indecent dressing debases womanhood because it tends to expose parts of the woman’s body that forms her treasure. Our pride as women lies in hidden and protected treasure; but when a girl exposes it to the public, it reduces her worth in the sight of everyone in society and it makes the man to lose respect in her; there won’t be anything left for the man to explore. Any man that will come after her will only be doing so out of lust, and just to devour what she has displayed for him. Even if you are decent but decide to wear indecent clothes, people will insult you,” she said.
Continuing further, she said, “A girl’s behaviour is often influenced by the type of training and grooming she gets. It has become necessary to establish guidelines for parents and students on acceptable mode of dressing. The National Assembly must enact a law that will regulate dressing in the society. I like what some schools like University of Abuja and Nasarawa State University, Keffi are doing on indecent dressing. Government must ban unscrupulous music videos and films, while parents must discourage their children from such dressings. In the same vein, teachers must discourage this madness. Young people must know that indecent dressing do not improve their beauty; rather, they dent their image and it also symbolises rebellion and immorality, ending in molestation,” she cautions.
Also, Mr. Peter Abbass, a Psychology lecturer in Nasarawa State Polytechnic stated: “I think it‘s time a course on immorality or indecent dressing is introduced in schools. I think it is low self-esteem that is making young girls to dress indecently. It makes them believe that they have to do something, sometimes improper to be noticed; this is to fill emptiness in their lives. They are not contented with their abilities and beauty.
“These young girls see other ladies dressing that way and because men chase after such girls, the girl with very low self-esteem will want to join them to get the same attention. One thing about indecent dressing is that it attracts attention; whether it is a negative or positive one, the bottom line is that it attracts attention. People must stare and automatically, such a person is noticed. So, when a girl who feels insecure wants to be noticed, she resorts to indecent dressing. Indecent dressing portrays our society and institution as immoral; if it’s in the church, it portrays the pastor as weak and not spiritually sound. Parents and adults must dress well and honourably as an example for younger generations. The mass media should promote good moral values and religious leaders must strongly preach against indecent dressing because you will be addressed by the way you are dressed,” he said.
For Pastor John Ishaku, Christian parents must teach their children how to dress decently because that is what the Bible says. “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becomes women professing godliness) with good works.” So it is a command from the Bible. It is a sin for a lady dressing half-naked to walk in the street or come to church.”
Mallam Yahaya Abdulaziz, a Muslim cleric also stated that, “No good Muslim woman will dress indecently because it is clearly written: ‘Tell the believing men that they shall subdue their eyes (and not stare at the women), and to maintain their chastity. This is purer for them. God is fully cognizant of everything they do.’