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This research work was carried out to assess the influence of female university undergraduate‟ moral standard on dress code implementation in North-West Nigeria. The objective of this research is to examine the influence of female undergraduates‟ age, marital status, moral value and sexual morality on dress code implementation. The study was conducted using descriptive survey design with the target population of seventeen thousand, one hundred and sixteen (17,116) female undergraduates. A sample size of three hundred and seventy-five (375) was obtained. The instrument used for data collection was questionnaire. Demographic information was analyzed using frequencies and percentages. Four research questions were analyzed using means and standard deviations. Regression analysis was employed in testing the four null hypothesis at 0.5 alpha level of significant. Findings revealed that dress code implementation in universities in North-West Nigeria has significant influence on female undergraduates‟ age, marital status, moral value and sexual morality. Hence the four null hypotheses were rejected. Based on the findings, the researcher recommended among other things that university authorities should intensify awareness campaign on the importance of abiding by the stipulated dress code. In addition, booklet containing rules and regulation guiding dress code should be made available to all students.


1.1          Background to the Study

Clothing   is  one of the fundamental needs of individuals and families all over the world. It is an important component of physical appearance which is used to protect, beautify and adorn the body. According to Babalola [2001] Clothing is one of the elements which make the total culture of society; it is used by human being for protection, decoration and beautification. Similarly, Ozougwu and Anyakoha (2005) in Johnson and Foster (1990) described clothing as the different garments worn by people in order to protect, adorn or to communicate intent. Generally, clothing can be said to be any bodily adornment or appearance modification used by man.

Clothing is the general and inclusive terms for all the various covering and articles of dress designed to be worn on the body. Aside from garment, clothing also include body decoration such as cosmetics, tattoos, hair colour and attachment, ornaments, badges, instigma of office rank, extension of the body in the form of cane (walking stick), bags, umbrella, handkerchief. (Nchekube, 2009).

Clothing can be used as a medium of self expression. Kiran, Malik, Riaz (2002) view clothing as a form of artistic expression that reflects the cognitive moral and social aspects of human life. Bill (1999) describe clothing as a mark of identity and as a means of non-verbal communication. Bill opined that it function almost as language that can indicate a person‟s age, gender, marital status, place of origin, religion, social status and occupation. Clothing is a form of communication which can be used as a strong manipulation to stir imagination, curiosity and send signal to the observing eyes (Fayokun, Adedeji and Oyebade 2009).


According to Ejila (2014) is of the view that most of the attitude and behaviour towards dressing particularly among female undergraduates do not conform to moral standard. Moral standard can be described as a set rules which guides an individual on how to evaluate right or wrong. Morality is simply the level of quality of behaviour. It deals with human and how they relate with others and the world. Individual‟s clothing choices reflect his attitude. Attitude are expressions of feeling, thoughts or behaviour. Marshal et al (2000) believe that attitude are often  learnt from family and peer group and are moulded over time by societal and educational experience.

An individual clothing choice may be an indicator of his moral philosophy generally and sexual morality in particular. Okeh (2009) stated that indecent dressing among female students can influence their sexual morality which may by extension lead to promiscuity among students sexual harassment, rape among others.

Age is one of the consideration when people choose clothes. People who belong to an age cohort tend to have similar needs and consideration. Adolescent age is a stage characterized by a lot of uncertainties about self, the need to belong among others. The clothing preference of these young adult particularly the female undergraduates is affected mostly by peers, celebrities, and advertisement on mass media. During the period of late adolescence, most young people become interested in selecting mates and may use clothing as means of enhancing their sexual attraction. Female undergraduates are females of various categories in higher institution of learning many of this group fall between the age range of 16-25 which is within the range of early adolescent and late adolescence  Ejila (2014).

Marital status is on the other hand an important demographic variable which can be influenced by clothing. People of different marital status can respond differently to clothing (Srinivansan, Srivartava and Blianot 2015). In African societies many married women wear clothing that distinguishes them from the unmarried. For instance the use of two wrappers and blouses are most often used by the married women.

A university is a place where a systematically organized and scientifically oriented education is offered. It is through such an organized manner that knowledge, skill and desired attitude of the learner is developed. Since universities are expected to produce students who are sound in character and in learning, it presupposes that the rules which can promote these should be welcomed. Dress code policy is intended to help to imbibe good dressing culture and promote academic excellence among students.

Dress code is referred to as an acceptable way of dressing. It can be viewed as a formal or informal imposed standard of dressing. Ahuwan (2011) described dress code as the standard or rules that govern what should be worn for a particular situation and time. Boyo (2005) stated that dress code on campuses is simply a rule passed by the authorities of some universities and other tertiary institutions to ensure that students dress properly and decently. Similarly Olori (2003) describes dress code as  a set of standard that companies, schools, communities, organizations and institution have accepted for their employee with guidance about what is appropriate wear for work.

Ifedili and Ifedili (2008) opined that the dress code implementation in Nigerian universities has many advantages among which are, instilling discipline in students, lowering sexual abuse and harassment, creating less distraction to both students and lecturers. It is believed that dress code implementation will promote decent dressing, instill disciple and good moral value among students. Dress code implementation is also seen to create a healthy teaching and learning environment which in the long run may enhance high academic performance among students.

1.2          Statement of the Problem

Clothing is one pieces of material that has great relevance in the life of human beings. It is seen as a person‟s second skin which continues to be used from the time an individual is born to the time he dies. Clothing is basically meant to provide protection and beautification to the wearer.

In recent time, clothing are being misused by many youths. Researches such as Omede (2011) reported that many female students use clothing that reveal some sensitive parts of their bodies. Others indicated that there is a high level of indecent dressing among youths particularly the female undergraduates in many higher institutions in Nigeria. In addition, the researcher observed that many campus girls wear seductive, scandalous and sexual provocative clothing.

Interaction with some of the students further revealed that their clothing preference are modeled after their peers, celebrities and latest fashion trend. Some of these students maintained that conforming to the clothing patterns of their peers give them sense of belonging. However, a good number of married women particularly those in the universities where this study was carried out dress decently, hence different marital status responds differently to clothing. Okeh (2009) clearly shows that the menace of indecent dressing in many Nigeria higher institutes is perpetuated by single ladies.

Based on this highlighted problem, the researcher attempted to find out the influence of female undergraduates moral standard on dress code implementation in North-west universities of Nigeria.

1.3          Objectives of the Study

The general objective of this research work is to investigate the influence of female university undergraduates‟ moral standard on dress code implementation in North-West Nigeria. The specific objectives were to:

  1. examine the influence of female undergraduates‟ moral value on dress code


  1. assess the influence of female undergraduates‟ sexual morality on dress code implementation.
  2. assess the influence of female undergraduates‟ age on dress code implementation.
  3. ascertain the influence of female undergraduates‟ marital status on dress code implementation.

1.4          Research Questions

The researcher was guided by these research questions which were formulated to achieve the objectives of this study .They are as follow:

  1. What is the influence of female undergraduates‟ moral value on dress code implementation?
  2. What is the influence of female undergraduate‟s sexual morality on dress code implementation?
  3. What is the influence of female undergraduates‟ age on dress code implementation?
  4. What is the influence of female undergraduates‟ marital status on dress code implementation?
1.5.1 Research Hypotheses

Based on the research questions of the study, the following null hypotheses were postulated:

Ho1 Female undergraduates‟ moral value has no significant influence on dress code implementation.
Ho2 Female undergraduates sexual morality has no significant influence on dress code.
Ho3 Female undergraduates‟ age has no significant influence on dress code .
Ho3 Female undergraduates‟ marital status has no significant influence on dress code.
1.6 Significance of the Study
  Information obtained from this research work will be of immense benefits to all and

sundry particularly to students, university authorities, parents, religious leaders, curriculum planners, cooperate organizations and indeed the general public.  

This study will help to encourage students especially female students on the need to dress decently. It is believed that as students come in contact with this study via library or internet, it will help to enlighten them on the need to dress decently as this will go a lot way to promote sense of responsibility and respect among the students. It is also hoped that this work would provide students with the platform to investigate new concepts in clothing.

Parents can assess the information  from this study through the internet or journal which will help them rise up to the challenges of proper parenting of their wards, particularly as it concerns moral and dressing. Parents can apply the knowledge got from this study to monitor the clothing selection of their wards and hopefully the conflicts that occur between parents and their adolescents as a result of indecent dressing will reduce to the barest minimum

The outcome of this study can help curriculum planner in Nigeria to advance the study of clothing education in primary and junior secondary schools. The information from this work can be communicated to curriculum planners through internet and journals. This will help in creating the needed awareness particular on good dress sense among the youths.

This research work will be beneficial to university authorities. Universities can assess information from this study through the libraries, journal and internet and can use such information during orientation programmes for the first year students and as continuous programmers for older students. It is believed that the information gathered will help to keep students abreast on the need to maintain high level of decency in their conduct and appearance at all times.

Religious leaders can use the knowledge received from this research through internet or journal for counselling their members on proper dressing. In addition, this study will be of immense benefit during youth conferences in religious gathering.

This work will also be useful to both cooperate organizations in drafting adequate dress code for staff. In addition, information from this research when assessed can be used during conferences, workshops and seminars where issues of dressing and morals are discussed.

Finally, it is the hope of the researcher that this study would provide future researchers with reliable instrument, procedures and  references for future research. This work shall be presented as journal publication, sent to the internet and school library for easy access.

1.7          Basic Assumptions of the study

The basic assumptions on this study are that:

  1. There is high level of indecent dressing among the female undergraduates.
  2. Dress code implementation will promote high moral standard among students.
  3. Dress code implementation by universities will improve students‟ academic performance.

1.8          Delimitation of the Study

This study was delimited to two federal universities in North-west zone of Nigeria. The universities are; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and Bayero University, Kano. These universities were purposefully selected from other universities in North-west Nigeria for this study.

The researcher further delimitated the study to only female undergraduates from the second year and above. The first year students were excluded based on the premise that they were relatively new and may not have had orientation programme on the implemented dress code. There are many indices that describe the term moral standard. However, the study focused on moral value and sexual morality.


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