Like other social vices such as drug abuse, cultism and prostitution, indecent dressing has become a major moral misconduct among students of Nigerian tertiary institutions. Indecent or crazy dressing, also known as “dress to kill” is rampant among universities, polytechnics and colleges of education students, particularly the females; all in the name of wanting to look “sexy,” “sensuous,” “tantalizing” and “stimulating,” forgetting that they ought to look responsible instead. Wearing skimpy clothes, also known as “fitted,” strapless and short blouses and sagging of trousers – “low waist” or “ass down,” by boys and even girls, cleavages and sleeveless shirts, also known as “spaghetti or off-shoulder,” are major moral problems associated with decency in dressing faced in tertiary institutions today.
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. Ironically, these are the renowned modern fashion trends among students nowadays.
Students dress indecently for reasons such as poor parenting, peer pressure, wrong use of the Internet, fading values as well as demonic influence among others. The negative sides of indecent dressing are that many of these students become victims of rape on campus; they are lured into prostitution by peers because of the way they dress. Subsequently, they are tempted and influenced to become members of one cult group or the other and these result in poor academic performance.
In order to curb indecent dressing on Nigerian campuses, practical initiatives must be embarked upon to educate the student populace about the potential consequences associated with it. The efforts of many tertiary institutions to reduce immoralities on Nigerian campuses are highly commendable. Today, dress codes and strict rules enforcing compliance of students have been introduced in colleges of education, polytechnics and universities across the country.
Dress codes can be properly enforced on campuses through the collective efforts of management, staff and security personnel of tertiary institutions.
To further complement the efforts of the management of tertiary institutions in reducing widespread immorality on Nigerian campuses, the following measure needs to be taken: parents should be good moral exemplars to their children; give them attention and regulate the films they watch at home. Through home videos, satellite images and other media agents, wrong values, fashions (modern, modest and immodest) are traded across cultures and nations.
As agents of socialization, the mass media must promote good moral values.
The display of indecently dressed young girls (nudity) in advertisements and promotions should be discouraged. Radio and television programmes that promote moral values and the sanctity of sex should always be transmitted.
There is also the need to regulate the use of the Internet especially among youth, because majority of the youths are exposed to different kinds of immoral activities on the Internet through pornographic videos, advertisements, fashion parades and music.
Religious leaders must preach against immorality in the society, counsel and deliver those under demonic influence.
In addition, there is the need for general orientation of staff and students on the need for good moral conduct. Students and members of staff should be educated on what is expected of them to ensure that they do not get used to values that are unduly antisocial.