Exploring sexuality and sexual concerns of adult persons with intellectual disability in a cultural context

Yau, Matthew Kwai-sang, Ng, Glenda Sze-man, Lau, Demeter Yau-kwai, Chan, Ka Sing, and Chan, Joan Siu-kwan (2009) Exploring sexuality and sexual concerns of adult persons with intellectual disability in a cultural context. British Journal of Developmental Disabilities, 55 (109). pp. 97-108.

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Background: There has been reluctance to accept sexual expression among persons with intellectual disability, despite current literature supporting the important role sexuality has for them. This qualitative study explored sexuality and sexual concerns of people with intellectual disability in a Chinese cultural context.

Method: Twelve adult persons with mild intellectual disability were interviewed individually on sexual issues and concerns, including sex drive, masturbation, intimate behaviour and sexual intercourse. Thematic analysis was used to identity themes and issues as emerged from the data.

Results: Persons with intellectual disability have a strong desire for sexual expression and intimate relationships. Despite this predilection, health professionals and family members tend to focus on their 'protection'; that is, deterring sexual expression by stressing the negative consequences of sexual activity. The informants, however, continue to pursue their sexual needs by accessing various means.

Conclusion: The pursuit of normality is part of the strong need to gain social acceptance. Thus, appropriately designed sexuality education curriculum is urgently needed. It is not only aiming to prevent sexual health hazards, but, importantly to develop the maturity and healthy sexual expression of people with intellectual disability.

Item ID: 11489
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0969-7950
Additional Information:

Part 2 of Volume 55.

Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2010 01:04
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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