English Polski
Vol 16, No 2 (2018)
Research paper
Published online: 2019-03-13

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Sexual education and sexual experiences of young adults with intellectual disabilities

Remigiusz Kijak
DOI: 10.5603/51–60
Seksuologia Polska 2018;16(2):51-60.


This work is based on the assumptions of positive sexology — therefore, the issue of sexuality of an intellectually disabled person, as it used to be done from the point of view of psychopathology, disorders and abnormalities, has not been discussed, but the issue has been addressed as a positive experience as part of every person's life . Due to the issue raised, an important part of the article is an introduction to the promotion of health, including sexual and sexual education. This article sets two goals. The first is an attempt to answer the question of what is the sexual education of people with intellectual disabilities. Answers to this question were sought in the literature query on this topic. The second is the answer to the question about the sexual experiences of young people with intellectual disabilities in the context of sexual education — that is whether and to what extent these behaviors meet their own emotional and physiological desires. Answers to this question were sought in the surveys carried out in 2016 and partly 2017. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The interview method was used in the research. A total of 18 people with a deeper intellectual disability (moderate degree) were examined. The research was conducted in occupational therapy workshops. None of the participants in the study had previously participated in sex education classes. A "control" group of 18 people was also introduced into the study, as well as participants of occupational therapy workshops who were trained in sexuality at the beginning of 2016. One year after the training, they were interviewed with the same questionnaire that concerned their sexual experiences. In total, three tests were carried out. Only one test was carried out in the criterion group. In the control group, two were at the beginning of 2016 and the second after one year of the training. The results were compared with each other. RESULTS: The paper presents the results of research on indicators characterizing the sexual life of young adults with intellectual disabilities, aged 20–30 years. CONCLUSIONS: The conclusions from the research confirm the hypotheses that were established, namely that with the increase of sexual awareness, the positive experience of one's sexuality increases, and the tendency to sexual risk decreases. All persons participating in the study were after sexual initiation. To obtain exactly such a research group, the research was conducted in several occupational therapy workshops.

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