Sexuality and Disability

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 27–34 | Cite as

Sexuality in Adolescents with Intellectual Disabilities

  • Aysegul IslerEmail author
  • Fatma Tas
  • Dilek Beytut
  • Zeynep Conk
Original Paper


Purpose This study aims to characterize adolescent development and knowledge, opinions, and attitudes toward sexuality in adolescents with intellectual disabilities. Methods Sixty students in occupational school with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities, aged between 15 and 20 years, formed this study’s sample from Turkey. The data taken from questionnaires was evaluated with the SPSS 13.0 package program. Results These results demonstrate that 51.7% of adolescents have not been educated professionally with regard to sexuality. In addition, 46.7% of them have never talked about sex with their parents. The level of knowledge among adolescents of both sexes is quite low. Most adolescents do not know the male and female differences in reproductive organs. While more than half of adolescents describe sex as kissing and intimate touching, about half of them think only married couples have sex. Conclusion Adolescents with intellectual disabilities in this study have very low levels of correct information about sex and the characteristics of the adolescent stages of development.


Adolescent with intellectual disability Sexuality Turkey 



We thank all of the participants who gave their informed consent for the study. This study received external funding from Akdeniz University Scientific Research Project Unit.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aysegul Isler
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fatma Tas
    • 2
  • Dilek Beytut
    • 2
  • Zeynep Conk
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Pediatric NursingAntalya School of Health, Akdeniz UniversityAntalyaTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Pediatric NursingSchool of Nursing, Ege UniversityIzmirTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Pediatric NursingSchool of Nursing, Ege UniversityIzmirTurkey

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