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Sexuality Education Curriculum Content for Malaysian Students with Learning Disabilities

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Abstract

Sexuality education for students with learning disabilities has not been formally established in Malaysia. This study aimed to identify special education teachers’ acceptance of sexuality education content for secondary school students with learning disabilities. A nation-wide survey was conducted with 314 heads of the integrated program for students with learning disabilities. They rated the appropriateness of 42 sexuality education topics for students with learning disabilities. A principal component analysis revealed three distinct dimensions: human development and interpersonal skills; sexual behavior; and, social-sexual health, society and culture. Topics in the human development and interpersonal skills as well as the sexual health, society and culture dimensions were rated higher than topics in the sexual behavior dimension. This empirical finding was reflective of typical beliefs about sexuality in a conservative society. The practitioners perceived sexuality education for students with learning disabilities from a socialized biological perspective, with medical and social-based topics clustered under similar dimensions. Results also did not differ across gender. In conclusion, cultural context contributed to the acceptability of sexuality education content. We advocate that teachers be provided with more exposure and support to teach topics deemed more sensitive in a conservative society.

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Funding

This work was partially funded by the Postgraduate Research Student Grant, Institute of Postgraduate Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia (Grant No. 1001/PGURU/846024).

Author information

Correspondence to Lay Wah Lee.

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Conflict of interest

Lay Wah Lee declares that she has no conflict of interest. Chai Tin Ang declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Ang, C.T., Lee, L.W. Sexuality Education Curriculum Content for Malaysian Students with Learning Disabilities. Sex Disabil 34, 255–267 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11195-016-9446-8

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Keywords

  • Sexuality education
  • Students with learning disabilities
  • Sexuality education content
  • Sexuality education and students with disabilities
  • Culture and disabilities
  • Malaysia