Behavior Analysis in Practice

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 389–402 | Cite as

A Review and Treatment Selection Model for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities Who Engage in Inappropriate Sexual Behavior

  • Tonya N. Davis
  • Wendy Machalicek
  • Rachel Scalzo
  • Alicia Kobylecky
  • Vincent Campbell
  • Sarah Pinkelman
  • Jeffrey Michael Chan
  • Jeff Sigafoos
Discussion and Review Paper


Some individuals with developmental disabilities develop inappropriate sexual behaviors such as public masturbation, disrobing, and touching others in an unwanted sexual manner. Such acts are problematic given the taboo nature of the behaviors and the potential for significant negative consequences, such as restricted community access, injury, and legal ramifications. Therefore, it is necessary to equip caregivers and practitioners with effective treatment options. The purpose of this paper is to review studies that have evaluated behavioral treatments to reduce inappropriate sexual behavior in persons with developmental disabilities. The strengths and weaknesses of each treatment are reviewed, and a model for treatment selection is provided.


Developmental disability Disrobing Inappropriate sexual behavior Masturbation Treatment review Treatment selection model 


*Identify the studies included in the review

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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Baylor UniversityWacoUSA
  2. 2.University of OregonEugeneUSA
  3. 3.George Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  4. 4.Northern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA
  5. 5.Victoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

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