Sexuality and Disability

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 197–207 | Cite as

“May I?” About Sexuality and Love in the New Generation with Intellectual Disabilities

  • Lotta Löfgren-Mårtenson
Article

Abstract

The aim of the article is to identify, describe and understand the opportunities and hindrances for young people with intellectual disabilities (ID) in forming relationships and expressing sexuality and love. The methods are participant observations at dances geared towards youths with ID and qualitative interviews with youngsters, staff members and parents. The results show a big variation of sexual conduct, where intercourse seems to be quite unusual. The study also shows that staff and parents feel responsibility for the youngsters’ sexuality and often act disciplinary as ‘new institutional walls’, while the youngsters develop different social strategies to cope with the surroundings. It seems clear that staffs need more guidance and education about sexuality and disability in their social interaction with a new generation of people with ID.

disability youngsters sexuality discipline social strategies 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lotta Löfgren-Mårtenson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social WorkGöteborg University, BoxGöteborgSweden; e-mail:

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