Adolescents with Intellectual Disability and Sexuality Matters: opinions, experiences and needs


  • Vasiliki Dimitrakopoulou Department of Psychiatry, General Hospital of Nikaia «Agios Pantelehmon» - General Hospital of West Attica «Agia Barbara»
  • Ourania Tsouridi Department of Psychiatry, General Hospital of Nikaia «Agios Pantelehmon» - General Hospital of West Attica «Agia Barbara» and MSc Addiction Counselling, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Philips University of Cyprus
  • Nikolaos Moschos Department of Psychiatry, General Hospital of Nikaia «Agios Pantelehmon» - General Hospital of West Attica «Agia Barbara» and MSc Addiction Counselling, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Philips University of Cyprus
  • Kyriakos Platrites MSc Addiction Counselling, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Philips University of Cyprus


Intellectual Disability, Adolescent, Sexuality


The present review analyzes sexuality activities of adolescents with Intellectual Disability. The term «Intellectual Disability» was introduced in 2013 as part of neurodevelopmental disorders, replacing the term «Mental Retardation». The onset of this situation happens during children’s growth. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), sexuality constitutes indefeasible part of human’s personality, it is a basic need and constitutes part of human nature, without however differentiate it from the other parts of life. Sexuality is of vital importance on adolescents’ life with Intellectual Disability, who are capable to develop parts of sexual behavior according to society’s rules while additionally adolescents may desire, append, and maintain interpersonal relationships. Worries and needs of adolescents with Intellectual Disability referring to sexuality activities are not differentiated on their base from these of general population. The history of sexual education for disabled people worldwide, has characterized from disuse, distortion, and tolerance. The analysis of data concerning sexuality and sexual behavior of adolescents with Intellectual Disability, as these are presented in bibliography, indicates the need of sexual education programs to be organized, with parallel information and counseling of their families. This review’s findings aspire to constitute stimulus for the scientific and social recognition and elevation of the phenomenon of misprision of sexual awakening of adolescents with Intellectual Disability, as well as of the phenomenon of discrimination and exclusion. It, finally, aims at apprehending people with Intellectual Disability as individuals with sexuality, acceptable from the society.


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