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Sexuality in Intellectual Disabilities

Sexuality is a broad construct that encompasses such factors as gender, sexual orientation, beliefs, and attitudes. Per the definition of sexuality put forth by the World Health Organization, people experience and express their sexualities in many different ways, including through feelings, desires, fantasies, and behaviors. The components that make up an individual’s sexuality and the ways in which sexuality is enacted or expressed can vary a great deal from person to person. Contextual factors can influence sexuality, including culture, religion, politics, and law.

Sexuality is understood to be developmental in nature and an important aspect of every human life, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or disability status. Individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) have diverse sexualities, and all individuals with ID have sexual education needs. ...

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