Sexual Awareness and Knowledge

Sexuality is broadly viewed as an essential element of the human identity and experience. The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a working definition of sexuality that emphasizes this and includes aspects such as one’s gender identity and sexual orientation, as well as concepts like pleasure, intimacy, and eroticism. It goes on to describe sexuality as more than sexual activity, but as an aspect of one’s experiences and thoughts, beliefs, fantasies, values, behaviors, and roles and relationships. The WHO and a growing body of policy experts, researchers, and advocates acknowledge that sexuality and sexual health are embedded in the concepts of human rights. Yet for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD), factors such as social isolation, attitudinal and systemic barriers, and the overprotection of ...

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