Dating and Close Relationships

Youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) exhibit significant limitations in intellectual and adaptive functioning. As a result, these individuals customarily have peer and romantic relationships that are less mature than those of typically developing individuals. The intellectual and adaptive deficits associated with ID/DD put affected individuals at risk for having fewer and poorer quality friendships and/or romantic relationships. These individuals might also exhibit inappropriate sexual behaviors, and they experience heightened risk for sexual abuse, sexual assault, and sexually transmitted diseases. This entry discusses friendships and romantic relationships among people with ID/DD and looks at the social and legal issues surrounding sexuality and close relationships, including sexual behaviors, the risk of sexual abuse or assault, and reproductive rights. It then looks at programs ...

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