Attitudes towards Sexuality, Sterilization and Parenting Rights of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities
Version of Record online: 11 DEC 2002
Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Volume 15, Issue 4, pages 285–296, December 2002
How to Cite
Aunos, M. and Feldman, M. A. (2002), Attitudes towards Sexuality, Sterilization and Parenting Rights of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 15: 285–296. doi: 10.1046/j.1468-3148.2002.00135.x
- Issue online: 11 DEC 2002
- Version of Record online: 11 DEC 2002
- Paper accepted August 2002
Background and Methods We review articles pertaining to attitudes towards sexuality, sterilization, procreation and parenting by people with intellectual disabilities. Most empirical studies were conducted after the appearance of the principles of normalization and role valorization in the 1970s.
Results Across studies, special education teachers and university students appear to hold more positive attitudes towards sexuality and sexuality education programs than parents and service workers. People with intellectual disabilities have conservative attitudes towards sexual intercourse and homosexuality, but may be accepting intimate contact by familiar persons. Despite the ban on involuntary sterilization, it appears that many parents and teachers of persons with intellectual disabilities still support it as a form of contraception, especially for persons with severe intellectual disabilities. Likewise, attitudes towards parenting by persons with intellectual disabilities remain negative, and these attitudes may adversely affect the provision of competency-enhancing supports and services for parents with intellectual disabilities and their children.
Conclusions It is recommended that new studies should be undertaken, comparing attitudes across different groups involved with persons with intellectual disabilities and examining the impact of prejudicial attitudes on sexual expression and parenting by persons with intellectual disabilities.