Youth Sexuality and Disability

Cover Youth Sexuality and Disability
Results from a survey carried out at special-needs schools in Saxony

‘Sexuality education and disability’ has been a new working focus of the Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung (BZgA) since 2010. The basis for this is a resolution by the Bundestag (the German parliament) to create target-group-specific sexuality education and information material and to focus more on the sexuality education of people with disabilities. In addition the hope is that public will be sensitized to the subject via suitable campaigns and projects. Scientifically based data are indispensable for the development and provision of sex education services as well as target-group-specific sexuality education. However, with respect to sexuality, there are hardly any studies about how well informed young people with disabilities are, about how they experienced their first sexual intercourse, or what contraception they use. There are significant research gaps here, both nationally and internationally.

That is why the BZgA commissioned the pilot study ‘Youth Sexuality and Disability’ in 2010. The study’s central concern is to analyse and describe the attitudes and behaviours of young people with disabilities towards sexuality education, sexuality and contraception. 169 special-needs school students from Saxony with physical disabilities and hearing and visual impairments were surveyed for this pilot study between December 2010 and May 2011. They were between 12 and 18 years of age. With reference to the BZgA’s representative survey on youth sexuality, a similar questionnaire was developed, bearing in mind the criteria of disability-friendliness. Using this tool, the survey determined the young people’s knowledge about sexuality, their current sexual activities, the nature of the sexuality education received in the home and at school as well as the extent of contraceptive use.

The survey results documented in the present publication reveal both the competences and resources as well as the deficits experienced by the young people with disabilities with regard to sexuality education and contraception. The results provide plenty of ideas for practical application. The study therefore makes a contribution to the implementation of the UN Conventions regarding the participation of people with disabilities. In spring 2012 the research team presented the results as part of an expert symposium in Leipzig. Many experts from advice centres, sexual-education specialists, teachers, representatives of associations, politics and academia as well as the participating schools discussed the results of the pilot study and confirmed them.

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German version:
Jugendsexualität und Behinderung


Bibliographic data

Media: Print
Publication date: 5/2015
Order Number:  13300736

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