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It's good to see a discussion on this, it isn't an easy topic to approach and it has certainly been left to the side as much as possible in the past.

I'm not sure how much things have progressed more recently - the fact that there has been public discussion on it is big progress - but I've come across plenty of situations of disabled children (generally those who are segregated), not being given any form of sex education.  This causes huge problems as they get older because their bodies will still have developed, and they experience the same feelings and urges and desires as everybody else but they have no idea what is going on.  Think of how confusing it is for any child/adolescent/adult to get their head around emotions and sexual feelings, but when you are living in complete ignorance of where it has all come from and what it means, it gets expressed in negative and often inappropriate ways.

If there is enough awareness and mobility to somehow find the way through this to being intimate and having sex, then there's the risk of pregnancy, getting physically hurt and so on and not understanding the implications of what is happening.

This is why I very much believe that disabled children should be given sex education in a way that is as accessible and relevant as possible and that they are given choices for ways of expressing themselves sexually.

For adults/adolescents who are physically disabled but with no mental disability or learning difficulty, there's even less of a reason to not provide a proper sex education and options for being sexually active in some form, even if it doesn't involve the type of intimate relationship that one may wish to have.  

The disability movement is campaigning strongly towards having choice and control in all areas of life and that has to include the sexual nature of human beings as well, even if it is a topic that causes the public to squirm.

I did see a programme on tv a few years ago about sex services for disabled people in the UK, and the boundaries were clear, the disabled people involved were treated with dignity and respect and the prostitute was professional and treated it as a job like any other. Indeed, her disabled client was a regular.

My reaction to this is that it is, and should be, possible and should be more widely available for disabled people to engage in sexual activity if they chose.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 03:11:19 PM EST

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