‘No sex please!’ We have been labelled intellectually disabled

Agius Ferrante, Charmaine and Oak, Eileen (2020) ‘No sex please!’ We have been labelled intellectually disabled. Sex Education, 20 (4). 383 -397. ISSN 1468-1811

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/14681811.2020.1719479


This article aims to explore the sexual agency of young people over age 16 labelled as having an intellectual disability. We argue that 30 years of inclusive education have failed to address the question of sexuality education and agency for individuals with an intellectual disability. Contextualising the failure of contemporary sexuality education within schools, and drawing on concepts of subjectivity, the article deconstructs the presumed normalcy of able-bodied sexuality to highlight the inappropriateness of sex education for young people labelled with an intellectual disability. Using Crip theory, it illustrates how the intersectionality between ‘abled-bodied-ness’ and’ ‘heteronormativity’ converges to lead to the invisibility of individuals with intellectual disability, therefore reinforcing social exclusion from sex and sexuality as a key aspect of citizenship, specifically, the right to a safe and pleasurable sex life. An argument is made for a critical, andragogical approach to sexuality education offering a new paradigm for developing sexuality education to facilitate the sexual agency of individuals with intellectual disability.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Intellectual disability, sexuality education, sexual agency, ignored curriculum
Subjects: L300 Sociology
L700 Human and Social Geography
L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2020 11:48
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2020 08:07
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/42235

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