The Importance Of Sex Education In Public Schools

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Talking about sex makes majority of people uncomfortable. In the United States, there is a controversy on how sex education is taught in public schools. Some schools believe in teaching abstinence-only education and others believe in teaching about contraceptives. During these conversations about sex education, it is rarely discussed in regards to students with intellectual disabilities. Sex education needs to be taught to students with intellectual disabilities because not only is sex apart of everyone’s life, but also because of the high rate of sexual assault towards people with developmental disabilities.

In Chapter 10 of our textbook we learned that it is important to support students with intellectual disabilities with self-care skills
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This is the case in some instances, but sex is apart of their lives as well. Students who are older, but have the cognitive skills of a young child, need to be continuously taught about sex to avoid sexual assault. Schools have to explicitly instruct on the difference between an appropriate touch and an inappropriate touch. “..... victims of sexual abuse are 4.8 times more likely to be a child with mental retardation than a child without (Mansell, Sobsey, & Moskal, 1998). Perhaps this statistic would be lowered if our special education students received adequate sexual education” (Boening, Alison). With repetition of what kind of behavior is appropriate for the student to engage in, and what someone else can engage in with the student it can help instill healthy boundaries. Unfortunately, very often the line between healthy relationships can get blurred for students with …show more content…
The facts show why it is crucial to teach students about sex and sexual relations to prevent sexual abuse.“With a childlike mind leads to the chances of students with intellectual disabilities being taken advantage of. In fact, it is estimated that as many as 40% of women with disabilities experience sexual assault or physical violence in their lifetimes (National Clearinghouse on Family Violence, Canada) and that more than 90% of all people with developmental disabilities will experience sexual assault (Schwartz & Valenti-Hein, 1995). “By a significant amount, studies reveal that the largest group of offenders are disability service providers; 67% who sexually assaulted or abused people with severe to profound mental retardation contacted their victims through specialized disability services (Sobsey, 1994). Turk and Brown report that 98% of sexual assault/abuse offenders are male (Turk and Brown, 1992)” (The Arc. org). This creates a difficult situation for students with disabilities. On one hand, they should trust their caregiver to have a working relationship. On the other hand, caregivers are the most likely the perpetrators. For students with significant intellectual disabilities, this can create a difficult concept to understand. It is important for parents and teachers to constantly remind that

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