Sexual Health Challenges of the Iranian Intellectually Disabled Adolescent Girls: a Qualitative Study
Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)
Sexual health is individuals’ ability to express their sexual needs within the framework of their society’s values without being afraid of sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancies, violence and discrimination. Given the importance of sexual health in intellectually disabled adolescents, the present study was conducted to explore the sexual health challenges among the intellectually disabled adolescent girls.
The present qualitative study was conducted on 48 participants including the parents, teachers, healthcare providers and managers who were selected through purposeful sampling, in Isfahan, Iran. Data was gathered using semi-structured in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and field notes. The collected data was analyzed using conventional content analysis.
After data analysis, four sub-categories of “adolescent’s disability in understanding sexual matters and respecting social rules”, “the Comorbidity of psychiatric disorders and intellectual disability”, cultural taboos on sexual issues” and “teachers’ inability to deal with issues related to adolescent’s sexual health” were extracted. These sub-categories together formed the main category of “sexual health challenges''.
Based on the results, designing comprehensive programs of sex education for intellectually disabled adolescent girls seems necessary. Also, empowering teachers to teach sexual health to these girls and their parents is of particular importance.  Furthermore, the interaction between the school and parents to maintain the sexual health of intellectually disabled adolescent girls could have an effective role in decreasing the rate of sexual abuse/harassment and their involvement in sexual relationships.
International Journal of Pediatrics, Volume:10 Issue: 99, Mar 2022
15630 to 15639  
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