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2) People with developmental disabilities need to live in environments that restrict and inhibit their sexuality, to protect themselves and others.
3) People with developmental disabilities should not be provided with sex education, as it will only encourage inappropriate behavior.
These myths reflect ideas that were explicit in the 20 Century.
Given that society often views people with a disability from a medical model, where the individual needs to be “fixed” (Omansky & Rosenblum, 2001; Rohleder & Swartz, 2011), individuals with a disability are typically not referred to in a sexual manner.
Department of Education, Gallaudet University, Washington DC, USA Email: Hannah.
[email protected] © 2014 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.
Rohleder and Swartz summarize research on individuals with a disability and note that there is a more paternalistic view of their sexuality.
During the 20 Century there was an attempt to control dating at residential schools, which was perceived to “distort the development of male-female relationships” (Meadow, 1976; Schlesinger & Meadow, 1972, as cited in Jobs, 2004: p. Research stated that only 10% of these students from residential schools had “even had friendly relations with the opposite sex” (Shaul, 1981, as cited in Job, 2004: p. A recent article (Kamieka & Getch, 2001) reports that this state of affairs continued into the 21 Century.
This exploration will be followed by research looking at typical sexual development, leading to the current study about Deaf women’s views of their own sexuality. Her review highlighted Griffiths proposed model of mythconceptions of the sexuality of disabled individuals, which she then demonstrated to be myths with regards to disabled people in general and Deaf people more specifically.
The myths are: 1) People with developmental disabilities are eternal children and asexual.
4) People with developmental disabilities should be sterilized because they give birth to children who are also disabled.
5) People with developmental disabilities are sexually different from other people and are more likely to develop diverse, unusual, or deviant sexual behavior.
As noted by Job, these myths influence us, limit our approaches and understanding of Deaf sexuality, and leave us without an understanding of Deaf sexuality. Misconceptions Importantly, information related to Deaf individuals tended to focus on the lack of sexual education.