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Attitudes Toward Acceptable Socio-Sexual Behaviors for Persons with Mental Retardation: Implications for Normalization and Community Integration
Matthew N. Oliver, Aaron Anthony, Trisha T. Leimkuhl and Gemma D. Skillman
Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities
Vol. 37, No. 2 (June 2002), pp. 193-201
Published by: Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23879832
Page Count: 9
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Full community integration includes normal socio-sexual development and expression. However, opportunities to experience healthy sexual development and expression are commonly limited for adults with mental retardation. This study evaluated attitudinal discrepancies among non-disabled community members (i.e., residential staff and individuals in early and late adulthood) regarding the acceptability of socio-sexual expression for persons with and without mental retardation. Results suggest that, across community groups, discrepancies between adults with and without mental retardation primarily concern attitudes toward marriage and parenthood. Relative to residential staff and those in early adulthood, individuals in late adulthood were more conservative in their attitudes toward socio-sexual behavior regardless of disability status. Different sexual expression standards for persons with and without mental retardation underscore the need for advocacy and effective community integration strategies.
Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities © 2002 Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities