While sexuality education can support children and young people with disabilities in their sexual development and contribute to their wellbeing, challenges to its provision exist. This study identifies barriers to sexuality education for children and young people with disabilities in the WHO European Region via a scoping review of research published since 2006. Using the PRISMA-ScR Guidelines and predefined selection criteria, 14 studies were selected for inclusion. Together, these studies identified seven barriers to sexuality education for children and young people with disabilities, including the social misperception of people with disabilities as asexual and in need of protection which, combined with limited support for educators, resulted in noncomprehensive and normative sexuality education. Educators seemed inclined to redirect responsibility for sexuality education to others, and diversity among children and young people with disabilities, as well as cultural and religious diversity, makes it difficult to define a general approach. Finally, competing priorities related to the general health and wellbeing of children and young people with disabilities may appear to render sexuality education less important. We identify gaps in the research and highlight implications for the reduction of the barriers to sexuality education for children and young people with disabilities within the WHO European Region.
Sex Education, January 2021
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