According to the Opinions of Teachers of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities: What are the Sexual Problems of Students with Special Education Needs? How Should Sexual Education be Provided for Them?



The purpose of this research is to determine what sexual problems that individuals with special educations needs have and how to provide sexual education for these students, depending on the opinions of the teachers of mentally handicapped individuals. The qualitative research technique was employed in this research. Purposeful sampling method was used for the research.  In the research, teachers who have worked at a special education institution for at least five years were included. Particularly those teachers having certain expertise in observing sexual problems and providing exact education related to these issues as a result of their 5 year-experience in institutions that they have worked were selected for the study population of the research. The study population of the research consisted of the teachers of mentally handicapped individuals working in Konya province.   The study population consisted of 25 teachers.  Eighteen of the teachers were female, seven of them were male. Working year experiences of the teachers ranged between 1-15 years. Semi-structure interview method was used to collect the data in the research. The data which were collected through the interview were analyzed using the content analysis technique. Themes were determined while interpreting the data.  Categories for each theme were prepared.  According to the results obtained through the content analysis of the data which were collected from the semi-structured interview form applied in the research, individuals with special education needs often apply to teachers about problems such as masturbation, marriage, adolescence problems and controlling sexual urges. The teachers report that they inform about general hygiene, problems encountered in adolescence period, dressing and behaving in accordance with gender characteristics. They emphasize that it is important to carefully monitor and know the individual, use clear and understandable words and provide sexual education by someone of the same gender while providing sexual education for individuals with special education needs.  About the problems while providing sexual education for the handicapped individuals, the teachers overemphasize issues such as difficulty of quitting a learned behavior by handicapped individuals, not knowing how to behave in public and closing themselves off, behaving shy.

Keywords: teachers of mentally handicapped individuals, sexual problems, sexual education

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