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Available information focuses on myths, misunderstandings, and problems related to sexual health and behavior.Here we will look at the myths, explore the misunderstandings, and highlight how sexual problems have been investigated. Myths Job (2004) reviewed 40 years of literature as it pertains to Deaf sexuality.Rohleder and Swartz summarize research on individuals with a disability and note that there is a more paternalistic view of their sexuality.Here non-disabled individuals want to protect those with a disability and prevent harm (e.g., HIV, pre-marital sex, and sexual abuse) rather than expressing a concern regarding their sexual expression and enjoyment.6) People with developmental disabilities are oversexed, promiscuous, sexually indiscriminate, dangerous, and you have to watch your children around them.7) People with developmental disabilities cannot benefit from sexual counseling or treatment.269.) Schlesinger and Meadow (1972) reported that these 21-year olds had never had a date and that their “development of mature relations with members of the opposite sex, as preparation for intimacy leading to marriage and adulthood, is difficult under these conditions” (p. These comments reflect the mythconceptions common at the time in regard to society’s views of sexuality and disability.Today these ideas may shock or alarm a reader, but there is still limited research regarding the sexuality of Deaf individuals. Problems Research indicated that a person with a disability often reported low sexual esteem in comparison to people without disabilities (Mc Cabe & Taleporos, 2003; Taleporos & Mc Cabe, 2002), which was correlated, with an overall lower self-esteem.
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.
Five Deaf women were administered the revised Sexual Satisfaction Scale for Women (SSS-W) and discussed their sexual satisfaction in a semi-structured interview.
Not only did participants display resiliency and generativity, but also they shared unique and positive aspects to Deaf sexuality.
In a more detailed investigation of their data, Mc Cabe and Taleporos found that this lower sexual esteem was related to the length of time that the individual had been disabled and the severity of the disability.
Moreover, Mc Cabe and Taleporos found that many of the people who participated in this study had previous experience as a TAB (temporarily able bodied person) while many people in the Deaf community have never experienced hearing and therefore often do not see themselves as disabled.
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