‘No sex please!’ We have been labelled intellectually disabled

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4 Citations (Scopus)


This article aims to explore the sexual agency of young people over age 16 labelled as having an intellectual disability. We argue that 30 years of inclusive education have failed to address the question of sexuality education and agency for individuals with an intellectual disability. Contextualising the failure of contemporary sexuality education within schools, and drawing on concepts of subjectivity, the article deconstructs the presumed normalcy of able-bodied sexuality to highlight the inappropriateness of sex education for young people labelled with an intellectual disability. Using Crip theory, it illustrates how the intersectionality between ‘abled-bodied-ness’ and’ ‘heteronormativity’ converges to lead to the invisibility of individuals with intellectual disability, therefore reinforcing social exclusion from sex and sexuality as a key aspect of citizenship, specifically, the right to a safe and pleasurable sex life. An argument is made for a critical, andragogical approach to sexuality education offering a new paradigm for developing sexuality education to facilitate the sexual agency of individuals with intellectual disability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-397
Number of pages15
JournalSex Education
Issue number4
Early online date5 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2020


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