|Abstract: ||Straipsnyje atskleidžiama negalios ir seksualumo kaip teisės į kokybišką gyvenimą aspektai socialinių darbuotojų požiūriu. Aptariamos proto negalią turinčių asmenų teisės bei visuomenės nuostatos. Analizuojamas seksualumas žmonių, turinčių proto negalią, kontekste. Atskleidžiama socialinių darbuotojų nuomonė apie proto negalią turinčių žmonių seksualumą.|
All people – including young people – are sexual beings, regardless of whether or not they live with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. And, all people need affection, love and intimacy, acceptance, and companionship. In this light, sex education plays a key role in acknowledging matters related not only with sexual activities, but also contraception, personal hygiene, sexual feelings, sexual education, masturbation, friendship, sex, marriage so as motherhood and parenthood. Without appropriate social skills, people with disabilities may have difficulty making and maintaining relations and feel lonely and ‘different’. Without important sexual health knowledge, people with disabilities may make unwise decisions and/or take sexual health risks. Hence, the key understanding is that everyone, including a person with mental disability, is sexual – and has sexuality related emotions and desires.Several foreign scholars have already emphasized the need of sex education for the people with mental, physical and/or emotional challenges, however Lithuanian scholars seem reluctant to analyse such issues and acknowledge the need of sex education for people with mental disabilities. For the last two decades, there has been more focus to promote healthy lifestyle, which in turn influences the sex education programs. Naturally, people with mental disabilities face different challenges than those without disabilities, because they are less informed about sexuality, have less sexual experience and are more prone to sexual exploitation. Hence, the questions under consideration in this paper remain whether sex education is important and necessary to an individual who has mental disabilities? Should parents be concerned about sex education for their disabled children? How issues on disability and sexuality are addressed in Lithuania and elsewhere? How sexuality is related with the quality of life for people with disabilities? The aim – to address the sexuality issues for people with mental disabilities view of social workers. Objectives of the study – describe the rights of mentally disabled individuals; address the concept of sexuality for people with mental disabilities; analyse social workers’ opinion about people with intellectual disabilities and sexuality. Social workers think that parents should assist any child – regardless of her/his abilities – to develop life skills. Societal discomfort – both with sexuality and also with the sexuality of people who live with disabilities – may mean that it is easier to view anyone who lives with disabilities as an ‘eternal child.’ This demeaning view ignores the need to acknowledge the young person’s sexuality and also denies her/his full humanity. The main problem thus is not the lack of sexual activity, but lack of sexual education. Without proper sex education, people with mental disabilities are at great risk to sexual exploitation, sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancy. Sex education must, therefore, encompass skills to prevent sex abuse and encouragement to report and seek treatment for unwanted sexual activity. Experts in the field agree that disabled individuals are entitled to a full sexual life. Sex education materials and programs do exist that are designed to meet the needs of people who live with physical, emotional, and mental disabilities. However, the conducted surveys revealed that social experts working in the field tend to avoid responsibilities and pass on the education related matters to the parents’ shoulders or suggest enrolling to sex education classes.