Sexual Knowledge Among Adolescents with Physical Handicaps: A Systematic Review


Seidel, Anja; Wienholz, Sabine; Michel, Marion; Luppa, Melanie; & Riedel-Heller, SteffiGerlinde (2013). Sexual Knowledge Among Adolescents with Physical Handicaps: A Systematic Review. Sexuality and Disability. vol. 32 (3) pp. 429-441


In the past, many social barriers led to the perception that adolescents with physical handicaps do not have a vivid sexuality. This is the first systematic review aiming to answer how sexual knowledge is provided for adolescents with physical disabilities. Findings might be helpful to construe recommendations for sexual education of adolescents with physical handicaps. Literature search occurred by means of databases PUBMED, Web of Science and PSYCINFO. Papers are included that address sexual education and sexual knowledge of adolescents with physical handicaps, including papers dealing with sexuality of young people with chronic conditions that lead to (extensive) physical limitations. Nine papers could be identified. Subjects researched were between 11 and 25 years old. With the help of a self-administered quality assessment scheme we conducted a scoring with a high score of a maximum of 11 points. We divided three levels: highly informative papers, moderate informative papers and papers with only low information. Just one paper from the Netherlands is highly informative, four papers provide moderate information, and four contain only little information. The majority of physical handicapped adolescents get sexual education in school. Transfer of information is confined to the prevention of pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and harassment. Interdisciplinary sexual education appears as a key for self-determined and well informed sexual life for adolescents with and without handicaps. For people with handicaps there should be information available with respect to their physical limitation, additional to general facts.



Sexual knowledge

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Journal Article

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Sexuality and Disability


Seidel, Anja
Wienholz, Sabine
Michel, Marion
Luppa, Melanie
Riedel-Heller, SteffiGerlinde

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