Sex affects mental abilities

Sexuality and Disability

Everyone has sexuality

People with intellectual disabilities are just as different and also as uniquely shaped in their sexuality as all other people. There is no such thing as a "typical" person with intellectual disabilities, and nothing can be said about the sexuality of people with intellectual disabilities, which applies equally to everyone. Based on the research results of the last few decades, only one thing is certain: sexual development is just as important for people with intellectual disabilities as it is for any other person.
People with intellectual disabilities can lead full lives if they receive the support and encouragement they need. This includes that they are allowed to live as independently as possible and that their sexual needs are recognized.
All people (including those with intellectual disabilities) can develop their personality best if their sexual abilities are supported and encouraged from birth. Special accompaniment is required for this, because sexuality is not innate and does not develop by itself.

Intellectual disability and sexuality

Experts agree: people who are considered to be “mentally handicapped” have no “special” sexuality. Most of them want exactly the same as their non-disabled peers: flirtation, friendship, love, partnership, tenderness, security, passion. They have the same basic needs as other people.

However, there are still many uncertainties when dealing with the sexuality of mentally disabled people.

Sexual self-determination

Article 2 of the Basic Law says: "Everyone has the right to free development of his personality, provided he does not violate the rights of others and does not violate the constitutional order or the moral law."
This means that people with intellectual disabilities are allowed to develop their personality, they are allowed to enter into relationships, marry if they have the appropriate legal capacity, even if parents and carers - both the legal and the employees in institutions - are against it. People with intellectual disabilities have the right to have children of their own. Nobody should prevent them from same-sex love and same-sex marriage.

The right to sexual self-determination includes the right to protection from sexual abuse. Criminologists still assume that the number of sexual assaults among disabled people is higher than among non-disabled people.

Help and contact points

Everyone has a hard time implementing the rights enshrined in the law: the disabled, the parents, the carers, the staff in the facilities and finally the legislature himself.

Various institutions can provide support, information and offers of help. Many of them now also offer services in easy language on the Internet that deal with the topic of sexuality

Many pro familia facilities have special offers for people with disabilities. They advise parents on how to deal with the sexuality of their disabled children, have special sex-educational offers for young people with intellectual disabilities or offer medical information and consultation hours for people with intellectual disabilities. For details, please refer to the sexuality and disability leaflet. Range of services.