Safer Sex and Contraception
Some adults with cognitive disabilities are having sex. Some of them may be having consensual sex that their support networks know about. Some may be having consensual sex that their support networks do not know about. Some may be experiencing sexual abuse.
People in each of these situations may have more options to prevent unplanned pregnancies or prevent STIs if they have information about contraception and safer sex. This information can save lives.
Providing a person with information about contraception and safer sex is not the same thing as recommending that they should have sex. Ideally a person should have information about contraception and safer sex long before they actually begin having sex. So even people with cognitive disabilities who are NOT having sex can benefit from having information on contraception and safer sex.
Where to Get Information About Sex
Sex education happens to everybody every day, whether we like it or not. We are bombarded with images, messages, and ideas about sex from our televisions, billboards, iPods, computers, and magazines. This ‘education’ is factually unreliable, and it often reinforces a particular value set. Some people are objectified. Others are ridiculed or erased. This ‘education’ is also a one-way monologue. It’s not a dialogue. There isn’t room for questioning or reflection.
In the midst of all this, we could all use someone reliable and trustworthy to talk to about sexuality. For people with cognitive disabilities, picking the right person or resource is important. Our videos discuss what qualities to look for in a confidante. We also list services that provide accurate, agenda-free sexual health information. You can also find this information on our Resources page.
We also discuss who NOT to talk to about sex. (Strangers are usually a bad choice, for example.)