Discussing Disabled Sexuality Is a Radical Act

RH Reality Check October 22, 2014

On September 29, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a critical update to its guidelines on teen and adolescent sexuality, including discussion on handling sexual health for disabled teens.

By acknowledging that disabled teens are sexually active at all, the AAP committed a radical act—but the public appeared largely indifferent. Under-reporting of the issue underscores a common social problem. The guidelines make it explicitly clear that some disabled teens, just like non-disabled ones, are sexually active: they need appropriate care, including sexual health screenings, advice about birth control, supplies of condoms and contraceptives, and answers to questions about safer sex and relationships.