barriers in sex education?

54% of people with visual impairments say they have difficulties with their sexuality due to lack of access to special lessons in a school where everything is visual. “It’s hard to imagine an erect penis,” the student commented.

“In college and high school, guys aren’t going to flirt with blind people.” “I, I didn’t know how to describe myself that I radiated.” These words were collected by Mes mains en, a publishing house adapted for young visually impaired people, or as part of a survey about the emotional and sexual life support received by this public. Testimony was given by 130 industry professionals and 90 visually impaired or blind. More than half of them now claim to have experienced particular difficulties in their sexual and affective lives because of their disability, both socially and personally.

What does an erect penis look like?

Self-doubt, fear of not pleasing others, of being stigmatized (…), if sexual exploration is a difficult undertaking for everyone, it is not always an easy ride for a male visually impaired teenager. We tend to forget that the entry point of desire is sight. In the absence of a glance “communication with another is different”, pursues another witness. The first difficulties arise during sex education, when everything happens on the board, with the help of diagrams, drawings or teaching aids. How, then, to imagine the male or female reproductive system? How to prevent the wearing of a condom only through verbal description or even the use of hygienic protective equipment? “You have to think about talking about the rules and how it can stain clothes, that a stain on a light color will show much more. It’s something you can’t guess if you’ve never seen blood in your life. points to a young girl. If for the majority all these questions may seem obvious, then for the blind they are less obvious, especially since the situation can sometimes be awkward. “For example, it was very difficult for me to imagine an erect penis,” she continues. A lot of information would be easier to get through touch, but in front of the whole class, the fear of judgment often prevents these students from expressing themselves. “a touch of discovery”.

30% received no sex education

As a result, 30% of those surveyed said they had not received sex education. However, since 2001 the Education Code introduces “information and education on sexuality provided in schools, colleges and high schools in no less than three sessions per year and in homogeneous age groups.” Medical and social institutions and services, which include the majority of the students interviewed in this survey, are no exception. According to the Law of January 2, 2002 No. “access to affective, relational, intimate and sexual life for people with disabilities is a guaranteed right for people who are welcomed and accompanied” in these ECMS. In this regard, the question arises about the format of support for sexuality at school. Should it be inclusive or specialized? It seems that opinions are divided. For 71% of respondents, it should “be” or “may be” specialized; Thus, an unmixed speaking group would allow for more ease. Conversely, 29% want to keep the same support as everyone else: “There is nothing more frustrating for a visually impaired person than to feel like a target as completely different.” promotes one of them.

Areas for improvement

To make this support available, schools, ESMS, and families representing a third of participants interested in sex education are offered several areas for improvement. It’s about better addressing certain topics, such as gender, dating/seduction, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, biology, and most of all, the issue of consent. Thus, 31% of visually impaired adults say they have already been sexually assaulted.

To more suitable tools?

Thus, the authors of the survey invite ESMS, “which will not replace school or family”, to “creating a clear school project”, it is better “identify counselors that supported young people can turn to”, to work together “with national education, specialized bodies and families” or even “offer special theoretical training to specialists.” Especially Mes mains en or, which is primarily a publishing house created by Caroline Chabot, encourages the creation of a library of educational resources through adapted books, tactile objects, podcasts… “Many works are on sale, but remain inaccessible”, regrets this mother of a young blind woman who sets herself the task of “restore justice in access to this content” cooperating with specialized institutions.

“All reproduction and representation rights reserved. © This article was written by Clotilde Costil, journalist for”

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