Sexuality of 15/16-Year-Old Girls and Boys With and Without Modest Disabilities

Elinor Brunnberg, M. Linden Bostrom, Mats Berglund

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15 Citations (SciVal)


Girls and boys with disabilities, 15-16 years of age, report a significantly higher rate of sexual debut than adolescents with no disabilities. In a society where a young person with a disability often is considered to have an essentially asexual status, there can be several fronts for adolescents to fight. The survey Life and Health-Young People 2005 was completed by 3,084 adolescents attending mainstream schools in Sweden. In this study the sexual debut in girls and boys with and without disabilities is related to mental health, school exposure and substance use. Our findings might be explained by a mechanism of identity construction from the adolescents' ideas of normality and by a battle for acceptance and confirmation of life. The ideas of normality can be erroneous but still influence the adolescents' sexual activity. Multivariate analyses also showed that the relationship between sex and substance use is strong among all adolescents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-153
JournalSexuality and Disability
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology


  • Sweden
  • Substance use
  • Sexual debut
  • Gender
  • Disability
  • Adolescents


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