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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787
Print version ISSN 0034-8910


CASTELAO, Talita Borges; SCHIAVO, Márcio Ruiz  and  JURBERG, Pedro. Sexuality in Down syndrome individuals. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.37, n.1, pp.32-39. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate parents and health professionals' opinions on the sexuality of Down syndrome individuals and to describe how these individuals see their own sexuality. METHODS: Both quantitative and qualitative analyses have been applied in the study. A total of 809 questionnaires were to parents and health professionals (348). Twelve focal groups' sessions were carried out separately with parents, professionals and DS individuals. Chi-square test was performed in the analysis. RESULTS: Parents see their children as eternal kids as they are afraid of the utmost outcome of their children's sexual life: unwanted pregnancy, and risk of syndrome recurrence. Health professionals revealed to be unprepared to provide sexual advice for DS individuals and adequate parents' attitude to their children's sexual drive. CONCLUSIONS: Down syndrome sexuality develops similarly to other individuals, but DS individuals experience restrictions depending on their social context.

Keywords : Down syndrome; Perception; Sexuality; Parents; Focus groups; Questionnaires; Down syndrome individuals.

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