A year-old man is accused of luring the woman back to his house and raping her after she became separated from her mother on the street. He has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to rape, sexual assault and having sex with a mentally impaired person at his Dublin home on 12 June, Fergal Rooney, a psychologist specialising in disability and sexual issues, said today that he assessed the woman and judged her as not having the capacity to consent to sexual intercourse. He said it was unlikely she would question or doubt the instructions of strangers and that she would not be able to advocate for her own needs or protect herself against serious exploitation. He also said she did not have the capacity to live independently. Regarding her knowledge of sexual matters, Mr Rooney said she had a significant deficit in knowledge towards a wide range of sexual issues. Mr Rooney said she did not understand the consequences of sex such as pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. He added that she was also unable to determine the correct response to sexually ambiguous situations.
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All children and young people should be entitled to good quality sex and relationships education that will allow them to develop the qualities, attitudes, skills and knowledge to develop into healthy, happy and fulfilled adults. Wood, A. Down Syndrome News and Update , 4 2 , This article describes why Sexuality and Relationships Education SRE as part of the school curriculum is especially important for individuals with Down syndrome and how parents and professionals can work together to ensure that it is delivered effectively. For decades around the world, and to this day in some countries, people with Down syndrome have lived their lives in institutions, away from their families and communities, their parents told at birth that this was the best option for them. How different the outlook is today, in the light of research that has changed attitudes and determined legislation, policies and practice ensuring that people with Down syndrome have the right to education, employment, and equal access to health and social care. However, researching this article has highlighted an injustice that could have the effect of placing people with Down syndrome back in a lonely and isolated world, not necessarily behind closed doors but potentially, in the heart of their communities. In the introduction to her book Couples with intellectual disabilities talk about living and loving, Karin Melberg Schwier describes how difficult it can be for some parents and professionals to allow children with Down syndrome to grow into adults, 'whole adults' that is, adults who have adult relationships. In some instances, anxieties about abuse, exploitation, pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections have overtaken our appreciation that firstly, personal relationships do not always lead to sexual intercourse and secondly that the positive aspects of sexuality and affection are natural, healthy expressions of our humanity, whether or not we have an intellectual disability.
As human beings, individuals with Down syndrome have the right to emotionally satisfying and culturally appropriate sexual expression. As patients, they have the right to routine reproductive health care provided to the general population. Cognitive and language disabilities may predispose this population to unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, and sexual exploitation. Sex education tailored to cognitive level, learning style, and living arrangements is essential to the education of children and young adults with Down syndrome.
Maryanne Martin and Tommy Pilling. Dating can be brutal, no matter who you are. These feelings and experiences are no different for many adults with Down Syndrome leading active, and fulfilling romantic lives. According to to Couwenhoven, this is partly due to cultural stigma and sex shaming that affects the general population as a whole.