People with Down syndrome have the same sexuality needs, rights and responsibilities as people without a disability.  They can expect to go through the same phases of sexual development as their non-disabled peers, but will need some direct teaching in this area.  In order to keep themselves safe they need to know about their bodies, feelings, what is appropriate and where it is appropriate.  The distinction needs to be made between public and private places, as well as public and private behaviours.

Articles and Information

Sex Education and the Primary School Child

Sexuality and Down Syndrome

Issues of Sexuality in Down Syndrome


SECCA (Sexuality Education Counselling and Consultancy Agency) is a non-profit community agency that assists people with disabilities and their families to make informed choices about sexuality and sexual expression.


Angelo, Fay, Heather Pritchard and Rose Stewart  Secret Boy’s Business
Secret Girl’s Business
Special Boy’s Business
Special Girl’s Business

Beal, David  From Girl to Woman – ideas and choices [kit]

Down Syndrome Society of South Australia Right to Know series Module Two – Sexuality Body Parts 1 and 2Module Three – Personal Safety – Public and Private
Assertiveness Training
Safety in the Community
Interpersonal Boundaries
Preventative Strategies

Collier, Merri  Sexuality and Your Rights

Couwenhaven, Terri  Teaching Children with Down Syndrome About their Bodies, Boundaries and Sexuality

Facts on Sexual Hurting

Fegan, Lydia and Anne Rauch  Sexuality and People with Intellectual Disability

Horsley, Philomena  I Used to Really Like Hime: a story about unwanted touching

Intimacy and Marriage

Masturbation and Privacy for Boys

Masturbation and Privacy for Girls

Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Robinson-Tafft, Pier and Susan Jones  More than Friends: Beginning a Relationship Training Program

Schwier, Karin Melberg and Dave Hingsburger  Sexuality : your sons and daughters with intellectual disability
Couples with intellectual disability talk about living and loving