Ademokoya J.A and Igbeneghu P.E
Adolescents with learning disabilities (ALDs) are prone to various challenges of reproductive health. These challenges are similar to what their regular counterparts do experience. It is unfortunate that as a minority, ALDs’ challenges hardly receive attention of researchers and intervention providers. As a result, unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and sexual abuses usually leave more prolonged and serious consequences on them than those experienced by their regular counterparts. This study therefore attempted to explore knowledge and sexual behaviours of ALDs in a Nigerian city. Descriptive survey design was adopted for the study. A purposive sampling technique was used to select 210 adolescents with learning disabilities in Ibadan North Local Government Area (LGA) of Oyo State, Nigeria (105 males, 105 females). Two research instruments were used; namely The Pupil Rating Scale (r=0.62) used in screening for learning disabilities and an Adolescent with Learning Disabilities’ Reproductive and Sexual Behaviour Inventory (r=0.89). Four research questions were postulated, descriptive statistics and simple percentages were used for the data analysis. Findings showed that among ALDs, the most common source of information on reproductive and sexual behaviour was mass media (29.0%), and the age for experiencing first sexual intercourse was highest at early adolescents (11.9%), followed by the middle adolescents (9.0%) and then the late adolescents (4.3%) . The general knowledge on reproductive health was high among ALDs (86.7%), though access to reproductive health facilities was low, as 52.9% had never visited any reproductive health facility, 21.0% had had sexual intercourse and also 23.3% had been sexually abused. Consequently, the study recommended that sexuality education should be introduced and intensified in the various schools, particularly, the early ALDs to minimise the incidence of sexual abuse, unwanted pregnancies and STIs. Further,, mass media should serve in disseminating information on sexuality to ALDs.
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