Rural families’ thoughts about sexual development of their adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders

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Didem Guven


The study aims to determine rural families’ experiences regarding sexual development of their adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders. Thus, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 parents. Since the interviews included privacy issues, they were conducted one-to-one with the parents. The phenomenological method was used, depending on the research purpose. Inductive analysis was utilised in the analysis of the data obtained from the semi-structured interviews. Validity and reliability were included in all stages of data collection, breakdown and analysis. As a result, the families stated that their children exhibited inappropriate socio-sexual behaviours during adolescence; they strive to teach their children sexuality issues, although they do not know how and they generally prefer carrying their children along to prevent sexual abuse. Also, due to not knowing much about sexuality, they generally received their relatives’ support and requested comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) from special education teachers and other experts, especially about distinguishing good and bad people, menstruation and hiding sanitary pads. Although the literature reports that sexuality and its education are generally taboo, families in this study explained their thoughts on sexuality in full detail without tabooing. This makes the study different and meaningful, when compared to similar ones. The study was conducted in an eastern Turkey city with difficult access to special education. Thus, experts in rural areas are recommended to prepare and give necessary CSE programmes to families and individuals with special needs by conducting similar studies. These studies can be conducted not only with special education perspective but also in different disciplines. It is a basic human right for all individuals to receive CSE, thus as another recommendation, experts should give all children these courses in schools.  


Keywords: Comprehensive sexuality education, individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders, parenting education, phenomenological design.


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Guven, D. (2021). Rural families’ thoughts about sexual development of their adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders. Cypriot Journal of Educational Sciences, 16(4), 1549–1562.