Disability, Sexuality, and Faith
By Sylvia Phillips on June 25, 2014
It has become quite obvious that my fifteen year old special needs daughter and a boy in her social club have a little romance going on! I doubt if they've ever even uttered one word to each other but when they are together he gets right up in her face and takes her hands in his. Then they dance and run around together, hand in hand! It's just so incredibly adorable!
But this sweet and innocent little romance has got me to thinking a my daughter's sexuality.
Up until now, I haven't really given it much thought, because basically, my daughter is emotionally and mentally a two year old. Two year olds don't really comprehend what sex is. They know what feels good, but that's about the extent of their sexuality. But while my daughter's intellect may be like that of a two year old, her body is not!
I want to protect my daughter from all physical, emotional, and spiritual harm.
As a Christian, I believe that sex should not take place outside of marriage.
Is it time to sit my daughter down and give her "the talk"?
Would teaching her about sex then telling her she can't do it because she is disabled and not married just be opening up a can of worms and give her the idea to try and do something that might otherwise never have even crossed her mind to do?
Do I have the right to impose my moral and religious beliefs about abstinence until marriage onto my daughter? All my typically developing children were made aware of my abstinence belief, but ultimately they had the right to choose whether or not they actually would abstain.
Do I have the right to deprive my special needs daughter from ever developing a meaningful romantic or sexual relationship solely because she is disabled and unlikely to ever get married?
The one thing that I am absolutley certain of is that somehow, someway my daughter must be protected from ever becoming pregnant. I don't even want to think about the terror she would experience if she were ever to go through the trauma and pain of a pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
Should I be considering some sort of birth control for my daughter, "just in case"?
Due to the nature and severity of my daughter's disability she is unable to comprehend a concept as abstract as the relationship between sex, love, marriage, and a set of moral or religious codes and will in all likelihood never be alone with a boy anyway, so is this an issue that I even really need to be considering at all?
As my special needs daughter grows closer to reaching adulthood, I wonder, just how much of her life do I really have the right to control?