Of the few existing sex education programs specifically designed to meet the needs of people with moderate intellectual disabilities,
rare are those that address human sexuality as a whole, from self-image, sexual relations and basic anatomy to the prevention of sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections, sexual abuse prevention and sexual rights.
Despite the program’s widespread application, its impact had never been evaluated.
This approach is what makes the Éducation à la vie affective, amoureuse et sexuelle (ÉVAAS) program so unique. Since 2001, this program has been implemented in intellectual disability and pervasive developmental disorder rehabilitation centres and certain school boards across Québec, as well as elsewhere in Canada and in Europe. Despite the program’s widespread application, its impact had never been evaluated.
The results of our research indicate that the ÉVAAS program does in fact produce the desired outcome. The participants show a significant increase in knowledge relevant to their affective, love and sex lives and more positive attitudes towards expressing their sexuality, and are better able to exercise their right to intimacy and to a harmonious sex life. The program is seen to have a more far-reaching effect when applied to its target population of individuals with moderate intellectual disabilities. The distribution and use of the program can be encouraged: it has been proven to deliver the anticipated results.
Marc Daigle, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
Deposit of the research report: March 2012