• Gry Hanne Knudsen
4. term, Master of Sexology (Continuing education) (Continuing Education Programme (Master))
This thesis is the final task of a master education at Aalborg University. The subject matter is chosen in cooperation with the municipality in which I am employed, striving to highlight the sexuality of children in special needs classes in effort to support their sexual health and wellbeing. The goal of the thesis is to investigate what kind of experiences and what kind of professional knowledge the special needs teachers have in identifying signs of sexually disturbing behaviour in children. The goal is relevant on several levels; helping and protecting the child – who can potentially develop abusive behaviour – to have a good life with a healthy sexuality, and at the same time prevent that other children might be victims of sexual abuse. The children are in the midst of their identity development, which can be worked with in a healthier improving perspective with advantage, as research shows that relatively few young sexual offenders become actual offenders as adults. The special needs teachers therefore have a distinct responsibility, when it comes to strengthening the quality of life - as well as sexual health and wellbeing - of their pupils.
A qualitative approach with a semi structured interview was chosen as the thesis’ method of data collecting, as the subject matter prompts a deeper understanding of the special needs teachers’ experience and knowledge, when it comes to identifying signs of sexually disturbing behaviour. Three qualitative research interviews were carried out with three experienced special needs teachers (each working with different age groups) to gain insight concerning their experiences with sexually disturbing behaviour at school - evaluation of their own skills in detecting sexually disturbing behaviour among their pupils - and an evaluation of the quality of the education in the normal/abnormal sexual development of the child they themselves have received during their college education. The findings were analysed and discussed using relevant academic research literature and theory.
Overall the conclusion showed that the special needs teachers need insight and knowledge in identifying, where the line is drawn between sexually disturbing behaviour and normal sexual behaviour. Furthermore, the inquiry showed that the lack of education and lack of a sexual school policy - in spite of good will - constitutes some problems for the teachers, when it comes to the dealing with normal as well as abnormal sexual behaviour among the special needs pupils.
Publication date5 May 2017
Number of pages83
ID: 257017642