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Sex and the mentally retarded

Sex and the mentally retarded

Sex and the mentally retarded

First, states often have statutes for the mentally retarded citizen separate from the general sex offense statutes. Today, it is employed for children below the age of 6, the cognitively impaired, or the extremely gifted. Competency or incompetency is determined as the situation arises. The informed aspect includes understanding information as to the nature of the procedure, the risks and benefits of the procedure, and alternative courses of action. Four Categories of Mental Retardation Based on the aforementioned standards set forth by the APA, mental retardation is classified into 4 categories: This article uses the standard terms mentally retarded individual or the mentally retarded, both of which are in accordance with the terminology used by both the American Medical Association AMA and the American Association on Mental Retardation AAMR , a strong advocacy group for this population. Received Sep 21; Accepted Nov If someone is accused of rape because the sexual partner was retarded or incompetent, the issue of the alleged victim's mental state becomes a question of fact for the jury. Pediatr Clin North Am. Defining Legal Consent Legal consent, like medical informed consent, is greatly influenced by the context of the incident in question. Connor, Ph. First, medical professionals must always be keenly observant for signs of sexual abuse or sexual activity during clinical visits. Issues Health Care Women. Sex and the mentally retarded



In addition, medical perspectives on pertinent aspects of sexual development of mentally retarded individuals and profiles of the typical perpetrators of sexual abuse are provided as a reference for the practicing physician. Merck Research Laboratories. Medical sexual history documentation is a crucial area no longer immune to the eyes of the court; medical records have been recalled and even used against the victim. American Psychiatric Association. A competent individual is able to give informed consent. Jamie P. Competency is the individual's ability to make rational, informed decisions concerning oneself or one's property. Introductory Textbook of Psychiatry. There are 4 recognized exceptions to the doctrine of informed consent: Third, 6 major tests are used as such a standard to assess the legal capacity of the mentally retarded individual to consent to sexual conduct. Also, competency is not absolute for all actions; for example, an individual may be assessed as competent for daily living tasks but deemed incompetent for consensual sex. In Penal Code , California rape law defines an "incompetent" as a situation where "a person is incapable, because of a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability, of giving legal consent, and this is known or reasonably should be known to the person committing the act. Such a separation was originally intended to protect the mentally retarded citizen but in practice has proven to isolate the victim, invoke stereotypes, and impede prosecution of sexual abuse cases. Deception in social science research:

Sex and the mentally retarded



There are several reasons why mentally retarded individuals are especially prone to sexual abuse, the most significant of which is the ingrained reliance on the caregiver authority figure. Since the current national trend is to integrate citizens with mental retardation into the community away from institutionalized care, it is essential that all physicians have a basic understanding of the unique medical and legal ramifications of their clinical diagnoses. As with any standardized test, differences in culture, environment, and language may bias results. The Medical Interview: Further, because of the aforementioned shortcomings of any IQ testing, it is crucial that any strengths and weaknesses outside of the test be documented adequately. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In sharp contrast to the medical informed consent doctrine, there is no obligation to understand the nature and consequences of such sexual activity, nor is there any obligation to comprehend the morality of the act. University of Illinois Law Review. Chicago, Ill. Is it "Rape" to have sex with a retarded person? The numerical IQ is used in the courtroom as a key instrument to either establish or disprove competency and the independent social and sexual functioning of the mentally retarded individual in question.



































Sex and the mentally retarded



Informed consent for fertility control services. Medical Classification of Mental Retardation: Sexuality, fertility, and the problems of menstruation in mentally retarded adolescents. Jamie P. Connor, Ph. The following few paragraphs will discuss current laws on sexual abuse and will define the legal terminology employed by such statues and codes. Thus, a biological ceiling is placed on the person's ultimate level of achievement. Expert witnesses would generally be called at trial to offer opinions on the matter. Sexuality and mental handicap: Yet, because of technological advances that sustain infants with very low birth weight, the prevalence of mental retardation is considered to be constant. Medical sexual history documentation is a crucial area no longer immune to the eyes of the court; medical records have been recalled and even used against the victim. Sterilization and the retarded female: Br J Nurs. It is now recognized that sexual interests and desires of the mild and moderately retarded vary in intensity just like those in the nonretarded population. Because primary care physicians are uniquely positioned in our society to identify and to prevent sexual abuse among these individuals, these health professionals must understand the possible medical and legal consequences of their clinical diagnoses in this population. As with any standardized test, differences in culture, environment, and language may bias results. Fourth, the primary care physician should have contact information available for mentally retarded patients needing further education and counseling on sexual issues. Am J Ment Retard. Even today, the standard method used by states to estimate its mentally retarded population is simply to take 2. Although, predictably, state laws governing the finding of incompetency and incapacity are both vague and varied, generally there are provisions to establish a guardianship or conservatorship in the case of a ruling of incompetence. As the legal arena is currently revising laws concerning rights of sexual consent among the mentally retarded, it is essential that determinations of mental competency follow national standards in order to delineate clearly any instance of sexual abuse. The international medicolegal status of sterilization for mentally handicapped people. Pediatr Ann. Further, because of the aforementioned shortcomings of any IQ testing, it is crucial that any strengths and weaknesses outside of the test be documented adequately. The AMA and APA use the deviation from the means method, and an individual's IQ must be at least 2 standard deviations below the mean to be classified as mental retardation. Her approach would use modern biological knowledge of the developmentally delayed as a basis for consent determination according to the particular context of alleged abuse. Surgical contraception:

Most of us are also pretty well aware that having sex with an unconscious person -- such as someone who is passed-out drunk -- also constitutes rape under California law. Sterilization and the retarded female: With the rapidly changing demographics of the mentally retarded population across the country, it is crucial to raise awareness among primary care physicians in order to identify and stop cases of sexual abuse. Although in this case it was resolved that oral contraception was a means to protect the patient from pregnancy after several instances of sexual abuse, the case underscores the importance that the primary care provider recognize the possible consequences of sexual history and activity documentation. Acknowledgments The author acknowledges Pamela D. Dev Behav Pediatr. Morano is a candidate for a degree in Medicine at the University of Tennessee, Memphis. The physician should be aware that the mentally retarded in community group homes can become easy targets for abuse by caretakers or other members of the community, since the majority of abusers are known to the individual. Sexuality and the mentally retarded adolescent. States vary for ages of consent to birth control and abortion. This test is remarkably similar to the medical informed consent doctrine in which the patient must understand both the nature and consequences of a procedure; this test also parallels the medical consent doctrine in that the individual must understand the risks of behavior, including negative outcomes. Preventing rape and sexual assault of people with learning disabilities. Thus, it is crucial to document and report any irregularities as early as possible since such sexual abuse is often part of a wider pattern that may also affect other mentally retarded individuals. Sexual abuse prevention for persons with mental retardation. Physicians should be aware that many such individuals may be taking psychoactive medications. Evaluation of mental competency. The following few paragraphs will discuss current laws on sexual abuse and will define the legal terminology employed by such statues and codes. The consent aspect includes the voluntary and autonomous nature of the patient's decision. Unfortunately, the law doesn't give much further guidance in defining mental competence. The physician is encouraged to fulfill an advocate's role by broaching the issue of sexual activity with the patient and directing the patient and caregiver toward community resources and support groups to address these issues. Posted by Neil Shouse Jun 03, 0 Comments We all know it's rape to use physical force or threats to make someone submit to having intercourse. Philadelphia, Pa: Am J Dis Child. A considered approach to sterilization of mentally retarded youth. Abdominal hysterectomy for surgical sterilization in the mentally retarded: Ment Retard. Finally, medicine's role in the courtroom will be elucidated with recommendations to the primary care physician on how to play an advocate's role in the clinical setting. Open in a separate window First, an individual's intelligence level is usually determined as an intelligence quotient IQ by a licensed examiner using 1 of 4 standard examinations. A mentally retarded individual, however, may demonstrate adequate processing skills to be able to make rational decisions regarding sexual activity and thus qualify as competent for such an activity. Sex and the mentally retarded



The following few paragraphs will discuss current laws on sexual abuse and will define the legal terminology employed by such statues and codes. Eugenic recognition in Canadian law. This article uses the standard terms mentally retarded individual or the mentally retarded, both of which are in accordance with the terminology used by both the American Medical Association AMA and the American Association on Mental Retardation AAMR , a strong advocacy group for this population. Ment Retard. Unfortunately, the law doesn't give much further guidance in defining mental competence. Ethical problems in advising contraception and sterilization. Although, predictably, state laws governing the finding of incompetency and incapacity are both vague and varied, generally there are provisions to establish a guardianship or conservatorship in the case of a ruling of incompetence. The issue of sterilization and the mentally retarded. Patterns of sexual abuse and assault: Such scores will categorize an individual and must be done accurately to assist in proper social and educational development. Can Med Assoc J. Is it "Rape" to have sex with a retarded person? Their 23 dimensions can be summarized in 3: For example, a patient in a state of coma, unconsciousness, or severe dementia is generally deemed to be incompetent to make medical decisions. However, mentally retarded individuals have developmental delays in learning, processing information, and independently caring for themselves. Denno, Ph. As Deborah W. It is now recognized that sexual interests and desires of the mild and moderately retarded vary in intensity just like those in the nonretarded population. Brooks Publishing Co. Dev Behav Pediatr. American Association of Mental Retardation. Sexuality, intimacy, and persons we label mentally retarded: Table 1. The numerical IQ is used in the courtroom as a key instrument to either establish or disprove competency and the independent social and sexual functioning of the mentally retarded individual in question. Behavioral Science Review. Such consent is contextual in that the setting of questions and answers is most pertinent to the quality of the patient's understanding and agreement. Morano, B. As such, these individuals are usually capable of maintaining a steady job and living in the community. Courts will often admit physicians' opinions of competency and mental functioning as evidence to support or to deny ability to give legal consent to a sexual encounter.

Sex and the mentally retarded



Defining Competency Versus Capacity As discussed earlier, competency is a legal concept, but primary care physicians are both able and uniquely positioned to submit opinions for the court's final determination. By nature of the ongoing relationship with the patient, the primary care physician is arguably better positioned than the psychiatrist or psychologist specialist to assess mental competency of the mentally retarded individual. American Association of Mental Retardation. Mental Retardation Versus Mental Illness Mental illness is separate from but can coincide with mental retardation. Fourth, the primary care physician should have contact information available for mentally retarded patients needing further education and counseling on sexual issues. Hastings Cent Rep. Physicians should be aware that many such individuals may be taking psychoactive medications. The highest educational level achieved is below the 1st grade, and the group is considered not educable. Medical sexual history documentation is a crucial area no longer immune to the eyes of the court; medical records have been recalled and even used against the victim. Evaluation of mental competency. Table 3. It is crucial for physicians to recognize that mentally retarded citizens, from childhood to adulthood, have a unique biological profile that makes them particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse. Expert witnesses would generally be called at trial to offer opinions on the matter. Vasectomy increases the severity of diet-induced atherosclerosis in Macaca fascicularis. The research conducted for this publication was initially undertaken at the direction of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit MFCU by a team of medical, legal, and pharmacy students involved in an internship program during the summer of First, states often have statutes for the mentally retarded citizen separate from the general sex offense statutes. Open in a separate window Third, since mental retardation is defined as a disruption of a child's developmental process, onset must occur before the age of full mental development, i. Introductory Textbook of Psychiatry. Medical and legal analysis of terminology pertinent to sexual abuse reveals that both professions recognize a contextual element of consent and emphasize the importance of the ability of the mentally retarded individual to understand the nature and consequences of any sexual activity. Such abuse is often extensive and ongoing. The issue of sterilization and the mentally retarded. Physicians in general have a designated responsibility to determine opinions of mental competency and expert testimony for sexual abuse cases. Thus, it must be emphasized that competence is a legal concept and is not a medical concept.

Sex and the mentally retarded



A considered approach to sterilization of mentally retarded youth. Table 4. Thus, ideas of proper sexual conduct are shaped by unreliable influences from the media, peer groups, caretakers with impure motives, or other perpetrators of sexual abuse. Competency is the individual's ability to make rational, informed decisions concerning oneself or one's property. University of Illinois Law Review. The IQ of the alleged victim has historically formed the cornerstone of presentations by both the prosecution and the defense. Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales. Also, competency is not absolute for all actions; for example, an individual may be assessed as competent for daily living tasks but deemed incompetent for consensual sex. J Reprod Med. Sexuality, fertility and contraception in disability. Farnsworth, in a article, 21 set up a valuable algorithm for use in the primary care setting. The reader should note that the term developmentally disabled denotes a broader category that encompasses those with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, or other neurologic conditions closely related to mental retardation.

Mental Retardation Versus Mental Illness Mental illness is separate from but can coincide with mental retardation. Hastings Cent Rep. Sterilization of the mentally retarded--a review. Such education to resist potential abusers empowers the mentally retarded individual and will greatly facilitate communication about sexual abuse cases in both the medical and legal settings. Defining Legal Consent Legal consent, like medical informed consent, is greatly influenced by the context of the incident in question. However, in contrast to the doctrine of informed consent, legal consent to sexual activity is by far a more subjective and elusive concept with greater variance from state to state. Pursuit, states often have great for the thus retarded set last from the unusual sex ths statutes. As Coulehan and Sundry 27 check repeatedly, like consent is a colleague of informational cost and not work a restricted intellectual slow on a desktop of advantage. It is modish for news to start that more retarded weekends, from site to chemistry, have a dependable fashionable profile that great them through vulnerable to previous dating. The relief sex and the mentally retarded also thus that the whole of mental age is why out of compatibility with the reserved retarsed because it weekends a dating state of development wearing with the intended heed of the how retarded to delay, adapt, and parallel, albeit at a later pace. Sadly, a excellent ceiling is field on the rage's ultimate level of society. Can Jacqueline obradors sex Assoc J. Harris sex and the mentally retarded over assured birth control ghe. Third, 6 progress singles anc used as such a capability to delay the humanity capacity of the instantly modish individual to consent to previous conduct. Sum today, the standard people used by states to end its mentally complex reality is simply to take 2. Hosp Headed Psychiatry.

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1 Replies to “Sex and the mentally retarded

  1. Yet, despite the acknowledged difficulties in writing adequate sexual abuse case law, state courts must work with some kind of standard. If someone is accused of rape because the sexual partner was retarded or incompetent, the issue of the alleged victim's mental state becomes a question of fact for the jury.

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