Sexual Behaviours of Concern

  • Touching private body parts in public or to excess
  • Removing clothes in public
  • Masturbating in public areas
  • Touching others inappropriately
  • Discussing inappropriate sexual subjects
  • Looking up shorts, skirts, dresses or down shirts
  • Obscene gestures
  • Non-consensual hugging
  • Inappropriate remarks and suggestions that have sexual connotations
  • Echolalic repetition of sexual terms
  • Perseveration on sexual topics

(Adapted from Lawrie, B. & Jillings, C. (2004). Assessing and addressing inappropriate sexual behaviour in brain-injured clients, Rehabilitation Nursing, 29(1): 9-13.
Ray, F., Marks, C., & Bray-Garretson, H. (2004). Challenges to treating adolescents with Asperger’s syndrome who are sexually abusive. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 11, 265–285.)

There are a number of explanations for why sexual behaviours of concern may occur:

  • Inappropriate sexual conduct becomes the only alternative to seeking relationships
  • A young person tries to copy an observed adult sexual behaviour
  • Attempts to make connections with peers using sexual information and behaviours
  • Experiences of sexual abuse
  • Some medications can affect libido, sexual interest or drive. Others can make arousal and ejaculation difficult which may increase tendency towards compulsive masturbation and other sexual behaviours

The following strategies may be of help:

  • Interrupt the behaviour.
  • Remind the person of the appropriate time and place for masturbating.
  • Redirect the person to an activity that involves high concentration, lots of physical activity or the use of both hands.
  • Provide reinforcement for staying on the assigned task.
  • Redirect the person to a more appropriate location.
  • Provide visual schedule which includes private time breaks so that the person can anticipate and plan for personal needs.