Where do young people with learning disabilities seek information about sexuality?

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Sexuality is a core aspect of human experience, but for many people with learning disabilities, there continues to be considerable confusion about sexuality and significant gaps in their knowledge Opportunities for people to participate in relationships and education about sexuality can be affected by attitudes and perceptions of family carers, support workers and professional staff. [read the full story…]

Positive public attitudes found in Irish survey to the expression of sexuality in people with learning disabilities


Supporting adults with learning disabilities to express their sexuality and form intimate relationships is an area that continues to challenge provider organisations. One of the factors that impacts on this is public attitudes. This study reports on the findings of the attitudes of the general public in Ireland. The researchers looked at the data from [read the full story…]

Women with learning disabilities describe negative experiences of sex and sexuality


A short while ago, we posted about the development of a tool to help understand the sexual knowledge of people with learning disabilities which was piloted in a secure services setting. There is a growing literature which focuses on issues of abuse, contraception or sex education, but there is little which has looked at how [read the full story…]

Sexual knowledge of women with learning disabilities in secure settings attitudes and shows wide range of misunderstandings and confusions

There is sparse evidence for the efficacy and safety of antipsychotics in people with learning disabilities.

Research in the field of mental health has suggested associations between risky sexual behaviour and common psychiatric conditions, with higher than prevalence rates of HIV than found in the national average, risk of sexual coercion and high rates of relationship breakdown. The authors of this paper suggest that there are encouraging signs of positive attitudes [read the full story…]

Sex education programmes for people with learning disabilities lacked theoretical frameworks clear objectives, measurable outcomes or evaluation strategies


People with learning disabilities may face a number of challenges in the area of sexuality, including lack of access to information, fewer sexual experiences, negative attitudes and more experience of sexual abuse. To begin to address some of these issues, a number of sex education programmes have been developed by professionals. This study from the [read the full story…]

Traditional gender stereotypes found in staff attitudes towards sexuality in people with learning disabilities


Whilst there has been significant progress in recent years in acknowledging the rights of people with learning disabilities to live their lives in the way they choose, responding to the right to be sexually active continues to throw up challenges for services and families. Part of the difficulty is that people with learning disabilities may [read the full story…]

People with learning disabilities need more emotional and practical support to make and keep friendships


Friendships and relationships are usually the things that most people will say are important to them in describing their quality of life. Many people with learning disabilities however have very limited opportunities to meet and make friends. The people in their social networks may be family members, or people who are paid to support them. [read the full story…]

Mothers of adolescents with learning disabilities confident in dealing with sexuality of offspring but express concerns

The recent focus on mindfulness should not be limited to the general population or a privileged few but accessible and relevant to parents of children with disability

Sexuality in adults with learning disabilities is a subject that has only relatively recently been tackled in the literature. The researchers in this study were interested in sexuality in adolescents, and wanted to look at the attitudes and behaviours of mothers of adolescents and consider whether or not the presence of learning disability might affect [read the full story…]

Small practical steps may offer best way to reach consensus on relationship and sexuality education for people with learning disabilities


National policy in the UK regarding supporting people with learning disabilities has focused on personalising support, improving social inclusion and the removal of obstacles relating to access to education, employment, healthcare and housing. The authors of the current study suggest that there has been significant progress in these areas, but when looking at the area [read the full story…]

Awareness of sexuality as part of identity has not changed restrictive attitudes in services for people with learning disabilities


This review of the literature set out to summarise the current status of knowledge and clinical practice in the area of relationships and sexuality for people with learning disabilities, which the review authors describe as an area that is complex and challenging. Services for people with learning disabilities have undergone a move towards personalisation, person-centred [read the full story…]