Attitudes towards sexuality and related caregiver support of people with intellectual disabilities: A systematic review on the perspectives of people with intellectual disabilities

W. de Wit*, W. M. W. J. van Oorsouw, P. J. C. M. Embregts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Background
Sexual health remains at risk for people with an intellectual disability. Attitudes towards sexuality, its support and education have an important role in promoting sexual health. The current review aims to provide an overview of the current research on supportive and restrictive attitudes towards sexuality and its support of people with intellectual disabilities themselves.

Method
A systematic review was conducted, searching across eight databases. The quality of the studies was assessed with the Mixed-Method Appraisal Tool.

Results
Six themes emerged from the data: sexual behaviour, sexual identity, intimate relationships, barriers to sexual expression, sex education and support by caregivers. Supportive and restrictive attitudes were reported throughout.

Conclusions
Attitudes regarding sexuality of people with intellectual disabilities are heterogeneous and people with intellectual disabilities seem to be able to express their sexual desires, needs and attitudes. Findings allow for improved individual support and in-depth research questions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021

Keywords

  • ADULTS
  • DEVELOPMENTAL-DISABILITIES
  • EXPERIENCES
  • INDIVIDUALS
  • INTIMATE-RELATIONSHIPS
  • LEARNING-DISABILITIES
  • MEN
  • SEX-EDUCATION
  • WOMEN
  • YOUNG-PEOPLE
  • attitudes
  • intellectual disabilities
  • sex education
  • sexual health
  • sexuality
  • support

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