Intellectual disability, sexuality and sexual abuse prevention: A study of family members and support workers

Gillian Eastgate, Elly Scheermeyer, Mieke L. van Driel, Nick Lennox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: People with intellectual disability experience difficulty forming intimate relationships and are prone to sexual exploitation and abuse. This study sought information from people involved in the care of adults with intellectual disability regarding how they supported them in the areas of sexuality, relationships and abuse prevention. Methods: Semistructured interviews and focus groups were held with 28 family members and paid support workers caring for adults with intellectual disabilities. Interviews and focus groups were audio recorded, transcribed, coded and analysed qualitatively. Results: Major themes emerging included views on sexuality and intellectual disability, consent and legal issues, relationships, sexual knowledge and education, disempowerment, exploitation and abuse, sexual health and parenting. Discussion: People with intellectual disability were described as lonely, disempowered and vulnerable to abuse. The sex industry, internet and mobile telephones were identified as new forms of risk. While this study looked at the views of both family members and support workers, the sample was too small to identify any meaningful differences between the two groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-139
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Family Physician
Volume41
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

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Sex Offenses
Sexuality
Intellectual Disability
Disabled Persons
Focus Groups
Interviews
Sex Work
Cell Phones
Reproductive Health
Parenting
Internet
Education

Cite this

Eastgate, Gillian ; Scheermeyer, Elly ; van Driel, Mieke L. ; Lennox, Nick. / Intellectual disability, sexuality and sexual abuse prevention : A study of family members and support workers. In: Australian Family Physician. 2012 ; Vol. 41, No. 3. pp. 135-139.
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Eastgate, G, Scheermeyer, E, van Driel, ML & Lennox, N 2012, 'Intellectual disability, sexuality and sexual abuse prevention: A study of family members and support workers' Australian Family Physician, vol. 41, no. 3, pp. 135-139.

Intellectual disability, sexuality and sexual abuse prevention : A study of family members and support workers. / Eastgate, Gillian; Scheermeyer, Elly; van Driel, Mieke L.; Lennox, Nick.

In: Australian Family Physician, Vol. 41, No. 3, 03.2012, p. 135-139.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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