British attitudes towards sexuality in men and women with intellectual disabilities: A comparison between White westerners and South Asians. / Sankhla, Deepak; Theodore Tapp, Kate.

In: Sexuality and Disability, Vol. 33, No. 4, 01.12.2015, p. 429–445.

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Abstract

Although sexuality is a fundamental aspect of human existence, public attitudes towards the sexuality of people with intellectual disabilities may vary. In particular, different ethnic communities may have different perspectives. These differing perspectives may impact on the opportunities and support available for people with intellectual disabilities to express sexuality within ‘normalized’ life experiences. Despite the South Asian population being one of the largest minority ethnic groups residing within the UK, few studies have aimed to understand how South Asian attitudes towards the sexuality of people with intellectual disabilities may differ from White Western perspectives. This study used an online questionnaire to investigate public attitudes towards the sexuality of people with intellectual disabilities within a UK sample (n = 331). Attitudes between people from White Western (n = 184) and South Asian backgrounds (n = 147) were compared with the use of five scales measuring attitudes towards sexuality. Whilst overall attitudes appeared to be generally positive, South Asian participants were found to have significantly more negative attitudes towards the sexual control and sexual rights of people with intellectual disabilities compared to White Westerners. These differences remained significant even after factors known to influence such attitudes were taken into consideration. These findings implicate the need to develop culturally sensitive interventions to improve knowledge and awareness of sexual needs of people with intellectual disabilities. This paper discusses these implications further, the limitations of the present study and suggested directions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429–445
Number of pages17
JournalSexuality and Disability
Volume33
Issue number4
Early online date3 Nov 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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