Research People Of Intellectual Disability Essay


Discuss About The Research People Of Intellectual Disability?



Statement of purpose: This paper will explore the perspectives of sexuality for people with intellectual disability with the context of general staff as well as their family members.

The following report is aimed at analyzing different the perspectives and attitudes that the society has towards sexuality orientation and intellectual disability (Eastgate, 2008; Gavidia-payne & Meaney-Tavares, 2012). Thereafter, the report provides an illustration of relevant theoretical concepts alongside the evidence that has been previously observed in context of sexuality of individuals with intellectual disability (Bellon, Darragh, Ellison& Reynolds, 2017; Eastgate, 2008). The audience includes people with intellectual disabilities, families and service provider who could get the insights of the sources utilized for the report through an outline of the processes or methods used for literature review followed by the financial from this paper (Gavidia-payne & Meaney-Tavares, 2012). The implications and future recommendations would include finding the impact of the findings on other individuals interested in supporting people with intellectual disability including paid carer or support worker, service provider and family members (Bernert, 2011).

Intellectual disability

The issue considered for this report is related to sexual orientation of people with intellectual disability (Eastgate, 2008). Historically, people in the society perceive people with intellectual disability as childlike, devaluated, unable and taboo for them to be intimate relationship with their love ones (Bellon, Darragh, Ellison, & Reynolds, 2017; Eastgate, 2008). Generally, sexuality of an individual is framed from the biological, social and psychological aspect in context of the individual as well as an impact of personal attitude, beliefs and values (Bellon et al., 2017).

However, people with intellectual disability face with different challenges on the basis of their sexual orientation (Eastgate, 2008). People with intellectual disabilities experience similar range of attitudes, biological change, sexual thoughts, desires and feeling as other humans (Carr et al., 2017). Eastgate (2008), noted that some people with intellectual disability could be offered masturbations support instead as form of relieving their sexual tensions or access to pornography videos.

Literature review in regards to sexuality and people with intellectual disabilities

It observed from various research studies that individuals with intellectual disabilities could be subject to several barriers during their development into adulthood (Bellon et al., 2017; Eastgate, 2008; Insight SBS, 2016). The myths and prejudice or discrimination towards people with intellectual disability and their sexuality orientation are strengthened by lack of attention of society to this issue (Heller, Hsieh & Rimmer 2014; Eastgate, 2008). The evidence based studies and stories or other mixed experiences from both individual with intellectual disability, family carers, services and other health professions acknowledge the lack of social attention to the issue (Bellon et al., 2017; Insight SBS, 2016).

The television interviews done with Insight SBS (2016) showed that people with intellectual disability were happy to be in the intimate relationship while others looked forward to be in the relationship (Insight SBS, 2016). For instance, the participants with intellectual disability currently in intimate relationship disclosed that having sexual relationship with their partner helped by reducing any pain, increase sleep and social interaction (Insight SBS, 2016).

The support workers depicted mixed reactions in context of supporting the sexual orientation of individuals with intellectual disabilities (Insight SBS, 2016). Most families, support staff and paid caregivers had limited awareness in context of sex and intellectual disability believe that they were unable to allow them involve in the sexuality due to different reasons (Insight SBS, 2016). The reasons primarily include lack of communication abilities of person with intellectual disability to consent for having sex, limited sexual education, loneliness and vulnerability to sexual abuse and rape (Kramers- Olen, 2016; Insight SBS, 2016).

Furthermore, current studies highlights that professionals and supports works have the positive attitudes towards people with disabilities which characterized with supporting with intellectual disability in reaching out to their sexuality needs or orientation (Gavidia-payne & Meaney Tavares, 2012). For instance, the study done by Carley et al. (2009) explores the perception in regards sexuality orientation for people with intellectual disability. The findings highlighted that higher percentages of paid staff reported significant supportive and had positive attitudes towards sexuality operations for people with intellectual disability involving in intimate and non-intimating relationship (Carley et al., 2009); Gavidia-payne & Meaney Tavares, 2012).

The paid caregivers had higher understanding of sexuality and disabilities because they had enough training and experience in supporting people with intellectual disability (Gavidia-payne & Meaney Tavares, 2012). Therefore, paid staff had to work together with families for supporting people with intellectual sexual education, empowering people with intellectual disability for learning self protection skill against sexual abuse and interpersonal skills (Carley et al., 2009; Gavidia-payne & Meaney Tavares, 2012; Insight SBS, 2016).

The lack of opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities could result in unplanned pregnancies, sexual abuse and transmitted infections such as HIV (Bernert & Ogletree, 2013) ; Kramers-Olen, 2016). It noted that families get worried for the wellbeing of family members with intellectual disabilities and resort to measures such as sterilization of women or medication of men without formal consent (Bellon et al., 2017; Kramer-Olen, 2016; Insight SBS, 2016).

According to Brown, and Pirtle (2008) noted that any human being has right to choose their sexual orientation without any barriers. Therefore, the restrictive practices such as sterilization of women or medication to the males can be considered as breach of human rights and conventions of people with disability (Bellon et al., 2017;Insight SBS, 2016; UNCRPR, 2016). In addition, Based on the CRPD different article a show the right people with intellectual disability needs to be met in order to enhance their quality of life. The article 5, 10, 24, and 25 says that people with disabilities should have right of life, equality and non-discrimination, education and health (UNCRPR, 2016).

Furthermore, it highlighted that the sexual education and self-advocacy in regards to sexuality orientation could improve the quality of life of people with intellectual disability (Brown & Pirtle, 2008; Insight SBS, 2016). For instance, interview done by the insight SBS (2016) participant disclosed that having partner who could having intimate relationship help them reducing pain, increase social inclusion, sleep well, reduce sperms for the men and live the happy life with partner. Social inclusion is considered effective for involving people with intellectual disability to perceive social identity effectively thereby involving possible access to sexuality. The issues of sexuality for people with intellectual disability has not been emphasized appropriately in the disability field thereby limiting the understanding of experiences in supporting individuals with intellectual disability access to sexual needs(Murry, Rushbrooke & Townsend, 2014).


The purpose of this report paper was to review and explore the perspectives of sexuality for people with intellectual disability with the context of general staff as well as their family members. The sources for information for the literature review were acquired from peer journal article retrieved from online publication from Google scholar, ProQeust, disability journals, Scopus, psychology journal, Google books and video stories. The key that were used for information for this report include intellectual disab, sexuality, women, men, intimate relationship, human right, sex, service support, sibling, parent, family, professional and attitudes.

Over 20 peer review articles and one video interview were found. Most of these articles conducted using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. It determinates and explained different experiences that people with intellectual disability face on when it become choosing to sexuality orientation or needs (Bellon et al., 2017; Carley et al., 2009; Insight SBS, 2016).


The participants had voluntarily participated in the study due to requirements of disclosure of personal information. On the basis of eligibility, they had to be either adolescent, family caregivers or staff service providers (Bellon et al., 2017 Carr et al., 2017; Bernert, 2011Gavidia-Payne et al., 2012; Eastgate, 2008; Insight SBS, 2016). It highlighted that qualitative research used social constructive grounds for gathering the lived experience from the individual with intellectual disability, paid staff and family carers Cleary, Hayter & Horsfall, 2014; Green & Thorogood,2017).


The findings from the literature review suggest prominent references to different theoretical concepts relevant to the perception of sexuality by individuals having intellectual disabilities. The obvious gap that can be observed as an outcome of critical reflection on literature is noticed marketing form of research on the impact of psychological theories in determining sexuality (Srivastava& Schwartz, 2014). While the prospects of social inclusion are considered effective for involving people with intellectual to perceive social identity effectively thereby implying their possible access to sexuality (Bates, Meltzer & Robinson, 2016). The social inclusion (recreation, work, play games and music club) of people intellectual disability is also considered significant for them as it could open the doors of meeting and socialize with new people and allow them to make new friends (Bates, Meltzer & Robinson, 2016; Insight SBS, 2016). The literature gaps also reflect on the apprehensions of individuals with intellectual disability from the acts of sexual activity due to concerns of abuse in the sexual relationship (Bates, Meltzer & Robinson, 2016; Insight SBS, 2016).

The studies available in literature depicted lack of formal indications towards the impact of self-discipline and lack of sex education from their caregivers as determinants of sexual behavior among people with intellectual disability (Bellon et al., 2017). The application of psychological theories to the determination of sexuality of individuals with intellectual disability could also be assumed as a critical gap in the literature (Gavidia-payne & Meaney Tavares, 2012). It can be critically delivered that the implementation of psychoanalytic theory in case of development of sexuality is not perceived deeply in the literature sources (Gilisen, Veltman &Vissers, 2016). The individual stages of psychoanalytic development should be applied in the case of people with intellectual disability in order to perceive the limitations in individual stage as compared to other human being so to determine supportive measures for them to access to sexuality needs (Hall & Yacoub, 2008).

In addition, as the National Disability Insurance Scheme has been rolled out in Australia with the aim of providing an opportunity for people with disability to practice their own choice and control how to live their lives (NDIS, 2017). As the NDIS used the person centred approach, it entailed the provision of resources such sex education, encourage family to discuss and plan the future that would allow their children to access the sexual needs (NDIS, 2017).

Implications of findings and future recommendation

The research findings were reflective of the prominent barriers that affect development of sexuality among individual with intellectual disability. The primary outcomes of the research were reflective of the role of lack of attention to the sexuality needs for people with intellectual disability (Bellon et al., 2017 Carley et al., 2009; Eastgate, 2008; Insight SBS, 2016). The outcomes also refer to sexuality education as a promising measure for resolving the research issue (Gougeon, 2009). The research findings could be considered influential for the lives of people with intellectual disability due to the significance of psychological theories to ascertain the stage of psychological development they are in (Gilisen, Veltman & Vissers, 2016).

The findings could raise considerable efforts from researchers to classify the varying sexual behavior of people with intellectual disabilities and relating them to the stage of sexual development (Bates, Meltzer & Robinson, 2016; Insight SBS, 2016). It is also imperative to observe the precedents used by individuals with intellectual disability to describe sexual activity that can provide a practical impression of the sexuality of people with intellectual disability (Bellon et al., 2017; Kramers-Olen, 2016; Insight SBS, 201). Brewster and Mccliments (2017) noted that people with intellectual disability could be able to acquire beneficial outcomes in the form of awareness of sexual knowledge and its implications on the development of sexuality trough sex education, social inclusion, and access to group activities. Therefore, gaining access to diverse sources of sexual knowledge could be of assistance for the people with intellectual disability to gain sexual information rather than being subject to myths and prejudice from the society point views (Bellon et al., 2017 Carley et al., 2009; Eastgate, 2008 ;Insight SBS, 2016).

The research review provided in depth information regarding the options to counter the barriers experienced by individuals with intellectual experiencing their sexuality (Insight SBS, 2016). The implication of the research findings could also be beneficial for other involved in supporting people with intellectual disability fulfill their goals or needs such as family carer, care services and people in the society so to develop positive attitudes towards sexuality needs for people with disabilities (Insight SBS, 2016).

Care services providers should also improve understanding of sexuality of individuals with intellectual disability thereby make them more lenient and amiable in supporting and advocating clients for sexuality access and education (Bellon et al., 2017). Government regulations would make sure that people received equal access to services that are available in the community (Insight SBS, 2016). The literature gaps were found because the most of the previous studies were conducted using qualitative which could be not liable for the external validity due to smaller sample sizes used for researching the perception and lived experience of people in the society in regards to sexuality and people with intellectual disability (Bellon et al., 2017 Carley et al., 2009; Eastgate, 2008; Insight SBS, 2016).


It discovered from reviewing previous and current articles in regarding sexuality and disability that they were lacking with sexuality inclusion in the society (Bellon et al., 2017 Carley et al., 2009; Eastgate, 2008). The evidence based studies that conducted used the qualitative methods noted that paid carers were more supportive than families carer when it comes of supporting children in discussing, education and supporting their children in regards sexuality orientation (Kramers- Olen, 2016; Insight SBS, 2016). Hence, the NDIS has the vast responsibility of making sure that people with intellectual disability accessed the most relevant quality of services with their choice that would enhance people with intellectual disability’s quality of life (NDIS, 2017). The other noticeable aspects of the research review could be identified in the critical discussion on the literature findings a alongside depicting the implication of findings for people with intellectual disabilities and the associated individuals (Bates, Meltzer & Robinson, 2016).


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