Sexual understanding, sources of information and social networks; the reports of young people with intellectual disabilities and their non-disabled peers
Article first published online: 19 APR 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd, MENCAP & IASSIDD
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research
Volume 58, Issue 5, pages 430–441, May 2014
How to Cite
Jahoda, A. and Pownall, J. (2014), Sexual understanding, sources of information and social networks; the reports of young people with intellectual disabilities and their non-disabled peers. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 58: 430–441. doi: 10.1111/jir.12040
- Issue published online: 10 APR 2014
- Article first published online: 19 APR 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 28 FEB 2013
- intellectual disability;
- social networks
Sexual development plays a vital part in young people's emotional adjustment.
This study compared the sexual understanding of 30 adolescents with mild intellectual disabilities (ID) and 30 non-disabled adolescents, along with their reports of where they obtained sexual information, and the nature of their social networks and support.
As expected, the non-disabled young people had superior levels of knowledge. However, an interaction was found between group and gender. The non-disabled young women had a better grasp of sexual matters than men, whereas the opposite was the case for those with ID. The non-disabled young people reported more formal and informal sources of sexual information and described larger social networks than those with ID.
These findings highlight the need to tackle the barriers to sexual knowledge faced by young people with ID, and the need to take account of the broader social context of their lives when doing so. This includes the attitudes to the developing sexuality of young women with ID in particular.