City Research Online

Sexuality issues and the voices of adults with intellectual disabilities: A systematic review of the literature.

Brown, M. & McCann, E. ORCID: 0000-0003-3548-4204 (2018). Sexuality issues and the voices of adults with intellectual disabilities: A systematic review of the literature.. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 74, pp. 124-138. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2018.01.009


BACKGROUND: There is a growing and evolving research evidence base regarding sexuality issues and adults with intellectual disabilities. Individuals can face challenges, including the right to express their sexuality and to access necessary education and supports.

AIMS: This systematic review explores sexuality experiences, the views and opinions of adults with intellectual disabilities and highlights areas for future practice developments.

METHODS AND PROCEDURES: A comprehensive search of relevant databases from January 2006 to December 2016 was carried out. Included studies had to address specific criteria including: peer reviewed papers, the use of appropriate research methods, and focused exclusively on the individual views and opinions of people with an intellectual disability. The search of relevant databases yielded 230 hits. Following the application of explicit inclusion and exclusion criteria, 23 papers were deemed suitable for the review.

OUTCOMES AND RESULTS: The data were analysed and key themes were identified that included: autonomy v's risk of harm, knowledge and sexuality, relationships and intimacy, self-determination and taking control, and encouragement and supports.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Adults with intellectual disabilities need education and support to express their sexuality and to meet individual needs.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2018. This article has been published by Elsevier in Research in Developmental Disabilities. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: Intellectual disabilities, Sexuality, Intimacy, Relationships, Social inclusion, LGBT
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Paper FINAL REvisions Sexuality and ID people 2018 (1).pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (276kB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login