Women with intellectual disabilities A study of sexuality, sexual abuse and protection skills

Eastgate, Gillian, Van Driel, Mieke L., Lennox, Nicholas and Scheermeyer, Elly (2011) Women with intellectual disabilities A study of sexuality, sexual abuse and protection skills. Australian Family Physician, 40 4: 226-230.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Eastgate, Gillian
Van Driel, Mieke L.
Lennox, Nicholas
Scheermeyer, Elly
Title Women with intellectual disabilities A study of sexuality, sexual abuse and protection skills
Journal name Australian Family Physician   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0300-8495
Publication date 2011-04-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 40
Issue 4
Start page 226
End page 230
Total pages 5
Place of publication South Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Publisher Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Language eng
Abstract Background
Formatted abstract
Sexual abuse and abusive relationships are known to be especially common in people with intellectual disability. This study explored how women with intellectual disability understand sex, relationships and sexual abuse, the effects of sexual abuse on their lives, and how successfully they protect themselves from abuse.

Semistructured narrative interviews with nine women with mild intellectual disability in Queensland, Australia. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, coded and analysed qualitatively.

Major themes that emerged were: sexual knowledge and sources of knowledge; negotiating sexual relationships; declining unwanted sexual contact; self protection strategies; sexual abuse experiences; and sequelae of sexual abuse.

Most participants reported unwanted or abusive sexual experiences. They described sequelae such as difficulties with sex and relationships, and anxiety and depression. They described themselves as having inadequate self protection skills and difficulty reporting abuse and obtaining appropriate support. Their understanding of sex was limited and they lacked the literacy and other skills to seek information independently. It is important for general practitioners to be aware of the possibility of sexual abuse against women with intellectual disability, and to offer appropriate interventions.
Keyword Disability
Sexual abuse
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 22 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 25 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 08 Sep 2011, 23:40:42 EST by Matthew Lamb on behalf of School of Medicine