Staff and public attitudes towards sexuality, marriage and parenting regarding people with intellectual disabilities

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Sheridan, Clare
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The aim of this study was to explore differences between staff and public attitudes towards sexuality, marriage and parenting in relation to people with intellectual disabilities (PWID) and to explore the impact of age groups and religious beliefs. A mixed method cross sectional design was employed. There were 222 participants in total (120 staff and 102 public) who completed online the Attitudes to Sexuality Questionnaire (Individuals with an Intellectual Disabilities [ASQ-ID] by Cuskelly and Gilmore (2007). Significant differences were found between staff and public attitudes towards sexuality. Participants reporting non-religious beliefs were slightly more positive in their attitudes towards sexuality and marriage than participants reporting religious beliefs. Analysing attitudes towards marriage is an addition to the research. Staff were more aware of the law pertaining to PWID and their sexuality. Five themes emerged from thematic analysis regarding awareness of the law. According to the two groups the law needs reform. Author keywords: Intellectual disability, attitudes, sexuality, parenting, marriage, law, staff, public