Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Secret loves, hidden lives?

13.04.2005


The mental, emotional and sexual health of people with learning difficulties who are gay, lesbian and bisexual is being jeopardised by the failure of many services to give the support needed in this area.



New research by academics at Bristol University’s Norah Fry Research Centre, working in partnership with Terrence Higgins Trust and REGARD, found significant barriers were put in the way of people with learning difficulties exercising their human rights to consenting same sex relationships.

The barriers included:

  • Experiences of discrimination, harassment and bullying: Virtually every person with a learning difficulty who took part in the research said they had been bullied or harassed as a direct result of their sexuality. Much of the verbal abuse came from close family members. Half of the people interviewed had been physically or verbally abused by strangers on the street or on public transport. Experiences of depression and loneliness featured heavily in people’s accounts. Two men spoke about trying to commit suicide and one woman had self harmed and thought about suicide.
  • Lack of support: People wanted support to meet other gay, lesbian and bisexual people, go to pubs and clubs and groups and find boyfriends and girlfriends. However, the gay scene was felt by many to be unwelcoming and many staff were reluctant to see this work as part of their jobs.
  • A failure on the part of many services who support people with learning difficulties to talk about, or do work on, sexuality and relationships and meet the required standards in this area. However, a small number of staff, in a minority of services, were doing thoughtful and innovative work.

Despite these barriers the desire to meet and get to know other people was one of the strongest messages from the research. Most people wanted to fall in love and have more gay and lesbian friends.


David Abbott, Research Fellow at the Norah Fry Research Centre, said: “Despite the very many messages telling men and women with learning difficulties that it is a problem for them to be sexual at all – never mind gay, lesbian, or bisexual – people were forging their lives and identities and striving to lead full sexual and emotional lives.

“However, much work needs to be done to ensure that the human rights of people with learning difficulties who are gay, lesbian or bisexual are upheld and supported.”

Sue Peters, Regional Manager at Terrence Higgins Trust West, added: “This research has uncovered much of what was previously hidden in the lives and experiences of people with learning difficulties.

“I am sure there are more challenges ahead before this issue can be said to be properly tackled.”

Joanne Fryer | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bris.ac.uk/news/2005/677

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Programming cells with computer-like logic

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Identified the component that allows a lethal bacteria to spread resistance to antibiotics

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period

27.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>