New Study: Factors that Impact Support Workers’ Perceptions of Adults with Developmental Disabilities

sedi_26_4_oc.qxpA new study by Amanda Saxe and Tara Flanagan looked at the attitudes of support workers in terms sexuality and disability.  This study examined 25 university students who had experience as support workers in Canada (either as ABA therapists, Aids, teachers, or consultants).  They found that students with no religious affiliation and who were more advanced students had more liberal views.  When they said “more liberal” they meant more accepting of sex ed, masturbation, sexual feelings, relationships, intercourse, parenthood, and marriage and less accepting of serialization.  Support workers were not biased against homosexuality per se, but they did indicate that anal sex is the least acceptable form of sexual expression for adults with developmental disabilities.  In this study, training as a sexuality educator was not related to attitudes about sexuality and disability.

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