Seeking safer sexual spaces: queer and trans young people labeled with intellectual disabilities and the paradoxical risks of restriction.
Young lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people labeled with intellectual disabilities have unique sexual health needs that are not being met. Denial by others of their right to pleasure and the exercise of heightened external control over their sexuality are commonplace. Current research indicates that these youth are at heightened risk for compromised sexual health. This study aimed to explore the ways in which social and environmental conditions influence vulnerability to adverse sexual health outcomes for this population. We used a community-based research approach to conduct qualitative interviews and focus groups with 10 young LGBT people (aged 17-26) labeled with intellectual disabilities. Participants reported multiple limitations on their autonomy that resulted in having sex in places where they did not feel comfortable and were unlikely to practice safer sex. Attempts by authority figures to protect youth through limits on their autonomy may be unintentionally leading to negative sexual health outcomes.
McClelland, A; Flicker, S; Nepveux, D; Nixon, S; Vo, T; Wilson, C; Marshall, Z; Travers, R; Proudfoot, D
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