attitudes towards sexuality: a pilot study in Ireland
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attitudes towards sexuality: a pilot study in Ireland

Elaine Drummond Branch Leader, Intellectual Disability Nursing, Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork, Ireland

Elaine Drummond describes a study designed to ascertain what a group of caregivers and parents thought about issues relating to sexuality – an issue that continues to cause widespread controversy

‘Sexuality’, when viewed in its broadest context, it is not just about sex in the physical sense, but is also concerned with trust, love, respect, relationships and friendships (National Association for the Mentally Handicapped of Ireland (NAMH) 2003). A more holistic definition offered by Llewelyn-Jones (1986, cited in Greig 2001) sees sexuality as ‘the sum of persons’ inherited make-up, knowledge, experience, attitudes and behaviour as he or she relates to being a man or woman. It includes those ways of behaving which enrich the personality and enhance the relationship between people. It involves the “how you feel” towards another person and expression of that feeling as well as feelings about oneself – positive or negative.’

Learning Disability Practice. 9, 4,28-34. doi: 10.7748/ldp2006.

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