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  4. The history of sexuality of people with learning difficulties: exploring the current views and experiences of women with learning difficulties

The history of sexuality of people with learning difficulties: exploring the current views and experiences of women with learning difficulties

Chido Ndadzungira

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  • Many women with learning difficulties want to be in relationships.
  • Some want to get married or have a baby.
  • Their dreams are not coming true due to negative attitudes.
  • In the past women were not given the opportunity to form relationships.
  • They were forced to live separate from men in institutions.
  • To stop them from having sex.
  • Many women had their womb removed without knowing or agreeing to that.
  • Many women with learning difficulties are on contraception.
  • They were not given a choice around the use of contraception.
  •  Very little information is given out on the use of contraception.
  • Decisions around the use of contraception are made on their behalf.

Experiences of women with learning difficulties have changed compared to the time of institutionalisation. More still needs to be done. 16 women with learning difficulties shared their experiences of sexual relationships in interviews.

Speaker biography

[[[image-0 right]]]Chido Ndadzungira I am a final year full-time PhD student in the Health and Social Care faculty. My research is qualitative. I am interested in finding out the views and experiences of women with learning difficulties on sexual relationships. During my fieldwork I worked as a volunteer with a Dating Agency for people with learning difficulties. I have over 10 years’ experience of working with adults with learning difficulties in different settings.

Contact us

About the Group

If you woud like to get in touch with the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group, please contact:

Liz Tilley 
Chair of the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group
School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
MK7 6AA

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