Secret Loves, Hidden Lives?: Exploring Issues for People with Learning Difficulties who are Gay, Lesbian Or Bisexual

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Policy Press, Jan 1, 2005 - Psychology - 59 pages
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Policy makers and practitioners have frequently overlooked the importance of relationships for people with learning difficulties, and same-sex relationships have been given even less consideration. Secret loves, hidden lives? draws on first-hand accounts to explore the lives of gay, lesbian and bisexual people with learning difficulties. The views and experiences of staff in a range of learning disability services are also featured in the study.
Based on a three-year, qualitative research project carried out across the UK, the report describes people's experiences of 'coming out', relationships, discrimination and abuse. It also looks at responses from staff and services, meeting other lesbian, gay and bisexual people, and dreams for the future. Staff also reflect on these issues and discuss the importance of policy, training and creating services that promote cultures of equality.
Secret loves, hidden lives? is aimed primarily at people who plan and deliver services for people with learning difficulties and the staff who work directly with them. Growing awareness of the relevance of Human Rights legislation for people with learning difficulties makes this study particularly important and timely. The findings will also be of interest to researchers and academics with a background in disability, sexuality and equality/diversity issues.

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Background to the research
Being gay lesbian or bisexual and having a learning difficulty
belonging love sex and dreams

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About the author (2005)

David Abbott, Norah Fry Research Centre, University of Bristol and Joyce Howarth, Norah Fry Research Centre, University of Bristol

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