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"Best for everyone concerned" or "only as a last resort"? Views of Australian doctors about sterilisation of men and women with intellectual disability

L. Gilmore, L. Malcolm,

Academic Literature

2014

Background: Doctors have the potential to influence opportunities for normative life experiences in the area of sexuality for individuals with intellectual disability (ID). Method: In Study One, 106 doctors completed the Attitudes to Sexuality Questionnaire (Individuals with an Intellectual Disability). In Study Two, 97 doctors completed a modified form of the questionnaire that included additional questions designed to assess their views about sterilisation. Results: Attitudes were less positive about parenting than about other aspects of sexuality, and less sexual freedom was seen as desirable for adults with ID. A surprising number of doctors agreed that sterilisation was a desirable practice. Study Two provided data about the conditions under which sterilisation was endorsed. Most doctors reported they had not been approached to perform sterilisations. Only 12% believed medical practitioners receive sufficient training in the area of disability and sexuality. Conclusions: The findings have implications for training and professional development for doctors. © 2014 © 2014 Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability, Inc.

Publication information

Journal/Publication : Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability

Domain/s: Education

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