2005 “Secret Loves, Hidden Lives? Exploring issues for men and women with learning difficulties who are lesbian, gay or bisexual”
Researchers at the Norah Fry Research Centre, University of Bristol working in partnership with Terrence Higgins Trust and REGARD found significant barriers were put in the way of people with learning difficulties exercising their human rights to consenting same sex relationships.
They found that the mental, emotional and sexual health of people with learning difficulties who are lesbian, gay and bisexual is being jeopardised by the failure of many services to meet their duty of care in this area.
Despite these barriers the desire to meet and get to know other people was one of the strongest messages from the research. Most people wanted to fall in love and have more gay and lesbian friends. Despite the very many messages telling men and women with learning difficulties that it is a problem for them to be sexual at all – never mind gay, lesbian, or bisexual – people were forging their identities and striving to lead full sexual and emotional lives. Nonetheless much work needs to be done to ensure that the human rights of people with learning difficulties who are gay, lesbian or bisexual are upheld and supported.
Report summary here.
Further online resources here.