"I just want to get on with it"

Reframing sexuality and sexual health education for people with an intellectual disability.


Dr Patsie Frawley

Deakin University, Geelong, Australia

Course Director and Senior Lecturer in Postgraduate Disability and Inclusion Programme


Date

Thursday 23rd March

Time

 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Location

Jan Breward Room 

Dept of General Practice and Rural Health

1st Floor, 55 Hanover Street, Dunedin. 

 Dr Patsie Frawley

Presentation overview

Emerging adulthood raises similar challenges for young people with intellectual disability (ID) as it does for other young people, including developing a sexual identity and sexual expression, and the development of the knowledge and skills needed to make informed decisions about sexual health, relationships, safe sex and pregnancy. People with an intellectual disability also face additional challenges; lack of access to information, and restriction of opportunities to learn by parents, health providers and carers. Further challenges are associated with the social isolation many people with an intellectual disability live with that makes it difficult to form social and intimate relationships. The dominant response to sexuality and relationships for people with an intellectual disability is restrictive and protective. Where education is made available it is commonly rules based, didactic, over simplified, biological and provided on a ‘once off’ basis.

These issues will be discussed in this presentation with reference to recent research Patsie has undertaken with young people with an intellectual disability and with reference to the outcomes of a peer-led sexuality program, Sexual Lives and Respectful Relationships. Through this program, people with an intellectual disability have become the educators, taking hold of how information is provided, and the way people engage with ‘learning about’ sexuality and relationships. This rights-based approach uses real life stories of sexuality and relationships to engage people with an intellectual disability in an exploration of their sexuality. In partnership with community health professionals and sexual abuse counsellors, people with an intellectual disability deliver a program that transforms ideas about knowledge and expertise in the area of sexuality education for people with an intellectual disability.

Further Information about Patsie

Dr Patsie Frawley is Course Director and Senior Lecturer in the postgraduate Disability and Inclusion program at Deakin University, Geelong, Australia. Patsie’s research focuses on sexuality and relationships in the lives of people with an intellectual disability using inclusive research approaches. She developed and manages the Sexual Lives and Respectful Relationships program that has been running in Australia since 2009. This is a peer led, rights based sexuality program that engages with community sexual health and sexual abuse programs to provide people with an intellectual disability with the opportunity to transform the way they understand and engage with their sexuality and relationship rights and experiences. Patsie has led national research on responses to sexual abuse of people with an intellectual disability and access to domestic, family violence and sexual assault services for people with an intellectual disability. She has published on inclusive research methods with people with intellectual disability, sexuality and relationship and self-advocacy.