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Validation of a Tool to Assess Attitudes Towards Sexuality of Individuals with Intellectual Disability (ASEXID): A Preliminary Study

Abstract

The high prevalence of people with Intellectual Disability (ID) fosters the recognition of their health, work, and social needs. However, few studies have focused on the assessment of their affective and sexual needs (a basic personal need and universal right). Even though the current literature suggests changes in social attitudes toward this population, it is unclear whether these changes have actually occurred and their impact on the development of healthy and non-stigmatized sexuality. This question is particularly relevant due to the lack of a sound measure to assess this shift in the social consideration of the sexuality of people with ID. Thus, this preliminary study focuses on the design and validation of a reliable measure to assess attitudes toward the sexuality of people with Intellectual Disability. This study comprises 1103 participants (43.3% men; 56.7% women) between 20 and 92 years old, classified into three groups: parents or relatives of people with ID, professionals working with ID individuals, and the general population. Results from Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) yielded three factors explaining 49.19% of the scale variance: Normalizing Attitudes (NOR-A), Negative Attitudes (NEG-A), and Paternalistic Attitudes (PAT-A). This three-factor structure was subsequently confirmed through Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA). Regarding internal consistency, Cronbach’s alpha values ranged between 0.66 and 0.86. In conclusion, this research demonstrates that the ASEXID is useful and reliable for the assessment of relatives’, professionals’, and societal attitudes toward the sexuality of people with ID, contributing to the assessment of a potential paradigm shift in attitudes toward the affective sexual education of people with this condition.

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Gil-Llario, M.D., Fernández-García, O., Castro-Calvo, J. et al. Validation of a Tool to Assess Attitudes Towards Sexuality of Individuals with Intellectual Disability (ASEXID): A Preliminary Study. Sex Disabil 39, 147–165 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11195-020-09650-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11195-020-09650-3

Keywords

  • Attitudes
  • Sexuality
  • Intellectual disability
  • Validation
  • Spain