Identifying the important factors associated with teaching sex education to people with intellectual disability: a cross-sectional survey among paid care staff

D. Schaafsma*, G. Kok, J.M.T. Stoffelen, P. van Doorn, L.M.G. Curfs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background Sex education programs have been developed with paid care staff as sex educators. However, no information is available about whether these programs are being delivered. Method The aim of this study was to investigate whether paid care staff working in an organisation specialised in the care of people with mild to moderate intellectual disability teach sex education or not. An online questionnaire was therefore constructed to assess the important factors associated with teaching sex education. Results Of the 163 staff members who completed the questionnaire, 39% provided sex education. Results show that it was mainly provided reactively. The main factor was the perceived social norm towards teaching sex education. Conclusions If we want paid care staff to teach sex education reactively, then we need to focus on changing the perceived social norm. However, if we want them to teach sex education proactively, a new needs assessment should be conducted in order to identify the important factors to motivate and enable them to provide sex education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-166
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2014


  • sex education
  • paid care staff
  • intellectual disability
  • needs assessment

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