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Eternal Children?: Professionals' Constructions of Women with an Intellectual Disability Who are Victims of Sexual Crime
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2016 (English)In: Sexuality and disability, ISSN 0146-1044, E-ISSN 1573-6717, Vol. 34, no 3, 315-328 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this study intersecting meanings of age, intellectual disability, gender and sexuality, used by different professionals are explored. The main questions are: How do professionals working with individuals with ID use the concept of age? What purpose does the use of age have in their talks and reflections about persons with ID? What discourses can be identified? The analyses are based on five separate individual interviews and one group interview with professionals working in the police force, habilitation centers and special schools and who have experiences of meeting and working with individuals with ID around issues relating to sexual exposure, prostitution or similar areas, and in consequence of being a victim of crime. The results reveal that individuals with ID are constructed through the participants' comparisons between and use of both chronological and perceived age. Vulnerability is found to be a truth regime in the discourse of the participants, and that this regime supports both a protection discourse and victim discourse. In the criminal trials of non-disabled male offenders, notions of physical age are used to portray women with ID as ideal victims. Within the protection discourse, a change of behaviour among individuals with ID is promoted as a means of avoiding risk-taking behaviours. This includes strategies of fostering and education. The fostering strategy encompasses a shared understanding that as professionals they have the power to change behaviors. The education strategy encompasses the idea that persons with ID should be empowered and able to change their behavior by means of the knowledge and information provided by professionals. This study points towards power relations between groups with and without ID. It is concluded that further discussions as to how the UN declarations of Human Rights and Disability can be implemented among individuals with ID are needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 34, no 3, 315-328 p.
National Category
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-126510DOI: 10.1007/s11195-016-9441-0ISI: 000381995100007OAI: diva2:1040429
Available from: 2016-10-27 Created: 2016-10-10 Last updated: 2016-10-27Bibliographically approved

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Rosqvist, Hanna Bertilsdotter
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