Secret Loves, Hidden Lives? Exploring Issues for People
with Learning Disabilities who are Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual
David Abbott and Joyce Howarth, The Policy Press
ISBN 1861346905, £15.99
STAR RATING: 4/5
Secret Loves is a good piece of qualitative research highlighting
how services should address their working practice in sexuality and
relationships. It is challenging and insightful, writes
It clearly sets out the experiences, views and values of people
with learning difficulties, as well as of the staff working with
It explores the inherent heterosexual values within services; and
argues that this could be more damaging to people than those who
hold homophobic attitudes, which are not as common within services
as they are among society as a whole.
There is a good use of quotes embedded within the book that brings
out the issues facing people with learning difficulties. This
research and its findings are essential for organisations to look
at and proactively work with. In essence this means developing
sexuality policies and guidelines.
There is a call to provide training for all staff and the people
they support to tackle issues such as homophobia and heterosexism,
as well as what it actually means to support people in the
lifestyle of their choice.
Matt Dore works in Hampshire with people who have learning