Peer counselling approaches in sexuality education for, by and with people with Learning Difficulties in Germany

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Sociology & Social Policy


My proposed research project will bring together three fields of research which are rarely explored in this way: People with learning difficulties, sexuality education and peer counselling. This will address the need for the provision of high quality and comprehensive sexuality education for, by, and with adult people with learning difficulties which is still not achieved (Gougeon, 2009; Frawley and Bigby, 2014). That is 'comprehensive sexuality education needs to be systematic, concrete, peer-taught and thus inclusive' (Gougeon, 2009, p. 283). One way to address this claim is the involvement of people with learning difficulties as peer counsellors in sexuality education. In Germany as well as in the UK, sexuality education for individuals with learning difficulties is accepted as part of the formal school curriculum. As the individual's sexuality constantly develops across the whole life span education and counselling is equally important throughout adulthood.

In this proposal the term peer counselling refers to the counselling by people with learning difficulties for people with learning difficulties. Although peer approaches in general are widely acknowledged as useful and necessary in both German- and English-speaking literature, there is little implementation in and research on sexuality education for, by and with people with learning difficulties. Since this field remains under-researched this research project aims to contribute its further development by investigating the experiences and perspectives of peer counsellors in sexuality education and attendees of these services in Germany.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000746/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2733029 Studentship ES/P000746/1 01/10/2022 30/09/2026 Johanna Knebel