Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Kimberly Hardy


Involvement in romantic relationships is an important biological and social need for many human beings. This desire is just as strong in people who have developmental and intellectual disabilities. However, there is a strong social stigma attached to the sexuality of people who have disabilities. Unfortunately, if these negative perceptions continue to permeate among the general population, people with disabilities may begin to internalize the negative attitudes.

Building on previous findings, the current study will examine if college students have negative perceptions of the romantic relationships of people with disabilities, and, if so, what demographics variables moderate these perceptions. Data will be collected from undergraduate general psychology students using an online survey. Data will be collected and analyzed prior to presentation. I hypothesize that participants will generally have negative views on the romantic relationships and sexuality of people with disabilities. Also, I predict that older participants who have a higher class standing and/or no religious affiliation will have more positive attitudes towards the romantic relationships and sexuality of people with disabilities than other students. With a better understanding of the perceptions that exist and what demographic variables interact with these perceptions, work can be done to eliminate negative attitudes.