Di Giulio, Gina
March 2003
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality;2003, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p53
Academic Journal
People with disabilities often face obstacles to maximizing their potential as fully sexual human beings. People with disabilities may internalize negative societal assumptions and attitudes regarding the sexuality of people with disabilities. This paper examines key issues related to sexuality within the disabled population. It begins with an examination of how the traditional model of sexual response (i.e. Masters & Johnson) often does not apply well to people with physical disabilities. Societal, parental, and staff attitudes towards the sexuality of people with developmental disabilities are critically examined. Sexuality related obstacles and systemic barriers to sexual health faced by people with physical and developmental disabilities are reviewed (increased HIV/AIDS risk, vulnerability to sexual exploitation and abuse, reduced access to sexuality education for disabled youth, reduced access to privacy, sexuality related information and health care, and sexual partners). Recommendations for providing sexuality education and sex therapy to the disabled are provided.


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