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Home > Arhiva > 2022 > Numar: 1 > Disabled People's Sexuality

 Disabled People's Sexuality

  • Mara Chivari (West University of Timisoara, Faculty of Sociology and Psychology, No. 4th V. Pârvan Boulevard, Timişoara, România,
  • Eva Rus (West University of Timisoara, Faculty of Sociology and Psychology, No. 4th V. Pârvan Boulevard, Timişoara, România,

Many misconceptions related to disability and sexuality still exist today, despite the efforts to normalize the topic and the fact that the World Health Organization recognizes sexual rights as human rights. The role of education of parents and professionals who work in this area, mainly social workers and psychologists, is crucial to make a change in the way this subject is approached. The paper begins with a few personal narratives, continues with the presentation of a brief survey regarding students’ in social sciences attitudes towards the sexual rights of disabled people and then analyzes five key points: consent, normalization of sexual behavior, caretaker perception about sexual behavior and sexual education. We suggest that more care should be taken to tend to disabled people’s sexual needs and to educate them about the risks of engaging in sexual activity and in order for this to happen the level of education in this area of field professionals should be improved. We also suggest some ways in which this can take place. Social care workers’ and psychologists’ interventions need to be extended to include creating a safe space for discussing disabled sex, increasing health awareness, sexual functionality and body image appreciation for disabled people. We recommend attending trainings on how to address sexuality in communicating with disabled people and their family. Resources for self-study are also indicated. Offering support to couples raising a disabled child is also necessary given the high pressure it puts on them. Disabled sexuality requires a multidisciplinary approach.

Keywords: disability, sexuality, human rights, education, abuse