Chapter

Disability and Sexuality: Toward a Constructionist Focus on Access and the Inclusion of Disabled People in the Sexual Rights Movement

Russell P. Shuttleworth

in Sexual Inequalities and Social Justice

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780520246140
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939141 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520246140.003.0009
Disability and Sexuality: Toward a Constructionist Focus on Access and the Inclusion of Disabled People in the Sexual Rights Movement

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Disabled individuals suffer stigmatization and discrimination in various fields but nowhere more than within the contexts of dating and romance and in their attempts to negotiate sexual intimacy. However, a critical constructionist approach to studying the intersection of disability and sexuality is yet to materialize. This chapter seeks to delineate the ideal research focus in this field and appraise the difficulties faced by differently abled individuals vis-à-vis sexuality and their causes. Although all societies reckon on some physical, cognitive, and/or behavioral differences, disability as a cultural category with its particular constellation of tragic, medical, and economic meanings is considered unique to societies influenced by certain Western European value-orientations concerning the individual. Prevalent studies in this field still tends to be dominated by medical-model thinking which always vies the body in relation to functional norms and fixes disability in a particular bodily impairment and its functional limitations.

Keywords: stigmatization; constructionist approach; sexual intimacy; behavioral differences; cultural category; medical-model

Chapter.  14283 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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