Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32727
An Interview and PhotoVoice Exploration of Sexual Education Provision to Women with Physical Disability and Potential Experiences of Violence

Authors: D. Beckwith


This research explored sexual identity for women with physical disability, both congenital and acquired. It also explored whether exposure to violence or negative risk-taking had played a role in their intimate relationships. This phenomenological research used semi-structured interviews and photo elicitation with the researcher’s insider knowledge adding experiential substance and understanding to the discussion. Findings confirm sexuality for women with physical disability is marginalised and de-gendered making it less of a priority for professionals and policy makers and emphasising the need to more effectively support women with disability in relation to their sexuality, sexual expression and violence.

Keywords: Lived-experience, PhotoVoice, sexuality, violence.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 671


[1] M. J. Deegan and N. A. Brooks. Women and disability: the double handicap, New Brunswick, N.J., U.S.A. Routledge. 2018.
[2] H. Zitzelsberger. (In) visibility: accounts of embodiment of women with physical disabilities and differences. Disability & Society 20.4: 389-403. 2005
[3] D. Beckwith. #F@!* Off!!! (Unpublished book chapter). Ontario, Canada: Inanna Publications. Submitted for publication.
[4] T. Shakespeare, K. Gillespie-Sells and D. Davies. The sexual politics of disability: untold desires, London: Cassell. 1996
[5] V. K. Kanuha. ‘”Being” native versus “going native”: Conducting social work research as an insider’, National Social Work, Vol. 45, No. 5, 2000.
[6] J. L. Charlton. Nothing about us without us: disability oppression and empowerment, Berkeley (Calif.): University of California Press, 2000, p. 3..
[7] C. C. Wang, S. M. Samuels, P. M. Hutchison, L. Bell, and R. M. Pestronk. Flint Photovoice: Community Building among Youths, Adults, and Policymakers. American Journal of Public Health. Vol. 94, pp. 911-913. 2004.
[8] F. K. Campbell. Contours of ableism: The production of disability and abledness, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 2009.
[9] L. East and J. Orchard. Somebody Else’s Job: Experiences of Sex Education among Health Professionals, Parents and Adolescents with Physical Disabilities in Southwestern Ontario. Sexuality and Disability, 32(3), pp.335–350. 2014.
[10] J. Swain, S. French, C. Barnes and C. Thomas. Disabling barriers - enabling environments. London. SAGE. 2014.
[11] B. Hattjar. Sexuality and occupational therapy: strategies for persons with disabilities, Bethesda, Md.: AOTA Press, American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. ch. 1. 2012.
[12] T. Dune. Sexuality and Physical Disability: Exploring the Barriers and Solutions in Healthcare. Sexuality and Disability, 30(2), pp.247–255. 2012.
[13] R. Shuttleworth and T. Sanders. Sex & disability: politics, identity and access. Leeds: The Disability Press. 2010.
[14] A. Parsons, L. Reichl and A. Pedersen. Gendered Ableism: Media Representations and Gender Role Beliefs’ Effect on Perceptions of Disability and Sexuality. Sexuality and Disability, vol. 35, no. 2, pp.207–225. 2017
[15] D. Reynolds. Disability and BDSM: Bob Flanagan and the case for sexual rights. Sexuality Research & Social Policy. 4.1: 40. 2007
[16] S. Dutta. "Discrimination generated by the intersection of gender and disability." Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences Vol. 14 (2015): pp. 33-36.
[17] T. Shakespeare. The Sexual Politics of Disabled Masculinity. Sexuality and Disability, 17(1), pp.53–64. 1999.
[18] M. Deal. Disabled people's attitudes toward other impairment groups: a hierarchy of impairments. Disability & Society, 18(7), pp.897–910. 2003.
[19] C. Malacrida. Performing motherhood in a disablist world: dilemmas of motherhood, femininity and disability, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 99-117. 2009
[20] L. Grue, L & K. T. Lærum. ‘Doing Motherhood': some experiences of mothers with physical disabilities, Disability & Society, vol. 17, no. 6, pp. 671-83. 2002.
[21] A. Lappeteläinen, E. Sevón and T. Vehkakoski. Forbidden option or planned decision? Physically disabled women’s narratives on the choice of motherhood, Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 140-50. 2017.
[22] P. Hill Collins and S. Bilge. Intersectionality. John Wiley & Sons, 2016.
[23] Y. Murphy, V. Hunt, A. M. Zajicek, A. N. Norris and L. Hamilton. Incorporating intersectionality in social work practice, research, policy, and education. NASW Press. 2009.