The Shaping of Sexuality in Children with Disabilities: A Q Methodological Study

Mckenzie J.A. ; Swartz L. (2011)

Article in Press

This paper recognizes that sexuality is shaped during childhood and that prevailing views on disability and the proper conduct of sexual relations within society are critical in forming the sexuality of people with disabilities. This paper reports on a research project carried out in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa that examines the viewpoints of two communities on disability in childhood and its implications for sexuality of people with disabilities. A Q methodological study was undertaken in two study areas and 6 factors from these studies are interpreted and related to the literature. The findings reveal that there is an emerging discourse of resilience and engagement in positive relationships. However, the high levels of stigma and negative attitudes toward people with disabilities limit the development of healthy sexuality. The implications of these findings for sexuality education are highlighted with an emphasis on balancing the need for protection with that of participation. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

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