Human Sexuality and Disability

Article Summary Chandler, B. J. , Brown, S. (1998). Sex and relationship dysfunction in neurological disability. Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 65, 877-880. doi: 10. 1136/jnnp. 6 5. 6. 877 Researchers Chandler and Brown (1988) conducted a study to see the relationship between neurologically disabled individuals and their experienced sexual relationship problems. Primarily focused on dyadic relationships, this research further sheds light on service providing for affected individuals.
A 6 months continuous study was conducted on 70 individuals who were either married, cohabiting or living alone at Hunters Moor Regional Rehabilitation Centre located in Newcastle upon Tyne. Multiple standardized tests to assess cognitive, sexual and psychiatric functioning including, sexual functioning, disability level and current relationship were used. The results showed a wide variety of diagnosis amongst individuals tested. Additionally indicated slightly more than half (51%) had experienced change in sexual functioning and almost a third (27%) of those were highly concerned about this change.
Gender was highly associated with concern about sexual functioning, as men were much more concerned. The correlation between sexual dysfunction and duration of illness strongly predicted relationship dissatisfaction. Researchers also suggested that concern is a desire to seek help and so more than one in four required help for sexual dysfunction. The outcome of this study implied sexual dysfunction can predict difficulties within a relationship and the dyadic relationship is an important aspect in managing disability.

Further suggesting services designed to address sexual health should also consider and integrate relationship issues when seeking solutions. Reflective Journal Introduction to topic: Human Sexuality and Disability Sexual health is an important aspect of all human beings. Dr. Mona (2011) noted disabled individuals may not fit into the typical category of what is sexually desirable in our society and can result in low sexual self esteem. Disability is a complex phenomenon, which has different aspects. Our group was curious and wanted to research on preconceived assumptions on Sexuality and Disability.
The research dealt with physical disability (Injuries affecting mobility, Individuals with Cancer resulting in physical limitations etc. ) its relationship with sexual pleasure, expression and services provided for concerned individuals. The Travelling Tickle Trunk Shop. Research and collecting Informaiton Located within Edmonton made it easy to conduct research on this agency. Additionally the range and quality of services was accessible and welcoming to disabled individuals. The Methodology involved, contacting the owner Brenda Kerber through e-mail and phone to set up an interview.
We personally contacted Brenda at the Tickle Trunk located on Whyte Avenue. During this period she willingly provided answers and useful information. More to this, we analyzed the store set up, services and policies to accommodate disabled customers. Perceptions and Personal Impact of this Research Brenda had stated the initial idea to set up this particular store being a customer request that she later researched into and established in 2008 (personal communication, Oct. 31, 2012), indicating a wide customer range.
I have learnt the variety of customers is not limited to race, culture, age, physical ability or gender. I would always assume customers of sex stores being sex addicts or having some physiological difficulties during sexual intercourse. My assumptions essentially root from my culture. Sex is a reserved topic until marriage and is therefore associated with procreation. I am aware of the pleasurable aspects of sex and this research has broadened my viewpoint. Another major assumption was with regards to disabled customers being asexual and/or loosing total sense of feel in sexual organs completely. Dr.
Tepper’s (2000) research helped publicize sexual oppression of disabled individuals and eliminated some of my assumptions enlightening me to the complex world of disability (acquired disability, mental illness, physical disability, prenatal disability etc). Disabled individuals at least here in North America are engaged in sexual activity and I would state are having better and creative sex. Major personal turning point of this research was knowing the multiple ways to enhance one’s sex life. Social impact and Applications of this research The Tickle Trunk, is a business that is very welcoming to all individuals.
This can help curious couples experiment, aid new migrants better immerse in the western culture of Sexuality and for disabled individuals (visually, hearing) private parties are conducted to help explore sexuality. Brenda has helped many physically disabled/impaired and individuals with cancer better embrace their sexual lives. On a large scale, Alberta being noted for its conservative views and reserved sexual attitude. The open minded and supportive approach of The Tickle Trunk can help educate and promote satisfying healthy sex to the general Edmonton society.
Personally aspiring to be in the Nursing field certain information might be applicable during patient treatment, diagnosis etc. Disability and motherhood, guidance for parenting and resources (O’toole, 2002) are other aspects of interest to me, from a career and female rights advocate perspective. Personal and Literature related experiences of the research Pleasure is an important affirmative of life regardless of physical disability. Another similarity was the variety of individuals. In the article age ranges from 16-64 were examined. Where as customers at the shop had much more variation.
Journals are scientific papers, a few controlled variables and numerical associations to sexual expression/satisfaction was noted. Whereas visiting the store gave a more personal and opinionated view of considering disability and sexuality. Overall, the different sources aided in reaching a balanced perspective. Reference List Chandler, B. J. , Brown, S. (1998). Sex and relationship dysfunction in neurological disability. Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 65, 877-880. doi: 10. 1136/jnnp. 6 5. 6. 877 Kerber, Brenda. (Owner, Educator–The Travelling Tickle Trunk), personal communication October 31, 2012.
O’toole, C. J. (2002). Sex Disability And Motherhood: Access To Sexuality For Disabled Mother Dsiability studies Quarterly 22(4), 81-101. Retrieved from http://dsq-sds. org/article/view/374/495 Paget, L. (2011, June 8). Dr. Linda Monda Sex and Disability. TogiEntertainment, Inc. Lindale Texas, USA: © 2012 Toginet Radio. Retrieved from http://podbay. fm/show/415882898/e/1309935600? autostart=1 Tepper, M. S. (2000). Sexuality and Disability: The Missing Discourse of Pleasure. HumanScience Press. 18(4), 283-290. Retrieved from http://wmst419. drkissling. com/winter2011/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Tepper2000. pdf

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