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Impairment, socialization and embodiment: The sexual oppression of people with physical disabilities

Impairment, socialization and embodiment: The sexual oppression of people with physical disabilities

Category
Journal publication
Abstract
People with disabilities face multiple forms of social exclusion, discrimination, and oppression, including in the domain of sex and sexuality. From a critical psychoanalytic viewpoint, social responses to persons with impairments are strongly unconsciously mediated, and often dominated by projections based on archaic anxieties about dependency, vulnerability, and shame. Where disability meets sexuality, these defenses may be more prominent still, resulting, for one example, in the prejudiced myth that people with disabilities are disinterested in, or not capable of, sex. Using this theoretical stance, this paper examines how the developmental role of family and societal influences on the social constructions of sexuality and disability are internalized, resisted, and negotiated by two South Africans with physical disabilities. Data are drawn from interview material elicited via photovoice methodology. The interview narratives and photographic images are used to explore how sexual oppression may be internalized, creating intra-psychic barriers to inclusion for this already structurally disadvantaged group.
Language
English
Author(s)
Affiliation
  • University of Essex
  • University of Cape Town
  • SINTEF Digital / Health Research
  • University of Stellenbosch
Year
2019
Published in
Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society
ISSN
1088-0763
Volume
24
Issue
3
Page(s)
260 - 281