Article

Sexuality and Disability

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 219-242

Dating Issues for Women with Physical Disabilities

  • Diana H. RintalaAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine
  • , Carol A. HowlandAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine
  • , Margaret A. NosekAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine
  • , Jama L. BennettAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine
  • , Mary Ellen YoungAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine
  • , Catherine C. FoleyAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine
  • , C. Donald RossiAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine
  • , Gail ChanpongAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine

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Abstract

A study of dating issues for 250 single women with physical disabilities and 180 single women without disabilities was undertaken to determine (a) differences between women with and without disabilities and (b) predictors of dating outcomes for women with disabilities. A survey was sent to a national sample of women with disabilities along with a similar survey to give to a female friend without a disability. Dating outcomes included (a) satisfaction with dating frequency, (b) perceived constraints on attracting partners, (c) perceived personal barriers to dating, (d) perceived societal barriers to dating, and (e) perceived communication problems. Women with disabilities were disadvantaged on all but (e). Between 21% and 47% of the variance in the outcomes was accounted for in multiple regression analyses. Potential interventions suggested by the findings are discussed.

female disability dating relationships barriers