Sexuality and Disability

, Volume 6, Issue 3–4, pp 197–212 | Cite as

Attributions about sexuality and romantic involvement of physically disabled college students: An empirical study

  • Kristen Robillard
  • Catherine S. Fichten


Attributions of able-bodied college students concerning sexuality and romantic involvement of physically disabled and able-bodied college students were compared in this study. Ninety-nine able-bodied college students provided information on their previous contacts with disabled people, rated their degree of comfort with both physically disabled and able-bodied peers, and predicted the responses of physically disabled (wheelchair user) and able-bodied male and female college students on a variety of measures. These dealt with: social anxiety, gender role stereotyping, romantic relationships, sexual attitudes and sexual interest and behavior. Results indicate that physically disabled students were perceived as more socially anxious, less gender role stereotyped and less likely to be dating. Males, unlike females, attributed greater interest in sexual activities to disabled than to able-bodied students. Results also indicate that comfort with disabled students was significantly lower than with able-bodied students. Previous close contact with physically disabled people was only marginally related to comfort with wheelchair user students and was unrelated to attributions concerning their sexuality and romantic involvements. The implications of the findings for future research and for the integration of physically disabled students into college life are discussed.


Gender Role Social Anxiety Romantic Relationship Sexual Attitude Disable People 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristen Robillard
  • Catherine S. Fichten
    • 1
  1. 1.Dawson CollegeMontrealCanada

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