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Sexuality and Disability

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 129–141 | Cite as

Sexuality and Disability in the Lives of Women with Intellectual Disabilities

  • Donna J. BernertEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

This ethnography explored how sexuality was experienced among 14 adult women with intellectual disabilities. Data were gathered through interviews and observations specifically to learn how the women talked about their sexuality, and how sexuality functioned in their lives. Results discussed in this article indicate that most of the women functioned within disability centered environments without having a disability identity; most women expressed an adult identity that resulted in their expectations of sexual autonomy; and most women experienced sexuality limitations because of protective policies and programs. Discussion includes implications for sexuality supports for women with intellectual disabilities.

Keywords

Women Intellectual disability Sexuality Self-determinism Ethnography 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was funded in part by the Social Science Research Council with funding provided by the Ford Foundation. The author would like to thank Dr. Roberta Ogletree and Dr. Michaela Winchatz for their contributions.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Health Education and Promotion, School of Health SciencesKent State UniversityKentUSA

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