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“Hip to be Crip?” About Crip Theory, Sexuality and People with Intellectual Disabilities


This article examines the value of using Crip Theory by investigating what is considered normal sex life for people with intellectual disabilities in Sweden. By combining Crip Theory with Gagnon and Simon’s sexual scripting theory, it concludes that Crip Theory can be of use for researchers and activists, and also suitable for educating staff members, in that it questions sexual norms that are most often taken for granted. However, due to the fact that research or activism inspired by Crip Theory seldom includes intellectual disabilities, its usefulness is limited, and more work is needed to solve problems surrounding agency, stigma and visibility.

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  1. For example, Swedish politician and former Deputy Prime Minister Mona Sahlin has made a statement about "more queer politics" [5].

  2. The term intellectual disability is recommended since 2007 by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare [8] instead of "mental retardation." It also discourages the term "handicap", and defines the concept of disability based on the importance of obstacles in interaction with the environment.


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Correspondence to Lotta Löfgren-Mårtenson.

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This article has been published in Swedish by Löfgren-Mårtenson [52].

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Löfgren-Mårtenson, L. “Hip to be Crip?” About Crip Theory, Sexuality and People with Intellectual Disabilities. Sex Disabil 31, 413–424 (2013).

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  • Crip theory
  • Script theory
  • Intellectual disability
  • Normalization process
  • Sexuality
  • Sweden