Sexuality and Disability

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 131–148 | Cite as

Physical Disability and Sexual Esteem

  • George Taleporos
  • Marita P. McCabeEmail author


The current study investigated the impact of physical disability on sexual feelings, sexual experiences, and sexual esteem. Thirty-five respondents (18 males and 17 females), with physical disabilities between 19 to 60 years (SD = 10, mean = 38) participated in focus groups where they discussed how their physical disability impacted on their sexuality. They also responded to a series of questions that were designed to examine disability-specific issues in sexual esteem using a four-point Likert-type scale. The data demonstrated that the participants struggled with many social and sexual barriers that were associated with having a physical impairment. This appeared to lead to increased feelings of negativity in many participants, including a belief that they were less sexually desirable than an able-bodied person and that having a disability seriously limited their sexual expression. The implications of these findings for practitioners and suggestions for future research are discussed.

physical disability sexual esteem social barriers 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyDeakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia

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