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Impairment, socialization and embodiment: The sexual oppression of people with physical disabilities

Rohleder, Poul and Watermeyer, Brian and Braathen, Stine Hellum and Hunt, Xanthe and Swartz, Leslie (2019) 'Impairment, socialization and embodiment: The sexual oppression of people with physical disabilities.' Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, 24 (3). 260 - 281. ISSN 1088-0763

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People with disabilities face multiple forms of social exclusion, discrimination, and oppression, including in the domain of sex and sexuality. From a critical psychoanalytic viewpoint, social responses to persons with impairments are strongly unconsciously mediated, and often dominated by projections based on archaic anxieties about dependency, vulnerability, and shame. Where disability meets sexuality, these defenses may be more prominent still, resulting, for one example, in the prejudiced myth that people with disabilities are disinterested in, or not capable of, sex. Using this theoretical stance, this paper examines how the developmental role of family and societal influences on the social constructions of sexuality and disability are internalized, resisted, and negotiated by two South Africans with physical disabilities. Data are drawn from interview material elicited via photovoice methodology. The interview narratives and photographic images are used to explore how sexual oppression may be internalized, creating intra-psychic barriers to inclusion for this already structurally disadvantaged group.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: disability, internalized oppression, sexuality, embodiment, critical psychoanalysis
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2019 09:57
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2020 01:00

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