Disability, Intimacy, and Sexual Health: A Social Work Perspective
Sexuality is a key aspect of human development and identity, yet people with disabilities frequently encounter social and political barriers to achieving healthy, autonomous intimate relationships. Society tends to associate disability with asexuality and often labels sexual behaviors among people with disabilities as problematic or deviant. Faced with these assumptions and resultant policies, how can social workers meet the needs of this diverse population across the life course? In Disability, Intimacy, and Sexual Health: A Social Work Perspective, Linton, Adams Rueda, and Rankin Williams compile comprehensive research and candid interviews with social workers to explore the complicated intersection of disability and sexuality. The book begins by detailing historical violations of the sexual and reproductive rights of people with disabilities, including forced castration and sterilization. It then explores current issues of sexuality and disability throughout the life course, starting with childhood and adolescence. The authors examine the increased risk of abuse and victimization that people with disabilities face while in romantic or sexual relationships and provide practice recommendations to help combat factors that contribute to this vulnerability. Other milestones across the life course are also explored, such as pregnancy and parenting, marriage and cohabitation, and intimacy in older adulthood. Throughout the book, the authors examine the micro, meso, and macro systems that affect the lives and relationships of people with disabilities. This book touches on psychiatric, intellectual, developmental, learning, neurological, and physical disabilities and gives voice to both practitioners and their clients. Its an unflinching look at the pressing challenges professionals can face while serving people with disabilities, essential for students, academics, policymakers, and practitioners in a variety of settings who wish to advocate for the full sexual citizenship of people with disabilities.