The Routledge Handbook of Disability and Sexuality  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Disability and Sexuality

ISBN 9780367672812
Published August 1, 2022 by Routledge
528 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This handbook provides a much-needed holistic overview of disability and sexuality research and scholarship. With authors from a wide range of disciplines and representing a diversity of nationalities, it provides a multi-perspectival view that fully captures the diversity of issues and outlooks.

Organised into six parts, the contributors explore long-standing issues such as the psychological, interpersonal, social, political and cultural barriers to sexual access that disabled people face and their struggle for sexual rights and participation. The volume also engages issues that have been on the periphery of the discourse, such as sexual accommodations and support aimed at facilitating disabled people's sexual well-being; the socio-sexual tensions confronting disabled people with intersecting stigmatised identities such as LGBTBI or asexual; and the sexual concerns of disabled people in the Global South. It interrogates disability and sexuality from diverse perspectives, from more traditional psychological and sociological models, to various subversive and post-theoretical perspectives and queer theory. This handbook examines the cutting-edge, and sometimes ethically contentious, concerns that have been repressed in the field.

With current, international and comprehensive content, this book is essential reading for students, academics and researchers in the areas of disability, gender and sexuality, as well as applied disciplines such as healthcare practitioners, counsellors, psychology trainees and social workers.

Table of Contents


Contextualising Disability and Sexuality Studies
Russell Shuttleworth, Julia Bahner and Linda Mona

PART 1 Theoretical frames and intersections

1. Theorising disabled people’s sexual, intimate and erotic lives/current theories for disability and sexuality
Kirsty Liddiard

2. Theoretical developments: Queer theory meets crip theory
Alan Santinele Martino and Anna Fudge Schormans

3. Thinking differently about the sexual capacities of bodies with Deleuze and the case of infertility amongst men with Down syndrome
Michael Feely

4. A critical rethinking of sexuality and dementia: A prolegomenon to future work in critical dementia studies and critical disability studies
Alisa Grigorovich and Pia Kontos

5. Combating old ideas and building identity: Sexual identity development in people with disabilities
Emily Lund, Anjali J Forber Pratt and Erin Andrews

6. Sexuality and disability in Brazil: Contributions to the promotion of agency and social justice
Marivete Gesser

PART 2 Subjugated histories and negotiating traditional discourses

7. Sexuality, disability, and madness in California’s eugenics era
Jess Whatcott

8. Disability rights through reproductive justice: Eugenic legacies in the abortion wars
Michelle Jarman

9. Sexuality and the disregard of lived reality: The sexual abuse of children and young people with disabilities
Gwynnyth Llewellyn

10. Sexuality and physical disability: Perspectives and practice within Orthodox Judaism
Ethan Eisen

PART 3 Politics, policies and legal frames across the world

11. Sexual citizenship, Disability policy and facilitated sex in Sweden
Julia Bahner

12. Access to sexual and reproductive health for people with disabilities in Zimbabwe
Tafadzwa Rugoho and Frances Maphosa

13. "Tick the straight box": Lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender (LGBT+) people with intellectual disabilities in the UK
David Abbott

14. Sexuality and sexual rights of young adults with intellectual disability in Central Java, Indonesia
Diann Ramawati and Pam Block

15. Advance consent and network consent
Alex Boni-Saenz

PART 4 Representation, performance and media

16. Missing in action: Desire, dwarfism and getting it on/off/up…A critique and extension of disability aesthetics
Debra Keenahan

17. Sex, love and disability on screen
Courtney Andree

18. Dynamics of disability and sexuality: Some African literary representations
Omolola Ladele

19. Flaunting towards otherwise: Queercrip porn, access intimacy and leaving evidence
Loree Erickson

20. Desexualising disabled people in the news media
Gerard Goggin and Helen Meekosha

PART 5 Sexual narratives and (inter)personal perspectives

21. Understanding the lived experience of transgender youth with disabilities
Angela Ingram

22. Flowing desires underneath the chastity belt: Sexual re-exploration journeys of women with changed bodies
Inge Blockmans, Elisabeth De Schauwer, Geert Van Hove and Paul Enzlin

23. (Il)licit sex among PWDs in Trinidad & Tobago: Sexual negotiation or compromise
Sylette Henry-Buckmire

24. Reimaging sexuality in the disability discourse in South Asia
Anita Ghai

25. Disability and asexuality?
Karen Cuthbert

26. Through a personal lens: A participatory action research project challenging myths of physical disability and sexuality in South Africa
Poul Rohleder, Xanthe Hunt, Mussa Chiwaula, Leslie Schwartz, Stine Hellum Braathen and Mark T Carew

27. "That’s my story": Transforming sexuality education by, for and with people with intellectual disabilities
Amie O’ Shea and Patsie Frawley

PART 6 Accommodation, support and sexual well being

28. Sexual wellness for older persons with a disability: A life-course perspective
Maggie Syme, Stacy Reger, Christina Pierpaoli Parker and Sally J Hodges

29. Toward sexual autonomy and well-being for persons with upper limb mobility limitations: The role of masturbation and sex toys
Ernesto Morales, Geoffrey Edwards, Véronique Gauthier, Frédérique Courtois, Alicia Lamontagne and Antoine Guérette

30. Paid sexual services available for people with disability: Exploring the range of modalities offered throughout the world
Rachel Wotton

31. Promoting sexual well-being for women with disabilities through family-centred integrated behavioural healthcare
Colleen Clemency Cordes and Christine Borst

32. Occupational therapy’s engagement with empowering disability and sexuality
Kathryn Ellis & Dikaios Sakellarious

33. Disability and social work: Partnerships to promote sexual well-being
Sally Lee

34. Intersections of disability, sexuality, and spirituality within psychological treatment of people with disabilities
Sarah Brindle and Samantha Sharp



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Russell Shuttleworth is Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Deakin University, Australia. An anthropologist, social worker and disability support worker/personal assistant by training, his major research areas include the social and cultural construction of disability and impairment, disability and sexuality and disability and masculinities.

Linda Mona has worked as a clinical psychologist for the VA Long Beach Healthcare System in California, USA, for the past 19 years. As the clinical director of spinal cord injury/disorder psychology, she has prioritised disability affirmative psychological services and sexual health assessment and treatment for people with disabilities.


"The study of disability and sexuality is thriving and this handbook is one of the most important volumes to date for scholars, students, and activists interested in the field. Focusing on a diverse, interdisciplinary range of issues from impressively global perspectives, the volume is indispensable for thinking about sexuality and disability in theory, representation, and policy." Robert McRuer is Professor of English at George Washington University in Washington, DC, USA.

"It is a pleasure for me to offer my full endorsement of The Routledge Handbook of Disability and Sexuality by Russell Shuttleworth and Linda Mona. Although issues relating to sexuality and disability have been in the literature for many years, this collection provides an astonishing array of current cultural, disability affirmative perspectives on the topic. This is must reading for anyone interested in understanding the linkage between these concepts." Stanley Ducharme, Ph.D., Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine and Urology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA. USA.