Sexuality and Disability: a Case of Occupational Injustice

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Sexuality is an integral part of human life; however, people with disabilities often report an unsatisfying sexual life. The aim of this study was both to explore the reasons for the reported unsatisfying life and to reframe it in terms of occupational injustice and denial of participation in meaningful occupation.

In-depth interviews were carried out with six men with a spinal cord injury. Thematic analysis was applied to the data and formed the basis for the textural description of the participants' experiences.

The study participants generally found that certain societal beliefs and attitudes had an impact on their participation in sexuality-related occupations. They were experiencing occupational injustice as a result of the restriction of engagement in meaningful occupation. Impairment per se was usually not perceived as a barrier to a fulfilling sexual life.

The study concluded that occupational therapists should embrace occupational justice as the main purpose of the profession and include issues of sexuality in their agenda.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at

    Submissions can be made at

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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