Quadriplegic Sex: Demystifying Misconceptions & Breaking Barriers

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Christian, Gerald
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Middle Tennessee State University
The purpose of this dissertation is to explore and better understand sex for people living with a cervical spinal cord injury for two years or more. Article one utilized in-depth qualitative semi-structured interviews consisting of 10 participants. Four major themes emerged: people with quadriplegia love to give pleasure, are sexual beings, yet are not often viewed as sexual beings by people without disabilities. The second article consisted of a 49 question survey to better understand PWQ’s sexual activities and identify biopsychosocial barriers. Findings revealed 53% identified genital function as a barrier to sex and some psychological barriers to sex. However, social barriers overwhelmingly stood out as the most common barrier among the sample, with 78% of participants experience the stereotype that they “cannot have sex.” This research aims to educate society to reduce the stigma surrounding sex, all for people with quadriplegia. Decreasing stigma through education should help to enhance the quality of life for people with quadriplegia. Both studies found that people with quadriplegia have sex but are doing so despite negative attitudes around sex and disability.
Psychosocial, Quadriplegic, Sex, Spinal cord injury, Stigma, Tetraplegic, Disability studies, Sexuality, Social sciences education