Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Sexuality and Disability

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Disability Studies

DESCRIPTION The study-unit aims to give students a general grounding in the context of disability and sexuality. Socio-cultural influences and attitudes towards the sexuality of persons with disability will be out at the fore. Policies, conventions and legislations related to the sexuality of persons with disability will be explored to substantiate the topic.

The transition from childhood to adulthood and the related implications of friendships and relationships in the life of persons with disability will be discussed in relations to parental involvement and available support services. Students will be encouraged to investigate the opportunities persons with disability have for formal and non-formal sex education.

Students will be exposed to areas of intersectionality between sexuality and disability, gender identity, sexual orientation and mental health issues amongst others. While the connection between disability, vulnerability and sexual abuse will be highlighted.

Study-unit Aims:

The study-unit aims at bringing a theoretical as well as a practical understanding of the realities surrounding disability and sexuality. By exploring foreign and local scenarios, the study-unit aims at delivering a holistic picture of sexuality and disability. A chronological approach looking at persons with disability from puberty to adulthood will further round up the aspects of sexual exploration and expression encountered by persons with disability in the life course.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- define and conceptualise sexuality in the context of disability;
- understand which characteristics are related to the sexuality of persons with disability;
- identify the main challenges encountered by persons with disability in relation to sexuality and understanding their origin.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- have an improved understanding of the socio-cultural impact on the sexuality of persons with disability;
- show and awareness of the examples of good practise that can be put in place to support persons with disability who want to explore and express their sexuality.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main texts

- Azzopardi‐Lane, C., & Callus, A. M. (2015). Constructing sexual identities: people with intellectual disability talking about sexuality. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 43(1), 32-37.
- Löfgren-Mårtenson, L. (2004). “May I?” About sexuality and love in the new generation with intellectual disabilities. Sexuality and Disability, 22(3), 197-207.
- Waxman, B., & Finger, A. (1989). The politics of sex and disability. Disability studies quarterly, 9(3), 1-5.

Supplementary texts

- Johnson, K., Hillier, L., Harrison, L., & Frawley, P. (2001). Living Safer Sexual Lives.
- Yoshida, K. K., Li, A., & Odette, F. (1999). Cross-cultural views of disability and sexuality: Experiences of a group of ethno-racial women with physical disabilities. Sexuality and Disability, 17(4), 321-337.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Project SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Claire Lucille Azzopardi Lane

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.