Sexuality and parenting of persons with mobility impairments. The results of the second part of the study have been published

The Avalon Foundation presented the second part of the research report entitled “Sexuality and Parenting of Persons with Mobility Disabilities”. The study was conducted as part of the Sexon Project by SW RESEARCH with people with motor disabilities, their parents, partners, and medical professionals.

The aim of the study was to analyze the immediate environment of the OzN in terms of access to widely understood knowledge about sexuality, including the availability of intimate health services. The content of the report is available at the link.

Disability in men has a greater impact on the sexual sphere

For men, disability is more than for women a factor in the sexual sphere (women – 23%, men – 35%) and the sphere of relationships (women – 15%, men – 22%). Men also feel more dependent than women on equipment that supports their daily functioning, for example a wheelchair (women – 30%, men – 41%). In terms of limitations in satisfying sexual needs, these apply to a slightly greater extent for men (19% of women and 33% of men definitely feel them).

Research has shown us that accepting gender in the face of disability is much more difficult for men. They have trouble controlling the emotions that arise in connection with the condition — says Shanita Krysiak, director of the Sexon Project for the Avalon Foundation. Men are also more likely than women to fear that their sexual partner will not achieve sexual satisfaction in their relationship. This shows us that sex education or access to sexual rehabilitation is very important in the context of the needs and difficulties faced by persons with disabilities in the area of ​​sexuality – she adds.

Acceptance of paternity and helplessness

For most parents of children with disabilities, as well as for men, the disability usually causes frustration and strong negative feelings, which they cannot always cope with. In the case of parents, the issue of lack or limitation of physical fitness has also been raised in the context of perceiving a child’s disability as the inability to handle activities requiring strength and fitness.

On the other hand, women with disabilities feel the positive influence of upbringing and relationships with their parents more strongly in the process of accepting the disability and the physical changes associated with it. There is no doubt that mothers of persons with disabilities see their condition and the emotional state of their children more. They understand how important it is to find good sides in life situations, to enjoy every day spent with a child, and to see the progress in his development.

What is the importance of personal assistance?

A personal assistant is a social worker who supports a sick or disabled person in everyday life. Among respondents, only 12 percent. Uses the services of such a person.

Expectations for personal assistants vary, and certainly this service should be available to a much greater extent than it is now and on a more flexible basis. Women see the assistant as an “invisible helper”, men are more inclined to treat such a person as a friend.

Helpers are seen as people who can not only support the independent life of a person with a physical disability, but also have a positive effect on relationships in a relationship. Thanks to their presence, partners will not have to play the role of a caregiver and will also be able to remain professionally active, and a person with a disability will be more independent.

– According to respondents in our questionnaire, the main factor in accepting a disability is the way it is spoken. The language of the disability debate should become more neutral. One of the contributing factors to this could be the regular appearance of persons with disabilities in public and social settings and in the media. Shanita Krysiak says this has a major impact on the social narrative around disability and its normalization.

Other Activities of the Sexon . Project

The conclusions drawn from the research show that persons with disabilities are a highly discriminated group in Poland, and in this context it is important to work for equal treatment and respect for their rights.

The Avalon Foundation’s Sexon project faces these challenges and constantly implements new initiatives, such as, for example, the periodic film meetings at the Polin Museum of Polish Jews “MOVIE-MY NA GŁOS”, during which, in addition to the screening of the film, discussions are organized on the topic Disability, gender and human rights.

In October of this year, the fourth edition of the Sexon Conference will be held. The theme of considerations for this year will be the body and the body in an interdisciplinary perspective. All project activities aim to change the social perception of sexuality and parenthood of persons with mobility disabilities.

The entire report is posted on the link.

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