Sexual Well-Being and Physical Disability
Journal: The British Journal of Social Work
Volume: Advanced Access
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy E - Oxford Open Option D
The meaning of sexual well-being for physically disabled people is a little researched area of social work practice. The traditionally hidden nature of sexuality and sexual well-being in disability research means that practitioners have little evidence based guidance to help offer inclusive person-centred care. Because sexual well-being is a sensitive topic, and one which professionals can feel uncomfortable discussing, the absence of guidance reinforces the barriers to its inclusion in practice. So, although sexual well-being is potentially one of the most meaningful aspects of human life, it has rarely been addressed in health and social care practice (Taylor, 2011). As a result disabled people can experience discrimination regarding their sexual well-being, with the notion of asexuality or deviance remaining prevalent in their personal accounts. Sexuality and sexual relationships are often the source of disabled people's deepest oppression and therefore should be the focus for disability action (Shakespeare, 2000).
This paper will explore the importance of sexual well-being to personal identity, self-esteem and mental and physical well-being. This is particularly relevant to the context of social work with adults in England which is underpinned by the Care Act (2014) with its focus on promoting well-being. Issues for practitioners and future research will be identified.
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Journal: BRITISH JOURNAL OF SOCIAL WORK