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The sexual and reproductive rights and benefit derived from sexual and reproductive health services of people with physical disabilities in South Africa: beliefs of non-disabled people

Hunt, X; Carew, MT; Braathen, SH; Swartz, L; Chiwaula, M; Rohleder, P; (2017) The sexual and reproductive rights and benefit derived from sexual and reproductive health services of people with physical disabilities in South Africa: beliefs of non-disabled people. Reproductive Health Matters , 25 (50) pp. 66-79. 10.1080/09688080.2017.1332949. Green open access

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Abstract

There is a body of theoretical work, and some empirical research, which suggests that non-disabled people assume people with physical disabilities are not suitable romantic partners, do not have sexual drives or desires, or are not sexually active. It has also been proposed that people with physical disabilities face barriers to sexual healthcare access which are structural as well as social. The present paper explores non-disabled South Africans’ beliefs concerning the degree to which non-disabled respondents enjoy sexual and reproductive rights, and benefit from sexual and reproductive healthcare, compared to people without disability. Using a survey, we asked 1989 South Africans to estimate the degree to which people with physical disabilities and people without disability have sexual rights, and benefit from sexual and reproductive healthcare services, respectively. Respondents were more likely to support the idea that the population without disability were deserving of sexual rights compared to people with physical disabilities. Respondents were more likely to rate the degree to which people with physical disability benefit from sexual and reproductive healthcare as less than that for people without physical disabilities. These findings provide some of the first empirical support that non-disabled people perceive people with physical disabilities as having fewer sexual and reproductive rights, and deriving less benefit from sexual and reproductive health services, than the population without disability. To have diminished sexual rights, and benefit less from sexual and reproductive healthcare, we suggest, evinces a negation of the sexual and reproductive needs and capacity of people with physical disabilities.

Type: Article
Title: The sexual and reproductive rights and benefit derived from sexual and reproductive health services of people with physical disabilities in South Africa: beliefs of non-disabled people
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/09688080.2017.1332949
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09688080.2017.1332949
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons. org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Public, Environmental & Occupational Health, persons with physical disabilities, sexuality, sexual and reproductive health rights, sexual rights, reproductive healthcare, access, disability studies, South Africa, Pinal-Cord-Injury, Disabled Women, Social-Context, Attitudes, Representations, Adolescents, Experiences, Motherhood, Asexuality, Education
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1570747
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