Research Article  |   December 2015
Why Has So Little Progress Been Made in the Practice of Occupational Therapy in Relation to Sexuality?
Author Affiliations
  • Margaret Mc Grath, PhD, MSc, BSc. Cur. Occ. PgDip. (Academic Practice), is Assistant Professor, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, Dublin, Ireland; margaret.mcgrath@tcd.ie
  • Dikaios Sakellariou, PhD, MSc, BSc, is Lecturer, School of Healthcare Studies, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales
Article Information
Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Departments / The Issue Is …
Research Article   |   December 2015
Why Has So Little Progress Been Made in the Practice of Occupational Therapy in Relation to Sexuality?
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, December 2015, Vol. 70, 7001360010p1-7001360010p5. doi:10.5014/ajot.2016.017707
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, December 2015, Vol. 70, 7001360010p1-7001360010p5. doi:10.5014/ajot.2016.017707
Abstract

Despite recognition of the rights of disabled people to sexuality, occupational therapists continue to not address sexuality in practice. This failure can be understood as a consequence of social discourses relating to sexuality and disability and a professional discourse that values certain occupations over others. Given the importance of sexuality to the human experience and the evidence of the link between the opportunity for sexual expression and well-being, occupational therapists need to change their practice in relation to sexuality and disability. One method of achieving this change may be to adopt a rights-based approach to sexuality and disability. This article presents the possibilities offered by such an approach, discusses implications for occupational therapy practitioners, and proposes suggestions for future actions to ensure that the rights of disabled people to sexuality are embedded in occupational therapy practice.