Heather A. Fritz, Heather Dillaway, Cathy L. Lysack; “Don’t Think Paralysis Takes Away Your Womanhood”: Sexual Intimacy After Spinal Cord Injury. Am J Occup Ther 2015;69(2):6902260030p1-6902260030p10. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2015.015040.
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© 2018 American Occupational Therapy Association
Sexuality and intimacy are important components of health and well-being. Issues surrounding sexuality and intimacy are equally important for men and women living with physical disabilities, including spinal cord injury (SCI). Yet, women’s sexuality after SCI remains largely unexamined. This article presents the findings from an in-depth qualitative investigation of the sexual and reproductive health experiences of 20 women with SCI in or around Detroit, MI. Findings echo existing literature documenting the sexual consequences of life after SCI and suggest new areas of inquiry important for better addressing sexual concerns across the lifespan. Specifically, findings suggest a need to consider the variable effects of SCI on sexual intimacy in relation to a person’s developmental trajectory, the appropriate timing of sexual education, the need to expand conceptualizations of sexual intimacy, and the ways SCI may affect sexuality in later life.
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