Understanding sexuality of persons with disability in residential facilities in Gauteng, South Africa : perceptions of service providers and people with disabilities.
Muswera, Tapiwa Antoinette.
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This study explored the realities of people with disabilities living in institutions in Gauteng, South Africa. The study focused on perspectives of service providers and people with disabilities. There is limited research on sexuality and disability from a South African perspective, which this study aimed to redress. The goal of the study was to explore sexuality as a form of pleasure and expression of love, for people with disabilities via qualitative research. Anti-Oppressive theory was the framework used to provide a broader understanding of sexuality and disability. The target sample was from residential facilities in Gauteng. In-depth interviews were used for people with disabilities and focus groups with service providers. This study found that the sexuality of people with disabilities was not prioritised with results uncovering: lack of privacy, lack of training and provision of sexual health education programs, denial of intimate relationships, negative self-esteem, unpleasant sexual experiences (abuse). Other concerns were, the nonexistence of sexuality policies, infantilisation of adults with disabilities, and negative attitudes towards the sexuality of people with disabilities. The recommendations were mainly: disability sensitisation and awareness campaigns at structural and residential care level.