Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Anderson, P. and Kitchin, R.
Social Science and Medicine
Disability, space and sexuality: Access to family planning services.
Optional Fields
In this paper we examine, from a social perspective, access to family planning clinics for disabled people. We argue that disabled people are commonly understood to be either asexual, uninterested in sex or unable to take part in sexual activity, or sexual ‘monsters’ unable to control their sexual drives and feelings. These understandings are reproduced through the use of cultural representations and myths, and are evidenced in the planning and design of family planning clinics and the information and services they provide. To illustrate our arguments we present the findings of a short questionnaire survey of all family planning clinics in Northern Ireland. Physical access to these clinics was partial, and access to information and services were extremely limited. These results indicate that disabled people are not expected to be using the services (consultation, treatment, information) that family planning clinics provide. As such, family planning clinics in Northern Ireland represent a landscape of exclusion, denying disabled people access to services and reproducing cultural ideologies concerning disability and sexuality.
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