This study investigated the association between the severity and duration of physical disability and sexual esteem, sexual depression, sexual satisfaction, and the frequency of sexual behavior. A total of 1,196 participants completed the study. There were 748 participants (367 males, 381 females) who had a physical disability and 448 participants (171 males, 277 females) who were able-bodied. The age range of participants was 18–69 years, with a mean age of 36.39 years (SD = 10.41). The results demonstrated that people with more severe physical impairments experienced significantly lower levels of sexual esteem and sexual satisfaction and significantly higher levels of sexual depression than people who had mild impairments or who did not report having a physical impairment. The study also found that people with more severe physical disabilities engaged in mutual sexual activity significantly less frequently. Women with physical disabilities had significantly more positive feelings about their sexuality and significantly more frequent mutual sexual experiences than their male counterparts. For people with physical disabilities, the frequency of oral sex and nude cuddling were significant predictors of sexual satisfaction in men, while the frequency of deep kissing predicted sexual satisfaction in women. Furthermore, the viewing of erotica was significantly related to sexual dissatisfaction in men. Finally, it was found that people who had experienced their physical impairment for a longer period of time reported significantly more positive feelings about their sexuality. Implications of these findings are discussed and suggestions are made for future research.
Field of Research
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology