The Research Study on Sexuality of Women with Physical Disabilities in Vojvodina was conducted in 2013 in cooperation with organizations of persons with disabilities from Novi Sad, Sremska Mitrovica, Sombor, Subotica and Zrenjanin. It included 45 women with physical disabilities aged 18–65 from various settlements in Vojvodina.
The authors of the research study report were Veronika Mitro, Dajana Damjanović and Svjetlana Timotić. It also contains a review by the renowned Prof. Emeritus Svenka Savić, an expert in psycholinguistics, gender studies and issues concerning underprivileged groups, as well as an afterword from a sex-positive perspective written by Marijana Čanak, an expert in women’s sexuality.
The aim of the study was to describe and analyze experience and perceptions of women with physical disabilities from Vojvodina concerning sexuality, such as ways of obtaining information and gaining knowledge about sexuality. Furthermore, we wanted to explore more about physical changes they experienced during puberty their period, issues of intimate hygiene, going out, dating, first kiss and first sexual intercourse, as well as gynecological checkups and contraception, masturbation, partnership and marriage, bearing and bringing up children.
Women with physical disability often have a need for a walking aid and assistance of another person in various everyday activities. Besides, bodies of women with physical disabilities look different from the so-called physically sound persons. Architectural barriers, issues with accessing education, employment, independent housing and living all complicate their lives. These are all reasons why people often overlook that sexuality of women with physical disabilities is an equally important part of their identity, just like with any other person.
Shedding light on sexual development and sexual experience of women with physical disabilities is significant for development of their sexual, gender and overall identity, representing a base for a free access to information and services concerning sexual and reproductive health, which is a basic human right of every woman.
Implementation of the research and publication of its findings was supported by the Mama Cash Dutch women’s foundation.
Download the electronic version of the publication in PDF.