Just like all human beings, people with a disability are sexual. Those with disabilities are, first and foremost, people: they have the same rights, feelings, sexual desires, needs and possibly family dreams as anybody else. A positive body image and healthy self-esteem helps in pursuing and celebrating a pleasurable and healthy sexual and family life. At the same time, it is necessary to know how to set boundaries and how to protect against sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy and in the worst case, sexual violence. In other words: all people – both male and female – with or without disabilities have the same needs in terms of access to and information about ‘sexual and reproductive health and rights’: SRHR, so that they can celebrate satisfying sex and having a family if, when, and with whom they want. However, the SRHR needs of people with disabilities often remain unmet. A profound worldwide misconception exists, that suggests people with disabilities are either asexual or hypersexual (without inhibitions)9 . In terms of love, relationships and having children, it is thought to be best if men and women with disabilities do not venture into these areas, for their own sake and that of society. With the imposition of such negative ideas, and telling them they are undesirable and not worthy of desires, it is likely that the self-esteem of people with disabilities is suppressed. As a result, they might not seek access to SRHR services of their own accord.

Author DCDD

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