The myth of asexuality? Disability stigma as a barrier to sexual relationships in South Africa Literature review



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The myth of asexuality? Disability stigma as a barrier to sexual relationships in South Africa

Literature review
This literature review was conducted as part of the applied research “The myth of asexuality? Disability stigma as a barrier to sexual relationships in South Africa” lead by the University of East London, in partnership with the Southern African Federation of the Disabled, SINTEF Technology and Society and Stellenbosch University.

logo double crlogo double firahlogo university east londonsouthern africa federation of the disabledsintefstellenbosch university

The Psychology and Social Change Research Group of the University of East London aims to be a leading national and international research hub for psychological research with an emphasis and commitment to social change. This is a broad overarching theme for the Group, and involves diverse and varied activity across theoretical and methodological arenas, and driven by a number of different topic areas. To this end the group takes a leading role in developing research in the areas of ‘politics, community and society’, ‘health and technologies’, and with a continual focus on issues of ‘social equality and justice, security and human rights’.university east london

SAFOD is a leading disability-focused network engaged in coordination of activities of organisations of Persons with Disabilities in the Southern Africa region. The organisation was formed in 1986 by disabled people for disabled people as a federation of Disability Peoples Organisations (DPOs) working in ten (10) countries. In each of these countries, our focus is mainly to strengthen the capacity of our national affiliates so that they are able to effectively advocate for the rights of the persons with the disabilities in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).southern africa federation of the disabled
sintef


SINTEF is the largest independent research organisation in Scandinavia. Over the last 60 years, SINTEF has created value and innovation through knowledge generation and development of technological solutions that are brought into practical use. Today, SINTEF is a broadly based, multidisciplinary research institute with international top-level expertise in technology, medicine and the social sciences.


Stellenbosch University (SU) has set itself the vision to be established as a leading research-intensive university on the African continent by pursuing excellence and remaining at the forefront of its chosen focal areas, by gaining national and international standing on the basis of its research outputs, by being relevant to the needs of the community, and by being enterprising, innovative and self-renewing.stellenbosch university

logo double firah

The mission of the FIRAH (Foundation of Applied Research on Disability) follows two main directions, which are complementary and merge:



  • The call for projects: selection and funding of applied disability research projects

  • The coordination of the Resource Center. Internationally concerned, the Resource Center Applied Research and Disability aims at creating connections and bonds between researchers and field stakeholders1. It develops and disseminates research in order to promote an inclusive social transformation and to facilitate the full involvement of persons with disabilities.

centre ressources recherche appliquée et handicap


http://www.firah.org/centre-ressources/

Acknowledgment
The present document was conducted as part of the applied research “The myth of asexuality? Disability stigma as a barrier to sexual relationships in South Africa” led by the University of East London, in partnership with the Southern African Federation of the Disabled, SINTEF Technology and Society and Stellenbosch University. It was funded by FIRAH’s (International Foundation of Applied Research on Disabilities) call for projects in 2014. The review was conducted by:


  • Mark Carew, School of Psychology, University of East London (UK),

  • Poul Rohleder, School of Psychology, University of East London (UK),

  • Mussa Chiwaula, Director General of the Southern African Federation of the Disabled (Botswana),

  • Stine Hellum Braathen, Department of Health Research, SINTEF Technology and Society (Norway),

  • Xanthe Hunt, Department of Psychology, Stellenbosch University (South Africa), and

  • Leslie Swartz, Department of Psychology, Stellenbosch University (South Africa).

The goal of this literature review is to report on existing knowledge about applied research on the theme of the myth of asexuality in South Africa. It resulted in the selection of relevant research papers which were each categorised using a set of predetermined criteria. Of these research papers 12 were selected as being particularly relevant or interesting because of their potential for being applied with practical effect, especially with persons with disabilities and their own organisations


What FIRAH means by the very general terms of applied research is:

  • First, it is proper research based on precision and methodologies which allow the implementation of a scientific approach involving teams of one or more researchers or academics whose research is one of the statutory missions.




  • Applied research differs from basic research. Its ultimate purpose is to increase independence and social participation of people with disabilities. It is not only aimed at producing theoretical knowledge but also tackling practical issues related to the needs and concerns of people with disabilities and their families. The collaboration between these people, professionals and researchers is a fundamental element to the achievement of this type of research.




  • This type of research is designed to produce directly applicable results. In addition to usual publishing (scientific articles, research reports) applied research is also designed to produce other publications called “means of application2” which can take various forms: development of good practices, methodological guides, training tools, and are destined to different field stakeholders (people with disabilities, professionals, policies makers).

This work does not intent to be comprehensive but to identify the results and knowledge generated by research that could be useful for field stakeholders in order to improve the quality of life and social participation for people with disabilities.


Each title in the annotated bibliography contains a link with free or paying access to the work in question.
Each reading note contains a link to the relevant research documentary note on the Resource Centre website.
This document can be freely disseminated provided the source, author and relevant organisations are acknowledged.
NB: For the purpose of accessibility, the text is not justified


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