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Sessualità alterabili. Indagine sulle influenze socioambientali nello sviluppo della sessualità di persone con disabilità in Italia

Authors:
  • University of Perugia. Italy

Abstract

Con ‘Sessualità alterabili’ vogliamo esprimere la complessità di un fenomeno psicosociale che riguarda il rapporto tra sessualità e disabilità. ‘Sessualità alterabili’, si riferisce innanzitutto allo sviluppo dell’identità sessuale e dell’immagine del proprio corpo, come corpo sessuato di un soggetto con disabilità, che è in larga parte alterato, compromesso e frustrato da stereotipi sociali riconducibili a miti discriminanti comunemente diffusi nelle più diverse culture mondiali. ‘Sessualità alterabili’, però, intende anche sottolineare come la sessualità di una persona con disabilità debba essere riletta all’interno di quelle specifiche e differenti esperienze di cui gli individui con disabilità sono gli unici testimoni. Nella misura in cui la persona con disabilità manifesta abilità fisiche, psichiche, spirituali, artistiche e culturali specifiche, altre da quelle di una cultura occidentale, bianca, patriarcale, medio-boghese, la diversità di prospettiva che nasce dal corpo e dalla mente di un disabile è un’altra, differente (e nella sua differenza, criticamente dialettica) visione del mondo e, di conseguenza, della normalità di un corpo e dei suoi bisogni e funzioni. Infine, ‘Sessualità alterabili’ significa che la sessualità di un disabile, attraverso il suo modo di sentire e vivere i bisogni del suo corpo come sessuato, amabile e amante, altera gli stereotipi della normalità, del concetto di ‘natura’, di ‘fisiologico’, di ‘sessuologico’, affermando la differente bellezza naturale, esperienziale e sessuale di una normalità della devianza, di un’ontologica contro-naturalità dell’esserci. Il libro raccoglie i dati di una rilevazione effettuata in diversi centri italiani, che accolgono persone con disabilità, sulle modalità di riconoscimento, accoglienza ed educazione della sessualità, vale a dire, sulle influenze socioambientali nello sviluppo della sessualità di persone disabili in Italia. Lo studio porta ad un livello critico ciò che è facilmente riscontrabile nell’ambito della disabilità, ovverosia, come nei centri d’accoglienza delle persone disabili e, spesso, nelle stesse famiglie di figli con disabilità, il problema dell’educazione sessuale rimanga, per così dire, latente, sommerso, non rientrando, di conseguenza, nelle finalità esplicite del progetto educativo dei medesimi.
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... Males reported a higher level of arousal (1.47) than females (1.40). The items belonging to the first quintile were 3,9,17,19,25,32,33,34,35,36,37,40,42,45,48,52,53,54,55, and 56, with Item 45 ("I am not penetrating my partner") obtaining the lowest mean score (.40). ...
... These data suggest that adults with disabilities pay attention to, and consider relevant, the topic of sexuality. This is by no means taken for granted if we consider that, while adequate operational strategies to educate people with physical or mental disabilities to sexuality and affectivity have been discussed and studied for some time now, their existential condition still suffers from heavy taboos and concrete limitations in this fundamental area of the expression of their humanity [34][35][36][37]. Indeed, sexuality represents an essential component of one's human identity, in emotional, physical, and psychological, as well as in ethical and spiritual terms. ...
... Imperfection is ugly, not worthy of giving and receiving love, not even thinking about it. When people with a disability have to face the emergence of sexuality, at times resounding and powerful, another stereotype of an opposite sign also comes under stress, which would presume in a person with disability a condition of perpetual infantilization, without eros and without drives [37,40]. ...
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From March 11 to April 26, 2020, the Italian government imposed a nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, a quarantine that resulted in significant restrictions on the movement and social contacts of the population, with a view to limiting the pandemic outbreak. The quarantine forced people to experience distorted social distance in two contrasting ways. For some people, it resulted in social distancing and isolation, for example by separating noncohabiting couples into different dwellings. For others, however, quarantine increased and imposed social closeness, forcing couples and families into constant, daily, and prolonged cohabitation. The aim of this study was to investigate the sexual health and behaviors of Italian adults during the lockdown period using a multimethod research. An open- and a closed-ended e-questionnaire were administered immediately after the end of the lockdown. A total of 465 Italian adults completed the digital questionnaire (female = 78.7%). Participants recognized their lived sexual experience with generally positive characteristics (related to openness, unproblematic relationship with the body, and awareness and self-reflection about one’s sexuality), while negative thoughts such as worry and pain were quite scarce. Participants with a disability (5.6%) showed a marked inversion compared to the mean of respondents, recognizing themselves mainly in negative thoughts related to low self-esteem, inadequacy, and feelings of suffering, yet reporting a higher than mean level of arousal. In the qualitative analysis, the Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency (TF-IDF) index was computed to measure the salience of the word used by participants to respond to the open-ended five questions. It revealed a generally depressed emotional experience associated with the experience of lockdown, both in terms of desire, which seemed to be shifted more to the level of imagination and fantasies, and the actual possibility of experiencing sexual activity as usual. Nevertheless, the participants emphasized an opening to new possibilities in terms of expressing sexuality, accompanied by a rediscovery of the value of tenderness and affectivity as well as a clearer awareness of their sexual life, needs, and desires.
... These data suggest that adults with disabilities pay attention 565 to, and consider relevant, the topic of sexuality. This is by no means taken for granted if we 566 consider that, while adequate operational strategies to educate people with physical or mental 567 disabilities to sexuality and affectivity have been discussed and studied for some time now, their 568 existential condition still suffers from heavy taboos and concrete limitations in this fundamental 569 area of the expression of their humanity [34][35][36][37]. Indeed, sexuality represents an essential 570 component of one's human identity, in emotional, physical, and psychological, as well as in 571 ethical and spiritual terms. ...
... Imperfection is ugly, not worthy of giving and receiving love, not 597 even thinking about it. When people with a disability have to face the emergence of sexuality, at 598 times resounding and powerful, another stereotype of an opposite sign also comes under stress, 599 which would presume in a person with disability a condition of perpetual infantilization, without 600 eros and without drives [37,40]. 601 ...
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From March 11 to April 26, 2020, the Italian government imposed a nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, a quarantine that resulted in significant restrictions on the movement and social contacts of the population, with a view to limiting the pandemic outbreak. The quarantine forced people to experience distorted social distance in two contrasting ways. For some people, it resulted in social distancing and isolation, for example by separating noncohabiting couples into different dwellings. For others, however, quarantine increased and imposed social closeness, forcing couples and families into constant, daily, and prolonged cohabitation. The aim of this study was to investigate the sexual health and behaviors of Italian adults during the lockdown period using a multimethod research. An open- and a closed-ended e-questionnaire were administered immediately after the end of the lockdown. A total of 465 Italian adults completed the digital questionnaire (female = 78.7%). Participants recognized their lived sexual experience with generally positive characteristics (related to openness, unproblematic relationship with the body, and awareness and self-reflection about one’s sexuality), while negative thoughts such as worry and pain were quite scarce. Participants with a disability (5.6%) showed a marked inversion compared to the mean of respondents, recognizing themselves mainly in negative thoughts related to low self-esteem, inadequacy, and feelings of suffering, yet reporting a higher than mean level of arousal. In the qualitative analysis, the TF-IDF index was measured to extract the salient words employed by respondents to answer the five open-ended questions; this revealed a generally depressed emotional experience associated with the experience of lockdown, both in terms of desire, which seemed to be shifted more to the level of imagination and fantasies, and the actual possibility of experiencing sexual activity as usual. Nevertheless, the participants emphasized an opening to new possibilities in terms of expressing sexuality, accompanied by a rediscovery of the value of tenderness and affectivity as well as a clearer awareness of their sexual life, needs, and desires.
... The Italian psychologist Federici [28] introduces, with respect to this issue, an interesting expression: ''sessualità alter-abile''. The meaning of the adjective ''alter-abile'' (''alter-able'') is etymologically ''able to be different'' from the Latin ''alter'' which is ''other'' and ''abile'' which is ''able''. ...
... In other words, to be able to fully recognize his/her own sexuality a person has to develop an individuation process becoming conscious of his/her own sexual identity and personality [28]. This is a process concerning everyone, but is of vital importance for those people whose body, being affected by a handicap or by any kind of disability, is often looked at with a sort of uneasiness, and whose sexuality is considered, many times, as ''obscene'' (from the Latin ''obscenum'' meaning ''out of the scene'', ineffable, unspeakable). ...
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This article aims at analyzing the issue of in individuals with disability (subjects with physical and/or mental disabilities) and the new professional figure of the sexual assistant, already accepted and adopted in some parts of Europe. The sexual assistant as a professional figure has been raising many moral and practical dilemmas and additionally is a controversial figure. A service, which can offer to these particular subjects, the possibility to explore their sexuality raises many questions concerning the social, legal and moral issues, which may or may not legitimize the adoption of this practice. Moreover it can be difficult to disentangle all the complexities and issues that may be created by this professional figure. Beyond the problems that such an approach undoubtedly raises, it is a fact that the sexuality of people with disabilities is often neglected or denied. This new professional figure has the merit to underline and highlight the problem.
... i rapporti sociali sono compresi, costruiti, dati; dove non solo ciascuno ritrova la propria identità, ma ne genera altre in quel sistema complesso di attributi che ci definisce: «È la società a stabilire quali strumenti debbano essere usati per dividere le persone in categorie e quale complesso di attributi debbano essere considerati ordinari e naturali nel definire l'appartenenza a una di quelle categorie» (Goffman, 1983, p. 2). Modelli che costituiscono quell'orizzonte comunicativo in cui un bimbo è generato e riconosciuto nella relazione intersoggettiva ed interlocutiva madre-figlio (Olivetti Belardinelli e Federici, 2004); che ne influenzano lo sviluppo (Bancroft e Carr, 1995 ), l'adattamento, la socializzazione e l'identità sessuale (Federici, 2002;; Olivetti Belardinelli, Lo Priore, Brunetti e Federici, 2002; ); che orientano le politiche dell'integrazione scolastica e della partecipazione sociale (Federici, Olivetti Belardinelli, e Micangeli, 2003; Asprey e Nash, 2006); che, quando si fondano su visioni etiche e teologiche patriarcali, favoriscono l'esclusione (Clapton, 1997), supportando politiche oppressive (Rose, 1997); che, sorti alla luce delle filosofie Zoroastriana, Giansenista e Taoista, ci conducono oltre una visione eurocentrica (Miles, 2000 ), aprendoci ad un impegnativo confronto multiculturale (Gilson e BePoy, 2000). Modelli, allora, che costituiscono quell'orizzonte categoriale entro cui i rapporti sociali si illuminano e appaiono in un complesso di rapporti comunicativi . ...
... i rapporti sociali sono compresi, costruiti, dati; dove non solo ciascuno ritrova la propria identità, ma ne genera altre in quel sistema complesso di attributi che ci definisce: «È la società a stabilire quali strumenti debbano essere usati per dividere le persone in categorie e quale complesso di attributi debbano essere considerati ordinari e naturali nel definire l'appartenenza a una di quelle categorie» (Goffman, 1983, p. 2). Modelli che costituiscono quell'orizzonte comunicativo in cui un bimbo è generato e riconosciuto nella relazione intersoggettiva ed interlocutiva madre-figlio (Olivetti Belardinelli e Federici, 2004); che ne influenzano lo sviluppo (Bancroft e Carr, 1995 ), l'adattamento, la socializzazione e l'identità sessuale (Federici, 2002;; Olivetti Belardinelli, Lo Priore, Brunetti e Federici, 2002; ); che orientano le politiche dell'integrazione scolastica e della partecipazione sociale (Federici, Olivetti Belardinelli, e Micangeli, 2003; Asprey e Nash, 2006); che, quando si fondano su visioni etiche e teologiche patriarcali, favoriscono l'esclusione (Clapton, 1997), supportando politiche oppressive (Rose, 1997); che, sorti alla luce delle filosofie Zoroastriana, Giansenista e Taoista, ci conducono oltre una visione eurocentrica (Miles, 2000 ), aprendoci ad un impegnativo confronto multiculturale (Gilson e BePoy, 2000). Modelli, allora, che costituiscono quell'orizzonte categoriale entro cui i rapporti sociali si illuminano e appaiono in un complesso di rapporti comunicativi . ...
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Introduction. Identifying proper disability models that inform social and educational relationships of pupils with disabilities is an important step forward in the analysis of those “communicative stimuli” that affect the development of young people with disabilities (Federici, 2003), even beyond parental relationships. Moreover, a survey aimed to know the points of view of parents, teachers and educators might offer precious and rare information on the dissemination of principles stated in the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF; WHO, 2002) as well as on the biopsychosocial model for different categories of people living in the same educational environment, but coming from different cultural and social backgrounds. Objectives. To explore any possible representation of disability which would orient opinions, attitudes, and behaviours in 83 individuals (teachers in regular schools and special teachers, parents of children with or without disabilities, social and medical staff, professional educators) in order to investigate the relationship between disability, adaptation, socialization and development as well as to contribute to the dissemination of the biopsychosocial model introduced by the ICF. Method. The experimental objective has been checked through qualitative analyses, by means of the Atlas.ti software, for text coding and interpreting on 16 focus group, a tool purposefully chosen to detect all those aspects connected with the primary objective, which, by means of quantitative analyses, uses the chi-square distributions. Results. The social model of disability is a very well known model to all professional groups, except for specialized teachers. Nevertheless, only parents of children with disabilities and regular-class teachers seem to strongly be willing to adhere to such a model. Whereas specialized teachers, social and medical staff and professional educators claim for a “transition model” which oscillates between the social and the biopsychosocial models, parents of children with no disabilities start from a different perspective oscillating between medical and social models. Conclusions. Results from the qualitative analysis, using both manual and computerized (Atlas.ti software) procedures, show varying perspectives on disabilities, other than medical, social and biopsychosocial models. The poor dissemination of the biopsychosocial model among parents highlights the lack of a vision which is “open” to personal development, social growth, improvement of the standards in the quality of life. This suggests a priority: the need for extending training and educational occasions also to parents, in order to promote a more effective management of personal and environmental resources to face disabilities of their children, in the aim of developing and actually promoting a new “culture of diversities”.
... Le difficoltà di un adolescente con disabilità intellettiva si riscontrano sia nella sua capacità di dare significati alla pulsione libidica sia nelle modalità di esprimerla. Ovviamente, il giovane con disabilità intellettiva, indipendentemente dal proprio deficit, riceve la stessa spinta adolescenziale dei suoi coetanei, sviluppando tutta quella serie d'impulsi erotico-affettivi, che possono arrivare a un buon livello di consapevolezza, se solo venisse aiutato a riconoscerli (Federici, 2002). Di conseguenza, gli adolescenti e i giovani adulti con tali disturbi presentano un livello di rischio maggiore correlato a problemi di salute sessuale e di esperienze sessuali negative, compresi comportamenti sessuali problematici, sfruttamento e abuso, nonché diminuzione della soddisfazione personale e del benessere psicosessuale (Chan & John, 2012;Thompson et al., 2014). ...
... Le difficoltà di un adolescente con disabilità intellettiva si riscontrano sia nella sua capacità di dare significati alla pulsione libidica sia nelle modalità di esprimerla. Ovviamente, il giovane con disabilità intellettiva, indipendentemente dal proprio deficit, riceve la stessa spinta adolescenziale dei suoi coetanei, sviluppando tutta quella serie d'impulsi erotico-affettivi, che possono arrivare a un buon livello di consapevolezza, se solo venisse aiutato a riconoscerli (Federici, 2002). Di conseguenza, gli adolescenti e i giovani adulti con tali disturbi presentano un livello di rischio maggiore correlato a problemi di salute sessuale e di esperienze sessuali negative, compresi comportamenti sessuali problematici, sfruttamento e abuso, nonché diminuzione della soddisfazione personale e del benessere psicosessuale (Chan & John, 2012;Thompson et al., 2014). ...
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Questa rassegna prende in esame gli articoli scientifici di riviste psicologiche, dal 2000 al 2019, che propongono programmi di prevenzione della violenza sessuale per giovani con disabilità intellettiva. L'analisi della letteratura è stata condotta attraverso l'utilizzo del prismaStatement (Moher et al., 2015) e descrive sei articoli che presentano l'efficacia d'interventi che hanno un effetto sul miglioramento delle capacità decisionali, sulla promozione e l'insegnamento di abilità sociali, sull'acquisizione di conoscenza in materia di educazione sessuale da parte dei partecipanti e sull'insegnamento di comportamenti di fuga dalle situazioni di rischio.
... In the two samples studied, the Catholic affiliation was lower than the national average-74.4% according to Ipsos Public Affairs [87]. Dealing with a sexually explicit topic seems to attract more people who do not have a religious affiliation or an orthodox view (e.g., lesbian couples in civil unions) because religions have specific sex teachings that can condemn masturbation or sexual relations outside of a heterosexual marriage [1,19,45,52,[88][89][90]. ...
... In the two samples studied, the Catholic affiliation was lower than the national average-74.4% according to Ipsos Public Affairs [84]. Dealing with a sexually explicit topic seems to attract more people who do not have a religious affiliation or an orthodox view (e.g., lesbian couples in civil unions) because religions have specific sex teachings that can condemn masturbation or sexual relations outside of a heterosexual marriage [1,19,45,49,[85][86][87]. ...
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People with paraplegia have to fight their own and societal attitudes and stereotypes that reduce sexuality to the physiological functions of genitalia. These psychological and social limitations arise from cultural and disability models that focus sexual pleasure on phallocentric primacy, and sexual attractiveness of perfect bodies. In this chapter, we evaluate the impacts of a psychoeducational intervention in a personal growth group on the sexual life of two groups of people with spinal cord injury (SCI) and their partners, throughout their sexual interest and satisfaction , depression, and anxiety. In the first study, nonparametric statistical tests were used to compare pre-and post-outcome measures for all participants. In the second study, the grounded theory was used to explore dialogs and activities that were audiotaped during the group meetings. The participants in both groups were patients and their partners. The psychoeducational intervention was clearly effective in increasing sexual interest and satisfaction as well as the motivation and ability to enjoy sexuality. Anxiety was minimized for all participants, although it may not have been associated with the psychoeducational intervention. In addition, the intervention significantly improved the partner and patient group's opportunity and ability to enjoy sexuality.
... In the sample examined, Catholic affiliation is lower than the national average-74.4% according to Ipsos Public Affairs (2017). Addressing a sexually explicit issue seems to attract more people without religious affiliation or with an unorthodox view (e.g., lesbian couple with civil union), because religions have specific teachings about sex that can condemn masturbation or sexual relationships outside of a heterosexual marriage (Shakespeare et al., 1996;Wendell, 1996;Federici, 2002;Abbott and Howarth, 2005;Graham, 2005;Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine, 2011;Zilbergeld, 2013). ...
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