quinta-feira, 28 de janeiro de 2010

Sexuality of Persons with Disabilities

For Leandra Migotto Certeza*
Sexuality is part of the life of any human being is a person with a disability or not. She goes beyond sex, it's just your biological component. "It's much more than simply having a body developed or developing, able to breed and have sexual desires," said the counselor sexual Helena Brandão Gherpelli the book "Different, but Unequal" (Editora Gente) (1).
According to the doctor in clinical psychology and a master's in social psychology, Ana Rita de Paula sexuality is associated with the development of affectivity, ability to get in touch with yourself and with others, key elements to building self-esteem. To also co-author of "Sexuality and Disability: Breaking the Silence" (Expression & Art Publishing House), our culture tends to reduce sexuality to genital and reproductive function, without taking into account the importance of feelings and emotions arising from educational process and life of the individual.
And each one can live very well - and fully - his sexuality, according to what your circumstances allow it (2). Rita (who has a physical disability) states in his book, the beauty is, indeed, a biological condition (not aesthetic). "It is beautiful that is symmetrical, and the laws of nature, the symmetrical is more likely to be healthy, so is more able to propagate their genes. Physical appearance is the main item in the attraction in the initial phase of inter-personal relations, while the intelligence and personality have a secondary importance in this mechanism "(3).
Calamus Marcela Vaz Silva, 42, teacher and mother of two boys, do not think sexuality is a matter to be resolved through pre-established models in the media. At six, he became paraplegic due to an infection in the bone marrow. "Since the world began, the 'beautiful' always attracts more, but that does not mean it's time to relate to someone, that 'beautiful' is chosen. There are other important factors, which are not necessarily related to aesthetics. If it were not so, there would be many people pretty lonely. And it has been increasingly common to find these days. " Psychologist Phulmann Fabiano (4), Marcela disagrees, and warns that in our society, physical beauty and perfection are still highly valued, and heavily publicized by the media, causing us to mistakenly assign or restrict sexuality to the physical aspect.
For a member of the Brazilian Society of Human Sexology, "before all this is not surprising that people with disabilities generally may be considered 'sick' and asexual. And that people who have disabilities may feel discomfort in the presence of someone who has a disability. According to Fabiano, who is tetraparetic (person with partial paralysis of the legs and arms), the deficiency may raise mixed feelings of attraction and repulsion, directly related to the fear that people without disabilities have to acquire a disability (5).
The big problem is that the biologist and expert on human sexuality, Cecilia Arletty Pinel point is that, unfortunately, people with disabilities still are idealized as fragile beings, who have multiple disabilities, poor people who must hide anything that might hurt. A team from the Institute for Studies and Research, Amamkay, responsible for the research: People with disabilities and HIV / AIDS: interfaces and perspectives: an exploratory study "points out the myths of fragility and invisibility that society has in relation to sexuality people with disabilities.
One of the main results published by the institute in 2009, was still very rooted, both between families and between professionals and educators, the myth that the sexuality of disabled people is by nature intrinsically problematic and even pathological. Hardly imagine that this person might not even feel desire or that is capable of loving and sexual relationship, get married and form their family "(6).
Love Stories
According to social worker, Nina Governing and a doctorate in clinical psychology Rita de Paula, sexuality develops from the way we see ourselves and realize that people see us. Although the feelings of pleasure to give the material body, sexuality is constructed and expressed in symbolic body, ie the body we have in mind, the picture you make of it, the fantasies we have with him.
"We know our body while walking, make love to wash in the same way that we know through the pain, illness and emotions. This baggage includes physical and psychological experiences, imaginary and real, present and past "(7). To these experts, many people with disabilities only had experiences far from happy. "For years, his body was (or is) subject to medical treatment, physical therapy or corrective that do not contribute to awaken the erotic. Instead, point out what is wrong, different, that needs to be 'fixed', 'normalized', otherwise it will be a sick body.
As if that were not enough, the mirror to the world standard is a perfect body. As it is, then, self-esteem of people with disabilities? The trend is not to find attractive, that doubt may be the target of the desire of others "(8).
Psychologist Fabiano Puhlmann, to be common people see a disabled man with a beautiful woman who has no disability and just think: that is compassion or he's rich. No one imagines that these people have an active sex life. "A client of mine, who was born with a disability, was pregnant. He took a taxi, the driver asked who it was that did it. As if she had been raped and had not chosen pregnancy as everyone else, or as if she had sex and was not fertile. "
In twenty-first century, still believes that women and men with disabilities have sexuality. They tend to be seen so childish, to be protected and care - (this position is still quite common, especially with adolescents with intellectual disabilities). This stigma also has other big mistakes. For example, women with disabilities, in wheelchairs, can not have children or to engage in sex, or women and / or blind men have a touch more sensitive, which would make sexual intercourse more pleasurable. It hangs the myth that people with intellectual disabilities are shameless, disadvantages, and compulsive masturbators, for having an alleged aggravated sexual and without government.
Finally, there are many misconceptions that need to be broken! Women with physical disabilities or motor, or may not have children because there is no relationship between disability (whatever it is) and fertility, unless infertility is caused by external factors to disability, as with women without disabilities. The woman or man with visual disabilities can exercise their sexuality or not using the touch, as well as choosing whether to have children or not. People with intellectual disabilities can exercise their sexuality, respecting the conventions of what can be done in public or not. It is important to take this information to people, because you never had the opportunity to live with a woman or man with disabilities, probably carries these misconceptions you. It is also essential for teenagers with disabilities to recognize their sexuality. It's just a result of this self-recognition that the other will see it with this attribute as a possibility and love.
For Marcela: "people who have opportunities to have contact with others, are far more likely to relate. In the case of disabled, there are a number of factors that affect it, such as architectural barriers, (which makes it difficult to access places), and the preconceptions of those who see it as immaculate beings, etc.. Who does not leave the house, hardly able to date or 'stay' with someone. But the Orkut communities on the Internet you can feel that people with disabilities are seeking the same things as those without disabilities, including relationships involving love and sex. Nobody is looking for care, but to return, and a companion (a) to live a relationship where there is, above all, reciprocity. "
A journalist and a PhD in Communication and Semiotics and professor in the Communication and Tourism, Federal University of Paraíba, Joana Belarmino (which is total blindness), agrees with Marcela. To Joanna: "Society has changed, materially and culturally, and expanded the space for action of their groups. However, in the daily practices and customs, holds on to first in creating archetypes of the human subject, which motivated the stigma and prejudice, so that persisted for us women, blind, deaf, with physical limitations or other trace the disadvantage of the disqualification, disregard of, or the consideration of ourselves, from the overvaluation of our people, as the most visible failure. This prevents a sense of ourselves as human subjects overall.
"A question I always ask is if my husband also has a disability. Felt natural that a person with disabilities seek to join another, whose disability was equal or similar to yours, so it would be completely understood and, consequently, happier. I have nothing against those who commit themselves to someone 'like' but I do not understand the thinking is that with the 'equal', the chance to be happy will be greater. We grew up living with people whose beliefs, thoughts, culture, limitations are different from ours. Living with differences always makes us grow, whatever they are, and generates action against discrimination, ghettos and closed groups. So why do some people with disabilities believe that will only be accepted and happy joining with other people with disabilities?, Marcela questions in his blog: http://www.tchela.blogspot.com/.
"When Ricardinho was born, my whole family was celebrated. It was just a child in the family, but rather, 'the son of Marcela'. The same Marcela who, since childhood, raised doubts about the future. If anyone still worried about whether my paraplegia make a difference in my life, reproductive capacity and happiness, after the arrival of Ricardinho this was definitely overlooked. Doubts gave way to certainty. " "I started dating later. I thought nobody would accept me. PC falls in love too, is silly, and feels even more rejected. Check that your horizons are even more impossible. And it has many difficulties in relation to sex. There are some things that are difficult even. Positions and muscles that do not work as they should, others who work more than they should. You will have sex with a support arm and can not. It's not like everyone does.
All depends on an adaptation. You must have a very large collaboration partner, especially when one has spasticity, which is uncontrollable. I do not know another PC married. I know people with hemiplegia and paraplegia married, but not PC, "blurted Maria (not her real name) interviewed for the book, Cerebral Palsy - Construction of Identity in Exclusion" (Cabral Editorial Universitaria), written by Suely Harumi Satow, master and doctor in social psychology, and bachelor's degree in philosophy and media (9).
To Suely who has cerebral motor impairment (BMI wrongly popularized as PC - cerebral palsy), people with BMI, may experience greater difficulties than other people with disabilities, especially in relation to their sexuality (10). "I know that the PC is not hereditary, but I'm really scared of having a disabled child. I do not have the strength to have a normal delivery. I still feel very ashamed of myself, and that is what is difficult to accept people, "said Maria to Suely. For the teacher with a doctorate in psychology, Bader Burihan Sawaia, we must understand that exclusion is not a state that some have, others do not. There is no exclusion versus inclusion.
Both are part of the same process - "the inclusion of exclusion" - modern face of the process of exploitation and domination. The journal is not on the fringes of society, he participates in it, and more, restores and maintains, but suffers a lot because it is included by the humiliation and denial of humanity, although sharing of social rights in the legal sphere. According to Dr. Bader: "The inclusion by the humiliation objective is a variety of ways, from inclusion in the" exotic "to the inclusion by the" mercy "(poor little character), and has a single cause. The stigma of having a disability interpenetrating with other determinations as social class, gender, ethnicity and ability to self-differentiation of individuals by setting various strategies of objectification and reification of differences "(11).
That is why there is still much prejudice between the union of a person with a disability and one without. Sidney T. Souza and Deborah K. United have been married for over 21 years and have two teenage children. Deborah, 43 years is a sales representative and has no disabilities. Sydney, 43 years, total blind, holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, and systems analyst. "It was common to ask when they saw us together if we were brothers. I'm dark brown eyes and my wife is very clear and has green eyes. There is nothing that makes us appear brothers. When we spoke we were lovers some said: Congratulations! But deep questioning preconceived: As a blind managed to get a girlfriend? Or as a couple, though beautiful, was willing to date a Blind? In addition, a colleague of my wife, fortunately little influence and no persuasive, made a disparaging remark to learn that she was dating me. The comment was: you're killing the dog cry? "(12).
As for the couple Claudia Sofia Pereira and Carlos J. Rodriguez, who faced prejudice in the first instance, came from some family members of Charles, who were concerned that the two are deafblind (disability only has all the visual and hearing disabilities at the same time in different degrees) (13). "They thought we were not able to have an independent living for two. We dated three years, and we met in 1994 by correspondence in Braille. We married 2 years and 6 months, and we are very happy. We do not have children, but we want as God wants, at most two, "says Claudia. Carlos, 48, sports director of the Brazil's total deaf and has low vision.
Already Claudia, 39, is deaf and overall coordinator of the Brazilian Association of blindness. They have hope that deafblind people have a better future in relation to sexuality, because they know that they still suffer many forms of discrimination. For Claudia is also very important that society knows that people with disabilities are able to have a happy loving relationship! (14)
Happiness is also present in the life of Rita N. Pokk, 27 years. In 2003, she married Ariel J. Goldenberg, 27, also with intellectual disabilities. Ariel always says that all people with Down syndrome have the right to dream, work, marry, and if desired, living alone after marriage. "Marriage to me represents two people who love each other very much and who has respect for each other. Not only love, sex and bed. A couple has to give on some things. Give love, love, affection and understanding. In marriage should not have fights and no discussion. Have to have is peace, harmony and love. When I was walking with my father to marry Ariel and saw there in front of a gray very beautiful I felt very emotional, because from that moment on I would be forever with the man I love, "says Rita. "When I saw Rita come dressed as a bride on the arm of her father as I thrilled, I shed some tears. I thanked God for my big dream was coming true, I would marry the woman I love, "confesses Ariel (15).
The advertiser, Hélio da Silva Potter and the nurse, Kenya M. Pottes Hubner, both 52, are also happy for 18 years. The marriage of two people with achondroplastic dwarfism, was born Maria Rita, 16, student dwarf. "I think our sexuality within the parameters of normality. The only fear we had was pregnant out of hours, because we were students. So, I decided to use contraception for a while. Then we looked out because I could not continue taking them for having fattened much. But some family members were concerned about the risk of me getting pregnant and lead to health problems for both mother and baby, "says Kenya. For her, for lack of knowledge and culture, our society often considers the person with disabilities 'asexual'. "It's pure ignorance and individualism, and is more comfortable than understand and respect people, though different in their physical condition, are very similar in the instincts and emotions," concludes Kenya (16).
Psychologist Rita explains that in the early eighties sexuality, finally, began to be tentatively addressed in other contexts, such as: adolescence, the performance of gender roles, pregnancy, and family planning for couples with disabilities. For her, these studies already show a trend, albeit tenuous, to draw up a more than merely psychosocial dysfunction and genital. However, as the focus of the study of sexuality of people with disabilities is still developing technology of clinical intervention and counseling for social adjustment, there is still a bias pathologizing sexuality and disability. Just recently the psychosocial approach timidly began to take pride of place. So, the emphasis is now placed on the right to pursue a satisfying sex life and the chance to win affection and autonomy through emotional-sexual experiences (17).
Experts say the real process of effective social inclusion should extend these stereotypes by promoting the recovery of sexuality and eroticism of people with disabilities. "Being erotic's own life, liberty, movement, heat shared. A disabled person must be a man or woman in search of pleasure, responsibility and balance, sure of their ability to involve the loved and in love, "says psychologist Fabiano (18).
"After a paraplegic, without strength in his legs to keep me active over a woman in a sexual relationship, the only way was to get under it. Privileged position that enables the man to contemplate, repair, see much more of this so-called inner capture women, and conclude, once and for all, that big is captured him (...). Before, in daring to reach ejaculation, stood over his head sunk in the bed - and worse, his eyes closed. No legs for this ride, I found the two most extensive sexual organs of my body: my eyes. Enjoy intercourse and admire him in the minutiae of female eroticism in full, this chalice is consecrated to let yourself be filled: a triangular eminence of the pubis heightened by the opening of the thighs, waist volatile, thinning arms in gestures and orgasmic from time to time, the breasts blessing my lips, "reported the painter John Carlos Pecci, (19).
John was a paraplegic (no movements of the arms and legs) after a car accident in 1968, and is author of "Sailing Life" (published by Scott), a work that recounts his career to make her beloved, who gave birth a beautiful girl, after much stand and great treatments. And today he seduces life in every way.
One of the most important aspects of sexuality of people with disabilities, according to Fabiano, is seduction. "To entice you need to know what are their strengths. If anyone thinks that he has no power of seduction because they have disabilities, or if the wheelchair is an enormous weight, the other will always see him in the role of friend. This makes it difficult for the person who has no disabilities involved, it is a new horizon. She has anxiety, fear, resistance. If you know who have disabilities, it can facilitate each other. If she can relate the social, walks, have friends, get a chance to have a partner is very great. "
The psychologist explains that thinking of a person who was with a disability is necessary to rediscover the body as a whole. For him there are several ways. "The main thing is to play again, see the sensitive areas and erogenous. Explore the sensitivity as a whole. Imagine a person who felt his whole body and suddenly stops feeling. You also need to use resources to ease the values because, sometimes, we must reverse the way things are observed. If the disabled person is very 'square', it is necessary to make it more pliable, with dance classes inclusive - where people are touched and moved the sensitivity - or a trip to fri shops. A disabled person goes to a store and see these people buy toys like masturbation, condoms with penis extension and so on. This makes it begins to see the sex in a looser, more humor, "concludes Fabiano.
Fabiano explains that our personal growth depends not only on the other, but ourselves. Fighting, learning, establishing relationships and crafting each one of us can draw his map of love. Education has much to gain from the work of people guided by maps of love. Education is the host, availability, pleasure. Requires internal competence to organize itself and externally to meet each other. In addition to courage to strip of prejudice, especially when dealing with people who are outside of what is erroneously considered a standard in society. Attributes such as these are fundamental to demystify the sexuality of disabled people, and understand what the painter
John Carlos Pecci said: "... The sexual junction which includes a paraplegic man not only allows a single conductor and a baton to keep time and pace erotic. Induces a diverse conducting: hands talking, going through his lips, arms that make up the legs. Multiply your fingers in deep strategies in which the rigidity of a penis can not keep up with the necessary delay of a researcher. Providing the touch of a pressure almost scientific, that is not embarrassing, much less perceptible (it is a training a rose petal ...), backed the mouth with the gusto of a newborn and the ability of a piston and leave it unbridled where the lips fit with greater competence. I go into the hopper off when I orgasm in ecstasy, in rapture to go unchecked me whole (body + mind) involved in the enjoyment of women, even without feeling her body on mine. "
1 - Editora Gente - Brazil.
2 - DE PAULA, Ana Rita; REGEN, Mina, Lopes Penha. "Sexuality and Disability: Breaking the Silence". Expression & Art Publishing, 2005.
3 - DE PAULA, Ana Rita; REGEN, Mina, Lopes Penha. "Sexuality and Disability: Breaking the Silence". Expression & Art Publishing, 2005.
4 - Fabiano Puhlmann is a member of the Brazilian Society of Human Sexology. Sex therapist for over 16 years graduated from the Institute H. Ellis, and completed his studies at the Brazilian Society of Sexuality. Contacts: fabiano@iparadigma.org.br or Tel: (11) 5049-0075.
5 - DE PAULA, Ana Rita; REGEN, Mina, Lopes Penha. "Sexuality and Disability: Breaking the Silence". Expression & Art Publishing, 2005.
6 - Excerpts from the research "People with disabilities and HIV / AIDS: interfaces and perspectives: an exploratory study", developed by the team Amankay Institute for Studies and Research, and published in 2009.
7 - de Paula, Ana Rita; REGEN, Mina, Lopes Penha. "Sexuality and Disability: Breaking the Silence". Expression & Art Publishing, 2005.
8 - DE PAULA, Rita; REGEN, Mina, Lopes Penha. "Sexuality and Disability: Breaking the Silence". Expression & Art Publishing, 2005.
9 - Excerpt from the book: "Cerebral Palsy - Construction of Identity in Exclusion" (Cabral Editora Universitária - 2000), written by Suely Harumi Satow.
10 - Suely has speech and body movements different from most people, and often went through embarrassing situations and prejudiced when people assume that they also have some intellectual impairment. Who has cerebral motor disability usually has difficulty in communication, motor descordenação, involuntary movements, muscle tone quite different, depending on the region of the brain affected. In most cases not have any intellectual impairment.
11 - Excerpt from the book: "Cerebral Palsy - Construction of Identity in Exclusion" (Cabral Editora Universitária - 2000), written by Suely Harumi Satow.
12 - Information on Sydney in the e-mail: sidneyt@prodam.sp.gov.br.
13 - deafblindness is a unique disability that presents the visual and hearing disabilities at the same time in different degrees, leading to the deaf person to develop different forms of communication to understand and interact with people and the environment, allowing it to access information, a social life with quality, orientation and mobility, education and work requiring an interpreter-guide to gain communication with others and also to move. The deaf blindness does not necessarily mean that the person is totally blind or deaf, there may be waste vision (low vision) and auditory functional waste, enough to listen to a conversation, especially when equipped with a hearing aid as an instrument.
14 - Information on the Group Brazil Support deafblind and multiple handicapped - Brazil: Tel: 55 (11) 5579-5438 and ABRASCO: Tel: 55 (11) 3342-2108.
15 - Contacts with Ariel and Rita: www.grandesencontros.com.br.
16 - Contacts with Helium and Kenya: www.ser.anao.nom.br.
17 - DE PAULA, Ana Rita; REGEN, Mina, Lopes Penha. "Sexuality and Disability: Breaking the Silence". Expression & Art Publishing, 2005.
18 - DE PAULA, Ana Rita; REGEN, Mina, Lopes Penha. "Sexuality and Disability: Breaking the Silence". Expression & Art Publishing, 2005.
19 - DE PAULA, Ana Rita; REGEN, Mina, Lopes Penha. "Sexuality and Disability: Breaking the Silence". Expression & Art Publishing, 2005.
* Leandra Migotto Certainty is a journalist with physical disabilities and develops the project team: "Fantasies Kaleidoscope, sensual photo shoot with people with disabilities - information: http://www.saci.org.br/index.php?modulo=akemi&parametro = 25,435. The project was awarded the "6th International Congress Prazeres Des-organized - Bodies, Rights and Cultures in Transformation", in Lima (capital of Peru) in June 2007, and reintroduced in the "First National Seminar on Health: Sexual and Reproductive Rights and People with Disabilities "held by the Ministry of Health, in Brasilia, from 23 to 25 March 2009. This article is an excerpt from the argument of the project. More information: leandramigottocerteza@gmail.com or BLOG: http://leandramigottocerteza.blogspot.com

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