When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.
Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.
This doctoral research explores the various ways in which people with physical disabilities access opportunities for sexual expression and exploration. Through conducting qualitative interviews with twenty-four people with physical disabilities I identify barriers to sexual expression that participants faced and examine how participants negotiated, maintained, and created opportunities for sexual expression in spite of these barriers. The findings of this study show that persons with disabilities continue to encounter alienation, stigmatization, and discrimination, particularly in terms of their sexuality. However, the findings of this study also illustrate the creative ways that disabled people can reject, subvert, and challenge the desexualization that they routinely experience.