Gender, Sexuality and Prosthesis Use: Implications for Rehabilitation

  • Craig D. Murray


One particular, highly personal, form of social relationship following amputation relates to sexual behaviour and related concerns. Although the role of relationships, and particularly romantic and sexual relationships, are generally important in most persons’ lives, until relatively recently, the issue of sexuality following amputation has been a neglected area of research. This chapter summarizes the key literature on amputation and sexuality. This is mainly focused on males, who are lower-limb amputees, where data is collected via questionnaires or self-report surveys, with responses aggregated to ascertain the prevalence of certain pre-defined problems or issues. The sexual concerns of such persons can reasonably be expected to change over time and therefore to be different at various times following amputation and within the life course of individuals. Responses to limb losses are likely to be gendered experiences. Given the paucity of available literature on this topic and the importance of the issues surrounding it, this chapter reports the findings from a qualitative project of prosthesis use by both people with acquired amputations and those born with congenital limb deficiency on the complementary issues of gender, sexuality and romantic relationships. In this work, issues of sexuality emerged in relation to other salient meanings and experiences. In contrast to some prior research, which has had a tendency to explore sexual function and concerns in isolation, the qualitative analysis here highlights these as gendered concerns, and related to issues of forming romantic, and also sexual, relationships.


Romantic Relationship Physical Disability Sexual Functioning Sexual Relationship Sexual Concern 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Health and MedicineLancaster UniversityLancasterUK

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