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Student Attitudes toward Intimacy with Persons Who Are Wheelchair Users

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Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education Volume 25, Number 1,


The present study explored whether students would be attracted to having an intimate relationship with a wheelchair user if participants were able to first see a head shot photo and later read a short biography of the person. Four hundred and eight undergraduate students were surveyed regarding their interest in potentially being friends, dating or marrying a wheelchair user. Sixty-six percent indicated they would have no problem dating and/or marrying a wheelchair user. A MANOVA revealed significant differences between gender, type of relationship, and experience with a prior disability relationship. Personal characteristics of intelligence, humor and appearance rated most highly. Those unwilling to date and/or marry their selection cited that the partner would be too much work, interaction would be awkward, and the partner would be sick often. Educators may benefit from training counselors about misconceptions regarding sexuality, whereas counselors can role play and provide clients with insights regarding societal beliefs. (Contains 2 tables.)


Marini, I., Chan, R., Feist, A. & Flores-Torres, L. (2011). Student Attitudes toward Intimacy with Persons Who Are Wheelchair Users. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education, 25(1), 15-26. Retrieved December 7, 2021 from .

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