Date of Award

11-17-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Elisabeth Sheff - Chair

Second Advisor

Dawn Baunach

Third Advisor

Wendy Simonds

Abstract

General social stereotypes characterize people with disabilities as asexual, invisible, and stigmatized. Therefore, sexualizing people with disabilities becomes taboo. The goal of this study is to explore how Internet pornography depicts a female wheelchair user. Using qualitative, inductive content analysis and a case study approach, I analyze 24 images from a specific, relevant website for a theme that appears most prevalent in sexuality and disability literature, the sexuality/disability split, wherein individuals’ sexualities are not pictured, felt, or acknowledged in concomitance with their disabilities. My results indicate that a sexuality/disability split does occur to some degree, but that the subject also challenges the sexuality/disability split. Finally, I show how these results apply to an emerging interactionist paradigm of feminist and disability theories.

Included in

Sociology Commons

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