Psychiatr Danub. 2021 Dec;33(Suppl 11):29-32.


People with spinal cord injury (SCI) must battle cultural and personal attitudes and stereotypes that reduce sexuality to genitalia’s physiological functions. These psychological and social restrictions stem from cultural and models of disability that emphasize phallocentric primacy and the sexual appeal of beautiful bodies when it comes to sexual pleasure. In this paper, we look at the attitudes and stereotypes, conveyed by the medical model of disability, which are based on two widespread and interconnected beliefs (myths): bodily perfection and asexuality. The medical model is based on the normalization of sexual gender roles by male-centered patriarchal culture, which is characterized by unequal relationships between men and women according to the sex most people get to know as totally phallocentric (penis-centered). Finally, we observe the effects of a psychoeducational intervention (Love & Life Project) in a personal growth group on the sexual lives of two groups of people with SCI and their partners in terms of sexual interest and satisfaction, depression, and anxiety. The intervention dramatically increased the possibility and ability of the partner and patient groups to enjoy sexuality, allowing them to experience that “No injury, no matter how serious, can take away your ability to have a relationship, experience love, and experience the attraction between two people.”