Intimate relationships of disabled men and women in France

Maks Banens, Université Lyon 2

Disabled people are frequently supposed to experience difficulties in living intimate relationships, but surveys don’t seem to confirm this impression. However, there are factors that alter the way disabled live and appreciate their partnerships. That is what this research tries to find out. The data comes from the survey “Histoire de Vie, Construction Identitaire” (INSEE 2002). The sample is representative of the French population, but disabled are overrepresented. The methodology is based on Event History Analysis, though the research project includes in-depth life history interviews. The project examines two major questions. Does disability reduce chances for starting new relationships? And, how do intimate relationships go on when disability occurs? Both are analysed using socio-economic, cultural, generational and gender variables. The results show major effects of disability on the chances to engage in new intimate relationships, but little effect on relationships already started. Gender seems to be another main determinant.

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Presented in Session 26: Open forum 1