Events and Conferences

Disability Studies @ University of Sheffield Seminar: Meanings of an ‘autistic’ sexual subjectivity

Disabilityuos Seminar
12 – 1.30, April 17th 2013
Room 7.02, Education Building, University of Sheffield 388 Glossop Road

Hanna Bertilsdotter-Rosqvist
Umeå UniversitySE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden

Meanings of an ‘autistic’ sexual subjectivity- narratives of love, sexuality and couplehood on people with autism´s own terms within the Swedish autistic self-advocacy movement

Abstract: In research on sexuality and developmental disabilities three discourses dominates: the sexual restriction/regulation discourse, the sexual education discourse and a sexual political discourse. Perspectives on sexuality, couplehood and autism are gradually changing in Sweden. Through this change people with autism are gradually being included within a discourse of “good enough sexuality” on certain conditions (sexuality based on twosome, monogamous love). The present paper explores discourses within the Swedish autistic self-advocacy movement of an ‘autistic’ sexuality and couplehood (sexuality and couplehood on people with autism´s own terms). The analyses is based on articles in a Swedish magazine, Empowerment, published between 2002-2009, produced by and aimed at adults with autism. The stories in the magazine Empowerment can be seen as expressing an emergent counter-hegemonic conditional discourse of “good enough sexuality” which regards some people with autism as “good enough” sexual subjects and possible sexual and romantic partners.

Hanna Bertilsdotter Rosqvist is an Associate Professor in Sociology and Research Fellow in Sociology and Gender studies at Umeå University, Sweden. She now holds a position as senior lecturer at the Department or Social Work, Umeå university. Her research interests include autism politics and identity constructions among adults with autism. Other areas of interest are homonormativity, representations of bisexuality, and intersecting notions of age, space and sexuality.

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