Disabled Sex and the Movies

Leslie Harris


The mass media play an important role in socialisation and influence the construction of meaning. They shape the way people perceive the world around them. Many people have no contact with disabled people so gain their knowledge of disability from the mass media. It therefore becomes important understand how the media shape reality. This paper uses aspects of semiotics to examine the construction of meaning and some of the signs, symbols, and icons of disability imagery with particular emphasis on the intersection of sexuality and disability on the silver screen. Comparisons are drawn between negative and positive portrayals of sex involving disabled characters. Adult videos produced specifically for the devotee market are contrasted with those produced for a wider audience.

Full Text:

html PDF

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v22i4.378

Copyright (c) 2002 Leslie Harris

Beginning with Volume 36, Issue No. 4 (2016), Disability Studies Quarterly is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license unless otherwise indicated. 

Disability Studies Quarterly is published by The Ohio State University Libraries in partnership with the Society for Disability Studies.

If you encounter problems with the site or have comments to offer, including any access difficulty due to incompatibility with adaptive technology, please contact the web manager, Terri Fizer.

ISSN: 2159-8371 (Online); 1041-5718 (Print)