Sexual identity and orientation in adult men and women with spina bifida.
PURPOSE: Sexuality has received little attention in spina bifida (SB) care. The aim of this study was to assess sexual identity and orientation in adults with SB. METHODS: An international online survey to adults with SB was administered over 10-months (recruitment: SB clinics, SB organizations via social media). Collected data included demographics, sexual identity and orientation. Non-parametric tests were used for analysis. RESULTS: Median age of 77 men and 119 women was 35 years old (52.0% shunted, 48.5% community ambulators, 42.3% outside United States). Most commonly, men identified as male (96.1%), while 1.3% each described themselves as female, transgender and other. All women reporting sexual identity identified as female (99.2%), 0.8% not providing an answer. Most men reported heterosexual orientation (89.6%), followed by gay (7.8%) and bisexual (2.6%). Most women reported heterosexual orientation (84.9%), followed by bisexual (10.4%), gay/lesbian (2.5%), asexual (0.8%) and other (1.7%). CONCLUSION: As in the general population, sexual identity typically coincides with biological gender. Sexual orientation of adults with SB mirrors the general population. Due to self-selection, these findings likely do not reflect exact prevalence in the SB population.
Szymanski, KM; Hensel, DJ; Wiener, JS; Whittam, B; Cain, MP; Misseri, R
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