Perceived impact of limb amputation on sexual activity: A study of adult amputees

Gail M. Williamson, Andrew S. Walters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Although research amply indicates that limb amputation poses serious threats to psychological well-being, little is known about the role of sexual activity in this process. In this study of 76 amputees, three fourths of the participants reported that amputation had restricted their sexual activities to some extent. Among the variables predicting more negative impact on sexual activity were older age, being unmarried, and greater feelings of amputation- fostered self-consciousness ill intimate situations. Higher levels of perceived negative impact of amputation on sexual activity, in turn, were related to more symptoms of depression, and in fact, impact on sexual activity emerged as the most consistent predictor of depressive symptomatology. Few participants (less than 10%) reported having received advice from health care practitioners about how amputation might affect their sexual activity. Results are discussed in terms of implications for interventions aimed at improving adjustment to limb amputation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-230
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Psychology
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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