Alan Santinele Martino


Alberta, Canada

We Need More Than Just Harm Prevention: Expanding The “Menu Of Options” For People Labelled/With Developmental And Intellectual Disabilities When Navigating Sexuality and Sexual Expression

Dr. Alan Martino (he/him) is a faculty member in the Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies program in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary.

His main research interests are in critical disability studies, gender and sexualities; feminist and critical disability studies theories; qualitative and community-based research (particularly participatory and inclusive research methodologies). His doctoral research examined the romantic and sexual lives of adults with intellectual disabilities in Ontario, Canada, by putting into conversation theories from both the sociology of sexualities and the field of critical disability studies. His current research project explores the intimate lives of 2SLGBTQ+ disabled people in Alberta.

His work has been published in journals, including Disability Studies Quarterly, Canadian Disability Studies Journal, and Culture, Health and Sexuality, as well as edited volumes focused on disability and/or sexualities studies. He is the former co-lead for the Sociology of Disability Research Cluster at the Canadian Sociological Association, as well as the current co-lead for the emerging Disability and Intimate Citizenship Research and Advocacy Hub.

Program Description

During this presentation, Dr. Martino will delve into the the often-overlooked topic of sexuality and sexual expression among individuals labelled/with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Moving beyond the narrow focus on harms and vulnerability, he will emphasize the diverse information about sexuality that disabled individuals actually seek. Dr Martino will explore themes of compulsory monogamy, an expanded vocabulary surrounding sexuality, and the crucial, yet missing, discourse on pleasure and intimacy. At the heart of this presentation is the concept of empowering disabled people by offering a broader ‘menu of options’ in their sexual lives. This approach is not just about providing information; it’s about fostering an environment where individuals feel equipped and empowered to make informed choices about their desires and boundaries.

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