The disability population is one of the largest minority populations in the U.S., yet they’ve been underrepresented and understudied. The Kinsey Institute’s Disability and Sexual Health Initiative (KI-DASHI) gives much-needed attention to understanding and improving the intimate lives and sexual wellbeing of people with disabilities and their partners.
The Kinsey Institute's new Disability and Sexual Health Initiative will focus on under-researched populations with disabilities, starting with a study on condom use. The initiative is a partnership between the Kinsey Institute and the IU Bloomington School of Public Health, in cooperation with the Kinsey Institute Condom Use Research Team.
Their first study focuses on persons with blindness or visual impairment and condom use issues. This initial study, funded by a grant from the Kinsey Institute, is in the data collection phase and will explore participants’ beliefs and experiences using condoms, what’s needed to increase correct and pleasurable condom use, as well as challenges related to condom availability and partner acceptance.
Jennifer Piatt, research fellow at the Kinsey Institute and associate professor in the School of Public Health’s Department of Health and Wellness Design, and William Yarber, senior scientist at the Kinsey Institute and Provost Professor in the School of Public Health’s Department of Applied Health Science, are co-founders of the initiative.
PhD students Kirsten Greer and Ivanka Simic Stanojevic also serve as core members of the team.
For the initial DASHI study, two undergraduate students will serve as researchers, including one who is engaged with the Emerging Scholars Research Experience for Undergraduate Women. Dr. Christopher Clark from the School of Optometry is also part of the research team, along with PhD student Mika Baugh.