Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Professor Alice M. Miller

Second Advisor

Professor Danya Keene


This thesis examines how Yale as an educational institutional shapes disabled students’ sexual and romantic lives. It explores the ways in which the institution's policies, culture, and physical environments influence these experiences via a qualitative and landscape analysis. The analysis was based off nine semi-structured interviews with students who self-identified as disabled from both undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as a landscape analysis that incorporates formal, journalistic style interviews with eleven Yale faculty, staff, and administrators. Taken together, this study illuminates the challenges posed by systemic ableism within the university's academic and social frameworks. It highlights the inadequacies of Yale's sexual education, which often fails to address the specific needs of disabled students, contributing to a broader culture of exclusion and marginalization. The study ends with possible recommendations and barriers to their implementation. Overall, I hope this thesis contributes to the discourse on disability and higher education by emphasizing the lived experiences of disabled students at Yale, challenging prevailing cultural narratives around disabled sexuality, and suggesting pathways towards a more equitable educational environment.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access

Included in

Public Health Commons