SURF

Huyen Vo

INTOMEISEE: Exploring Burn Survivors' Comfort Levels with Sexual Intimacy

A burn accident can dramatically change a persons quality of life; survivors have not only permanent physical scars, but also mental and emotional scars. For my research, I will examine how the severity of young adult female burn survivors injuries impacts their comfort in engaging in intimate and sexual relationships. I will approach this by first studying the survivors views on their body image. Secondly, I will look at their intimate relations and sexual life. Finally, I will synthesize these two findings and look at the correlation between the populations body image and sexual intimacy. I will conduct participant observation and 20 in-depth qualitative interviews with young adult female burn survivors that attended the Alisa Ann Ruch burn camp in Fresno. My work aims to provide insight into the lives of these survivors and offer intervention recommendations that will empower them to feel comfortable engaging in sexual and intimate relationships.

Message to Sponsor

I'm a third degree female burn survivor. Growing up, I thought that I was not worthy of love and affection. My mentality shifted greatly with the supports of burn camps, friends, families, and most importantly, knowledge and confidence I gained from being educated in higher institution. Thus, this fellowship gives me an opportunity to use my privilege as a burn survivor in higher education to spread awareness about issues in my burn community. Overall, through my research this summer, I hope to gain knowledge about what other female burn survivors around my age group feel regarding intimate and sexual relationships.
  • Major: Social Welfare, Education (minor)
  • Sponsor: Wishek Fund
  • Mentor: Brian Powers, Sociology