Already doing it : intellectual disability and sexual agency by Michael Gill PDF

Human Rights

By Michael Gill

Why is the sexuality of individuals with highbrow disabilities usually deemed “risky” or “inappropriate” by way of academics, mom and dad, help employees, doctors, judges, and the media? may still sexual citizenship depend upon IQ? Confronting such questions head-on, Already Doing It exposes the “sexual ableism” that denies the truth of people who, regardless of the constraints they face, actively make judgements approximately their sexual lives.

Tracing the heritage of efforts within the usa to restrict the sexual freedoms of such persons⎯using tools resembling compelled sterilization, invasive contraception, and gender-segregated dwelling arrangements—Michael Gill demonstrates that those frequent practices stemmed from dominant perspectives of disabled sexuality, now not least the concept that intellectually disabled girls are excessively sexual and fertile whereas their male opposite numbers are sexually predatory. examining felony discourses, intercourse schooling fabrics, and information tales going again to the Nineteen Seventies, he exhibits, for instance, that the serious specialise in “stranger chance” in intercourse schooling for intellectually disabled contributors disregards their skill to independently opt for actions and sexual partners—including nonheterosexual ones, who're often taken care of with heightened suspicion. He additionally examines moral concerns surrounding masturbation education that goals to manage participants’ sexual lives, demanding situations the notion that these whose sexuality is managed (or rejected) aren't reproduce, and proposes attractiveness of the fitting to turn into mom and dad for adults with highbrow disabilities.

A powerfully argued demand sexual and reproductive justice for individuals with highbrow disabilities, Already Doing It urges a shift clear of the compulsion to control “deviance” (better identified at the present time as damage relief) as the correct to excitement and highbrow incapacity usually are not at the same time particular. In so doing, it represents an essential new contribution to the continuing debate over who, within the usa, can be allowed to have intercourse, reproduce, marry, and lift children.

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Extra resources for Already doing it : intellectual disability and sexual agency

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Having individual choices respected and feeling safe in expression of these choices is an important implicit consideration in a determination of consent. Perpetrators can sexually abuse and assault individuals with intellectual disabilities, even if the individual expressed willingness to participate in the sexual action. Unequal power dynamics, instead of willingness, becomes one of the determinants of abuse. 54 Defining sexual abuse as an issue of power and exploitation rather than an issue of consent underscores that those who experience sexual violence do so not because of a “lack” of intelligence but rather because of unequal power dynamics that might favor professionals, family members, and staff.

Nonetheless, McArthur and assumptions about her sexuality remain central to the failed defense of D-­20 and Harris. 35 Recognition of sexuality can challenge the assumption that individuals with intellectual disabilities always need protection from sexual abuse by actively denying their sexual lives. To be clear, I am not arguing that what she experienced was or was not sexual violence. The emphasis on virginal and innocent status to justify victimhood is my focus in this case, primarily because such an emphasis seems to lead to pity and unequal power dynamics.

Unequal power dynamics point to wider social inequalities around disability as well as a reinforcement of male-­dominant culture. Men with intellectual disabilities who commit sexual abuses may benefit from unequal power dynamics vis-­à-­vis their female counterparts. Issues of intellectual capacity are not sufficient to explain why some individuals encounter abuse. , between a boss and an employee), and a social atmosphere that condones sexual violence affect which individuals may experience or perpetuate sexual assault.

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