Already Doing It: Intellectual Disability and Sexual Agency by Michael Gill

By Michael Gill

Why is the sexuality of individuals with highbrow disabilities usually deemed “risky” or “inappropriate” by means 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 limitations 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 equipment similar to pressured sterilization, invasive contraception, and gender-segregated residing arrangements—Michael Gill demonstrates that those frequent practices stemmed from dominant perspectives of disabled sexuality, now not least the idea that intellectually disabled ladies are excessively sexual and fertile whereas their male opposite numbers are sexually predatory. reading felony discourses, intercourse schooling fabrics, and information tales going again to the Nineteen Seventies, he exhibits, for instance, that the serious specialize in “stranger danger” in intercourse schooling for intellectually disabled contributors disregards their skill to independently opt for actions and sexual partners—including nonheterosexual ones, who're usually taken care of with heightened suspicion. He additionally examines moral concerns surrounding masturbation education that goals to control individuals’ sexual lives, demanding situations the notion that these whose sexuality is managed (or rejected) are not reproduce, and proposes reputation 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 this day as damage relief) as the correct to excitement and highbrow incapacity should not together unique. In so doing, it represents an important new contribution to the continued debate over who, within the usa, may be allowed to have intercourse, reproduce, marry, and lift teenagers.

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While not everyone might agree that all sexual exchanges fall into an unequal gender system where men are dominant and women are subjected to that domination, it is instructive to think about these sexual exchanges as being located on a continuum where sexual pleasure and oppression/domination lie along the multidimensional, nonlinear continuum. The use of continuum is intentional here because on a continuum separate categories or groupings such as stylized sex and fantasy blend into each other, sometimes making it very difficult to determine to which category one event might belong, if any.

Sexual Abuse and Notions of Consent Sexual abuse invokes strong responses. 44 While sexuality remains a source of repression and danger, it is also a site of pleasure and agency. 45 There is a complicated relationship between sexual pleasure and danger; sex can bring gratification as well as oppression. ”46 This position elicited much criticism among feminists because of the sustained focus on sexuality as a means of oppression. While not everyone might agree that all sexual exchanges fall into an unequal gender system where men are dominant and women are subjected to that domination, it is instructive to think about these sexual exchanges as being located on a continuum where sexual pleasure and oppression/domination lie along the multidimensional, nonlinear continuum.

Anne Finger remarks that sexual oppression can be a source of deep pain for disabled people and individuals, stating that “sexuality is often the source of our deepest oppression; it is also often the source of our deepest pain. ”45 Desexualization and assessments of asexuality can warrant interventions, including requests for government-­ subsidized sexual services and a loosening of sex work monitoring. Being sexual is not central to being human; certainly many people live satisfying lives without sexual activity.

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