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? should still sexual citizenship rely on 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 historical past of efforts within the usa to restrict the sexual freedoms of such persons⎯using equipment akin to pressured 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 inspiration that intellectually disabled girls 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 Seventies, he exhibits, for instance, that the serious concentrate on “stranger chance” in intercourse schooling for intellectually disabled contributors disregards their skill to independently decide upon actions and sexual partners—including nonheterosexual ones, who're often handled with heightened suspicion. He additionally examines moral matters surrounding masturbation education that goals to manage participants’ sexual lives, demanding situations the conception that these whose sexuality is managed (or rejected) aren't reproduce, and proposes attractiveness of the suitable to develop 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 usually are not jointly unique. In so doing, it represents an essential new contribution to the continuing debate over who, within the usa, could be allowed to have intercourse, reproduce, marry, and lift children.

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Additional info for Already doing it : intellectual disability and sexual agency

Sample text

Some bodies are able 18 Introduction to be sexual, without oversight and intervention. Others appear to need regulation or oversight. Children under the age of sixteen (or eighteen, depending on the location) are assumed not legally able to consent to sexual activity; adults participating in sexual activities with minors are rendered criminal partially because of an assessment that the minor lacks the ability to consent to and understand the ramifications of the sexual act. One of the lasting contributions to discussions of sexuality that feminists have offered include a reminder that sexual relations can be as much about power and control as they are about pleasure and desire.

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. There is also a stereotype that individuals with intellectual disabilities are uncontrollably and inappropriately sexual, for example masturbating in public locations. 37 The implication is that if someone who experiences abuse and assault is also sexually active or has multiple sexual partners, then the actual experience of abuse is mitigated.

31 Likewise, McArthur’s father has been quoted as saying that his daughter “used to be passive and affectionate, [but] now she’s aggressive, especially toward males. ”32 This threat of future violence is not commented on in the coverage of the case. It only serves as a marker of the gravity of the situation and a consequence of victimization, one that might be replicated at the hands of McArthur on a younger boy victim. 33 It seems that a 30 Questions of Consent successful prosecution of both Harris in the criminal case and D-­20 in the civil case is dependent on making McArthur appear consistently vulnerable to unwanted sexual advances and that her innocent nature has been lost because of this experience.

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